Kids Books to Support Outdoor Learning

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A list of books to support Outdoor Learning compelled from titles given away by the BC Literacy Council at the Wild About Vancouver Outdoor Learning Festival in Stanley Park –  June 2022

100 Endangered Species (2021) Hudson, Rachel

One page per endangered species, filled with concise information that leaves you with lots of questions to pursue answers too.  


100+ Activities for everyday outdoor fun: Nature Activity Book for little ones (2022) Lewis, Samantha

A book of nature activities designed for children 2 – 5 years old.  Puppets, birds, games and fairy homes.  Lots of fun.


A Great Big Night (2020) Inglis, Kate & Bisaillon, Josee

When three travelling frog musicians roll into the forest on their bikes, most of the forest animals are ready to party.  It takes some time and a big storm to convince the grumpty Grouse to appreciate what these travelling musicians bring with them on their travels. 


A Yoga Jungle (2013) Mylod, Brigid; Peyrow, Rameen & Garcia, Roger 

The illustrations of trees, flowers, animals, birds, bugs and waterfalls provide instruction for children on how to do basic yoga moves.  There is a follow up with instruction in the philosophy of yoga and directions to do seventeen basic postures.  


All Creation Represented:  A Child’s Guide to the Medicine Wheel (2017) Perrault, Joyce & Mar, Terra

Joyce Perrault is an Anishaabe educator who has engaged learners in teachings of the Medicine Wheel for many years.  This book looks at balance and harmony in life through a First Nations lens.  


Be Prepared (2018) Brosgol, Vera & Longstreth, A. (colour)

Vera had always wanted to go to summer camp like her friends.  Russian Camp was not what Vera expected.  This camp tale combines the author’s move from Russia to the USA when she was 5 years old and some of her actual camping experiences when she was a kid.  


Be Thanksful for Trees (2022) Ziefert, Harriet & Fitzgerald, Brian

Seven reasons to value trees are presented in this fun books that demonstrates divergent thinking to push the readers’ thinking. 


Best Hikes and Nature Walks with Kids In and Around Southwestern British Columbia (2022) Hui, Stephen

An autographed copy of this new release.  I love this book.  A variety of hikes for a variety of ages of kids, with a variety of skill levels and complete with fun facts.  


Bird & Squirrel On the Edge (2015) Burks, James

A book from the Bird and Squirrel series.  The decision to save a baby bear from wolves, leads Bird and Squirrel on a hair raising journey over the mountains to reach home safely  


Bird & Squirrel:  All or Nothing (2020) Burks, James

Another book from the popular Bird & Squirrel series.  Pressure from Bird’s father taps into Bird’s insecurities.  Squirrel helps Bird to be true to himself and they win the day with perseverance, sportsmanship, and integrity. 


Bird & Squirrel:  All Tangled Up (2019) Burks, James 

Another book from the popular Bird & Squirrel series.   Red leaves Birdie in the care of Bird and Squirrel so she can tend to Grandmole while she’s sick.  Birdie leads them on a quest to track down Bigfoot.


Bird & Squirrel:  On Fire (2017) Burks, James

Another book from the popular Bird & Squirrel series.  Squirrel and Bird are delighted to be back in their forest home.  Squirrel wants to clean but Bird wants to party.  Red joins the scene and becomes invaluable in saving the day after beaver’s dam dries out the forest, to disasterous consequences.  


Bird & Squirrel:  On Ice (2014) Burks, James

Another book from the popular Bird & Squirrel series.  


Bird & Squirrel:  On The Edge (2015) Burke, James 

Another book from the popular Bird & Squirrel series. 


Bird & Squirrel: On The Run! (2012) Burks, James 

Another Bird & Squirrel adventure book.  A wild and wacky road trip with squirrel, Bird, and Cat in pursuit.


Bug Scouts Out in the Wild (2022) Lowery, Mike

A Bug Scout adventure in five short chapters.  A bug, a worm, a lightning bug, and a spider set out to earn badges while following the Bug Scout oath.  


