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Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You
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Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  468 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Reconnect with nature through sketching and writing with these simple methods for capturing the living beauty of each season. Clare Walker Leslie and co-author Charles E. Roth offer easy techniques, exercises, and prompts for all ages.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published July 5th 2003 by Storey Publishing, LLC (first published January 1st 2000)
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A Sand County Almanac with Other Essays on Conservation from ... by Aldo LeopoldWalden by Henry David ThoreauA Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonPilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie DillardDesert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
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22nd out of 354 books — 283 voters
The Triumph of the Moon by Ronald HuttonCeltic Mythology by Proinsias Mac CanaThe Druids by Peter Berresford EllisA History of Pagan Europe by Prudence J. JonesDrawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler
ADF Dedicant Program Reading List
14th out of 49 books — 7 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,231)
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Kate
I teach kids outdoors, and often lead activities that involve sketching, writing, and collecting information about nature. This gives me the chance to see plants and wildlife through their eyes, but until I read this book, I didn't realize how much of the picture was missing!
I have looked at these things most often through the filters of education, business, recreation, design. Keeping a Nature Journal offered one more way, with hundreds of samples and activities, to cram more nature into my li
...more
ladydusk
Own. Birthday present from my in-laws (Thanks, again!)

This book, while annoying with its philosophy at times, is worth reading in order to learn about nature journaling. In some ways, it seemed they tried to make more of it than there is, but there were enough good ideas for planning, encouraging, and instructing drawing nature. "Outdoorsy" and "artistic" are not adjectives anyone would use for me, but this book made it seem like an achievable goal.

The several ideas of how to practice, how to se
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Ronna
Loved this book and it helped me to keep my own nature journal.
sdw
The information in this book is fairly basic. The tips in this book focus more on drawing than on writing. It would be a helpful book if you were looking to learn how to best sketch the natural world. I was expecting it to have more exercises I could use for my own classes.
Trace
This idea intrigues me as a complement to our nature studies and nature walks.

UPDATE:
DONE! Gorgeous book. One that has given me much inspiration and one that I'll have to borrow from the library again.
Elizabeth
Oh, how I love a nature journal book. Line drawings are my fav. Watching our #2 bring some piece of nature into the house and draw it at the kitchen table? Another fav. Drawing helps to focus the mind. BELIEVE IT.
stori .
looking for new creative inspirations. thinking a new way of journaling may be the ticket.
Angela Boord
Skimming this yet again for ideas. Seems like I return to it every year.
Tanya
This guide shows how to create a gorgeous ongoing project of a nature journal. It is applicable to kids or adults, though kids might need a parent helper to read and interpret it all. Projects are given for a variety of ages or "all ages" depending on the project. No prior experience drawing is required. The examples given are inspirational without being overwhelming for those of us without a lot of native art talent. Most are shown black and white as would be common if you were out with just a ...more
Jamie
Good book for whetting your appetite for nature journaling. Lots of good examples of sketches, including lots of complete journal pages. Too much time is spent on things like explaining what each of the seasons are (would we really not know?) and the mechanism that gives us seasons (the explanations is not exactly accurate...). There are lots of little tips and pointers. The most useful ones are the specific ones (here's how to draw insects, they have bilateral symmetry, there are six legs and t ...more
Cindi
I didn't read this book, just skimmed it. It's pretty basic information if you've ever thought about journaling before. The author first explains the different options for what kind of journal you want to keep. We'll probably use three ring binders with print paper inside. She suggests different ways to spark new ideas. Anyone who spends time in nature, enjoys it, sees it in a new light, thinks about it, won't have any trouble coming up with ideas for what to draw and write about.

