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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Guest Post: Top Ten Books for Aspiring Naturalists

Today I'm pleased to share with you a guest post from children's author and TV presenter, Nicola Davies.


These are a bit more specific than just scientists - really for kids who already have an interest in the natural world. Some of them are grownups books but things I either read myself as a child or could be enjoyed by a fluent reader, who is still young!

A Buzz In The Meadow by Dave Goulson
This is part memoir, part biology. It describes the life of the insects in a French meadow in lively entertaining prose. It’s fascinating and funny, and also describes the study of insects in the wild in a unique and engaging way. Good for young biologists!

My Family And Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
A Greek island full of animals to wander through, and no school. Real life heaven for any child. I adored this book when I was 10.

Garden Creepy Crawlies by Michael Chinery
Great guide to the tiny wildlife in your back garden. Packed with fascinating surprises and written with great style and humour - and some very funny cartoons.

Caterpillar Caterpillar by Viv French
This is a picture book about caterpillars and butterflies. But it’s also about looking and noticing - the two first skills of a field biologist.

Plants That Bite Back by Martin Jenkins
It’s good to remind children about plants and the fact they can be every bit as exciting as animals. This picture book is full of life, enthusiasm and fascinating information.

Can We Save The Tiger? also by Martin Jenkins
Beautiful picture book that explains the problems that animals face in the wild and how we might help out.

The New Encyclopaedia Of Mammals by David Macdonald
This is a huge, huge reference book. I use it all the time, but it’s FULL of wonderful photographs. I would have adored this book as a kid, and spent hours exploring all the little known backwaters of mammals.

Skyhawk by Gill Lewis
A wonderful, heart-rending story that draws together the biology of a bird and the lives of two children.

Halcyon River Days by Philip and Charlie Hamilton James
A real river with real wildlife and a real family, and the way they live alongside each other. Beautiful photographs too.

The Cat And The Cuckoo by Ted Hughes
Poetry helps you to see things clearly. Reading it builds those skills of observation and close attention, analysis and careful thought that all scientists need.

Nicola will be treating young bookworms in Argyll & Bute to a series of free events in September as part of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour. For more information visit www.scottishbooktrust.com or follow @booksontour

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