Literature Based Nature Study
I am a huge fan of learning through literature as much as possible which is why I was so excited to discover the Thornton Burgess books. Thornton Burgess was a conservationist and children’s author who lived from the late 1800’s to the mid 1900’s. His many tales, that include characters such as Sammy Jay, Reddy Fox, Hooty Owl, and Lightfoot the Deer, are replete with facts about the secret lives of animals within their habitats. Told in delightful and classic language, these stories will inspire your children to see and understand nature and her many inhabitants with new eyes. Not only that, they are also a perfect way to keep nature study going when the weather keeps you indoors.
These books make for wonderful read alouds and can be enjoyed by children of all ages. Be prepared though- much discussion will be inspired by these books, and you may find that soon after beginning one, your children have named every animal that visits your yard and local wildlife. My children have named the three crows that visit our yard to steal food from our chickens, the many squirrels that pilfer our oaks (so adorably), our neighborhood deer, as well as the owl we saw on our walk.
To get you started, I have featured some of Thornton Burgess’s titles below, but I want to let you know that there are literally hundreds of titles. Feel free to sift through and select books about animals your children might come across in your neighborhood and local wildlife. Enjoy!