My Big Book of Outdoors by Tim Hopgood

My Big Book of Outdoors

Tim Hopgood, Author and Illustrator

Candlewick Studio, Nonfiction, Mar. 29, 2022

Pages: 128

Suitable for ages: 7-9

Themes: Nature, Seasons, Earth Day

Opening: “Sunlight and warmth / Bulbs in bloom / Rain showers / New shoots growing / Birds nesting / Trees in blossom/ SPRING”

Book Jacket Synopsis:

Discover the joy out outdoors in this richly illustrated treasury that celebrates the wonders of nature.

From the vibrant colors of flowers in bloom to poems about dandelions and raindrops, this bright and beautiful collection is jam-packed with amazing things to see and do outdoors.

Depicting the splendor of the four seasons, the gorgeous book is the perfect introduction to nature in all its glory.

Why I love My Big Book of Outdoors:

Tim Hopgood’s My Big Book of Outdoors is oversized, with powerful words blending with dazzling mixed media illustrations. Make sure you check out the gorgeous end papers.  Children will love poring over all of the vibrant details. The layout is beautiful and begins with a list of signs of each season, starting with Spring. If there is a book that will nudge your nature-loving children outdoors to explore, this book will do just that!

Although the book is designated for children ages 7 to 9 years, it is definitely a book that young children will enjoy. In fact, I believe this book will grow with your child. It can be read as a picture book to introduce them to seasons. And it can be used by older children who will enjoy the more detailed information about birds, insects, butterflies, flowers, migration, tracking animals, stargazing and following the phases of the moon. The book includes many clever seasonal activities that will delight kids — like making a bird nest out of melted chocolate and shredded wheat; making a bug hotel for beetles; making a leaf mobile with fall leaves; baking apples; and making a weather station out of pine cones.

Hopgood dedicates his book to “everyone who stayed indoors in 2020.” His wants to invites readers to step outside and take a really good look at the world around them and celebrate each and every wonder. His book is a treasure trove of information and is written with elegance and sensitivity about the important role nature plays in our lives. This is a perfect gift book for every season and would be a welcomed addition to any home or school library. It also is an excellent Earth Day book.

Activities: Take a walk around your backyard and look for bird nests, daffodils, and blossoms on trees, Listen to the bird songs in the early morning hours. My Big Book of Outdoors is full of activities for each season.  Have fun!

Tim Hopgood is an award-winning illustrator and author of books for children including the international best-seller What a Wonderful World, the hugely successful Wow! Said the Owl (recently adapted for the stage by Little Angel Theatre, London), and the award-winning Fabulous Frogs written by Martin Jenkins. His books have been translated into over twenty different languages.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Review copy provided by Candlewick Studio in exchange for a review.

 

 

Firsts and Lasts: The Changing Seasons by Leda Schubert

First & Lasts: The Changing Seasons

Leda Schubert, Author

Clover Robin, Illustrator

Candlewick Press, Fiction, Mar. 1, 2022

Suitable for Ages: 4-8

Themes: Seasons, Changes, Rituals, Celebration

Opening: Spring is…the last time we hear “Snow day!” on the news…

Book Jacket Synopsis:

What is the first sign of spring? And what is the last glimpse of winter? The joy of the changing seasons means saying hello to new but familiar rituals, like spring picnics in the park or homemade lemonade in summer. But there’s also the bittersweet feeling of doing something for the last time, like mowing the lawn one final time on a brown day in autumn, or watching the last of the geese fly south in the early weeks of winter. However you celebrate the changing of the seasons, every year feels like an extraordinary miracle! In this jubilant ode to seasonal rituals, Leda Schubert evokes the familiar, enchanting rhythm of the four seasons, while Clover Robin’s bold, graceful art bring warmth and magic to everyday occurrences.

Why I like First& Lasts: The Changing Seasons

Leda Schubert’s beautiful book is a ode to nature and a celebration of life in the human world. I really enjoy her simply stated format as children journey through the seasons. Each season begins with Spring is… “the last time we play in our snow forts…and the first time we time we play catch…” It is intended to stir up memories and create excitement for change that is about to come.  

Clover Robin’s colorful collages compliment the text and awaken reader’s five senses to the changing smells of freshly cut grass, the taste of cold lemonade, the feel of squishy grass on bare feet, the sound of June bugs hitting screens, and the site of the first frost on windowpanes. Children will have great fun coming up with the things that they look forward to in each season. And make sure you checkout her gorgeous book cover.

This is a lovely gift book.

Resources: Encourage children to think about activities and observances they associate with each changing season. Like the beginning of Little League baseball, flying kites, fishing, catching lightning bugs, planting a garden, attending parades, watching fireworks, taking a vacation, choosing the perfect  carving pumpkin, going on a hayride, and roasting marshmallows. Help them make a list for each season and then hand them crayons, paint and paper and let them celebrate moments that are important to them and to the family. Compile the drawings and make a simple book. 

Leda Schubert is the author of numerous books for children, including Dogs Love Cars, Nathan’s Son, the Brand New Reader’s series of Winnie books, Monsieur Marceau and many other award-winning books. Schubert has an MFA in writing for children from Vermont College, served on the Caldecott committee, and lives in Vermont with her husband and their goldendoodles.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Review copy provided by Candlewick Press in exchange for a review.

 

Seasons of Joy by Claudia Marie Lenart

Seasons of Joy: Every Day is for Outdoor Play

Claudia Marie Lenart, Author and Illustrator

Loving Healing Press, Fiction, Apr. 1, 2017

Suitable for Ages: 2-4

Themes: Seasons, Nature, Animals, Multicultural Children, Playing outdoors

Opening: Wake up! It’s Spring. / Trees are tipped in wisps of green. / Let’s stretch our legs and run on soft, fresh grass. / Up and down the hills we hop and jump / Like newborn bunnies do.

Book Jacket Synopsis: The pure and simple delight of children playing outside is captured in needle-felted wool paintings created by Claudia Marie Lenart. The picture books pairs dreamy images of multicultural children, animals, flowers and trees with verse that expresses the joy young children experience in nature’s seasons. Children can see themselves in the diverse characters and can be inspired to spend more time playing outdoors and connecting to nature.

What I like about this book:

Claudia Marie Lenart’s Seasons of Joy is magical.  Her rhyming prose conjures such beautiful visual images of each season and encourages young children to go outside to picnic in a meadow, watch butterflies dance, float on waves, pile leaves high, gather nuts and pine cones, make snow angels and build snow castles. Just read the opening (above) and let her words roll around your mouth and feel their power.

Accompanying her lyrical language is Lenart’s signature wool artwork, which will captivate children as they study all of the beautiful detail in each dreamy scene. Children will experience the wonder, joy and adventure in spending a day romping in nature throughout the seasons. This is a perfect bedtime story.

Resources: Spend a day outdoors picking violets, climbing a tree, playing games in the meadow with friends, exploring creeks or counting the stars at night.

Claudia Marie Lenart is a fiber artist whose passion is needle felting.  Her soft sculpture characters are created by repeatedly poking wool and other natural fibers, like alpaca, with a barbed needle. She illustrated three books for the late children’s author Jewel Kats: Jenny and Her Dog Both Fight Cancer, Prince Preemie, and Hansel & Gretel: A Fairy Tale with a Down Syndrome Twist.  To learn more about Lenart’s artistry and books, visit her website.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.