about this blog



I started this blog in 2008. It started mainly as a way of tracking the evolution of my dry garden, and that led to an interest in photography and in the creatures that live in the garden. It's still about the garden and wildlife, but now my passion is thinking about how we humans can learn to co-exist with wild animals and plants, especially in urban areas.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

a quirky nature book for children



Who can resist a quirky nature book for children? If there was a competition for the quirkiest nature book for children, this book would, I'm sure, get into the finals, at least.  The line drawings are incredibly cute, funny and cheerful.  The book gives children unusual fun activities to do in the garden. Like how to make a sundial or how to make a cubby out of umbrellas. There are plant experiments to do, like making a plant maze to demonstrate how plants always grow toward the light, or using a carrot to create an attractive indoor plant.


Kids can learn interesting and important stuff like how and why worms and bees are so important and useful in the garden, and how seeds work. There are recipes for nasturtium sandwiches, wattle seed pancakes, candied violets and rose hip jam. There is a page for fascinating plant trivia, like the largest flower in the world, Rafflesia, that smells horrible, has no body and is all you can see. It is a parasite and lives on the creepers in the jungle. And of course the plant trivia includes the ever popular favourite spooky class of plants: the carnivores, using the example of the Venus Fly Trap.




How many kids today know how to play hopscotch? This book will show them how to play this and other outdoor games. And for children and adults like me with a childish sense of humour there are wonderful jokes. Example:

Q: How can you tell which end is which in a worm ?
A: Tickle it in the middle and see which end smiles.




This book, Out in the Garden, by Anne Ingram and Peggy O'Donnell, was published in 1990 in Sydney and is now out of print. I'm not sure how difficult it would be to pick up an out of print Australian book on the internet. But if you like the sound of it, it's worth a try.








13 comments:

  1. What a great book. My Grandson would wait for the x-box version! - getting him into a garden is hard, hard work let alone nature.

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    1. if he's not into nature, I don't suppose any book would change him, unfortunately. I asked my grandchild if he would like to see a hawk being filmed feeding its chicks, but he said he wanted to watch diggers instead. What can I do? And he's only 3!

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  2. I really just like the clean perpective understand about about the problem. Truly was not anticipating whenever I started off learning. Your principles were uncomplicated to understand that I considered why I never checked over it just before. Grateful to be conscious of that theres anyone to select from that definitely understands of what hes discussing. Best wisheszara

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  3. Those illustrations are really great. They would surely catch any child's attention and keep it for a long time. Learning while reading would be such a bonus too.

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  4. I love children's books (even though I do not have children of my own). I always appreciate an enjoyable, educational, wonderfully illustrated book. How fun this book is - love the jokes. Mothball ... ha! Someday I would like to write and illustrate my own.

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    1. that would be very challenging and very rewarding. My all time favourite, Maurice Sendak, died this week.

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  5. Cute and interesting book. Lots of ideas there to get the children do more outdoor activities.

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  6. Sounds a really good book, I'm in favour of anything that will encourage children into the garden, and I think this will.

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  7. This would be a great book to have around for the 5 or 6 year olds. They love these little experiments. It would be fun to watch the kiddos to put all of these things together. Hope you have a great start to your week.

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  8. I love this book and I am sure it will bring childrens interest in the garden.

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  9. I love children's books and have often found them more fun and informative than boring adult books because the info is so easily absorbed. Anything that is cheerful and points out how weird and wacky gardening can be is interesting!

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    1. I love childrens books too. And I agree, CM, often they are more enjoyable and interesting than adult books. I read once it's harder to write a good non fiction book for children than for adults because you have to really understand a subject well in order to condense it and express it in simple terms.

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