The only thing better than being out in nature is learning how to turn it into eye-popping art. That is exactly what readers learn in author/illustrator Yuval Zommer’s newest oversized picture book, The Big Book of Nature Art. This lovely book is the next installation in a stable of beautiful books by Mr. Zommer, including:

The Big Book of Belonging
The Big Book of Bugs
The Big Book of Blooms
The Big Sticker Book of Blooms
The Big Book of Beasts
The Big Book of the Blue

Beginning with the book’s warm and inviting cover, young nature lovers receive their first visual lesson in turning nature into art using rocks to make turtles, leaves to make bat wings, and construction paper, decorative stones and beads to make all sorts of thing. Once inside the book, Mr. Yuval begins by assuring readers that every child is a nature artist. Then he offers four steps to follow to be successful as a nature artist –including breaking the rules, using imagination, and enjoying the process.

This book is a treasure trove of nature’s treasures. First, readers learn how to forage for twigs that might double for limbs, rocks with unusual shapes, and leaves that remind you of people, animals or insects. But readers don’t only forage in the forest or the back yards, they learn to forage at home by recycling boxes, toilet paper or towel tubes, etc.

Once readers/nature lovers learn to forage, they make everything from leaf bugs to forest owls. There are art activities for making sea horses, dragonflies, snakes, and even common, ordinary picnic flies. This is a bright, colorful activity book with a myriad of “nature” that can be turned into art. Mr. Yuvall’s prose is straightforward, simplistic enough for elementary-aged students, and informative enough to allow students to be successful if they only follow the directions. The colors are warm and earthy, the animals and insects are kid friendly, and the activities should keep children busy for weeks at a time.

Use this book as an art supplement, a lesson in comprehension and following directions, or as a gift to your child to be added to their personal library.


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