Books are a fun and simple way to help kids get thinking about everything from animals and weather to holidays and special trips. So when a trip to the cabin in Yosemite is on the horizon, our favorite books about the park come out in force. Over the years, we’ve accumulated quite a few. Here’s a list of our favorite books for kids about Yosemite:
Baby Yosemite by Katherine Brumage
The only board book to make the list, Baby Yosemite features beautiful color photographs of some of Yosemite’s young creatures. You’ll learn how fawns, owlets, ducklings, cubs, and other baby animals explore the park.
Baby Bear Isn’t Hungry by Michael Elsohn Ross
This is a cute story about a baby black bear who is too mischievous curious to eat. I love it because it so reminds me of The Little Explorer’s spirit of adventure. He enjoys seeing baby bear play in the mud, swing from trees, discover insects and wander through the forest. What toddler or preschooler wouldn’t?
Two Bear Cubs by Robert D. San Souci
The Big Explorer is completely taken in by this retelling of the Southern Sierra Miwok legend of the mountain El Capitan and how it came to be. The story features characters based on real Sierra animals, and shares the lesson that being a hero has very little to do with one’s size. I appreciate that both he and The Little Explorer are beginning to learn a little about some of Yosemite’s original inhabitants: the Miwok people.
Little Ty Cooney and the Big Yosemite Race by Stephan Riley
This fun, rhyming story takes you on adventures through the wild lands of Yosemite with a band of animals competing in their annual big race. Underdog raccoon Ty Cooney isn’t expected to win, but proves hard work and believing in yourself can make a difference – a message I can get behind!
Redwoods by Jason Chin
Although this book isn’t specifically about Yosemite National Park, it features one of my favorite parts of the park: The amazing redwood trees. The book blends gorgeous watercolor illustrations with a fantastical journey of a boy into the redwoods. During his journey, we learn a ton of great information about these majestic trees – all of it in an easily digestible format. The Little Explorer loves the pictures; The Big Explorer and I the fantastic facts about our favorite trees.
Camping With the President by Ginger Wadsworth
This book tells of the famous 1903 camping adventure of naturalist John Muir and President Theodore Roosevelt in Yosemite. For three glorious nights and four days, the two men talked about birds, giant sequoia trees and glaciers, as well as the importance of preserving wilderness for future generations.
Setting aside new national parks and monuments became one of the cornerstones of Roosevelt’s presidency and was a direct result of this camping trip. I love that it’s written simply enough so even The Big Explorer can sense just how important and special a place Yosemite truly is.
Three more titles worth mention include Ranger Baldy and the Disappearing Waterfall: A Yosemite National Park Adventure (which we reviewed here), Who Pooped in the Park? by Gary D. Robson and Harrowing Ascent of Half Dome by Mike Graf. We haven’t had a chance to read the last two yet, but both look worth a read.
Do you have a favorite children’s book about one of the national parks?