Have you read any good books 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 book review with us on this form and we may feature it in an upcoming blog post!


Michael D. Barton, from the Portland, OR branch, reviewed the following three books for us!

Pipsie, Nature Detective: The Disappearing Caterpillar by Rick DeDonato

A big fan of nature. A good friend. And a mystery. Sounds like the recipe for a fun story! And it is. Pipsie is a young naturalist who, with her little friend Alfred the turtle, finds herself in the role of a nature detective. Soon after meeting a young caterpillar, Frannie goes missing. Decked out in her outdoor boots and backpack, with a magnifying glass in hand, Pipsie searches for clues around her home and backyard to Frannie’s whereabouts. Her and Alfred even seek out information about one clue at their local zoo’s insect garden, and gain another piece of advice from an educator there. Will Pipsie and Alfred solve the mystery of the disappearing caterpillar?

Worm Weather by Jean Taft

This book, from first-time children’s author Jean Taft, for ages 3-5, is a delight. Its premise is simple: kids and earthworms love the rain. A brother and sister gear up for play time during a rain shower (“Coat. Hat. Rain goes splat!”), only to head inside when the weather gets a bit too ominous (“Bright flash. THUNDER, CRASH!”). When the thunderstorm moves on and the sun appears, they head back outside (“Birds fly, rainbow sky!”). Worm Weather, with minimal rhyming text and fantastic illustrations by Matt Hunt, treats young readers to the wonderful world of weather by encouraging them to experience it.

The Specific Ocean by Kyo Maclear

The Specific Ocean is a favorite in recent books that show how fun spending time outside really can be for kids. For some, the idea of going on a family vacation that does not include a theme park or some kind of flashy screens is scary. The young girl here has created for herself a daily moping schedule (while her older brother happily heads to the beach), which includes time allotted for watching dust, playing chess alone, pulling loose thread, and staring at the wall. Horrible vacation, indeed! But she soon has a revelation, and her brother has to catch up with her on the way to the ocean. This “specific ocean” becomes a magical place for her, and she becomes reluctant to head home. While the author titles her book The Specific Ocean because of how some kids might say “Pacific,” the word “specific” for me gives the sense that there is no single experience of a place in nature. Everyone will experience a beach or forest differently from others, and that experience is specific to them on an individual level.

Kristen Griggs, from the Austin, TX branch, reviewed this book for us!

Into the Outdoors by Susan Gall

This is a fun picture book about a family going camping and hiking. It’s great for practicing nature words and preposition. The artwork is cool and engaging and there are lots of cute critters to spot on every page. My toddler loves this book.

Erin Pennings, from the Anchorage, AK branch, reviewed this book for us!

Beauty and the Bees by Aaron Burakoff

First and foremost, I can see why “Beauty and the Bees” has been called a “buzz-worthy” fairy tale! It’s so incredibly timely with the issues our world seems to be facing with bees. And, in our home, even though some of us *ahem* (me) *ahem* have an unnatural bee phobia, we are big into gardening, so we ultimately love bees and want their populations to remain healthy.

As a HiB Branch Ambassador, I appreciate the bee lessons, and I can see building some incredibly fun hikes around the book – do story time, and then explore a field of flowers, a honey “farm,” or even botanical gardens. I’d love to get one on the calendar in celebration of National Honey Bee Day and perhaps other areas will want to as well.

I have never been so excited to receive a children’s book in the mail. It came while my almost 3-year old came was napping, so I started to read on my own. He must have heard the box open, because he shot out of his room, and saw the beautifully illustrated book. “New book!” he shouted!

We have read “bee book” 3 times now in the space of 90 minutes. Which is really telling, I think. We count the bees on every page as we read. And, I think it will be good for kids quite a bit older than mine as well. The illustrations do a wonderful job of balancing the message of the story with something engaging for younger kids.

All in all, I really love this book and its message. And since so many HiB families are like-minded in terms of nature, bee status, and conservation, I think that many will enjoy it as well. But the fun is not just limited to our own budding naturalists… it provides a strong lesson for kids of all ages.

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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