Nature's Book Nook

Many of these books can be found on PrairieCat; many are available for as little as 1 cent or 99 cents from booksellers on Amazon (with $3.99 for postage and handling).

For Kids:


I Love Fall!: A Touch-and-feel Board Book
Alison Inches

One of the most exciting things about fall is the new experiences for your senses. This book demonstrates a small collection of the textures of the fall that might be new to someone who hasn’t experienced the season before. Plump pumpkins, wooly scarves, crunchy leaves, and many more are set to simple verse in this festive collection.


David Ezra Stein

A young bear is experiencing autumn for the first time. The change in the air, new sounds, and of course, the leaves. The leaves are changing colors, and he doesn’t remember their doing that before. Most surprisingly, the leaves are falling! The bear tries to put them back on the trees but it doesn’t work and he ends up getting very tired. He burrows into the leaves to take a nap. When bear wakes up, he discovers how the leaves have changed as spring approaches.


Animorphs #1: The Invasion
K.A. Applegate

This is the first book in a series that focuses on five teens who get caught up in an interstellar conflict playing out on Earth. These characters are given the ability to turn into any animal they can touch to aid in the protection of the planet. Every book features a new animal as experienced from the perspective of these young adults. It’s not exactly a textbook, but there is a mini-ecology lesson woven into the plot of each adventure.

For Adults:

Nature Stories
Jules Renard

Everything in nature has a unique experience of the environment we all share. If only there was a shared language so that we could receive some of those stories. In Nature Stories, not only do dog, cat, and cow get to share their perspective on the world around them, but so too do the dragonfly, weasel, snakes, and several others. This collection of scenes runs the gamut of perspectives and settings, sometimes merely for a moment, of the wide variety of animals intimately tied to the day-to-day world around us.

Kids and Families
October/November 2019
Beginning Birder  |  Get Linked In

Know-Know-Know Your Oaks

Saturday, October 5, 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Oakdale Nature Preserve

Take a trip out to Oakdale Nature Preserve on October 5th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for a chance to learn more about the history and importance of oak trees.

Dress accordingly for hiking and observing trees. Meet at the main parking lot at Oakdale near the Mogle Center.

Call Richard Benning at 815-865-5279 to sign up.

Exploring Odonata and Other Flying Objects

Beginning Birder

Wild Turkey
Meleagris gallopavo

Wild TurkeyWhen you think of fall, especially November, you might be thinking Thanksgiving and turkeys. Therefore, this is a good chance for you to learn about the Wild Turkey! The Wild Turkey does make “gobble gobble,” but if you ever get the chance to hear it, it is quite loud and can travel far distances. The male will make these calls during breeding seasons to attract females, while performing a courtship dance and puffing up its beautiful feathers.

The Wild Turkey is a very large and spectacular bird, with red and blue featherless heads with wattles. They are active and tend to be in large flocks. At night, the flock will roost together in trees. The best times to see these birds are early in the morning in open clearings. Some people are lucky enough to see a flock at their bird feeders, especially if corn is present.

The Wild Turkey is an example of a domesticated bird, used for food. The domesticated variety are raised in high numbers around American Thanksgiving holiday. Each year, 46 million turkeys are eaten during Thanksgiving, 22 million during Christmas, and 19 million on Easter.

Fun Facts*

  • Like most birds, the Wild Turkey will eat grit to help digest their food, which includes both plants and animals (making them an omnivore).
  • The male Wild Turkey will mate with multiple females and will not help care for the young. Once hatched, the new hatchlings follow the mother, often joining other groups of mothers and hatchlings, forming a family group. These groups, especially in the winter, can sometimes be as large as 200 turkeys.
  • Wild Turkeys can swim! They tuck in their wings, spread their tails, and kick through the water.
  • Ben Franklin proposed that the Wild Turkey be the official United States National Bird, instead of the Bald Eagle.

* Sources include and the University of Illinois Extension.

Get Linked In

Children, Nature and You Resources to help you give the children you influence the awe and wonder that only the natural world can inspire

Freeport Park District Information on all the Freeport parks

Freeport Public Library More than books on a shelf...visit the Freeport Public Library

Freeport Outdoor Experience Events located in Freeport and Stephenson County

Getting Kids Involved (The Cornell Lab of Ornithology) Includes bird information, tips, and more for kids and families

Jane Addams Recreation Trail Ride or Hike the beautiful Jane Addams Trail

Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots A program of the Jane Goodall Institute offering a variety of programs and resources

NASA Climate Kids to tell the story of our changing planet through the eyes of NASA missions studying Earth and provides games, activities, and articles that make climate science accessible and engaging for children

National Audubon for Kids provides resources for classroom curriculum, DIY activities, and bird activities for children at home

National Wildlife Federation Many family-friendly articles; Ranger Rick family magazine

Resource Guide Supplement to Last Child in the Woods Designed for parents, teachers, and community leaders to help them encourage children’s enjoyment of the great outdoors.

Severson Dells Nature Center Located near Rockford, IL.

Sierra Club Outdoors The program's goal is to give every child in America an outdoor experience.

World Migratory Bird Day Learn about the importance of migratory birds and how to celebrate birds any day of the year!

Family Activity

Harvest Decorations

A fun activity you can do with your family and friends is decorating pumpkins. Each person can pick out their favorite color paints, and use them to paint their own pumpkin!

An easy craft that you can do in the fall is to make a pinecone birdfeeder! All you need is a pinecone, peanut butter, bird seed, and string. First, spread the peanut butter on the pinecone, then roll it in birdseed so the birdseed sticks to the peanut butter. Next, tie the string around the top of the pinecone and hang it from a tree.


and Events

Check out our full calendar of activities, events, and educational opportunities. You're sure to find something to interest you. Please join us!

Events include:

  • Monthly educational programs and issues discussions
  • Local bird walks
  • Field trips
  • Preserve work days

For more details, see the current newsletter.


Friday, Sep. 29, 2023
September 29 Birdseed Sale Order Deadline!... >

Friday, Sep. 29, 2023
Full Moon Campfire at Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve... >

Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023
Program: Update from Illinois Evironmental Council, 2023 Annual Report... >

Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023
Field Trip: Maquoketa Caves State Park... >