________________ CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 3 . . . . September 21, 2012


Get Outside: The Kids Guide to Fun in the Great Outdoors.

Jane Drake & Ann Love. Illustrated by Heather Collins.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2012.
176 pp., pbk., $17.95.
ISBN 978-1-55453-802-7.

Subject Headings:
Outdoor recreation-Juvenile literature.
Outdoor games-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3 and up / Ages 8 and up.

Review by Valerie Nielsen.

***½ /4



Ah, summer. Long days, hot weather and endless afternoons just waiting to be filled with super duper fun...The warm sun will have you outside from morning till night with beach games, field hockey and homemade swings. And if the sun is hiding, there are plenty of indoor activities too.

But there are times when those in charge of children during those long hot summer days need a bit of help to keep the kids from retreating to the electronic world of T.V. and video games. Just such a help is Jane Drake and Ann Love's volume entitled Get Outside: The Kids Guide to fun in the Great Outdoors. Put together by the sisters, this 176 page soft-covered guide is a compilation of several of the authors' previously published books focussing on games and activities at the cottage. The book is divided into four sections-one for each season of the year-and features two pages of clearly set out well-organized content pages. An index is provided on the last two pages which will make finding topics a breeze.

internal art      Black and white drawings are done by Heather Collins who has illustrated more than 50 children's books, including The Kids Cottage Book, published in 1993. Her light-hearted illustrations are not only race and gender inclusive but also definitely kid-friendly.

      Although the title of the book suggests a focus on outdoor fun, each seasonal section has a chapter called "snug inside" which features indoor games and activities appropriate to spring, summer, fall and winter. For each of these seasons, the authors have included a selection called "What to look for in the night sky..." which they have gleaned from their Kids Book of the Night Sky published in 2004. Instructions for each activity are carefully and clearly presented, with a "You'll need..." box as well as highlighted green areas filled with interesting facts and tips on each page. The text is simply enough written so that it will be easily accessible to those students with a grade four or higher reading level.

      Parents, grandparents, day care workers, babysitters and others who care for kids outside a school setting will find a treasury of ideas for games, crafts, projects and activities between the two covers of this practical volume. No one who has access to this book should find themselves hearing those two dreaded words, "I'm bored!" issuing from the lips of a young person in their care.

Highly Recommended.

A retired teacher-librarian, Valerie Nielsen gets outside in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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