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Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  458 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
This gorgeously illustrated volume of poetry — sprinkled with facts and fun things to do — sows an early love for nature in all its beauty and wonder.

The buzz of bees in summertime. The tracks of a bird in the winter snow. This beautiful book captures all the sights and sounds of a child’s interactions with nature, from planting acorns or biting into crisp apples to studyi
Hardcover, 108 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by Candlewick
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2013 Mock Caldecott
52nd out of 97 books — 242 voters
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Community Reviews

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Jun 27, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
GORGEOUS! I heart everything about this nature book. It's poems, the illustrations (!!), the paper it is printed on, and the earnestness in which it endeavors to interest children in nature. Well-done!
Apr 13, 2012 Marika rated it it was amazing
I must admit that I don't read a lot of children's poetry, but one of the things I've been trying to do is broaden my appreciation of children's books in general. I fell so in love with the illustrations & design of Outside Your Window that I ended up reading the poetry and not just the illustrations. While I try not to buy too may books, I kept going back to pick this one up and reasoned that if I waited to have children, it would probably be out of print, so if I loved it (and I do!) I had ...more
Patricia Powell
Oct 23, 2012 Patricia Powell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
“Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature” by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Mark Hearld (Candlewick 2012) is a stunning work.
The 110 page picture book progresses through the seasons, starting with spring. The poems are simple and straightforward for the most part. Which makes the author’s occasional metaphors and similes light up her poems.
The spectacular art, which we’re told is mixed media, draws you into the author’s observations of each poem. By the look, I’d say the artwork is a coll
Emily Valenti
Sep 02, 2013 Emily Valenti rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
When my former colleague brought this book into school I fell in love with the beautiful illustrations and knew I had to buy it. Each and every page is rich with an exciting new landscape waiting to be explored through the poems and artwork. With its short verses and stunning illustrations in a sturdy hardback cover this book would be a joy to read to any class (Rec, Y1) where everyone can join in the experience. It would be valuable for a ‘Countryside’ topic as it could help to cover many aspec ...more
This is a lovely book that I shared with my granddaughter who is kindergarten age. She loved the first few poems that we read, but she lost interest rather soon. I don't think it was because of a poorly written book as much as it was her age and interest in the subjects. I think that her older brother would have liked it better because he is older and because he likes science. The information is presented in free verse poems. I enjoyed the language in many of them, but found some of them more li ...more
Meghan Collins
I have to start by saying the illustrations in this book are amazing! This book is a first look at nature, and the illustrations did just that. They are so descriptive and take up the entire page. While a teacher is reading these poems to students, they are becoming involved in these stories because of the illustrations. For the younger students, these illustrations will really help them comprehend what is being read to them. I loved this book for this reason, and this is what resonated with me ...more
Danielle Zuhlke
1.)City Dog Country Frog by Mo Willems (June 8, 2010).
2.)The twin-text is a story about friendship. In the springtime, the city dog makes friends with a frog when visiting the country. The two friends meet again in the summer time, and again in the fall. The city dog comes back in the winter, and his friend isn’t there. The city dog is very sad, but in the springtime, makes a new friend. The backdrop of the story is the changing seasons. In Outside Your Window, the author also touches on the lif
Apr 30, 2012 Rachel rated it liked it
The poems are lovely and the pictures have great depth. It's subtitled "A First Book of Nature" which in my mind indicates a very young audience but this book is far to sophisticated for that age group, the size is also awkward for small hands.
Melissa Mcavoy
A gorgeous large format book filled with short poems about the everyday natural world. Snippets of information are seamlessly worked into the text and shown in bold and colorful realistic illustrations. The poems are not especially memorable, but the beautiful illustrations and the emphasis on a connection to the natural world carries the book. My main complaint is there is no diversity among the pictured humans. It could be that it is all one white family, which is fine, but that fact combined ...more
Feb 18, 2014 Alison rated it it was amazing
I read this book with my 2 and 4-year-old sons. It was their first exposure to poetry - and after reading it all the way through with them (100+ pages), I have to say this is an amazing book. Simple, beautiful poetry that captures the beauty of the world and a childhood spent in nature, playing, learning, observing. On a tangent: one of the poems, about worms, even has the word poop - never thought I would see that one in a poem. But the poetry isn't silly, just straightforward and eloquent. The ...more
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Somehow I didn't realize that this is a book of poetry around the theme of nature. Lovely book just in time for National Poetry month.

