Portland, OR Children's Library- WikiCommons

We have been blessed to move into a house just a two block walk from the library. It’s become a delightful routine to stop in for an hour several times each week for videos, books, and a chance to expand our horizons. When I knew it was time for me to write about Sea Cows recently, I decided to check what was available on them and their cousins the Manatees.

It was interesting to see most of the titles were in the kids section- my favorite! There were a handful of titles just on Manatees ranging from super basic to one I found fascinating enough to read from cover to cover.

Cover- The Manatee Scientists

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It’s called The Manatee Scientists and I enjoyed it so much I almost made this article just a review of it. Along with photographs that pull you in to the location and conditions of the manatee, you get compelling stories of the people studying them.

What I liked best was the wide focus of the book. It’s easy for an American author to research the animals living in our back yard. There’s plenty of information out there and talking to experts isn’t too daunting. This book went much further.

They opened with an ongoing study of Amazonian Manatees and a guy who’s caring for a group in captivity as well as trying to reintroduce them to the wild. We got to not only find out the animals are considered tasty by many locals, but that such big animals have other predators as well.

One particularly well done feature was adding a touch of drama to the story by having us follow along on a checkup trip searching for some recently released Manatees. It wasn’t until a kind of epilogue after studying the Floridian and African Manatee (did you know there are some over there? Cool!) that we find out what they discovered and their plans to move on to the next step.

Throughout the book we’re brought into close contact not only with the animals being studied, but also the joys and frustrations of the scientists. It was inspiring.

Cover-Frozen Secrets

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On the same trip I borrowed a book called Frozen Secrets Antarctica Revealed. The layout of the book was quite similar, full of photographs so well done it almost made my eyes smart with the chill wind of the place.

This book was longer and covered everything from early expeditions to the drilling of ice cores.

Of course, it had the obligatory mentions of climate change and “millions of years”. But as I often point out, there’s no point trying to pretend this isn’t a common theme in secular science. By the time a child can read at a 6th grade level, they are able to handle the logic behind such beliefs for themselves.

The Work of His Hands Cover

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As I worked on this article, I remembered another book offering a similar experience for the reader. One of my all time favorite books to review here was The Work of His Hands by Astronaut Colonel Jeffrey N. Williams. Having a kindred spirit in the author was extra special, along with his world class photos.

Each book has its own delights.

Just as I try to collect biographies of great Christians I want my kids introduced to, I can’t help thinking books like these will encourage a consideration of the sciences in them. Like being a missionary, field research isn’t all drama and excitement, but it is full of adventure and discovery like few vocations on earth.

We need many young people willing to invest their lives into studying the natural world. How wonderful it would be if a large number of them recognize the Author and Creator of what they study. Like many great scientists past and present have done!

Great are the works of the Lord,
    studied by all who delight in them. Psalm 111:2 ESV

Categories: PeopleReviews

Cheri Fields

I'm a homeschooling blogger and book writer. The gift God has given me for His kingdom is to understand complex stuff (mostly) and share it with others using everyday words. It is a joy to share God's wonders with all kinds of people and especially the next generation!