Outdoor Exploration Books – Book Review

by Dawn

The sun is shining, the air is warm, and your kids are spending more and more time in the great outdoors, whether it’s in your backyard or at a local playground. Curiosity comes naturally to children, and a perfect way to capitalize on this desire to explore and discover is to provide resources and experiences to support their interests. If your children are like mine, all this outdoor play has them wondering about the many types of bugs and other aspects of nature all around them.

Blue Apple Books has two new books for preschoolers and elementary school aged children that are perfect companions for outdoor exploration. Lisa Campbell Ernst’s How Things Work in the Yard provides information about both the natural world in a child’s backyard, such as birds, dandelions and fireflies, as well as familiar toys and items like balls, wheels and bubbles. The presentation includes colorful illustrations with labels and tidbits of information on each 2-page spread. Ernst has done an impressive job predicting the typical questions young children ask about this environment, resulting in a resource book to keep handy while playing outside.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m raising one or two future entomologists, but I don’t mind because I’m just as interested in buggy creatures as my kids! I’ve read a lot of nonfiction picture books about insects and bugs in my days as a mom and a preschool teacher, and I’m thrilled to share with you what has risen to the top of the stack for me. Bugs by the Numbers by Sharon Werner and illustrated by Sarah Forss is truly an incredible book- imaginative and informative with huge kid appeal. I could go on and on about the creative approach this book takes to teaching children about bugs, incorporating numbers that relate to information about the bugs right into the illustrative figures, and I could gush about the cool facts that even I learned from my new favorite book. Or, I could just ask you to take a look yourself:

If you’d love to share How Things Work in the Yard and Bugs by the Numbers with your own curious kids, you may be in luck. We have two copies of each book to give away! Leave a comment here to be entered. For one additional entry, you can like Blue Apple Books on Facebook- just post on their wall that 5 Minutes for Mom sent you and leave a second comment here indicating that you’ve “liked” them. We’ll announce our winners on 6/20.

Nonfiction books may not be some parents’ first choice for story time, but I can attest to the joy my own kids express every time we’ve read each of these two wonderful books! If you’re interested in yet another nonfiction picture book, be sure to read my review of A Butterfly is Patient on 5 Minutes for Books today.

The winners of the Love Your Veggies books and garden supplies are:

Written by 5 Minutes for Books contributor Dawn, whose love for bugs often shows up on her blog, my thoughts exactly.



Email Author    |    Website About Dawn

When she's not reviewing books, 5 Minutes for Books contributor Dawn (and her online alter ego, morninglight mama) can be found blogging at my thoughts exactly and contributing to The DC Moms.

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{ 95 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Annette W June 6, 2011 at 8:05 am

Oh, both of these look really good! Thank you for sharing them!

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2 Serendipity is Sweet June 6, 2011 at 8:30 am

These look like books my kids would really enjoy. We love exploring outdoors and do so everyday. Thanks for the wonderful review and giveaway ;)

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3 Vilmarys June 6, 2011 at 8:49 am

These 2 books would be wonderful for my niece and nephew. Thank you!

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4 Michelle T June 6, 2011 at 9:34 am

Maybe this would help my little girls get over their fear of bugs!!!

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5 Jenn June 6, 2011 at 10:04 am

I love non fiction books for my kids and these are right up their alley!

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6 Dawn June 19, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Congrats Jenn, you’re one of our lucky winners! Please email me your mailing info at morninglightmama (at) gmail (dot) com.

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7 Marilyn June 6, 2011 at 10:18 am

These books look super- I would love to win for my daughter!!! Thanks for the giveaway!

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8 Patty June 6, 2011 at 10:39 am

Would love to win and read to my nephew (loves bugs!) and my niece (who is terrified of them)! Might help show my niece there is more to bugs than scary hairy legs and wings. =)

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9 Cindy R. June 6, 2011 at 10:45 am

My son would love these!!

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10 Carolyn June 6, 2011 at 10:54 am

Would love to win – my kids love bugs and my students study them!

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11 Lynn June 6, 2011 at 11:04 am

These books look awesome!!! Would love to win them and add them to the summer reading at our house :)

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12 Erica Mueller June 6, 2011 at 11:04 am

I know a certain little boy who would adore these books!!

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13 Erica Mueller June 6, 2011 at 11:05 am
14 Sarah June 6, 2011 at 11:31 am

My kiddo would love these books–he’s currently enamored with bugs (and encouraged by his nature-loving mama!)

