The "Did You Ever Wonder about . . .?" series comprises four books: Things You See in the Sky, Things You Find at the Beach, Things You Find in Your Backyard, and Things You Find in the Woods. Each book is beautifully illustrated with hand-drawn illustrations that directly illustrate and meaningfully add to the text. The books make up a highly informative nature series for children, and each page is filled with a wealth of information about nature. Each text has a glossary in which the words are simply defined to accompany the text and drawings. An index is built right into the glossary
Did You Ever Wonder about Things You Find at the Beach asks the child to wonder about such things as waves, where sand comes from, and the tides. Questions are asked and answered, and the narrative includes descriptions of common plants and animals found at the seashore.
Things You Find in the Woods asks questions about the seasons and how the woods change and details the many types of trees found in the woods. The book also covers the animals that live there and their habits, both during the day and at night. The life cycles of the woodland creatures are presented for the young reader in simple, easy-to-understand terms.
"Things You Find in Your Backyard asks questions about the various kinds of life that is found in one's own backyard. Among the topics examined are why bees buzz, types of bees, animal camouflage, and the animals in the litter on the ground. The book gives a nice presentation of dispersal mechanisms and seeds and fruits in plants that is easy for the young reader to explore and wonder about. Also covered are birds and mammals in one's own backyard through the seasons.
"ThingsYou See in the Sky is a marvelous book on astronomy and meteorology that is written in question-and-answer format for the curious young reader. Among the topics presented are rainbows and colors in the sky, including sunsets of different colors. The book also discusses rain, clouds, lightning, smog, fog, twisters, and storms. The sky is also examined, including constellations, planets, comets, meteors, and the moon and all of its phases.
I shared these books with my granddaughter, who is currently in the second grade. We read the books together, and she was thoroughly captivated with them. Some of the vocabulary was new to her, and a pronunciation guide appropriate for a child of her age would have helped her. With some adult assistance, she eagerly read through the text and truly enjoyed the books. What better recommendation is there than one from a child? My only complaint is that many of the animals and plants that are discussed are from the east coast, and some would not be found in the western United States, but this is a minor complaint.
The entire series of books is clearly appropriate for the elementary school from the second or third grade to the sixth grade and covers a variety of reading skill levels, from advanced second grade to slow-learner sixth grade. The books would also be appropriate for inclusion in the children's section of the public library. (from the Did You Ever Wonder? Series.) Highly Recommended, Grades 1-6. REVIEWER: Robert Goode Patterson