Ranger Rick’s Travels, National Parks – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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rangerTitle: Ranger Rick’s Travels, National Parks

Author: Stacy Tornio & Ken Keffer

Copyright: National Wildlife Corporation

Publisher: Muddy Boots, 2016

Ages: 7-12

Themes: National parks, conservation, outdoor adventure, wildlife


The National Park system is one of America’s best treasures. Every year millions of people travel through these wild and cherished areas to soak up the beauty, awe, and wonder of nature. While some people go to the parks for adventures like fishing, camping and backpacking others go for peace, solace, and to escape the hectic pace of everyday life.


For 50+ years The National Wildlife Federation has published a magazine called Ranger Rick for kids. Ranger Rick (a raccoon) knows a whole lot about wildlife and the natural world and is a great global ambassador for looking after animal and plant life. Scarlett is a red fox and is Ranger Rick’s best friend. She’s pretty handy in any wildlife situation. These two critters take the readers on an energetic and educational romp through every single park of the United States.

Ranger Rick offers a springboard of information for every park. He gives a quick overview; his top plants and animals to look for; his suggested activities and then some facts that will blow you away. Every single page contains vivid photographs that will send you straight to your favorite cheap flights website to book the next plane to that destination.

The book opens with a colorful double page spread of where the parks are located in each state, then they are all listed regionally and then in alphabetical order. Of course I began at the beginning, Eastern Parks and A, and immediately became excited that I had actually visited the first park in this book last month, ACADIA, in Maine. I wish I had had the book with me as I could have tried the Acadia Earthcache program. Sadly though I have been to Maine several times I have yet to see a moose!.


Why I like this book:

Remember this year is the centenary of the National Parks and the best way to celebrate that is to visit some. Every state has several. This book is a great resource for any nature lover not just when you want to visit a specific park but to learn more about the incredible natural variety across this vast land. I hope kids will read about parks then persuade their parents to go sledding down the mighty sand dunes in Great Sand Dunes National Park or exploring the bat-filled caves of Carlsbad Caverns.

This book only reinforced my goal to visit every single park in the US. Next summer I am planning a NW trip and am hoping I may be able to take in Grand Teton in Wyoming (The Tetons mountains are growing at a rate of about half an inch per year!) and of course nearby Yellowstone (where I’d like to do some river rafting.) Mount Rainier I need to climb when I visit my Seattle friends.

The photography is breathtaking. The facts are fascinating, abundant and clearly the book is painstakingly researched. This would inspire explorers and wildlife enthusiasts of any age. I almost always donate my review copies of books I receive to my school library, but let’s just say that I am tempted to keep this one for myself.


Go visit!

Find A PARK: https://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm

Pair with Nat Geo National Parks Centennial Edition

Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

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5 Responses to Ranger Rick’s Travels, National Parks – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Gorgeous pictures! Wow, what a cool goal. We’ll be reading to see where you travel and how it inspires your writing. Great find! Thanks.

  2. I grew up with Ranger Rick magazines. My sister and I had a little playhouse our uncle built for us. We used to sit at the little wicker table on low stools, reading this magazine while eating ice cream. Clearly, I need to check out this book! Thanks for reviewing it.

  3. I remember Ranger Ricks magazines and Smokey the Bear pamphlets/kit (?). This sounds like a gem. I was fortunate to have parents who traveled with four kids during the summer to visit just most of the National Parks. Since you love the natural world so much, I’m sure you will have a great adventure and gather some story ideas.

    Have you read “Our Great Big Backyard,” by Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hagar? It celebrates the 100 anniversary of the National Parks, but has a different take.

  4. Patricia Nozell says:

    I have fond memories of Ranger Rick from my kids’ childhoods. I can well imagine how wonderful this newest Ranger Rick resource must be – for kids & nature lovers of all ages.

  5. Erik-TKRB says:

    I love non-fiction with real pictures! I used to get Ranger Rick magazine. I enjoyed it very much. I will have to look for this book!

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