A First Book of Nature

By Nicola Davies

Illustrated by Mark Hearld

An exquisite book that evokes a child's first experience of nature.

From beachcombing to stargazing, from watching squirrels, ducks and worms to making berry crumble or a winter bird feast, this is a remarkable book – part poetry, part scrapbook of recipes, facts and fragments – and a glorious reminder that the natural world is on our doorstep waiting to be discovered. Mark Hearld's pictures beautifully reproduce the colours of the seasons on woodfree paper, and Nicola Davies' lyrical words capture the simple loveliness that is everywhere, if only we can look.

Categories: Anthology

For readers aged: 3+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781406349160
  • Published: 03 Apr 2014
  • Price: £12.99
  • Size: 288 x 260 mm
  • Pages: 108

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Customer reviews


'A fantastic introduction to nature and an engaging, evocative read that will stimulate young imaginations. Visually stunning, it’s an absolute delight – great for library story-time sessions or reading aloud at home and truly a book for all seasons' We Love This Book

'Mark Hearld's illustrations are gorgeous, lush and colourful' Inis

'A beautiful book which brings nature to life in words and pictures. Nicola Davies interweaves fact and fiction as she brings each season into focus. She celebrates new growth and the rich harvests of autumn. Stunning, richly textured illustrations encourage young readers to look closely at the world around them.' LoveReading4Kids

'The introduction has an Edwardian beauty about it . . . It's all held together in this large and weighty volume by Mark Hearld's kaleidoscopic shepherd's-hay of designs' Books for Keeps

'This fantastic introduction to nature should be on every child's shelf. Page after page of vibrant illustrations captures the snippets of stories, poems and facts of the simple and beautiful world around us ' Wild & Grizzly

'Delightful' Caught by the River

'A beautiful book because it contains keenly observant poems and breathtakingly gorgeous illustrations' Delightful Children’s Books

'Both nostalgic and inspiring, this book makes you want to hurtle outdoors' The Sunday Times Children's Book of the Week

'Without a doubt, one of the most beautifully written and illustrated children’s books I have ever seen' Activities 4 Kids

'A First Book of Nature is a stunning collection of earthly observations distilled and repackaged for the inquisitive eyes of children . . . What makes the book so resoundingly successful though, are the beautiful collage-style illustrations by Mark Hearld. There is a visceral, texturedness to the way the images are layered upon one another that somehow invokes the great outdoors all the more palpably . . . The genuine awe at nature that emanates from every page of this book is inspiring for both parent and child in their continued exploration of the world together' We Love This Book

'An exquisite book that evokes a child’s first experience of nature. From beachcombing to stargazing, from watching squirrels, ducks and worms to making berry crumble or a winter bird feast.' Mums & Tots

'A gentle poetic exploration through the changing seasons, this is a book which will make those of all ages stop and think about the beauty of the world around us, in even the simplest of things. The text and illustrations work wonderfully together, as the pictures frame the text whilst really reflecting the meaning. There are activities too, which encourage interaction with the world around us. It's a book to cherish and share, one to keep and reflect upon and to pick up and read when the pressures of life get a bit much. It's a lovely way to encourage children to enjoy the world around them and to make them take note and care for that world.' Parents in Touch

'My favourite is A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies. It’s a unique mix of poetry, facts, recipes and more, and its eclecticism and exquisite illustrations by Mark Hearld make it a book that children and parents will return to over the holidays, the better to enjoy freedom or to endure it' New Statesman

'Occasionally a book comes along that takes my breath away . . . a call to arms to get children to appreciate the magic of the natural world. The writer Nicola Davies delivers and enticing collection of stories, poems, facts and ideas, all brought to life by the artist and print-maker Mark Hearld’s illustrations' Telegraph Magazine, Children's Notebook

'This beautifully illustrated book focuses on seasonal British wildlife' BBC Wildlife

'Gorgeous… Young minds will be stimulated by this unique presentation of the natural world' Carousel

'A remarkable book' Green Parent, Book of the Month

'A treasury of poems, pictures and recipes, taking children on a journey through the seasons and showing them the beauty of the world around them' International Express

'Illustrations are bold and rich' BBC Country File Magazine

'An enthralling book . . . set against a backdrop of warm enticing illustrations that seem to bring the natural world into the room . . . a book to linger over' The Publisher’s Association’s Best New Children’s Books Summer 2014, The Guardian

'Should be on every child’s bookshelf . . . each page is a wonderful journey into nature . . . the illustrations are a joy to behold and add gorgeous clarification to the wonderful text . . . and outstanding book with surprises leaping from every page' Creative Steps

'A handsomely illustrated lyrical engagement with the natural world (and a perfect present for a six-year-old) – and it, and others, is rethinking what non-fiction for children might be.' The Telegraph

'Beachcombing, stargazing, observing animals and delicious recipe are all included in this tome' The Sun

'Gorgeous miscellany . . . each poem successfully captures the wonder and curiosity of a child’s first responses to the features and sometimes dramatic changes, in the world around them. Not just a poetry collection, the blending of factual fragments, sunning illustrations and imaginative works makes this a truly wonderful creation. Young minds will be stimulated by this unique presentation of the natural world' Carousel

'This is a beautiful book. It is divided into four sections each of which captures the atmosphere and changes of the seasons. The delightful illustrations are executed in various media . . . and are accompanied by a poetic and informative text that is a great introduction to the natural world' The Good Book Guide

'It offers a wealth of inspiration, knowledge and celebration of everything that surrounds us. . . The poetry, the love & knowledge of nature and those wonderful illustrations - have given us three wonderful reasons to keep returning to A First Book of Nature again and again' My Book Corner

'A stunning reminder that the natural world is on our doorstep waiting to be discovered.' Right Start

'A beautifully illustrated book that will enchant children.' Western Morning News

'Nicola Davies specialises in imparting her enthusiasm for the natural world through picture books and stories, and this beautiful volume blurs boundaries: here fiction, poetry, nonfiction, fine art and illustration overlap. She uses lyrical text and free verse to record experiences of nature that are within the reach of most children. . . Though based on observation rather than imagination, and full of easily absorbed facts, the text has poetic moments: a horse’s nose, for instance, is “more tender than your own cheek”. It makes you want to run outdoors.' The Sunday Times

'[A] Glorious compendium of the delights of nature' Telegraph Magazine

'A charming compendium of things to see, feel and do outdoors, with bold and bright illustrations.' Daily Mail

'Stunning illustrations compliment Nicola’s poetic and informative introduction to the environment. A charming gift for every child to treasure.' Little London

'“Hearld’s nostalgic illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to this lovely chronicle of a child’s first experiences of nature.”' BookTrust

'There have always been lots of nature books for kids – wonderful authors like Nicola Davies help children to connect with and understand the natural world.' The Guardian

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