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A First Book of Nature Paperback – 3 Apr 2014
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Hearld's illustrations of beachcombing and birds nesting are exquisite - It's a book to treasure. --Liz Berry, Poet and Author
Stunning illustrations compliment Nicola's poetic and informative introduction to the environment. A charming gift for every child to treasure. --Little London
About the Author
Nicola Davies is an award-winning author, whose many books for children include The Promise, Ice Bear, Big Blue Whale and the Silver Street Farm series. She graduated in zoology, studied whales and bats and then worked for the BBC Natural History Unit. Underlying all Nicola's writing is the belief that a relationship with nature is essential to every human being, and that now more than ever, we need to renew that relationship. Nicola lives in Abergavenny, Wales.
Mark Hearld, a breathtaking new talent in children's books, is a distinguished artist and printmaker. He studied Illustration at Glasgow School of Art and Natural History Illustration at the Royal College. He now teaches at art colleges in Hull and Edinburgh and has recently designed a range of bags and stationery for the Tate and held a solo exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Inspired by the natural world, especially by animals, Mark makes prints, paintings and collages, as well as textiles and ceramics. Mark lives in York.
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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.
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.
(This review first appeared on CraftyByNurture - [...] )
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