I am so excited to announce that the fourth book in the FANTASTIC “Rachel Raccoon and Sammy Skunk Series is officially available through Amazon as of March, 2013 – JUST IN TIME FOR EARTH DAY 2013!! Here is the summary from Amazon:
“Rachel and Sammy team up for another adventure as they learn to conserve! On the last day of school, Rachel, Sammy, and their classmates take turns showcasing conservation practices they’ve installed around the school for their science projects. Whose project will Mrs. Doe, Doc Opossum, and Principal Bear choose to be the winner? Children will discover that everyone wins when they conserve the earth’s natural resources. Join in the fun and learn all about planting trees and native plants, soil, water, and energy conservation, wildlife habitats, recycling, and more! Beautifully illustrated by Kalpart, and full of colorful photos taken by the author, Rachel and Sammy Learn to Conserve will teach children easy ways to use natural resources wisely at home and at school.”
I have read it and I’m thrilled to say that it is another winner! The educational value of the book is high, the characters are completely relatable and kid-friendly in their adorable animal forms, and the illustrations by Kalpart and photographs by Ms. Powelson compliment each other beautifully. Love, love, love it and I highly recommend it. Click on the cover for more information or visit Our Bookstore to purchase (you won’t regret it!)
Author: Jannifer Powelson
Year published: 2012
Publisher: Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Co.
Number of pages: 38
Recommended age: 5+
Daughter Rating: ★★★★½
Grown-up Rating: ★★★★½
Reviewed by: Renee and Danielle (Mother and Daughter)
Summary (from back cover): Rachel and Sammy Learn About Trees is the third book in the Rachel Raccoon and Sammy Skunk series. Rachel and Sammy, along with their classmates, their teacher, Mrs. Doe, and Doc Opossum take a field trip to the forest, where they discover all kinds of interesting tree facts.
This beautifully illustrated book will help children learn about tree identification, parts of trees, the importance of trees, photosynthesis, and much more!
This fun story teaches children tree information and features 14 realistic illustrations as well as 41 colorful photographs. The photos were taken by the author and will help readers learn more about the great variety of trees.
Join Rachel, Sammy, and their friends as they hike through the woods, learning as they go!
***We normally provide our own summaries of the book we are reviewing; however, we do feel that the summary from the back of the book describes its content in more than sufficient detail therefore we will not provide our own summaries.***
What I liked and disliked about it: I liked that the book teaches you about trees. I liked that there were drawings and real life photos. I learned that you can identify trees by the bark and the leaves. I was able to identify a paper birch tree by the bark and the leaves in a forest when we went house-boating this summer. I learned that deciduous trees are trees that have leaves that turn different colours in autumn and fall off. Conifers stay green all year and their leaves don’t fall off.
I feel a bit old when there are talking animals in cartoon in books. Although, the book was the right length for a kid my age.
My bottom line: I really liked this book and I would recommend it to kids 6 and up.
What I liked and disliked about it: This fantastic children’s book provides the right combination of kid-friendly characters, beautiful illustrations and photography, and educational material to be a sure hit with both children and their parents. As mentioned above in the summary, Rachel and Sammy Learn About Trees is the third book in Jannifer Powelson’s Rachel and Sammy educational nature series exploring plants, grasses, flowers, and trees. We read them all in order three nights in a row because the kids (and I!) were absolutely fascinated by them!
The most striking feature of these books is the ingenious use of illustrations alongside photography. Thus, the cartoon animal characters are seen exploring various plants and trees rendered as illustrations as well as colour photographs. In this way, the reader can see what the vegetation looks like in real life. This worked brilliantly as, shortly after we read these books, we went on a houseboat camping trip in the Interior of British Columbia and the kids were able to identify some of the trees and flowers they had seen in the books!
The other thing I really enjoyed about all three books is the high educational value. Each book is jam-packed with information about plants from the prairies (Rachel and Sammy Visit the Prairie), spring woodland wildflowers in the forest (Rachel and Sammy Visit the Forest), and trees (Rachel and Sammy Learn About Trees). For example, in Rachel and Sammy Learn About Trees,the reader learns about the identification of trees, the parts of the tree, the process of photosynthesis, tree products, and the life cycle of trees. The information provided is detailed and complex enough for an older child, but not so advanced as to lose the interest of younger readers. Powelson seems to have found the right balance. The proof is in the pudding: BOTH my kids, despite their age difference (5 and 9) really enjoyed all three books.
There is one issue I would be remiss in overlooking. While not as significant an issue in the last book, Rachel and Sammy Learn About Trees, the books are relevant to specific geographical areas. For example, in Rachel and Sammy Visit the Prairie, the grasses, flowers, and plants discussed and photographed are specific to the North American Prairies. Being a Canadian Prairie girl myself, I recognized many of the plants and flowers in the book so it was very interesting to me. If someone wanted to learn about the vegetation in a specific region perhaps different than their own, than these books more than deliver. I just know that my kids really enjoyed being able to apply their new knowledge in their own setting. So, I wouldn’t say that geographic specificity is a weakness, but rather it would be interesting for the author to branch out and discuss and photograph vegetation in other regions that are completely different from the first three books. I just think the books would then have broader appeal.
My bottom line: Overall, my kids and I really, really enjoyed all three books. The third book, Rachel and Sammy Learn About Trees, was our favorite because it contained the most generic and broadly applicable information about trees. I highly recommend these books, and the third one in particular, to children 5 years and older.
Please here click for a video trailer of Rachel and Sammy Learn About Trees.
** Rachel and Sammy Learn About Trees, Rachel and Sammy Visit the Prairies, and Rachel and Sammy Visit the Forest were all provided to us free-of-charge by the author. **
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