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15 phxbne June 6, 2011 at 11:47 am

would enjoy these – thanks!

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16 Celeste June 6, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Perfect for summer!

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17 Amber June 6, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Both of those look like lots of fun. My little nature lover would totally appreciate them! Thanks for a chance to win!

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18 Alison S. June 6, 2011 at 1:01 pm

These books look great. My two year old son has recently fallen in love with bugs. Last night he spent a long time in the driveway with a flashlight watch them. :)

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19 Mia Dentice Carey June 6, 2011 at 1:16 pm

CUTE BOOKS!!!!!! My son would get a kick out of these! =)

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20 Mia Dentice Carey June 6, 2011 at 1:17 pm

LIKED on Facebook and told them you sent me -Mia Dentice

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21 riTa June 6, 2011 at 3:29 pm

How delightful!
I would love to share these w/ the younger grandboys.

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22 Ruthie B June 6, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Awww….how cute! My 5 year old grandson would love these! Thanks for the chance!

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23 Cindi June 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Summer is the perfect time to sit outside and read bug books!
I love the way both books are written and the graphics are fabulous…
Many thanks, Cindi

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24 Cindi June 6, 2011 at 4:23 pm

I “Like” Blue Apple Books on Facebook…
Also, I left a comment on their wall that you sent me.
Again, many thanks for the opportunity to win these two
books to share with our two sons!
Cindi

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25 tennille June 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm

good boy books! will have to check them out. thanks to the publisher for openning this contest up to canadians.

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26 S. Greiner June 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm

These look awesome….I know my boys would love them!!!

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27 Stephanie June 6, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Both sound like great books for curious kids! My boys can spend an entire afternoon turning over rocks and looking at bugs…

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28 Paige June 6, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Oooooh. I have been teaching my friend next door and my son about gardening. This would be sooo cool for our next play date with my neighbors little one.

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29 Kristie June 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm

What neat books! Thank you for the chance to win! :-)

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30 hollowsins June 7, 2011 at 3:49 am

I would love to win these for the kids!

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31 Kathy Stevenson June 7, 2011 at 9:16 am

These books look so fun!

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32 Christina June 7, 2011 at 11:40 am

Anything with the words “how things work…” is always a hit around here!

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33 Christina June 7, 2011 at 11:43 am

liked on FB and told them you sent me!

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34 LaVonne June 7, 2011 at 12:25 pm

We love new books here! :) Thanks for the chance.

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35 Thien-Kim June 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm

What fun books! My little scientist will love these.

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36 Debby June 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm

What a great gift. My girls love bugs and critters so they would love this book.

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37 Brett June 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm

My son would love this book.

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38 Alison June 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm

I have two girls that love worms, bugs, and any insects. This is the book for them!

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39 vickie couturier June 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm

My grandchildren would love these books
vlbelk(at)hotmail.com

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40 vickie couturier June 7, 2011 at 5:01 pm

like Blue Apple Books on Facebook
vickiecouturier
vlbelk(at)hotmail.com

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41 Idaho Jill June 7, 2011 at 7:44 pm

My daughter would love these, thanks!

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42 Becky M June 7, 2011 at 10:21 pm

My son would love these books… thanks for the giveaway!

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43 Natalia June 7, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Would like to win

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44 John D. June 7, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Two great books for my son

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45 Linda Kish June 7, 2011 at 11:44 pm

What great books. Thanks for the chance to win.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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46 hippie4ever June 7, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Yay We love bugs here!

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47 Deb June 8, 2011 at 10:06 am

Bugs are a hit at my house! Outside of course!!!!!

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48 Brett June 8, 2011 at 10:06 am

My son loves to read and he would love this book!

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49 Ali June 8, 2011 at 10:07 am

Gosh, my girls are always digging up worms and they would certainly love this book!

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50 Mona Garg June 8, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to get these for my 6 yr-old. She loves butterflies and is always full of questions.

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51 Jannine June 8, 2011 at 7:59 pm

What a wonderful giveaway, I know a few children that would love these books

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52 Ellen C. June 8, 2011 at 10:37 pm

I’d love to win. Thanks!

