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.