I love perusing through the books in the library. During one of my library explorations, I found an amazing book set for science exploration called Look Once, Look Again (by David M. Schwartz). There are 24 books in the series broken into two subsets: Exploring Habitats and Exploring Plants & Animals. I previewed three of them: At the Pond, Underfoot, and In the Park.
The books follow a pattern. For the Look Once page, a close-up picture of some part of an animal or plant is shown with a riddle of sorts. In the Pond, for example, begins with a photograph of two connected circles with smaller circles inside them. The riddle is: “This insect has enormous eyes. Some people think it is as scary as a dragon.” Then, the reader/listener has the opportunity to guess what is depicted. On the back page is the Look Again picture with a dragonfly depicted and a few details about it (The Look Once picture is an extreme close-up of the dragonfly's eyes). The facing page on the right has a new Look Once picture. The Look Once, Look Again pattern continues until the end. The final pages offer an opportunity for review.
I like this series because it prompts reader/listener interaction and critical thinking skills. Young children will have fun predicting what living thing is revealed in word and photograph as well as the joy of success as they get it right (if not the first time, in successive reading sessions). Another great aspect of the series is that it encourages children to look carefully at the world around them and to make their own observations about it. The captivating and vivid photographs by Dwight Kuhn, also, make this series worthwhile. Every page feels like a new discovery and wonder.
There is a book for many of the most common early childhood science experiences. The titles are: Among the Flowers, Animal Ears, Animal Eyes, Animal Feathers and Fur, Animal Feet, Animal Mouths, Animal Noses, Animal Skin & Scales, Animal Tails, At the Farm, At the Pond, At the Seashore, At the Zoo, Fruit & Seeds, In a Tree, In the Desert, In the Forest, In the Garden, In the Meadow, In the Park, Plant Blossoms, Plant Leaves, Plant Stems & Roots, and Underfoot. I recommend utilizing this series before visiting or studying these locations/subjects. The Look Once, Look Again series is ideal for ages 3-8.
This post is linked up with Science Sunday at Adventures of Mommydom where there are always dozens of amazing science-related posts.