Looking outside your window on a day like today, you might dispute the fact that spring had sprung but we are officially in meteorological spring. I love this time of the year when the daylight lasts longer and spring is well and truly within our grasp. So it feels like the perfect time to share some books about nature and the great outdoors. These books help us explore the environment outside our windows meeting bees, butterflies and appreciating the glory of wild flowers and the creatures who live in our natural world.
When Bea, and her dog, Iris, go to stay with her grandad in the country. Bea is sure she’ll be bored. She’d much rather play on her device outside than help her grandad with the garden. But when naughty Iris chases a cat into next door’s garden she leads them to the small and rusty old greenhouse. Inside Bea gets a shock when she discovers a giant made entirely of plants and greenery. Although Bea is alarmed, she is reassured by the giant who tells her about his escape from the grey city. They soon become friends and Bea is sad when the time has come to return to the city but together they come up with a plan to make it a greener place. Beautifully told with stunning illustrations this story embraces the joy of bringing greenery to our cities and highlights how small changes can bring a real difference to changing our world for the better.
‘Princess Poppy: Please, Please Save the Bees,’ by Janey Louise Jones and illustrated by Jenny Poh is a gentle introduction to allow children to understand about the plight of the bees. Poppy and her friends are on mission to discover why the bees have gone missing from Honeypot Hill. Without the bees they discover there will be no more delicious strawberries, pears, tomatoes or honey treats. Beautifully told with charming illustrations, this will appeal to nature loving children. Alongside the story can help Poppy find the creatures hidden in the book and learn practical ways to help the bee population.
I’m a huge fan of Elli and Briony’s work so I was thrilled to discover they were collaborating on a picture book. ‘Little Bear’s Spring,’ is a joyful celebration of friendship, as little bear emerges from the winter in search of a friend. All he can find is a smooth little stone that he carries around but nobody wants to play. The birds, the hares and the wolves are far too busy getting ready for spring and little bear feels lost and all alone. He doesn’t understand what this spring is and is desperately sad when his stone cracks. But when he wakes the next day he discovers a whole new world and a brand new playmate. Elli’s beautiful, lyrical rhymes are the perfect match for Briony’s sumptuous spreads which capture the changing seasons stunningly. Exquisitely produced this is a picture book which deserves to be treasured and shared over and over again.
Nova is a very determined girl on a mission. Today is the day she is going to catch a butterfly. The problem is the butterfly is equally as determined not to get caught. Join Nova as she swoops her net, climbs trees and crosses oceans in a bid to achieve her goal. But when Nova does success she finds it doesn’t bring her the joy she imagined. Zoe’s story is full of movement and energy capturing brilliantly the epic quest that Nova sets herself, refusing to allow anything to get in her way of catching a butterfly. It shows the reader how sometimes we just need to enjoy and live in the moment rather than chasing a goal all the time. Quirky and lively illustrations create an intriguing and charming story which is bound to captivate younger readers.
‘A Walk Through Nature,’ celebrates the wonders of the natural world with a compelling mix of enchanting poetry and fascinating facts to inform and entertain the reader. Journey through this book and you will discover the changes in nature throughout the seasons appreciating the differences each season brings before it disappears. It captures the beauty and magic within our woods and fields as we explore this world all around us through exquisite illustrations that invite us to peek through and learn more. Learn how birds build their intricate nests, uncover the miniscule marvels that hide under fallen logs and find rabbits buried deep underground in their warrens. A truly interactive and joyful experience which encourages children to become nature lovers.
‘The Nature Girls,’ by Aki is a funny and lively trip around the world where our band of fierce and bold explorers are ready to face whatever nature throws at them. They dive with dolphins, whistle with exotic birds, trek across deserts on camels and travel across an icy tundra to spot snow hares. This story provides an interesting and fun introduction to the great outdoors, a perfect spark for learning about new places. Aki uses bold, vibrant illustrations to bring this story to life. The lively, fun rhymes make this story a joy to read aloud. Entertaining and engaging in equal measures.
Thank you to Little Tiger, Macmillan, Pavillion, Janey Louise Jones and Zoe Sadler for sending me gifted copies of these books in an exchange for an honest review. To buy or pre-order a copy of these books click on the title to buy online or order from you local bookshop.