Book Review: A Field Guide to the Familiar

Book Review: A Field Guide to the Familiar

A Field Guide to the Familiar: Learning to Observe the Natural World was one of the “birthday books” that I purchased with the Amazon gift certificates so thoughtfully given by my parents and my mother-in-law. (I think I learned about it on a homeschooling blog; but I can’t recall which one.) It’s been sitting by my armchair and I’ve been diving into it occasionally, even reading bits aloud to Dom.

In our many walks together both Dom and I have frequently wondered about trees or birds we ‘ve seen. This book is not an exhaustive guide by any means; but it addresses that urge to know more about the things you see every day. Each chapter is devoted to one subject (so far I’ve read about first frost, bumblebees, monarch butterflies, poison ivy, and Canada geese) and one lesson focus (learning to observe the atmosphere, an insect that hibernates, an insect that migrates, leaves, etc.

I love the way the book is arranged: by season, beginning with fall. It’s meant to gently lead you through the year and lead you into more careful observations of things which are already known to you. What a novel approach!

The illustrations are beautiful ink drawings that delicately capture their subjects. They really enhance the text.

I look forward to nibbling at this book through the coming year and learning more about the world I observe on my daily walks. Highly recommended.

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