Friday, June 7, 2013

Nature's Patchwork Quilt

Nature's Patchwork Quilt
Understanding Habitats
by Mary Miche; illus by Consie Powell
32 pages, ages 4-10
Dawn Publications, 2012

Look into nature and you will see a patchwork of beauty and mystery.

topic: ecology and habitats

 Just as a patchwork quilt has many pieces that fit together to make one larger blanket, so nature has many habitats pieced together to create one planet. This book explores key concepts of ecology by looking at different habitats. Mary Miche introduces children to interdependence, niche, and food chains. She shows how animals use camouflage, explains biodiversity and touches on species extinction. Miche devotes a page to the ecologists who clean up rivers, plant trees, write books, study science, make movies and organize others to speak for the plants and animals.

Each two-page spread is a quilt of plants and animals that make up a particular habitat: forest, desert, ocean, prairie. The illustrations are rich with color and detail that invite you to look closer.

what I like: each page is designed like a quilt, with patches of animals and plants that, together, create a whole.  I like that, at the end Miche goes back to the concept of interdependence, pulling readers into the web. It is easy to understand why this book was selected as one of National Science Teachers Association's Outstanding Science Trade Book.

beyond the book:

Create your own nature quilt with photos snipped from wildlife magazines and old National Geographics.

Go out on a "nature quilt" walk and look for animals and plants that live in your habitat. How do they fit together into the larger pattern?

There are tons of activities in the back of the book; some are downloadable at Dawn Publication's website (scroll down to find the book). This post is part of STEM Friday round-up. It's also part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copy provided by publisher.


  1. Oh-, this reminds me of my grandma. She made us all quilts and could tell you about each square of fabric - what it used to be - whose dress or shirt it was....and when you took a walk with her, you learned about the flowers like lady slippers and the little crayfish in the stream. I will look for this book. Thanks, Sue.

  2. I'd love to show this to my quilt-making nature-loving neighbor - thanks!

  3. It is so refreshing to see an author break down a complex subject in a way that is perfect for picture book format. I look forward to examining this one further. Yay nonfiction!

  4. I love books about quilts, but this one sounds very special since it tells the story about nature. What a beautiful selection. I want to read this book!

  5. Sue...this is a wonderful that even very young children will enjoy and parents will probably never get tired of reading. Thanks for sharing it for Perfect Picture Book Friday. Yet another book I must try to get. :)

  6. Great choice, Sue! I think that even very young children will enjoy looking and listening...and it is a book that parents won't get tired of reading. :)

  7. What a great concept! Looks like a lovely book. Thanks for sharing!