I must say Prestel‘s upcoming Botanical Illustrations (out March 15) is an absolutely stunning text!
A perfect spring book, Alexander Von Humboldt‘s discoveries of the natural world on put on fine display in this decorative title that can remain the way it is or made into beautiful wall art (perhaps after laminating!!) for your classroom! Put together by Prof. Dr. Otfried Baume, this book won’t disappoint. My little guy and I LOVED going through its pages!
This book is not necessarily a children’s picture book, although it is a picture book, and children will enjoy looking at the beautiful natural world portrayed within the pages. Readers will continue to be impressed with each page turn as they view one beautiful plant after another.
I found this book inspiring! I will be introducing my children’s literature students to awe walks in a few weeks, and I think this is the ultimate culmination of a naturalist’s awe walks. We need more of an appreciation for the beauty around us, and this book will help us all with that.
Here are some teaching ideas for this book.
Invite students to create a similar book with illustrations or paintings of their natural world after taking awe walks of their own. Too often we just walk right past beautiful tress, flowers, or even weeds. Having students slow down and document what is around them can be powerful. This lesson will really fit into a mindfulness curriculum.
Discussing how naturalists of today might document the natural world on social media (e.g., Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, websites) will have help students think about 21st century scientists who use new literacy practices. This will help students think about STEAM concepts.
Ask students to pick an illustration and design a story with that plant featured somewhere within their original story. Ask students to think about where a particular flower might fit into a poem, song, or short story.
I loved looking at the detail in each of the illustrations, and I thought about mood (which can be very challenging to teach!) as I was examining the book! Have students think about the mood of each illustration after focusing on color, line detail, leaf, and flower. Have students explain their ideas and then create their own drawing to create a particular mood.
Hopefully, this book will inspire spring to come – and some creative teaching ideas! Alexander Von Humboldt’s Botanical Illustrations earns five stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️