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The below books are suggestions for ages 3-4 to learn about the changing seasons, why it is important to care for a pet, that the world is full of wonderful animals, and how to find out more by experimenting.
Bear and Bunny, by Daniel Pinkwater. The bear and the bunny are friends who like to wander in the woods, look for things to eat, sing songs, and talk things over. One day, the bunny asks the bear, “Why do we not have some kind of pet?” Well, the bear is not sure what a pet is. So the bunny explains that it’s an animal that you take care of and feed, and one that loves you. But a pinecone is not the right pet for a bear and bunny. And a caterpillar is nice, but it may not be very much fun. After a much-needed nap in the forest, will these two find their perfect pet?
Wishtree, by Katherine Applegate. Touching on religious bigotry and the environment, Applegate keeps the emphasis on her characters, the many animals, and birds who find shelter in the tree’s branches all year round. (All the birds and animals have names and the power to talk, just like Red.) Around the first of May, people write down their wishes on pieces of cloth and hang them from the tree’s branches, giving Red a special place in the community. You might say Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red’s experience as a wishtree is more important than ever. Funny, deep, warm, and nuanced.
Oh Say Can You Seed? All About Flowering Plants, by Bonnie Worth. With the able assistance of Thing 1 and Thing 2–and a fleet of Rube Goldbergian vehicles–the Cat in the Hat examines the various parts of plants, seeds, and flowers; basic photosynthesis and pollination; and seed dispersal. Reviews indicate full of information about the growth, parts, and functions of plants. It’s great for preschoolers who already read well on their own or who are often read to because it is truly a head start on the tools they will be given to learn within school.
They All Saw a Cat, Brendan Wenzel. In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat, and how perspectives shape what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see?
The Snail and the Whale, by Julia Donaldson. When a tiny snail meets a humpback whale, the two travel together to far-off lands. It’s a dream come true for the snail, who has never left home before. But when the whale swims too close to shore, will the snail be able to save her new friend?