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Keeping a Nature Journal: Deepen Your Connection with the Natural World All Around You

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Originally published in 2000 with endorsements from E.O. Wilson and Jane Goodall, Clare Walker Leslie’s Keeping a Nature Journal was at the forefront of the nature observation and journaling movement. Leslie’s approach has long been acclaimed for its accessible style of teaching people to see, witness, and appreciate the wonders of nature, and her classic guide is still used by individuals, groups, and educators ranging from elementary school teachers to college-level instructors. The third edition features more of Leslie’s step-by-step drawing techniques, a new selection of pages from her own journals (which she’s kept for 40 years), and an expanded range of prompts for observing particular aspects of the natural world in any location. With an emphasis on learning to see and observe, Leslie shows how drawing nature doesn’t require special skills, artistic ability, or even nature knowledge, and it is a tool everyone can use to record observations and experience the benefits of a stronger connection to the natural world.

224 pages, Paperback

Published May 25, 2021

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About the author

Clare Walker Leslie

18 books27 followers
Clare Walker Leslie is a naturalist, artist, and writer. She is best known for her nature journals. She advocates their use by the wider public.

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5 stars
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36 (33%)
3 stars
8 (7%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 53 reviews
Profile Image for Fiona.
806 reviews422 followers
October 3, 2020
This is an instruction manual on how to keep a nature diary with elements of mindfulness incorporated into the process. It’s a beautifully illustrated book, full of examples of the author’s and some of her students’ sketches. If you have any drawing ability whatsoever, Clare Leslie’s step by step guides on how to draw everything from a leaf to a landscape will, I’m sure, be very helpful and rewarding. I’ll be sticking to my camera however, as I have less than no ability! Essentially this teaches you how to spend time outdoors, taking time to notice, recognise and record every little thing around you which is definitely time well spent. An ideal gift for the next lockdown (probably inevitable), I’m giving this 4 stars only because it’s largely aimed at teachers and because so much of the wildlife and natural features aren’t relevant to the UK. Having said that, I learned a great deal and the illustrations are beautiful, as I’ve said.

With thanks to NetGalley and Storey Publishing for a review copy.
Profile Image for eyes.2c.
2,314 reviews43 followers
March 26, 2021
Alive to your environment! The art of seeing!

Twenty minutes a day of mindfulness and well being focused on your environment through using various artistic media. A wonderful encouragement to continue or start to take note of the natural world you encounter. In the past I've kept a similar journal but the presentation of ideas and interesting ways to proceed in Leslie’s very accessible guide take things to another level. No wonder this work is in its third edition.
Succinctly arranged, with colorful presentations makes this work a great companion for those already on a similar journey, or a beginning place for anyone interested.
From a chapter on ‘Getting Started’ and what nature journaling is, looking at what observing is, to developing ideas and so much more.
A great layout that calls you to follow. I love the sketches included. All filled with a lovely vitality.
It’s like yoga with pencils and paper, calling us to take time to be very much present in our world.
I will be purchasing this in hard copy once it’s released. I feel the need to savour it more fully than on a pdf file. I might even add it to my present list.

A Storey Publishing ARC via NetGalley
(Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.)
Profile Image for Literary Redhead.
1,582 reviews479 followers
January 7, 2021
A stunning book with gorgeous art and helpful notes on using a journal to capture time in nature. I’m a terrible artist, yet this third edition of KEEPING A NATURE JOURNAL gave me hope that I too could chronicle my life in a more meaningful way. I think back on hiking and skiing the Rockies and wish I had such a journal to reflect on. Confirms that what we “see” mindfully makes life so much sweeter — a perfect pursuit during COVID times!

