by Alecia Rolling; originally posted at www.therollingacresfarm.com March 30, 2012
By far the most exciting find of 2012 was the Seaside and Wayside Nature Readers I-IV. (Also available free at Gutenberg Project.) These have been great read aloud books for our kids, who are so interested in knowing the animals and insects around them. The illustrations are detailed, so the children can really see what is being described, making these books not only entertaining, but educative. When my children ask me “why?” about an insect or animal, I am much better prepared to answer now!
At the end of each unit chapter, you will find discussion questions and activity suggestions. I would recommend this book as early as Kindergarten as the discussion questions can be asked orally and the child can respond orally. The activities could be added as the child gets older, depending on the necessary skills. You do need all four books to cover the range of animal kingdoms.
As an aside, these books were inspired by the scientist Jean Henri Fabre, who also wrote a Book of Insects, The Story Book of Science, and The Wonder Book of Chemistry. All of these books are told as a narrative, making them wonderful reads as well as informative. You can find them free online at Gutenberg Project or you can buy reprints.