This book is a charming example of how to teach science to children with stories, pictures, and hands-on activities rather than textbooks.
I know mushrooms are fungi, but I’ve never done much mushroom study, so they really are rather mysterious to me. One thing I appreciate about books like this is that they provide enough information for young children, for now. But there is also enough to send curious students, children or adults, on learning quests.
One of the most basic themes is that it’s all about food. Green plants make their own food from air, nutrients in the soil, water, and sunlight. Humans and animals get nourishment from the plants. But mushrooms, though they are plants, can’t make their own food, so they also depend on green plants for their survival. In turn, mushrooms do an important job.
That may be enough for young observers to know, but when children are ready, they can go on to understand more about mushroom gills, how they spread with spores, and terms such as mycelium, and annulus.
Of course, you would expect pictures of mushrooms, which are quite interesting in themselves. But many of the illustrations are wordless lessons on nature and habitat.
Though this is science simply told, it is definitely a “Read to Me” book for your youngest readers. You can learn the English names for mushrooms, such as black earth tongues, and skip over the scientific names. Or have fun together learning the Latin terms, like glutinoglossum glutinosum.
I found the information on how the mushrooms we find in grocery stores are grown very interesting. Perhaps you will find a mushroom farm near you.
“When you think about plants, remember that besides green plants, there is the remarkable group of fungi.”
This book is available at Purple House Press.
You can find out more about this book at Biblioguides.com.