Our World and the Great Outdoors

Disclosure: We were sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own.

Well Earth Day happened last month and my life has been so crazy I never got around to sharing the amazing books I have gathered for it. So I am going to share some of them with you today. We will start with Champion: The Comeback Tale of the American Chestnut Tree by Sally M. Walker. 

In this book we hear about the blight of the American Chestnut. The American Chestnut played a huge part in life in America. It was used for railroad ties as we expanded West. It was also a food source for many animals. And after all we even have a Christmas song that mentions them, "...chestnuts roasting on an open fire." Then in the early 1900s a disaster struck and the American Chestnut trees began to die due to a fungus. The scientists could not figure out how to stop it and bring back the beloved tree. Then there were some breakthroughs in the 1970s and slowly the American Chestnut is being brought back. 

This tale is told in this book is nonfiction yet it is told in a way that you want to learn more. This book is meant for kids 10-14. The science in the book is explained in such a clear manner for the kids to understand what happened and the importance of it. It is a book that has so much biology and STEM as well as interest in it. The importance of the tree is established in the book as well as the tale of what happened and how the scientists worked to find a solution. Throughout the book there are photographs and as well as illustrations and there are even some pages that are asides to explain more about something in the science or world that helps the reader understand what was happening even more. Do you know the tale the American Chestnut? If not, you should check out this book.

Now one of my favorite memories of childhood is the summer I turned eight. My father, a construction worker, took the entire summer off so our family could drive across the country and back and stop at many national parks. I remember seeing the Grand Canyon, Zion, Mesa Verde, Yosemite and so many more. I remember celebrating my birthday with my family at Crater Lake in Oregon. I hope to visit the parks again with Hazel, because the trip meant so much to me. I doubt I'll get Steve to drive across the country or camp though. Until we can visit we get to enjoy the next book, National Parks of the U.S.A. by Kate Siber and illustrated by Chris Turnham. 

The book is full of maps and information about the parks in the different regions of the country. The parks are represented with illustrations and the book is beautiful. 

Then each park in that region has pages where information is about the park and what you will find in the park. It talks about wildlife as well as plants and more. One can explore the country without leaving home with this amazing book. It is recommended for ages 8 to 11. What a fun way to plan a family vacation to the parks or to just learn about them!!

Not going on vacation or perhaps this summer while the kids are home, do you want them to explore outside? The next book is for you. It is Back Yard Adventure by Amanda Thomsen. This book is written for ages 6 to 10. It is full of explorations and play all to take place in your own yard. It has science experiments to art and creation and so much more. This book is perfect for the kids who like to explore or who like to create or who just like to play. And it will get them away from screens and being active outside!

There are so many fun options in this book and it gets the kids playing with nature which is missing in so many of their lives these days. It gets them exploring, getting dirty (and clean) as well as active and learning.

Many of the ideas are simple and they are all fun!! Some may remind you of your own childhood. Now our kids can have the same kind of fun we did. Get out there and let them play!!

Have you ever been to New York City? Have you walked through any part of Central Park? It is quite amazing to have such a large and beautiful park in the middle of a large city. Ever wonder how Central Park came to be? Our next book shares the story of Central Park. It is A Green Place to Be: The Creation of Central Park by Ashley Benham Yazdani. This book is recommended for ages 7 to 10. 

This book tells the story of how Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted joined together to transform the swampland to America's first large park. It is amazing to think about Central Park as once being swampland and look at what it is now. The team went on to create more parks across America. Come learn a bit of this fun history.

Our next book is a fun, new take on an old tale from the Bible. However it does not have the religious part of the story. The book is Noah Builds an Ark by Kate Banks and illustrated by John Rocco. This book is recommended for ages 3 to 7. In this fun multicultural book a big storm is coming and Noah's family is preparing for it. Noah wants to prepare for it as well, but his preparation is for the animals that are around his yard. He builds protection from the storm for the animals and they all come to it as the storm begins. 

The creatures in Noah's ark are the salamanders, toads, snakes, mice, beetles, spiders, hummingbirds, grasshoppers, and butterflies. Noah gathered food for the animals as well as made them furniture. I love the idea especially since it reminds me of fairy houses. I love that it is about caring for the other creatures on Earth. It is truly a sweet story.

Our next book takes you around the world and looks at all sorts of habitats including national parks from around the world. The book is Wilderness: Earth's Amazing Habitats by Mia Cassany with illustrations by Marcos Navarro. The book begins with a map of the habitats. 

The map shows the various places that the book shares and with each habitat shares about the location as well as the wild animals that are there including ones that are endangered.  This book looks at Africa, Australia, Asia, and the Americas.

The book is absolutely beautiful. It teaches the reader about animals and natural habitats around the world. This book is recommended for ages 6 and up.

Our final book for today takes us through the history of the world. It begins with the Hadean Age or about 4.6 billion years ago and ends with the Holocene Epoch or present day. The book is A Brief History of Life on Earth by Clemence Dupont. Once the reader gets through the history of life on earth, the reader can pull out the pages and see a timeline. This timeline pulls out to be the length of a triceratops. 

The illustrations in this book are colorful. It shares so much of the history of Earth in a way kids can understand. Let's face it, this is not a light subject yet this book makes it easy to understand and fun. This book is recommended for age 6 and up.

I hope you will check out these books and get your kids outside!!