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on 15 September 2009
At first hold 'I Love My World' seems like a slim volume, and certainly slips comfortably into the hands. Deceptively, however, it comprises a fulsome 200 pages and manages to cover an extensive array of topics drawn from bushcraft, outdoor education and environmental play. In fact, it's really two books neatly rolled into one: a wide-ranging compendium of activity ideas for creatively teaching, mentoring and playing with children in the great outdoors, alongside words of gently distilled wisdom about how we can each live in closer harmony with the natural world. It succeeds in engaging at both levels. As a children's work practitioner, I immediately wanted to stuff the book in my coat pocket and head out into the woods to try out some of the activities for myself. There's plenty of new material that caught my eye and tickled my enthusiasm: Follow that log, Fairy plates, Elephant walk and Tribal wheel maps just for starters. But as I've dippped into the book again and again, it's the knowledge, ethos and attitude of the author that really shines through. Here is someone that genuinely believes in the value of what he does - sharing the joys and bounty of nature - and can communicate this with the both extensive first-hand experience of the wild and with the freshness of someone who understands children and their inherent playfulness. He uses some lovely language through the book too, phrases such as 'lost-proofing', that describe important concepts with appealing good-humour.

The book is usefully split up into 11 main chapters and further easily digested sub-headings. In particular the format of the activities is helpful and accessible, split into three parts: Ready (the underlying concept), Get set (what equipment and materials you need to prepare) and Go! (a clearly laid out example of how the activity is introduced to children and facilitated, based on the authors experience). There are plenty of photographs throughout to help illustrate practical points, which ideally would be better in colour rather black and white, but the text is so clear and insightful this doesn't detract from understanding any of the activities.

Many years ago the American naturalist and campaigner Rachel Carson wrote: "If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in." Motivational words for those of us who aspire to taking on that role. 'I Love My World' keeps alive that same spirit and provides a cornucopia of practical, down to earth ideas for how to mentor children in connecting with a sense of wonder in the world we still live in.

Dr Martin Maudsley, Playwork Partnerships, University of Gloucestershire.
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on 9 May 2013
A very helpful book for teachers and outdoor educators; the games and activities are described clearly and generally need a minimum of equipment beyond a suitable outdoor environment and easily available resources. Other people have commented on the poor quality pictures - colour would have been better, but that would doubtless have pushed up the cost. The text is excellent and written with real passion by Chris Holland, who has quite clearly used the activities himself. Whilst several of the games were known to me already, there was enough new stuff to make it a very worthwhile purchase. I particularly like the accessible way in which it is written - some Forest School books create a bit of a precious myth around taking children outside to learn; it should really be about getting out there and exploring and learning through all your senses - Chris Holland makes it exactly that.
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on 23 September 2012
From the outset Chris' book was not only easy, relaxed reading (almost like chatting to him in person), but packed with deceptively simple yet incredibly powerful activities which, as Chris says, `You can follow as a course in its own right or simply pick out an activity to suit the moment'. Even if you have no experience or confidence, Chris guides you through the ideas behind each activity, the preparation and the activity itself - many of which need little or no resources.

His book is an absolute must for the Forest School Practitioner, the Outdoor Classroom Teacher or parent who feels the need to turn off the T.V. or computer and simply spend some quality time outside (and you really don't need large spaces - a park bench or a shrub in your front garden can become a home for a blobster! And a piece of string becomes a story path).

A huge thank you for passing on your wealth of knowledge and brilliantly simple ideas. Brilliant book.

Chris Pearce
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on 1 October 2017
as described, promptly delivered
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on 9 April 2012
This great book is so much more than nature connection handbook packed full of brilliant outdoor exercises for children and adults alike. There are lots of anecdotes from Chris, information about plants, animals and habitats, quotations and stories. i really enjoyed it and found it inspirational. I was looking for a book that gave me ideas for connecting children with Nature as opposed to simply ticking off trees, plant and animals on a checklist. This book hits the bullseye.
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on 30 June 2012
This is an inspirational read for all those who spend time outdoors with children. However, it is truly spoiled by the quality of the print, paper and photograph reproduction which are, I agree, "diabolical". A real let-down for the price. Don't know why the publishers decided to include the photos at all as not one is clear - just black inky shapes. Sooooo disappointing. Publishers, you have really let Chris Holland down.
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on 22 May 2016
I have set up a forest craft programme for my primary school and this book is invaluable. I can't recommend this book enough! It covers all year groups and I for one can't put the book down. It is truly inspirational.
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on 18 November 2015
its good lots of wordy books like it
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on 21 December 2014
I do Forest School work with children and this book was recommended to me. It's great for ideas and general interest in nature and the outdoors.
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on 25 July 2013
Brilliant book for arty crafty things to do in the great outdoors..... put the great back into taking kids outdoors... Fab book with good detail.... love it
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