Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Natural Mysteries, Solved

If you have been following this blog for a while, you might have noticed me talking more than once about my favourite places to be out in the world. It’s pretty simple.

In the forest.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Natural Mysteries, Solved

By the ocean.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Natural Mysteries, Solved

So when I received a package of books from Nimbus Publishing just before leaving for a trip to the Sunshine Coast here in B.C. and found these two titles written by Peggy Kochanoff, I was thrilled! I packed them in my bag of books and read bits and pieces after returning from walks along the shore, through the forests and in the trails behind the house where we stayed.

 Be a Beach Detective NFPB Wednesday

I love the way these titles are set up. They are perfect for practicing a format of wonder, explore in more detail by looking closely (sketches and examples) to solving the mystery of the original question.

I love the repeated phrase, “Let’s look closely and find out,” that accompanies each question.

These books could be read independently by intermediate students or shared with younger students in a supported read aloud. Lots of detailed close up sketches make these wonderful books to share and to inspire more research/reading.

They will be coming to school with me in the fall and get lots of use in my classroom!

Be a Wilderness Detective by Peggy Kochanoff

In this title I learned a lot. The first topic is about scat and there are various sketches of different animal poop. Who doesn’t want to guess who did the pooing? For the record, I never would have guessed that coyote scat looks like it does.

Other interesting topics include galls (I had no idea what these were until I read this book), tree rings and sandpipers.

There is a question posed for each topic.

  • Hmmm . . . Do you know what those weird growths on some plants are?
  • Hmmm . . . What are the rings on tree stumps and how did they get there?
  • Hmmm . . . How can so many birds find enough food on the mud flats?

BE a Wildnerness Detective Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Natural Mysteries, Solved

 Be a Beach Detective by Peggy Kochanoff

This title follows the same format. My favourite wondering questions & explanations:

  • How do barnacles survive when the tide goes out, leaving them exposed and dry?
  • Who built the beautiful collar made of sand?
  • Can starfish re-grow from separate pieces?

A sample of an inside page with new vocabulary in bold and labelled diagrams.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Natural Mysteries, Solved

Be a Beach Detective Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Natural Mysteries, Solved

Each title also features a table of contents, suggested activities and a detailed glossary. Kochanoff includes suggested resources in the back: nature books for kids and some for adults, relevant websites and kids’ magazines.

Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2015. Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction books you need to read!


10 thoughts on “Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Natural Mysteries, Solved

  1. Thank you for sharing these books, Carrie. They speak to the things I’m passionate about. I’ll definitely be adding them to my collection and looking for opportunities to share them.

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