These two picture books are perfect for encouraging young children to explore nature and observe the natural world around them. You don’t have to travel somewhere — you can explore right in your own backyard, neighborhood or park. Insect Detective is by Steve Voake, with illustrations by Charlotte Voake (Candlewick, 2010) in her usual appealing pen and watercolor style. The font is large and friendly, with ample white space, and other factual details in smaller print. The text encourages children to look closely to discover what is going on right in their own backyard.
Bugs for Lunch by Marjory Facklam (Charlesbridge, 1999) has a short rhyming text that reveals what creatures might enjoy eating bugs for lunch (birds, fish, turtles, frogs, etc.). There’s plenty of child appeal with the engaging rhythm of the text and the concept itself, which provides a perspective many young children may not have previously considered. Brightly colored illustrations by Sylvia Long add to the appeal. Use this one in storytime with finger rhymes such as “I Had a Little Turtle” and “Five Green and Speckled Frogs” — most delicious bugs indeed!
Have fun exploring!