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The Four Seasons Samplers

In this thematic look at the seasons, we provide books on a variety of seasonal topics.

The “Winter Sampler” makes a brief stop in the frozen worlds of the Arctic and Antarctica, and touches upon penguins, polar bears, and other animals of winter. Additional categories include “Let it Snow” and “Winter is Here.”

The “Spring Sampler” is blooming with books on gardens and trees and also offers plentiful suggestions for books about frogs, rabbits, butterflies, birds, ponds, and March weather.

The books in our “Summer Sampler” capture the essence of summer and include some that offer art and nature activities for those days when you’re searching for something to do. Books about ice cream and seaside adventures are some “cool” reads for those hot summer days.

Celebrate falling leaves, the harvest, farm life, and animals in autumn in our “Fall Sampler.” Books on apples and pumpkins will have you hungering for the real thing.

“Seasons and the Calendar”

A Year Goes Round: Poems for the Months by Karen B. Winnick (Boyds Mill Press, 2001)
Celebrate activities that occur during the twelve months of the year through playful poems and paintings.

Here Comes the Year by Eileen Spinelli (Henry Holt and Co., 2002)
Each month announces itself and lyrically describes a feature or event that captures the spirit of the month.

The Complete Book of the Seasons by Sally Tagholm (Kingfisher, 2000)
Explore the natural cycle of the seasons and the seasonal changes that occur in human activities in this comprehensive volume.

The Year with Grandma Moses by W. Nikola-Lisa (Henry Holt and Co., 2002)
“Meet” famed artist, Grandma Moses, through her paintings and memoirs as she shares recollections of the changing seasons near her home.


“Winter is Here!”

A Cold Snap! by Audrey B. Baird (Boyds Mill Press, 2002)
Welcome the changing season with these delightful “frosty” poems that focus on the weather of late fall and winter.

Iguanas in the Snow by Francisco X. Alarcon (Children’s Book Press, 2001)
This bilingual collection of poems captures the experiences of a group of children as they explore the city of San Francisco and the mountains of Northern California during winter.

It’s Winter by Linda Glaser (Millbrook Press, 2002)
Venture outdoors with a young child as she explores her environment and observes the changes in nature during winter.

Sky Sisters by Jan Bourdeau Waboose (Kids Can Press, 2000)
Join two Ojibway sisters as they journey to the top of Coyote Hill on a cold night to view the awesome majesty of the northern lights, the Aurora Borealis.

When Winter Comes by Nancy Van Laan (Atheneum Books, 2000)
Explore what happens to fish, flowers and other living things when snow falls and ponds freeze.

Winter: An Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur (Clarion Books, 2002)
Welcome the sights and sounds of winter with this visual and lyrical sampler that showcases many of the season’s delights.

Winter Eyes by Douglas Florian (Greenwillow, 1999)
Enjoy this collection of winter poems that celebrates the season and invites you to use your senses to experience all that winter has to offer.

Winter Shoes for Shadow Horse by Linda Oatman High (Boyds Mill Press, 2001)
Share the adventures of a young boy as he helps his father prepare a horse for winter by making “winter shoes” in their blacksmith shop.

“Let it Snow”

Blizzard by Carole Gerber (Charlesbridge, 2001)
Experience the contrast of a swirling blizzard outdoors with the warm, cozy environment indoors as related by a young boy.

My Brother Loved Snowflakes: The Story of Wilson A. Bentley, the Snowflake Man by Mary Bahr (Boyds Mill Press, 2002)
Learn about Wilson Bentley, the Vermont farmer and self-taught scientist, who spent his life photographing snowflakes and exploring the natural world on his farm.

Snow Comes to the Farm by Nathaniel Tripp (Candlewick Press, 2001)
Join two brothers as they anxiously await the first snowfall of the season and then observe the changes snow brings to their farm.

Snowboards from Start to Finish by Tanya Lee Stone (Blackbirch Press, 2000)
Learn about the history of snowboarding, how snowboards are manufactured and meet a few of the many snowboard riders of today.

