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:


Shapes All Around
by Kate Riggs, illustrated by Laetitia Devernay

This remarkable board book introduces a young child to shapes that they could see as they embark on their adventures, such as the bright circle of the sun, the triangles of a mountain range, the star shape of a sea star, and the hexagons of a beehive. The illustrations are stunning with grayscale background and color highlights of some of the shapes and organisms.


Hiking Day
by Anne Rockwell, illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell

This book is absolutely perfect! It follows the adventure of a young girl and her parents as they go hiking up a nearby mountain. You can feel the excitement of the young girl as she hikes up the trails with her parents, who teach her about wildlife and plants along the way. The illustrations are lovely and the story makes you feel that you are part of their adventure. It encourages your child to want to go on their own adventures as well!


Wilderness: Earth’s Amazing Habitats
by Mia Cassany, illustrated by Marcos Navarro

This beautiful and remarkably detailed book will captivate young eyes and encourage them to want to explore and learn about this beautiful planet. The illustrations reveal 12 amazing places from every continent and all of the possible plants and wildlife that can be found there. There is a description of each location and reasons why these areas and wildlife are worth saving and protected. A few parks include Senegal’s Niokolo-Koba National Park, China’s Qinling Mountains, India’s Sundarbans National Park, the Mexican Desert, Rainbow Falls of Hawaii, the boreal forests of Canada, Alaska, and Russia and the multiple tropical rainforests of Madagascar, Amazon, Honduras, New Guinea, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The back of the book provides more information about each of the animals and their habitats. The book is large and perfect for displaying on a table for adults to read as well.

For Adults:

Last Child in the Woods – Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
by Richard Louv

This book is a national bestseller and recipient of the 2008 Audubon Medal. This book was written in 2005, but everything in this book still remains true, and maybe even more so than in the past decade. Children need opportunities to be outdoors and learn from nature. We can see an increase in screen-time, obesity, attention disorders, and depression, and a decrease in time spent outdoors. This book provides tremendous evidence that is still valuable to demonstrate the relationship of nature and a healthy development of a child into adulthood. The book also ends with 100 actions you can take to help immerse your child into learning about the beautiful planet earth.

Kids and Families
August/September 2020
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Summer Adventures

School may be starting soon, but your adventures can continue! It is especially important if you (or your child) may be having virtual lessons and more screen time for school, so it is even more necessary to keep exploring outdoors every chance you can!

"Let Nature be your Teacher" – William Wordsworth

"It is not half so important as to feel when introducing a young child to the natural world."
Rachel Carson

Beginning Birder

Pileated Woodpecker
Dryocopus pileatus

Pileated WoodpeckerThe Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker that you could see in this area. It is about the size of a crow and has a long neck. Like other woodpeckers, the Pileated Woodpecker has a strong, chisel-like bill which can be used to make loud drumming sounds against the trees as it drills for insects that live in trees, such as carpenter ants, woodboring beetles, and termites.

They are black and white, with a large, red crest. The underside of their wings is white. The males will have a red moustache near its beak while the female will have a black moustache. Woodpeckers, along with many other animals, use dead trees for nesting. It is impressive to see how the woodpeckers can carve out a cavity very easily and build a nest in a few weeks.

Fun fact:
The Pileated Woodpecker drills rectangular holes to find insects, such as ants. Sometimes the work is so strong that it weakens small trees and causes them to break.

* 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


Go Mothing!

Summer is an excellent time to search for moths. There are a few simple ways to find them. Moths tend to be attracted to lights, so an easy way to attract them is to turn on a porch light and bring them close. To see them better, hang a white sheet on a clothesline or wall and shine a light onto it. Then just wait and see.

You can also attract moths by providing a sugary food. Make “moth food” – mix, sugar and a fruit, such as banana or peach. Then spread it on a tree trunk and check back as the sun sets.

Learn more

Moth on 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.


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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