If You Go Down to the Woods Today: more than 100 things to find by Rachel Piercey, illustrated by Freya Hartas


If You Go Down to the Woods Today: more than 100 things to find 
poetry by Rachel Piercey
illustrated by Freya Hartas
Review Copy from Magic Cat Publishing
Having grown up with Beatrix Potter and Richard Scarry, If You Go Down to the Woods reads like a marvelous mash-up of two very different children's books classics - it's utterly enchanting and endlessly engaging. Freya Hartas, illustrator of the absolutely gorgeous Slow Down: 50 Mindful Moments in Nature, is at her best, filling the woods with busy, creative, curious, and sometimes hilarious creatures. Centered around the seasons, readers are introduced to Bear, who will be the guide through the woods. Piercey's poems (each one four gently rhyming stanzas) are engaging and rich with imagery and descriptive language. Each two page spread includes a "What to Spot" box with fun things to seek out amidst busy illustrations bursting with flora and fauna. Hartas's creatures flow easily between natural animal behavior and anthropomorphic, human activities meant to reflect a child's day. Morning routines, school days, birthdays, sports days are followed by swim days, putting on a play, rainy days, art class, and campfires ending in winter with a cozy goodnight scene filled with bunnies in bunkbeds and bears tucked in, being read to. 

Back matter includes a four page "Nature Trail" that revisits each illustration, giving readers inspiration for exploring the natural world outside their door accompanied by close-ups for readers to return to and seek out as well as a list of nature and poetry resources.

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