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Outside In

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,275 ratings  ·  277 reviews
Outside is waiting, the most patient playmate of all. The most generous friend. The most miraculous inventor. Our connection with nature is not so easily obscured by lives spent indoors.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 14th 2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,275 ratings  ·  277 reviews

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Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Under normal circumstances I like the reviews I write to be timeless. To the best of my ability I do not root them in a specific time or place, so that when they are discovered ten, twenty, thirty years down the road they’ll be as pertinent as ever. But as I write this I am living through a historical event. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the United States and so I am sheltering in my house like the rest of my country. On occasion I can go out and find places in nature to visit, but for the most ...more
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
2.5 stars
The softly colored illustrations are beautiful abstract views of the outside.
I like the concept Underwood shared but the story was a miss for me. The book feels more like one for adults to reflect on and reconnect with nature. Not a bad thing but not what I was hoping for for elementary level.
Dec 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Gorgeous art in this ode to the outdoors. It's a pretty simple story, but effective, and it is nice to get the reminder, especially now, of the beautiful world that surrounds us. ...more
Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Picture-Book Readers Looking for Tales About the Human Connection to Nature
As the simple but poetic narrative speaks of the beauty and lure of the outside, which waits for us, tempting us to return to it, the lovely artwork in Outside In captures all of the tricks outside plays, in order to capture our attention. The light and shadows coming in our windows, the scents and sights, everything trying to get us to return, and eventually, we do...

On my first read of Outside In, I found myself concentrating on the artwork of illustrator Cindy Derby, which is perhaps not surp
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book UNDERSTANDS. Humans and nature are one, meant to be together, separated by technology. But even when we don't think to reach for nature, nature reaches for us. The inching-toward-the-abstract art, which I would not have said would work with a book with this theme, is actually perfect. ...more
Beth Honeycutt
Feb 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
I wanted patiently for a library copy (Caldecott Medal). The illustrations are gorgeous and I love the message of the book. I think it spoke more to me as an adult and as a person who is longing for spring!
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Good lord, this is so beautiful with so much reverence for nature and our connection to it. All the stars to this one!
Shaye Miller
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful words and lovely artwork!! ❤️
Laura Harrison
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
A stunning and timely picture book by the remarkable Deborah Underwood. Underwood through her words and Cindy Derby through her luminous illustrations have created a picture book that is happy and comforting. This may be the most perfect go to read aloud in these surreal, difficult times. Highly recommend.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

It calls to us.

It tempts us with dazzling displays of color and scent.

It reminds us of delight it offers.

Let's go. Outside.
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
At a time when our collective relationship to the indoors and outdoors feels particularly fraught, this book was an exquisite reminder of all the ways in which we are connected to - and take for granted - the great "outside." ...more
Mar 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
A gentle nudge to readers, encouraging connection with nature. Three cheers for words and message! Slightly disenchanted by the illustrations.

