Forest Life and Woodland Creatures by DK
|Forest Life and Woodland Creatures by DK
|Category: Children's Non-Fiction
|Reviewer: John Lloyd
|Summary: A fun and enjoyable very early reader, with things to make and do every few facts.
|Date: March 2017
|Publisher: DK Children
This book knows that if you're going to learn about forest life and the animals, plants and trees in it, then you're only going to be itching to go and explore the woods for yourself. It's for a very young audience, so always expects an adult hand to guide you – but provides a warm companion itself through several quick and easy tasks, and a few lessons. The balance between carrot and stick, or duty and reward, is great – but what exactly is the edutainment going to provide, and what will it demand of us?
Well, it provides just what you'd expect, really – the very basics of what trees are and how they grow, what feeds off them and what lives in woodland, from earthworms and stag beetles right up to hibernating bears. I found the learning side of things here reasonable, although I doubt if some of the intended audience could actually pronounce the words 'deciduous' and 'coniferous', which we are lumbered with on the first page, nor need to know about a snail's radula. The pages are bright, and while crammed don't look too busy. The text is only in one- or two-sentence spurts, and the pictorial side of things has been well thought of, if scale is a bit wacky here and there.
But a strong side of the book is also play fun, which is where several crafting opportunities arise, as well as a quick little junior maze. We can demolish a paper plate or two and come up with a reasonable bear mask, and there's even a junior-friendly recipe to follow, but the core of the jobs involve fetching things from the woodland – a pinecone to make an amusing little owl, summer leaves to make into a large clay-bodied bug, or nesting material for a diorama involving a bird made from card, cupcake cases and googly eyes. The book really doesn't belabour its intent, to get you exploring and learning first hand, but it is that attitude, of getting you (safely) dirty and inquisitive, while providing some pre-school level information, that makes me recommend it. If only more books could combine the provision of knowledge with the impetus to seek things yourself. Although I will be most interested to see the health and safety warning at the front of this volume's sister title, regarding sharks.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
If the recipe mentioned above caught your eye, grab a passing child (legally, mind) and take part in using Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. You might also appreciate Baby Dinosaurs (Follow the Trail) by DK and The Adventures of an Urban Fox: Maggie Arrives by Yara Evans and Luciana Betti.
You can read more book reviews or buy Forest Life and Woodland Creatures by DK at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Forest Life and Woodland Creatures by DK at Amazon.com.
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