Monday, January 12, 2009

The Never-Ending Storybook

EMMA and Alexander together received around ten books for Christmas. Emma's favourite? The one I bought as a Christmas present to myself: Nick Baker's British Wildlife: A Month By Month Guide. It's a large hardback book, described by the author as (paraphrased) a coffee table book that's intended to be used. Not even half way through January, it's already seen its fair share of use in our household! Naturally it doesn't correspond exactly to what we see here in the southern US, but for me, it satisfies a nostalgia for distant pleasures and answers some questions I'd never even thought to ask. As a children's wildlife programme presenter, Nick Baker's chatty style make the subject matter highly accessible to even the most amateur of nature enthusiasts.

It's the colourful photos and lifelike sketches Emma likes of course. So while I take in all the fine print before swiching off the light late at night, several times a day at nursing time you'll find the children and I sitting on the bed with the badgers, bluebells and sticklebacks. And not just talking... There is no doubt that Nick Baker knows a whole lot more about wildlife than I do, but I wonder if he gets as much practice telling stories about every picture on the page? If he only knew what adventures the badgers and the sticklebacks have in the bluebells in our version, he would be quite astonished.
Photo taken from the website of Coton Manor in Northamptonshire, of their 5-acre bluebell wood

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