Don’t Fear the Outdoors
Madeline Kloepper hits the nail on the head with her delightful The Not-So Great Outdoors. It was like the twelve year old me was jumping off the pages bringing me back to vacations in B.C to see big trees and camping on Canada’s east coast and hating every minute of it. Okay that may be a bit dramatic but what twelve year old is not a bit dramatic!
When heading to the outdoors for summer vacation, the narrator doesn’t understand what’s so great about it anyway. She misses the city, the electricity, playgrounds, fountains and sculptures. When you live in the city it’s hard to understand how wonderful it is to be outdoors. Slowly, as the vacation progresses the narrator learns to appreciate the time outdoors with her family making new discoveries and having new adventures.
The Not-So Great Outdoors is the perfect book to share with your city loving children who can be a challenge to get outdoors. The Bear and The Bee love being outside but to get them there can be like pulling teeth. The moaning and groaning about going outdoors is incomparable. Sure enough as soon as they are outside, they have a complete ball. This lovely little true to life story by Madeline Kloepper is the perfect book to share when you are getting ready for a trip into the wild, wherever your wild may be. Perhaps you are heading out camping, or perhaps your wild is heading to a green space close to home. Wherever your wild is, we are reminded of the beauty and thrill of being outdoors thanks to this little gem of a book.
You may recognize Madeline Kloepper’s name as she has illustrated many other stories however, The Not-So Great Outdoors is her debut as both author and illustrator, her authorstrator debut! Her illustrations are vibrant and no space has been left without colour and detail. It’s a wonderful inspiration book to use in an art lesson on using mixed media to create a beautiful scene. I also really love the size of this book. It’s tall and narrow like a pine tree growing in the woods, compliments to designer John Martz.
Officially, the suggested reader for this book is children ages 3-7 but I would challenge parents and teachers of older children to pull this book off the shelves to remind their growing children of the joys of being outside and experiencing nature first hand. Since these children are the future leaders, it is vital we remind them of the beauty all around so the outdoors can be preserved for years and years to come.