I started writing about Nature Notebooks and before you could blink it was several posts long… My previous post was the first one: Se7en of the Best Science NoteBook Inspirations.
I call my kids The Naturalists when they are busy nature notebooking, it gives the process a status above the usual just scrabbling about in the dirt… There are so many books in the category of living books which are stories that inspire you to live so much harder, that force my children to grab their naturalist kit and head outdoors. So I asked them to pick and choose and this is what they came up with…
(Every book or series on the list below starts with a link to a great website for these great books, if you really have nothing better to do then go and have a look at these sites.)
You can get the Complete Works:
Or the collection of little books.
She has the most beautiful stories and realistic drawings of animals in their natural environment. I love her use of vocabulary, definitely no dumbing down in these stories as she uses wonderfully advanced words throughout her stories, that remind you of just what sort of language children really do understand. Her paintings are gorgeous and demonstrate just how many little creatures can be found while walking through the countryside. The format of the books is also perfect, little books that get carried around and loved… and don’t be fooled, just because the books are little doesn’t mean that they are short, they can take a while and lots of discussion. There are a number of books out on the life of Beatrix Potter and this is the one we like best:
Oh these are just the most beautiful stories that make you want to shrink to the size of a mouse so that you an go and live in their world. I am convinced my children think they can visit Brambley Hedge for the weekend.
There are a number of books in this series as the little hedge folk travel through the four seasons of the year. They venture into all sorts of environments: woodlands, streams and the seaside to name a few. The illustrations are so beautiful that they leave you gasping.
Apart from all the brilliantly funny stories about life as a countryside vet, he also wrote this fabulous book for children:
The illustrations are so crisp and clear that you could well be roaming the countryside! You really feel like you could clamber onto one of his cart horses down by the river or spring through the long grass with his sheep dog. Just lovely. Very readable and definitely a book to explore and dream about.
And I don’t mean anything like the movie… I mean the original books about the Doctor who lived at Puddleby on the Marsh and had a wild collection of animals he could talk to. My father read these to me as a child and I was convinced that my father came from Puddleby on the Marsh because he spoke with such authority about it. Anyway, Hugh Lofting wrote a long series of ten adventurous books that some children can wind their way through – I read the first one out loud and them leave them to their own resources. As a child Hugh Lofting kept a miniature zoo in his mother’s linen cupboard – I don’t have a linen cupboard purposefully!!! Dr. Dolittle came about when he wrote stories home to his son, who was nicknamed do little, from the trenches of World War 1. You can read this book online for free here.
These books need no introduction, surely everyone has read them. They delightfully carry you through the life of Laura and her family. They trail through a wild America. The seasons and life on the open plains and on the farms where they live bring wildlife straight into your home. These books are fabulous and should just be part of everyone’s life.
If you want to hear your child laugh out-loud in a gut smacking style, let them read this book. This is a biographical book and describes his mad childhood on the island of Corfu and all the associated insanity of heaps of pets and traveling over from England. How his siblings survive (or don’t) endless reptiles and insects – actually just about any animal.
This is the first in a series, and if I ever come into a fortune then this series of books is the first thing I will buy! It is a group of kids that holiday, mostly, in the Lake District in England and they spend their vacations camping, sailing, hiking, getting caught in a blizzard, they even sail across the North Sea. The kids watch birds and stars, they cook, they use codes it is all rather splendid and gives you the endless feel of a childhood summer. There is hardly an adult in sight throughout the entire series. They spend all their time outdoors on boats, or camping. The older ones are terribly sensible! The younger ones, less so! They are great fun and books we read and re-read at the end of every school year.
That’s it – Be Inspired, the next post in this Series will be all about how we do nature notebooking.