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With Spring on it's way and the promise of time to spend outdoors in the better weather, here's a fabulous selection of books that will help you and your children enjoy your garden and the great outdoors and perhaps even discover a life-long hobby in the making.
Children of all ages should be introduced to Farmer Pettson and his talking cat, the irrepressible Findus. They’ve been favourites with readers in Europe for decades and it’s great to see this new edition which comes with the endorsement of Philip Pullman. Pettson is having one of those days and doesn’t want to do anything other than sit glumly and feel sorry for himself. Findus is cheerier than ever and determined to lift Pettson’s spirits. He knows a fishing trip will do it and devises an ingenious plan to get Pettson down to the lake. The relationship between the two – familiarity, exasperation, tenderness – is beautifully portrayed and the illustrations are full of charm. With a longer text than most picture books, this is a satisfying story for bedtime, or anytime and is the 9th in the series. ~ Andrea Reece You might also like the charming story of Findus Goes Camping. Nathan Large, translator of the Findus books, says: "Illustrator Sven Nordqvist and his odd creations Pettson and Findus are household names in their native Sweden and beyond. Over the past two decades their books have been translated into 29 languages and read by millions (It can take a while for us English-speakers to catch up with what the rest of the world is reading). Cranky old Pettson and his stripey-trousered cat have developed a cult following among both children and adults, and when you meet them you’ll understand why."
This handsome information/activity book is packed with bug facts, figures and features. There are lots of beautiful close up images of insects, some very familiar - dragonflies and earthworms – others less so – fireflies, the orchid moth. The illustrations are accompanied by useful text boxes full of fascinating information. In addition, there are all sorts of write in activities to test and develop your knowledge, similarly varied and attractively presented. With sheets of full colour stickers too, the book turns into you very own scrapbook, something to return to again and again. Packed with information, the educational and entertainment value are both very high. ~ Andrea Reece
This outstanding nature book demonstrates to children the myriad exciting possibilities for fun and adventure in the world outside their door. It is packed full of suggestions and information on how to explore the natural world, from how to build dens, to how to recognise star constellations and cloud shapes, to how to create a wonderful nature table. It covers woodland, moorland, river banks and the sea shore, but the activities described can be enjoyed in the local park too or just your back garden. There are accurate illustrations of the wild creatures mentioned, beautiful to look at and clearly labelled. The whole family will enjoy this book and it will make days out in the wild unforgettable. ~ Andrea Reece “In this book we want to share some of the ways we have fun outdoors exploring nature through play and activities with our own four children. We’ll show you how to build dens and make secret signals; how to recognise star constellations and cloud shapes; how to encourage wildlife into your garden. We’ll even catch you a fish, cook it on a campfire and then bake you a cake in an empty orange skin… You’ll need to have grown-up help with some of the projects and you must always follow the safety guidelines, but if you follow the pages in this book, then together we can have some wild adventures!” - Brita Granström and Mick Manning
From exploring the great out-doors to exploring great cities let some of these books be your children's guide.
Join some experts in each of their fields and let them guide you through birds and wildlife in your garden and beyond, get your children growing their own vegetables, learn about survival and so much more.
So leave that computer or television behind and get out there and enjoy yourselves!
Click here to download an activity pack, produced by Julia Green, the author of The Wilderness War, full of exciting outdoor activities to do including building a campfire, making a pond, ID the trees around you, go tracking animals and lots more.
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.