Botanicum Activity Book
Katie Scott and Kathy Willis
Big Picture Press
If you loved Botanicum and who wouldn’t, then this from the same team, is definitely for you: it’s an activity book par excellence and is billed as 5+. However, as an early years teacher, I’ve seen 4 year olds do amazingly detailed observational drawings of plants, so I’d bring this down to 4+.
This one took me right back to my ‘gap year’ working as an assistant in the herbarium at Kew where I was awed by the work of the, then resident artist.
Back to this book, which has equally stunning illustrations and is probably best used alongside its ‘parent’ volume. There are pages of flowers and plants to colour; and those who would rather draw have several opportunities: there’s a cycad tree with step-by-step visual instructions, ditto a pineapple fruit. Those who require a little guidance can complete algae patterns,
draw mirror images of a buttercup half, three half leaves, add stem and foliage to four bulbs, for instance. For more confident drawing enthusiasts there are opportunities to create a cactus; complete a Carboniferous forest; add details to some leaves and create your own leaf , to name just some of the more open ended drawing activities.
Spot-the-difference enthusiasts will also be satisfied with the four pages each with ten differences allocated to that activity: this one’s truly beautiful. (You can always cheat by looking at the reverse side if you can’t find them all.)
Should you want to test your botanical knowledge there are pages for that too including .. .
There’s even a maze, which looks quite forbidding, but I managed to do it – eventually – without cheating.
With over 35 activities in all, this superb book offers hours of gently educational pleasure.
Also inspiring are:
Under Earth Activity Book
Under Water Activity Book
Aleksandra Mizielińska & Daniel Mizieliński
Big Picture Press
These two are based on the Mizielińskas’ awesome Under Earth, Under Water and 70 activities can be found in each book. Their design is clever with a wide range of activities on each recto and, in the Earth book, a superbly detailed, underground creature to colour on the verso;
each page being easily detached from the binding. You can find activities as diverse as following instructions for growing your own tubers (potatoes herein)
and completing the drawing of an Aztec stone.
Under Water is similarly presented but with underwater creatures to colour.
Activities herein range from designing a deep-sea diver’s costume, to spotting and drawing 16 pieces of rubbish that have found their way into a lake scene.
Fun learning and creativity bound together and absolutely ideal for holidays, rainy days and times when children (or you) want some relaxing no-screen time, these beauties take activity books to a whole new level of excellence.
I’ve signed the charter