Thursday, November 6, 2014

Book Review: My Big Book of the Outdoors

Title: My Big Book of the Outdoors
Author: Jane Werner Watson
Date: 1957
Publisher: Merrigold
ISBN: 0-307-10938-0
Length: pages not numbered
Illustrations: full-color drawings by Eloise Wilkin
Quote: “Did you know that the woods can tell that spring is coming before the snow is gone?”
This is a charming picture book. Eloise Wilkin’s nature drawings aren’t quite up to field-guide standards—on the first two-page layout there’s a squirrel whose face looks more like a cat, hares who sit still and look up at a child like pet bunnies, a dogwood whose bright red buds compete on size and showiness with the opened flower petals, and a scarlet tanager who apparently spent the winter in the North, possibly because something dreadful had happened to his left wing, which has turned pink—but each wild life form in the book can be identified.

Recommended to parents who want to spend time taking children, ages four to eight, out into the woods and training them to sit still enough that they may get a chance to see a few of the animals. Caution: even seven-year-olds, depending on their reading skills, are likely to overlook this book’s cuteness because it’s so juvenile; if you’ve missed a chance to share this book with a sophisticated ten-year-old, you’ll probably have to wait until the kid’s sixteen or eighteen before s/he can appreciate books like My Big Book of the Outdoors anew. 

Jane Werner Watson no longer needs the 10% of the price we offer living authors on Fair Trade Books. When I originally wrote this review I had a physical copy of My Big Book of the Outdoors for sale. It's been sold. Go ahead and buy a copy on Amazon. From this site I'd rather sell you a Fair Trade Book by a living author.