CAMP (2019) Miller, Kayla 

Willow and Olive come to Camp Acorn Lake as best friends but will they leave that way.  As they navigate new people and new experiences, they also learn what they value.  


Cici’s Journal (2012) Chamblain, J. & Neyret, A.

Originally piublished in French.  Cici’s journal reveals the day to day happenings of her life along with her quest to discover the secrets of those around herwithout compromising her integrity.


City Streets Are For People (2022) Curtis, Andrea & Fitzgerald, Emma 

This book focuses the attention of kids on sustainable transportation in their community complete with glossary and resources.  


Cloudwalker (2014) Henry Vickers, Roy & Budd, Robert & Henry Vickers, Roy

“The salmon, the animals and the forest are all interconnected and the rivers run through them.”  A beautiful book that speaks to the interconnectedness of nature and our responsibility to preserve it for future generations.  


Deep Roots:  How Trees Sustain Our Planet (2016) Tate, Nikki &  

This book uses photographs and text to depict the importance of trees to many facets of our lives.  It also celebrates the joy that trees bring to our lives.  


Etty Darwin and the Four Pebble Problem (2021) Soloy, Lauren

“Walking is a wonderful way to contemplate big questions.” A story about how Charles Darwin and his eldest child, Etty, walk their oval, thinking path, called “The Sandwalk,” every day, each grappling with their own big questions.  A wonderful way to explore imaginative thought and the process of logical analysis.  Fiction


Finding Wild (2016) Wagner Lloyd, Megan & Halpin, Abigail

The author poses the questions, “What is wild.  And where can you find it?”  We follow the main characters, a boy and a girl, in pursuit of it.  Imaginative and engaging.


Forest (2019) Moss Gamblin, Kate & Patkau, Karen

A See to Learn series book that started as part of the authors doctoral research in sustainability learning.  Young learners are taken throughout the four seasons in the forest and encouraged to look closely.


Forest Magic – A Guidebook for Little Woodland Explorers (2021) Grindler, Sarah & Grindler, Sarah

An invitation to explore the magic of the forest.  Intended as a non-fiction guide for young explorers.  Finishes with an invitation to ask more questions and go into the forest to answer those questions.  


Forest Magic:  A Guidebook for Little Woodland Explorers (2021) Grindler, Sarah

Forest Magic is written for young children by an author who grew up surrounded by nature on Salt Spring Island.  It directs attention and asks questions to prompt new discoveries.  


Four Winds (2019) Bowden, Michael & Jules, Kelsey

The curious Qelmucw (person) from the Secwepemc Nation must persevere to find balance admidst the forces of the winds coming from four different directions, with the consistent support of Tree.  A story that reflects the importance of The First People’s Principles of learning.  The author is a long time member of the British Columbia Literacy Council of the International Literacy Association and we are so proud of his contribution. 


G.O.A.T. Soccer Teams (2021) Doeden, Matt

Part of the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time Teams) Series:  Soccer Teams.  Soccer is the world’s favourite sport.  Epic moments of teams throughout the world.


Grasshopper (2021) Ukhova, Tatiana

A wordless picturebook inspired by a childhhood memory of the author.  A story and illustrations that captivate the imagination.


Hello, Crow (2020) Savage, Candace & O’Byrne, Chelsea

Sometimes when you go out into your backyard and you are very quiet, a whole new world can open up to you.  A crow begins to bring Frannie little gifts.  Can you be friends with a crow?


Hideaway Cove (2016) Boreham, Brenda & Timmermans, Laura

Hidaway Cove on the Pacific Northwest Coast shelters many interconnected species that comprise a healthy marine eco-system.  Gorgeous illustrations intermingled with factual knowledge.


How To Spot a Sasquatch (2018) Torres, J. & Grand, Aurelie

Not all Junior Rangers believe in the Sasquatch.  That doesn’t stop Jay in his search.  Both author and illustrator live in Canada.  


In The Red Canoe (2020) Davidson, Leslie A. & Bifano, Laura 

A story of a grandfather and grandchild and the wonders that canoeing provides.  


