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A First Book of Nature [Hardcover]

Nicola Davies , Mark Hearld
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 May 2012
From beachcombing to stargazing, from watching squirrels, ducks and worms to making berry crumble or a winter bird feast, this is a remarkable book – part poetry, part scrapbook of recipes, facts and fragments – and a glorious reminder that the natural world is on our doorstep waiting to be discovered. Mark Hearld's pictures beautifully reproduce the colours of the seasons on woodfree paper, and Nicola Davies' lyrical words capture the simple loveliness that is everywhere, if only we can look.

Note: This is a very special book - not just because it has two different titles and covers, A First Book Of Nature(ISBN 978-1406304916) in the UK, and Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature(ISBN 978-0763655495) in the US - but because it is a book about children’s very first encounters with nature.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Walker (3 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1406304913
  • ISBN-13: 978-1406304916
  • Product Dimensions: 27.1 x 29.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 124,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm a zoologist by training and by passion - I've been lucky enough to see all sorts of animals in all sorts of places - Sperm whales off Dominica, gibbons in NE India, orang utans and hornbills and proboscis monkeys in Borneo (and that was just last year). But I love the ravens and blackbirds, barn owls and badgers in my own patch in S Wales. All my books are about the natural world in some way. I want my readers to feel the same fizz of excitement about animals that I do.

I used to have a small holding with sheep and chickens and the World's Daftest Dog, Flint. Sometimes, whilst I was waiting for the last kids to filter into the school hall on school visits, I'd tell the ones in the front row stories about the things that happened on my little 'farm'- escaping sheep, cockerels that sat on eggs - and they laughed. And that's how the Silver Street Farm books were born. I giggled myself silly writing them, and I think my readers laugh too. I love making people laugh.

I also rather enjoy making my readers cry. You know you've scored a writing goal if someone's wiping their eyes when you read a book to them. My novels A Girl Called Dog and Rubbish Town Hero and the new one coming soon Whale Boy, all have tear jerking moments. It's not that I like to torture my readers its just that even quite little children sometimes have horrible things happen to them, and I want to be truthful about that in the stories I write. So there are dark and scary things in my novels, but also lots of fun although can't promise that my endings are 'and they all lived happily ever after'.

Last year 2012 I wrote six books. I'm rather proud of myself! So there's lots of new things coming in 2013. The Lion Who Stole My arm, based on a true story about man eating lions, from Mozambique, one about village- trampling elephants called the Elephant Road, also based on a true story. And a very special picture book called The Promise, about how one heart changing can change the world. I'll be doing lots of events this year - starting with the Imagine Festival at the South Bank in February and including a tour of schools in Carthage and New York in the US and the Hay Festival and May.

One of the big perks of my job is working with fantastic illustrators that make my words come alive. Mark Hearld did a stunning job with A First Book of Nature and he's working on another one of mine now. Emily Sutton's made micro life sparkle with her illustrations of my book Tiny, out soon. And Laura Carlin's pictures for The Promise are amazing.

When I'm not writing, I sing. Singing makes me super happy. Not sure how happy it makes the people who come to hear me! Oh yeah and I work in schools, meeting readers and having a lovely time - the best perk of all of being a children's writer is working with children.


Product Description

Book Description

An exquisite book that evokes a child's first experience of nature.

About the Author

Nicola Davies is an award-winning author, whose many books for children include Ice Bear, Big Blue Whale, Extreme Animals, Gaia Warriors and the Silver Street Farm series. She graduated in zoology, studied whales and bats and then worked for the BBC Natural History Unit. Nicola lives in Abergavenny, Wales.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning book, an enchanting classic 6 May 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What a beautiful book this is. The publishers are right. Mark is a breathtaking talent. I bought this for a 2 year old grandson then ordered one for a 5 year old and another for myself. The words and images work beautifully together. One to keep on a special shelf and return to frequently. I love the mix of lyricism and inter-action One for reading aloud please.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A first book of nature 25 May 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A fabulous book with superlative illustrations, the sort of book an adult will enjoy but to share it with a small person would be a privilege. Would have loved this book for my children when they were small but have bought it for my niece instead. A real quality children's book.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Beautiful and lyrical, we love this book.

