My Big Book of Outdoors

Candlewick Studio. Mar. 2022. 128p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781536215335.
Gr 3-6–The ever-shifting cast of animals and plant life and seasons and their changes are the focus of the title. Aptly divided into four parts—spring, summer, fall, and winter—Hopgood assembles many elements into this compendium of the outdoors. Each section is interspersed with poetry, activities, and a close examination of the season’s weather, insects, birds, animals, and plants. There are several spreads devoted to examining like objects in relationship to one another—birds’ eggs, leaves, autumnal fruits—so readers have an opportunity for comparison. Also included are the life cycles of various plants, animals, and insects. While it may seem like a lot of information to include in one title, Hopgood seamlessly blends the informational, poetic, and creative elements into an appealing package that will keep readers engaged. The illustrative style is somewhat looser than Hopgood’s other works, but he expertly combines detail and freneticism; one can almost feel the change of temperature from season to season.
VERDICT A handy, comprehensive, and delightful look at the wonders of nature throughout the seasons, this is a recommended purchase for every collection.

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