Nonfiction Friday: Caves and Caverns

Cooper snatched this book off the shelf during a recent visit to the library’s science section. (We aren’t allowed to leave the library without visiting the science shelves….never ever.) Often the boys grab books that are geared towards older children, and we only end up reading portions of them. Case in point: I currently have a chemistry book called “Tests” at my house. However, “Caves and Caverns” by Gail Gibbons (Harcourt & Brace, 1993) is perfectly appropriate for early elementary students, including five-year-olds.

This book easily captures the imagination of early elementary readers, especially since caves are home to bats and other creepy creatures, like isopods and copepods. Gibbons provides a wonderful explanation of how caves and caverns are formed through erosion. She also discusses key cave features like stalagmites and stalactites, describes animals who live in caves and talks about archeological finds like bone fragments and cave paintings.

Finally, Gibbons supplies an illustrated list of supplies a good caver needs, as well as cave rules and areas with famous caves. After reading the book, I really want to take the boys to Luray Caverns in Virginia, the state I hail from. In the meantime, I think a trip to Santa Barbara to see Chumash Indian paintings may be in our future.

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