5 of 5 Stars
Pub Date 30 Mar 2021
#KeepingANatureJournal #NetGalley

Thanks to the author, Storey Publishing, and NetGalley for the ARC. Opinions are mine.
Profile Image for Fern Adams.
780 reviews46 followers
September 23, 2020
Loved this book. I’ve been keeping a written nature diary for a few months during Covid lockdown but wanted to start to include more drawings and detail, the problem was I didn’t have a clue where to begin. This book has been fantastic as it discusses what makes up a nature book, what you need, where to start and most helpful for me (as someone who doesn’t consider themselves artistic) how to start thinking about drawing. What really stood out for me was how accessible this book is. You don’t need to have expensive equipment, you don’t need to have access to great parks and landscapes, you don’t need to be able to draw- anyone can do it, with what resources and surroundings they already have. A book for everyone!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Alicia Bayer.
Author 6 books179 followers
December 6, 2020
This book goes way above and beyond anything you could ask for. It goes into why you'd want to do nature journaling, what supplies to use and what to include, and then offers tutorials on drawing nature elements like birds and trees, tips on doing nature journaling with groups or in the classroom, and tons more. It's filled with gorgeous color illustrations of nature journal pages, along with so much more. It's a huge book that's packed with great stuff. Highly recommended.

I read a temporary digital ARC of this book for review.
Profile Image for Cathy Geha.
3,556 reviews62 followers
April 30, 2021
Keeping a Nature Journal, 3rd Edition
by Clare Walker Leslie

Deepen Your Connection with the Natural World All around You

I wasn’t sure what to expect when requesting this book and since a fellow blogger suggested it to me, I thought, “Why not?” This book is filled with information and almost a collection of the author’s thoughts and ideas captured in sketches and words that have been compiled together with works of other artists of all ages and then shared with the reader.

The book is divided into sections with Part I dealing with why one might keep a nature journal, how to set your journal up, an introduction to drawing and how to keep an ongoing journal. Part II discusses journaling explorations and gives topics that might be considered for observation.

What I liked:
* The variety
* The sketches
* Being able to see how varied nature journaling can be
* Seeing the way teachers use nature journaling with students
* Being inspired to want to pick up sketching again
* The multitude of ideas
* Seeing that I don’t have to be perfect to actually sketch and keep a nature journal
* The idea of mindfulness that was brought in
* Seeing how “artists” keep their journals
* Wondering if this might be an interesting way to keep a diary
* Enjoying the uninhibited sketches by young artists and the clarity with which they saw what was around them.
* All of it really

What I didn’t like:
* Having so many ideas at the end of looking through the book that I can’t choose ONE to actually start in on with a new nature journal.

Did I enjoy this book? Yes
Would I like to have it in my library? Yes

Thank you to NetGalley and Storey Publishing for the ARC – This is my honest review.

5 Stars
Profile Image for The Silvan Reverie | Sarah Street.
643 reviews41 followers
June 16, 2021
As a person who keeps her own nature journal, I have long been inspired by Clare Walker Leslie and her writings and work. This 3rd Edition of our Keeping a Nature Journal book is welcome.

From the publisher: The third edition features more of Leslie’s step-by-step drawing techniques, a new selection of pages from her own journals (which she’s kept for 40 years), and an expanded range of prompts for observing particular aspects of the natural world in any location.

Clare Walker Leslie has an inspiring and accessible style of nature journaling that has touched so many for good reason. Further, she does such a great job in her explanations and invitations. Nothing feels out of reach. Her words, her style, her prompts are all empowering.

The book is divided in to 2 parts: Getting Started and Journaling Explorations

Getting Started covers: why keep a nature journal, setting up your journal, introduction to drawing, the ongoing journal.

Journaling Explorations includes: seasons & sky, flowering and nonflowering plants, trees and leaves, birds, beaks & feathers, mammals, amphibians & reptiles, insects and others, landscapes.

Much to learn and explore and I love it so much!

***Note: I was given a review copy of this book by Storey Publishing. Opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Jill.
126 reviews1 follower
March 28, 2021
What a wonderful book. Here, Clare Walker Leslie offers a well structured array of tips and examples on how to start a nature journal. Whilst the author notes that there are many styles of nature journal available, the emphasis here is upon sketching and artwork. To that end, the book includes a number of excellent tutorials on how to draw various types of plants and animals. The potential to practice mindfulness in the process is also effectively explored.

