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Published on: Nov. 2, 2004

Last revision: Nov. 17, 2010

night when a father takes his young daughter out owling for her first time. In the shadows of the night, the two unknowingly pass other wildlife creatures that only the reader can see.

In contrast to Owl Moon's rural scenery, a young boy finds that even in the middle of the largest city you can find a Secret Place to observe wildlife. In this story by Eve Bunting, a boy finds the nesting place of a duck in the concrete caverns of a city river.

Grandparents are also a very special link between children and nature. The Birdwatchers, by Simon James, is a tender and funny book about a very enthusiastic bird watcher who tells his granddaughter outlandish bird stories. When she finally accompanies him to a wetland bird blind, she gets caught up in the excitement.

"'Gone fishing,' signed my daddy and me."Whether you're taking your child out fishing for the first time or on a repeat trip, Gone Fishing, is a delightfully fun book to read to your toddler. Earlene Long's simple, repetitive text compares big/little things through-out the book during a successful fishing trip for "big daddy" and "little me."

A little girl shows us that a canoeing trip involves much more than paddling when she spends 3 Days On a River in a Red Canoe, with her mom, Aunt Rosie, and cousin Sam. Vera B. Williams' book reads like a scrap-book decorated with colored pencil illustrations of their adventures. Along the trip she describes and draws in detail the fish they see and how to tie up a canoe, cook outdoors and set up a tent.

"Lowering his head, he stuck his neck straight out and let go with such an explosive gobble that I thought it would shake the very leaves from the trees."Home, At Last, is the Hunter, by W.H. Gross, is an excellent book for young adults who might be interested in or already enjoy turkey hunting. The details of 12-year-old Jeff's turkey hunting trips with his Grandpa, and later on his own, make you feel as if you're sitting right there next to him not moving a muscle as that old tom gets closer.

"...bats flutter and turn in midair, looping and crossing..."

Going outside at night with a child can be a rewarding adventure. In Fireflies for Nathan, by Shulamith Levey Oppenheim, a young African-American boy spends the night at his Nana and Poppy's house catching fireflies. Nana passes the tradition to her grandson when she digs out the same jar that Nathan's dad used to catch fireflies when he was a boy.

Some families are lucky enough to have bats near their houses to eat some pesky moths and mosquitoes. Leila's parents have taught her to appreciate bats, and she anticipates going out on her back deck to enjoy watching their aerobatics. The book is called Bat Time, by Ruth Horowitz.

"...And they fished happily ever after"If you search the bookstores, you'll find other wonderful books about outdoor adventures for young readers. The stories in them fascinate children and get them interested in creating some adventures of their own.

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