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VINE VOICEon 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!
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on 12 May 2017
A must for every one who want to ensure children love nature - full of fun things to do - I loved it as did my daughter and my mum!
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on 4 May 2009
We (family of five) were all absolutely delighted when "The Bumper book of Nature" arrived last week. Its beautifully laid out, packed full of information without being "preachy" and easy to read. Perfect for dipping into before a walk, taking on a camping trip, amusing the kids on a rainy day or even helping identify the strange lizard like creature that seems to have taken up residence in our back garden as definitely not being a newt!
The illustrations are beautiful, and yes some of it nostalgic for those brought up prior to the computer age but this didn't put my children off in any way.
Great book - I highly recommend it
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on 18 May 2016
I'm sure the book would be very good, I only give 1 star because It never arrived!!
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on 21 April 2009
This so reminds me of my childhood spent wandering the fields, woods and hedgerows of north Wiltshire and over the South Downs where I went to school. I've bought three copies already for god children and a niece. What a treat - enjoy!
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on 26 June 2009
A lovely book encompassing all a budding naturalist (child or adult) would want to know. Smashing ideas for learning about the different seasons, wildlife including animals, birds, trees and plantlife, insects and much more. Ooodles of suggestions for things to do and make to encourage wildlife into your garden. Within two days of my daughter finding things in our garden to look up in the book we found an insect that wasn't illustrated and so I would suggest maybe having a further illustrative reference book for identification purposes. Having said that, the illustrations are plentiful and beautiful, and it is fast becoming one of my daughters favourite books. I would recommend it wholeheartedly! A superb gift for any nature-lover and simply, a 'wholesome' book.
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on 16 May 2009
Great book, brings back memories of what things we used to do in the 60s & early 70s to keep ourselves amused as kids. In those days you`d spend the day out with friends fishing, making daisy chains,watching the wildlife in the countryside, you would be out from early morning and get home in time for tea, with out your parents having to worry that you were alright.It has loads of ideas for entertaining the kids, like making a rope swing in a tree, playing pooh sticks. Infact there are lots of lovely ideas for children to do, that we used to do many years ago & they cost either very little or nothing at all.
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on 16 April 2009
I think this book is wonderful. I wanted to do all the things it suggested and can't wait to start. To the previous's the old fashioned-ness that makes it so wonderful. I thoroughly recommend.
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on 20 April 2009
A fabulous gift to open children's eyes to nature and for adults a great reminder of all the wonderful days out of their own childhoods. This book will encourage the whole family to get outside and dirty and enjoy the world around them. The Bumper Book of Nature is a delight.
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on 19 August 2009
This book is very informative , i have children aged 4,10 and 13 and this book caters for all ages with great details about many outdoor based activities that the whole family can have a go at . The boys particuarly enjoy things like making homes for mini-beasts etc. you dont even have to leave your own garden for some of the activities.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone with a young family who would rather get back to enjoying the great outdoors rather than watching the children squabble over whos the best mariokart player.
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