Top positive review
80 people found this helpful
If I could give it more than 5 stars I would!
on 11 April 2009
Oddly enough this is the first book in a long time to put a lump in my throat. It's not the sort of book which you'd think would do so - but a quick glance at the contents sends me back to some of the happiest days of my childhood. The book is arranged by activities you can do at various times of the year - all year round, spring, summer, autumn and winter. I cannot rate it highly enough - or emphasise just how thorough it is.
'All Year Round' activities include: How to identify birds of prey in flight, Do a 'blind' walk, Three ways to find which direction you are facing without a compass, Listen to a tree and Build a Den.
'Spring' activities include: Some recipes for spring flowers and plants, How to identify pond life, Dig for earthworms, Identify different birdsong, Dye your Easter eggs yellow using gorse flowers and listen to the dawn chorus.
'Summer' activities include: How to identify dragonflies and damselflies, Give bumblebees a helping hand, Go on a city safari, Lie down in long grass and stare at the sky, take a really close look at an ant colony and how to identify snakes and lizards.
The 'Summer' section also includes some naughty ideas which will appeal to children ogf all ages! These include making itching powder from rosehips and making a pea shooter from an elder sten. Another Summer section gives ideas for beside the seaside - go on a seaweed hunt, explore rock pools, go crabbing.
'Autumn' activities include: Go on a fungal foray, GIve a hedgehog a helping hand, How to identify small mammals, Watch deer rutting and Autumn weather lore.
'Winter' activities include: Identify ducks and other waterbirds, Search for hibernating butterflies, Go beachcombing along the tideline and Go 'pishing' to attract small birds (a noise to make to make small birds curious....).
The 'Winter' section also includes some special ideas for when it snows: Winter weather lore, Make snow angels and Look at a snowflake through a magnifying glass.
Stephen Moss has a lovely writing style - the book doesn't come across as stilted at all. He obviously loves nature and this book encourages us all to get out there and enjoy it. The illustrations that accompany the book are all gorgeous - whether for identification purposes or simply to add to the experience of a beautiful book.
I quote from the book:
'Please don't put the 'Bumper Book of Nature' away on a bookshelf and let it gather dust. This is a book to be used, taken outdoors, to get muddy fingerprints on its pages. It is, I hope, a book for life - something to enjoy with your children as they grow up and which they may perhaps even use one day to introduce their own children to wildlife'.
If you are hovering over whether to buy it or not - BUY IT. You won't regret it, and your life will be all the richer for allowing this book to be a part of it.
14 Apr 09 - I believe that the suggestion that this book won't appeal to the playstation generation is flawed. The activities aren't boring and dull, and neither is the book itself. A book like this contains just the sort of ideas to drag kids away from the playstations and get them outside. Admittedly it does have a vintage appeal as well - but don't let this fool you into thinking it isn't applicable today!