One of four initial entries in the ""Millbrook Arts Library,"" a visually attractive series that combines reproductions of art from a wide variety of sources with a simple commentary designed to introduce many styles, materials, and subjects and to start young people on their own artistic endeavors. Here, nature provides not only subjects for realistic paintings but a source of textures, patterns, and designs for more imaginative styles, and even materials such as pigments. Peppin's text is brief and somewhat condescending, with textbook-style questions addressed to the reader. Captions could have been more complete--why not label the cochineal and vermilion? Which is which? And dates for the art would help put it in context. (Dates for the artists appear in the index, but few children will happen on them there.) The suggested projects are well integrated, but many will find the sample artwork dauntingly professional. Best are the splendid connections drawn among well-chosen works of art from many cultures and eras. Other volumes issued simultaneously are Peppin's People in Art and Places in Art, and Helen Williams's Stories in Art. The latter--with its substantial detail concerning content, iconography, and mood (plus an informative double spread on restoration)--is the strongest in a somewhat uneven but generally commendable series. Brief biographies of selected artists; index.