BOOKS WE'RE READING: Understanding the changing seasons + weather
Raising my son on this gloriously green (albeit damp) island comes with the responsibility to not only arm him with a lifetime arsenal to engage in that very British sport of weather-based small talk, but to also foster an appreciation for the changing seasons. My goal is to not hand down my distaste for being outdoors when it rains, nor to complain when its' too hot, and I certainly don't want him to be reluctant to leave the house in less than perfect weather conditions.
As he is now of an age when he's beginning to conceptualise different weather pattens, and the changing seasons, it feels appropriate to expand our reading to help him make sense of this and what it means for him. After a summer bursting with luxuriously late afternoons spent in the park, and scooter rides around our neighbourhood, we find we're unable to do so with the same frequency: queue discussions about shorter days, needing warmer clothes, and how lucky we are to witness nature changing around us.
The poignant punctuation of seasons has always filled me with joy; feeling the shift, and the mark of time. And with winter on our doorstep, there's no better time to encourage young minds to embrace and savour what each has to offer. The books I've selcted this month focus not only on what weather is, or how we can identify the seasons, but also ways in which we can participate fully in outdoor activities, seasonal celebrations, and the beauty of the natural world. I do hope you enjoy these titles.
DK First Facts "Seasons'
This is such a delightful introduction to the seasons for young children. Simple text and colourful images children will easily identify with celebrate each season, whether it be the first flowers to bloom in Spring, through to the magic of a snowy winter that includes building snowmen (if we're lucky) and lashings of hot chocolate! The tone is upbeat and reflects childrens natural wonderment of the natural world, and the pleasure they enjoy in simple activities.
'Tree', Britta Teckentrup
This book is simply gorgeous! Much like her beloved 'Bee' book, this includes a layered cut-away design and vibrant illustrations. Taking us on a journey over the course of a year, we are gifted a beautiful glimpse into forest life. This book is truly magical and is a treasure to read, for both children and adults.
'What Makes it Rain?', Usborne
Prolific publishers Usborne release many brilliant childrens books, yet this is probably my favourite. Fun illustrations, lift-the-flaps (which are always a hit) and bite-size information provide a colourful and factful go-to any time you're asked the question, "why is it windy?" It also incudes snow, rainbows, the sun, and the all-important thunder and lightening.
'Out and About: A First Book of Poems", Shirley Hughes
This book is a gorgeous collection of seasonal poems, designed with little children in mind. Hughes posseses a nuanced understanding of childhood, and respect for children, and it's evident in all her work. Running through the park, playing with mud, springtime blossoms, winter-time illnesses; all the hallmarks of those precious early years are there. A tender reminder just how much children enjoy being outdoors, regardless of the weather.
'A Walk in the Forest', Maria Dek
For me, this book is primarily illustration-driven, with the story itself a simple tale of a boy discovering the treasures within a forest; leaves, woodland creatures, and adventure. This should not deter you, as the images are stunning! The message I take from this is to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures nature affords us, which children are experts at.
'Miffy at the Playground', Dick Bruna
The recent clock change has had a massive impact on our afternoon hours, curtailing our much-loved late visits to our beloved local park. While this book can of course be enjoyed all year round, I've included it here to remind us all that cold weather doesn't necessarily result in hibernation, and also because my son adores Miffy.
I'd love to know if you have any recomendations for other books I could include. Please do share your thoughts in the comments below.