Jake Maddox Graphic Novels:  Basketball Camp Champ (2020) Maddox, Jake 

Ana’s dream of going to summer basketball camp comes true.  Will she learn to ask for help before she loses her confidence?  As with all Jake Maddox a section is devoted to creating a better understanding of graphic novels.  A history of women’s basketball and it’s legends is also included.  


Jake Maddox Graphic Novels:  Soccer Switch (2017) Maddox, Jake 

Andre has been looking forward to summer vacation soccer league.  When the coach retires, the replacement throws the team for a loop with his unusual training routines.  There are important lessons to be learned by the team.  


Listen to Our World (2016) Martin Jr., Bill & Sampson, Michael & Sweet, Melissa 

“Can you hear the sounds of our world?”  A call to pay attention and listen closely to hear the animals.  Beautiful illustrations depict animals from eleven different habitats around the world.


Little Wolf (2021) Spathelfer, Teoni & Davies, Natassia

“Finding nature in the city made Little Wolf feel happy and more at home.” p.6. So this is what this almost 10 year old girls does to cope with her move to the city.  Vancouverites will recognize many familiar places in this picturebook.  


Live Sustainability (2022) Boyle, Angela & McClaine, Les

From the Maker Comics Series.


Long Distance (2021) Gardner, Whitney

Vegas is faced with all kinds of challenges.  Moving.  Leaving her best friend.  And summer camp that just keeps getting stranger.  


Love Our Earth (2021) Cabrera, Jane 

A nature counting book with colourful illustrations for preschool and early primary students. 


Love Our Earth (2021) Cabrera, Jane 

A nature counting book with colourful illustrations for preschool and early primary students. 


Maker Comics:  Grow A Garden (2020) Frederick-Frost, Alexis 

There is lots for Will, Violet, and Basil to learn at Garden Gnome Academy from the most unpopular teacher in the school  including how to make a compost bin, seed pots, potting mix, a growlight shelf, a cold frame and a container garden.  I’ll be trying out the insecticidal soap on my lemon tree.  I learned tons from Mr. Butternut!  Factual information delivered in fun graphic novel format. 


Maker Comics:  Live Sustainability (2022) Boyle, Angela & McClaine, Les

What Isaac thinks is punishment actually turns out to be real learning including:  how to make a rain barrel, a composting worm farm, cereal box notebooks, beeswax food wrappers, a bee garden and bee bars, food cantainer flower pots, t-shirt tote bags and cute cutlery packs!


Maker Comics:  Survive in the Outdoors (2021) Lawrence, Mike 

A book in the Maker Comics series.  Sophia and Alfonso head off to a fishing trip with their Abuelo.  No cell service.  No cable.  No background knowledge about surviving in the outdoors.  Luckily their grandfather is able to teach them all they need to know about building a buddy burner, making a compass, fishing, building a campfire, basic first aid, purifying water and making a shelter.  Amazing but true!  Complete with straightforward directions.  


Mapmakers and the Lost Magic (2022) Chittock, Cameron & Castillo, Amanda

A gripping adventure of how two children are the only ones able to save their community from the evil Night Coats.  


Martin and the River (2022) Lappano, Jon-Erik & Bisaillon, Josee 

Martin loves his river in the country where he spends countless hours enjoying nature.  His family needs to move to the city for his Mom’s new job where he finds animals in markets and museums.  His joy returns when he discovers a neighbourhood park with a stream to rekindle his imagination and the possibility of new discoveries in nature.


Meet Your Family Gikenim Giniigi’igoog (2021) Bouchard, David & Cameron, Kristy

Indigenous ways of knowing are conveyed through Mother Earth, Father Sky, Grandfather Sun, and Grandmother Moon in poetic verse.  The author’s end goal is to broaden our perspective to see the world as our natural family.  An Ojibwe Language Learning Guide is included inside the picturebook. 


