Every now and then a book comes along that you know will be a classic. Outside: A Guide to Discovering Nature is one of those such books.
When this book arrived both the children were drawn to its bright orange cover. It’s so simply designed with a beautifully simple colour palette and pencil illustrations. It is an absolute gold mine of information. I am often guilty of not getting out enough with the children and this book sits as a beacon on the book case in the living room, reminding me that we really do need to get out more and discover the world around us.
Both the children are sponges, and the topics that seem to interest them are those that focus on nature and the environment – Butterfly and Frog life cycles, weather, snails or simply anything to do with animals. I love that they are so engaged with the natural world.
This isn’t any real surprise to me – animals and other creatures are always interesting to children – they form the basis of many characters in their books and our bookcases are adorned with photographic books of animals that Mr D in particular likes to get down to share with me.
Outside is a stunning book and it aims to spark an interest and curiosity about the natural world around us – even those of us who live in the middle cities can discover the natural world on their doorstep. What I really like is that the book includes lots of easy suggestions for activities (and helpfully illustrations) to help the whole family get started in simply leaving the house and going out to discover and admire our truly remarkable world.
There is a wealth of information in this book and we have used it already to look at the different species of butterfly – Mr D was really in awe and was busy pointing out his favourites and asking me why they were different colours and sizes.
In the centre of this book there are a number of colour double page spreads that document a range of animals and this has been the section that the children have turned to first for now. This book is pitched at a slightly older market than my children but I am sure it will be a staple of their science learning as they get older. We have been using it in some of our butterfly and frog learning and I am sure that, as they get older and are able to read and explore books themselves this book is sure to give them the basics of knowledge about biology, geology, weather and planetary sciences amongst many others.
There is so much information to give the basis of knowledge and enable children to look for further information once their interest is spiked. There are sections that have fascinated me (the bit about distinguishing between a frog and a toad I found interesting!).
I really love this book and whilst it isn’t a book to pop in the bag and take on a field trip (it’s too big!) it is a great book to explore together and choose and adventure with.