BOOK REVIEW: Spring nature book titles from Dawn Publications look at the water cycle, life in the mountains, and bird sounds

I’ve reviewed books from Dawn Publications (Facebook/Twitter/blog) before (see here). Their three new titles for spring are equally as informative, creative, and appealing as previous titles. This publisher produces wonderful books about nature for kids; they are entertaining, beautiful illustrated, and engaging, for kids and adults alike. And most important, they are full of accurate information about the animals and ecosystems they portray. These books do not focus on the Pacific Northwest, but I think kids should learn about plants, animals, and habitats from all over the world.

In Pitter and Patter (Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publications, 2015, 32 pp.), Martha Sullivan and illustrator Cathy Morrison tell the tale of the water cycle through the journey of two water droplets, Pitter and Patter. While Pitter rains down onto an oak tree and travels through a stream, a river, and a wetland before ending up in the ocean, Patter lands in a meadow, seeps into soil, and makes his way into an cavernous stream, then a river before being swept out to sea. Friends who parted ways as they descended from the clouds meet up in the ocean and together take the journey back up into the sky. Along the way, Pitter and Patter meet all sorts of animals, from a squirrel and river otter to a turtle and squid. Concepts such as precipitation, watershed, and evaporation are taught in a fun way, with colorful and charming illustrations. And kids will have fun searching each page for Pitter and Patter are – some are more obvious than others. In the back of the book, educational resources about the water cycle are provided for teachers and parents, including a neat diagram of the water cycle featuring the habitats and animals from the story. Here are some sample pages (courtesy Dawn Publications) that will give you an idea of the text (click to enlarge):


In Over on a Mountain: Somewhere in the World (Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publications, 2015, 32 pp.), Marianne Berkes continues with her “Over in the…” series (I shared about Over in the Forest and Over in the River previously, here and here). With lively cut paper illustrations by Jill Dubin, Over on a Mountain serves as an introduction to mountain ranges across the globe and the animals that call them home (mostly mammals). Ten ranges are covered, each page showing the range’s place on its continent. Following the classic rhythm “Over in the Meadow,” kids will eat with pandas in the Minshan Mtns. of China, sleep with wombats  in the Blue Mtns. of Australia, and pounce with mountain lions in the Rocky Mtns. of North America. They will learn what to call the young of the ten animals throughout the book, and as the eat, sleep, and pounce above indicates, some kind of animal behavior. And as expected with books from Dawn Publications, there is more detailed information about the animals and mountain ranges at the end of the book for parents and educators to use for learning opportunities. Here are some sample pages (courtesy Dawn Publications) that will give you an idea of the text (click to enlarge):


John Himmelman has followed up on his Noisy Bug Sing-Along (here) and Noisy Frog Sing-Along (here) with Noisy Bird Sing-Along (Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publications, 2015, 32 pp.), which introduces us to a dozen different species of birds and the sounds they make. The text is minimal, but the enlarged font size of the spelled-out sounds calls for the readers to make some noise. Take a break from being a mammal and practice being a noisy bird! The last few pages give more detail about each species and offers tips for how to see birds. Additionally, a link is provided for a page on the Dawn Publications website where you can listen to audio files of the actual sounds shared in the book. Here are some sample pages (courtesy Dawn Publications) that will give you an idea of the text (click to enlarge):


As for most of their titles, Dawn Publication offers downloadable activities related to their books for classroom use. Find them here.

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