Celebrate the Last Weeks of Summer

It’s the last few weeks of summer here in the northern US, and we have a list of books to help you and your readers make the most of it. Get outside, learn about nature, celebrate the things you find outdoors, make some neat projects, and soak up some sun!

Sweet Summer

From the Series Seasons

  • Interest Level: Preschool    
  • Reading Level: Grade 1

The warm summer sun means time for a splashing good time. Picnics with friends and family, sand castles at the beach. Fireworks in the night sky, and ice pop treats in Sweet Summer.

ABCs at the Beach

From the Series ABC Adventures

  • Interest Level: Preschool    
  • Reading Level: Grade 1

Come along to the beach. How many letters of the alphabet can you find in the sand and sun? Remember your sunscreen!

Going Camping

From the Series Bumba Books® — Fun Firsts

  • Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 1    
  • Reading Level: Kindergarten

What do you need to go camping? What do you do once you reach the campsite? Learn all about going camping in this reading-level-appropriate text! Vibrant photos draw the reader in to the fun of experiencing the great outdoors, while critical thinking questions and a photo glossary introduce nonfiction reading skills.

A Visit to the Nature Center

From the Series Bumba Books® — Places We Go

  • Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 1    
  • Reading Level: Kindergarten

Where can you go to learn about animals and plants in their natural habitats? The nature center offers an exciting experience of what is happening in nature when no one is looking. From bird watching to nature hikes, the nature center has a lot to offer. Discover all there is to see there with carefully leveled text and full-color photos. Critical thinking questions and a photo glossary supply readers with the basic building blocks for reading nonfiction.

Crayola® Summer Colors

From the Series Crayola® Seasons

  • Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 3    
  • Reading Level: Grade 1

Fresh green grass, bright blue sky, yummy treats—colors are everywhere in summer! Explore color in the world around you. What colors make you think of summer? What can you create with the colors of summer? Dynamic text and vibrant photos demonstrate real world colors to young readers and encourage them to create their own art with summer-inspired colors.

How to Make a Rainbow

A Crayola® Color Story

  • Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 3    
  • Reading Level: Grade 1

Let’s make a rainbow! The sky is our laboratory. We can use the colors all around us! Where can you find red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet?

Otto Blotter, Bird Spotter

  • Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 3    
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

The Blotter family are famous bird spotters, who stay in their hideout all day. All except for Otto—he’d rather go out and have big adventures. When he follows the BIGGEST footprints he’s ever seen, he finds an extraordinary baby bird all on its own. Otto’s new friend soon reveals a very special ability: camouflage! But the bird keeps growing and growing, and Otto begins to suspect it may have a family after all . . . perhaps the time has come to take him home?

Keen-eyed readers may spot the bird’s giant family hidden on the pages, if they’re good enough bird spotters!

Nature Up Close

From the Series Look Closely (LOOK! Books™)

  • Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 2    
  • Reading Level: Grade 1

In Nature Up Close, young readers first view a butterfly wing, cactus spines, the leaves of a Venus flytrap, and the shell of an armadillo. Then readers see each plant and animal in its natural environment and learn how these features contribute to its survival.

What’s the Season?

From the Series Get Started with STEM

  • Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 3    
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

From weather and day length, to plants and animals, in this title, readers will investigate how the world around them changes as the seasons change. With activities such as recording temperatures and going on seasonal scavenger hunts, students will be challenged to observe and analyze the changing of the seasons.

Summer Green to Autumn Gold

Uncovering Leaves’ Hidden Colors

  • Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 4    
  • Reading Level: Grade 3

Yellow and red, orange and brown—fall is full of color!

This nonfiction picture book, written and illustrated by Mia Posada, beautifully explains why leaves change color in fall. It highlights both the eye-catching colors of the season and the science behind the colors. Back matter offers additional scientific details for curious readers as well as suggested further reading and links to hands-on activities.

“A visually appealing and unusually informative picture book for curious kids.”—starred, Booklist

“[G]lorious art . . .”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

Get Outside!

  • Interest Level: Grade 1 – Grade 3    
  • Reading Level: Grade 1

Unplug and experience the great outdoors with this activity and craft series. Readers will learn to spot signs of animal life in the forest as well as create wild art using natural materials.

