A great way to teach kids about three-dimensional structures in nature – such as animal homes – is with three-dimensional teaching aids. A new book by artist Shawn Sheehy does just that. In Welcome to the Neighborwood (Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2015, 18 pp.), Sheehy employs beautifully constructed 3-D pop-up displays to show the homes or other structures that seven creatures of the forest build to survive. These are industrious animals, living in harmony. Sheehy connects each creature to the next by adding a comparison, whether it’s the calcium used by both snails (for their shells) or hummingbirds (for their eggs) or th mud that both potter wasps and beavers use for building. This wonderfully shows the interconnectedness of nature – how common materials make up the physical part of nature and how animals often utilize the same resources from their habitat, or neighborwood. (Clever word creation, similar to naturehood, used by the Discover the Forest campaign to promote connecting families to nature through social media, such as #naturehood on Twitter.)
Geared toward kids in preschool through 3rd grade, Welcome to the Neighborwood brings readers into the forest world of the animals mentioned above, as well as garden spiders, honeybees, and stickleback fish. The book is a visual treat for nature aficionados!
Take a look at this video about the book from the publisher: