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:


Nerdy Babies Ocean
by Emmy Kastner

This board book is full of colorful drawings for babies but also informative for children slightly older. It has pictures of babies in their aquatic gear swimming in the ocean, learning about the ecosystem. The book also shows pictures of many organisms that live in the oceans, such as many fish species, sea turtles, mammals, and birds such as penguins, puffins and gulls! It even talks about deep sea creatures such as the Angler fish and the life around deep-sea vents! It is a great book to introduce children to oceans.


by Britta Teckentrup

This is a beautiful peek-through picture book with a fish in the center of the book. As each page is turned, the fish (and reader) will encounter a different moment of life in the ocean, from swimming peacefully among the sponges, maneuvering around lionfish and dolphins, surviving the shadow of a Great White Shark, and using adaptations like puffing up and camouflage. It ends with a beautiful school of fish and a message about protecting coral reefs and our oceans.


Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle
by Claire A. Nivola

Sylvia Earle loved the ocean since she was a child and grew up becoming an oceanographer, marine biologist, explorer, and conservationist. She is passionate about protecting the planet’s oceans and wildlife. She is dedicated to educating others about overfishing and pollution to the world’s oceans. This book will hopefully inspire a young child or teen to appreciate planet earth and teach others to protect the planet and water around us.

For Adults:

The Sea Around Us
by Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson was best known for her pivotal book Silent Spring, but before that, most of her work focused on her work as a marine biologist. This book was published in 1951 and discussed what she knew about the seas in great depth, pun intended. She discusses the geography and ecology of the oceans as well as the effects of oceans on climate.

Kids and Families
June/July 2020
Beginning Birder  |  Get Linked In

World Environment day is June 5

On this day, learn how all living organisms are connected in the web of life and how we can protect the environment. Learn more...

World Environment Day, June 5

World Oceans Day is June 8

On this day, learn about how to protect our blue planet. One of the best things you can do is reduce your plastic use as that is often found polluting our ocean waters. Learn more...

World Oceans Day, June 8

Beginning Birder

American White Pelican
Pelecanus erythrorhynchos

American White PelicanThe American White Pelican is one of the largest North American birds. They are mostly white, but in flight, you are able to see their black flight feathers. They are majestic birds in flight, with a wingspan that can reach over 100 inches. You can often see them soaring in large flocks.

Their main food source is fish. They use their large pouched bills to scoop up the fish and then lift their head and bill upward to allow the water to drain out. They do not store their food in their bills.

They often work with other pelicans to catch their food. The group of pelicans will float and swim on the surface of water in a circle, herding the fish into the center, and then the birds will scoop the fish from the middle of their corral.

These birds will breed in shallow island wetlands in Canada and migrate to coastal waters in southern California, Gulf States, Mexico and Central America. They often use the Mississippi River as an important migratory flyway, so it is important to protect our rivers and oceans for birds such as these. Please do not litter or pollute our waters.

* Thanks to

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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


Make your own Stained-Glass Planet Earth

Look up a picture of planet earth and notice that it is made up of more water than it is land. Sometimes we even call it planet ocean instead of planet earth!

On a sheet of paper, use crayons (and not markers or colored pencils) to color a picture of earth and all of the oceans. When done, turn your paper over. Then use a cotton ball dipped in a very small amount of vegetable oil and rub over the back side of your paper. The paper will turn transparent and the colors will come through. Allow the paper to dry. Then hang up your “Planet Ocean” in front of a window so light can shine through.

Another idea is to use clear contact paper and tissue paper. Cut out your earth and ocean pieces from different colors of tissue paper and place them on one sticky side of the contact paper. Cover with another piece of contact paper. Now you have a stained-glass earth to hang in front of a window.

Idea modified from

Stained glass earth


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.


Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023
Program: Hidden Prairie: Photographing Life in One Square Meter... >

Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023
Christmas Bird Count... >

Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023
Beginning Birder Club- Bird Movement - REGISTRATION CLOSED - Contact for waitlist... >

Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024
Program: Birds and Beauty in Arizona... >

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