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I haven't had much of a chance to dive into this book yet but it is BEAUTIFUL. It looks like it is full of wonderful information and the forward by Amy Tan is beautifully written. But, as you immerse yourself in the pages, be warned that you will all of a sudden be slapped with a blank page. (Nine of them total.) I prepared to return the book and I sent an email to the publisher and I was told that since the book was so dense and colorful, these pages were left intentionally blank and they are there "to rest the eyes between sections and subsections", to help navigate through the book quickly and a good place to take notes. While that may have been the intention, it feels more like taking a peaceful walk through the woods and then turning a corner and seeing where people have trashed a campsite or meadow. It's a shock to your senses and you can't wait to get past it.
I would knock off just a little of that fifth star because those pages are so disturbing to me but I think that I will get over it. The content will very much outweigh those nine pages but I hope in future editions they would consider either making those blank pages fit in better by adding the page number/section marker or move them to the back of the book.
This book is beautiful, for all ages, and open and go. John Muir Laws is brilliant and generous and I am grateful I happened to go to one of his conferences a few years back. He's added a depth to my outdoor experience that I didn't know I was missing. I use this book in homeschooling with my children as well as with our co-op. His three prompts I use in all my learning not just nature study. Also if you haven't checked out his website it's full of information and free tutorials.
I have both books on nature journaling by John Muir Laws and they are the only books you need on this task. There is so much information in each book that you could spend several years with them and still not learn it all. As a teacher I like the idea of nature journaling to engage all of the senses since most students, now, are so disengaged due to the over emphasis on electronics use in the curriculum. This information could be incorporated into a science class or art class or become a half year elective of its own. I would highly recommend this text for those purposes or for any nature center that wants to add it to their offerings for a summer or winter program.
I was a little worried this book would be boring. Not at all! Very practical and engaging. Gives lots of easy to follow plans, examples, lessons, and discussions questions. I use it with my 7 and 10 year olds, as well as my self. The lessons are great for all ages.