I approached this book as someone already a keen walker and nature enthusiast. I’ve had some wonderful wildlife experiences over the years from kingfishers to hares to barn owls and beyond and enjoy noting the seasonal changes on my local patch from month to month. However,  I document these experiences only in my head. There are plenty of ideas and inspiration in this book to resurrect my teenage drawing hobby and to start my own nature journal.

I’m a time when so many of us are reconnecting with nature and the green spaces around us in order to find peace and sanity in the era of Covid19, the publication of this third edition could not be more prescient. Recommended.

Thank you to NetGalley and Storey Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Flaka Perçuku.
130 reviews29 followers
October 15, 2020
4.5☆

This book serves as a guidebook for all naturalists that want to start keeping a nature journal.

I have needed this book for a long time. It has everything I've been looking for and more; the tips and tricks for what to record, the drawing instructions, and the samples from the author's own journal.

It can be useful to art and biology teachers who want to teach their students about observations in nature. It even features a teacher's guide at the end of the book.

I'm so happy I got to read it, and I think any other enthusiastic naturalist would be too.
Profile Image for Jamie.
1,241 reviews9 followers
June 27, 2021
An inspiring call to pay attention and record the world around us! This book, and her beautifully meditative and motivating A Year In Nature: A Memoir of Solace spurred me on to start a daily nature journal of my own (often just "illustrating" the weather if I'm tired or short on time), and it's been very satisfying.
Profile Image for Words & Nocturnes.
83 reviews2 followers
December 5, 2020
The idea of nature journalling appealed to me greatly – the idea that we could keep a journal with snippets of memories, emotion and information that was illustrated and would result in a beautiful archive of stories. It is a nice idea, but a daunting one. The world is wide, nature is complex and ever-changing. Where to begin? The few sources I found online advised me to be bold and to be unafraid to begin. This is all fine and well. It is true that we need to have courage to begin for anything to actually start. The question is: how do I do this in the first place?

This is where this book comes in. It features easy-to-process information in short paragraphs and covers many topics related to keeping a nature journal (materials, seasons, what to look out for…). These are all accompanied with lovely illustrations by the author that are captivating, and in my case, motivating. Throughout the book, it is mentioned subtly at times that we don’t have to be perfect. Nature journalling is an ongoing process of learning. Our art and techniques can improve if we are consistent in our efforts at nature journalling. (Basically, the secret here is practice.)

Another useful tip I found in this book is the helpful ways to improve our drawing and colouring techniques. There were simple exercises and tiny projects that can be done by anyone from anywhere in the globe (and possibly beyond our tiny planet too).

Nature doesn’t have to be large and daunting and mistaken as only associated with fascinating channels like National Geographic. Nature is all around us, even if we need little reminders that there is a wealth of little worlds to discover in our daily lives. For those who live in places where wildlife is scarce and flora is confined in pots or only line roadsides, surely humans and their lives are a part of nature too? Or we should try to coexist with nature as peacefully as we can? Anyway, a nature journal can be something personal too, if you so choose for it to be.

To sum it up, this is an encouraging book filled with useful information and ways to engage children in outdoor activities through nature journalling. It is a good resource to consider if you are interested in nature journalling or want to learn more about nature (there’s even a handy list of recommended books on nature in the book!) Although the things in this book are American and Europe-centric, the techniques and ideas it mentioned can definitely be used no matter where you are in the world.

Many thanks to Netgalley, Storey Publishing, and Clare Walker Leslie for the ARC.

From Words & Nocturnes
147 reviews1 follower
January 16, 2021
Drawing from nature seems difficult, but this book gives you some great tips on how to do it. I’ve always wanted to learn to draw and have felt that my drawings are awful. Using the techniques in this book, I improved my drawings a little bit. It’s not as tough as it looks. Clare Walker Leslie has several books on nature and nature journaling and I have wanted to read her work for a long time. I am glad I finally got one of her books! I will be reading some of the others in the future.

