Naturama

In this non-fiction book on wildlife, the author offers us an insight into the four seasons in Ireland and how our environment changes with them. Beginning with a brief history of each season as celebrated in ancient Ireland, Naturama talks us through the meteorological characteristics of spring, summer, autumn and winter (change in temperature and daylight, etc.) before taking us on a stroll around the garden, park, countryside and seaside to see what is happening outside. The activities of insects, birds, trees, plants and animals are all explored, as are their natural habitats. All of this is peppered with notable historical anecdotes. The illustrations accompanying each page teach the reader how to identify some of these creatures and plants in their own surroundings.

The large sized pages make this a coffee table book for junior readers. By combining colourful pencil sketches and simple chunky graphics, the illustrator has created a mix of textures, layering them over each other to create a collage effect. The use of Mrs. Eaves Roman font is a size and style notably suited to the images and content, both appealing to look at and enjoyable to read. The generous spacing between sentences and use of columns help to break up the content and avoid any off-putting blocks of text.

Although quite detailed in its subject matter, the book’s tone is factual and informative without being patronising. Some of the language would be more suited to slightly older children if reading the book independently, but if read by a younger child with an adult the more complex terms could be easily explained.