How Things Work in the Yard

by Lisa Campbell Ernst


How many questions beginning with “How” or “Why” do you answer each and every day?   Perhaps this book and its companion book, How Things Word in the Home, should be added to your home library.

As a teacher, I’m always looking for non-fiction books that appeal to young children.   I finally found one (make that two)!

Lisa Campbell Ernst writes about backyard items as if they were mechanical objects.   Do you know how an acorn, dirt, or a rock “works”?

She illustrations are simple while being thorough.   So many information books overwhelm the pages with illustrations and words.  The paper-cutout illustrations are pleasing to look at and share with young children.  The information is thorough and combined with whimsical observations.

A page on dandelions not only illustrates the stages in a dandelion’s life, but also compares the parts of an open seed head to parachutes, explains how to make a flower chain and includes a rabbit, eater of dandelion leaves.


How sprinkler

Summer readers will especially enjoy pages about dirt to dig in, hoses to uncoil and sprinklers to dash through, all wonderful things that require little explanation but are that much more fun thus illuminated.

How firefly

I admit – this is one of my favorite pages…

Deni Corbett


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