Have you read a good book lately? We like to share reviews on books that our members have read that are hiking or outdoors related. From infants board books to adult page-turners, we love to hear about what you are reading! Share a review with us on this form and we may feature it in an upcoming blog post!

Reviews:

Kendra Reeder, from the Harrisburg, PA branch:

UP – A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure by Patricia Ellis Herr

“Up” was a great read about a mother and her 5 year old daughter climbing all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000+ foot mountains. I really enjoyed this book, because of how much I could identify with it. Her journey started out with her instilling a love of nature in her children and by doing so, her daughter was able to accomplish something extraordinary! Reading about their different experiences and the people they met along the way was interesting and delightful. I loved how she handled different scenarios and was ready to support her daughter if she ever wanted to stop. Her daughter continuing to have an appreciation for nature was more important than making sure she completed this quest in a certain time frame. “Up” is an easy and quick read, and I highly recommend it to anyone who also enjoys the outdoors and spending time with their children outside.

Kaitlyn, from the Antelope Valley branch:

Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

This book came out in the 90s, but I read it every year. They just recently made a movie out of it with Robert Redford. The story is about an American expat that returns to the States to live, only to realize a section of the Appalachian trail is in his backyard. With no previous hiking or camping experience he decides he’s going to conquer the trail. He finds a companion to accompany the journey. Someone he hasn’t spoken with in years. His odd partner, a novice hiker, and all the challenges the AT has to offer written with wit, makes this a great read!

Michael Barton, from the Portland, OR branch:

Whatever the Weather: Science Experiments and Art Activities that Explore the Wonders of Weather by Annie Riechmann and Dawn Suzette Smith

I am delighted to see this book come to fruition. For perhaps a year now, I have been following the authors’ blog, Twitter, and Facebook page/group “Mud Puddles to Meteors.” They sure do inspire everyday nature connection with their photographs and suggestions for things to do outside with kids. It only seemed natural that they’d publish a book such as “Whatever the Weather”.

Most nature activity books are organized by season, their authors suggesting particular activities for spring, summer, fall, and winter. And while “Whatever the Weather” is set up this way too, the emphasis is on the type of weather one is experiencing and how that can guide the choice of outdoor activity. So, chapters are defined by the type of weather: “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (ice and snow); “Saving for a Rainy day;” “Let the Sun Shine In;” and “Where the Wind Blows.” But, while these follow a seasonal chronology, if one is experiencing a very windy and dry day in the spring, they can take a look at the fourth chapter, or find an activity in the second chapter on a particular rainy fall day.

Each chapter contains between 6 and 8 activities, and for each activity the authors provide a list of needed materials, the steps for the activity, and suggestions for more things to do to explore the topic. But the best part of each activity, for me at least, is “The Science Behind the Scenes.” The authors give detailed information about the scientific processes at work – and the text in these bits show that they really know their stuff! The photography throughout the book is a delight, too. The book also includes over a dozen “Wondering About Our World,” where the authors delve a little deeper into topics related to the activities. And each chapter includes a suggestion for a discovery walk. Overall, “Whatever the Weather” is a beautifully produced activity book that is a pleasure to simply flip through.


Hike it Baby now has a Goodreads Group! Join today and add books to our bookshelf! Looking for more member reviews? Search our blog for other Book Review posts! Want to share a book that you love about the outdoors? Submit your review here to be included in an upcoming blog post!

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