Nonfiction about Nature

Reptiles Everywhere, Bruno the Beekeeper, A World of Plants, and Fungarium offer plenty of fascinating information about the natural world.

Reptiles Everywhere by Camilla de la Bedoyere, illustrated by Britta Teckentrup. Big Picture Pres, 2021, 32 pages.

cover image of reptiles everywhere

Reading Level: Middle grades, ages 10-12

Recommended for: Ages 10-12

Reptiles are a diverse lot, considering their size, habitat, range of colors, and eating habits. De la Bedoyere describes what reptiles are and how they live, what makes them unique from us and from one another.

How do they survive? How do they reproduce and travel? This is a good resource for answering these questions.

Brightly-colored illustrations and bite-size facts make this appealing for readers who love reptiles, as well as a resource for basic research.

Consideration: Evolution

Overall rating: 3.5 (out of 5)

cover image bruno the beekeeper

Bruno the Beekeeper: A honey primer. by Aneta Frantiska Holasová. Candlewick, 20121, 32 pages.

Reading Level: Picture books, ages 8-10

Recommended for: ages 8-10

Being a beekeeper requires knowing the bees intimately and how to wisely steward the hive in order to harvest honey.

This process is demonstrated by Bruno, a bear who helps Grandma, a human, through the various tasks of the seasons. While the information is thorough, the explanations are not always clear, though plenty of illustrations in warm brown tones help.

An interesting introduction to the life of caring for bees and enjoying the benefits.

Overall rating: 3 (out of 5)

A World of Plants by Martin Jenkins. Walker Studio, 2021, 64 pages.

cover image of a world of plants

Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12

Recommended for: Ages 10-12

Plants are gloriously complex: variety, reproduction, their role in sustaining life on earth, how they thrive in different habitats, etc. Our role in stewardship includes not only responsibility in using our resources, but also opportunities to collect, share, and enjoy them.

A broad look at a big subject.

Considerations: Evolution, explanation of plant reproduction described as “sex” with reminders of this process on other pages.

Overall rating: 3.5

cover image of fungarium

Fungarium by Esther Gaya, illustrated by Katie Scott. Big Picture Press, 2021, 80 pages.

Reading level: Middle grades, ages 8-10, ages 10-12

Recommended for: Ages 8-12

Coffee! Without fungi, we wouldn’t have coffee, tea, chocolate, bread, cheese, and many other lovely things we enjoy.

Fungi is beautiful and complex, like every other aspect of creation. If only the Welcome to the Museum writers could see that each subject in this series has been designed with a purpose instead of crediting evolution.

We often see the variety of fungi above ground, but there’s so much more going on in the soil. Fungi that harms insects can be used for pest control. Edible fungi is part of our diet (I was hoping to find more explanation of the significance for coffee, tea, and chocolate). It is also instrumental in our health, though some species are toxic and must be avoided.

As with all the Welcome to the Museum books, the oversized format doesn’t fit on the shelf easily, but the illustrations are stunning to browse. Both Fungarium and A World of Plants have early page spreads on sexual vs. asexual reproduction. While this may be scientifically accurate, the implication (especially to immature adolescents) that the most intimate act designed by God for marriage is as mechanical and unemotional as the interaction of spores. Parents and educators might want to be aware of this. Otherwise, it’s a lovely addition to your nature study collection.

Overall rating: 4 (out of 5)

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Megan Saben

Megan is Associate Editor for Redeemed Reader, and she loves nothing more than discovering Truth and Story in literature. She is the author of Something Better Coming, and is quite particular about which pottery mug is best suited to her favorite hot drinks throughout the day. Megan lives with her husband and five boys in Virginia.

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3 Comments

  1. Karen on January 12, 2022 at 7:46 am

    I’d like some more of this type of book review……I’d actually like more reviews of all types of books! *L*
    This year, we’re using some Fun-Schooling Journals in our homeschool and these are the types of books I’d like to have on hand to go along with the journals and sort of serve as a “textbook.” But finding non-fiction books that are engaging and fit our Christian worldview AND are suitable for my children’s ages (12-18) seems difficult. So this kind of a blogpost is what I’m looking for!
    You all are doing a great job! Thank you.

  2. The Warren & The World Vol 10, Issue 2 on January 15, 2022 at 3:01 am

    […] Reptiles Everywhere, Bruno the Beekeeper, A World of Plants, and Fungarium offer plenty of fascinating information about the natural world.Read more […]

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