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10


Wild Child: A Journey through Nature Dara McAnulty and Barry Falls, Macmillan 978-1529045321, £14.99 hbk


Who better to take children on a journey of discovery than the author of Diary of a Young Naturalist? Dara speaks very directly to child readers, taking them on a personal journey, introducing them to facts and phenomena that fascinate him and


encouraging exploration. His love of lore and language as well as his respect for nature shine through in the poetic text which is carefully integrated with the illustrations. The steps on the journey alternate with practical projects but the emotional connection is always present, with Dara concluding I have merely shown you a microcosm of what there is to know about nature, a key to a door.


Busy Spring. Nature Wakes Up Sean Taylor, Alex Morss and Cinyee Chiu, words & pictures 978-0711255371, £12.99 hbk A companion volume to Winter Sleep, bringing together again an author of many successful picture books, an independent ecologist and an illustrator whose inspiration comes mostly from nature. As the narrator and her excitable little sister explore their garden


with their father at the beginning of spring they


discover many things about the wildlife that inhabits it. A number of modern picture books have appendices with factual information supplementing that included in the story and this is a good example, with explanations about what happens to plants and animals in spring and a recognition that climate change is affecting the seasons


When We Went Wild Isabella Tree and Allira Tee, Ivy Kids, 978-0711262850, £7.99 pbk


Drawing on the author’s own experience,


bestselling Wilding,


described in the this picture


book tells the story of how a couple go about rewilding the land on their farm, returning it to a more natural environment without chemicals and milking machines. Their neighbours are not happy until they discover the benefits for themselves. From an


imprint focusing on sustainability in its publishing and production.


I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast


Michael Holland and Philip Giordano, Flying Eye, 978- 1911171188, £14.99 hbk


This botanical feast is subtitled ‘A Celebration of Plants Around the World’ and is a cornucopia of information about plants and how integral they are to all life on Earth. The text includes a range of activities and experiments that will enable children to find out more about plants for themselves.


Included is the Shelf Life Project, an idea developed by the author who is a former Head of Education at Chelsea Physic Garden. In the cheerful collage illustrations bright colours and geometric shapes are used to give form to the world of plants.


How to Help a Hedgehog & Protect a Polar Bear Jess French and Angela Keoghan, Nosy Crow 978-1788002578, £12.99 hbk


The initial pages are devoted to different habitats, focusing first on those common to the UK – gardens, hedgerows, wetlands, woodlands and coastlines – and moving out to terrains elsewhere in the world


such as jungles and savannahs. General information is given about the threats specific to that environment, followed by fact files about species native to that habitat and positive suggestions about what children can do to help.


Old Enough to Save the Planet Loll Kirby and Adelina Lirius, Magic Cat Publishing, 978- 1913520175, £6.99 pbk


This book draws attention to children around the world who are engaged in environmental activism in a variety of ways. In Indonesia, Adeline formed a community group to reintroduce native plant species to help prevent flooding. In Kenya, Eunita is educating local


people about the preservation of bees and pollination while, in France, Vincent promotes small scale organic gardening as a means of food production. At the end of the book there are lists of political actions that can be taken to try and effect change as well as those that are more individual everyday commitments.book like this - one that children beg to hear again and again – you’ll know you’ve found something worth treasuring and keeping close.


Books for Keeps No.247 March 2021 9


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