There are exercises that show you how to begin learning to draw, such as doing a blind contour drawing. That is pretty fun. You draw something without looking at the paper and without lifting your pen or pencil. It looks messy when it’s done, but you really can see the shape of whatever you drew in those messy lines! I was surprised at how that worked. Next, the author moves on to show you techniques to draw various natural things, like birds and mammals. Finally, you learn to draw landscape scenes.

I doubt I will ever be a professional artist, but I did find that these techniques worked well. I was able to see that drawings don’t have to be perfect. They are really sketches that convey the idea of the object you are drawing without being photographically accurate.

The whole idea behind the book is to learn to make a nature journal. In it, you can record your observations and make sketches of what you see. Phenological observations help you to track various events in nature over time and you can go back to older journals to make comparisons. This can help document things like climate change and how species are adapting by changes in the timing of their life events.

I think the idea of keeping a nature journal is interesting. The very act of drawing or writing something down really helps solidify the observation and you will remember it longer because you are creating a neural pathway. Studies have shown that hand writing notes helps the note-taker remember longer than just typing them. So, I agree that keeping a record of your nature observations can be very useful to anyone who is studying the natural world.

The illustrations in the book are by the author and her students. They are all excellent. It’s amazing to me that, with a few lines, an artist can convey an image that looks like a rabbit, or a bird, or a tree.

Overall, I found this book full of excellent advice and tips on how to improve techniques. I look forward to trying more of these ideas out when I go on outdoor excursions! I give this book five stars!
Profile Image for Annie.
3,282 reviews60 followers
October 11, 2020
To be published on my blog at release: Nonstop Reader.

Keeping a Nature Journal is a updated and reformated third edition of Clare Walker Leslie's first edition from 1997. Due out 30th March 2021 from Storey, it's 224 pages (print version) and will be available in paperback and ebook formats.

This edition follows the layout and format of the previous additions with updated and expanded content (including new pages from the author's current nature journal - her 55th!). The introductory chapters include the hows and whys of setting up and developing the habit of keeping a journal and using (and improving) it. The second section includes accessible art instruction tutorials for rendering sky, flowering plants and trees, birds, mammals, insects and spiders, and landscapes. The entire book is full of beautiful colorful art and good takeaways about mindfulness, training ourselves to actually *look* and *see* our subjects, and some good tips on slowing down and allowing ourselves the space to learn and grow.

The appendices are also useful and well laid out: teaching and interacting in a group setting with different age groups, with some standard examples of recording data/location/etc, and tips on what to expect from different age groups, curricula, recognizing progress and learning and much more. There is an abbreviated links and bibliography list as well as a cross referenced index.

This is an information dense, accessible, and useful resource. I would highly recommend it to journalers, readers in search of more nature-based mindfulness exercises, as well as in classroom settings, painting and nature groups, and the like. This would make a nice addition to the artist's home studio or makers' group library as well.

