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Book Review - If You Go Down to the Woods Today - Brown Bear Wood by Rachel Piercey & Freya Hartas

When I heard Magic Cat, the publishing house that brought us Slow Down, was bringing out a new book, that yet again was about the everyday wonder of nature only this time it introduced little ones to poetry... well I just knew we had to stock it and write a book review!

Here is the write up on the back:

My woodland’s full of animals,
of every different kind.
So shall we stay here for a while
and see what we can find?
Experience the everyday wonder of nature in this first book of poetry, exploring a magical woodland. Join Bear on his journey through the year with lots of friends to meet, places to explore and things to spot along the way.

Well what can I say about this wonderful book...?

I could look at Freya Hartas's illustrations all day, so beautiful and fun for little ones. Each page is packed full of animals, colour and in total there are 100 things to find.

Each double spread page gives you a list of what to spot in the scene, with scenes such as 'Bunny's birthday' and 'High Summer'.

Children really love trying to find different things such as a plate of wibbly-wobbly Jelly or two woodpeckers pecking the same tree.

Not only fun, it is also a very mindful activity bringing calm to children's everyday life which is another reason we love this book.

And then there are Rachel Piercey's wonderfully rhythmical poems that set the scene on the page. Piercey uses rhyme to bring the images alive and in doing so creates a fun and educational verse.

As a poem book I like that you could read the whole thing in one go or just pick a few pages and read them in isolation. We love poems for children and it is great to find an author creating new ones that are short and manageable for them, bringing children into the rich world of creative poetry which not only helps develop their own imagination but also literacy and language skills.

If that wasn't enough, the last few pages are a Nature Trail too! They encourage you to get outside and find some of the illustrations in the book such as a tree stump and birds nests, and have accompanying facts to enhance learning.

This book could encourage some awesome small world set ups and imaginative play by tying into the scenes on each page. You could create your own 'Winter Feast', or 'Sports Day' scene from toys, play dough or by creating your own art.

I would say this book is suitable for children aged 3+. I can see it becoming a firm family favourite of ours and one that I hope we can use in our classes too!

This latest book by the creative duo (Piercey and Hartas) doesn't fail to delight in content, language and imagery. If you could like to have your own copy then visit here.

Other books by Magic Cat publishing including Slow down can be purchased in store now too!


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