S is for Salmon and other nature inspired tales

 In Books and Movies

After living in Seattle for almost eight years, I’m beginning to think that the mighty salmon is the city’s official fish. Hang on let me look it up…

Nope. Not the official city fish, or even state fish.

How that is possible I will never know. Salmon is synonymous with the Pacific Northwest. We anxiously a wait salmon season, encouraging those little buggers to swim back to their spawning grounds so we can pan sear, grill, and slice them into sashimi. When Hannah Viano titled her new children’s book S is for Salmon, an ABC book that takes you through many of the natural elements found around the Northwestern part of the United States, I was not surprised at all.


Yes, she could have named the book F is for Fern or O is for Octopus; both of which are found throughout the Pacific Northwest, but there is just something about that spunky salmon that calls to locals and transplants alike.

But enough about fish, let’s talk about the book!

Throughout the pages of S is for Salmon, your child’s imagination will take in the bold block prints, exploring the native species that fill the forests, rivers and meadows of Washington State and its neighbors. As I read it to my youngest before nap time today, I marveled over how much we have at our fingertips. There are creatures, like the courageous, yet often overlooked, anemone, which I never thought about as a native east coaster until I moved out here and had kids to explore with. Now we search for them when we visit the beach.

Kelp can be found down at the Seattle waterfront, but we still haven’t found horsetail. Not only is this book bringing my children through their ABC in a beautiful, and engaging manner, but it is also giving me a check list of things to continue to look for; things that we can add to our Pacific Northwest scavenger hunt (I should probably make one of those!).

From salmon to trillium, lichen to zephyr winds, you will never be bored in the Northwest and we have our own ABCs to prove it.


S is for Salmon isn’t the only nature inspired book your can read with your kids. Here is our list of just a few more you can enjoy together. 

  • Sea Star Wishes: Poems from the Coast by Eric Ode
  • Why Do I Sing? Animal Songs of the Pacific Northwest by Jennifer Blomgren
  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  • The Berenstain Bears’ Big Book of Science and Nature by Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain
  • Why Should I Protect Nature? by Jen Green and Mike Gordon
  • Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
  • The Berenstain Bears Don’t Pollute (Anymore) by Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain
  • Safari, So Good!: All About African Wildlife by Bonnie Worth
  • If I Ran the Rain Forest: All About Tropical Rainforests by Bonnie Worth
  • About Habitats: Mountains by Cathryn Sill and John Sill
  • Volcanoes!: Mountains of Fire by Eric Arnold
  • Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature by Linda Lear

Activity Books

  • American Wild Flowers Coloring Book by Paul E. Kennedy
  • The Everything Kids’ Nature Book: Create Clouds, Make Waves, Defy Gravity and Much More! by Kathiann M. Kowalski
  • Amazing Birds Coloring Book by Ruth Soffer
  • 52 Activities in Nature by Lynn Gordon and Bob Filipowich
  • The Kids’ Nature Book: 365 Indoor/Outdoor Activities and Experiences by Susan Milord
  • Nature’s Art Box: From t-shirts to twig baskets, 65 cool projects for crafty kids to make with natural materials by Laura C. Martin and David Cain

Many thanks to Sasquatch Books for sending a copy of S if for Salmon to review with my sons. They are the harshest critics in the world. As always, my opinions are my own. When they aren’t you will be the first to know.

Recommended Posts
Showing 3 comments
  • wanderingeducators

    Love this list! Can you make a list on amazon, so we can see them all in one place?

  • Allison

    Salmon isn’t the state fish of Washington? That is a surprise. Thanks for the nature recommendations. I love that you’re blogging about a summer reading program. Books and travel always go together.

  • Colleen Lanin

    Ooh! I love the idea of this book! My kids loved watching salmon swim upstream in Alaska last year. I might have to get this one! Great other suggestions too – thanks!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.