Tag Archives: Nature

Duck, Apple, Egg – Glenda Millard/Martina Heiduczek



Harper Collins Australia

February 2020

  • ISBN: 9780733340185
  • ISBN 10: 0733340180
  • Imprint: ABC Books – AU
  • List Price: 24.99 AUD

Another perfect accompaniment to being at home and enjoying simpler pleasures, this is just delightful in its simplicity and charm as a little person plays in the garden.

Duck on the green,
sun in the sky,
egg in the nest,
apple on the tree,
and me.

Most well-suited to the very young this will be a great starter to exploring their own gardens which may not have a resident duck or an apple tree but will be sure to hold many amazing discoveries when examined at leisure.

For children a little older and in prep there is potential to explore key concepts such as prepositions and of course to share about imaginative play and nature around them.  I can already envisage a lovely classroom wall mural which could echo the illustrations and be filled with children’s personal garden discoveries.

From toddlers upwards to around five or six years old, this makes a lovely and timely addition to your store of great books for nature exploration.

Click to access Duck-Apple-Egg-Teachers-Notes.pdf

Scribbly Gum Secrets – Dannika Patterson and Megan Forward



Ford St Publishing

April 2020

ISBN: 9781925804485

RRP: $16.99

Exactly a month ago today I had the great pleasure of meeting both Dannika and Megan at Booklinks’ Romancing the Stars event held at Iona College –  the last gathering before our social lives were turned completely upside down – and the joy of them both telling about the creation of this delightful book.

And how very timely it is as so many stay-at-home families opt for simpler pleasures and take their outings in the local environs that this new picture book can inspire the joy of natural discoveries in children.

A mother takes her four children for a walk in the neighbourhood parkland – which for us lucky Queenslanders often means a place filled with trees and wildlife big and small – and together they observe all kinds of fascinating critters. For little Charlie the most intriguing aspect is the strange writing all over so many trees – what does it mean? Frustratingly, no one seems willing to tear themselves away from their own discoveries to bother to explain it to him – but finally Mother does. Much to Charlie’s astonishment and complete disbelief, she tells him that it’s the work of a very busy grub. He finds that completely incomprehensible but knows that one day, when he can read, he will uncover the secret meaning of those scribbles.

This is gentle, beautiful and so utterly synced to not only our current situation but for all future excursions into the ‘wild’. Text and illustrations combine perfectly to evoke the peaceful and soothing joys to be had in spending simple wholesome family time together.

Highly recommended for families – young children from as young as three will enjoy this very much.

Check out more on Dannika’s webpage.



Grace’s Mystery Seed – Juliet M Sampson/Karen Erasmus



Ford St Publishing

March 2019


Have you ever had your children (or grandies) garden with you? I used to garden with my girls and now I have my beautiful granddaughter growing up here also loving planting and watching things grow. She especially loved planting radish seeds to spell her name and only having to wait a few days to see the results!

Juliet M Sampson has utterly captured the magic of that moment of watching the transformation of a seed into a thing of beauty and wonder.

Little Grace loves helping her favourite neighbour in her garden and especially feeding the pet parrot, Polly, his delicious stripy seeds. When Grace wonders aloud where these delicacies come from, Mrs Marino suggests planting one. Grace is enthralled and shares her excitement with her friends and family.

Grace’s joy when her sunflower blooms and does indeed seek the sun each day is truly super stuff to share with young readers (oh how I wish they could all experience this amazing transformation!). Of course, not only is Grace’s mystery seed the foundation of her joy in the flower, but the sunflower will keep on giving – seeds to her friends and to Polly.

I lament the fact that so many children no longer have this glorious joy and I’m personally so glad I have been able to share it with my own children and grandchildren.

Why not inspire your young readers to do likewise? I am planning now to start a seed or two in our library after the holidays and hand out some to kick off some young reader’s own nature journeys.

Highly recommended for readers from around five years upwards and check out the teaching notes here.  GROW your readers now!

Animal Activity: Cut , fold and make your own wild things – Isabel Thomas



May 2017

ISBN: 9781408870068
Imprint: Bloomsbury Activity Books

RRP $14.99

Bloomsbury just has the BEST activity books for all ages! This is a super treat for lovers of science and nature. It’s described as a ‘self-destructing, action-packed activity book’ and it certainly is.

So much to cut, fold, create, share, display and think about it that kids will be itching to get their hands and scissors onto it.

As well as the interactive activities there is loads of information about critters and such. With 63 pages of fun to be had – this will make a great gift for that busy child who needs a bit of quiet time (well, it might be the family that needs the quiet time). With The Divine Miss M’s birthday approaching in just a few weeks this will be a perfect addition to her gift bag – and keep her out of her mother’s hair for a bit!

Highly recommended for kids who love to ‘make’ from around 7 years upwards.

The Anti-Boredom Book of Brilliant Outdoor Things to Do – Andy Seed




Published: 01-07-2017
ISBN: 9781408870099
Imprint: Bloomsbury Childrens


RRP $14.99

Seeds’ ‘Anti-Boredom’ books have proven hugely popular with kids both in the UK and here in Oz. Certainly the Christmas volume was a big hit with Miss K’s BFF as part of her Xmas gift.

I probably should have posted this review for these most recent school holidays but not every state has the glorious Queensland weather that we do so perhaps it will be a good one to keep in mind for the spring break! 😉

I think we all want our children to spend time outdoors enjoying nature and sunshine and less time with ipads and TV so this is a fantastic book for any child (or family) to have in their shelves.

As well as activities of the physical kind there are many ideas for making things related to nature – bird baths and feeders, shadow puppets etc – as well as information on stargazing, rainbows and more.

Divided into sections: Garden Fun, Things to Make, Places to Go, At the Beach, Games to Play, Winter Fun and Activity Challenges, there is something for everyone, with some further information on useful books and websites to finish it off.

Great stuff for readers from around 8 years upwards as well as families looking to expand their outdoor interests.