Outside, You Notice by Erin Alladin, illustrated by Andrea Blinick. Pajama Press, 2021. 9781772781939
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4.5
Genre: Picture book/realistic
What did you like about the book? This is a lovely book about the joy of discovering nature in the outdoors. Whether in a yard, a city park, a playground or on the sidewalk, there are things to appreciate if you look. The text is written in the 2nd person, with each full bleed spread using one of the senses to point out natural phenomena, such as the smell of rain (one of my personal favorite smells), the noises of insects and animals, the taste of freshly picked fruit, or the feel of dirt on your hands. It almost makes noticing nature a mindfulness practice. Friendly-feeling gouache, pencil and chalk art with collage shows a warm, accessible natural world to investigate. Children of various races and abilities are depicted. Simple descriptive labels add more information to the main text. I like that readers can just read the main text for the youngest listeners, and can add the informational details for older listeners.
Anything you didn’t like about it? Each opening’s text begins with an adverbial clause, with the phrase “Outside, you notice” inferred, such as “How after the rain everything smells greener” or “That if you’re patient…”, which is awkward to read aloud.
To whom would you recommend this book? For nature themed story time, for ages 4-9.
Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: February 28, 2021