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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning book, an enchanting classic
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.
Published on 6 May 2012 by glamorous granny

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3.0 out of 5 stars First book of nature
First I have to say this book is absolutely beautiful! I saw it in a shop and had to buy it, I bought it one my son and another as a gift for my niece (2 & 3 yrs old). I was so excited to receive them but although I appreciate the art work and also liked the idea behind it the writing just isn't very good. My son is incredibly bored by all of the passages in it, they just...
Published 2 months ago by Georgia Hunt


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning book, an enchanting classic, 6 May 2012
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This review is from: A First Book of Nature (Hardcover)
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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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A first book of nature, 25 May 2012
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This review is from: A First Book of Nature (Hardcover)
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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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful but BEWARE - same book as 'Outside your Window - A first book of nature', 14 May 2012
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This review is from: A First Book of Nature (Hardcover)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Picturesque Nature, 4 July 2014
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This review is from: A First Book of Nature (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.

To go along with the pictures each page has two or three short paragraphs that act almost like poetry. For instance, you may be introduced to a frog and what they do. The words probably won't inspire the young, but are lovely for an adult to read out. They are also very simply written so an aspiring reader can soon learn to follow the words or speak themselves. There may be an issue with the rhythmic verse being too bland for some children, but the use of animal sound effects should keep them entertained - ribbit, ribbit.

`A First Book of Nature' is an ideal read together book for a young child who loves animals and nature. It is robust, eye catching and a great size. You will be able to use it to keep your child busy for a while, but it also help teach them about the different seasons and nature itself. It is good to see a book that is not just the same animals again; cow, pig, dog. Here you are introduced to the field, the pond, the meadow. A lovely book that I look forward to sharing in my house again soon. Original review on bookbag.co.uk
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars same book inside as 1st book as nature inside, 16 Jun 2012
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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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful but BEWARE - same book as 'A first book of nature', 14 May 2012
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
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Miss Don (cornwall) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A First Book of Nature (Hardcover)
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
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This review is from: A First Book of Nature (Hardcover)
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
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This review is from: A First Book of Nature (Hardcover)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful. Exquisite. Stunning., 10 July 2013
This review is from: A First Book of Nature (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.

This would be an amazing gift for any child, but especially for those from a home that follows and celebrates the seasons, perfect as a permanent addition to a seasons table.

I almost don't want to say any more, as all I can do is URGE you to buy this book as soon as you possibly can, and I will definitely be checking out Nicola Davies' other titles.

Buy This Book. Do It. You Won't Regret It.

I Promise.

(This review first appeared on CraftyByNurture - [...] )
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A First Book of Nature
A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies (Hardcover - 3 May 2012)
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