Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 4 to 7
- Grade: k to 2
A lyrical nonfiction celebration of the outdoors pairing childlike observation with facts about the natural world
you notice things.
Time spent in the outdoors stirs a child’s imagination. Nature sparks wonder, wonder leads to curiosity, and curiosity brings about a greater knowledge of the world and one’s self. In Outside, You Notice, a meditative thread of child-like observations (How after the rain / Everything smells greener) is paired with facts about the habits and habitats of animals, insects, birds, and plants (A tree’s roots reach as wide as its branches).
Author Erin Alladin invites young scientists and daydreamers to look closely and think deeply in this lyrical nonfiction text, celebrating all the kinds of “outside” that are available to children, from backyards to city parks to cracks in the sidewalk. Illustrator Andrea Blinick portrays these spaces bursting with small wonders with a child’s-eye view, her naïve and nostalgic style capturing the joy of endless discovery.
About the authors
Erin Alladin is an editor, a writer, and an ecology enthusiast who is always looking for ways to combine her passions. Born in Northern Ontario to a gardener and a forester, she spent most of her early life looking at and thinking about the natural world. As a young adult she spent nearly a decade immersed in Toronto’s children’s literature scene before retreating back up north to grow vegetables and write about regenerative agriculture. Erin lives near Parry Sound with her husband, her garden, and not quite enough bookshelves.
Andrea Blinick is an artist and an art educator with a passion for children’s literature. After graduating from the Ontario College of Art and Design with an illustration diploma, she went on to receive a Bachelor of Design through OCAD in conjunction with Thompson Rivers University and then pursued a Bachelor of Education at York University. Her first picture book, Outside, You Notice (2021), earned a starred review from Kirkus Reviews. Andrea lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters, who often inspire the storytelling behind her art. She enjoys music, writing, comedy, travel, and making a mess on her art table.
- Short-listed, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens Fall Selection
- Short-listed, Bound2Learn Nonfiction Hot List selection
Praise for Outside, You Notice
Publishers Weekly Environmental Kids' Books for 2021 selection
2021 Kirkus Reviews “Great Books on the Outdoors for Curious Kids” selection
2021 Kirkus Reviews "Celebrate Canada Day With These Children’s Books" selection
2021 CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens Fall Selection
2021 Bound2Learn Nonfiction Hot List selection
★ “The detailed text and varied images immerse readers in the feeling of being outside, fully attentive and relaxed….This lovely book is more than the sum of its parts.”—Kirkus Reviews Starred Review
"As this blend of fiction and nonfiction emphasizes observation, it also leads up to a mindfulness of being present when outside....A charming, gentle nudge to go outside and simply be."—Booklist
“Blinick’s illustrations offer a sense of excitement and serenity, showing cheerful children with light and dark skin tones and different physical abilities….This exploration of the outdoors is fit to use for budding biologists.”—School Library Journal
“We rated this book: [4.5/5]…This is a thoughtful, reflective story about the healing power of spending time outdoors….This light-hearted, relatable, and timely text will bring youth new enlightenments each time they sift through its pages.”—Seattle Book Review
“Readers of Outside, You Notice are left with wonder and appreciation for the things that surround them. The result is a warm, joyful and inviting environment that awaits us all. If anyone ever doubted the benefits of spending quality time outdoors, this lovely book will dispel that notion….Highly Recommended.”—Canadian Review of Materials
“Rating: 4.5…This is a lovely book about the joy of discovering nature in the outdoors….Friendly-feeling gouache, pencil and chalk art with collage shows a warm, accessible natural world to investigate….I like that readers can just read the main text for the youngest listeners, and can add the informational details for older listeners.”—Youth Services Book Review
“Erin Alladin has invited the reader to explore and make observations and grow themselves into sentient beings beyond the confines of our indoors. The experiences will be as diverse as the children who are doing the noticing, and the learning as fulfilling and filling as can be.”—CanLit for Little Canadians
“From microbes in the soil to a rainbow in the sky, Outside, You Notice is an invitation to pay attention to the natural world around us in concrete, physical ways. With themes of healthy living, the science of nature, and curiosity, it will spark wide-ranging and cross-curricular conversations and ignite a passion for outdoor living.”—Children’s Book News
“For the curious preschooler… In this well-illustrated non-fiction picture book, Alladin explores the many things children can learn outdoors… Andrea Blinick of Toronto has added child-friendly pictures of gouache, coloured pencil, collage and chalk pastel that add to the attraction of this little volume.”—Winnipeg Free Press
“[A]n informative picture book that encourages children to get outdoors and observe things. These observations are complemented with information about a variety of things including animals, trees, flowers, seeds, pollination, water and soil…”—Metroland Toronto
“Our imaginations go wild when we are outside and this book celebrates and brings that experience to life.”—Mrs. Book Dragon
“I like the red strawberries and the green grass. The pictures make me feel happy.”—Rosie – age 4, Eden Mills Writers’ Festival Kids’ Reads
“Whether used as a read aloud for an outdoor/nature theme, or used more specifically as a starting point to learn about nature in city parks, how gardens grow, the magic of soil, or about pollination (and more!), there is so much to explore and enjoy with Outside, You Notice.”—Fab Book Reviews