A Kid's Guide to Plants Of The Pacific Northwest

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A middle-grade-friendly introduction to Pacific Northwest flora, with outdoor activities, games and quizzes that make learning about nature fun! Great for families and educators.

Get dirty digging up roots. Crouch down to look closely at a carnivorous sundew dissolving a dragonfly. Munch some lemony-tasting miner’s lettuce. Go on a scavenger hunt for some of nature’s more surprising creations, like the arbutus tree, a sculpture of living copper. Make a soothing plantain salve to treat an itch. Learn which berries you can eat and which to avoid.

Time spent outdoors encourages children’s self-confidence and independence, increases attention span and physical well-being, and fosters care for the environment. With the increasing intrusion of technology into daily life, and the challenges of climate chaos, it has never been more essential for parents and educators to encourage kids to engage with the natural environment. Plants are everywhere, even in urban areas where parks, empty lots and backyards offer the opportunity to learn from and connect to nature.

Drawing on her years of experience as a herbalist and outdoor educator, author Philippa Joly features more than fifty richly illustrated plant profiles, including information on identification and ecology, uses in Coastal Indigenous cultures, and fun activities—all in a way that is accessible and interesting to readers of all ages.


“This is an absolutely delightful book, dedicated to helping children and youth build relationships with the plants in their world. It is a rich compendium of plant portraits and descriptions, personal stories, recipes, games and hands-on activities—like making tea from Yerba Buena or making a root-digging stick of Oceanspray. Philippa’s obvious love of kids, plants and the natural world shines through—and it is catching!”

–Nancy Turner, Professor Emeritus, University of Victoria, and author of Plants of Haida Gwaii and The Earth’s Blanket