Alison Binks: 9 things to remember (and one to forget)

Illustrated by the author

Published by Berbay Publishing, Kew East, Victoria, 2021

In the busyness of life, we should be mindful of all those things that are easy to overlook and take for granted, to be still for a moment and think about the small but mighty truths that surround us in our shared world.

In this picture book, we are urged to raise our levels of consciousness and be aware of the complex and connected wonders of life. Whittled down to nine things, we are taken on a slow moving and thoughtful journey to familiar places to look again and see the extraordinary in the ordinary.

If you sleep outside remember that birds wake up very early to sing. Except for the big, swooping kind who’ve been hunting all night. They are just going to sleep.

Remember to watch a pelican as it flies low to the water, never touching the silky waves. Remember to think of the moon pulling the tides in and out as you jump the frothy surf. Remember that there are frogs living deep in the ground waiting patiently for rain even when the ground is hard and dry. Remember that trees can live for more years than we can and be so wide that it takes many hands to reach all the way around them. Remember that the night-time stars can help travellers find their way home.

And the one thing to forget? Your shoes of course, because we all need to take them off sometimes and revel in the feeling of the good green grass beneath our feet.

I can highly recommend this picture book for children 3-6 years and below are more suggestions for picture books which encourage us to stop, think and be mindful about the wonderful natural world around us:

Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies Illustrated by Mark Hearld

Bee by Britta Teckentrup

The Big Alfie Out of Doors Storybook by Shirley Hughes

A Butterfly is Patient
by Dianna Hutts Aston
Illustrated by Sylvia Long

My Country by Dorothea Mackellar Illustrated by Andrew McLean

Maisy’s Nature Walk
by Lucy Cousins

Caterpillar Butterfly
by Vivian French
Illustrated by Charlotte Voake

Grandpa’s Gift by Fiona Lumbers

We Are the Gardeners
by Joanna Gaines and kids
Illustrated by Julianna Swaney

Today We Have No Plans
by Jane Godwin
Illustrated by Anna Walker

In The Park by Clare Beaton

The Rainy Day by Anne Milbourne Illustrated by Sarah Gill

Here and Now by Julia Denos Illustrated by E.B. Goodale

Now by Antoinette Portis

Life by Cynthia Rylant
Illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

Quiet by Tomi dePaola

Perfect by Danny Parker
Illustrated by Freya Blackwood

Outside In by Deborah Underwood Illustrated by Cindy Derby

Slow Down, World by Tai Snaith

When the Sakura Bloom
by Narisa Togo