Book Review of Outside: A Guide to Discovering Nature

Outside: A Guide to Discovering Natures is a nature book that’s perfect for any kid who loves crafting with natural materials or just playing outdoors.

Outside: A Guide to Discovering Natures is a nature book that's perfect for any kid who loves crafting with natural materials or just playing outdoors.

Feathers and leaves. Rocks and shells. Sticks and flowers. Acorns and sand.

If you know a kid who loves nature crafts, then it’s worthwhile to provide that kid with a guidebook to the natural world, one that shows her the processes that form all the things that she enjoys creating with.

In Outside: A Guide to Discovering Nature (which I received free from a publicist), you get all of that, along with handy, hand-drawn illustrations and diagrams, all written to the older child.

Outside gives factual information about nature, such as how rocks form, and what the skeletal system of a bird looks like, but it also provides the knowledge that a person needs to explore all types of natural environments–depending on how you were raised and where you live, this is something that you might not know. A city kid, especially, may well not realize how easy it is to get lost in the woods, or how important a flashlight is for exploring after dark, or even that you shouldn’t pull up plants just for the sake of doing so.

Outside gives that information, but it also includes a lyrical quality to its language, and an artistic style to its illustrations, that a tween or young teen, in particular, might appreciate. Readers are encouraged to do things like lie on the ground underneath a tree to look and listen to nature, and to ponder their identity as mammals in a worldwide community of mammals with similar features.

For the crafty kid, there are, of course, various nature projects interspersed with the informative and inspirational. These are more suggestions than tutorials, as when the reader is asked to sketch various mammals for fun, or make molds of the diverse textures of rocks, paint a sunset, or construct an animated model of the moon cycle.

There aren’t any super-crafty projects specified, but a kid who loves that kind of thing can use this book to figure out the natural history of her preferred nature craft supplies.

Photo credit: interior copy of Outside image via Booktopia

Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

Comments (Keep It Civil...)

Ways to Reuse Egg Cartons

36 Ways to Reuse Egg Cartons

How to Make Vegan Buttermilk for Baking