Books for Outdoor Lovers

Roadside Geology, Animals for Kids, Legos for Birds, and Tips for Activists

Here are some recently published titles that will fire up the outdoor love in your house, in your car, and with your kids.

The Extraordinary Friendship of Otter & Gull: Though set in the Pacific Northwest, this rhyming, wondrously illustrated children’s tale of a resourceful seagull and optimistic otter by Andre Karpov could just as easily be on the Central Coast. Touching on both native habitats and the impacts of human trash, it’s ultimately about overcoming tragedy and cleaning up the world.

Birds from Bricks: Legos aren’t just for kids anymore. This incredible 144-page guide by horticulturalist and Lego fanatic Thomas Poulsom gives step-by-step instructions (as well as a list of which bricks to order) on how to build such colorful species as the common kingfisher, scarlet macaw, rockhopper penguin, and sulphur-crested cockatoo.

Roadside Geology of Southern California: Celebrated UCSB geologist Arthur Sylvester teamed with illustrator and SBCC employee Elizabeth O’Black Gans to produce an exhaustively detailed, full-color text for SoCal rock lovers on the road. It’s a great way to sprinkle knowledge into those long summer drives, with nearly 400 pages covering a triangle from Point Conception to San Diego and the Mojave Desert.

Tools for Grassroots Activists: Enjoying the outdoors means keeping it great, and this collection of essays ​— ​subtitled Best Practices for Success in the Environmental Movement, published by Patagonia, and edited by Nora Gallagher and Lisa Myers ​— ​provides a lot of intellectual and experiential fuel for how to do so. Based on a conference that the Ventura company has hosted for 20 years, this 288-pager features insights from such luminaries as Jane Goodall, Bill McKibben, and Wade Davis.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

City College Ranked #1 by Value Colleges

High graduation rate, community service, and online degree programs made SBCC a 'flawless investment.'

News Commentary: Ribbon Cutting Is Not as Easy as It Looks

Grand opening for new Eastside bridge conveys a tingle of progress.

Santa Barbara Rental Prices Have Skyrocketed Over the Last Five Years

The average rent for a South Coast studio is $1,553.

Trio Stops the Show at Board of Education

More than a dozen appeal to Santa Barbara Unified School District to maintain music classes and programs.

Santa Barbara District Attorney Endorses Villaraigosa for Governor

Joyce Dudley preferred the former Los Angeles mayor’s positions on crime and education.