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You Gotta Read This: Outside In

One of the ways I've been handling being on lockdown during the COVID pandemic is by going outside at least once per day. Most days, around work and distance learning hours, my family and I kick around a ball or garden in our backyard, take long nature walks around our (mostly rural) village, and keep busy teaching the youngest of us to ride a bike.

I am lucky to be smack dab in the middle of nature, but my mind and my heart go out to those who don't have such access to the outdoors, like:

  • People who live in an apartment and/or don't have their own outdoor space.

  • People who are in cities where the public parks have been closed.

  • And especially people who live in countries where the lockdown is more stringent than here in the UK, like in Spain, Italy, and France where people can only go outside to shop for essentials like food and medicine, and where the police will stop and fine you if you err from your route.

This is where books like Outside In, by Deborah Underwood & Cindy Derby, provide a real salve.

cover of Outside In, by Deborah Underwood and Cindy Derby

This absolutely stunning, lyrical book shows the reader all the ways nature stays with you, always, even if you sometimes forget it. Part meditation, part love-letter, part environmental commentary, this book beckons to the reader to go outside, or at the very least bring the outside in. The book involves all the senses and the ways in which they help us engage with the world around us.

This is a book for all humans, small or big, as citizens of the natural world. It reminds us that we are connected to Earth, that nature is grand, and that its cycles are perennial. Outside In invites us to join its song and find solace there.

Perfect reading for when you simply cannot get outside. You can bring the Outside In.

Other ways you can stay in touch with nature from your home:

- Melissa Harrison's new podcast

- Nature Sounds playlist on Spotify

- Planet Earth series on Netflix

And please check out my other picture book reviews:

You can purchase the book Outside In through many different outlets via the publisher's page

Outside In, written by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Cindy Derby

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Hardcover ISBN 9781328866820

Ages 3 - 7

40 pages

$17.99 USD


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