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Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You Paperback – September 1, 2003


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Frequently Bought Together

Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You + The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families, and Classrooms + Drawn to Nature: Through the Journals of Clare Walker Leslie
Price for all three: $39.47

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC; 2 edition (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580174930
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580174930
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 9.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A wonderful book for young people, this book has also inspired this old gardener to go out and get one of those nice new sketchbooks … ” — The New York Times

 

“Leslie’s approachable methods for recording the natural world have inspired many people.” — New Orleans Times-Picayune

 

“ … a step-by-step guide to getting started in a fascinating hobby of recording on paper what you see in nature.” — Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

“[C]oaches even beginners who think they cannot write or sketch but simply have a love of nature.” — San Jose Mercury News

“… an excellent teaching tool on how to go about seeing the world in a new way.”  — Indianapolis Star

 

“This book was very motivating for me personally and I am ready to begin a nature journal.  It could be used as a classroom supplement or a tool for personal professional development for all ages … a good resource for informal science organizations such as museums and camps.”  —NSTA Recommends (National Science Teachers’ Association), www.nsta.org

 

“Here’s a good gift book for gardeners, but also for non-gardeners who nevertheless enjoy communing with the great outdoors.” — Nashville Tennessean

 

“Learn to observe nature closely, sketch with confidence, keep accurate records, narrate the changing seasons, and more.  Highly recommended for those interested in art journals or nature studies.” – Somerset Studio magazine

 

From the Back Cover

Experience the natural world with fresh eyes!

Using the simple techniques in this book, anyone can learn how to start and keep an ongoing nature journal. Along the way you'll develop skills in observing, sketching, appreciating, and writing about life's beauty and mysteries.

"This creative process is a the heart of natural history observation, and it helps to make the best of experiences also the most lasting in memory for anyone wishing to enjoy it." - From the foreword by Edward O. Wilson

"Drawing, writing and nature study can all seem a bit daunting to the uninitiated, but Keeping a Nature Journal with its friendly, rambling format and unpretentious drawings, makes keeping this kind of living record seem as natural and anxiety - free as taking a snapshot or writing a postcard to a friend. A great guide to discovering nature for yourself and creating your own work of art along to way." - Christopher W. Leahy, Director Center for Biological Conservation, Massachusetts Audubon Society

"This book offers people of all ages and interests a simple, direct method for getting outdoors to observe and enjoy the natural world around them." - Mark Wexler, Editor, National Wildlife


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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It's a lovely book and has encouraged me in my journal keeping.
K.
If you love nature and want to remember your experiences outside this is the book for you!
Naturalist
One step beyond Keeping a Nature Journal is Clare Walker Leslie's Nature Journal.
Learning Table

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
I coordinate outdoor workshops for women to provide them the opportunity to learn new skills. We hosted a new class,Nature Journaling, and the instructor needed a book to suplement her curriculum. I selected this book based on the Amazon recomendations and further research. Both the instructor and participants loved the book. It was very helpful and useful once they left the workshop.
I think this book is a great resource in any EE/nature/writing library.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By P. Edwards on August 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
Not a journaling guide but an inspiration to draw and record in a journal. Her artwork and ability to capture the moment is simply amazing - and should be since she is a professional artist. Better than the pictures is her persuasion that you can also draw and record the world around you. Many types of journals are discussed with suggestions of organization, etc but the strength is not the information but the encouragement to DO.

If you are interested in scientific journaling, or looking for an instruction manual I do not think you'll be happy with this book. It is light on drawing technique but heavy on simple tips to get you drawing. If you desire to draw nature and record what you see/experience but don't think you can or are afraid of what your pictures will look like this will be a book you'll treasure and refer to often.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By choyasgirl on April 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
Our family loves this book - we love the examples from actual nature journals and it has really inspired myself and my children to keep our own nature journals. As we do so, we come to have a better appreciation for the amazing creations all around us. The author really helps to encourage even budding artists to keep nature journals, which helps some of the more timid artists in our family.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jaime Andrews on May 9, 2014
Format: Paperback
"Drawing even the little things helps to focus the mind, calm the spirit. There's always something to be drawn."

These simple words from author Clare Walker Leslie gave me the extra boost needed to buy this incredible book. I was already taken by the illustrations, as their gestural lines and coloring recalled the Vermont Nature Guide that I loved so much. Could I use drawing as a new way to record the world around me?

In my past, drawing was either a class exercise or an imaginative exploration. I have kept writing journals which occasionally led to drawing, but I was always critical of my drawing for not capturing what I saw. I'm not as worried about that now because this book is filled with tips on how to draw, what to focus on, and how to see the beauty in things. Like the deciduous trees drawing exercise alone helped me break down something big and detailed (aka scary) into five easy steps - 1) observe its shape 2) quickly sketch its contour 3) start drawing from the base 4) pick out some parts of the tree like buds and fruits to draw but bunch leaf masses so it doesn't overwhelm you 5) shade the tree in a ring to give it roundness.

If you are looking for ways to connect with nature, on your own or with a class, this book has so much to offer!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By speak04 on June 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought this book unseen hoping to get some good ideas for a curriculum development project for elementary school kids I'm working on. I wasn't disappointed. This is a beautiful book. It's well written by 2 authors who are obviously passionate about the subject matter. Reproductions of Leslie's journal pages throughout the book also help you see the sorts of things that are possible and are a real inspiration. Her images are often quickly drawn and a little on the rough side, suggesting that anyone with a few minutes, a few colored pencils, a blank book, and a love for nature is capable of making a gorgeous nature journal. The book covers ideas for how to start a nature journal, the kinds of equipment you need, things you might want to keep an eye out for, and suggestions for improving your artistic skills. As I'd hoped, there is also a section for eductators who wish to use nature journals to teach people, young and old, about nature and the environment in which they live.

This book contains a lot of great information and the images from Leslie's journals are amazing. I think anyone who is into nature journals (as I am) would appreciate this book, as well as those who wish to start one.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ezra on July 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
I started keeping a written journal to record events in my family life and the nature around us a few years ago. I found it difficult to keep up and ended up with a backlog of things to write about - it was tedious trying to catch up and the entries failed to convey the moments when recorded so long after. Then I found this book at the library and I ended up taking it our so many times I just bought it. After a few false starts, I started last year creating a sketch journal. At first it was just quick sketches that didn't look like much that I wanted to tear out, but I found a remarkable thing - just the process of doing the sketches seemed to indelibly write that memory into my brain (I have photos that I can't remeber ever taking).
Since then my sketches have been getting better and I've added colored pencil to them and write short descriptions around them instead of pages of prose. I am hooked now and have signed up for a watercolor class. I love this book and take it out and just thumb through it sometimes when i get stressed out. I am sure that I will do the same with my journals and hope my son will look through them someday for memories of his childhood. I have been encouraging him (he's 9 now) to start his own sketch jounal and he has been.
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