Shanleya's Quest is a story that is both educational and fun. It makes a great gift idea for nieces, nephews, and neighborhood kids!
In a mythical world where time is a liquid that falls as rain upon the land, young Shanleya paddles her canoe out to the "Tree Islands" to learn the plant traditions of her people. Each island is home to a separate family of plants and an unforgettable Guardian with lessons to teach about the identification and uses of those plants.
Shanleya's Quest is a truly unique educational book that presents botanical concepts and plant identification skills in an easy and fun metaphorical format for children as well as for adults who are young at heart.
The book begins with a creation myth that parallels evolutionary concepts, where life begins as bubbles in a puddle of soup under the radiance of Father Sun and the gentle glow of Mother Moon. The evolutionary tree of life becomes a literal part of the story, buried up to its branch-tips (the "islands") in an ocean of Time that just keeps getting deeper and deeper. This is the world that Shanleya explores by canoe, learning the essential characteristics of closely related plants on each island she visits.
Readers young and old can join Shanleya's Quest, learning the patterns to correctly identify more than 45,000 species of plants to their proper families. The Quest will change the way you see the world, enabling you to experience nature in a new and magical way that you probably never imagined possible.
"This book is a one of a kind resource for educators or parents wishing to teach young people about plant recognition. It covers both Monocotyledon and Dicotyledon classes and 8 families in a non-threatening, easy to read format meant for children 9 to 99. Learning beginner plant ID does not get ANY easier than with this book. To top it all off, Elpel has developed teacher resources to accompany the book in the form of a flash card game and online modules. Once students have exhausted these resources, Elpel has even designed a follow up book entitled Botany in a Day, an expansive handbook that will provide students of any age a well rounded and thorough knowledge of North American plant species and their uses. This is by far the best learning resource on this topic that I have discovered and I fully recommend it to anyone with an interest in learning or expanding their knowledge levels about native plant species in Canada or the United States."
--Brian Stengele Eastern Ontario Primitive School
"I own both Shanleya's Quest and Botany in a Day and I can't say enough great things about them. I teach mostly 3rd to 8th graders, and my goal is primarily to help my students establish a relationship with plants. Your materials are incredibly supportive of that, not to mention engaging, effective and fun."
Shanleya's Quest Patterns in Plants Card Game By Thomas J. Elpel. Illustrated by Gloria Brown Photos by Thomas J. Elpel and Mary Ellen Harte
Read the book. Play the game! The Patterns in Plants Card Game is a fun way to test your skills at identifying the family patterns described in Shanleya's Quest. Learn to see the patterns in the game. Then you will be able to recognize them in the real world!
Many different plant identification games are possible with this deck of cards. Please click here for game ideas and rules. You are also welcome to submit your own games! ISBN: 1-892784-23-8 March 2006. $15.00.
I wanted to write to you and let you know just how much my family is loving Shanleya's Quest. It is such a wonderful resource. We bought it together with Botany in a Day and have all been learning so much, including myself who had never learned botany as a child.
Anyhow, I thought you might enjoy seeing the work that my children have been doing by following your books. We are homeschoolers and have been studying botany since September. We sincerely thank you for your wonderful books and for all they have taught us.
Rebecca B. and family
The card game is superb and is unlike anything we have here, it compliments the shanleya's quest book wonderfully and there is always call for good ways to introduce children to Bushcraft. My wife wouldn't let me go to sleep last night until she had beat me at the memory game and crazy flowers at least 5 times, but whilst out flying Torin (my harris hawk) today I was able to identify the family of almost all the flowers I saw as a result.