Once a month I’ll be sharing this space with some inspiring writers.
This month’s featured writer is Jackie from My Little Bookcase sharing some nature books for children inspired by our Native Bird study.
I consider myself incredibly lucky because My Little Bookcase allows me to discover the most fabulous books for children, which I’m very eager to share with others.
I was excited when Kate asked me to compile a special book list for An Everyday Story. Not only because I love to recommend beautiful books, but I also highly value the philosophies that underpin An Everyday Story.
I personally visit An Everyday Story regularly because I always read Kate’s posts feeling more informed and inspired as a mother and as an educator. I love the focus Kate puts on child-led learning, investigations, creating, nature and outdoor play. I’m sure these are the reasons you visit her blog too.
So, I’ve used these focus areas to create a special book list that I know will benefit the learning and growth of Kate’s children, but I also hope that these books inspire you and your children.
My Little World
Written by Julia Cooke and illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall
Set on Black Mountain in Canberra, My Little World invites children to look closely at the natural world.
Jack’s little sister is too small to see what her older brother and Gran can see on their bushland walks. Instead, she notices the tiny plants and animals that many people easily miss.
My Little World is a field guide and picture book in one. Budding naturalists will love the intricate, labelled illustrations and the extra information that can be found at the back of the book. The story that accompanies the detailed illustrations is told in a beautiful, descriptive rhyme.
Visit My Little Bookcase for a full review of My Little World.
Written by Nick Bland and illustrated by Stephen Michael King
The characters in this story undertake some project-based learning of their own, and Stephen Michael King’s illustrations are beautifully emotive and heart-warming.
Bonny and her Pop love having the birds come to visit, so they set about creating trees that will encourage the birds to stay and play. Bonny and Pop approach their projects quite differently; Pop tinkers with some new materials and needs to draw pictures to capture his big ideas. Bonny’s approach is much more simple, traditional and natural.
When the birds return they find that Pop’s big and brilliant tree is great for play, exploration and adventure, while Bonny’s simple and beautiful tree is a perfect home.
Visit My Little Bookcase for a full review of The Magnificent Tree.
Written by Penny Olsen and Penny O’Hara
Featuring native Australian birds and stunning archived illustrations that date back to 1893, this book is perfect for bird studies and art exploration.
Our Nest is Best is a board book, and the dialogue-based text is easy for toddlers to follow, while still providing them with rich information.
Two robins set out to investigate the nests of other native birds before building one of their own. They visit magpies, owls, swallows, emus, kookaburras, grebes, fairy-wrens and reed-warblers. None of them is quite right for the robin; so Ruby and Rocky create a nest which is perfect for them using bark, grass, moss, spider’s webs, fur and soft feathers.
Visit My Little Bookcase for a full review of Our Nest is Best.
Written and illustrated by Tina Matthews
A Great Cake explores a child’s ability to be imaginative and resourceful. It also features two cake recipes at the back of the book, which are perfect for children who enjoy baking.
Harvey wants to bake a cake, but he doesn’t have the ingredients he needs. Using his imagination and all the items he can source from around the house, he sets about baking some cakes anyway. He uses toothpaste, water, toys, flowers and shells to bake cakes for snails, lizards and butterflies.
The illustrations are simply delightful. Full of rich colour, they have been created with stencils and woodblock printing.
Visit My Little Bookcase for a full review of A Great Cake.
Written by Meg McKinlay and illustrated by Kyle Hughes-Odgers
This exquisite and engaging story has a clear message, that the natural world has amazing things to offer to those who are willing to slow down to explore them.
Tessa and Zachary, who rely heavily on their machine, are forced to walk to school when it breaks down. After their initial disgust, they begin spotting tiny things such as feathers and shells.
The profound story is told with beautiful, alliterative language and earthy illustrations that have been painted on wood panelling.
Visit My Little Bookcase for a full review of Ten Tiny Things and for five inspired activities.
Written by Antoinette Portis
Not a Stick encourages imagination and playing with natural materials.
The illustrations in this book are simple and the text is sparse. They both revolve around a stick. But, you’ll offend the main character if you actually call it a stick, because to him it’s anything but. Instead, his imagination turns that stick into a sword, a fishing rod and a paint brush.
Not a Stick proves that possibilities are endless when you combine a child’s imagination with a simple object from nature.
If you enjoyed browsing this book list, you might also be interested in exploring some of our other themed book lists.
Thank you Jackie for sharing these amazing books with us. They would make wonderful additions to our home library. I particularly like the sounds of My Little World.