Seeing nature through the eyes of a toddler delights me! My 3-year-old exclaims excitedly over her finds, whether they are acorns or ragweed (ah-choo!) or one of the many colorful leaves blowing to the ground. She also frequently requests to snuggle on the couch with a book, so I’d like to share some of our favorite science reads.
I Am a Bunny by Richard Scarry traces the four seasons through the eyes of Nicholas the bunny. Nicholas chases butterflies, watches the birds, plays in falling leaves, and curls up in his hollow tree for the winter. Filled with beautifully accurate drawings (excepting the protagonist bunny in overalls!), this classic from 1963 is also available today in board book format for the youngest readers.
Four Puppies by Anne Heathers follows four collies through their first year of life as the big farmhouse steps get smaller and the fun games they play must change with the seasons. Although the puppies are first saddened with each season change, they soon realize each season has its own fun activities to look forward too. A Little Golden Book, this one you’ll probably have to find used; mine is a much-loved copy from childhood.
Hello, World! Solar System by Jill McDonald introduces the youngest scientists to the planetary system through chunky, bright illustrations. Starting with Mercury and traveling outward, each page features a planet and one of its defining characteristics. I picked this board book up at the library on a whim. It gets my bonus points for including Pluto, the dwarf planet.
Space by James Turner introduces basic concepts about space, from the solar system to astronauts and telescopes. My daughter’s favorite page is the solar system; she points to each planet and makes me name it. Another board book, this one is written from a Christian perspective and emphasizes God’s wonderful work in space.
Mrs. Peanuckle’s Alphabet series checks two educational boxes: learning the alphabet and nature. We were introduced to these in our Chick-fil-A kid’s meal surprises (abridged versions). On our most recent trip to the bookstore, we snagged the Vegetable Alphabet and Flower Alphabet and will likely return for the Bird Alphabet. The full-length books feature a whimsical drawing of a type of tree/bird/flower/etc. for each letter of the alphabet, along with a fact about each one. (For those who would want to be aware, the Tree Alphabet and Bug Alphabet do contain references to “x million years old.”) I guarantee parents will learn a new fact or two in these books as well!
Whether it’s outside in our yard or inside on our couch, I want to nurture my child’s curiosity about and love for the wonders of creation! For more preschool books about nature, be sure to check out these posts from HSLDA blogger Chelsea Moore:
- Jill Baker