When I was a kid we went camping all the time during breaks from school. Not only did my parents love the outdoors, they thought being out in nature was as important as anything we learned in classrooms when school was in session. That important idea was passed along to my sons. That same important idea is behind the very cool book The Truth about Nature.
It is a book designed to get kids outside in the real world learning about nature and their role in it. As the subtitle makes clear this book is A Family’s Guide to 144 Common Myths about the Great Outdoors.
Broken into four sections based on the seasons the book opens with Spring. The first myth is that “Birds sing because they are happy.” The myth is busted as birds don’t have emotions like humans and are singing because that is what they do. Bird song is their way of communication.
Over the next fifty pages in the Spring section are considered such as “Turkeys will drown in rain” (myth 14 on page 19), “Tornados turn clockwise” (myth 22 on page 31) and “Snapping turtles can’t let go after they bite” (myth 36 on page 51) among others. Each myth is rated on a 1 to 3 scale with 3 being absolutely totally false. Along the way there are pages titled “Stranger Than Fiction” with interesting information as well “Be A Scientist” pages geared towards fun experiments kids can do. For example, one can earn how to make a rainbow using a cd, a glass of water, a flash light, and a while piece of paper on page 36 or “Grow Your Own Mold” on page 49. The ideas on the “Be A Scientist” pages might be a good starting point for those science fair projects.
This same informative text is continued through the Summer, Fall, and Winter sections. We learn that the idea that “Mouthwash will keep mosquitoes away” (myth 62 on page 89) is massively false as is that “Beavers eat fish” (myth 85 on page 120) or that “The brain is the largest organ” (myth 130 on page 186.) According to the book the brain is the third largest organ, coming in behind the liver at number two and skin at number one. The idea that “Ostriches bury their heads in the sand” is myth 135 and can be found on page 193.
While the various myths may not really fit the season section they are in, the myths are all informative and interesting. All of the preceding leads up to a five page index and a one page of author bios that bring this highly entertaining book to be a close.
Filled with tips, fun facts and more The Truth about Nature: A Family’s Guide to 144 Common Myths about the Great Outdoors is a colorful and fun book designed to make learning about a lot of things fun. Published by “Falcon Guides” the book is a great way to teach kids as well as adults about nature and our place in it while doing so in a fun way. Fun and very cool, The Truth about Nature: A Family’s Guide to 144 Common Myths about the Great Outdoors makes learning fun in many ways.
The Truth about Nature: A Family’s Guide to 144 Common Myths about the Great Outdoors
Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer
Falcon Guides (imprint of Rowman & Littlefield)
Paperback (also available in e-book)
Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Library System.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2015