Nicole Says…Read These Books to Your Kids

By Nicole McManus

Growing up, I was obsessed with books, animals and learning. I made my own animal notebooks to  keep track of everything I learned. These books would have definitely been must-reads for me, and summer is a great time for families to reconnect with nature!

The Swamp Where Gator Hides by Marianne Berkes Illustrated by: Roberta Baird

Readers will see all the creatures that live near the swamp with the gator. Using lots of repetition and rhyming, the story and incredible pictures will delight young children. The fur and scales look incredibly lifelike, while the story is a fun twist on the classic The House that Jack Built poem. I thoroughly enjoy books by Marianne Berkes, Seashells by the Seashore and Over in a River are other must-read titles. This book includes further activities and online projects that bring the story to life.

Carolina’s Story: Sea Turtles get Sick Too! by Donna Rathmell Photography by: Barbara J. Bergwerf 

This is the true story of Carolina, a sick turtle who was rescued and rehabilitated. This book does a good job at describing doctors, medicine and blood draws as being helpful, not scary. The photographs are amazing and you feel like you are in the Sea Turtle Hospital with Carolina. This is a great way to learn about the hospital and the excellent work they do to rehabilitate as many sea turtles as possible. The book includes a fun project where kids can make their own turtle, as well as access to a lot more activities online.

Flash and Fancy More Otter Adventures on the Waccamaw River: A Dolphin Rescue (Flash and Fancy #3) by: Christine Doran Illustrated by Nancy Van Buren

Flash and Fancy are two otters who love sliding in the mud on the bank of the Waccamaw River. One morning, they hear cries for help from a stranded young dolphin. In order to help the dolphin reunite with family, Flash and Fancy might need an assist from humans. Will they be able to save the dolphin? This cute story is accompanied by adorable illustrations. This series is a fun way to share the local Waccamaw River with young readers all over the country. The third in the series focuses on ways to keep the waterways clean, and how humans play a big role in protecting wildlife. The otters bring focus on the local organization, while teaching adults and children how to properly help if they come across a stranded animal. There are big adjectives that will expand a child’s vocabulary, but this is a story to be enjoyed by all.

What is a Whale? (The Science of Living Things series) by: Bobbie Kalinan and Heather Levigne

The authors relate several different details of what makes a whale a whale. They break it down into different types and use drawings or real life photographs to demonstrate the articles. Included in the book are personal stories and the need to protect our oceans, as well as a glossary for bolded vocabulary words. This scientific book is chocked full of so many facts that even grown-ups will learn something! Children who dream of being Marine Biologists or Oceanographers, or those who love all whales will want to have this book in their library.

About this writer

  • Nicole McManus

    Nicole McManus loves to read, to the point that she is sure she was born with a book in her hands. She writes book reviews in the hopes of helping others find the magic found through reading. Contact her at

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