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Nature Recycles--How About You? by Michelle Lord (Review)

Nature Recycles—How About You?

Written by: Michelle Lord

Illustrated by: Cathy Morrison

Paperback: 32 pages

Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing (March 5, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1607186276

ISBN-13: 978-1607186274

Nature Recycles—How About You? by Michelle Lord is a very neat book about how different animals in various habitats recycle by using things in nature and adapting them for their various needs. This can include making new homes, nests, hiding places/protection, finding food and water, etc. In many ways, the fascinating facts about these animals can teach the reader about the importance of recycling and inspire them to find ways to recycle as well.

When I was young, I remember learning how the hermit crab cannot grow his own shell, so when it gets too small, he will find a sea snail’s shell that is bigger. He also keeps the seashore clean by eating rotting debris. However, I never really considered the fact that the hermit crab recycles—but it’s true! As the author states, “Crab recycles. How about you?”

I think my favorite spread in the book, however features the Carolina wren. “Tea-kettle. Tea-kettle.” She and her mate recycle an old boot in which to build their nest and lay their eggs. But, I also like the pages about how the elf owl claims an old woodpecker hole in a hundred-year-old saguaro cactus in which to make safe home for herself and her three chicks.

Other animal recyclers profiled in Nature Recycles—How About You? include the sea urchin, veined octopus, woodpecker finch, dung beetle, termites, caddisfly (an insect I’d never even heard of), poison dart frog, and the Asian elephant. However, the author also describes how the earth recycles water over and over, and how we can take note and be inspired to recycle too!

Ms. Lord packs a lot of valuable information into a well-written and fun-to-read story. As I stated above, I’d never thought about how animals instinctively recycle different materials and items for food, shelter, water, and protection. In God’s creation, nothing is wasted or extraneous!

The illustrations are lovely and vibrant and add much to the book. That’s one of the reasons I like Sylvan Dell books so much—the pictures (or sometimes photographs) are always well-done and colorful. And I always find lots of detail on every page, which makes the books feel fresh and interesting, no matter how many times they are read and enjoyed.

As always, Sylvan Dell includes educational extras at the end of the book. In Nature Recycles—How About You? there is a section on why animals recycle, a ‘Where in the World?’ map activity, and a true/false recycling page. Plus, teachers and parents can find more teaching activities and information at:

I just looked at this PDF learning guide, and it’s extremely comprehensive!

Overall, I found Nature Recycles—How About You? to be a perfect book to introduce not only the topic of recycling and taking care of our resources, but a great story that features some pretty fascinating animals. This excellent science resource is definitely well worth a read.

About the Author:

Award-winning author Michelle Lord started writing stories when she was in elementary school. In addition to Nature Recycles for Sylvan Dell, her other books include Tide Pool Trouble, A Song for Cambodia, and the award-winning Little Sap and Monsieur Rodin. Michelle and her family recycle at their home in Texas. Check out her website at

About the Illustrator:

Cathy Morrison may have started her art career in animation but she soon fell in love illustrating children’s books and has been doing so for 20 years. Cathy has illustrated Nature Recycles: How About You?, Three Little Beavers, and Animalogy: Animal Analogies for Sylvan Dell as well as Ignacio’s Chair, and the Young Patriots Series including Alexander Hamilton, Young Statesman;Frederick Douglass, Young Defender of Human Rights; and Juliette Low, Girl Scout Founder. Cathy works from her home in a studio loft overlooking a beautiful view of the Mummy Range, on the northern side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Check out Cathy’s blog at

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