Book reviews - nature

We have reviewed here a selection of books to encourage children to get out and about and enjoy the world around them. Gardening is a super way to encourage children to spend time outside, with the added benefit of growing your own food.

Usborne 1000 Things in Nature 

This lovely spotter book will keep children occupied for many hours when they are out and about. This beautifully illustrated book ranges from familiar bugs and flowers to exotic birds of paradise and fascinating undersea creatures, giving a fantastic range to revel in. Habitats and topics covered include'In the jungle', 'Ice and snow' 'Food from Nature', 'Lots of Trees' and 'Fossils, rocks and gems'. Children will be stimulated to do further research by the way this book is presented - by taking habitats that especially interest them, they can find animals, plants and natural wonders and then see what they can find out by doing their own research. A really attractive book to enhance pleasure in the natural world, and to increase awe at all its wonders; seeing the variety of a single habitat on one page really is awe-inspiring. It's also excellent to stimulate conversations with younger children. There is a comprehensive index too.

Hello World: Animals by Nicola Edwards

Lift-the-flap books do instantly entice children, and they make it easy for them to retain information in a visual way. In this book, arranged by continent, young readers will discover some of the most incredible creatures on Earth. It includes over 180 animals from a variety of habitats, with masses of flaps to lift on every spread; under each flap are facts about the creature shown. Some larger flaps are included with more general information, as well as there being factual information about the continents and countries on each page. The pages are sturdy card, making it durable for plenty of useThe excellent illustrations, full of fascinating detail, are by L'Atelier Cartographik. A book that will engage children and make them eager for further information.

Caterpillar and Bean: A Science Storybook about Growing (Science Storybooks) by Martin Jenkins

This is the fourth in the Science Storybook series - an excellent way to introduce non-fiction in an accessible and simple reading format that will instantly gain children's attention. Life cycles are an important part of the early science curriculum, and this book is a lovely way to introduce the topic. Suitable for Early Years, this is a very simple, straightforward account of the development stages. The book starts with a bean seed growing, and then a caterpillar hatches from a tiny white egg laid on a leaf, and munches the leaves of its bean plant home. Will there be any leaves left? I like the way the book integrates plant and insect lifecycles - it's very effective and works well for young children, as they see the relationship. Lovely illustrations are by Hannah Tolson.

Fox in the Night: A Science Storybook About Light and Dark (Science Storybooks) by Martin Jenkins

Another book in this excellent series, this time telling the story of a fox searching for food. It's dark in fox's den but still light outside, so she must wait... Once darkness falls, she is off exploring the streets, and as she goes, children learn plenty about light and dark, shadows, electricity and more. In addition to the story, and presented in a different, smaller font, extra information is found in small paragraphs to explain the science behind the story; this is well done so the flow of the story is not interrupted Readers are encouraged to use the index, which is a good idea to extend learning and understanding, as well as to extend vocabulary. A lovely way to present factual information for young readers, and superbly illustrated by Richard Smythe.

Beetle Boy: The Beetle Collector's Handbook (Beetle Boy) by M G Leonard

In the Beetle Boy books, Darkus learnt about beetles from an old guide his father had used as a child... and here is that guide, to delight today's children. This is a lavishly illustrated guide to over 60 species of beetle. The format is very much that of an old-fashioned guide book and that gives the book its very special appeal. Traditional style illustrations are accompanied by salient facts, entertainingly presented in a very friendly manner. Learn how to prepare for an expedition and learn more from the Entymologist's Dictionary.M.G. Leonard is the author of the bestselling Beetle Boy trilogy, and this is the perfect companion book as well as being an excellent introduction to the fascinating world of beetles.

Secret World of Butterflies by Courtney Sina Meredith

The superb illustrations are a sheer delight - stylishly drawn by Giselle Clarkson, they evoke the feel of each butterfly and its habitat wonderfully. Although photos would give a more life-like appearance, the joy of this book is the way it encourages us to appreaciate the beauty of the butterfly and to examine the markings in detail; there are plenty of photo books around. Children will enjoy the quirky facts - Did you know that butterflies taste with their feet, do a dark red poo when they come out of their chrysalises, some drink the tears of crocodiles, they see differently to us?

The Totally Wild Fact-Packed, Fold-Out Animal Atlas by Jen Green

Pictorial maps are accompanied by plenty of fact boxes and labelled illustrations, making this a really informative atlas. So often, children may know about animals but not really understand where they come from, so this atlas set out by continent is perfect to full that gap. There are over 500 animal photographs invluded in this atlas which presents the world as a place rich in wildlife discoveries for children to marvel at. Learn amazing facts on animal record-breakers, animal helpers and animals to beware of. The inter-relationshio between animals is important, so a map showcases major biomes of the Earth so you can see how every part of our natural world is vital and connected. The three gatefold pages show Europe, Asia and the Americas in superb detail.

British Museum: Nature (BM First Concepts) from Nosy Crow

This simply presented book is an excellent way to stimulate young children's interest in nature and offers plenty of talking points so adults can extend children's knowledge and appreciation. The approach of using images from the British Museum's collection is an unusual and engaging one, bringing us a book that is really different. There's additional information in the book about each image, giving dates, titles and artists. A lovely way to enhance interest in the Museum's wonderful collection.

National Trust: How to Help a Hedgehog and Protect a Polar Bear by Jess French

This book really involves children and highlights the fact that they really can make a difference to our endangered wildlife, from our back gardens to international places of interest. There are 70 things we can all do to help - so with so many to choose from, there's no excuse for not doing our bit! Thirteen different habitats are included - gardens, hedgerows, heathlands, woodlands, highlands, wetlands, the coastline, freshwater, oceans, savannahs, jungles, (migrations) and mountains; fact files for the various species are included. Lavishly and stunningly illustrated by Angela Keoghan, the book is very approachable and really speaks directly to the child - little things make a big difference, so everyone will feel encouraged to try.

Pocket Guide to Turtles, Snakes and other Reptiles by Amy-Jane Beer

This pocket-sized cloth-bound book is perfect to take out and about. The author is a natural history expert who has brought us a simple but thorough introduction to all the families of reptiles, including turtles, tortoises, lizards, snakes and much more. The layout is very effective - information is presented in a series of boxes which include topics such as A Closer Look and Did You Know? alongside the basic information, meaning children can read as much or as little as they want - and always return to learn more. The superb drawings by Alice Pattullo really encourage you to look closely at the creatures depicted. An easy to use and very informative book. Also available - Pocket Guide to Whales, Dolphins and Other Marine Mammals.

Really Remarkable Reptiles by Jake Williams

Reptiles are amazing creatures who have adapted to life in some of the most extreme environments on earth. Children will revel in the weird and wonderful facts they will learn - prepare to be bombarded with "Did you know...?" A boa constrictor can eat a whole deer; a sandfish can swim through sand, basilisk lizards can run across water - just a few examples of the myriad of ways in which these creatures survice and it's fascinating reading. Many of the reptiles are illustrated on the inside covers. Importantly, and this cannot be over-emphasised,the book will show children how they can help preserve these amazing habitats from the greatest danger to reptiles ever - climate change. A beautifully produced book and a really interesting and informative read.

Dolphins! (Animal Planet Chapter Books) by Cari Jackson

Animal Planet is an excellent series, which takes factual subjects and presents them in a narrative form, thus appealing to those who enjoy both fiction and non-fiction. Dolphins are fascinating creatures who really appeal to children; in this highly illustrated book, they will learn about the dolphins' anatomy, evolution, species, behaviour, social relationships and much more. The information is presented in narrative and also in fact boxes and through good labelling of the illustrations - and I'm glad to see a good index and excellent glossary. So much packed into the book, it is really is goodt. Published by Liberty Steet, July 2018, ISBN 978-1683308539.

The Wild Year Book: Things to do outdoors through the seasons (Going Wild) by Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield

I am really pleased to see that books encouraging children to explore the outdoor world are very popular. Although our children cannot enjoy the freedom previous generations had, there are still so many wonderful opportunitie to be taken to enjoy being outdoors throughout the year - as this book shows, outdoors is not just for summer. In The Wild Year Book, Fiona and Jo have selected 70 of their favourite activities to help children enjoy spending time outdoors, keeping fit, enjoying the thrills of discovery, and encouraging the imagination. There are year-round ideas, divided by season, and all illustrated with colour photos which encourage trying the activities. The varied activities include growing food, ideas for snow play, wild sounds and uatumn jewellery - something for everyone. The activities are clearly described and the small format of the book makes it ideal to take out and about. Full of practical inspiration, this is great for parents and also to encourage outdoor activities in education, for example, forest schools.

