Bookmark Monday: Nature study

Nature study is an enriching and engaging means for children to learn about the world around them. It provides an early foundation to understanding science, learning to be observant and appreciating the wonder and complexity of God’s divine miracle of creation.

Here are some really great books we’ve found and invested in for our own collection.

Written by authors dedicated to developing fun but also factual non-fiction works, based on their own study of nature, and partnered by illustrators who also perform first-hand research to create exquisite and meticulously-detailed art for the books; they (particularly the first two) have become regularly requested “anytime reading” selections by our kids.

Over in the Ocean In a Coral Reef – by Marianne Berkes, illustrated by Jeanette Canyon

A counting book themed around sea life in a coral reef with colourful art relief constructed from polymer clay and photographed  with careful attention to lighting, this book provides an interesting and factual view on coral reef creatures.  We checked out some underwater photography images and videos on the internet and from National Geographic, which validated the visual accuracy of Canyon’s artwork, to the family’s delight.

The back of the book also provides a tune to which the words can be sung, quick facts about each of the sea creatures in the book, and tips for follow-on enrichment activities from the author and artist.

A Field Full of Horses – by Peter Hansard, illustrated by Kenneth Lilly

Peter Hansard took children with him when he went to do research for this book to see what interested the children most and then created an “ideal” paddock for the book filled with all shapes and sizes of horses. Kenneth Lilly is considered to be one of the world’s leading naturalist artists, and has lived around horses his entire life.

The horse illustrations in this book will provide much inspiration and many a pleasant hour of reading for horse enthusiasts of all age.  28 different horse breeds are listed in the front and back pages, and both DS and DD have had much fun comparing their toy horses against the pictures and names.

Tracks of a Panda – by Nick Dowson, illustrated by Yu Rong

We actually bought this book more for the Chinese art as we thought it’d be good to show the children different types of painting styles. That, and it was retailing at below S$6. 🙂

This book follows the story of a mother panda and her newborn cub, the challenges they face to find food and shelter through autumn, winter and spring, and their quest for survival against the elements of nature and the threat of poachers and loggers.

While it does not go into very deep detail, it does provide an introductory look into the world of this endangered species and open up potential discussions about wildlife conservation.


So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.
God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livstock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
~ Genesis 1: 21, 25.




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