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A First Book of Nature Hardcover – 3 May 2012


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A First Book of Nature + Mark Hearld's Work Book + Angie Lewin: Plants and Places
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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: 26 x 1.8 x 28.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,416 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

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By glamorous granny on 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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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Kate McFarlane on 14 May 2012
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 By Sam Tyler on 4 July 2014
Format: Hardcover
There is a difference between a book for children that kids themselves will like and one that adults will like. A more mature person may like some interesting illustrations or imaginative story, but most of the children I know are happy just to see some dinosaurs in their pants. However, there are books that transcend this and can appeal to both groups. Books that may have slightly dry reading for the very young, but illustrations that will transfix and amaze - introducing `A First Book of Nature' written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Mark Hearld.

`Nature' is a fantastic book to behold, it is a nice size, well bound and packed with over 100 pages of illustrations. Many `first book' non-fiction titles are full of photos and crammed with too many facts about the subject matter. Perhaps they are just page after page of animals with their names written bold underneath, or a book all about Space full of info tips that will melt your mind. Davies forgoes all of these and instead applies a more gentle and traditional feel to her title.

The book takes you on a journey through the seasons, but not just the stereotypical animals that represent them. One minute you may see an illustration of a squirrel, the next some gulls flying through the air near the sea. Each double spread is a joy to behold, full of colour and life. This is of course the work of illustrator Hearld and not writer Davies, but as the author notes explain, he was inspired by the words that Davies wrote. It has been a long time since I have read a book for children that has had me anticipating each page turn. The illustrations and print quality are truly exceptional and it is easy to understand why the book won awards.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Miss Don on 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 By MamaPixie on 10 July 2013
Format: Hardcover
Beautiful. Exquisite. Stunning.

The first three words that spring to mind every time I have occasion to open 'A First Book of Nature'.

Originally given to my son as a third birthday gift from a Godfather, we must have looked at it every other day since.

Why?

Well, first off, it looks like an art journal, travelling through the seasons, every page a complete visual delight. It looks beautiful, from the cold depths of the snowy winter lands right up to the warmth and joy of life in Summer.

I often find myself studying the pictures long after my children are asleep, admiring and appreciating the tiniest details that my three year old may overlook within the images. The illustrator, Mark Hearld, has excelled himself, his influences from Edward Bawden are apparent, an artist I myself enjoy. There are a few images that remind me of Nikki McClure's work too.

As for the text itself, it includes poetry, simple recipes, how-to's, factual information and inspiration for activities.

Starting with Spring, the book journeys through many topics including listening to a pond, bird migration and nesting, making compost and cherry blossom.

Summer brings us honey, caterpillars and butterflies, rock pooling, dens and five reasons to keep chickens (Number 1 is 'They look very silly when they are taking a dust bath.')

The colours of Autumn deliver wind, geese and acorns, worms, apples and berry picking, complete with pictures resplendent in the shades the time of year is known for.

Last, but by no means least, is Winter. Here, a fox runs through a night-time snowscape, save seeds, watch deer in the dawn and mull over naked winter trees.
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