Bones, Bears, and Bugsicles: A Fresh Batch of Books for Kids!


We’ve added many fun books to our Waterton Canyon Kids Nature Library. Here’s two that let kids know that great discoveries are still waiting to be uncovered!

Young Barnum Brown started early, collecting hundreds of fossils on his family’s Kansas farm, often gathering crinoids, shells, and fossil plants churned up by his father’s plow. What happens next is wonderfully told in Barnum’s Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World by Tracey Fern, and illustrated by Boris Kulikov. In this very entertaining picture book, Tyranosaurus rex meets one of the world’s legendary dinosaur hunters.

But no fear, Barnum didn’t uncover all the bones — there’s many more new stories to unearth for the new generation. In 2008, Professor Lee Burger, and his ever-curious 9-year old son, discovered the two-million year old bones of Australopithecus sediba, a previously unknown species that may have been a direct ancestor of modern humans. Amazingly enough, this discovery was made in a much studied and often excavated South African site — a place where scientists imagined no more field work would ever be needed!

This never-say-never scientific tale will be told in the forthcoming National Geographic book, The Skull in the Rock: How a Scientist, a Boy, and Google Earth Opened a New Window on Human Origins by Lee Burger and Marc Aronson. It looks like a terrific book that will inspire a next generation of intrepid bone hunters!

The underlying message of any Kids Nature Library might be “there’s always a new world to discover!” Here’s just a few more recent arrivals at our Waterton Canyon Library. Each book will reach a particular kid, at a particular time, and who knows where that will lead! That might be the reason why the Land Library is working hard to establish a 2nd Kids Nature Library, this time for inner-city Denver!

Bugs and Bugsicles: Insects in Winter by Amy S. Hansen, and illustrated by Robert C. Kray (every fall, insects disappear. Where do they go? Well, for example, the Arctic Woolly Bear caterpillar becomes a “bugsicle” — freezing solid, and eventually thawing out, to live and fight another day), and Pika: Life in the Rocks by Tannis Bill, with photographs by Jim Jacobson, a wonderful pairing of text and vivid photos that tells the tale of the pika’s yearly round, set high in the Rockies.

Fraser Bear: A Cub’s Life by Maggie de Vries, and illustrated by Renne Benoit, telling the intertwined tale of bears and salmon in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, and City Chickens, by Christine Hepperman (as chickens continue their return to the city, here’s the story of Minneapolis’ Chicken Run Rescue, an inner-city shelter for lost and abadoned chickens).

And here’s one of our favorite new books, a wonderful tool to get kids involved in nature-nearby, right outside their door:

citizen scientists

Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard by Ellen Harasimowicz, with photographs by Loree Griffin Burns — full of hands-on activities, this book tells the story of kids and families across the country joining in bird counts, monarch butterfly tagging, frog inventories, and similar studies of their very own local flora and fauna.

For more great nature books for kids, check out our archive of past posts!


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