Outdoor School: Tree, Wildflower, and Mushroom Spotting: The Definitive Interactive Nature Guide

Odd Dot. Feb. 2023. 416p. pap. $19.99. ISBN 9781250750617.
Gr 3-7–A thorough introduction on how to use many avenues to identify trees, wildflowers, and mushrooms. Carson encourages young readers to safely but boldly immerse themselves in observing surroundings and provides the scientific vocabulary to help them. Dawson uses many resources, including his own art, to illustrate. Unfortunately, in their zeal to teach children the intricacies of plant life in a memorable way, they made it an interactive workbook. Children, after educating themselves and getting instructions on what to do, would take this 400-plus page tome and input their findings into it. Most public and school libraries will hesitate circulating it after their young patrons have written their findings and drawn their plant likenesses within it. There is no separate workbook that a Natural Science teacher could use to save the book for future use. This is unfortunate, because the clear writing and inviting illustrations work to teach and excite. If schools could buy it for each and every student to take home after their school year, that would be phenomenal. The suggested activities are teachable moments and would prepare students for a lifetime of learning. Back matter includes an index that has not yet been populated.
VERDICT This is a wonderful interactive workbook, which would be difficult to place on library shelves. It might be of use as part of programming.

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