Five stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes
Profile Image for Anne .
427 reviews2 followers
March 4, 2021
Keeping a Nature Journal, 3rd Edition
Deepen Your Connection with the Natural World All Around You
by Clare Walker Leslie
Back of the Book: “Originally published in 2000 with endorsements from E.O. Wilson and Jane Goodall, Clare Walker Leslie’s Keeping a Nature Journal was at the forefront of the nature observation and journaling movement. Leslie’s approach has long been acclaimed for its accessible style of teaching people to see, witness, and appreciate the wonders of nature, and her classic guide is still used by individuals, groups, and educators ranging from elementary school teachers to college-level instructors. The third edition features more of Leslie’s step-by-step drawing techniques, a new selection of pages from her own journals (which she’s kept for 40 years), and an expanded range of prompts for observing particular aspects of the natural world in any location. With an emphasis on learning to see and observe, Leslie shows how drawing nature doesn’t require special skills, artistic ability, or even nature knowledge, and it is a tool everyone can use to record observations and experience the benefits of a stronger connection to the natural world.”
Impressions: I have mixed feelings about this book. There were defiantly bits of advice and useful information. Much of the book however is inspirational and encouraging quotes and text. It was a very holistic and cerebral look at nature journaling. I was looking for an in-and-out kind of read. Therefore, I did not enjoy this book as much. That being said there is nothing wrong with this book. It held much encouragement and direction in starting and keeping a nature journal. It is defiantly worth reading if you are looking to keep a nature journal or any journal really.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review shared here.
Profile Image for Amelia Maness-Gilliland.
81 reviews2 followers
September 24, 2020
Thank you to NetGalley, Storey Publishing and Clare Walker Leslie for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I am a big fan of nature journaling so I was immediately drawn to this topic. The book is organized into two parts. Part one of the book addresses why keep a nature journal, how to set up a nature journal, an introduction to drawing and keeping the journal going. Part two of the book goes into more details about exploring nature. She covers seasons and sky, flowers, plants, tree, birds, mammals, reptiles, insects and landscapes. The appendix contain useful information on how to teach nature journaling, additional resources and recommended readings.

The book is filled with nature sketches and journal entires. I really appreciated the visuals for a few reasons: 1. I like to take a peak at someone’s journal to see how they approach an entry 2. The sketch examples relieved pressure of having to be good at drawing. The quality of the sketch is not as important as observing nature, drawing what you see and capturing your observations. When I take my own children out in nature, my older children worry too much about the quality of their drawing.

The value of nature journaling is underscored throughout. What resonates most with me is the mental, spiritual and physical benefits of unplugging and getting outside. Technology tends to create anxiety and tension, nature helps to unravel all of that.

I would definitely recommend this book to all parents, teachers, homeschoolers etc. Especially during this time of unprecedented stress and worry- starting and keeping a nature journal is a wonderful way for children and adults to manage stress and of course, learn about nature!
Profile Image for Sascha.
Author 5 books20 followers
July 16, 2021
I received Keeping a Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie as an ebook ARC, which I failed to read by the archival deadline and it disappeared from my electronics. I am going to tell you that was not a bad thing. Keeping a Nature Journal is a book that needs to be read with a physical copy in your hands that you can leaf through, skip chapters and come back to them, and just enjoy the experience of savoring this book. That’s far, far too hard to do with an ebook, not to mention that the figures and pictures are never rendered quite as nicely.

At this point, you’ve probably realized that I bought the book. How could I not when I really wanted an opportunity to explore it and delight in it? Keeping a Nature Journal did not let me down.

This book is geared toward anyone who has at a minimum ten minutes where they can be outside and just observe, be mindful of the birds, insects, trees, clouds, whatever nature might exist in front of them. The author encourages the reader to keep a journal to take notes, to draw, to see the world around them. She even gives prompts. This creates an amazing journey.

In its pages, Keeping a Nature Journal helps the reader to see and gives short tutorials on how to draw what one sees. Even me, an artistically floundering writer has bought drawing pencils to try to draw what I see and create my own nature journal.

Also included are pages from the author’s own journal, as well as pictures drawn by her students, as inspiration for the reader’s own journey.

If you’ve thought about starting your own nature journal, Keeping a Nature Journal can definitely help you get there and delightfully get there, I might add.

I received an ARC and bought a copy and these are my honest opinions.
Profile Image for Flora.
458 reviews8 followers
December 19, 2020
Sketching in journals whether it be for urban sketching or nature journaling seems to be all the rage these days. And it's a good thing! It's a marvelous hobby and it can literally change your life! I do what is called art journaling where I document some of my days in mostly pictures and some words.

Keeping a Nature Journal, 3rd Edition is great for beginners or a nature journaler who needs a refresher. You will find many practical tips, tricks and techniques to start with here and you will be encouraged by the author's you-can-do-it tone of voice.