Sounds of Nature: World of Birds by Robert Hunter

This sound book allows readers to travel round the world, listening to birds of the rainforest, mountains, desert, prairie, woods, ice, wetlands, city, ocean and bush. Each two page spread has a brief description of the habitat, plus information about seven resident birds for each habitat, plus illustrations which show the birds within the habitat. Press the sound button on each spread, and you are treated to a clear high quality rendition of the songs of the birds shown - it's not always easy to identify which bird though. All the sounds are shown on the final page, and these are easier buttons to activate. The embossed cover gives a flavour of the beautiful production of the book with its bright illustrations<. A lovely book which will increase readers' appreciation for the wonderful world of birds.

National Trust: Go Wild on the River by Goldie Hawk

Nosy Crow are really making quite a niche for themselves with their excellent nature books produced in association with the National Trust. It's so good to see the books available to a wide market through National Trust shops. There's so much fun to be had on the river and even more so with the practical advic in this book - what to pack, how to spot river animals and wildlife, how to build your own raft, how to catch a fish and many more ideas to encourage exploration and discovery. Rivers can be dangerous places though, so it's good to see advice on what not to do, from getting caught in a current to slipping down waterfalls, and including what to do in a river emergency. There is information about rivers, games to play and nature to spot. This hardback book is just the right size for taking out and about and the intergral elastic marker makes it easy for children to keep their place. A comprehensive guide packed with ideas and inspiration, engagingly presented.

National Trust: Sharks, Seahorses and other British Sea Creatures (National Trust Sticker Spotter Books) by Nikki Dyson

This is an excellent way to encourage children to be observant and take note of the natural world around them. The book is full of information about wonderful sea creatures and their homes. From basking sharks swimming in the deep sea to crabs scuttling across the sandy shore, this is an excellent introduction to many of the sea creatures which can be seen around our shores. There's a checklist at the end so children can record their sightings. The book also encourages creativity, as the 11 scenes can be made even more attractive with the judicious use of the 120 detailed and accurate stickers. Far more than just another sticker book, this will form a lasting record of what children have seen, and enhance their knowledge of marine life.

Seashore Watcher by Maya Plass

Open the waterproof ziplock bag and slide out this colourful and fact-filled guide to our seashore... then replace it to keep the book nice and dry once on the beach. This book really encourages children to observe the natural world and also shows the importance of taking care of our marine environment; the introductory pages help them make the most of their visit including information about waether and tides. Excellent colour photos bring this world alive, with helpful captions and labelling. There is an enormous amount of information packed into this slim book - I was really surprised and pleased to see just how much it covers. There are plenty of hands-on activities as well, and these really encourage children to get involved and help them remember what they have learnt. A practical guide that will enhance any seashore visit.

Migration: Incredible Animal Journeys by Mike Unwin

Migration is one of the great wonders - and mysteries - of the animal orld, and this beautifully illustrated (by Jenni Desmond) book explores the way 20 creatures migrate. It really highlights the marvellous way animals travel around the globe as it relates how animals of all shapes and sizes make epic journeys. They travel vast distances through harsh weather and avoiding hungry predators in their efforts to survive. To give you a taste of the variety covered, the creatures include the humpback whale, the barn swallow, the southern pilchard, the red crab and the straw-coloured fruit bat. The stunning colour illustrations are quite remarkable, and really beautiful. A totally fascinating and informative book which will increase our appreciation for the animal kingdom.

My First Book of Nature by Camilla de la Bedoyere

I love this first nature book for young children - it's gloriously illustrated with pictures that will really capture children's attention and enthuse them for the beauties of nature. hat makes it stand out from other books are the four wipe-clean nature spotting cards - plants, bugs, birds and animals; children are encouraged to draw a picture on the back too. Set out in four sections - Plants, Bugs, Birds and Animals, it's easy to follow, with plenty of information to ensure the book is referred to over and over again. The illustrations are detailed and well labelled, ith plenty of snippets of information to capture the interest. There's a ladybird to spot in every scene for an added element of fun. The generous size of the book makes it really good visually, clear and easy to use. A lovely book.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt: Let's Discover Bugs by Andrea Cascardi

The theme of this book ties in perfectly with the much-loved We're Going on a Bear Hunt, which shares a family's fun on an expedition outdoors. Packed with facts about ants, spiders, butterflies and more, there is plenty to engage children and they will enjoy the fact they can spot these bugs for themselves and then record their findings by using some of the colourful stickers. Not only facts, but also tips on planning your trip, spotting tips and plenty of other bug-related activities. Recipes, games and crafts all help an appreciation for these vital creatures. Those who have enjoyed the animated special will love to enjoy the scenes used in this book. A really attractive and well-presented book which is perfect for children of 5+, encouraging exploration and learning in a fun way.

Plantopedia by Adrienne Barman

A Celebration of the Greatest Show on Earth is the subtitle of this beautiful book which is perfect, not only to celebrate spring, but also to dip into year round to remind us of the wonders of the plant world. Following on from the superb Creaturepedia this stunning book features a whole host of plants, familiar and unusual, chosen from around the world for their unique traits and characteristics, The lively illustrations are great fun and offer plenty to enjoy. Meet the 'evergreens', the 'edibles' and even the 'elderly' plants that have outlived the dinosaurs. Arranged alphabetically by theme, the pictures are accompanied by fascinating facts that may well encourage us to take a fresh look at plants. Totally absorbing and beautifully presented, this is a unique book, one to dip into over and over again

My Naturama Nature Journal: Open Your Eyes to the Wonders of Irish Nature by Michael Fewer

This hands-on interactive nature journal follows the successful Naturama, and links with it perfectly. Throughout the UK and Ireland, we are fortunate to have so much nature right on our doorsteps, in gardens, parks, schools and wild places. This book takes young naturalists through the year, season by season, with plenty of space for children to write their own notes and create their own drawings, thus creating a lasting record.It's also packed with inspiring outdoor projects that include making a nest box for birds, adopting a tree, making an insect hotel, creating an autumn leaf collage, recycling in the garden and moon gazing. Melissa Doran has illustrated the book with delicate drawings that will encourage and facilitate identification.The field guide sections encourage observation and collecting (within conservation bounds). The charming My Naturama Nature Journal with its practical flexi-binding will provide hours of fascinating learning for budding naturalists everywhere, throughout the year, encouraging them to appreciate our outdoor spaces.

Up In the Leaves by Shira Boss

Based on a true story, this is the inspiring account of a boy who was tired of the concrete jungle that is New York City. Bob Redman took shelter in the natural beauty of Central Park; there he gradually and secretly built a series of treehouses which got increasingly elaborate over time. But it was an on-going battle with the parkkeepers, who did not share his dream, and kept tearing down his houses, until he was finally caught. Bob built twelve houses in all, and now he works as an arborist, living near the park, showing that perseverence pays off. Published by Sterling, April 2018, 978-1454920717.

Bees, Bugs and Butterflies by Ben Raskin

This is a quite exceptional interactive book that works so well in many different ways. It's an informative book about the multitude of creatures that inhabit our gardens, and their importance in pollination. It helps us recognise and care for these essential creatures with lots of useful information. As you look into the book, you will be amazed. First, there's a spinner to help match plants to pollinators; then there's a tear-out game to play all about predators. There are stickers, a mask to make, another game and much more, all enticingly presented in a cleverly bound book. I love this - there is so much to engage and inform children and it is all beautifully illustrated too, so children can identify the creatures. The book is endorsed by The Soil Association and The Friends of the Earth.

Bugs!: Explorer by Nick Forshaw and William Exley

Children are bound to be fascinated by the 1.8 metre timeline at the back of the book, that folds out to show over 100 bugs from their first appearance about 230 million years-ago through to their living descendants. Having followed their lives, young naturalists can then join Agent Eagle as he explores the history of bugs, finding out as much as he can and filling out his journal as he goes. This is an interesting approach that will involve and engage young readers - and show them how scientific discoveries are made and recorded. The friendly, chatty nature of the text is an excellent way for children to learn and they will really feel a part of the discoveries. The combination of story, facts and timeline make a really good book that has a refreshing and engaging approach, perfect to harness children;s curiosity. There is a huge amount of information packed into the pages.

Roald Dahl's James's Giant Bug Book

James discovered a world of minibeasts in the giant peach... and here's a world of minibeasts for children to explore. They will meet James and learn much more about the Centipede, the Earthworm, the Grasshopper, the Ladybird and all the rest in this activity-packed look at the world of bugs. As well as plenty of factual information, which is engagingly preented and informatively illustrated, there is a whole plethora of activities which increase knowledge of and appreciation for these creatures. These include making your own ant farm and building your very own bug hotel. Of course, it's made even better by Quentin Blake's iconic illustrations - it wouldn't be the same without them!