My Dog Banana (2021) Brouillard, Roxane & Sagramola, Giulia

Is it a dog or is it a banana.  You be the judge.


Nuptse & Lhotse Go to the West Coast (2020) Asnong, Jocey

Two cats, a younger sister and older brother, go on an adventure of discovery, to return Salish, a Purple Ochre Starfish, back home.  Bright colourful illustrations and journey that takes them from Granville Island, around Vancouver Island and up to the Haida Gwaii. 


Off The Beaten Track (2021) De Kerangal, Maylis & Haugomat, Tom

This book was originally published in France in french.  Ten year old Tom discovers his inner strength on a hiking trip.


Off the Beaten Track (2021) Dekerangal, Maylis & Haugomat, Tom

This book was originally published in France.  Ten year old Paul goes on a mountain hiking expedition that brings out his inner strength.  


Oil (2020) Winter, Jonah & Winter, Jeanette

The true story of the Valdez Oil spill in 1989 and the devastation caused by the oil spill.  Picturebook format but content that can be explored in intermediate and secondary school.  


On My Skis (2016) Winters, Kari-Lynn & Leist, Christina 

A perfect book for preschool and early primary skiers.  Vancouverites will recognize the setting as Grouse Mountain. 


On The Nature Trail (2018) Yale, Kathleen & Armstrong, Jessica

A magnifying glass is included with this book from the Backpack Explorer series.  Nature Patch stickers are included so the reader can place it on a page that has been completed.  


Outside You Notice (2021) Alladin, Erin & Blinick, Andrea

Child like observations are followed up with interesting facts.  This book lends itself to discussions of curiosity, imagination, and surprising facts.  


Owly – A Time to Be Brave (2021) Runton, Andy

Part of the Owly Series.  First impressions are not always accurate, even in the forest.  


Paws: Gabby Gets It Together (2022) Assarasakorn, Michele & Fairbairn, Nathan

A story about three girls in Grade 5 / 6 who start a dog walking business.   They need to navigate both the new business and their relationships. 


Protecting the Planet (2020) Spilbury, Louise  & Kai, Hanane 

“We need to look after our planet, because our planet looks after us.  If we all make small changes to protect the planet, we will see big results.”  p. 27. This book introduces challenges to the environment while maintaining a focus on being proactive.  


Rabbit Chase (2022) LaPensee, Elizabeth & Oster, KC

An adventure story that is reminiscent of Wonderland and requires Aimee to save the land.


Rebel Girls Champions: 25 Tales of Unstoppable Athletes (2021) Cavallo, F. & Favilli, E. & Ventura, A. & Brittain, K.

A book from the Rebel Girls series.  25 true stories of female athletes across the globe who have left their mark on the world with their tenacity and perseverence.


Rocket says Clean Up (2020) Bryon, Nathan & Adeola, Dapo

Grampy tells Rocket about the plastic ruining the island and the ocean habitat.  She organizes a clean-up crew and uses the plastic trash to create an artistic bin to remind everyone on the island to keep the beach clean.   Complete with suggestions about how you can help clean up the beaches.  Reduce.  Go organic.  Dispose of trash properly.


Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon: Far From Stanley Park (2022) Lawrence, Duane & Clover, Gordon 

It’s party time in the forest.  A fun personification of forest animals partying.


Scaredy Squirrel In A Nutshell (2022) Watt, Melanie 

Part of the Scaredy’s Nutty Adventures.  An atypical squirrel who is always preparing for disaster makes even the most basic task an adventure to be conquered.  


Science COMICS:  Trees:  Kings of the Forest (2018) Hirsch, Andy

Part of the Science COMICS series.  “If an organism is aware of a situation and can choose the best action to take, it has intelligence.” p. 18. Read this graphic novel and ask yourself, is a tree smart?


Show Us Where You Live, Humpback (2021) Young, Beryl & Kikuchi, Sakika

This beautiful picturebook explores the connections between a young boy and the humpback whale.  A Vancouver author who first saw the humpback whales swimming off the west coast of Vancouver Island.  


