Outside, You Notice Reviews

Kirkus ★ Starred Review

A fair-skinned girl with rosy cheeks and long, dark braids sits in a tree among golden-brown squirrels underneath the shade of a thick canopy of green leaves.“Sensations noticed in the outdoors are supplemented by interesting facts about nature in a variety of settings….The detailed text and varied images immerse readers in the feeling of being outside, fully attentive and relaxed. Readers will be encouraged to explore natural settings and observe the creatures in them as well as the experiences within their own bodies. The illustrations use soft coloring, varied perspectives, and active characters to great effect, pulling observers into the worlds of plants, animals, and the people who love them.

This lovely book is more than the sum of its parts.”

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“As this blend of fiction and nonfiction emphasizes observation, it also leads up to a mindfulness of being present when outside. The final scene, a soothing bird’s-eye view of a girl looking up at the sky, reminds readers that listening to nature can help them relax and that being outdoors can boost the immune system, among other facts. A charming, gentle nudge to go outside and simply be.”

—Angela Leeper

School Library Journal

“Alladin depicts a journey through backyards, parks, gardens, trails, markets, and playgrounds….Blinick’s illustrations offer a sense of excitement and serenity, showing cheerful children with light and dark skin tones and different physical abilities. The text and art showcase the idea that ‘spending time in nature is good for the health of your body and mind.’…This exploration of the outdoors is fit to use for budding biologists.”
–Nancy Call, ­formerly at Santa Cruz P.L., Aptos, CA

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Seattle Book Review

“We rated this book: [4.5/5]…

This is a thoughtful, reflective story about the healing power of spending time outdoors. Playing in the vibrant sunshine, picking fruit from ripened vines, and exploring in the moist dirt enables children to receive a plethora of benefits Mother Earth has to offer. Their senses are heightened, bodies exercised, and immune responses boosted. An array of other fascinating facts are shared by the author in colorful text boxes. Vibrant watercolor illustrations that are full of detail and allure are in plentiful supply. This light-hearted, relatable, and timely text will bring youth new enlightenments each time they sift through its pages.
—Jennifer Padgett

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Canadian Review of Materials

“The author and illustrator of this nonfiction treasure invite readers on a journey to explore the beauty and joy of nature and the outdoors that so many of us take for granted. This attitude might be especially true of the intended audience of young readers who immerse themselves in playing in nature’s playground without deep thoughts about their surroundings….

Each double-page spread of nature features a softly colourful outdoor scene created by Andrea Blinick using pencil, gouache, collage and chalk pastels. These pictures are populated with diverse families as they visit backyards, gardens, farmers markets and parks. Many of the expressive drawings reflect the viewpoint of an active young child.

Readers of Outside, You Notice are left with wonder and appreciation for the things that surround them. The result is a warm, joyful and inviting environment that awaits us all. If anyone ever doubted the benefits of spending quality time outdoors, this lovely book will dispel that notion. At the end of the book are suggestions for places to visit and explore that are echoed in the book. Further research about this author led to a YouTube presentation by Erin Alladin of how she came to write Outside, You Notice. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxpEji8oEXI)

Highly Recommended.”
Reesa Cohen is a retired Instructor of Children’s Literature and Information Literacy at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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Youth Services Book Review

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4.5

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….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….

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our ‘to read’ piles? Yes”
Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

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