SYNOPSIS: This sketchbook helps kids look more closely at nature and capture what they discover with pencil, pen, and paint. The Nature Explorer’s Sketchbook inspires exploration, creativity and observation, with beautiful sketchbook illustrations, ideas and tips, and plenty of space for kids to draw. 28 pages of instruction and color illustrations followed by blank pages, with more hints and examples every ten pages. A perfect tool for home schoolers, environmental education programs, STEAM programs, or to give as a gift to young artists and nature lovers.


Nature and art have always been a perfect match. Ones who bring the outdoors to life in drawings and paintings have a skill for discovering the beauty in nature. THE NATURE AND EXPLORER’S SKETCHBOOK is the perfect introduction toward planting this passion in young readers.

The paperback pages use a thicker style paper that is easy to draw on. The first sections give us a view of what it takes to be an explorer along with the many choices for producing art. It might be a paint brush, pencil, or marker. Once through these initial 27 pages it’s time to sketch.

Eight “Try this” activities with plenty of blank pages encourage young artists to practice. A few include tips for drawing insects and birds, a fun task to sketch a map of your nature walk, and adding fun elements to your work.

A resource sure to please those already passionate about the outdoors and motivate others to join in the fun.


Artist and educator Jean Mackay has been exploring and sketching nature for more than 25 years. Working in all kinds of settings, from tide pools to farm fields to her own backyard in Upstate 

New York. Jean’s journals reflect a keen eye for detail and profound sense of wonder. Jean teaches each summer at the Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine.


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All you have to do is blog about a middle grade book on a Monday (contests, author interviews, or anything middle grade related also count). Email me the title of the book or feature and a link to your blog at gpcolo[at]gmail[dot]com
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About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews, non fiction and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. What a great idea for kids who like to explore nature. Agree it’s also a great homeschooling tool. Looks like it’s for kids 8-12? I have a 6 1/2 year old grandson who enjoys exploring outside — especially since he lives on hear the ocean. Thanks for sharing. Great gift idea.

  2. Janet Smart says:

    Love the cover, and I also think this is a great book for adults. I love nature and I love to draw. Perfect size to carry with you when you’re out experiencing nature. Sounds like a winner to me.

  3. This looks like a really great book! So important for kids to notice and learn about nature and this is a fun way to do it. 🙂

  4. thekeymovie says:

    Hi Greg- About three years ago, I got on your e-mailing list after you graciously agreed to read and review Spamly Warthingon: (almost) Secret Agent – A Royal Mystery. Since then, I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and keeping up on new books released in the “always in the middle” market. I email you today with great news: The second installment of the Spamly Warthington series / saga is nearly ready for print. Spamly Warthington (mostly) Secret Agent – The Plot Tick’ns continues the adventure, mystery and humor as Spamly, Morty and several new characters (including Spamly’s new female partner!) attempt stop a dastardly deed from devastating Great Mitten’s quadricentennial celebration. Early reviews from 4th-6th grade beta-readers have been very encouraging. “I loved it!” proclaimed one. “It was amazing” proclaimed another. When we get the first batch printed, we’d be happy to send you a copy in hopes that you can include it in a future blog. If that’s in the cards, say the word, pass along your address again, and we’ll make it happen. Thanks much, and keep up the awesome work. Regards, Jack Schaberg  

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