Show Us Where You Live, Humpback (2021) Young, Beryl & Kikuchi, Sakika

A beautiful picturebook that parallels the little boy growing up on land and the humpback whales growing up in the ocean beside him.  Vancouverites will recognize the West Coast setting. 


Sing in the Spring (2022) Fitch, Sheree (verse) & Plestid, Deb

Sheree Fitch’s verse as winter transitions to spring.  Quilting and paint artwork is an amazing accompaniment.  


Sir Ladybug (2022) Tabor, Corey R.

Sir Ladybug and friends’ quest includes trying to escape being eaten by a chickadee.  This graphic novel is sure to be popular with the Grade 1- Grade 4 readers.  


So Imagine Me:  Nature Riddles in Poetry (2020) Davies, Lynn & Park-MacNeil, Chrissie

A fun guessing game with nature clues.  


So Imagine Me:  Nature Riddles in Poetry (2020) Davies, Lynn & Park-MacNeil, Chrissie

What Am I?  Each poem provides clues to answer this question about something from nature.  


Soccer Superstar (2020) Terrell, Brandon & San Juan, Mel Joy

Part of the Jake Maddox Series.  Javier Moreno strives to learn the balance between being a superstar on the soccer field and being a team player.  A nice addition on the role of forwards, midfielders, defenders and the goalie is included at the end.  


Spotlight Soccer (2015) Sanchez, Ricardo & Waryanto, Ian

A Sports Illustrated Graphic Novel for Kids.  Franco wants to play professional soccer.  His new school and his new team require a new strategy.  The glossary at the back is to assist comprehension.  The “visual questions” support understanding of the illustrations in graphic novels.  


Stay, Little Seed (2020) Valentini, Cristiana & Giordano, Philip

The story about why the little seed has to let go of the safety of the tree.  It also serves as an example of why taking a risk allows the adventure to begin.  


Sunny Makes A Splash (2021) Holm, J.L. & Holm, M. & Pien, Lark

Another book in the series about Sunny.  The community pool offers a reprieve from what is looking like a disasterous summer.  As a kid I was quick to discover that public pools were infinitely more interesting than private pools.  


Swim Team:  Small Waves, Big Changes (2022) Christmas, Johnnie

Excitement about starting a new middle school is soured by an elective Bree really doesn’t want – Swim 101.


Taan’s Moon:  A Haida Moon Story (2014) Gear, Alison & van der Heiden, Kiki

Taan’s Moons tells the Haida legend of the changing seasons through the perspective of a bear using poetry.  Kindergarden students worked with the author and a visual and fibre artist to create raw felt illustrations.  This beautiful book includes Skidegate Haida and Old Masset Haida.  


Taking Care of Mother Earth (2021) Aleck, Celestine

Coast Salish Series:  Coast Salish teachings about how to take care of the earth.


The Aquanut (2021) Heinerth, Jill & Kim, Jaime 

The author shares her path from little girl with a big imagination to becoming an underwater explorer, care diver, and photographer.


The Biggest Puddle in the World (2019) Lee, Mark & Dion, Nathalie

Grandpa and a rainstorm teach Sarah and her younger brother about the water cycle. Gorgeious water inspired illustrations.


The Book of Selkie (2020) Corr Scott, Briana

This fantasy story of the “seal folk” or selkies, is from Scotland and comes complete with paper doll and clothes.


The Bug Girl (2020) Spencer, Sophia w M. McNamara & Kerascoet

Sophia Spencer always loved bugs.  The other kids didn’t really understand or appreciate Sophia’s passion until it became a national news story.  This fourth grader shares her story and connects with entomologists that fuel her interest and learning.  A true story and lots of information about bugs!


The Busy Beaver (2016) Oldland, Ncholas

The Busy Beaver’s carelessness wreaks havok in his life, the lives of his friends, and in the forest.  Discover how the Busy Beaver makes amends. 


The Cedar Tree:  The Heart of Our People (2020) Aleck, Celestine 

Coast Salish Series:  Beautiful phographs depict the many uses of cedar in Coast Salish culture.  