My son is chall
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Megan
When an art book inspires you to start creating RIGHT AWAY, that's how you know its a great book. This is a wonderful mix of technical drawing lessons, spiritual thoughts on nature and drawing, and beautiful examples of nature journals. If you are at all interested in creating a nature journal, get this book and get your art supplies out!
Jamie
Mar 20, 2015 Jamie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: art
If you're looking for a comprehensive and great how-to guide for nature journaling, look no further. If I were in the market for such things, I would've given it more stars, but I'm more open-ended with my art journaling.
Jena Buckwell
Excellent introduction to nature journaling. I'm all about lifelong learning and feel that nature journaling is gong to make a big difference in my ability to learn everything I want to learn about the natural world without feeling completely overwhelmed.
Janice Tanaka
This is a beautiful book, making the art of nature journaling quite a realistic goal. I like to include nature journaling with my youngest art students, starting in grade one. We take our magnifying glasses and examine pine cones upclose, discovering the little winged seeds hidden inside. This book could inspire all ages to keep a record of their personal discoveries in the natural world. Highly recommended.
Tina Smith
This was a pretty good book...but not as good as I had hoped. There's a lot of common sense stuff in here and very little I could actually use to help teach a nature trail. And the drawing instructions are not very helpful at all. Not for a novice like me.

But still, I enjoyed seeing how nature journals can be used by others and learning how beneficial they are. Worth a look. I skimmed some of the lighter sections that contained very little real content and was able to get through it pretty quick
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Charise Danielle
Apr 16, 2015 Charise Danielle rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: sketch journal writers looking for inspiration
Helpful tips and exercises for nature journaling with lots of drawings and pages from the author's own journals, but I would have liked to have seen more pages from other journal writers (though there are some). There are lots of suggestions for generating ideas, but not much in the way of instruction in technique (which I admit is probably not the point of the book). I did like the different drawing practice exercises in the back of the book, and will probably use them regularly from now on. Ov ...more
Jennifer Jenkins
Beautiful book. Feeling really inspired to start doing nature notebooking with my class and my own son.
James
Dec 25, 2013 James rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone with a love for nature
Shelves: science
It was wonderful for getting new ideas and encouraging journal keeping and good aid for developing a love for the outdoors in all seasons. Especially like the really good illustrations through the book. Anyone with a little bit of time, patience, and willingness to learn new skills can do these projects. Recommend this to all my nature loving friends.
Lyndsay-ann Stewart
A nice little book that helps people who want to start keeping a nature journal get started. Gives helpful tips on where/how to start, what to look for, as well as basic instruction on drawing what you see. Gives great tips on how to really see nature.

Gives recommendations for other books on drawing, as well as reference guides to help learn about and identify different animals.

I'm eager to start my own nature journal.
Adrienne
This guide is very informative and insightful. What I found especially helpful is all the questions that the authors suggest to help you start exploring the natural world. This would we a good book to own (I checked it out from the library) simply so that I can have seasonal access to the chapters devoted to journaling specific seasons. I’m really excited to start my nature journal!
Estela
Jul 18, 2011 Estela marked it as to-read
So far the illustrations are amazing, most of them are from the journals of Claire and Chuck. I've just finished chapter one and it's a great introduction of what is to come. Nature journaling does not just have to be in the park or reserve it can be in your own backyard no matter how small. You want to open up your eyes to what it around you.
Andria
This book really helped me teach fourth and fifth graders, as well as a class of seniors, how to keep a sketchbook. It has practical advice and exercises.
Tracy
Reading some of Charlotte Mason's educational philosophy inspired me to try to capture the natural world on paper -- ideas, impressions, and sketches. It's surprising the amount of nature you can find in your own backyard and by walking down the street! I hope to make this a continuing project with my kids for years to come.
Jennifer
Wow!! This has been on my shelf for over a year, and I picked it up to look for tips on what to buy for our trip to Maine. I was surprised at all the instructional materials and rationale that I found, and now I am planning to use it as a course for homeschooling and for my own joyful learning! LOVE IT!!
Nicole
Very inspiring. I think nature journaling might be the perfect medium for me to keep track of my garden and the sights in our yard and woods. Now to just find the time to keep one...
Mel
Lots of good pictures and inspiration in here. I got a little bit bored with the text, but the book was enough to inspire me to start a nature journal of my own.
Kari
Nov 28, 2009 Kari added it
Going to see if this is something Alyssa and I would enjoy doing together. At the very least it'll get us out of the house and in the great outdoors!
Sandy
I've never been good at keeping a nature journal but I haven't given up trying. This book is why.
Jacque
A wonderful tool to use to help children and adults observe the world outside their doors.
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