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53 Joanna June 8, 2011 at 10:41 pm

As a mother with kids that LOVE being outdoors, this would be a great treat for them. Also, a nice addition to my classroom during the school year. :)

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54 Deb June 9, 2011 at 1:38 pm

This would be a great outdoor activity and so much fun for kids of all ages!

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55 Alison June 9, 2011 at 1:38 pm

My kids would love this book and would spend hours listening to me read to them.

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56 Stacey June 9, 2011 at 1:39 pm

My son would probaby be outside a lot more if he had these books. He loves to read!!

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57 Jennifer June 9, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Thanks for the chance!

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58 nan June 9, 2011 at 9:51 pm

would love it
nannypanpan at gmail.com

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59 Athena June 9, 2011 at 11:52 pm

These sound great to share with the kids!

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60 Megan June 10, 2011 at 2:08 pm

These look like wonderful books for kids!

mearley1979 at gmail dot com

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61 Megan June 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm

I like blue apple books on fb and commented

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62 Katherine A June 10, 2011 at 3:26 pm

My 5 kids would love this giveaway. They love all things outdoors, especially the 3 year old.

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63 angie June 10, 2011 at 9:34 pm

what a fun book to read when all the bugs are here in the summer would love to win and share with my grands.
shopannies@Yahoo.com

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64 angie June 10, 2011 at 9:35 pm

like sponsor on facebook ID angie stewart church
shopannies@Yahoo.com

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65 Samantha R June 10, 2011 at 10:15 pm

My son would love these!

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66 Deb June 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Great books for the outdors.

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67 Brett June 11, 2011 at 5:30 pm

This would be a fun family outdoor activity.

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68 Gilbert June 11, 2011 at 5:30 pm

I have tomboys and they love bugs and outdoors!

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69 katklaw777 June 12, 2011 at 9:51 am

Great for summer fun…thanks!

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70 B. Long June 12, 2011 at 2:00 pm

This would be right up my son’s alley!

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71 ann June 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm

THis would be a really fun thing to do with my grankids. Thanks for the chance!

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72 Leigh June 12, 2011 at 2:02 pm

I think my children would stay outside with this book.

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73 Christopher June 13, 2011 at 10:44 am

I love this! This is a great offer. Thanks for the chance.

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74 Dawn June 19, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Hey Christopher, congratulations, you’re one of our winners! Please email me your mailing information at morninglightmama (at) gmail (dot) com.

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75 Gilbert June 13, 2011 at 10:45 am

My kids would keep me outside all day with this, and that would be great with me!

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76 Alison June 13, 2011 at 10:46 am

Every kid could use these! Thanks for having this as a prize.

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77 Grandma D June 13, 2011 at 10:47 am

I would love to take all my grandkids outside and learn a lot about bugs!

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78 Hailey June 13, 2011 at 7:56 pm

My girls would love these books! I hope we win!

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79 Z-Dad June 14, 2011 at 12:27 am

We’d love to win these books – thanks for the chance!

zenzart at hotmail dot com

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80 Debbylou June 14, 2011 at 12:21 pm

This is wonderful, thanks!!

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81 Bella June 14, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Love these books!!

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82 Gibby June 14, 2011 at 12:22 pm

This is a great opportunity for families to spend time outside together

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83 Jason June 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Thanks for this gift package, it is great for kids of all ages.

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84 Kristin June 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm

These books look great!

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85 Kristin June 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm

liked on fb and said from 5 minutes for mom

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86 Granma Deb June 15, 2011 at 10:08 am

My grandchildren would love this and so would I!

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87 Bean June 15, 2011 at 10:37 am

This is great, thanks for the chance to win. You ladies are great!!

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88 Sugarbear 1 June 15, 2011 at 10:38 am

I stay outdoors all the time and my son would love this book.

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89 welcome to our wonderland June 15, 2011 at 11:06 am

we would love a chance to win these great looking books we love alphabeasties

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90 Stefanie June 17, 2011 at 11:27 am

Looks like they’re great books!!!

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91 Sheila K. June 18, 2011 at 11:52 am

This would be great for my boy Joey!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

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92 Sheila K. June 18, 2011 at 11:55 am

I liked Blue Apple Books on FB and left a post saying you sent me to the site!

skkorman AT vbellsouth DOT net

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93 Ruth Hill June 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Please enter me!

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94 Ruth Hill June 18, 2011 at 2:58 pm

like blue apple books and left comment
ruthhill74

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95 Staci A June 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm

These look like such fun books!

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