The Great Blanket of Moss (2020) Aleck, Celestine & Good, Joel

Coast Salish Series:  The legend of how moss came to be.  Mother tree must take action to protect her young trees when they offend Snow.  


The Gruffalo and Friends:  Outdoor Activity Book (2021) Donaldson, Julia & Scheffler, Axel

A collection of the favourite outdoor activities of “The Little Wild Things” in a West Oxfordshire woodland.  A fun resource for use with young children.


The Outdoor Scientist:  The Wonder of Observing the Natural World (2021) Grandin, Temple

Temple Grandin, scientist, is able to bring the light to what STEAM means in outdoor explorations.  A resource book including 40 projects for kids.  


The Sasquatch, The Fire and the Cedar Baskets (2020) Dandurand, Joseph & James, Simon Daniel

Only a Sasquatch and cedar baskets stand in the way of the great fire devastating the forest.  Told in the tradition of the Kwantlen people.  


The Science of Surfing:  A Surfside Girls Guide to the Ocean (2021) Dwinell, Kim

Sam and Jade take the reader through everything ocean including the physics, the biology, strange ocean phenomenon, how to surf and how to be a good stewrad of the ocean.  A wealth of information presented in engaging graphic novel format.  


The Sharing Circle (2016) Larsen-Jonasson, Theresa “Corky” & von Innerebner, Jessika

Two red foxes are best of friends until the big argument.  Buffalo takes a gift of a braid of sweetgrass to the wise and mighty Great Horned owl, called Kokum, to request a sharing circle.  Kokum teaches the animals how this Indigenous tradition can be used to problem solve by creating a place of listening and respect.


The Way of the Hive (2021) Hosler, Jay

This graphic novel is masterful.  Written by a biology professor, it skillfully weaves together the story of Nuki’s (“bee” in Swahili) life as she proceeds to “Go forth to adventure” along with everything you ever wanted to know about bees.  I finished the book and wondered why I didn’t start caring about bees sooner.  Perfect for intermediate aged students or secondary students looking for a way to convey content area material.


The Wonders That I Find (2022) Ward, Meghan, J. & Odynski, Tay

Geneva and her teddy bear go off on a hike with her parents.  They are in a hurry to get to the summit.  Geneva has lots to teach them about pausing to notice on the hike.  For a preschool and early primary audience.  


Tokyo Digs A Garden (2021) Lappano, Jon-Erik & Hatanaka, Kellen

Tokyo, a boy who lives in a city, is inspired by the stories of his grandfather and plants a garden.  This book was given the Governor General’s Literary Award.  A perfect way to explore environmentalism and the imagination.


Trees:  Kings of the Forest (2018) Hirsch, Andy

Part of the Science Comics series.  Acorn has a lot to learn about trees.  A fun story that conveys an incredible amount of factual information about trees. 


Trudy’s Healing Stone (2019) Spiller, Trudy & von Innerebner, Jessika

A picturebook sharing First Nation knowledge of the Gitxsan Nation in British Columbia for a preschool / early primary audience.  Grandmother shares that a stone can is a gift from Mother Earth to help us process difficult emotions.  


Trudy’s Rock Story (2017) Spiller, Trudy & von Innerebner, Jessika

Trudy is from the Gitxsan Nation.  Her grandmother, ts’iits, is a knowledge keeper.  She shares wisdom from ancestors, including how Mother Earth can help you deal with powerful emotions.  This comes in handy when Trudy fights with her brother.  


We Are the Water Protectors (2020) Lindstrom, Carole & Goade, Michaela

A book about water inspired by many Indigenous-led movements across North America to protect water from harm and corruption.  The text and illustrations give voice to the animals, plants, trees, rivers, lakes and oceans that rely on water.  


What’s Sprouting in My Trash?  A Book about Composting Capstone Press (2013) Porter, Esther

Intended for preschool to early primary students.  Accompanied by vivid photographs and a clear explanation for the rules and process of composting.



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