Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Cutest Nature Book Ever!

The Cutest Nature Book Ever!

Carrie Anton
Illustrator:  Jen Skelley 
Nonfiction Novelty Book
For ages 8 to 12
Pleasant Company Publications, 2010   ISBN: 978-1593695842

These days it is not easy getting children and young people to spend time outdoors. Televisions, computers, and video games all compete for their attention, and when they are told to “go do something outside,” they tell adults something like “but there is nothing to do outside!” With this book in hand young people will discover that there are lots of things to do outdoors.

The book begins with some information about “how to use this book.” We are told that it is important “NOT to finish this book fast,” and to come back to it again and again. In addition, the author asks her readers to use this book as inspiration for their own ideas and creativity. They should “write, paint, doodle, and store things” in the book and most important of all they should “have fun!”

Next, the author moves on to the substance of the book. She begins by inviting her readers to make a list of their favorite outdoor places. She encourages them to create an outdoor space of their own where they can enjoy nature. Then it is time to create a “two-minute collection” of “flat nature stuff,” and to use the collection to create a picture in the space provided in the book. Other activities include pressing leaves (yes this can be fun), stick painting, storytelling, making crafty things, finger- and thumb-print pictures, and much more.

This is a perfect gift for a youngster who thinks being outdoors is boring. The activities can be shared with others, or done alone. With an engaging text, charming illustrations, and plenty of photos, this is a great title all around.