I like that she is not afraid to show some of her not-so-pretty drawings and pages because nature journaling is not about pretty drawings or paintings but more about observation. I loved looking at pages contributed by other journalers too for inspiration and ideas.

Clare Walker Leslie knows what she is talking about because she has kept an art journal for 40 years and has completed 55 journals so far. Aside from that, she has taught nature journaling to many people in many places. She encourages her readers to explore other resources to learn much more than what she presents in this book and has a great list of recommended books, websites, organizations and so on.

One thing I felt that was rather unnecessary was the inclusion of a foreword by a professor where evolution is mentioned.. Not everybody believes in evolution and in fact many see the great Creator as they journal about nature and nature journaling for them is a spiritual experience.
556 reviews16 followers
November 26, 2020
This book explains what a nature journal is and how to keep one. You don't need to be an artist or poet to do this, you can just observe and write down what you see around you, either by going outside or observing from a window (great idea in these COVID times). Also nature is not just the trees, animals or birds, it is also us the humans, the weather or the stars in the night sky. The list can be endless.

The first three chapters provide details on the benefits of nature journaling, how to truly observe and conducting a nature observation. It then moves onto how to set up your journal, what materials you might require and suggestions on how to enter observations. Next is an introduction to drawing and provides a number of exercises and how to capture basic shapes, adding shading, perspective and colour.

Chapter 4 is the ongoing journal and provides more examples on what you may wish to record. There is also a list by season about birds, animals, plants, trees, weather that can be observed/

Throughout the book, there are lots of example pages of journals with simple to more detailed drawings and observations to give you some more ideas on what to record. There are lots of ideas for all ages to get going with.

I received this book from Netgalley in return for a honest review.
1,153 reviews2 followers
January 5, 2021
I am reviewing a free arc from Netgalley (thank you!)

I knew about this book but somehow believed I had already read a previous edition? Now I don’t think that is true, or if I picked it up in a bookstore previously I must have only glanced through it. This book definitely deserves a more thorough read than that!

The author guides readers through keeping a nature journal by showing many examples of her own work and giving simple tutorials and ideas of what to observe. She stresses that it doesn’t need to be complicated and you don’t need to know everything to begin drawing and learning.

While I am comfortable with drawing and art in general, I feel pretty ignorant about the natural world around me where I live. (I couldn’t name random grasses or most trees ~minus the obvious ones~ or pick out various bird calls at all, for instance.) The author doesn’t make me feel guilty about this and instead offers tips and ideas of things to learn with the changing seasons at one’s own pace.

It seems like something that is actually doable and that is a good thing because maybe I will get outside more this year to draw, even if it’s close to the beginning of the year and currently cold and gray and wet.
Profile Image for Colette Brennan.
210 reviews2 followers
March 26, 2021
I like many others in this current pandemic, started to look for ways that calm the anxieties and allow me to switch off from the daily troubles around us. I noticed also that many of my students were finding life difficult and did not know what to do with themselves, whilst isolated from their friends. My pupils started to tell me of the things they seen in their gardens, they had more time now to watch.
This book is an ideal introduction to keeping a nature journal. I will recommend it to my students and use examples from this in class. Things they can look out for in their daily walk, cycle and just sitting in the garden. It is a lovely book that inspires you to take the step to write down and/or draw the things you see. I wish I had done it on a trip to the Scottish islands that I managed to see eagles, whales, seals and porpoises or even last year when one of my flower bushes in the garden was covered in over 30 butterflies. Wonderful! But this book has taught me it’s not too late to start, the best day to begin is now.
I highly recommend this books as a tool for mindful meditation and reflection and to help become more aware of the abundance of nature around us.
Thank you Netgalley for a free eBook review copy in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Dasha Slepenkina.
311 reviews11 followers
May 16, 2021
A big thank-you to NetGalley, the author, and publisher for giving me a copy of this book for an unbiased review.

3.5/5 - Liked it quite a bit.

