A Fascinating Guide to Seasons Around the World by Vicky Woodgate, Dorling Kindersley, March 2022
Vicky Woodgate creates the most magnificent fact books. They include an enormous amount of incredibly varied and entertaining information AND every page is beautifully illustrated. We are huge fans of The Magic of Sleep and were delighted when the latest in this exciting new nonfiction series, The Magic of Seasons, arrived.
This book takes readers around the globe (and the galaxy) on a gripping guided tour. It explores the origins of the seasons and how they differ in various parts of the world (and even on other planets). We discover activities, traditions, myths and legends associated with the weather. We learn how the seasons affect plants and animals and see the impact they have on the habitats and behaviours of living beings.
Mimi the cat charmed us in The Magic of Sleep and it's fantastic to see even more of Mimi in The Magic of Seasons. No matter what's happening, Mimi is in the middle of it, while wearing the appropriate clothing. Whether she's cuddling a grizzly bear, cosying up to a lamb, camouflaged by the snow, peering out of a submarine or donning a fruit arrangement, a beret, a rainhat or a pair of sunglasses, it's so much fun to spot her in every scene. We also love how, as in the previous book, Vicky reimagines famous historical figures and portrays them as cats!
It's impossible to list all the highlights from this book, but among my favourite facts is that sheep can recognise the faces of up to 50 other sheep! Polar bears weigh almost the same as 100 cats. It snows on Mars and our sense of smell is stronger in spring. Bees have five eyes. There's an annual hair-freezing contest in Canada. In some parts of the world, it rains fish and in another, it rains spiders. Possibly the cutest and funniest nugget is that Japanese macaques pelt each other with snowballs!
I was intrigued by the theories about the Earth became tilted, how water got here and how the moon was formed. It was brilliant to read about the different types of moons from Native American culture and what their names mean too. It never occurred to me that oceans might have seasons and the entire section on migration is fascinating. I loved learning that bearded pigs migrate in Borneo but no one knows why! Perhaps one of the most visually arresting facts involves the red crabs of Christmas Island. 40-50 million of them crawl together towards the ocean from their forest homes during the wet season.
This is an excellent book to take on holidays, especially if you're headed somewhere like Ireland where every season involves plenty of rain. There are quizzes dotted throughout the book and 'True or False' sections too. It includes tons of activities and lots that don't need any 'equipment' such as cloud spotting, going on bug hunts or making daisy chains. It's ideal for taking on nature walks and it also makes a wonderful classroom resource.
It's clear that Vicky has a passion for nature as well as for learning. This vibrant celebration of the world around us encourages children to get outdoors and connect with the environment, whatever the weather. I'll leave you with Vicky's own words from this book, which are extremely powerful: "Taking time to enjoy the seasons can lift our mood and bring us closer to family and friends. Especially when we engage in fun activities together. Getting outside and building the perfect snowman or creating the ultimate sandcastle can be very satisfying. So, why not marvel at the natural world as it transitions, see baby birds and animals being born, watch flowers bloom, and leaves change colour. Enjoy and embrace each season you experience and have some fun!"
Thanks so much to Vicky Woodgate and Dorling Kindersley for kindly sharing this book with us. All opinions expressed are our own. Thanks also to Vicky for our gift of a stunning signed limited edition print of the adorable Mimi. Below is a photo I took before I sent it off to be framed.