Written by Micha Archer
Not in Allegheny County? Find your PA county library here.
This simple invitation to wander and contemplate the world around us opens Wonder Walkers, a gorgeously illustrated meditation on curiosity and creativity. Receiving a Caldecott Honor in 2022, this book follows two young children who use their senses and imaginations to connect with nature and one another.
Young children have so many “whys” about nature, and it’s important to expose them to developmentally appropriate and accurate scientific concepts. However, anthropomorphizing, for example imagining a tree having human-like characteristics, can also foster biophilia—a sense of belonging with and affinity for nature—which is a vital mindset for learning to value the natural world.
For this reason, it’s great to combine fiction books like Wonder Walkers and with non-fiction nature books, such as Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World by Julia Rothman. Check them out together at your local library!
Watch a bi-lingual read-aloud of Wonder Walkers in English and Spanish:
Reviewed by Danielle Forchette, Education Coordinator
Danielle Forchette has been the Education Coordinator with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy since 2018. In this role, she fosters partnerships with schools and education programs to support engaging youth in nature. Growing up in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, she has been enjoying the nature beauty and outdoor adventures in western PA since moving to Pittsburgh from Chicago.
The Allegheny County Nature Explorers program is a collaboration among Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA), Allegheny Land Trust and Allegheny County Parks. Available in many different themes, Nature Backpacks includes kid-friendly tools that support observation, such as hand lenses and binoculars, as well as a guide with activity suggestions and literacy connections, such as journaling prompts and book list. Nature backpacks are available through the Allegheny County Library system and searchable through the online Library Catalog– search for “nature backpack” to see all of the available themes.
Toms Run Nature Reserve StoryWalk: Wonder Walkers by Micha Archer