I've always been curious about nature journaling. I find that going out into nature and focusing on a small element of my landscape does wonders for my sense of calm and concentration. This book gave me some great tips on how I can find nature anywhere - even from the window of my apartment. It also had a great section on tips for drawing different types of trees and animals, which I appreciated very much.

It did take a little while to get into the book - I did not enjoy the beginning as much, which covered why someone might want to engage in nature journaling. This felt a bit redundant to me - if someone is reading this book, chances are they don't need so much convincing. It was difficult for me to stay engaged during the first chapter. I would also say that the very end of the book, which focuses on nature journaling in education, was not so relevant to me.

However, the rest of the book is well put together, with extremely practical advise on making nature journaling a habit for those who are interested in the world outdoors.
Profile Image for Dawn Thomas.
742 reviews2 followers
January 26, 2021
Keeping a Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie

9781635862287

224 Pages
Publisher: Storey Publishing
Release Date: April 13, 2021

Nonfiction, Arts & Photography, Outdoors & Nature, Self-Help

This is the third edition after the first edition was originally published in 2000. The images and drawings are beautifully done. The author tells us that anyone can keep a nature journal no matter when we live. She gives simple questions to get us started by noticing nature around us and noting anything we see, hear, or feel. She recommends spending 20 minutes outside to change the outlook on the day and of life.

I have been keeping a bullet journal for the past two years and just started a new one for 2021. Sometimes I get bored with it and was looking for different ideas. This book is perfect, and I can see myself using it to change the way I do things and also improving my outlook. It is definitely a way to slow down and be more mindful especially during these trying times. If you are looking for a way to become closer to nature, no matter where you are, look no further than this book. There are so many ideas, something will jump out at you.
Profile Image for Michelle allan.
295 reviews
September 21, 2020
This is a review for netgalley

WOW what a book. Brilliant. So much inspiration and positive encouragement.

In this day and age with so much going on all the time how perfect to just step outside and take a breath then record all the little things you normally do not take the time to see. Birds, bugs and plants! I am going to buy one for everyone I know!!

I have an anxiety disorder and this would be perfect. I don't have he patience for coloring books and the fidget spinners only work for about 2 minutes. Getting outside for a walk and letting nature distract you its almost romantic in an old fashioned way.

The book is filled with tips and drawings. You don't need to be an artist to do this kind of journal which is shown in some of the examples. It also shows how to draw birds etc and how to do shading. I love that at the end there is a list of recommend further reading and a list of famous nature journalists who include Robert frost, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. Although the ultimate nature journalist Darwin has been left out.
Profile Image for Tabseattle.
10 reviews
October 10, 2020
In this third edition of Keeping a Nature Journal, Clare Walker Leslie makes her incredibly user-friendly approach even more accessible. I have the 2000 version, and I appreciate that she has used more and larger images, made more use of color, and has totally rearranged the format. Whether you are a seasoned nature drawer or a beginner, you will find her advice and encouragement-along with her detailed and whimsical drawings-inspiring. With a forward by E.O. Wilson and a bit of background on the hows and whys of keeping a nature journal, Clare will inspire you to get in touch with your inner child, awaken your senses, gather your notebook and drawing pencils, and take yourself outside.

I whole-heartily recommend this book to anyone who works with children or young adults; teaches science, English, or art; naturalists who would like to augment their work by keeping a drawing journal, or anyone who just wants to reconnect with the natural world. If you are a fan of nature drawing and have enjoyed Claire Walker Leslie's earlier books, this will not disappoint!
92 reviews
February 6, 2021
Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an advanced readers e-copy of Keeping a Nature Journal. This book is SO good and engaging and it doesn't occur to me that you'd need a better place to begin nature journaling. I don't personally draw but the book convinced me to pick up a pencil and stare out of my window and observe things I never would've seen on my daily walks or while going about everyday life.