“Frozen Worlds: The Arctic and Antarctica”

Hello, Arctic! by Theodore Taylor (Harcourt, 2002)
Lyrical text and stunning illustrations portray several arctic animals as they experience the changing seasons in the tundra.

The Antarctic by Cheryl Hook (Chelsea House, 2002)
Learn about the land and animals that inhabit the vast frozen world of the Antarctic and environmental concerns that threaten the 5th largest continent.
Under the Ice by Kathy Conlan (Kids Can Press, 2002)
Dive into the world of a marine biologist as she shares her explorations scuba diving under the ice in the Arctic and Antarctic.

“Penguins, Polar Bears and Animal in Winter”

Growing up Wild: Penguins by Sandra Markle (Atheneum Books, 2002)
Full color photographs portray the life of Adelie penguins in Antarctica, one of the coldest places on earth.

Penguin Chick by Betty Tatham (HarperCollins, 2002)
This “Let’s Read and Find Out” book invites you to learn about the life cycle, behavior and survival techniques of emperor penguins.

Polar Bears by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent (Carolrhoda, 2000)
Learn about the life cycle, family life and physical characteristics of the polar bear, the largest land animal in the northern tundra.

Polar Bears by Gail Gibbons (Holiday House, 2001)
Explore the world of the most magnificent and feared animal in the Arctic and how it survives in the harsh, frozen habitat.

Winter Moon by Jean Craighead George (HarperCollins, 2001)
Four of the original Thirteen Moons books, Moon of the Winter Bird, Moon of the Moles, Moon of the Owls, and Moon of the Bears, are combined in one volume. Each story details the life cycle, characteristics and behavior of the animal during the winter season.

“Wooly Mammoths and the Ice Age”

Ice Age: Mammoth by Barbara Hehner (Crown Publishers, 2001)
This information-packed book presents what is known about these Ice Age animals and explores what scientists may learn from the discovery of the frozen Jarkov Mammoth in Siberia in 1997.

Mammoth by Patrick O’Brien (Henry Holt and Co., 2002)
Learn about the natural history of mammoths including information about their physical characteristics, behaviors and habitats.

When Mammoths Walked the Earth by Caroline Arnold (Clarion Books, 2002)
Explore what scientists have learned about mammoths, ancestors of elephants, through the discovery and investigation of fossils, preserved in frozen lands for more than 10,000 years.


“Spring: A Springtime Assortment of Animals”

Animal Lives: The Rabbit by Sally Tagholm (Kingfisher, 2000)
Follow a group of wild rabbits and learn about their life cycle, behavior, physical characteristics, diet and survival techniques. (K-3)

Spring Moon by Jean Craighead George (HarperTrophy, 2002)
This volume features the stories of salamanders, chickarees, and monarch butterflies during the spring season. (A compilation of three of the original “Thirteen Moons” books.) (3-6)

Spring Song by Barbara Seuling (Gulliver Books/Harcourt, 2001)
Look closely as animals emerge from their winter slumber and nature bursts forth, announcing the arrival of spring. (K-3)


Birds Build Nests by Yvonne Winer (Charlesbridge, 2001)
A lyrical introduction to how, when, where and why birds build nests. (K-3)

Counting is for the Birds by Frank Mazzolo, Jr. (Charlesbridge, 1997)
This colorful counting book takes you to one backyard birdfeeder so that you can witness the variety of birds that stop to feast. (K-3)

Songbirds: The Language of Song by Sylvia A. Johnson (Carolrhoda Books, 2001)
Enter the world of songbirds and learn about why birds sing and what their songs mean. (3-6)


Butterflies Fly by Yvonne Winer (Charlesbridge, 2000)
Lyrical verse and captivating illustrations highlight this story of butterflies in flight. (K-6)

Magnificent Monarchs by Linda Glaser (Millbrook Press, 2000)
Follow a monarch butterfly through her life cycle and migration to Mexico. (K-3)


