'As I write Hermione's twelfth year is drawing to a close. The years of innocence are waning. But we have had the good fortune to live through a period when a child's mind is wide open and as absorbent as a sponge. Blessed years of exploration and discovery, fat and full of the natural world, which surrounds her here ...the mountains and forests and ospreys, eagles, otters and pine martens of a beautiful land.' NATURE'S CHILD is John Lister-Kaye's account of bringing up his daughter to appreciate the nature around her so beloved to himself. It is also a moving meditation on that world, and on their relationship, as he shows her how caterpillars metamorphose into moths; how beavers build dams in Norway; how half a million sea birds migrate to Shetland once a year to breed; how white rhinos behave in the wilds of Swaziland; how baby polar bears are raised on an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. As John puts it: 'Life is a collection of fragments of time charged with deeply personal sensation and meaning ...we had watched polar bears for a few minutes, but the recollection of those images are locked in for life. What is love if not time given in joy and delight?'
Little, Brown & Company
Publisher and industry reviews
'An entrancing utterance of controlled rapture' Magnus Magnusson 'There are not many modern books about wildlife that are so perceptive, so enjoyable and such a throughly good read.' BIRDS MAGAZINE 'It's the book's finely drawn details that beguile... highly recommended.' BBC WILDLIFE MAGAZINE 'This is a moving a lyrical study of a young girl enjoying the freedom of a country upbringing. Written by one of our premier wildlife authors and beautifully illustrated by Derek Robertson, it offers many pleasures.' SCOTS MAGAZINE 'A magical, thoughtful tale- as much about fatherhood as nature's glories- that will leave you as wide-eyed as a child.' MAIL ON SUNDAY
UK Kirkus review
Over thousands of years of being hunted by man, grey seals have learned to reschedule their breeding season to fall in September, when the seas around the northern Hebrides are at their most perilous. And if that wasn't enough protection, their chosen breeding ground is an island 25 miles out into the north Atlantic. Not somewhere you would want to take your 9 year old. But the author's daughter, Hermione, is an indomitable naturalist and she accompanies her father on this, and other study trips. The author is a well-known naturalist and has written other books on natural history, but here he concentrates on his relationship with his daughter and how he has tried to be led by her interest in the natural world. Anyone hoping, however, that this will have the charm and enthusiasm of Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals, will be disappointed. The author is less self-assuming, less in love with the natural world, more scientific. His discourses on polar bears and rutting stags are wonderfully informative, but only once, on a holiday in Malta on discovering that the islanders have a lucrative trade snaring song birds, does he show any real emotion. (Kirkus UK)
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