Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gear Up for Montana: Picture This

Hey Chico Trip Parents! It's a little over a month until we convene on Chico Hot Springs and what better way to get the kids excited for Montana than reading about it! (I'm serious, reading is fun!) These books aren't required reading, of course, but if your library has them you might just learn a little about the land we will be exploring this summer. Most of them aren't fact-books, but stories that use Montana and Yellowstone as a backdrop, so they should provide entertainment as well as learning. We have compiled a few different lists for different reading levels, including one for adults that we will release in the coming weeks. This first list is full of picture books for kids who don't read yet or are just learning. Please let us know if you have any suggestions or comments about this, or subsequent reading lists. 

B is for Big Sky Country: A Montana Alphabet by Sneed B. Collard
This is an educational book about Montana told in pictures while also teaching the alphabet. It has in detail explanations of each fact for older kids that may want to sit in, or help read. "In B is for Big Sky Country readers will find out where the Going-to-the-Sun Road really takes you and what city the copper capitol dome calls home."

Erick's Hungry Winter by Lois L. Sando
"A beautifully illustrated, tenderly told story about a young elk and his family foraging for food during a snowy winter in the Rocky Mountains. While searching for his dinner, little Erick Elk meets five new animal friends and discovers how they survive the worst of winter and in the process learns about patience, compassion and when to give and take a helping hand." 

The Cowboy ABC by Chris Demarest 
An alphabet picture book about cowboy life on the range that teaches letters, landscapes and prairie vocabulary using watercolor illustrations. 

Cowboy Country by Ann Herbert Scott 
"A genial old-time buckaroo takes a boy who's never met a real cowboy before' to his ranch, saddles him a pinto, and takes him out on the range overnight, sharing his know-how and showing him the landscape." 

How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague
"Wallace Bleff, who is reporting to his class about his summer vacation, tells of his travels over summer vacation. He relates how en route to his Aunt Fern's house, he is kidnapped by cowboys, he then joins the rawhide crowd; learns to rope, ride, and build fires; and becomes a "first-rate cowhand." In celebration of the end of the roundup, Aunt Fern invites Wallace and new friends to a barbecue. When a cattle stampede nearly ruins the party, the young hero saves the day."

First Dog: Unleashed in the Montana Capitol by Jessica Solberg
A little history, a few lessons on government, and a whole lot of tail wagging, barking, and squirrel chasing accompany Jag, Gov. Brian Schweitzer's border collie, as he makes himself at home in the state capitol.

Torosaurus and Other Dinosaurs of the Badlands Digs in Montana
"Boneheaded, duck-billed, and armored, what a display of dinosaur types! These animals lived in forests that are now the dry plains of Montana. Dig up facts about how these animals lived in prehistoric times."

M is for Montana (ABC Series) by Gayle C. Shirley 
"In this full-color book, each illustration portrays several elements indigenous to Montana that begin with the accompanying letter. 'A is for antelope. Keen eyes alert the antelope to danger far away. Amazing speed helps him escape from animals that prey.'"

Big Sky Or Bust!

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