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Top 5 Friday!


Welcome to week two of my 30 Days Wild T5F series!

This week we have my TOP 5 WILDLIFE BOOKS FOR KIDS (UK-Based) – five books that are regularly pulled off our shelf to look at and answer questions The Smalls ask!

5.THE WILDLIFE TRUSTS HANDBOOK OF GARDEN WILDLIFE

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A guide to recognising almost 400 species of British Wildlife, this has helped me identify countless things over the years. The clear illustrations are grouped together to make it easier for you to compare similar species and identify them correctly out ‘in the field’ but are also great for looking at inside on a rainy day.

Not specifically aimed at children, this book is still great for all ages thanks to the bright pictures and easy layout. The sheer volume of creatures covered means we can just take one book out into the garden instead of a stack of them!

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4. SPOT 50 (GARDEN BIRDS/ TREES/ INSECTS/ WILDFLOWERS/ BUTTERFLIES & MOTHS)

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Okay, so this is a set of books rather than one book, but they’re great. They have huge, clear pictures that are well labelled and great for the kids to use independently. The big pictures make them good to get out and look at details that are hard to spot on critters that don’t sit still!

By no means exhaustive, these are a great ‘starter set’ for kids and are often carried around on outings by my two adventurers.

3. INSECT DETECTIVE by STEVE VOAKE (illustrated by CHARLOTTE VOAKE)

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Insect Detective is a delightful book that we often enjoy at bedtimes. It’s non-fiction but reads almost like a story and the author’s love and wonder for the insect world shines through and is almost contagious. (Steve was one of my tutors at university, he LOVES his insects. The excitement rolled off him when he talked about them and the things he’d learned about them – I didn’t think twice about buying this book for that very reason!)

A great little book for sharing to encourage youngsters to look around them outside and start to discover the insect world.

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2. CHRIS PACKHAM’S BACK GARDEN NATURE RESERVE

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You can tell by Chris Packham’s hair just how long I have had this one! Dating back to my Really Wild Show obsessed childhood, this book is still great. Full of tips about how to build different types of birdbox to help different species, and how best to observe the multitude of creatures that live outside (and inside!) our homes. It covers pond life, mammals, insects and birds, all with Chris Packham’s heart-felt love and excitement about wildlife. He’s as engaging a writer as he is a presenter and this book has been read cover-to-cover more than once by me in the past.

Perhaps better for older children than the previous two on the list, this is great for all ages and is super helpful if you want to make your garden a wildlife haven!

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1. RSPB CHILDREN’S GUIDE TO WILDLIFE

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Packed full of photographs, illustrations and information, this book is a bit smaller than the others on the list so is good for sticking in the car when you go out and about or taking with you on a walk or picnic.

Alongside a guide to identify many common species of British plant and wildlife, it also has tips and ideas about how you can keep track of all the things you discover as you go along and things you can do to make your garden more attractive to wildlife.

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