Daylight Starlight Wildlife, by Wendell Minor; Nancy Paulsen Books, $17.99, ages 3-6.
Summer is the perfect time to get children acquainted with nature, so be sure to bring this book along on your journeys. Wendell Minor has spent a lifetime painting the great outdoors, and his art has graced the covers of work by Jean Craighead George, Jack London, Alice Shertle, and David McCullough. Here, his vibrant gouache and watercolor portraits of various common critters introduce young readers to the variety of fauna that surround us. In addition to learning about animal behavior, adults may pick up a new word too – crepuscular, which refers to those animals most active at twilight. (Bats, frogs, rabbits and snails are a few.) A handy resource guide makes this a perfect accompaniment for outdoor adventures.