National Trust: Who's Hiding on the River? by Katherine McEwen

Regular readers of my reviews will know how much I love this collaboration between Nosy Crow and the National Trust; there are some wonderful books to encourage children to appreciate our environment and this lift-the-flap board book is perfect for younger ones. It's a busy morning on the river and there are animals hiding everywhere. Lift the flaps and see who is there. Detailed illustrations have so much to look at and talk about as children learn about the busy world of the river. Under each flap, there's more information about each of the creatures - perfect to stimulate interest.

Red Alert! 15 Endangered Animals Fighting to Survive by Catherine Barr

This excellent book really draws children in and allows them to see that they can have a part to play and choices to make in conservation. First, the reader is asked to pick a favourite place; then they choose a creature who lives there. The 15 creatures are all on the IUCN Red List. Page links take te=he reader to the page where they can find out the creature's story, interesting facts and the danger it faces. Then follow the link to find out how to help it survive... and start all over again! It's an unusual and engaging way to learn. The beautiful illustrations by Anne Wilson help us appreciate the importance of conservation even more. Red Alert! is inspired and endorsed by the 'Red List' database maintained by International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Currently the list includes over 70,000 species known to be at risk, but it grows larger all the time. The IUCN Red List is supported by Sir David Attenborough.

Secrets of the Mountain by Libby Walden

As day begins, early birds unfurl their wings on the steadfast and enduring mountain... Poetic words accompany Ricahrd Jones' stunning visual images which reflect the peace, beauty and harmony of the natural world. Gradually, the animals wake up and go about their daily affairs until the colours change and night begins to fall and the silvery moon illuminates the scene. All the creatures are illustrated and named on the end paper - can your child find them all? A beautiful book.

Children's Wildlife Atlas by John Farndon

Explore habitats including rainforest, grasslands, deserts, woodlands, wetlands and polar regions, which are then further sub-divided to give a really good picture of the location and its specific inhabitants. The relationships between animals and their environment are key to the book and we learn just how and why certain creatures thrive where they live, as well as discovering about their behaviour and survival strategies, migration, seasonal change and adaptation.. The detailed illustrations and diagrams, with their clear and informative labelling, are a real feature of the book and provide vast amounts of information visually presented to make it memorable. Packed with information, this is an excellent reference guide for hoem and school.

The Magic Garden: Take a journey through the magical world of nature by Lemniscates

Chloe lives in a magical garden but, as the book starts, she doesn't appreciate it... but that will change! Gradually, she starts to take note of the changes that take place - share these in the lovely detailed pictures that are full of delights to spot. A factual section at the end,explains the mysteries uncovered in the story, making this a good blend of story and fact. These include sections on how bees make honey, why some animals camouflage themselves, and how a seed grows into a tree. Just like Chloe, your child will be encouraged to stop and take time out to appreciate the wonderful cycle of nature, as they read and enjoy this simple but effective book. Please note, the book has US spelling and language.

Snakes! (Animal Planet Chapter Books #4) by James Buckley

This is one in the Animal Planet series that is perfect for young readers who prefer to read non-fiction; the narrative style makes the books just as exciting and involving as reading fiction. Love them or hate them, snakes are fascinating and the information in this book introduces the biggest, the fastest, and the most venomous snakes from massive anacondas and pythons to fierce and fanged vipers and cobras. Readers will learn amazing facts about snakes - they can climb trees andswim in ocean waters. Special features which make the book stand out include full-colour photography throughout, "Meet the Scientist" sidebars, and "In Your Newsfeed" articles about amazing new discoveries. Published by Liberty Street, March 2018, 978-1683300045.

Cheetah Rescue (Born Free) by Jess French

Every year Born Free, the trust founded by Virginia McKenna, helps hundreds of animals around the world. This is the story of one of their incredible rescues ... Cheetah cubs Kakaway and Hailu were being kept by illegal wildlife traders in Ehtiopia, destined for a cruel life of captivity, before Born Free rescued them and gave them a new chance to live free. Illustrated throughout with superb photographs and with fact files that give lots of additional information, this is a good look at animal conservation and how man can help.

The Little Book of the Dawn Chorus (Sound Books) by Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham

I shall definitely be keeping this book to hand in early spring, to help me identify the birds joining in the dawn chorus. It's such a magical time of year and being able to pick out individual bird sounds makes it even better; this lovely book features 12 British birds you might hear, with a sound button for each, which is remarkably realistic. Alongside is a beautiful image of each bird, with the Latin name, key facts listed and a description of each bird. I love the fact that the number of minutes before sunrise the bird sings is included - I have never seen this before and it really helps identification; the birds are listed in this order. Another lovely book from the Fine Feather Press, who do so much to encourage children to appreciate nature.

Wild World by Angela McAllister

Wide Eyed Editions always produce beautiful books which are a delight to read, and this is another to enjoy. The remarkable illustrations by Hvass and Hannibal are a delight; each spreads over two pages, with the poetic text superimposed. They are full of detail and the words in italics in the text refer to things to spot in the pictures, making this an immersive book for children to relish. Thirteen habitats are described, including moorland, desert and Arctic; further information on each is given at the end of the book, which includes the dangers posed to the fragile habitats by man's activity. A book which all ages will enjoy.

What On Earth?: Trees - Explore, Create and Investigate by Kevin Warwick and Pau Morgan

Trees are a vital part of our world and are the oldest living species. This attractive book takes an overview of trees, under headings of meet the trees, new trees, trees up close, big, tall and old, and importnace of trees. Each section is full of information, plus questions for children to ponder over and activities that will increase their appreciation of trees. The activities include fun experiments, such as shadow art, investigations like finding the age of trees and hands-on tasks which include making paper. It's a really engaging mix of exploration, investigation and creativity which encourages children to learn about the natural world in a hands-on way. Essential for life and providing us with food, oxygen and shelter, without trees our planet would be a very different place, so we need to appreciate them; it's easy to take them fro granted but this book will help us all realise and remember their significance.

My First Nature Let's Go Exploring from DK

This tabbed board book is perfect for little fingers. The tabs can be used in many ways (as well as simply providing an easy way to move around the book) - children can spot the tab picture on the page; they can be asked to find the page with a specific picture; or they can name the object. There are many different natural habitats to enjoy, including the forest, the meadow and the beach. There are also related pages, such as nature walk and night-time, which expand the interest of the book. Each page is packed with bright photos, which are labelled; there are also questions to answer such as what noise does an owl make? This colourful book will really draw young children's attention and it offers lots of opportunities to talk about nature - and ideas of things to spot when out and about.

Bug Hotel (A Clover Robin Book of Nature)

I love these books - what a brilliant way to enthuse young children for nature! First off, there are cut-out shapes on the cover to encourage little fingers to explore and to learn the shapes of creatures. Through the pages of this board book, which has lots of flaps to explore, children will discover how a bug hotel can create a sustainable, safe environment for insects and mini-beasts. Bee, butterfly, beetle, snail, spider and ladybird each have their own page with plenty of factsand gorgeous illustrations showing the creatures in their habitats. Everyone can build a bug hotel and the book concludes by showing you howl - you just need a piece of wall and some basic bits and pieces to make a home for nature. Appropriately enough, these books are published by Caterpillar Books!

Bird House (A Clover Robin Book of Nature)

Just like the previous book, this house-shaped board book has enticing peepholes on the cover. Inside, there are pages on all sorts of different bird homes including dovecotes, duckhouses, nest boxes, owl boxes... and brid feeders too. All these show how man has helped the birds by providing them with suitable homes. There are lots of flaps to explore with more pictures to enjoy and facts to discover. The book is so attractive it will really encourage children to take an interest in nature and there are suggestions that children can put into action so they can encourage birds. A really lovely introduction to the nature that is close to home.

My Book of Birds by Geraldo Valerio

This unusual book depicts birds from around the UK in beautiful collage illustrations by a bird-loving artist - the combination leads to some stunning illustrations. Short but informative descriptions highlight intriguing facts about each bird - the sort of unusual facts that stick in the mind. The birds are shown in their natural habitats as they hunt for food, impress their mates, nest, and care for their young. The illustrations are unusual and eye-catching and coupled with the descriptions and backgrounds, they make it easy to identify and remember the birds. The book includes an introduction, glossary, index and sources for further information - children will really be encouraged to find out more about birds after enjoying this remarkable hardback book.

Walk This Wild World by Sam Brewster

Big Picture Press can be relied on to bring us stunning books and this landscape format hardback book is no exception. This lift-the-flap book takes young readers on an exciting worldwide journey, celebrating nature in all its diversity. Each page takes the reader to a new habitat or continent, starting with the Arctic and ending in the Australian desert. Each page features a multitude of flaps to life, and each flap features additional text information - this works well alongside the general text, making the book accessible for a range of readers. The stunning illustrations are in bold bright colours and there is a mass of detail in each one to enjoy and to talk about. A beautiful book.

