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LET'S PLAY OUTDOORS! by Catherine  Ard


Exploring Nature for Children

by Catherine Ard ; illustrated by Carla McRae

Pub Date: May 19th, 2020
ISBN: 978-3-89955-843-2
Publisher: Little Gestalten

A series of activities offers simple directions for specific ways that kids can interact with the outdoors.

A chaotic but appealing table of contents lists the many single-spread topics, which include ways to observe nature (“Window Camera”), ways to help preserve nature (“We Need Bees!”), and how to create carefully controlled entertainment in the great outdoors (“Campfires,” “Outdoor Cooking,” and “Obstacle Courses”). From constructing careful environments for “minibeast” observation to making bark rubbings, the directions are always clear and simple. Along the way, animals (and a couple of mushrooms) remind children via speech bubble of proper, mindful behavior and of when an adult must be present during an activity. A notebook icon sometimes appears with further suggestions for writing or drawing. Badgers, hedgehogs, and general vocabulary indicate this German import’s European genesis, as does a note about shutting gates behind you when roaming in the countryside. Otherwise, the art and text translate well to many North American settings. Facts surface, such as the differences between deciduous and evergreen and between centipede and millipede, but the book’s strength lies in the many ways offered to enjoy the outdoors while being mindful of other life forms. The color-block illustrations are full of people with varied skin tones and hair types. Aerial views of a multicultural woodland band and a campfire gathering are particularly appealing.

A solid, accessible reference book that is fun to peruse.

(Informational picture book. 4-8)