Book Review: Orbiting the Sun in Our Backyard – Secrets of the Seasons

orbiting the sun in our backyard

I stumbled upon this neat book at my local library this past weekend, and couldn’t resist checking it out as it has to do with learning science concepts in the backyard, which, of course, is right up my alley! Orbiting the Sun in Our Backyard: Secrets of the Seasons by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld and illustrated by Priscilla Lamont is an engaging story about two friends, Alice and Zack, who are curious about the changes happening in their backyard through the seasons. The story follows the friends as the seasons change, sharing their observations along the way. Science concepts are then explained by two chickens, which are seen on the first page roaming the garden below the friends’ treehouse, where the first observation about the timing of the setting sun is shared. The book is informative; it is filled with simply explained scientific facts about why there are seasons what happens to different animals at the different times of year. As is described on the book jacket: Over the course of a year, they see all kinds of changes in their backyards: falling leaves and migrating birds in autumn; drifts of snow and animal tracks in winter; sprouting crocuses and peeping frogs in spring; and hot days and flashing fireflies in summer. The illustrations are whimsical, with funny dialogue between the different characters (both people and animals). Additionally, the illustrations offer a great visual to the science concepts shared in the story. I would highly recommend this book for exploring the concept of seasons with elementary aged students. The story provides great inspiration for making observations in your own backyard, and offers the possibility of comparing one’s own observations to those described in the book. A fun activity that could be done both at home and in the classroom. I’m looking forward to finding the other “in our backyard” book written by this same author entitled Food Chains and the Food Web in Our Backyard: Secrets of the Garden.


2 thoughts on “Book Review: Orbiting the Sun in Our Backyard – Secrets of the Seasons

  1. Happy Earth Day 2015! We read the book ~ it was cute and straightforward. I wasn’t expecting Alice & Zack to be chickens. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s