The Little Book of Night-time Animal Sounds by Caz Buckingham & Andrea Pinnington

If you've ever been out at night and heard a strange cacophony of noises but been unable to identify them, then help is at hand. Or have you lain in bed wondering if that was a little owl, a barn owl, or a tawny owl? This is the book you need. Twelve night-time creatures are illustrated in full colour against an appropriate background - and there's a sound button for each. The sounds are exceptionally good, very clear and realistic and a good length so you get the variations. There's an interesting paragraph about each creature, and a list of key facts. Maybe you have a child who is reluctant to go to sleep because of noises they hear at night; if that's the case, enjoy sharing this lovely book with all its sounds, and reassure your child. It's a well produced board/sound book that is far from being just for young ones - I found it quite fascinating. Another great book from Fine Feather Press, who do so much to encourage children to engage with nature.

The Nature Explorer's Scrapbook by Andrea Pinnington

Sadly, children are spending less and less time outdoors - long gone are the days when children could roam freely without adults. As a result, children are losing the closeness they used to have with nature - but the nature lovers at Fine Feather Press are working away to ensure children do experience and understand the natural world. This book is a fascinating mix of album, part manual and nature guide. Arranged in three main sections - earth, air and water, the 80 pages of this book describe the natural items in detail, showing children what to look for in the wild, illustrated with detailed and accurate coloured drawings. There are suggestions of activities to enjoy with the found items, plus pages for children to stick in their own collections, include photos, or to draw pictures of what they have found. Always, the emphasis is on what can be collected and what should be left to preserve nature. Each page marks a new adventure as you are guided through the world of nature and invited to search for, explore and gather things as diverse as skulls and shells, tadpoles and trilobites. It's a stunningly presented book with beautiful illustrations which really help us all appreciate the marvels and beauty of nature. The design of the book is superb - right up there with the best; a joy to read. The book will become a real treasure for children as they make their own collections and create a wonderful personal nature reference book.

It Starts With A Seed by Laura Knowles

Simple rhyming text, a sentence to a page, accompanies beautiful coloured drawings to take the reader on a journey through the seasons and years. The book follows the seed as it transforms from a seedling to a sapling, then a young tree, until it becomes a large tree with its branches and roots filling the page - it's really effectively down, as we see the tree grow through the pages. As the tree grows, it is joined by well-loved woodland creatures – squirrels and rabbits, butterflies and owls – who make it their home. It's a beautifully told story that shows the cycle of life and the important role played by trees in providing wildlife habitats. This beautifully presented has a gold embossed front cover, gatefolds, textured paper and specialised etching technique, hand made by the illustrator throughout.

Nature Explorer Guide for Kids (Ultimate Guides) by Michael Leach

This is very much a practical book, one to be used alongside identification guides. It looks in detail at the practical skills needed to track, observe and photograph wildlife in their natural habitats. It covers bush-craft, equipment, safety, identification, and photography, focusing on a range of habitats such as woodland, urban, mountains and water. These are interspersed with fascinating Q+A sections that give an intriguing glimpse into what it's like to be a professional working with nature discovery and photography. The book goes much more deeply into the techniques used to explore and discover nature, so it will have a well-deserved place alongside other nature books; it's also enjoyable for armchair naturalists, as they will enjoy learning about the way nature is explored as well as appreciating the excellent photos in the book. With its flexible binding and pocket size, it's perfect for taking when out and about enjoying nature.

British Wildlife (Marvellous Menageries) from QED

This is another beautiful book from QED which will appeal to nature fans young and old. From familiar friends to the rare and elusive, from foxes to fungi and fish to flowers, the British Isles are bursting with more wildlife than you might think. There is so much to look at and discuss in this collection of native wonders. Some pages are arranged by habitat, so you will find, for example, garden guests, saltwater swimmers, tremendous trees and river waders. There are also pages for groups, such as nuts and seeds, smooth and slithery, creepy crawlies and seabird squawkers - don't you agree, the page titles really make you want to investigate? The illustrations are gorgeous - there's plenty of detail to aid identification, all set out on prettily bordered pages, and using a lovely range of fonts for naming. It's perfect to inspire everyone to get outside, looking at the natural world and discovering creatures and plants they may not have known existed.

Highest Mountain Deepest Ocean by Kate Baker

Subtitled 'A Pictorial Compendium of Natural Wonders', this really is a book to marvel over with its fascinating look at things at the extremes of nature, whether it be height, depth and size. When you have read this book, you will know how deep the deepest ocean goes; which creature was the largest to ever live; how old the oldest tree is and many more fascinating facts. Page Tsou's extraordinarily detailed illustrations have a lithograph aesthetic that is at once vintage and contemporary; the layout of the book is really enticing. This is yet another gorgeous book from Big Picture Press to fill readers with wonder at the world we live in. There is a huge amount of information to enjoy, with informative text alongside the pictures.

Brilliant Birds from QED Publishing

This beautiful book, with over 300 birds of all shapes and sizes and from all around the world, will engage and amaze readers of all ages. Marvel at the most colourful, beautiful and bizarre birds on earth, all depicted in gloriously detailed illustrations. the birds are grouped to showcase the features that make them special, so we have crafty camouflage, diving champions, lovely and long, funny feet and many more enticing groupings. The presentation is excellent, with engagingly laid out pages with text borders and habitat and location for each bird. A book to share and enjoy together; a perfect gift.

A Walk on the Wild Side by Louis Thomas

Subtitled 'Join the adventure to see animals around the world', this colourful book makes the natural world exciting for children as they get to know 65 animal friends by joining two boys on a world journey. This album groups animal life in a range of habitats, including farm, jungle, grassland and the home. The colourful illustrations show each creature in its own habitat; all depicted in great detail and offering plenty of opportunity for discussion. It's a very child-friendly approach but one that is, nonetheless, highly informative.

Insect Emporium by Susie Brooks and Dawn Cooper

A beautiful gold-embossed cover will immediately draw people into this book and the contents will not disappoint. I love the title too - emporium suggests to me a collection of treasures, making me want to explore. Marvel at the wonders of insect life as you explore insect life cycles, dragonflies, bees, wasps, ladybirds, weevils and a whole host of others. Grouped together by type, the insects are well laid out on the pages, making it easy to study each one in detail. This beautiful collection of insects contains a limited edition print of Dawn Cooper's gorgeous illustrations. A perfect gift book, this is one that children and adults will appreciate and enjoy for many years, helping them to appreciate the insect world.

Bee: Nature's Tiny Miracle by Patricia Hegarty illustrated by Britta Teckentrup

Children are encouraged to look inside this book through the die cut cover and decreasing cut-outs which progress through the book. Through rhyming text, the book follows the amazing story of a little bee and its journey from flower to flower. The lyrical text and stunning artwork combine to show the reader the vital importance of this little insect and the miracle of pollination it aids. The pictures are real works of art, depicting the beauty of nature in a lovely way; throughout the book, the illustrations will stimulate discussion and text and pictures strengthen our desire to support this endangered creature. A beautiful book.
 book

[Your child's name] and the Bumblebee from Friends of the Earth

This very special book will arrive personalised for your child, just as my copy did. It will be a special treasure for children, who will learn about the plight of bumblebees through their very own book. Written in rhyming couplets by David Greaves and gorgeously illustrated by Danielle Callaghan, the book tells about a bumblebee. who loses her home and who is helped by the star of the book - your own child. The personalised story gives the chance to put their name and ‘likeness’ into the book, to place them right at the heart of the action. The story becomes all about them and the bumblebee. The aim of this Friends of the Earth book is to teach young children why bees are so important in a fun and engaging way. The important message of the book helps us all to realise why we should embrace and respect nature. Order your personalised copy from Friends of the Earth - all profits will help FoE to protect the wellbeing of people and planet, including their vital work to protect bees. This is helping to create bee-friendly spaces all over the country and protect Britain’s bees from nasty chemicals.

The National Trust: Complete Bird Spotter's Kit by Robyn Swift

Children will love to get outside enjoying birdwatching with this super kit which comes neatly packed in its very own clear plastic backpack (there's even room for a water bottle and a snack!). It includes a set of bright yellow binoculars which can be adjusted to fit and focus and which have a safety cord. Once they have a bird in their sights, details can be jotted down in the handy notebook (a pencil is included). The spotter's guide is packed with useful information about how to get started, as well as a comprehensive field guide section full of expert tips on how to identify over 100 species. The birds are divided into sections such as water birds and wading birds and the key along the edges of the pages makes it easy to find the right section. There's a description of each bird, which includes where they live, what they eat and what they sound like. This complete kit is the perfect introduction to birdwatching for children aged 8-12; a great way to spark an interest. This book and the one below are a result of Nosy Crow's collaboration with the National Trust - look out for more books in NT shops.