Fabulous Frogs by Linda Glaser (Millbrook Press, 1999)
Engaging text and attractive illustrations explore the life cycle and characteristics of frogs. (K-3)

Growing Frogs by Vivian French (Candlewick Press, 2000)
Share in the adventure of a young girl and her mother as they observe the life cycle of frogs. (K-3)


A Gardener’s Alphabet by Mary Azarian (Houghton Mifflin, 2000)
Full-color woodcuts illustrate this A to Z look at the world of gardening. (K-3)

Down to Earth by Michael J. Rosen (Harcourt Brace, 1998)
A remarkable collection of stories and poems by different children’s authors and illustrators sharing favorite gardening memories. Gardening activities included. (3-6)

Garden by Robert Maass (Henry Holt, 1998)
Learn about planning, planting, and tending a garden throughout a year. Beautiful photographs. (K-3)

My Backyard Garden by Carol Lerner (William Morrow/HarperCollins, 1998)
Explore the process of gardening month-by-month through the growing season. (3-6)

One Small Garden by Barbara Nichol (Tundra Books, 2001)
Inside a city garden, learn the stories and secrets only gardens can tell. (3-6)

“March Weather”

It Happens in the Month of March by Ellen Jackson (Charlesbridge, 2002)
A collage of information, folklore and stories about the month of March in the Northern Hemisphere. (K-3)

On the Same Day in March: A Tour of the World’s Weather by Marilyn Singer (HarperCollins, 2000)
Travel around the world and sample the diversity of the world’s weather on a single day in the month of March. (K-6)

“Springtime Observations”

I Took a Walk by Henry Cole (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, 1998)
Enjoy a spring walk with Henry as he observes nature in the woods, a meadow, a stream and a pond. (K-3)

Pond Watching with Ann Morgan by Michael Elsohn Ross (Carolrhoda Books, 2000)
Part biography, part field guide, and part natural history book, learn about Ann Morgan and her pond studies. (3-6)


At Grandpa’s Sugar Bush by Margaret Carney (Kids Can Press, 1998)
A grandfather and his grandchild observe the signs of spring as they collect sap and make maple syrup on their family farm. (K-3)

Oak Tree by Gordon Morrison (Houghton Mifflin, 2000)
The story of an old oak tree and its inhabitants throughout the seasons of a year. (3-6)


“Welcome to Summer”

Summer: An Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur (Clarion Books, 2001)
A delightful visual and lyrical journey to introduce the sights and sounds of the summer season.

June by Ellen Jackson (Charlesbridge, 2002) Also July and August.
Each book in the “It Happens in the Month of” series features events, information and stories about a particular month. June, July and August detail fact and folklore about the summer months.

“Summer Art and Nature Activities”

Backyard Science by Chris Maynard (DK Publishing, 2001)
Discover the science in your own backyard. Project ideas include soil and plant explorations, bird watching, and weather investigations.

Berry Smudges and Leaf Prints: Finding and Making Colors from Nature by Ellen B. Senisi (Dutton Books, 2001)
An exploration of colors found in nature and an invitation to create art projects using colors made by plants and other natural resources.

National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Shells by Brian Cassie (Scholastic, 2000)
This detailed field guide invites young beach explorers to identify their shell treasures.

Nature Art with Chiura Obata by Michael Elsohn Ross (Carolrhoda, 2000)
Part biography, part activity book, this text details the life and work of nature artist Chiura Obata and provides tips on how to create your own nature art.

Pop! A Book About Bubbles by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (HarperCollins, 2001)
Have you ever wondered how bubbles are made and why they pop? Learn all about bubbles and conduct some bubble experiments of your own.

“Ice Cream: A Favorite Summer Treat”

Ice Cream by Jules Older (Charlesbridge, 2002)
Just about everything you’ve ever wondered about one of summer’s favorite treats is explored in this humorous information book.

