Newly Published Outdoor-Themed Books for Families + Giveaway

    Oh how we love books in this house! And since the nearest “real” substantial library is over 70 miles away, we are happy to build our own collection. Here’s an assortment of some new ones that have been added to our shelves that we think are good enough to share and encourage you to buy too.

    The Secret Lives of Animals by Stacy Tornio & Ken Keffer

    Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 9.45.07 PMThe Secret Lives of Animals is a new book by authors Ken Keffer and Stacy Tornio. It includes more than 100 animals and 1,001 facts about wild animals in North America. Here’s an excerpt from their large mammals chapter—the moose.

    Moose are the largest members of the deer family, but their gigantic size doesn’t mean they are easy to spot. They often do a great job of hiding themselves in dense willow thickets. Or they might be swimming in ponds, and you won’t see them at all. The next time you’re hiking in moose territory, keep your eyes peeled. Once you finally do spot one, it’ll be well worth the wait. These are one cool animal!

    Teaching Kids about Animals + A Plethora of Fun Animal Facts 


    1. The species called moose in North America (Alces alces) is actually referred to as elk in Europe.
    2. Only bull moose grow antlers, which can be more than 5 feet from tip to tip and weigh more than 40 pounds.
    3. The antlers are broad and flat like the palm of a hand; they have numerous points sticking off of them like fingers.
    4. Moose have a strange flap of skin hanging down below their throats called a dewlap or bell. This might be used to display dominance, or it might help cool moose off in summer. Nobody is entirely sure what function it serves, though.
    5. Sometimes moose will stop eating for a bit in winter and just stay in one spot. This is a survival method, because they’d use more energy searching for food than the energy the food would provide.
    6. Moose are very comfortable in the water. They feed on plants underwater and can remain underwater for 30 seconds or more.
    7. Moose are so adapted to the cold that they sometimes overheat in summer.

    Get more facts about birds, as well as mammals, insects, reptiles, and more in The Secret Lives of Animals by Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer. This book is perfect for kids 4-12 or for any animal lover in your life. Want to win a copy? The authors are giving away a book along with a pair of KEEN shoes. Go here to learn more.


    The Natural World of Winnie-The-Pooh by Kathryn Aalto

    Newly Published Outdoor-Themed Books for Families + GiveawayWinnie-the-Pooh fans, did you know that the stories were based on the real-life Ashdown Forest in England? It’s where Milne moved his family, including his only child, Christopher Robin, in order to give them more time in nature. The stories are truly a testament of a love of nature by Milne and a dedication to being sure his son followed suit in that lifestyle. The book is very detailed and includes color photos of the area and of some drawings from the well-loved stories. I love how there are comparison photos showing what inspired some of the illustrations from Winnie-the-Pooh.

    To be perfectly honest, I have never been a huge fan of Winnie-the-Pooh, but this book and the stories behind the stories definitely have inspired me and made me fall in love with it all. It’s truly a heart-felt love of the outdoors and a way to pass that on down through the generations.

    The book isn’t necessarily a quick read…but the photos do help readers connect and it’s a great history.


    B is for Bicycle by Scott & Jannine Fitzgerald

    Newly Published Outdoor-Themed Books for Families + GiveawayA succesful Kickstarter campaign this past year, this one is for bike-lovers of all ages. Written by the couple that formally owned the infamous local “Fitzgeralds Bicycles” (first out of Jackson, WY and then Victor, ID), these people know their bikes and love to pass on that knowledge. The book is delightfully illustrated with animals riding the bikes (most with helmets) and follows a sing-songy prose that’s catchy for out-loud reading.

    “O is for Outside where we really love to play.

    Breathing in fresh air and exploring is how we like to spend the day!

    P is for the Pedals upon which we push, pounce, and press.

    After first learning how to balance, pedaling is the best!”

    You can find a copy to purchase here. Seriously the best book gift for kids that love to bike.



    The Curious Nature Guide: Explore the Natural Wonders All Around You by Clare Walker Leslie

    Newly Published Outdoor-Themed Books for Families + GiveawayThis book is intended to inspire a love of the outdoors through prompts, questions, facts and beautiful illustrations. It’s the perfect book to keep in your living room by a window, by your bedside for dreaming and planning or available for kids to thumb through. A mix of photography and hand-drawn illustrations, the book is one that we will be taking camping with us next summer. It just makes you want to head outside.

    The following topics are covered in the book in easy-to-read and quick snippets (among many other topics, of course):

    • the moon
    • the stars
    • the changing sky
    • leaves
    • mushrooms
    • weather
    • your own home
    • gardens
    • insects
    • birds
    • trees
    • and so many more…..

    It’s a beautiful gift book and a book you could pick up and read for a couple minutes at a time (which I totally appreciate!)


    The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook by Clare Walker Leslie

    Newly Published Outdoor-Themed Books for Families + GiveawayThis book isn’t actually new – it’s been out since 2010, but is just so incredible that I had to share it. It’s new to me and I can’t wait until my kids are just a tiny bit older to fully appreciate it. Geared towards kids, families AND classrooms, the workbook truly could be gone through over the course of a year just to keep those little naturalist minds fresh. It’s broken up into monthly sections, and like her other book (above), includes hand-drawn illustrations. Since it’s aimed more for kids aged 8-13, I plan to use it in pieces for now and then in conjunction with a nature journal later.

    It’s packed full of great information, is totally doable in small snippets and truly does encourage inquisitive minds. Another great book for homeschools and just fun at home!


    Win a Set of Books!

    We always love to give our favorites away, and this time we have a great package for one of you, thanks to Timber Press! One lucky winner will win a copy of the following:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    A few of these  links are affiliates.  Thank you so much for clicking through them to make your purchases – it helps offset the cost of this blog in a (VERY VERY) small way! You can find my full disclosure here.

    © 2015, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.


      1. I’ve got the Facebook post scheduled for this afternoon:o)

      2. These books all look awesome for nature lovers and biking lovers! I can’t wait to get a hold of these to read with my kiddos!

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