Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature

Nicola Davies, Author, Mark Hearld, Illustrator
Nicola Davies, illus. by Mark Hearld. Candlewick, $19.99 (108p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5549-5
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Divided into seasons, this visceral introduction to the wonders of nature explores cycles and the passage of time through rich, textural images and thoughtful poems. Spring is “the busiest season.” Icicles melt, frogs lay eggs, and birds migrate: “They’ve flown so far!/ Over forests, mountains, deserts, seas.” Summer is “Time to look at the sky/ and dream,” explore tide pools, and build dens. With fall come new observations (“They’re not animals, and they’re not plants./ They’re something else—/ they’re fungi: toadstools, mushrooms, molds”), and in winter “Patchwork pigeons, made of sky,/ catch the rain clouds when they fly.” Debut talent Hearld layers his organic tableaux with matte, paper-cut collages, woodcuts, and other mixed-media techniques, complementing the album of ideas, images, and moods created by Davies’s evocative poetry. Ages 3–up. (Feb.)
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