Oh, Nicola Davies and Mark Hearld’s A First Book of Nature is a delight!
I’m saying straight away that this belongs in each and every Primary School classroom. Why? It offers a wealth of inspiration, knowledge and celebration of everything that surrounds us.
A First Book of Nature is 108 pages chockablock with warm words, gentle rhymes and fabulous illustrations. It guides the reader through the seasons, guiding their observations and inspiring their imaginations.
Davies has divided her book into four sections to cover each of the seasons in turn. Within each chapter she covers a myriad of standout elements – some of which little readers will be familiar with, whilst the others will enable them to be more observant as they wander.
Davies’ words flow gently through the pages. ‘Spring’ features a poem dedicated to dandelions which open to reveal ‘a puff of down’, just one blow and you release ‘a hundred fluffy parachutes’. I adored the description of summer as ‘warm and sweet’ brimming with ‘long, long days full of bees and flowers.’
The content within these pages is wonderfully varied – be inspired to grown your own seeds, create your own compost and follow the recipe for berry crumble. Building dens seems to be enjoying a revival at the moment, so the ‘Things to do in your den’ list really hits the spot!
Mark Hearld’s illustrations use a variety of textures and hues to capture the outside world. The illustrations surrounding ‘Pond Dipping’ are full of energy, whilst those for ‘Feather’ are wonderfully evocative as it recreates a crisp Autumn night.
The poetry, the love & knowledge of nature and those wonderful illustrations – have given us three wonderful reasons to keep returning to A First Book of Nature again and again.