Nature Books for Young Naturalists

Our Big Home: An Earth Poem
Illustrated by Elisa Kleven

A beautifully illustrated celebration of the air and water and soil and sky and sun and rain that we all share! Long-time Millbrook favorite Linda Glaser teams with best-selling illustrator Elisa Kleven in this clear and direct concept book about the coexistence of human beings with other living things in this big home we call Earth.  Linda Glaser's lyrical life-affirming text is greatly enhanced by Elisa Kleven's rich, multicultural, visionary illustrations which depict children, animals, and scenes from around the world.

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Reading Rainbow created four shows after 9/11 as an "arc of healing." Our Big Home was featured on their "Global Unity" show. The Our Big Home Reading Rainbow show premiered at the United Nations on International Literacy Day.

Linda Glaser (author) and Elisa Kleven (illustrator) signed books at the United Nations that day and both received a hug from LeVar Burton.

"Glaser's joyous appreciation of the interconnectdness of all living things forms the heart of this celebratory picture book; Kleven's brilliant, busy art gives it its soul."
-- School Library Journal.

--Reading Rainbow Featured Book Selection
--NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book
--Neumann College Outstanding Merit Award
--Translated into Japanese

“Earth & Space Sciences and Music” Canton Symphony Orchestra Concert Guide


Garbage Helps Our Garden - A Compost Story
Photographs by Shelley Rotner

Watch one family make compost for their garden. And learn how to start your own compost bin. This engaging, photo illustrated picture book captures the story of compost--from leftovers, grass clippings, and even an old jack-o'-lantern into compost for the garden.

The book clearly shows that composting is good for the earth and helps us make less garbage. Additional questions and answers about composting in the back.

Green Earth Book Award
Society of School Librarians International Honor Book
A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book


Not a Buzz to be Found: Insects in Winter
Illustrated by Jaime Zollars

Where do insects go when it's icy and cold? What do they do to survive? If you were a little insect, What would you do to stay alive? In this simple, lyrical and beautifully illustrated picture book, young readers learn about 12 insects that have different ways of surviving the winter. The text is factual and also invites children to use their imaginations. The illustrations by Jaime Zollars are enchanting. Additional information about each insect is included in the back.


Wonderful Worms
Illustrated by Loretta Krupinski

Describes the physical characteristics, behavior, and life cycle of the common earthworm.  For the curious young reader, back pages include a question and answer section that covers more information about earthworms and other worms

NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book
Selected by Houghton Mifflin and Harcourt Brace for primary
reading packages


Spectacular Spiders
Illustrated by Gay Holland

Describes, in simple text and illustrations, the physical characteristics, habits, and natural environment of the black and yellow garden spider. Also includes information on some other types of spiders.

NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book
Translated into Korean


Fabulous Frogs
Illustrated by Loretta Krupinski

Simple text and illustrations present the physical characteristics, habits, and life cycle of the frog. Includes a separate question-and-answer section with more information about different kinds of frogs and their way of life.


Magnificent Monarchs
Illustrated by Gay Holland

This title contains colorful, realistic illustrations that keep step with the simple, sometimes rhyming text. Three pages of more detailed data about monarchs and their complex lives, the addresses of butterfly societies, and a list of Web sites to explore are included.

"We love the book and feel it should be on every parent's or
 grandparent's list for children. It is a great teaching tool."
                         -- Mary Ellen Ryall, Executive Director of Happy Tonics


Dazzling Dragonflies: A Life Cycle Story
Illustrated by Mia Posada

Follow the life cycle of a dragonfly. Watch a clutch of eggs hatch into tiny dragonfly nymphs.  Follow one as she grows and sheds her skin again, escapes from a big fish, ;eats little fish, sheds and grows some more.  Then soar with her through the sunlight as she tries out her beautiful new wings. Mia Posada’s stunning mixed media illustrations add to the dramatic affect. The last pages include answers to questions such as: How long have dragonflies lived on Earth? How fast can dragonflies fly?  Where are dragonflies found?
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Praise from dragonfly expert:
"Dazzling Dragonflies nails the basic life-history of dragonflies. This delightful book uses kid-friendly language without compromising the facts. Illustrator Mia Posada's images are gorgeous and rich while still paying attention to the details of these complex insects. Teachers, naturalists and parents will find this book very useful for introducing young children to the life-cycle of insects with incomplete metamorphosis (plus it's a fun read!). Tops my list for kids' insect books."
-- Kurt Mead, award winning author of
   Dragonflies of the North Woods


Singing Crickets
Illustrated by Tess Feltes

Follow along as wingless baby crickets grow into singing adults. This simple, lively text and close up illustrations provide young children with information about crickets in an easy, engaging manner. In addition, in a separate section in the back there are commonly asked questions and answers about crickets, plus a website to hear crickets sing!


Hello, Squirrels!
Illustrated by Gay W. Holland

Follow the life of gray squirrels from newborns in the spring nestled "high in a
round leafy nest, so tiny and new, all pink and helpless,"through all the
seasons--"chit chit chattering in the leafy summer trees," burying nuts in the fall, and soaring and leaping adding "life andgrace to the winter trees and air."

While introducing young children to the life cycle of gray squirrels, the simple lyrical text also offers interesting tidbits such as the many ways squirrels use their tails--including for steering and balancing as they leap and climb and "oops! like a parachute--puffed out just in time."

Gay Holland's lively and appealing illustrations depict squirrels that have personality and charm yet are also scientifically accurate.

In addition to the main text, in the back of the book, readers find the answers to a few common questions such as, "How many kinds of squirrels are there in the world?" and "How far can a gray squirrel leap?"

A Bank Street Best Children's Books of the Year


Brilliant Bees
Illustrated by Gay Holland

Simple text and illustrations describe the physical characteristics, habits, and life cycle of the honey bee.

Gay Holland's scientifically accurate close-up illustrations of honeybees in all stages of development and daily activities greatly add to the learning
experience of young readers.  For the curious young reader, back pages include a question and answer section about honeybees.

NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book
Translated into Korean
    Praise from bee expert:
"It is so important to have a book like yours. It is incredibly informative in a gentle way. There are quite a few children's books about bees that I would never have on my shelves and certainly not offer to our public. We are thrilled to includeBrilliant Bees."
-- Grai St. Clair Rice
    Co-Founder HoneybeeLives


Beautiful Bats
Illustrated by Sharon Lynn Holm

Simple text and illustrations describe the habits and characteristics of little brown bats.  For the curious young reader, back pages include a question and answer section that covers more information about little brown bats and other bats as well.