Ice Cream Treats: The Inside Scoop by Paul Fleisher (Carolrhoda, 2001)
To further whet your appetite, visit a factory and learn about how one particular ice cream treat is manufactured.

“Summer Explorations”

The Birdwatchers by Simon James (Candlewick Press, 2002)
Join a young girl as she embarks on her first bird watching adventure with her grandfather.

Henry Hikes to Fitchburg by D.B. Johnson (Houghton Mifflin, 2000)
Inspired by the life and writing of Henry David Thoreau, join Henry and his friend as they choose decidedly different paths for their journey to Fitchburg.

A Quiet Place by Douglas Wood (Simon & Schuster, 2002)
Have you ever found the perfect “quiet place” to collect your thoughts and let your imagination soar? This book describes a few special places that you might want to explore.

Sun Dance Water Dance by Jonathan London (Dutton Books, 2001)
Celebrate a day of summer fun with a group of children as they play near and swim in a river.

The Waterfall’s Gift by Joanne Ryder (Sierra Club, 2001)
Vivid illustrations complement the lyrical story of a young girl’s exploration of nature in the woods near her grandmother’s home.

When We Go Camping by Margriet Ruurs (Tundra Books, 2001)
Join two young campers as they explore and enjoy the natural world around them.

Where the Big Fish Are by Jonathan London (Candlewick Press, 2001)
Not even a summer hurricane can prevent two young boys from building a raft to use for fishing for “big fish” in the river.

White Water by Jonathan and Aaron London (Viking, 2001)
A father and son experience the thrill and navigation skills needed on a white water adventure.

“Seaside Adventures”

Crab Moon by Ruth Horowitz (Candlewick Press, 2000)
Share Daniel’s experiences as he watches horseshoe crabs come ashore one night to lay their eggs on the beach.

Have You Been to the Beach Lately? By Ralph Fletcher (Orchard Books, 2001)
Ralph Fletcher’s collection of poems for older readers capture the reflections of many beach experiences.

Hello Ocean by Pam Munoz Ryan (Charlesbridge, 2001)
The wonders of the ocean are explored through the five senses of a little girl.

Seashells by the Seashore by Marianne Berkes (Dawn Publications, 2002)
A group of friends collect seashells from one to twelve in this rhyming text.

A Seaside Alphabet by Donna Grassby (Tundra Books, 2000)
An alliterative text complements detailed visual puzzles that invite readers to experience the coastal scenes of Nova Scotia.

Wet Pebbles Under Our Feet by Manya Stojic (Alfred A. Knopf, 2002)
A young girl makes her first visit to the island home of her mother where she too enjoys the pebbly island shore.


“Fall Fling”

Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur (Clarion Books, 1997)
Welcome the sights and sounds of autumn with this visual and lyrical sampler that showcases many of the season’s delights.

The Autumn Equinox: Celebrating the Harvest by Ellen Jackson (Millbrook Press, 2000)
Explore the seasonal changes of autumn and learn about both past and present day harvest festivals celebrated around the world.

In November by Cynthia Rylant (Harcourt, 2000)
Experience a sampling of the events of late autumn as animals and people prepare for the coming winter.

It’s Fall by Linda Glaser (Millbrook Press, 2001)
Observe the changes in nature through the eyes of a child as he explores his environment. Suggestions for Fall nature activities are included in the text.

Peepers by Eve Bunting (Harcourt, 2001)
Join Jim and Andy on an Autumn sightseeing tour as they gain a new appreciation for the beauty of the changing season.

“Autumn Leaves and Trees”

Are Trees Alive? by Debbie S. Miller (Walker & Company, 2002)
Investigate how parts of a tree and parts of the human body are alike as you learn about common trees found around the world.

Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins (Scholastic, 1998)
This book presents thirteen different leaves as they appear during the fall season. Colorful photographs and text provide readers with identifying features of each leaf.

Fall Leaves Fall! by Zoe Hall (Scholastic, 2000)
As the leaves start to change color, two young explorers embark on an adventure to catch, collect, rake, and stomp on the leaves as they fall from the trees.