I borrowed this book from our library because it won a 2021 Caldecott Honor.
My own kids have grown past the years of reading picture books, but I still read them for their magic and inspiration, and because I like to stay current on what the children of our world are being offered and taught. Call it research if you will. Perhaps I'll create a picture boo
Wow, such a fantastic book! The story shows how even when we are outside, often we are not. It shows the lack of connection humans have to nature and when they do it is usually through man-made items such as chairs that used to be trees. The illustrations are fantastic at showing the emotions of the girl, using colour and shadows. The book seems even more relevant at the moment when many children are experiencing repeated lockdowns and being stuck inside. The deepness of the book allows itself t ...more
Vincent Desjardins
At a time when so many of us have been staying inside our homes, Deborah Underwood’s beautiful “Outside In” reminds us that we are all a part of the great outside, of Nature. With sparse, poetic language and beautiful illustrations by Cindy Derby this lovely book reminds us of our connections with Nature and how even inside our homes the outside world will find us. Whether its sunlight and moonlight streaming through our windows, birds heard singing in the trees or tapping on our roofs, insects ...more
Feb 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I certainly understand why this was a Caldecott Honor Book! The story and the gorgeous, inventive illustrations could stand on their own, but together.... this truly meets the Caldecott criteria! I could see using it with students and then having them survey their surroundings to look for things that originated outside. After I read it, I looked around the room to think about it myself. The illustrations inspired me to look carefully and examine which aspects were probably watercolor, powder, or ...more
Krissy Neddo
Sep 18, 2020 rated it liked it
I really liked it. But it's not a story most of my kids will pick out while browsing. Not a fan of the illustration style. This would be a good fit for MS/HS teachers who like to read a picture/poetry book to their students. They will "get it" more so than my most of my elementary students, I think. I will share with my PE teacher. He is passionate about getting kids to explore the outside. And as it is with all books you share with children, if you are passionate about it and love it, they usua ...more
Feb 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: smallfriends
The artwork is beautiful and the sentiment is [chef’s kiss], but this wistful picture book is definitely speaking to an adult rather than a child. It was a lovely moment of zen for this nature-loving aunt.
Stacy Renee  (LazyDayLit)
A beautiful look at how, even when we are always inside, the outside finds us and filters itself into our lives in many ways.
Unique but lovely illustrations.
Holly Mueller
The illustrations! Gorgeous! One of the positives about the pandemic is the renewed appreciation of nature and the outside. This book captures that!
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buy-for-brock
Glorious watercolor illustrations and beautiful reminder of how important outside/the environment/nature is to us as humans for mental health.
Dec 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this concept and the art was magnificent!
Lynn  Davidson
May 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting and longing sort of story about people's lives moving from Outside to Inside. The Outside provides for us and lures us to spend time enjoying the Outside again. Nicely illustrated. ...more
Sarah Sammis
Outside In by Deborah Underwood is a picture book about how we have separated ourselves from nature, the outside, and how nature continues to work its way into our lives. The protagonist is an unnamed child, shown being driven across the countryside to their home, and then their time spent inside as nature continues to beckon through windows and other means.

FF66FF Orphan home cornfield
Michelle (FabBookReviews)

"Once we were part of Outside and Outside was part of us. There was nothing between us. Now sometimes even when we're outside...we're inside." Bestselling author Deborah Underwood, who has numerous much-loved picture books to her name, joins forces with breakout creator Cindy Derby (How to Walk an Ant) for the sublime Outside In. A superb meditation on our forever-relationship with the outside world, Outside In takes readers on a journey of reflection and consideration. Perhaps our world and our

Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Delightful illustrations and sweet, thoughtful text combine in this gentle book about the lure of outside and the many wonderful things we can see when we leave the house.
Oct 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, nature
This is absolutely gorgeous in its illustrations, so it's worth checking out for those alone. The message is not that of a lecture, but a plea to "come outside!"

If you like this, also try On a Magical Do-Nothing Day, A Tree Is Nice and of course for older children, The Secret Garden
Aug 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pbf-general
I did like the celebration of all things outdoors, and the concept of the outdoors coming inside as well. I liked the loose and free flowing watercolor and powdered graphite paintings. I was amused to read that the illustrator created some of the lines with dried flower stems and thread soaked in ink.
Kris Dersch
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is really lovely. It suits a quarantine world really well but will do well in any time. I'm currently reading the poetry of Emily Dickinson, and putting this alongside that with the reverence for nature was really interesting. It's will remind you of the need to experience and take care of the world without making you feel guilty about it. Really lovely book. ...more
Molly Cluff (Library!)
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm adding this straight to my "Nature Picture Books Favorites" list! Such imaginative illustrations in what looks like watercolor. Very striking. And the text is all about the ways that the natural world still reaches us in our safe "inside" world. Love! ...more
Jared White
I like the message and the text alright and the colors of the illustrations are lovely but, overall, the illustrations are too abstract for my liking.
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