Not all books are flexible enough to work with a variety of ages, but North Carolina’s Amazing Coast: Natural Wonders from Alligators to Zoeas by David Bryant, George Davidson, Terri Kirby Hathaway, and Kathleen Angione, and illustrated by Charlotte Ingram definitely fills the bill.
This book came about to accompany an elementary curriculum from the Center of Ocean Studies Educational-Excellence Southeast, so it was conceived with children in mind. Inside are 100 single-page discourses that explore the flora and fauna of the beaches, marshes, and ocean along the North Carolina coast. Each page consists on an illustration of the organism (or habitat in a few cases) and a few paragraphs of interesting facts. The organisms are listed in alphabetical order by common name, ranging from alligators and avocets, to yaupon holly and zoeas. Did you know there are red wolves in North Carolina? Don’t worry, they are very shy.
Although it is designed for children, the text isn’t oversimplified. In fact, it contains subtle humor with clever tidbits that draw the adult reader in, such as that the “current chief predator” of the diamondback terrapin is “the automobile.”
Illustrator Charlotte Ingram’s former career as a graphic designer is evident on every page, from the tastefully decorative fonts to the clean, crisp full-color illustrations. Each organism is displayed against a simple graphic of the North Carolina coast.
North Carolina’s Amazing Coast is a must have for those headed to the beaches of North Carolina. It would also make a wonderful gift for anyone wanting to learn more about beaches and nature.
For more information and links to a plethora of lessons related to marine environments and coasts, check Growing With Science.
It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
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