The National Trust: Look and Say What You See in the Countryside by Sebastien Braun

Children enjoy spotting various items on the pages of a book and it's a great way to encourage observation and conversation. There's a 'Can you see?' strip across the bottom of every colourful spread with objects to spot and name. As children look closely at the pictures to find the objects, they will soon find their attention drawn to everything else on the page, stimulating them to question. Each spread is set in a different natural environment and is full of wildlife - there's summer in the meadow, autumn in the forest, a snowy winter walk, spring in the forest and many more. There's so much to recognise in each landscape in this beautiful interactive book for toddlers, yet the pictures remain clear and uncluttered, making things easy to find. The illustrations are glorious - a real celebration of the beauty of our countryside.

Let Your Kids Go Wild Outside by Fiona Bird

This book is subtitled 'Creative ways to help children discover nature and enjoy the great outdoors' and it's packed with inspiration that will be enjoyed by families and by teachers. It can be hard to motivate children to get outside and as adults, we need to set the lead - this book provides plenty of encouragement, with ideas that will be enjoyed by the whole family. Fiona Bird is a foraging expert and her love of the natural world shines through in the book. After a very practical introductory section, there are chapters on Into the Woods; Meadows, Hedgerows, and Hills; Seashore; Water and Wetlands; and My Wild Garden and Kitchen, Each chapter talks about what will be found in the habitat, both animal and plant life, and gives a fantastic range of activities to do either on the spot or at home afterwards. It's an excellent way to encourage children to appreciate nature and there's a phenomenal amount to do, ensuring there's plenty for everyone to enjoy. Keep this by you throughout the year and make the most of the natural world.

The Den Book by Jo Schofield and Fiona Danks

This wonderful book, just like the authors' previous The Stick Book and The Beach Book, gets right to the heart of what children really love to do. Children love to make their own space, and building dens is the perfect way to do it; once they have their den, their imaginations will take them into all sorts of worlds - worlds where the impossible become possible, the unbelievable, believable. Dens are universal play places which can be made almost anywhere, out of almost anything. What makes a good den? The Den Book tells you everything you need to know to inspire den-building, through informative text and masses of super photos which show children creating and enjoying their dens. Whether it's for themselves alone, for a gang of friends, for their toys, or even for imaginary creatures, builders will find inspiration. There are woodland dens, garden dens, fantasy dens - all sorts of dens. This book includes tips on how to build, waterproof and furnish a den and lots of fun ideas for activities to do in and around dens. There is specific advice on building different dens, including garden dens, junk dens, sleep out and party dens, fairy forts and monster dens as well as treehouses and tepees. The book would be a great asset to forest schools. A fantastic book which will inspire children to get outside and enjoy the wonderful world around us.

Little Collectors: Nature Art: Make art from nature by Jenny Bowers

Nature is all around us, and whatever the time of year, there is always plenty to see and to collect. If your child has ever come home with a collection of natural objects, and you have wondered what to do with them all, now you have the answer. This box is a one-stop guide to finding, observing, collecting and exhibiting children's discoveries, from flowers and blossoms to to pebbles and plants. As they discover and create their own collections, they will be amazed at the wonder of life around you; it;s a super way to encourage them to appreciate the beauty of nature. The box contains two fold-up frames to display children's collections; a fold-out poster that they can draw onto or stick things to; an envelope to take then they go collecting plus a book full of ideas and tips on collecting and displaying. Unusual and very effective.

A Journey Through Nature by Steve Parker

This book takes the young reader on an engrossing journey right round the world, visiting a wide range of different habitats along the way. The engaging presentation really draws the reader in, encouraging them to join in the journey. From the habitats that are close to us, such as rivers and seashore, the book then branches out to more exotic locations including grasslands, deserts and the tundra; under the ground and under the sea are included too. The colourful illustrations show the creatures discussed in the text, and there are others pictured too, so see if your child can spot them and then you can see if you can find out more about these creatures too. The book jacket opens out to reveal a colourful scene embracing some of the habitats viewed in the book.

Nature's Day: Out and About by Kay Maguire

Take your child on a treasure hunt, season by season, with this sequel to the excellent Nature's Day (Wide Eyed). There's no need to go far from home as this fascinating book shows the world of nature right on your doorstep. Readers will learn how to spot different leaves, birds, flowers, and insects, make a bee hotel, ice art and a daisy chain, colour in different seasonal scenes and collect treasures for your nature box. This is the perfect title to get children out and about all year round, and it will help children appreciate and look after the natural world. It's beautifully illustrated too, with delicate drawings and plenty of pictures to colour.

Make It Grow by Debbie Powell

I like the fact that this book appeals to young children (3+), helping them to understand how things grow, and then linking them to the colourful rainbow at the end. As they lift the flaps, they will see things grow in a variety of colours - can they guess what colour will be under the flap? Fun rhyming text introduces each habitat. The stylish illustrations are very effective, and the use of just two or three colours on the main pages makes the contrast with the pictures under the flaps even more striking. Each plant is a different colour, and at the back is a big lift-the-flap rainbow to reinforce the colours (the book uses US spelling).

Amazing Animal Journeys by Chris Packham

I love watching Chris Packham's nature programmes - he has a wonderful gift of bringing nature right home to us and of getting everyone involved. Most of all, we need to involve our young people and this fascinating book will amaze them with its tales of the epic journeys some animals make. Every year, billions of animals migrate from one part of our planet to another, many of them going on journeys of almost unbelievable complexity. Chris talks directly to his audience as he introduces creatures from around the world and follows them on their journeys, long or short. There are the butterflies who use their antennae like a compass to guide them from Canada to Mexico and crabs who need people to help them cross the road safely. These and many more will encourage children to find out more, and they can pore over the migration map and uncover extra information in the Find Out More section. The book is beautifully illustrated by Jason Cockcroft. Full of fascinating facts, this is a super book and one that will enthrall and amaze children.

RSPB Wildlife in Your Garden by Mike Dilger

I think children will be amazed at the variety of wildlife we can find in our gardens - and as schools become more aware of using outside space and caring for nature, this applies to school grounds too. Children will learn about garden birds, animals, plants and creepy-crawlies, with informative text and excellent colour photography - many of the creatures shown in this book were unfamiliar to me and I will certainly be looking out for them now. The book includes handy tips on where and when to spot the wildlife that visits your garden, as well as plenty of tips on encouraging wildlife - something we should all be doing. It is divided into the various habitats around the garden, so the reader knows just where to spot each species. It's engagingly written and presented and a lovely way to encourage children to take an interest.

Outside: A Guide to Discovering Nature by Maria Ana Peixe Dias

This book wasn't what I expected from a nature book but it definitely has its own unique appeal. What it shows, and this is what we all need to be aware of, is that nature surrounds us - clouds and stars, trees and flowers, rocks and beaches, birds, reptiles and mammals. Created in collaboration with a team of Portuguese experts, this stylish book with its use of two colour illustrations, won the coveted Bologna Regazzi award. It aims to arouse children's curiosity about the natural world and includes suggestions for activities and many illustrations to help the whole family get started, leave the house, and go out to discover the amazing world that exists outdoors. It's packed with information and ideas to encourage a real interest in the natural world.

A Little Guide to Gardening by Dr Jo Elworthy

This book is a real treat! It shows that a garden can be anywhere - in pots, on a balcony, an allotment or a garden at home or school. It's a beautifully illustrated book, with delicate and colourful pictures showing the plants and the activities - and best of all, people enjoying their gardens and the produce. It's packed full of information and covers everything children need to know to get started with gardening, all inspiringly presented so they feel really motivated. There are simple gardening tips, planting and growing instructions, interesting snippets of information plus plenty of recipes to use that home-grown produce;. It's all beautifully presented and really encourages children to give gardening a go; it's a lovely book to browse through too, and just enjoy those lovely drawings.

Beasties in my Backyard by Camilla de le Bédoyère

We don't need to go far to see amazing creatures, as this book shows. There are all kinds of bugs lurking right in your garden, so come on an incredible journey to see just what is hiding there. Stunning images from scanning electron microscopes are used throughout the book to give us phenomenal pictures of incredible minibeasts, revealing every hair on the back of a flea, the beautiful scales on a moth's wing, and the amazing compound eye of a fly. Every page has a black background and this is amazingly effective, showing off the detail to perfection. The informative text includes fact files so creatures can be compared. Discover what a fly likes to eat and how it digests its food; how a pond skater can skim across the surface of water and how a colony of ants communicates. Prepare to be amazed!

