Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Counting on Nature

Count Down to Fall
by Fran Hawk
illustrated by Sherry Neidigh
Sylvan Dell, 2009
review copy provided by the publisher

This is a GORGEOUS book. You can go on a fall nature walk without leaving the comfort of your home or classroom when you read this book.

It's also a counting book that counts backward from ten to one. It's a poetry book with a rhyming verse on each double page spread. It's a celebration of autumn in the woods. Most of all, it's a tree identification book. Each double page spread is framed around the edge with a different tree's bark, and in the four outer corners is the leaf in summer, the leaf in fall, the shape of the tree and either the seed or the flower of the tree. Here's an example:

Eight beech tree leaves,
like yellow cat's eyes
float gently down
through autumn skies.

Along with the trees, each picture contains animals, birds, and insects that live in the Eastern Woodlands. In the back matter of the book is more information about the trees and the ways that people and animals use them.

Check out this link on the Sylvan Dell website for teaching activities, a book trailer, and an interview with the author.

by Scotti Cohn
illustrated by Susan Detweiler
Sylvan Dell, 2009
review copy provided by the publisher

This book is a counting, rhyming, month-by-month wolf book. In January there is a lone wolf howling at the moon. After pups are born, there are six wolves in June, and by December, there are twelve wolves singing together in the winter night.

The back matter of this book gives readers more information and activities that will extend their learning about wolves, and again, the Sylvan Dell website has still more goodies to go with the book.

Both books invite readers to both browse and read with the fun mix of genres and the beautiful illustrations.


  1. Ok, how are you up at 4:30ish am to post these great posts the day school starts. You are amazing!

  2. Anonymous1:33 PM

    Thanks so much for this post! Sylvan Dell is so glad you enjoyed these titles from us, and we hope to continue supplying teachers, parents, and media specialists with exceptional educational picture books!

  3. Anonymous8:32 PM

    Thanks for including One Wolf Howls in your blog entry! Another "Autumn" aspect of the book is the fact that the Defenders of Wildlife has designated October 11-17, 2009, as National Wolf Awareness Week!

    Scotti Cohn


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