I love books as much as I love our national parks. I have a book shelf dedicated to national park books in my office. At each park I visit, 39 of the 59 national parks so far, I always stop by the bookstore to add to my collection for myself and my kids. So I was delighted when I received Martha Day Zschock’s books, Journey Around Our National Parks and Hello, National Parks!.
To celebrate the 2016 National Park Centennial, Zschock created two national parks books for kids, one for babies and toddlers and the other for elementary school-aged kids. The books encourage families to find their park as it explores park sites from across the country.
Journey Around Our National Parks walks school-aged kids from Acadia National Park to Zion National Park as well as 73 other national park sites as kids discover the unique features of these special places. Hello, National Parks! is just for the littlest park visitors, babies and toddlers, with its friendly animal characters and colorful illustrations.
Journey Around Our National Parks
Since 2016 is the year of the national park, the National Park Service wants kids to discover a park that interests them. The best place to start is reading a book.
For the school-aged kids, Journey Around Our National Parks, explores the national park service through the eyes of a child. A non-fiction book packed with facts and engaging illustrations of kids exploring parks with park rangers or their families.
What excited my kids in Journey Around Our National Parks
- Seeing kids exploring the parks with park rangers or their families.
- Remembering the parks that we’ve explored as a family in the illustrations.
- Discovering new parks that we want to visit.
What enchanted me in Journey Around Our National Parks
- I loved the colorful illustrations that represent the best features of popular national park sites.
- The alphabetical organization, using important features and themes of the national park system.
- The iconic animals of the national parks get equal attention.
After a kid-friendly introduction to the National Park Service, Zschock opens her book with a U.S. map detailing all the different types of parks. With monuments, battlefields, seashores and historical parks along with the 59 national parks, kids can see a park in every state and territory.
Starting with an A for adventure in Acadia National Park through to the Zzzz when kids camp out in Zion National Park, Zschock cleverly layers and weaves lots of information for kids. With park sites from memorials to urban escapes, kids learn about different types of national park sites too.
For kids who are new to the national park system, this book offers an excellent introduction. For kids like my own, who have visited most of the national parks, we shared the memories of our national park adventures. And still found parks we need to visit.
Hello, National Parks! for Babies and Toddlers
A baby in our national parks? Yes, especially if baby has older siblings. My baby, now 9, has visited just as many national parks as my older two kids. For the National Park Centennial, baby gets a board book just for little hands.
The easy-to-handle board book, Hello, National Parks! is packed with charming illustrations and rhyming pages. Cuddle with baby and learn about our national parks, just like the older kids. My 9-year-old cuddled as he read Zschock’s book to me.
The littlest kids get an introduction to a bald eagle mother and her eaglet as they wander through familiar sites. Hello, National Parks! walks through the national park experience from stopping at the park’s visitor center to the Junior Ranger program.
Zschock’s thoughtful illustrations has toddlers and babies exploring our national parks and its animal habitats. My son and I named the all animals before turning each page and loved the illustrated checklist of national park animals on the final pages.
Add to your bedtime reading
As both of Zschock’s books draw to close, kids spend the night exploring the wonders of our national parks. Take a hint from Zschock’s books and spend time together enjoying a campfire with your kids or delight in the unlimited possibilities of the night sky.
About the Author:
Martha Day Zschock, a former educator and Mother of two girls, combines her storytelling talents with her artistic ability to craft children’s travel books. Her series of Journey books and Hello books offer kids a virtual field trip with destinations on both coasts, like Boston and San Francisco.
Zschock’s favorite national park site is Cape Cod National Seashore, where her Grandfather’s house now resides within the park boundaries. Many happy memories formed along the shore and this is where Zschock started to write and illustrate children’s books.
Through her research for her national park books, Zschock yearns for the day she can explore the national parks of the west, like Grand Canyon and Yellowstone national parks.
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