Edward Sullivan
May 26, 2012 Edward Sullivan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, nature
A beautifully illustrated collection of poems celebrating nature organized by the four seasons.
Dec 12, 2012 Ellie rated it really liked it
Lovely and graceful poetry, accurately evoking all of the feelings of being outside during all four seasons. During the spring poems, I could hear the rain, during the summer poems, I could practically feel the warmth of the sun on my face (though maybe that was the building's heat going a little overboard...). I could feel the fall's crisp air and taste its delicious treats, and winter feels warm and cozy from inside.

I especially loved the Pond Dipping poem - makes me feel like I am 10 years ol
Julie Rand
Oct 28, 2013 Julie Rand rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-book
The first thing I noticed about this book was the size. The large format lends itself to the beautiful illustrations and the subject matter: the breadth and wonder of nature.

The opening pages are just as inviting as the collage image on the cover and include a page on which the child can write his or her name. Through a series of poems organized by season, Davies invites children and their caretakers to experience nature using all the senses of sight, smell, feeling and sound. Reading the poems
Dec 29, 2012 Linda rated it it was amazing
Such a busy week with company and wonderful Christmas celebrations. I’m trying to read all the poetry nominations for the Cybil’s awards before I am given a list of the finalists for the 2nd round judging. This time I found Outside your Window, A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Mark Hearld. It’s a beautiful compilation of poems and information about nature through all the year, beginning with spring. This will be read over and over to young ones, showing them different asp ...more
Iowa City Public Library
Nicola Davies is a zoologist and an award-winning author who’s written many books for children. Of writing Outside Your Window, she says, “I cast off my grown-up self and found the me I was at five or six. From inside that younger self I could see the world as I saw it first–not just the sights and sounds of nature but also the feelings and the thoughts about it that ran through me, strong as the tide. This book comes to you from that little girl, who sat in a barley field at dusk and felt the w ...more
Apr 08, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
It's rare indeed to find books of children's poetry so enormous these days. The 58 poems in this collection pay homage to the seasonal wonders of nature with 14 poems celebrating spring, 18 extolling the wonders of summer, and 14 focusing on fall. Poor winter only elicits 12 poems. There are free verse poems here as well as rhyming lines, but most of all, the lines remind readers to pay attention to the intriguing natural world that lies just outside their windows. There are wonderful sensory im ...more
Michelle Murphy
Oct 25, 2012 Michelle Murphy rated it it was amazing
"Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature" written by Nicola Davies is a dazzling read in it's lyrical presence and it's brilliant illustrations. Written in free verse poetry, this book follows the seasons and observes it's patterns and changes. Eyeing stars, birds constructing nests, apples ripe for fall, snow falling all around and other naturally occurring developments are all beautifully described and cataloged.

This book is for young readers, especially readers who are interested in poetr
Nov 16, 2012 Jessica marked it as hikedigitalbookshelf
Outside Your Window is a informational picture book about the nature you are surrounded by. Whether you live in a city or a country nature is all around you. This book contains amazing illustrations to portray the beauty of the this poetic book. It sends a stunning reminder that nature is right at our doorsteps waiting to be discovered.

