Get Outside!: How Humans Connect with Nature

Orca. (Orca Footprints: Bk. 30). Apr. 2024. 48p. Tr $21.95. ISBN 9781459836877.
Gr 4-7–Though this book lacks a narrative throughline, the first chapter opens with some basic concepts, including nuts’a’maat, a word from the Hul’qumi’num language describing the interconnectedness of all living things, according to John Harris, an Indigenous knowledge facilitator with the Snuneymuxw First Nation. Subsequent chapters examine concepts like environmental racism and tree inequity, suggesting, for example, that people living in less affluent neighborhoods have less tree cover and so must endure consistently higher temperatures. Side bars highlight complementary stories, such as a profile of Dr. Melissa Lem, a physician who promotes the health effects of being outside, or the Butterflyway Project, an organization in Ontario that promotes gardens supporting pollinators. Many suggestions are offered for kids looking to get outside and get involved, such as joining a local photography club or engaging in outdoor activities like kayaking or hiking. The text is visually striking, each page having a unique layout, including images, text, color blocks, and informal fonts. Photos reflect a broad diversity of races, ethnicities, ages, and activities. References in the text to institutions and resources are almost uniformly Canadian, possibly a consideration for U.S. readers. A list of books and websites for further reading is provided, but there are no citations of sources, including for numerous studies mentioned.
VERDICT Though less valuable for research, this book should appeal to readers interested in or curious about the outdoors and could lead to deeper engagement or activism. Recommended for most libraries serving elementary students.

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