Expedition Backyard: Exploring Nature from Country to City

Random House Graphic. Jun. 2022. 128p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780593127346.
K-Gr 3–Best friends Mole and Vole live in a forest and look for new sights every day for Mole to draw in their nature journal. They venture into the moving boxes of a nearby human family, who are Black, and accidentally move with them to a large city. The change of setting surprises the pair, who quickly establish new homes and pair up to explore the urban environment, including streets, trees, and a community garden. They form an Adventurers Club of like-minded animals to observe flora and fauna, while avoiding predators such as hawks and owls. Hu’s artwork conveys the fun, wonder, and fear the adventurers experience. Full spreads and pages of three to four panels each are easy to follow, whether wandering around a neighborhood or introducing a new friend. Activities in the back include guides for drawing, nature journals, community gardens, decorating windows to help birds, raising cats, and composting.
VERDICT Readers will feel compelled to start their own journals, gardens, and hikes thanks to these outdoorsy animal friends.

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