The book is great for people seriously looking into a mindfulness practice and who have some resources to devote to it- a great pandemic hobby too. The best part of this is the author talking about children and adults alike taking back so much from a single session of it. I have no doubt this would make a delightful gift. Even if, like me, you don't buy the premise that this practice will help save the planet and make people more vocal and active in conservation efforts, the book is still valuable. Not to mention it has the loveliest illustrations I was very happy to pore over like I'd do nature books as a child.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
310 reviews3 followers
February 7, 2021
Thank you to Storey Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my review.

I appreciated and enjoyed reading Keeping a Nature Journal for many reasons. From start to finish, this book is visually beautiful, with illustrations on every page. It covers reasons why to keep a nature journal, how to get started, basics on how to draw in a nature journal, and how to keep an ongoing journal. The author makes nature journaling feel accessible, explaining how one can start their journal by just looking out their window or exploring in their backyard (especially important during the pandemic). And as someone who cannot draw well at all, I found the author's drawing exercises helped make the task of drawing in a nature journal feel approachable. I also liked the connection of using nature journaling as a mindfulness exercise.

I received my first nature journal as a gift to share with my daughter, and will enjoy using this book to help us get started. I recommend this book and look forward to using it with our journal.
Profile Image for Karen.
1,201 reviews49 followers
February 16, 2021
If you like to journal and have always wanted to keep an art journal, like I have, you will love every single page of this book.
- It is full of encouragement.
- It gives you practical tips on how to start and how to keep going.
- It gives you many, many different examples of nature journals. So much eye candy.
- It breaks down most of what you'd see in nature (birds, animals, trees, etc.) and teaches you how to approach drawing them
- It gives you practical color advice for each season
- It has advice on how to teach the love of nature journaling to kids, classes, and anyone new.

But most of all it helps you fall in love with the practice of disconnecting, being present with nature, paying attention and capturing what you see. It's not about the perfection, it's about the feeling of being present and noticing and keeping track of all you noticed. Absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.

with gratitude to netgalley and Storey Publishing for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Voyage.
145 reviews
February 18, 2021
"Keeping a Nature Journal" is a great book!

The illustrations are beautifully drawn, in a very "nature" style, not too digitalised.
The text is easy to understand yet rich, descriptive and interesting. It provides great advice and is really encouraging us to go observe nature and recollect what we have seen, no matter our talent in drawing or sketching, which is always encouraging! It actually gives very good advice to sketch nature (e.g. how to quickly draw different kind of leaves on a tree).

The great thing about this book is that it addresses a wide audience: adults, seniors, whole families... I'm sure kids from about 10 years old onwards would like it (had I had this book when I was younger, I would most certainly would have wanted to become a conservationist, scientistic or someone working in nature!).

A lovely book with fantastic advice to learn how to notice nature, plants, animals
Profile Image for Ioana.
384 reviews22 followers
March 28, 2021
Reading this book has been such a mindful experience!

I wanted for long to keep a kind of drawing journal and I thought this book would be perfect to make me finally start it. You don't really need to know how to draw, this book actually teaches you how to sketch, how to add shading, color, what tools you need but it also gives you ideas on how to see the nature around. Apart from being full of ideas on what to log on your journal and how to actually keep this practice, what I loved the most about this book is the courage, the nudge it gives you to just start, jump into the practice and enjoy observing your surroundings and log what you see and how you see it.

It also a great book for parents and teachers with a lot of useful tips on how to start doing this practice involving children, too.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Tove R..
427 reviews17 followers
September 22, 2020
A descriptive read about how to keep a nature journal. I love nature and constantly follow what is happening, but somehow I have never kept a journal. Maybe now its the time? In this books there are detailed listings of what to include in your diary and different ways of doing it. It's good for both youth and adults, and can easily be used by teachers.

My favourite part is the drawings. I am impossible bad at drawing ad painting. This books explains in detail how to draw nature to highlight your journal. This is so useful to me, and maybe after a lot of practice I'll be able to draw something.

This is a fast and easy read that will hopefully motivate you to start your own nature journal.
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