Wednesday 8 September 2021

Outside, You Notice

Finished September 3
Outside, You Notice by Erin Alladin, illustrated by Andrea Blinick

This picture book can be read on two levels. The easier level follows a pattern, continuing from the phrase "Outside, you notice..." with most of them beginning with "how". These include using different senses. Some examples are "How after the rain everything smells greener" and "How a strawberry tastes sweetest when you pick it yourself and eat it still warm from the sun". The illustrations include many details, but are also loose and playful, like sketches, and include many things going on. 
The second level of reading is more scientific, and includes a lot of factual information around the phrase for the double page spread. Again an example, for the pages where things smell greener, has four facts: that part of rain's smell is made of oils released by plants; some plant leaves are shaped like funnels to catch the rain; some trees have so many leaves that the ground beneath them can stay dry; and that plants drink through their roots. The pictures for this page include trees, plants, puddles, insects, animals, birds, two individual children enjoying the results of the rain in different ways, and more. It would be easy for spend several minutes on each set of pages noticing things and learning about the world around us. 
The text encourages the children to use smell, hearing, taste, touch, and sight to notice the world and the facts for each range from four to six for each scene. Many of the activities shown will make children want to do these things themselves, whether it is planting seeds or taking a hike. Some noticing encourages being still and some being on the move, some has us looking up and some looking down. At the end of the book, a page lists where the different scenes take place, in parks and yards, trails and gardens, and even playgrounds. This book will encourage healthy activity and engaging with the natural world. The author has a background in gardening and forestry that shows in the information presented here. 

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