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Recommend some natural history creative non-fiction books to me?

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My daughter (she's four but enjoys all-age picture books) is becoming obsessed with dinosaurs, plants, flowers, insects, birds, so I'd love some creative non-fiction recommendations. We've got some great plain non-fiction but I'd like some with more of a storyline, for bedtime reading.

Any great ideas? Thanks!
#1 - March 23, 2012, 08:11 AM

A few books we've enjoyed at our house:
Anything by Ruth Heller (beautiful illustrations) or Gail Gibbons
A Seed is Sleepy and An Egg is Quiet (Dianna Hutts)
Alphabet books by Jerry Palotta
I know what you mean about finding nonfiction books that are good for reading aloud! I'm always on the search myself.  :)
#2 - March 23, 2012, 08:43 AM
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Jim Aronsky does beautiful books about nature.
The Magic School Bus series (the original PB's--not the ones based on the show) are family favorites.
Gordon Morrison also has a few really good books. One is called The Pond.
And our own Kate Messner has a beautiful book out called Over and Under the Snow

Hope that helps!
#3 - March 23, 2012, 10:41 AM
FIVE SHORT SECONDS
SAYA AT SPEED
RULES OF THE GAME
TEST CASES
TWISTER RESISTERS
CRASH COURSE
Heinemann, Fall 2013

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I second the Dianna Hutts Ashton series, all GORGEOUSLY illustrated by Sylvia Long:
A Seed is Sleepy
A Butterfly is Patient
An Egg is Quiet
#4 - March 23, 2012, 10:45 AM

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These are wonderful, although I was after something a bit more like Over and Under in that there's some element of fiction going on (in that, you've got the child and her dad as characters, for example).

But now that I've seen these other non-fiction books I'm going to have to order them too because I can't resist! Darn you, BBers! Also, we've just ordered a butterfly kit so the Butterfly is Patient book will be perfect to go with that.

I should add, too, that I do know the BB's Betsy also does great non-fiction books (The Tree of Life is a favourite).
#5 - March 23, 2012, 11:01 AM

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I am also looking for those sorts of books, Franzilla. I want to read more of them because that’s exactly what I’d like to write. They’re tough to find (editors and librarians aren’t quite sure what to do with them, I’ve been told), and I’d be happy to hear more suggestions from other BBers! 

In addition to the suggestions already posted, here’s a list for you to try. Some match your description more than others--

And Then It’s Spring—Julie Fogliano
Bat Loves the Night—Nicola Davies
The Boy Who Drew Birds—Jacqueline Davies
Snowflake Bentley—Jacqueline Briggs Martin
(Hmm…do you have to have Jacqueline or Davies in your name to write in this genre?)
A Platypus, Probably—Sneed Collard
Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers—Kathi Appelt
Big Night for Salamanders—Sarah Lanstein
Crab Moon—Ruth Horowitz
One Beetle Too Many—Kathryn Lasky

Poetry—
Joyful Noise—Paul Fleischman
The Dark Emperor—Joyce Sidman (she has others that are very good, too)
Hey There, Stink Bug!—Leslie Bulion

And for middle-school students, the Scientists in the Field series is quite wonderful. It's straight non-fiction, but very engaging.


#6 - March 23, 2012, 12:08 PM
HIGH TIDE FOR HORSESHOE CRABS (Charlesbridge, 2015)

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Oh and also--Redwoods by Jason Chin is a fun one.
#7 - March 23, 2012, 12:19 PM
HIGH TIDE FOR HORSESHOE CRABS (Charlesbridge, 2015)

I am a Little Cat by Francois Crozat is a family favorite. There's a whole series with different animals. The cat book has the most story, and the others are more about introducing you to the animal, but all really fun. :)
#8 - March 23, 2012, 12:25 PM
Robin

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I would recommend browsing the lists of Dawn Books, Sylvan Dell and perhaps Capstone Press, which all specialize in these kinds of books.
#9 - March 23, 2012, 02:19 PM
I've Got a Tail! - Amicus Ink 2020

www.juliemurphybooks.com

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It's older now, but Megan McDonald's IS THIS A HOUSE FOR HERMIT CRAB? is wonderful. Not precisely natural history, but your DD might enjoy HOW TO MAKE AN APPLE PIE AND SEE THE WORLD by Marjorie Priceman.
#10 - March 23, 2012, 03:40 PM

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ECB, we loved How to Make an Apple Pie! I'd forgotten all about it, we read it in the library once and I remember thinking that it was such a great idea for a picture book and really well done too (this was before I had even considered writing kidlit myself). The hermit crab book sounds like just the kind of thing I'm after so I'll check that out.

JulieM, good point about Sylvan Dell and the others. We've got a couple of Sylvan Dell books. And although I'd never come across Dawn Publications, when I just checked out their catalog, I realized we have a couple of their books too!

Robin, thanks for the cat book recommendation. She loves cats, so I'm sure it'll be a winner!

Thanks all!
#11 - March 24, 2012, 07:35 PM

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Jane Yolen's OWL MOON and Lindsay Barrett George's IN THE WOODS: WHO'S BEEN HERE?
#12 - March 25, 2012, 10:50 AM
www.katemessner.com

OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW, Chronicle
MARTY MCGUIRE
CAPTURE THE FLAG
HIDE AND SEEK -Scholastic '13
WAKE UP MISSING- Walker, Fall '13

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