Gardening for Beginners by Abigail Wheatley

As a very keen gardener myself, I am passionate about encouraging children to spend time in the garden and share the joy of seeing plants grow and enjoy eating produce they have grown themselves. This book helps children to discover how plants grow and teaches them the all-important facts about where our food comes from. It goes right back to basics with detailed step-by-step descriptions of all the basic principles, with plenty of hints, tips and ideas; clear diagrams enhance the text. You don't even need a garden as there are lots of ways to grow plants in pots inside, on windowsills or balconies, as the projects in this book show. I was pleased to see a page on bee-friendly flowers too. A lovely book which would make a great gift - perhaps along with some seeds and a few plant pots.

50 Things: Night-Time Adventure Notebook from The National Trust

The National Trust are really building on the success of their 50 Things to do Before You're 11 3/4 series, and that's wonderful to see. It's fantastic that such a high-profile organisation is putting its influence behind encouraging children to get outside enjoying nature and it is really having an impact. When the sun goes down, it's time get out there with these outdoor challenges; there are so many wonderful things to see and do at night and this book shows how easy it is to enjoy them and marvel at nature at the same time. Here are just some of the ideas for children and adults (great for family bonding) to share - stargazing, bat-watching, hunting for glow worms, tell the time with the moon, send secret messages with Morse code, make snowball lanterns and tell stories round a campfire. When you've finished, write up your adventures in this notebook. and treasure it as a record of exciting nights spent appreciating the wonders that lie around us.

Hare by Zoe Greaves

This delicate and beautiful book celebrates the natural history and mythology of the hare. Hares are creatures of mystery and this delightful book keeps that mystery alive. The use of an attractive font and delicate illustrations that show off nature make for a lovely book, ideal as a gift - the cloth binding and silver embossed hare on the cover give us a lovely book. There are story pages and factual information to help us understand this elegant creature.

Apple Pigs by Ruth Orbach

This beautifully illustrated tale of an apple tree that grows too many apples is delightfully told in rhyme; this is a reissue of a much-loved story. When a girl finds a withered apple tree surrounded by rubbish, she clears the rubbish to help the poor tree grow. In Spring, the tree bursts into blossom and produces a glut of apples and they just keep on coming and the family just can't cope with them all. The answer? An apple feast! A lovely celebration of the bounty of nature; a story which makes us appreciate how generous nature is. The coloured line drawings are charming - apples, apples everywhere! The story celebrates apples and Apple Day and has been produced by the National Trust. Make sure you celebrate this wonderful fruit!

Pond Explorer: Nature Sticker & Activity Book by Alice Lickens

Pond dipping is great fun, and is an activity that can be enjoyed by all children, town or country dweller. Now it's even more fun and more educational with this interactive guide from the National Trust. This guide is packed with engaging activities and fascinating facts. Children will learn how to tell frogs from toads, identify minibeasts, match the duckling to the duck and much more. The simple presentation makes the book perfect for 3 to 6 year olds and it makes an excellent way to engage them with nature on a level which they can understand and relate to. Parents and children can enjoy together activities such as how to make 'frogspawn tea' with tapioca pearls and how to make an underwater viewer to look at aquatic pond creatures. There are over 80 stickers to use to decorate the pages and increase knowledge about pond life. A really good book which I highly recommend.

The Butterfly Garden by Laura Weston

The dramatic life cycle of the monarch butterfly comes to life in this lift-the-flap book illustrated with prints by Laura Weston. Told in simple language with black-and-white illustrations, the flaps reveal bright flashes of colour. Follow the monarch butterfly as it changes from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly; then goes on an incredible journey as it migrates for winter and the cycle starts again... Simply but stylishly presented, this is ideal to introduce young ones to life-cycles with the added fun of flaps to explore.

Birdsong by Madeleine Floyd

A real treat for all bird lovers and a book to cherish. It includes detailed descriptions of the wonderful songs and sounds of our birds as well as descriptions of their behaviour and characteristics. With around 50 exquisite drawings of birds, plus drawings of their eggs, this detailed book is a real treasure. Each drawing occupies a full page and is accompanied by the appropriate sound; they are delicate but very detailed and really capture the essence of each bird.

At the Seaside (My Nature Sticker Activity Book) by Olivia Cosneau

This delightful nature sticker and activity book on the seaside provides hours of fun for children of 5+; either use it as a companion to a seaside holiday, or help land-bound children learn more about our coasts. The beautiful illustrations include familiar and less-common creatures - crabs, jellyfish, starfish and gulls, as well as plants. Habitats are covered too - children will learn about fragile sand dunes. They can colour in the creatures and their homes, apply stickers of their food and where they live, and learn about how they bring up their young and what they eat. And at the end, there's a fun quiz to test their knowledge, with a question for each page.

50 Things to Do Before You're 11 3/4: My Adventure Notebook from The National Trust

The National Trust's Things to do before you're 11 3/4 is a fantastic initiative and it's great to see that it is so heavily promoted at their properties, making visiting them far more family-friendly than ever before. This book is packed with practical ideas for activities everyone can enjoy wherever they live (and without spending lots of money). The challenges range from taking children into the woods and onto the water, up big hills and down to the beach. And once children have enjoyed the activity, they can record their achievement in the book by drawing pictures and including when it was done (I'd like to see 'where' included too) for a lasting record. There are top tips to help children develop their nature skills and each activity has a mini objective to help engage them with nature. There's also a '10 Best Things to Do' as voted by children across the country. A super book and one that will make a great lasting record.

The Beach Book by Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield

I am a huge fan of The Stick Book and The Wild Weather Book, so I was thrilled to see another book packed with engaging activities to make the most of the wonders of the outdoor world; this time, every child's favourite, the beach (and if you can't get to the beach, try the activities by river or lake). Whatever your interest, this book will persuade you to get down to the water. Discover beach wildlife; explore the sands and shore; try foraging, damming and diverting streams; look for natural resources to play with and invent new games; be creative with the things you find. This wonderful book really encourages the reader to take a different look at things they may otherwise pass by, and that is part of its genius - you see things with a fresh eye. The inspiring ideas are easy to follow and the excellent colour photos really bring the projects to life. Put a copy of this book into your beach bag and there will never be a dull moment - and you can use the money you save to buy that ice cream! I'm off to the beach - luckily, I live by the sea!

The Garden Classroom: Hands-On Activities in Math(s), Science, Literacy, and Art by Cathy James

I am passionate about encouraging children to spend time outside and learn about the beautiful world that surrounds us - and the health benefits are inestimable too. Our gardens offer children a rich, sensory playground, full of interesting things to discover and learn about and, as the book title says, these can develop key academic skills too; science is happening all around; literacy skills are developed by talking and writing about what we see; and maths activities can be found everywhere. Packed with inspiring activities which will work well both in the school and home garden, I was really impressed with the range of imaginative ideas. The book concludes with a Garden Journal for children to complete so they have a record of their activities - why not build on this and make a garden scrapbook with photos, drawings and pressed flowers and leaves? An excellent book.

Wildlife Jack: I Want to Fly (Wildlife Jack & His Adventures) by Ed Kellie

A new children's series called WILDLIFE JACK AND HIS ANIMAL ADVENTURES launched on the Disney channel in 2014 - narrated by wildlife expert Chris Packham. Jack is an animated character who has a special ability - he can talk to animals and learn about their world. Jack love for nature is stimulated by his explorer Grandpa who has given him a very special book, full of pictures and cuttings from his adventures. In this adventure, Jack learns about the way birds fly. With simple language and big, bold informative pictures, this is ideal to encourage 2 to 6 year olds to learn about and enjoy the natural world.

The Little Book of Garden Bird Songs (Sound Book) by Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham

This is a book which will appeal to all ages - especially if, like me, you love to hear the birds singing but struggle to know the blue tit song from the great tit. It's not easy, but here is a simple way to learn about the songs of 12 well-known European garden birds. There's an easy to use sound bar, illustrated by bird pictures; the quality of the recordings is exceptional. To accompany this, you will find there is a general introduction to each bird that highlights its key characteristics and is accompanied by an informative data profile. There's also a Did You Know fact for each bird. The colourful board pages feature good-sized bird pictures as well as being attractively decorated. This lovely book would make a super gift for a family - I shall be keeping my copy on the windowsill next to the binoculars so I can readily spot the birds and link the bird to its song. Bird song is such a lovely part of life and even better with this wonderful book. Another winner from Fine Feather Press.

Nature Detective: British Trees by Victoria Munson

This compact guide is excellent to take out and about with you. With more than 50 of the most common trees found in Britain today, it includes full descriptions of the trees, along with their scientific name, size, family and habitat. With this book, you will ensure you can recognise which tree is which and the large colour photographs of the trees, their leaves, seeds and fruits, will help with easy identification. It includes information about broadleaved trees and conifers, explains the difference between deciduous trees and evergreens, and looks at how the parts of trees, from the leaves and bark to seeds and berries, can help you to recognise each tree. There's also a step-by-step activity to help you create your own tree guide - an interesting addition.

