Dorling Kindersley, better known as DK, is a wildly popular publisher with an emphasis on brilliant and colorful images with small bits of text scattered over the pages. Look: I’m an Ecologist is so stuffed full of fun projects that it will get even the most sedentary of little couch potatoes up and out the door.
Each double-page spread features one project, marked with “Adult Alert!” when there are scissors or other hazards required. They range from the familiar collecting leaves and sprouting seeds to making spider webs with sticks and strings. Most of the projects have suggested further steps, such as painting those leaves or decorating containers that the child made to house a collection. There are instructions for two types of bird feeders, one made with a peanut butter-covered pine cone, and then a more complicated feeder made with an empty bottle. Many of the projects will require time outdoors, but there are several rainy-day activities that will draw on past observation in nature, like a tide pool built in a shallow bowl. Perfect for that inevitable stormy day of the beach vacation.
This title is one of the “Look! I’m Learning!” series that offers Look: I’m a Cook and Look: I’m a Scientist, among others. All of the books have an upbeat and positive tone, with a focus on making children better at observing the world away from their screens. They encompass various learning styles, and the more academic child may enjoy keeping a weather journal or carefully painting the life cycle of the frog on a series of flat pebbles. There is something for everyone, all served up with no judgment and lots of fun.
Disclaimer: I read a library copy of this book. Opinions expressed are solely my own and may not reflect those of my employer or anyone else.