Review by Hailey Swett, book by Kate Messner with art by Christopher Silas Neal | Ponds: what lovely and lively ecosystems! What child doesn’t love exploring a pond, searching for critters big and small? In her picture book Over and Under the Pond, Kate Messner takes young readers on a journey of exploration through a pond, all from the comfort of their homes.
Review by Leah Harrigan | There’s something extraordinary that happens when a child steps out into the natural world, the possibility of exploration ahead of her. With each overturned leaf and puzzling new sight, there’s a momentum that propels curiosity forward. The Hike by Alison Farrell is an outdoor adventure story that follows three curious, brave young female explorers who set out for a hike that takes them wherever the trail leads.
Review by Leah Harrigan | Deep inside the damp, dark forest, something hides behind the pine needles and twigs. But upon closer look, there’s more than just a hidden treasure to be found. There’s a whole kingdom to explore. We Are Fungi is a compelling introduction to the many functions of fungi that keep our planet healthy. But mostly, it is a way to cultivate wonder, a wonder that can lead children to want to know more. Guiding the reader with a welcoming sense of mystery, it depicts fungi as a presence lurking in the background yet grasping for our attention to explain all the incredible things they can do.
Beyond Seahorses and Hermit Crabs: Eric Carle’s Biocentric Anthropomorphizing for Fostering Empathy and Care
Review by Leah Harrigan | There’s certainly something special about the works of Eric Carle (1929-2021), the American author and illustrator who left a legacy of more than 70 children’s books celebrated worldwide. The self-described “picture writer”, Carle gifted us his bright, iconic tissue-paper illustrations that have adorned bookshelves since the 1960s. If you’ve read the The Very Hungry Caterpillar, you’ve been acquainted with Eric Carle.
Review by Joy Chi | The following article is a collection of reviews of smartphones apps that serve to help children and adults alike to connect with nature.
Review by Joy Chi | In previous generations, bikes were functional vehicles utilized for transportation, recreation, and sport. However, their usefulness was often overshadowed by automobiles. In Bikes For Sale written by Carter Higgins and illustrated by Zachariah Ohora, the emphasis on bike culture is evidenced through two playful characters, Maurice and Lotta. An introduction to problem-solving, creativity, and adventure, the book dives into the magic of biking for exploring nature and feeling free.
Review by Leah Harrigan | There’s a little patch of Earth in the middle of a Harlem block, right on 134th Street, where big things are happening. Once an abandoned city lot, a thriving urban farm blooms with color. This is the hub of Harlem Grown, the true story of how one school volunteer and his students re-imagined a city neighborhood.
Review by Marion Reynolds | In the early 1800’s, as a teen and young woman, Mary Anning scratched about on an English shoreline, finding fossils dating back millions of years – and making sense of them. Her work contributed significantly to the development of a scientific understanding of evolution. But as a woman and someone from a poor family, her contribution remained hidden for decades and has only recently been celebrated. Her story is one that needs to be told, especially to children growing up in this age when science, diversity, and inclusion must matter to all.
Review by Leah Harrigan | It’s never too early to start learning how to be an engaged citizen – just ask author Laurie Krasny Brown and illustrator Marc Brown, creators of Democracy for Dinosaurs: A Guide for Young Citizens. An introduction to civic values for young children, this book explores the important question of what it means to be a “kid citizen” in a democratic society. Brown’s familiar watercolor characters teach key principles of democracy and model ways to share, practice fairness, and respect one another’s opinions as young changemakers in an ever-evolving world.
Review by Marion Reynolds | Science journalist Sy Montgomery and photographer Nic Bishop’s latest addition to the Scientist in the Field series, The Hyena Scientist dispels myths and misunderstandings about the of true nature of the African spotted hyena, profiles the presence of women in science, and tells the story, through anecdotes and examples, of Kay’s decades-long research in the field. The unfairly maligned hyenas resemble dogs, but are more closely related to the mongoose. Hyenas belong to their own family, the Hyenidae.