Outside, You Notice

Outside, You Notice
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
April 20, 2022
Buy This Book
Time spent in the outdoors stirs a child’s imagination. Nature sparks wonder, wonder leads to curiosity, and curiosity brings about a greater knowledge of the world and one’s self. In Outside, You Notice, a meditative thread of child-like observations (How after the rain / Everything smells greener) is paired with facts about the habits and habitats of animals, insects, birds, and plants (A tree’s roots reach as wide as its branches).

Author Erin Alladin invites young scientists and daydreamers to look closely and think deeply in this lyrical nonfiction text, celebrating all the kinds of “outside” that are available to children, from backyards to city parks to cracks in the sidewalk. Illustrator Andrea Blinick portrays these spaces bursting with small wonders with a child’s-eye view, her naïve and nostalgic style capturing the joy of endless discovery.

Editor review

1 review
Spend an afternoon outdoors
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
What do YOU like to do outdoors? For readers who don't go outside much, this book provides a good template for structuring outdoors experiences, and for thos who love nature, this provides a lot of additional information about things to notice. From smells after the rain (caused by oils released from plants) to different kinds of edible flowers to the fact that earthworms have no teeth, there is plenty of new information to motivate you to go outside and really look at the world.
Good Points
Each two page spread shows a particular topic, illustrates it nicely, and provides several sidebars about specifics. The main text is usually just a sentence or two, and there are three or more note bubbles, which makes this book still a good choice for reading out loud. A list at the back of the book outlines the different areas of the outside world that are showcased, from a back yard to a Farmer's market.

The illustrations remind me a lot of the 1990s picture books my own children read, with colored pencil drawings supplemented with gouache, collage, and chalk pastel. The people in the pictures seem particularly of that era, but that might be because my daughters wore overalls and had braids like the girl on the cover. The pictures are brightly colored, with lots of green, and have plenty of details.

Playing outside and exploring the world is important for young children, so that they gain an understanding about the natural world and don't just stay inside playing computer games. While I haven't seen a book that is as instructive about observation as this is, it is agood companion to titles such as Schubert's Firsts and Lasts: The Changing Seasons, Giuliani's At the Sea and Holler's Finding Moose.
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