Leaf by Leaf: Autumn Poems selected by Barbara Rogasky (Scholastic, 2001)
Twenty-five poems, set against stunning full-page photographs, convey the splendor and sensations of autumn. Selections include works by Robert Browning, Edgar Allan Poe, and Helen Hunt Jackson.

National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Trees by Brian Cassie (Scholastic, 1999)
This pocket size guide is packed with colorful illustrations and detailed descriptions that help young naturalists identify trees throughout the seasons.

“Celebrating Farm Life and the Harvest”

Farm Year by Monika Popp (Groundwood Books, 2002)
Learn about farm life as you read about the adventures of a young boy and a cow through the seasons of a year.

Farmer’s Market: Families Working Together by Marcie R. Rendon & Cheryl Walsh Bellville (Carolrhoda Books, 2001)
Visit a farmer’s market in Minnesota and meet two families up-close to learn about the work involved in bringing the harvest to market.

Harvest by George Ancona (Marshall Cavendish, 2001)
Travel with migrant farm laborers from May to November to gain insight into their experiences working the strawberry harvest in the Salinas Valley of California.

Harvest Home by Jane Yolen (Harcourt, 2002)
Vibrant illustrations complement the lyrical story of a farm family as they continue the timeless tradition of working together to bring in the harvest.

“A Sampling of Fall Crops”

Apples by Gail Gibbons (Holiday House, 2000)
Learn about the history of apples, how they grow, the different varieties available and the many ways apples are enjoyed.

Four Seasons of Corn: A Winnebago Tradition by Sally M. Hunter (Lerner, 1997)
Experience the traditions of the corn harvest through the eyes of a young Native American boy. Vivid photographs enhance the narrative text.

Johnny Appleseed by Rosemary and Stephen Vincent Benet (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2001)
Rich and detailed illustrations capture the essence of this traditional poem, written as a tribute to the American pioneer, John Chapman.

The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons (Holiday House, 1999)
Learn about the many varieties and growth cycle of pumpkins as well as the traditions and history associated with this favorite fall fruit.

Pumpkin Circle by George Levenson (Tricycle Press, 1999)
Vivid photographs and poetic text are woven together to share the life cycle of a pumpkin, from teardrop seed to a full-grown pumpkin and then back to seed.

Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell (Albert Whitman and Company, 2000)
What happens when a young boy’s treasured jack-o-lantern begins to rot? Join Tim as he learns about the life cycle of a pumpkin through the year. Colored pencil drawings complement this gentle text.

Red Are the Apples by Marc Harshman and Cheryl Ryan (Harcourt, 2001)
Take a “color”ful and poetic journey into an autumn garden to delight in nature’s bountiful productions.

“Animals in Autumn”

Autumn Moon: Seasons of the Moon by Jean Craighead George (Harper Trophy, 2001)
Three of the original Thirteen Moons books, Moon of the Deer, Moon of the Alligator, and Moon of the Gray Wolves, are combined in one volume. Each story details the life cycle, characteristics and behavior of the animal during the autumn season.

The Barn Owls by Tony Johnston (Charlesbridge, 2000)
The natural beauty of a family of barn owls and the places where they live are captured with a lyrical text and full-page color illustrations.

The Peregrine’s Journey: A Story of Migration by Madeleine Dunphy (Millbrook Press, 2000)
Learn about peregrine falcons, bird migration and predator-prey relationships as you follow a peregrine falcon on her remarkable migration from Alaska to Argentina.

Song of the Whooping Crane by Eileen Spinelli (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2000)
Watercolor illustrations and a poetic text invite you to experience the flight of the endangered whooping crane as it migrates to its southern habitat.

All materials featured on this site are the property of the Elementary Science Integration Projects (ESIP) and/or their respective authors, and may not be reproduced or distributed in any form, printed or electronic, without express written permission.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 9912078. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.