Early Elementary Books

Theme: Natural Wonders

A Gift from the Sea - (ISBN: 978-0374325664)

by Kate Banks

As a young boy contemplates an interesting red rock, its geological history flashes in front of readers. Volcanoes, jungles, and even glaciers had a part in its formation. Readers see all the change that has taken place throughout natural history while the rock remains. Go outside and pick up an interesting stone. What kind of history do you suppose it had?

A Pill Bug's Life - (ISBN: 978-0516267982)

by John Himmelman

What on earth is a pill bug? You will enjoy seeing the entire life cycle of this beautiful (?), efficient insect. Detailed illustrations help keep interest level high. Try to draw a pill bug after you have finished the reading.

Eruption -- The Story of Volcanoes - (ISBN: 978-0789473615)

by Linda Martin, Ed.

What do volcanoes do? This inquiry into the nature and characteristics of volcanoes is great for advanced beginning readers. The vocabulary explains itself as the volcano pictures on the pages form, erupt, and flow. This book includes an index at the end. Share with your child how to use the index to find the pages where specific new words appear.

Maxwell’s Mountain - (ISBN: 1-58089-047-4)

by Shari Becker

As Maxwell humorously “trains” to climb the “mountain” within view of his back door, readers get a glimpse into the elaborate preparations needed to achieve a goal. Will Maxwell persevere and make it to the top? Read this to enjoy the view Maxwell finally gets to see. What difficult tasks have you attempted and succeeded in?

Stars beneath Your Bed: The Surprising Story of Dust - (ISBN: 978-0060571887)

by April Pulley Sayre

Readers will delight in seeing how many places dust comes from and the variety of ways in which it forms. Dust even changes the colors of the sunset!!! Draw a picture of your living room and make little dots to indicate where dust might be hidden!

The Grouchy Ladybug - (ISBN: 978-0064434508)

by Eric Carle

A ladybug’s attitude gradually tones down as readers turn the pages of this delightful book. Think about a time when you misbehaved. How did you learn to use better manners?

A Slug's Life - (ISBN: 978-0613375412)

by John Himmelman

Alejandro’s Gift - (ISBN: 978-0811813426)

by Robert E. Albert

Seahorse: The Shyest Fish in the Sea - (ISBN: 0-7636-2989-8)

by Chris Butterworth

The Mixed-Up Chameleon - (ISBN: 978-0064431620)

by Eric Carle

The Secret Life of Trees - (ISBN: 978-0789447609)

by Chiara Chevalier

Activities for this Theme

Make a shadow box out of small things you collect from nature.


Read Drippy the Raindrop online


Make some bug drawings out of your own fingerprints


Make a twig fairy out of items you collect on a nature walk