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Funston, Sylvia
Illustrated by Daniel Sylvestre Toronto, Greey de Pender, 1991. 48pp, paper, $7.95
ISBN 0-920775-66-7.

Subject Headings:
Nature study-Juvenile literature.
Natural history-Juvenile literature.
Scientific recreations-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11

Reviewed by Peter Croskery

Volume 20 Number 3
May 1992

The Nature Book is the fourth publication in Owl's "Green World" series, intended to assist and encourage children to investigate nature and the environment.

The book is a combination of environmental trivia and self-directed "learning" activities. From its format it appears it was designed to be read by young people rather than function as a "teaching guide" where parents direct a child's learning.

The book is well designed. Each "unit" is two pages with the pages facing each other. For activities, this is helpful as the book can be laid open while the instructions are followed.

Some activities involve the participation of others, but these are few. The real appeal of most of the activities is that they can be done by an individual--perfect entertainment for a young child stuck inside on a rainy or cold day. And some activities are quizzes, which require no extra support materials.

As for the topics, most are good. I particularly like the "Wildlife in the City" unit since I believe it's important to remind people that you don't have to travel to "wilderness areas" to appreciate wildlife. I wasn't as attracted to the "Wild Prescriptions" unit on medicinal plants since it doesn't have the personal identification aspect I like to see in wildlife learning. (Few adults have any developed taxonomic skills, let alone children.) However, there is some trivia appeal to the unit.

The Nature Book is a neat little book, priced right, that will appeal to children with grade 4 to 5 reading skills.

Peter Croskery, Grimsby, Ont.
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