Book reviews - nature (page 2)

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.

Know Your Nature: British Wildlife by Caz Buckingham and Andrea Pinnington

I love the books produced by Fine Feather Press - they are so relevant to children and a real encouragement to get outside and enjoy nature. Sadly, in today's busy world, children's ability to recognise the even most common plants and animals is rapidly disappearing; adults too will really benefit from the clear identification guides in this book. With over 150 animals and plants including birds, insects, mammals, trees, flowers, shells, fish, butterflies, moths, reptiles, amphibians, all the common things we should know are included - and because they are relatively common, we should all be able to find most of them, making the book even more relevant. This durable board book, ideal to take out and about, is split into sections including water birds, wild flowers, butterflies and fish. With 10 to spot on each page, there's plenty for children to look out for. Atrractive photos are accompanied by brief descriptions and I love the quiz at the end - children are encouraged to try this before reading the book, to see how much they know. A lovely book to encourage children to observe nature.

Dance, Dolphin, Dance: A California Ocean Adventure by Patricia MacCarthy

The beautifully painted pictures with their strong colours and wonderful evocation of undersea life are the stand-out features of this book. Deep down in the ocean's kelp forest, Dolphin dances with sea lions - but then life becomes dangerous when he encounters a Great White Shark and a Killer Whale. He must dance for his life, through the deep waters, to keep safe. This is a dramatic underwater chase, set in the Pacific Ocean, with 36 sea creatures and birds to spot, including the Red Octopus, Blue Cannonball Jellyfish, Crowned Squirrelfish and the Sea Otter. They are all shown at the end of the book for children to identify by the labels and then spot in the story. Beautifully done and we must emphasise to children the need to care for this beauty.

Natural Wonders of the World by Molly Oldfield

Discover 30 marvels of Planet Earth with this awesome book which can only enhance your appreciation for the marvels of nature. There are many places and creatures here that may well be new to the reader, and it's fabulous to see these showcased. From firefly squid glowing against the night sky in Japan to a Mexican cave filled with the largest crystals ever found, learn about the incredible stories and science behind these wonders. Importantly, we also learn about the threats they face and the efforts to save them. The book does a good job of highlighting the environmental threats. The superb photographs, which often spread over a page and a half of this generously sized book, are an integral and vital part of the book and they really do show the full glory of the wonders described. A beautiful book, full of fascinating facts.

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