In the house, window-box, garden, street, park, cemetery or along the canal bank, nature is all around us, and, of course, we’re part of it. In this book the author/illustrators take us through various settings – Town, Fresh Water, Woodland, Field and Hedgerow, out into Wild Country and down to the Seashore. Each excursion shows us plants and animals – and other signs – that we might well find, all beautifully and accurately drawn to show (but not over-emphasise) their separate identi-features. A final chapter puts all in a seasonal context, showing, valuably, that winter is not just the end of this year but the start of next.
The whole concept and design of this book is a triumph. Brita’s hand-lettered captions draw the eye to each of Mick’s highly naturalistic pictures – many to a page – and her young explorers are sympathetic and real. The text is poetic in its expressive spareness.
It’s a remarkable thing that, although sharp and accurate colour photography has never been done better than now, the essence of a living thing – animal or vegetable – is always captured more completely by an expert wildlife artist. This is why, when trying to identify a find we always end up consulting Thorborn, Tunnicliffe, Keble Martin, Bernard Venables or Edmund Sandars after finding ambiguous photos on Google. The Manningströms are fit company to join this firmament as this delightful book – all done by hand – shows. No growing family should go without it, for with it you can have a nature adventure every day.