HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-8Exploring Nature: Two Beautiful Books for Young Naturalists
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Exploring Nature: Two Beautiful Books for Young Naturalists

The Children’s Book Review | March 4, 2020

Every parent who has ever taken a child on a nature walk knows the inherent fascination that categorization holds for the young. How many of this type of leaf can we spot? Is this a fruit or a seed? What type of bird was that? And, most importantly, exactly how many acorns can I stuff in my pocket before the seams start to come apart? Categorization of nature has a long history, stretching back to the diaries of nineteenth-century naturalists, the scientific systems invented in the eighteenth century, and the cabinets of curiosities of the seventeenth century. For generations, young and grown-up naturalists alike have taken enormous pleasure in observing, recording, and categorizing the infinite variety of nature. Hazel Maskell and Evelin Kasikov’s A Year in Nature and Florence Guiraud’s Wonders of Nature carry on this proud tradition, providing readers with a wealth of detail to wonder at, compare, and study.

A Year in Nature: A Carousel Book of the SeasonsA Year in Nature: A Carousel Book of the Seasons

Written by Hazel Maskell

Design by Evelin Kasikov

A Year in Nature: A Carousel Book of the Seasons offers readers an immersive, interactive experience. The sturdy hard-cover volume opens up into a three-dimensional panorama divided into four quarters: one each for spring, summer, autumn, and winter. In each quarter, beautifully illustrated paper pop-outs offer layers of detail for readers to explore, from fox cubs slipping off between trees to find mates, to brightly colored fungi littering an autumn forest floor. Activities, including spotting and counting games, encourage readers to hone their observational skills as they explore the minutely rendered scenes.

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Ages 4-7 | Publisher: Laurence King Publishing | 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1-78627-306-2

Book Wonders of NatureWonders of Nature: Explorations in the World of Birds, Insects and Fish

Written & Illustrated by Florence Guiraud

Florence Guiraud’s Wonders of Nature goes even further in its presentation of detail.  Presented as a “cabinet of curiosities,” this volume is packed from cover to cover with exquisite hand-drawn collections of illustrations. Organized by category – birds with beautiful plumage, feet, tiny insects, and so on – the volume focuses on similarities and differences; each illustration is realistically rendered in minute detail. Accompanied by explanatory text, including directories, scientific names, and introductory facts and statistics, this volume truly highlights the astounding beauty and variety of nature.

A group of colorful birds
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Ages 5+ | Publisher: Prestel | 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-3-7913-7365-2

The book list Exploring Nature: Two Beautiful Books for Young Naturalists was curated by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like these titles by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with  and .

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Dr. Jen Harrison currently teaches writing and literature at East Stroudsburg University. She also provides freelance writing, editing, and tuition services as the founder of Read.Write.Perfect. She completed her Ph.D. in Children’s and Victorian Literature at Aberystwyth University in Wales, in the UK. After a brief spell in administration, Jen then trained as a secondary school English teacher and worked for several years teaching Secondary School English, working independently as a private tutor of English, and working in nursery and primary schools. She is an editor for the peer-reviewed journal of children’s literature, Jeunesse, and publishes academic work on children’s non-fiction, YA speculative fiction, and the posthuman.

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