While this blog is dedicated to sharing about nature exploring in and around Portland, OR, occasionally we post about our country’s national parks. Our friends at the National Park Trust, who we’ve posted about before (see here), have published a new children’s book with National Geographic Kids. This is the perfect year for such a book, as 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service, and there is a Centennial Celebration planned. The book is geared toward preschool to early elementary age kids, and will help them learn not only about America’s first national park (which is special to us), but can help foster an appreciation for the importance of our federal public lands as places for everyone (something folks in Oregon currently know all too well). The book features the NPT’s mascot Buddy Bison, who travels across the land visiting parks by means of being a small plush bison that kids take with them. Here he is with my son at Crater Lake National Park in Nov. 2015:
Yellowstone National Park is a place my son experienced several times when he was much younger and before we knew Buddy. Of course, we saw many of his family members in there:
Yellowstone Adventure is Buddy’s first book, and it’s a lot of fun.
Ilona Holland, Buddy Bison’s Yellowstone Adventure (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Kids, 2016), 32 pp.
While the illustrated portions of the book (the human characters, Buddy, and other critters) seem a little too cartoony in appearance for my taste, kids will like them, and the gorgeous photography of Yellowstone landscapes and tourist sites is a visual treat. Siblings Elena and Christopher join their park ranger Aunt on a trip to see hot springs in the park, only for her to be called off to help some injured birds. And the adventure begins…
My nine-year-old son read the book and enjoyed it. He said, “It has imagination for younger elementary kids and just enough facts for older kids.” Following the story is an excerpt from Elena’s journal, a gallery of photographs taken by Christoper, a map and brief history of Yellowstone National Park, and a list of tips for how kids can help keep preserve our parks for everyone. Buddy Bison’s Yellowstone Adventure would be a great book to get for a child before heading to a national park or as a way to remember having visited one. I hope the NPT and National Geographic plan to publish other Buddy Bison adventures for other national parks!
If you wish to help further the National Park Trust’s mission to connect school kids to nature, you can donate to their efforts here.