BOOK REVIEW: Spring nature book titles from Dawn Publications look at urban wildlife, farm animals, and growing green beans

I’ve reviewed books from Dawn Publications (Facebook/Twitter/blog) before (see here). They publish some of the best nature books for kids in my opinion. Their three new titles for Spring are equally as informative, creative, and appealing as previous titles.


In Wild Ones: Observing City Critters (Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publications, 2016), Carol L. Malnor and illustrator Cathy Morrison teach kids about the many kinds of animals that live where people live. Readers are introduced to insects, amphibians, birds, and mammals that call cities home by way of an energetic dog – Scooter – that explores his urban environment. From squirrels and pigeons to beavers and coyotes, Scooter sees many animals up close while others do their best to not be seen. Readers will come away realizing that not only do people see animals, people are being observed by animals, too. Humans are part of their environment! Materials for classroom lessons follow: further information about all the animals shown and how some adapt to city life; answers to questions about whether some animals can really do actions shown in the book, activities, and resources for parents and teachers. Here are some sample pages (courtesy Dawn Publications) that will give you an idea of the text and illustration (click to enlarge):







Cathy Morrison also illustrated Over on the Farm (Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publications, 2016), while Marianne Berkes provides farm-friendly lyrics to the familiar tune “Over in the Meadow” (her 8th such “Over in the” book). Readers will sing along as ten farm animals and their young eat and move as they go about their day. They will learn what to call the young of the ten animals throughout the book, and as the peck, gallop, and fly (and more), some kind of animal behavior. And as expected with books from Dawn Publications, there is more detailed information about the farm animals at the end of the book for parents and educators to use for learning opportunities and suggestions for activities for body movements. Here are some sample pages (courtesy Dawn Publications) that will give you an idea of the text and illustrations (click to enlarge):






And in Green Bean! Green Bean! (Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publications, 2016), written by Patricia Thomas and illustrated by Trina L. Hunner, a young girl explores the world of gardening starting with a seed packet for green beans. From sprouting to watching the rain water the plant to protecting it from hungry critters and hanging out inside the green bean pyramid, kids will appreciate being able to follow along the growth cycle and knowing that they can do it themselves.


My daughter with one of our two green bean pyramids for this planting season

A wealth of information about plant life cycles and seasons follows the story, as well as ideas for relate activities. Here are some sample pages (courtesy Dawn Publications) that will give you an idea of the text and illustrations (click to enlarge):





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

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