Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Yogi Bear's Guide to Plants

I am always on the look out for books that engage kids with science concepts and vocabulary. Yogi Bear's Guide to Plantsprovides younger readers with fun characters to guide them through learning the basic language, vocabulary, and scientific concepts associated with plants.

The book begins with the introduction of seeds and how seeds turn into plants. I particurally liked the picture that shows the progression in bean plant growth. While not labeled it is a great visual that demonstrates plant growth from the hard seed to the beginnings of a leaf plant.

The book gave a very basic attempt at explaining chlorophyll and photosynthesis. I looked at this a couple of times before deciding this was actually an age appropriate explanation of the topic. Some books choose to ignore the science of plants, thus making it harder for kids to learn later. Some bombard them with so much information they can't absorb it all and it gets shut off. To pardon a pun, this planted the beginnings of the concepts in language that is accessible by younger children without teaching them inappropriate science language or ignoring the science concepts. It begins to explain photosynthesis without all the chemistry that most younger readers aren't going to absorb. However, it does it in a way that once they are ready for the chemistry of photosynthesis, nothing they have learned will need to be relearned. It will be building on knowledge already introduced.

The book goes on to discus the purpose of leaves, stems, and roots. I thought the explanations and illustrations were again age appropriate and designed to engage and entertain. While there are practical examples, there are also some very wild looking roots introduced as well.

Yogi goes on to discuss seeds and how they are spread, as well as other forms of plant reproduction. I was impressed with this section. Often in books written for younger readers you see the basic seeds discussed and the topic is left there. However, this discussed a wide range and scope of how plants reproduce. The book begins with bean seeds, continues with fruits, but then continues to conifers, ferns, moss, then flowering plants and trees. Clearly each is addressed at a basic level, but it does open the topic for further exploration and discussion.

While I've enjoyed all the books in the Yogi series, I will say this is my favorite that I've reviewed to date. I'm hoping more will be written and that they will eventually be published in something other than library binding, so I can put them on my Christmas list for my younger family members.

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