Crayola® Outside Crafts

From the Series Colorful Crayola® Crafts

  • Interest Level: Grade 1 – Grade 4    
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

Getting creative with nature is fun and colorful with these Crayola outdoor crafts! Easy to read instructions and detailed photos guide readers through making projects. A QR code for each project links to a digital landing page showing additional steps and photos.

Animal Antipodes

  • Interest Level: Grade 2 – Grade 3    
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

A fun science book that introduces animals and places around the world that happen to be exactly opposite each other on the globe, with pages that literally have to be turned upside-down. What is an antipode? If you dig through the earth directly below, where would you end up? Vibrant art and clear language make the science of geography, the seasons, and day and night easy to understand. The animals that live in these diverse places on earth make the science accessible and appealing to young readers. This is a book to savor and read over and over again.

Forest Club Summer

A Season of Activities, Crafts, and Exploring Nature

From the Series Forest Club

  • Interest Level: Grade 2 – Grade 4    
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

A visually stunning book of outdoor activities and crafts that ties into the burgeoning interest in forest schools and “rewilding the child,” with the aim of reconnecting children to nature and the outdoors. Focusing on summer, this beautifully illustrated and informative book provides a resource of inspiration for families, designed to spark children’s imagination. While all crafts and activities are designed to be carried out outside, these are interspersed with factual pages about forest flora and fauna, which can be enjoyed at home or used as a field guide while out and about. With crafts, activities and outdoor exploration there is always with something new to see and learn about.

Experience Nature

How Time Outside Makes You Feel

From the Series Experience Personal Power

  • Interest Level: Grade 2 – Grade 4    
  • Reading Level: Grade 3

Spending time in nature can help kids be less stressed and have greater self-awareness. Readers will learn some of the skills needed to fully experience nature and be more focused, in and out of the classroom.

Hack Your Backyard

Discover a World of Outside Fun with Science Buddies®

  • Interest Level: Grade 2 – Grade 5    
  • Reading Level: Grade 3

The great outdoors is calling! Explore science in your own backyard through this wild collection of projects. Make your own compass, learn to tell the temperature from crickets, count the stars, and more! Simple instructions and clear photos ensure projects will be successful, and QR codes lead to even more activities. This book was created in partnership with Science Buddies®, an organization focused on fostering STEM discovery through hands-on explorations.

30-Minute Outdoor Science Projects

From the Series 30-Minute Makers

  • Interest Level: Grade 2 – Grade 5    
  • Reading Level: Grade 3

From blowing bubbles to launching rockets, young scientists will love these exciting outdoor science projects.

Clear step-by-step instructions guide readers through the project, and Science Takeaway sidebars cover the science behind the excitement. The activities in this book use common items from around the house and keep readers learning while they’re busy having fun!

Projects include:

  • Homemade bubble solution
  • Compass
  • Paper airplanes
  • Kite
  • Anemometer
  • Hula hoop
  • Baking soda rocket
  • Bug vacuum
  • Homemade thermometer

Investigating Seasons

From the Series Searchlight Books™ — What Are Earth’s Cycles?

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 5    
  • Reading Level: Grade 3

Most people are familiar with spring, summer, fall, and winter. But did you know that some places on our planet have a rainy season and a dry season? Or that the Northern and Southern Hemispheres have opposite seasons? In this fascinating book, learn how the seasons affect nearly everything we do.

25 Fun Things to Do Outside

From the Series 100 Fun Things to Do to Unplug

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 6    
  • Reading Level: Grade 4

Get ready to explore nature and get outside. Readers will discover 25 activities and projects to do in their backyard and beyond. Plan and eat a picnic, paint like Pollock, find the Great Bear in the night sky, and more.

Forest Talk

How Trees Communicate

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 – Grade 12    
  • Reading Level: Grade 8

Trees are essential. They provide water, shelter, and food for millions of plant and animal species, including humans. They deliver proven health benefits, and they capture and store carbon, which combats climate change. Yet trees are in trouble. Forests are struggling to adapt to climate change, and deforestation is a major threat.

Recently, researchers and citizen scientists made the surprising revelation that trees communicate with each other through an underground system of soil fungi and other methods. Complex social networks help trees survive and thrive by transferring resources to each other, sending defense signals, communicating with their kin, and more. Meet the tree scientists and learn more of their fascinating discoveries.

Leave a Reply