Let's Look for Minibeasts: A Natural History Activity Book by Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham

Minibeasts are all around us so it's not hard to spot the creatures included in this colourful book. Children are fascinated by minibeasts - maybe it is the small size that they relate to so well. They provide an excellent introduction to the natural world and this delightful nature book is the perfect introduction to this fascinating world. Perfect for getting children outside and giving them something fun to do, they can spot the creatures, mark them off in the book and enjoy using the superb photographic stickers on the colourful scene - this will reinforce their memory. There are 45 different creatures to find - some hard, some easy, along with some amazing facts and simple information. Young children will study minibeasts at school too, so this is an excellent way to stimulate their learning.

Let's Look for Trees: A Natural History Activity Book by Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham

Trees are everywhere, so get outside with your copy of this book and see how many you can identify with the aid of the pictures of leaves, flowers and fruits in this book. You can keep the book as a record, and enjoy making a beautiful woodland scene with the photographic stickers. As well, there are facts about fascinating forest dwellers, a life cycle diagram and an account of a year in a tree's life. The production makes these books remarkable - superb photography, attractive backgrounds and durable card pages make the books a delight. Fine Feather Press have a wonderful catalogue of nature books to encourage us all, young and old, to get outside and appreciate the wonderful world all around us. The range is beautifully produced, with exceptional photography, and is a super incentive to get out and about. All these things can be spotted wherever we live - city, town, seaside or country, it's all there to be enjoyed.

Wild Adventures by Brita Granström and Mick Manning

Sadly, so much of the outdoor fun that children used to have is a thing of the past - but this exciting book shows that doesn't need to be the case. As long as children and adults follow simple safety guidelines - and this book includes practical advice - there's a world of fun out there, ready to be enjoyed. Many of the activities in this book have been enjoyed by the authors and their family, so you can be sure they are both safe and enjoyable. The book is full of inspiring ideas, all presented in a lively and engaging manner with plenty of facts about nature to learn and enjoy - and to help children appreciate the wonders of the natural world. There are some unusual ideas too - how about chocolate orange cakes, baked on the camp-fire? Wherever you live, there is something for everyone in this excellent book, so what are you waiting for? Get out and get exploring!

Show Me How: Nature Project by Steve Parker

Subtitled Fun-to-do Projects for Kids Shown Step by Step, this book does just what it says. The range of projects is wide, with something for everyone - from a wild flower window box to a butterfly garden. Each of the projects will help children appreciate the natural world around us, and as their appreciation grows, so will their care and concern for the natural world. The book starts with some excellent practical advice on caring for our environment, and then goes on to list the materials needed to carry out the projects. Parents - stock up on these, then you have ready-made entertainment for those 'I'm bored' moments. Each project is simply explained step-by-step, with accompanying photos which help understanding. A really super book which would also be valuable in the classroom. For a hardback book, this is exceptional value.

Sticker Play Scenes: Garden Birds by Andrea Pinnington

Children love stickers so what a great way to introduce them to the natural world around them and encourage them to take a real interest. Inside this on-the-go activity pack, there are over 35 reusable photographic stickers which can be used to decorate the enchanting open-out garden play scene. There is also a handy guide to the names of our best-loved British birds. While children are out spotting birds, they will also be able to spot some of the creatures featured in the accompanying Sticker Play Scenes: Garden Wildlife and then put the stickers on the play scene. Fine Feather Press was founded by Caz Buckingham and Andrea Pinnington. All the titles are designed to inspire a love of nature in children from an early age.

Sticker Play Scenes: Woods & Forests Andrea Pinnington

This pack includes 35+ stickers (on two sheets) plus fold-out forest scene to put them on. You could use these packs as I-spy games - once the creature, plant or bird has been spotted, place it on the scene - taking care to put it in an appropriate place! This will develop children's observational skills and help them remember. There is also a simple guide that names the most common woodland animals, plants and fungi All the sticker play scenes are suitable for children of 3+. Woods and forest are also home to Wild Flowers so this sticker play scene with its meadow scene will be good to use alongside each other.

Sticker Play Scenes: Ponds & Rivers by Andrea Pinnington

Pond dipping is a great family activity, so why not take this along with you - or better still, complete it at home afterwards so it doesn't get wet! The fold-out watery scene (with reusable stickers) has a simple ID guide giving the names of the featured animals and plants. The seaside is a popular place and this Sticker Play Scenes: Seashore will encourage children to look out for the natural beauties which are all around us.

Sticker Play Scenes: Farm by Andrea Pinnington

Many children will visit farms whether in the country or in city farms. This colourful sticker pack will be the perfect accompaniment, helping children identify the creatures they will meet on the farm. Butterflies are beautiful creatures and they are seen to full advantage with the excellent quality pictures - a striking feature of all these sticker scenes is the amazing detail which is found on each sticker. The final review of this wonderful set of stickers with a difference is for Sticker Play Scenes: Butterflies

Deadly Detectives: Top Tips to Track Wildlife by Steve Backshall

Everything you need to know about the origins of tracking, and in sufficient detail to interest adults as well as children. Learn what you need to become a tracker and how to do it, wherever you are. It's full of Steve's own adventures, both in this country and around the world - from tropical rainforests to the African Savanna, from the Arctic tundra to the desert. The principles are the same, whether in exotic locations or close to home. It's illustrated throughout with superb colour photos and diagrams and the case studies make for particularly interesting reading. This book is excellent even for children who don't intend to go out wildlife tracking, with its fascinating information and chatty writing style - and who knows? Maybe it will inspire children to get outside and engage with nature - I do hope so.

The Wild City Book: Fun Things to do Outdoors in Towns and Cities by Jo Schofield

Living in the city is not an excuse for children missing out on outdoor activities, as this inspiring book shows. Towns and cities offer many exciting activities – hunting for wildlife clues, watching wild creatures, making wild art, playing wild games, having exciting outdoor adventures. You will be amazed at just how much can be found if you look. The book is divided into sections which include imaginative play, storytelling and music, and games and trails. My favourite section is wild creations which is full of creative ideas. Illustrated throughout with colour photos, this book will provide hours - days, even - of enjoyable activities which will bring children closer to nature. A brilliant book for home and school full of unusual ideas which are accessible for everyone. What are you waiting for?

RSPB 365 Outdoor Activities You Have to Try by Jamie Ambrose

We all need to encourage children to get outdoors and enjoy all that nature has to offer - but sometimes we can do with some extra inspiration and encouragement. That is exactly what this exciting book offers us - an activity for every day of the year. There are ideas suitable for a wide range of ages, and activities that take just minutes or which will keep the whole family entertained for many hours. The projects need only basic materials and even the least practical reader will find the illustrated step-by-step instructions are easy to follow. There are ideas to appeal to everyone - how about glow skittles, making a waterfall wall or creating a fake fossil? There are so many novel ideas here and the book will also be a huge asset in the classroom for teachers looking for outdoor activities - whichever they do, children will be learning and appreciating nature. Produced in association with the RSPB, Europe's leading wildlife charity.

A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies

 A gentle poetic exploration through the changing seasons, this is a book which will make those of all ages stop and think about the beauty of the world around us, in even the simplest of things. The text and illustrations work wonderfully together, as the pictures frame the text whilst really reflecting the meaning. There are activities too, which encourage interaction with the world around us. It's a book to cherish and share, one to keep and reflect upon and to pick up and read when the pressures of life get a bit much. It's a lovely way to encourage children to enjoy the world around them and to make them take note and care for that world.

Let's Look: In Ponds & Rivers by Andrea Pinnington

The majority of people will have a pond or river close to home, so take your child out to explore and then come home and recreate the scenes using the stickers. The plants and animals are split into easy to spot and harder to spot and children can tick them off once they spot them. As with all the Fine Feather Press books, it is the quality of the illustrations which is outstanding - they are both accurate and very attractive. At the end of the book is a page on the life cycle of the frog and one on waterbirds. This, and the three books below, are new titles from the excellent Fine Feather Press - scroll down this page to see more of their books and then get out and about with your child enjoying the wonders of nature. An excellent series, highly recommended.

Let's Look: On the Seashore by Andrea Pinnington

The ideal accompaniment to a day or holiday at the seaside. The book starts with pictures of things to be found on the seashore to whet the appetite and the things to find are graded in order of difficulty. the 'What can you find?' page encourages children to use all their senses while exploring the beach - an interesting idea and one that gives lots of ideas for further exploration. There is also a page on seashells. Looking for the appropriate sticker will reinforce learning and help children to remember while having fun; there is a double page fold-out at the end of each book for children to create their own scenes. The stickers are well sized and not too fiddly, so they come off well without tearing. Each of these books is produced on good quality card, making them practical and durable so once your child has explored the habitat and stuck in the stickers, the book will remain as a perfect memento and reference aid.

