Welcome to New Zealand: A Nature Journal

illus. by Sandra Morris. 48p. bibliog. glossary. index. Candlewick. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763674779.
Gr 3–6—A beautifully designed guide to keeping a nature journal. Morris provides examples of different activities that children might want to use their journals for, such as keeping a moon and cloud log, drawing birds from the forest and swamplands, and leaf pressing. Gentle illustrations, rendered in pen, pencil charcoal, crayon, and watercolor, take center stage, with brief bits of text describing what might be found in different locations. Directions are also simple; information on keeping tadpoles to observe their metamorphosis, for example, is limited to one paragraph, with little detail on how to find, raise, and house them. Nor is there clear guidance on how readers should draw what they see; the illustrations are more inspirational than instructive. In keeping with the hand-produced theme, there is different lettering for each of the headings. While most of the flora and fauna mentioned here are from New Zealand, there are also a number of plants and creatures common in Europe and North America. Though a title on nature journals might be a useful addition, most North American children may overlook this one because of the emphasis on New Zealand.
VERDICT While this charming work is attractive and inspirational, it may not find its intended audience in every library.

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