Keen to learn some facts about the nature that is hanging out in your backyard? Then Australian Backyard Buddies is the mini-book on mini-beasts that you most definitely need. It is sure to leave young children nuts about nature, buzzing about bees, mad about moths, loopy about ladybugs, potty about pet rocks, fanatical about frogs and bonkers about blue-tongued lizards.
There are all kinds of fabulous mini-beasts and bugs that call the backyard their home. Hungry termites hunt for their next meal, colourful butterflies show-off during the daytime, cheeky blue-tongued lizards poke their tongues out, dancing bees collect pollen, and pet rocks…well, pet rocks enjoy face-painting, dressing up and hanging out on desks in office blocks. What will you find right outside your door…
Bright, visually appealing and very playful, Australian Backyard Buddies is a glorious celebration of hoppy, crawly, wriggly, buzzy and fluttery critters. With Andy Geppert as ‘expert’ guide, curious readers are taken on a delightful little exploration of common insects and bugs that includes ten critters and one pet rock. Ants, butterflies, frogs, snails and so on are each presented over a double-page spread that provides a light-hearted and informative introduction to the joys and wonders of nature.
Facts range from the sensible to the serious to the silly - butterflies are referred to as ‘moths but fancier’, frogs are ‘beautiful creatures that love to jump’ and readers are encouraged to stick their tongue out at a spider to establish dominance. Top tips offer plenty of entertainment value too; remembering that not all Ladybugs are ladies and naming one Keith, and to be more like a slow-moving snail on long car rides, to enjoy the journey and to never ask ‘are we there yet?’ are personal favourites.
Each critter is illustrated in soft watercolours, a teaspoon provides a size comparison, a handprint embossed with a tick or a cross indicates whether the backyard buddy is safe to touch - always be respectful to nature, just because they are safe to touch does not mean that they like it, pressed flowers indicate favourite food, a pinned post-it-note with a hand drawn sun or moon indicates at what time of day the creature can be found out and about and blobs of paint show colourings.
This handy first field guide, filled with mostly true facts, is sure to bring a smile to faces and have readers buzzing about the wonderful array of nature that is right outside their door.
With huge thanks to Hachette and Lothian for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 4+.
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