Originally Published: September 17, 2015 6:12 p.m.
Book Review: "The Curious Nature Guide" by Clare Walker Leslie
"Have you stopped to watch the sunrise or sunset lately?" asks Clare Walker Leslie, in her latest book, The Curious Nature Guide: Explore the Natural Wonders All Around You. As the color and light continually change, she tells us,"so does bird activity, the smell of the earth and the air. ...Even the direction the flowers face." And the beautiful illustrations in her book show us these things, illustrations Leslie herself made. "Wherever you are, look for nature around you," she says, and shows how nature can be found in parking lots, malls, hospitals, airports, and even on our own windowsills. Leslie wants us all to experience the wonders of the natural word around us.
It is hard to miss the nature around us here in Prescott; it is the reason that many of us are here. We are lucky. But how many of us will take the time to walk out to where the Gambel Oaks put on their golden cloaks during their fall finale, pick up a green leaf infused with scarlet to study? Or walk out into the forest and breathe in the vanilla-butterscotch between cracks in the bark of an old growth ponderosa. Leslie's book is here to remind us how of how essential it is for us to stay in touch with these wonders, in touch with our own wonder. And her book offers many practical ways for us to stay in touch-or to get back in touch-with these marvels that inspire us. Leslie shows us the wonder, too, in the science that is part of sunsets and cloud formation, of animal and bird behavior-and other elements of the nature we uncover, for it is one and the same.
"Brief images of nature," she says, "... can lift us above the humdrum of what we are doing and take us, if just for a moment, out into the vastness of nature." Come be inspired by her, see her beautiful illustrations, and get practical tips on how to stay that way--and maybe on how to inspire others in our lives: 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 26th at the Peregrine Book Company.
reviewed by Susan Lang, Peregrine Book Company Event Coordinator