However, BEWARE - this is the exact same book as Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature published by Candlewick Press which is being recommended as a 'buy together' by Amazon. This printing has English spellings (colour, Mum etc.)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars same book inside as 1st book as nature inside 16 Jun 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is beautiful but it is exactly the same as the first book as nature only with a different cover.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Beautiful and lyrical, we love this book.

However, BEWARE - this is the exact same book as A First Book of Nature published by Walker Books which is being recommended as a 'buy together' by Amazon. This printing has American spellings (color, Mom etc.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars more than expected 25 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Considering the price, which is about that of an average length paper-back picture book, what arrived is just mind blowing. If i had payed £20 i would have expected this kind of gorgeous quality but under a tenner is just almost literally a song. It's huge, and spans all seasons, with a page on each of the really wonderful things that you would want there to be a page on (blossom, worms, night, too much to list) and it's really more a book of the most inspired prose. The author's not kidding when she says she tried to think herself back to a younger self (sleeve notes). She does something quite magic with the words she's chosen. Then there's the illustrations. They are utterly exquisite. They fit the prose hand in glove. There is more wonder and inspiration here than can be described. Prose-lovers need this. Art fans need this. Kids will adore this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful, thoughtful and fun! 10 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love this book. I bought it after receiving "Mark Hearld's Workbook" for Christmas and falling in love with his art and ethos. The unexpected joy was Nicola Davies' wonderful words, some of which are poetry and all of which are poetic but at the same time simple, earthy and truthfully childlike. She has absolutely captured the voice of a small child in Nature, whilst gently conveying a lot of information of the type children love (the five facts about chickens are brilliant). I'm a Primary school teacher, and I'm going to use this all the time - although I really bought it for myself! (I think it is perfect for Nursery and lower Primary: I'll use the illustrations with all ages). Also, I got my copy from the Book People at the amazing price of £4.95! For a large hardback of this quality, that's got to be one of my best-ever buys. I only hope the low price doesn't mean that the creators of this lovely book miss out in any way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A jewel of a book 12 Nov 2012
By Fran
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my grandchild and I hope she will keep it until she has children of her own. I admit to being a big fan of Mark Hearld anyway but I think the illustrations in this book are absolutely gorgeous and complement the words perfectly. It teaches too, without talking down to the reader. It's a book to treasure and ranks with the classics in children's literature.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars You don't need a child to be able to enjoy this book - it's universal
I would agree whole-heartedly with what everyone has said about this book. The illustrations are beautiful and the poetry and prose are lyrical to a degree that is not normally... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Alison Thompson
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as detailed and intriguing as I thought it would be
I bought this on the strength of previous reviews but was disappointed. It did not have the wealth of detail I was hoping for. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Rabscuttlerun
5.0 out of 5 stars Attention to detail - wonderful
Each page is a joy to teach, and fun for youngsters to learn from. A real Nature revelation for them
Published 4 months ago by Granny
4.0 out of 5 stars The same book with a different title
This is a beautiful book but be warned, apart from the cover and title page it is identical to Outside Your Window, same authors but Candlewick Press not Walker books.
Published 7 months ago by Susanna
5.0 out of 5 stars a lovely book
This book was much larger than I had expected, and full of beautiful, imaginative and delightful collaged images, highly recommended.
Published 9 months ago by Ms HM Haythornthwaite
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely pictures
The illustrations are stunning, some of the poems a little weird and some feel like gap fillers for particular season. Read more
Published 9 months ago by charlie
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful. Exquisite. Stunning.
Beautiful. Exquisite. Stunning.

The first three words that spring to mind every time I have occasion to open 'A First Book of Nature'. Read more
Published 9 months ago by MamaPixie
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book
I bought this book for one of my grandchildren and have since bought it for another. Also just had to buy a copy for myself as Mark Hearld's collaged illustrations are so... Read more
Published 10 months ago by sea
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well illustrated book a must have
I collect lots of children's book this is the best one introducing different animals that would appear in different places in the seasons.
Published 10 months ago by sindy
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book
This has everything for a memorable child's book that will evoke warm memories throughout life. The illistrations, the themes, the messages are all fantastic. Read more
Published 11 months ago by snaillady
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