Caves Are a Magical and Spooky Place at the Same Time | Perfect For Teaching Children About Nature

Cave Monster_front coverA cave is magical and spooky place

In The Cave Monster, readers are introduced to a magical wonder of nature that becomes  its own character in the book.  I am talking about caves.  In the Cave Monster L. Joe Bean has been captured by the Cave Monster and Whistle-Toe, the rabbit, begs Lima Bear to help rescue him.  The friends are scared of the cave monster and the cave but they want to help their friend.   They enter the cave.

What is a cave and how does it form?

Wikipedia tells us that a cave “is a hollow place in the ground especially a natural underground space large enough for a human to enter. Caves form naturally by the weathering of rock and often extend deep underground.” Speleology is the scientific study of caves and their surrounding environments. We love words and we think the word Speleology (spa·le·ol·o·gy) pretty cool.  There is so much to learn about caves.

Cool cave facts

Here are some other interesting facts about caves courtesy of

stalactites-5** Stalactites, (which are beautifully illustrated in the Cave Monster,) are created by the continuous dripping of mineral rich water, which little by little leaves mineral deposits on the ceiling as the minerals harden.

** Stalagmites are created as the mineral rich water droplets fall to the cave floor leaving mineral deposits that grow to become pillar-like formations.

** Stalactites and stalagmites can eventually join from floor-to-ceiling, however they grow very slowly, around an inch every 100 years.

**The deepest known cave is Voronya Cave in Georgia, at 2,197 m (7,208 ft).

Why we are fascinated with caves

Cave are unquestioningly dark. Dark can mean spooky.  You do not know what is behind every turn in a cave. There is no light to see your way out.  At the same time caves are also super interesting.  They are different from the outside world.  They are cool and calm and decorated with rock formations and truly show the power  of nature.  Plus, living creatures do call caves their homes.  Can you or your child guess what animals are most commonly found in caves?  Nope, it is not cave monsters but spiders, salamanders, bats and fish.

Visit a cave near you and send us a picture

Are you tempted to visit a cave?  We found a cool site where you can type in your state and locate a cave near you.  It is called, you might have guessed it, If you do visit a cave, send along your pictures and we will post them on our site and Facebook page!  We’ll send out 2 copies of The Cave Monster to participants at random. Send your pictures to



Encourage Your Children to Act With Courage Through The Use of Children’s Books

Cave Monster_front coverCan an illustrated children’s book help you to encourage your child to be courageous?

We think so.  That is one of the reasons that we wrote and continue to write the Lima Bear Series.  You see, Lima Bear, one of our major characters, is a very brave bean…smart, too.  His adventures are always exciting but they also exhibit Lima Bear’s bravery in tough situations.  Take, for example, Lima Bear’s action in the Lima Bear Series book, The Cave Monster.

In The Cave Monster story, Lima Bear comfortably waits in his home for his cousin, L. Joe Bean to visit.  He learns from his friends Whistle-Toe, Maskamal, and Back-Back that L. Joe Bean has been captured by the cave monster.  All the friends are scared.  They don’t WANT to go to the cave where the cave monster is keeping L. Joe Bean but they must go.  We learn that courage is not always a comfortable feeling and that courageous people are fearful but they do not let that fear keep them from action.

Unknown-1…”children like books about values and ethical dilemmas…these questions are at the heart of what makes life meaningful” 

In a post titled, How to Raise a Child of Character, Dr. Laura Markham, of  believes that books can help you encourage your child to act with courage. She says in this article, “Most young children like books that talk about values and ethical dilemmas. That’s because these questions are at the heart of what makes life meaningful, which is a primary question for children beginning at about the same age — the preschool years.

“at the heart of what makes life meaningful”-  What a lovely sentiment that is. We agree.

How to start a conversation about courage using a children book such as The Cave Monster

Books like The Cave Monster give parents the perfect vehicle to start a conversation about a subject children desire to discuss.  In The Cave Monster specifically, a way to begin the conversation about courage could start with first reading the book with your child.  After reading the book you could sit with your child and (using the ideas from “extend the learning” pages found in the back of each Lima Bear Series book) you could ask the following questions:

**What do you see when I say the word “monster”?

**How does the author let you know that the characters are afraid of the Cave Monster?

**Would you be afraid of the Cave Monster?  Why or why not?

**Have you ever been afraid?  How did you handle that feeling?

Reading a children’s book and starting a conversation about courage could be an important step in imparting your values to your children and fostering great habits in your child.  Have you had a similar experience with your child?  Are any of the books you like to read together good to promote courageous behavior?

Use a Lima Bear Book as a Resource For a Homeschooling or Anytime Lesson | Ages 4 to 8

Cave Monster_front coverOne of our reviewers, Sara at Classically Homeschooling, is such a fan of the Lima Bear Series that she details how to use the Lima Bear Book, The Cave Monster as a resource for lessons that last can an entire week!  This clever, thoughtful “lesson plan” is great to use for non-homeschooling parents and caregivers as well.

Below is an excerpt from Classically Homeschooling‘s blog post.  You can read the entire post here.

Sara says,

The Cave Monster is an awesome book for a unit study.


Discuss what caves are.
Read The Cave Monster
Color a coloring sheet on caves, stalactites, and stalagmites
Begin a science experiment creating stalactites and stalagmites

Discuss monsters and creatures that live in caves
Read The Cave Monster
Talk about how the friends worked together to defeat the monster
Chat about ways to work with friends to achieve goals
Create a monster project following the directions in the activity section of The Cave Monster

Talk about big, bigger, and biggest and small, smaller, and smallest
Read The Cave Monster
Discuss the sizes of the Cave Monster
Count the number of friends who came to rescue L. Joe Bean
Draw a picture a favorite scene and count the characters in the picture


Introduce the term homonym to your children
Read The Cave Monster
Count how many homonyms you found
Copy them onto a sheet of paper
Check and see how your science experiment is going

Introduce the concept of plot to your children
Read The Cave Monster
Discuss the plot
Act out the climax with a sponge ball target practice by following the directions in the activity section of The Cave Monster
Did you create a stalagmite or stalactite?

Classically Homeschooling does such a great job with her lessons ideas.  You can use her example to create a “lesson plan” for any of your own children’s favorite books, too.  If you have come up with a similar “lesson plan” for any of the Lima Bear Series, let us know, we would love to share your ideas with our fans. Use our “extended the learning” pages at the back of each book for a jump start on your own lesson plan.