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This week we have a really lovely children’s book review for you, all about A Friend to Nature: Activities and inspiration to connect with the wild world* by Laura Knowles and Rebecca Gibbon. It will be published by Welbeck on 13th July 2021.
An illustrated book celebrating the natural world and ways to appreciate it, filled with practical activities and ideas to help wildlife and the environment on your doorstep and worldwide.
Starting with a pledge in poetic form, this book is a call to arms for the next generation of peaceful eco warriors. Broken down into sections of activities, each lyrically relates back to the metaphor of being a friend to nature.
The activities themselves are short, easy, and fun, with a few more extensive projects mixed in. These are interspersed with nature quotes, poetry, and other thought-provoking musings, as well as pieces of simple non-fiction information, such as the life cycle of a frog, a butterfly, a cross section of a flowering plant, and why you should always wish on a dandelion clock.
The final section explores what nature can give back to us in turn; that if we look after the natural world, we will always have a friend in nature – a space to be calm, to pause and think, to recharge, to bring us joy, amusement, and health.
Over the past year we have been spending a lot more time outdoors and with Erin new in infant school, she has been learning a lot more about nature at the same time. We love to have resources at home so that I can learn with her and help with any questions she might have. As soon as I saw this book I knew that it would be something for Erin.
To start with we have the hardcover version of this book and it is absolutely beautiful. The front cover has gorgeous illustrations around the edge, full of lovely greens with creatures and animals hiding in the leaves, along with some foil detail. This is definitely a book you would pick up to have a look at if you saw it on the shelf in a bookshop.
Inside the book you’ll find a really detailed contents page. Different areas you can explore are how to be safe outside, making homes for nature, feeding nature and how to be a friend in nature… just to name a few things. It’s great that each section is broken down into smaller topics so you can easily pick out a bit that you’re interested in and go straight to that page.
What I really love about this book is that it’s broken down so well for children. There are some really beautiful images on the pages, not only of insects or plants, but also of children actually out there and looking at the things being spoken about. I think it’s important for children to be able to see themselves in certain situations.
Throughout the book you’ll find information about different animals or insects, what different animal tracks look like, you’ll find instructions for how to make a bird feeder and you’ll also find poems too. I can see this book being one we go back to time and time again.