Preschool Nature Book Review: Slow Down

Updated: Mar 8, 2021

This is exactly what we needed this week. Slow Down: Bring Calm to a Busy World With 50 Nature Stories arrived on our doorstep yesterday evening after a tough week. Today it was the perfect book to cuddle up on the couch with before our afternoon walk. The theme of the book is stories from nature and it will definitely be one added to our "classic" book collection of keepers. We are adding it to the Spring Reading List, but with the diversity of stories following various life cycles, it relates year-round.



Our strategy today was to open to any page and dig in. This book is so beautiful that the instinct is to absorb it at once, yet as the title suggests, there is reward in exploring it slowly. We managed to accidentally discover stories perfectly precluding our first long walk back down in the valley since the last big snowfall.


Ducklings:



From this story, remembering from last spring how funny it looks when ducks search for food underwater with their bums in the sky and bright orange feet paddling wildly to keep their heads down. The illustrations very much help to see what they are looking for! The picture of the baby duck jumping into the water also reminded us of our favourite duck pond where we saw many baby ducklings doing exactly that following mama all in a neat row.


Geese:



Perfectly timed, we read about how geese take flight and were reminded of the "honk, honk" sounds when we watched them fly south last winter. A very happy surprise on our walk this afternoon was how many flocks of geese we saw, which must have just completed the journey (or are still passing through), heading north for the spring. We didn't get to see any taking off from water, but will be watching for this when they start gathering on the river, surely soon!


Morning Bird Songs:


Somehow it was a quiet morning in our house - we left the radio off and as we were eating breakfast, we all noticed two different bird songs coming from outside. We are still working on bird song identification, so we could only guess who serenaded our breakfast. It was fun to find the story on morning bird songs shortly after.



After reading and napping, it was time for some fresh air. Inspired by the ducklings and geese, we headed down in the valley for the first time in over a month. We were excited to see our favourite duck pond where the snow is melting and we were able to walk on the bridge decks. There was still more snow and ice on the pond than expected, but more visibly flowing water on the river nearby. We stopped to look at the cattails, some of which still had seeds attached and talked about how new ones will start poking up from the ground from all the seeds that we saw floating away in the fall.



After a quiet and calm day, it was fun when our 3 year old pointed out the sunset through the window, "like in the book" and we sat for a minute to watch the colours.



There is a level to read this book for everyone - absolutely stunning pictures captivating at 16 months old, and simplified, accurate picture descriptions provided a beautiful and basic, yet full storyline appropriate for age 3 (with minimal word substitutions or further explanations in some instances). There is a more full description at the top of each story at a fairly high reading level, which I skimmed for context, but will save for future reading with the kids.


What is really fun is that many of the stories link directly with subjects we are excited about for spring, as well as many new ones we now plan to explore. Stay tuned for more spring reading and activity adventures!





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