I think this book would be appropriate for all elementary grades. It could be made simple for younger students by just looking at natures characteristics. While f
Mar 19, 2012 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture, poetry
This beautifully written and illustrated collection of poems follows the changing seasons and introduces children to natural processes like bulbs sprouting in spring and dandelions turning to seed: (“Dandelions bloom like little suns./but the flowers don’t last long-/they fold up like furled umbrellas pointing at the sky”). Zoologist and author, Nicola Davies evokes the feel of each season with concise and observant free verse: “Winter is a slow, low time. Everything/is hiding from the cold; jus ...more
Taylor Anderson
This is a lovely book filled with poems about each season, and increases appreciation for nature and the world around us. The writing traits present are sentence fluency and word choice because of the rhythm and rhyme of the words. I would include this book in a text set about the four seasons, or would use it as a read aloud, and then have students create their own poem about their favorite season using a style similar to what is in the book. They could then create a picture to accompany it and ...more
Michael Fitzgerald
So, this is a book of poems (all by the author, who is a zoologist). They are about nature (organized by season), but "a first book of nature" is perhaps a bit misleading. It's not an instructive book that presents information in an organized fashion.

The poems aren't all that great. "The Loaf that Jack Baked" is a take-off on "The House that Jack Built" but it's kind of odd that the buck stops at "This is the man, so straight and strong, who sowed the seed that sprouted the stalk that grew the
Jun 21, 2014 Marcie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Marcie by: Katie Darren
Candlewick is amazing. This book is so well put together I can see it as a coffee table book. The poetry can serve as great mentor writing for students when teachers ask them to write poetry to display their learning about Nature. Would be interesting to pair this with Fourth of July which is poetry set up by seasons. I know this came out in 2012, but somehow I missed it.
Eloisa Garcia
Jul 16, 2016 Eloisa Garcia rated it it was amazing
It was a beautiful book that caught my son's attention, he is 9 months and I certainly didn't expect he would look at it with me, maybe is that he was tired? Maybe the birds on it? The beautiful illustrations go together with the beautiful poetry, simple and kind to anyone's ears.
Would love to buy this book when he is older and understands more words
Kate Bretey
Oct 25, 2012 Kate Bretey rated it really liked it
Shelves: hestwood-digital
What an absolutely charming book. 'Outside Your Window' is a beautifully illustrated book of poetry for children about nature. It covers all four seasons and the many wonders that each has to offer. It is very down to earth and simple, natural. This would be a great book for preschool to second grade. I would use this as an excuse to hold class outside. I would take the class on nature walks, read the book outside, then come back in for writing activities and art activities. It is a great exampl ...more
Dec 05, 2014 Phyllis rated it it was amazing
You will want your own copy of this book especially if you have preschool or early grade children in your home. The four seasons are beautifully illustrated with poetry plus a few science activities and recipes thrown in. This book makes a wonderful lap book that isn't meant to be enjoyed in one sitting.
Brooklyn Schamens
I think children would love to read poems about nature. I thought this book provided interesting poems, but also useful information about nature as well. Students would get a lot out of reading this whether its the nature subject itself or just about different types of poems
May 12, 2016 Kaila rated it really liked it
To begin our first week of shared reading, this book was suggested from another 1st grade teacher. I used this book only during shared reading. The students were able to pick out their favorite sentence and write it on their sentence strips.
Liz B
Jan 12, 2015 Liz B rated it it was ok
Beautiful pictures, boring content, mediocre and utterly forgettable poetry. And SO LONG. I kept hoping for something better. I am clearly not the target audience...what's more, I never was. I can't imagine liking this as a child.
Xin Luan
May 16, 2014 Xin Luan rated it it was amazing
This beautiful book captures all the sights and sounds of a child’s interactions with nature. There are lovely poems and beautiful illustrations in this book. Children who are interested in nature will fall in love with this book.
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"I was very small when I saw my first dolphin," says zoologist Nicola Davies, recalling a seminal visit with her father to a dolphin show at the zoo. Enchanted at the sight of what she called the "big fish" jumping so high and swimming so fast, she determined right then that she would meet the amazing creatures again "in the wild, where they belonged." And indeed she did--as part of a pair of scie ...more
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