Let's Look: On the Farm by Andrea Pinnington

You don't need to live in the country to visit a farm - there are lots of city farms, so take this book on your next visit. Before you set out, stimulate your child's interest with the 'Amazing Facts' which are a feature of each book. There is an introduction to the farm plus animals and their babies and animal sounds to recognise and imitate. Then the lovely stickers can be used to create the child's own farmyard scene. An excellent way to stimulate interest in the world around us.

Let's Look: In Woods & Forests by Andrea Pinnington

If you go down to the woods today... make sure you have a copy of this book with you so your child can explore all the wonderful things which make up our woodlands. The quality of Fine Feather Press publications has been recognised - they have been shortlisted for the IPG’s Nick Robinson Newcomer Award. The judges said: ‘Fine Feather Press makes the shortlist after establishing itself in its specialism of children’s natural history within a year of launching. “The books are beautifully produced with a great sense of nostalgia. Fine Feather has very quickly identified and hit the right sales channels.”’

My First Book of Baby Animals by Mike Unwin

When I saw the title, I thought 'another book of cute baby animals' - but this book is far more than that. On one side of the page is a picture of animals - or just part of one - plus a question to get children thinking. Turn over and they find the answer plus plenty of interesting facts. Perfect for KS1 children this is a good book to stimulate interest in the natural world and to help children learn more about the 20 animals included. Attractively laid out, the text is clear and accessible and the pictures, which include the habitat, are very attractive.

First Animal Encyclopedia by Anita Ganeri

The perfect book to introduce young children to the amazing world of animals. Pre-readers will enjoy the lovely photos and sharing the book with an adult and once children can read for themselves, the clear layout and differentiated text sizes and styles offer good opportunities to develop reading skills. From the biggest to the smallest, children will learn about animals and be amazed by the Awesome! fact boxes. The comprehensive glossary and index will help develop reference skills.

First Animal Encyclopedia Seas and Oceans by Anna Claybourne

Another book which focuses on encouraging children to question and explore the world around them. The perfect pairing to the book above, this concentrates on the living creatures to be found in our oceans. It makes excellent use of colourful photographs which explain and expand on the topics. As well as the creatures, children will learn about a variety of habitats including mangrove forests, coastlines and the major oceans.

Animal Atlas by Anna Claybourne

Travel the world and discover the rich variety of animal life. Detailed text gives plenty of information and there are lots of creatures included. An additional value of this book is that it capitalises on children's interest in animals and uses this to help them discover the geography of the world. Often, children know lots about the animals but not where they come from, so this atlas helps them put the animals into context. It is split by continent and there is geographical information which gives useful background; the colourful backgrounds to the pictures show the area.

123 Nature Activity Cards by Andrea Pinnington

I reviewed some products from Fine Feather Press before and raved about them, so I was delighted to see that they have just brought out two more products to interest pre-schoolers in our natural world. Numbers 1 to 20 are included in these fold-over, generously sized cards. On the front is the number with a delicate illustration from nature framed in pretty border. Inside each card there are colour illustrations with puzzles and questions to discuss with your child, then the number is repeated on the back. There are so many ways to use these cards - obviously, to learn numbers but also to learn about nature through observation - take the '2' card out for example, and spot the birds. Each activity is different and all provide ways to encourage children to take an interest in nature. The cards are beautifully produced and a joy to use.

ABC Wall Frieze by Andrea Pinnington

A beautifully created frieze, full of delicate drawings (with lots of detail to spot) and excellent photos, all on good quality card. I would love to see this used in the Reception classroom, not simply as a wall frieze on its own (although it is great for that) but to be part of a nature table display so the children could be encouraged to bring in relevant objects, pictures etc. It would be a lovely way to get them involved and to help them appreciate the beauties of nature. Everything on the frieze can easily be seen in the world around (or above) us so it's really relevant to children. Perfect for a child's bedroom wall too and again children could be encouraged to create relevant collections - as there are seven sections, if space is limited, collect for four letters at a time. A most attractive way to learn the alphabet.

My First Nature Activity Book ed by Susan Akass

This is another excellent title from CicoKidz which will encourage children to get out and about. There are 35 projects and games, suitable for children of 7+ - or parents of younger children may well want to share the activities with them. Each project has clear step-by-step instructions with diagrams showing every step and the book is really attractively laid out in a way that will encourage children to give things a go. My favourite? I think the 'rain boot bulbs' - turn your outgrown wellies (which are often really decorative) into great planters. The super colour photos are a great way to inspire kids and show them just what great results they can achieve

ABC Nature Activity Cards by Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham

There are books which really excite and enthuse me and the books and cards from Fine Feather Press definitely come into that category. This set of cards surprised me as I was expecting just the normal double sided card - but these open out to show an array of associated photos, plus a question or activity on each to engage children with the world around us. There are all sorts of questions/activities and this is a hugely stimulating pack. Beautifully decorated, fantastic photos, stimulating things to do - and a surprise at Z! So many uses, from learning the alphabet, making a display, encouraging a love of nature... Just brilliant.

Let's Look For Garden Birds by Andrea Pinnington

Children always enjoy 'I Spy' type books and they do offer a great incentive for children to get out and observe the world around them. Having said that, the quality of the illustrations far exceeds what you would expect of an 'I Spy' book and these are definitely books to keep for reference, even if you are lucky enough to have spotted everything. How to look for birds, feeding and bird song are included. There are 30 stickers and a fold-out play scene for them. From the Fine Feather Press website: "The aim of all their titles is to encourage children to understand and enjoy nature. All the photographs that appear in their books have been taken by them. When not in front of their computers, they can be found, cameras in hand, scouring the countryside for interesting things to add to their database."

Let's Look For Butterflies by Andrea Pinnington

These books have sturdy card pages that mean they can be used repeatedly and still retain their glossy attractive appearance - Caz Buckingham's designs and illustrations are exceptional. 30 common butterflies are featured with stickers for each and a meadow scene to complete. Information includes parts of a butterfly, facts, food and life cycle. Also available Let's Look For Wild Flowers and Let's Look For Garden Wildlife - together, the series makes an excellent way to encourage children to get outside and enjoy wildlife.

Get Out Nature Puzzles & Games by Caz Buckingham and Andrea Pinnington

Like the other books by Fine Feather Press, this book is a delight with its charming design. It's packed with nature activities that will encourage families to get out and about enjoying the world around us. It's a combination of spotter's guide and activity book which takes the reader through the seasons, spotting wildlife and enjoying a rich variety of activities including puzzles, drawing, colouring and writing about nature. The approach is very original and I love the friendly approach of the text. There's a nature wall chart as well. An excellent way to engender a love of nature and thoroughly enjoyable.
 

Farm Babies Sticker Book RSPCA

Have you got a child who loves animals? Then they will love this book which has lots of cute baby animal stickers. Where this book really stands out is in the quality of the backgrounds - it's far better that the average sticker book and far more like a good quality picture book that just happens to come with stickers.  There's lots of information about baby animals on the farm and plenty of puzzles to enjoy. Best of all - buying this book helps the RSPCA save animal's lives, so go and get a copy.

Grow Organic, Eat Organic (Creative Activities) by Susan Martineau

Organic - a word we hear a lot but what does it mean? Help children understand the concept through hands-on activities as they learn how to grow plants organically. From growing to cooking, this colourful book is full of advice for children. They don't need a garden - there are lots of ideas for pots and window-boxes too. So many schools are now offering children the opportunity to grow things, so this book makes an excellent classroom resource too. The book helps children understand how important it is that we take care of our environment - including worms! The diagrams are an excellent aid to understanding the practical processes and I like the way children are offered recipes to use the food they grow.

Mr Bloom's Nursery: Playtime with the Veggies Sticker Book

Dress dolly with a difference! In this book, it's the veggies who get dressed up. There are over a hundred stickers to decorate the Veggies who live in Mr Bloom's nursery. Children can get them dressed ready to set off on exciting adventures - as pirates, as princesses, as spacemen and many more. And along the way, children will learn lots about vegetables and what they need to grow. It's fun and colourful.

Colour and Learn Animals Colouring & Fact Book from Brainbox

More than just a colouring book, this is full of interesting facts for children to find out about the animal kingdom. There is plenty of detail in the pictures and children can really produce something they can be proud of. The pictures are printed single sided on good quality paper, so your child can tear the pages out along the perforations and display their artwork. A great classroom resource too, as tthe perforations mean the pictures can be pulled out and photocopied for future use. There are lots more titles on the Green Board Games website.

Sign in