A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies and Mark Hearld

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A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies and Mark Hearld

Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: Discover the seasons with Nicola Davies' 'A First Book of Nature', a beautifully illustrated trip to visit with all creatures, great and small.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 108 Date: April 2014
Publisher: Walker
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781406349160

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There is a difference between a book for children that the 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 duo have 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 you and 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.

If this book appeals then you might also like to try Science: Sorted! Evolution, Nature and Stuff by Glenn Murphy and What If... Humans Were Like Animals? by Paul Moran.

Buy A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies and Mark Hearld at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies and Mark Hearld at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies and Mark Hearld at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies and Mark Hearld at Amazon.com.


Booklists.jpg A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies and Mark Hearld is in the Top Ten Books For Sharing 2014.

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