Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Hello Nature: Draw, Collect, Make and Grow

Hello Nature: Draw, Collect, Make and Grow

Nina Chakrabarki
Coloring and activity book
For ages 8 and up
Laurence King Publishing, 2016   ISBN: 978-1780677354

Some people think that the only way to appreciate nature is by going out into a wilderness area, or a park. The truth of the matter is that nature is all around us. Every dawn, every sunset, every flower and bird that we see connects us with nature. There is beauty and “mystery” in “a growing seed…planted in a pot of earth in the kitchen window.”

In this wonderful book young artists will finds nature facts, coloring pages, and activities which will take them into nature irrespective of where they live. The text is often interactive in nature, inviting the reader to respond to questions that are found throughout the book. For example, on the first spread we are shown a picture of planet Earth “a.k.a home,” and the text tells us that “Somewhere on this planet is you.” We learn that Earth is four and half billion years old and are asked how old we are. Finally we are asked to draw a picture of ourselves “at this precise moment in time.”

Next we get to know the sun a little, the star nearest to use whose warmth and light makes life on Earth possible. We are invited to design a sun mask similar to the one shown in the illustration. Then, on the next spread, we learn, through creating our own diagrams, how the sun’s position in the sky at sunrise and sunset changes as the months goes by.

Further on in the book we encounter a section that focuses on spring. We are shown illustrations of trees and their leaves so that we can learn how to identify trees. Later we get to draw our dream tree house, both inside and out. The next page introduces us Emily Dickinson, who loved flowers so much that she had a herbarium, or dried flower collection. She also wrote a poem called With Flowers which the author shares with us. We then are shown how to create our own herbarium.

After our celebration of spring flowers we get to spend some time with animals that we might see in spring, including toads and frogs, dragonflies, butterflies and moths, and birds. The information that the author shares with us about these creatures will delight young readers who like animals.

The author goes on to give us ‘chapters’ for the rest of the seasons in the year and each one is packed with projects of all kinds, information and more.

This book would make a wonderful gift for any young person. The author’s obvious love of,  and interest in, nature comes through loud and clear as we go from page to page learning about the natural wonders that are all around us.