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Country Life

John Lister-Kaye

Nature's Child

When John Lister-Kaye's daughter Hermione started to take an interest in the natural world, he decided to encourage this interest as much as possible. In Nature's Child he tells their story.

The family run a field centre in the Scottish Highlands and the book starts with wildlife close to home such as collecting frogspawn from a nearby lake and the hand rearing of Jackdaws. Hermione also got the chance to accompany her father to some of the remote parts of the British Isles and beyond - they see seals at close quarters and the huge flocks of storm petrels on the island of Mousa. The family decided to celebrate the millenium with a trip to Africa where they see white rhino's but Hermione also thinks the scorpions are 'quite sweet really'. With the time approaching for her to go to boarding school, her father gives her the choice of going to see whatever animal she wishes - and so the family's next adventure is to see polar bears in the Arctic.

I did find it a bit irritating when the author started going on about the ills of modern society, as if he were offering an alternative lifestyle. He isn't - their travels require plenty of moern technology as well as the ability to afford it - and I felt such passages tended to break the spell of the rest of the book. Fortunately there isn't too much of this pontificating after the first chapter, and the reader can settle down to the magic of seeing the natural world through the eyes of a (very lucky) child.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 208 pages  
ISBN: 0349117608
Salesrank: 3713979
Weight:0.35 lbs
Published: 2005 Abacus
Marketplace:New from $59.16:Used from $0.77
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 208 pages  
ISBN: 0349117608
Salesrank: 355031
Weight:0.35 lbs
Published: 2005 Abacus
Marketplace:New from £8.38:Used from £0.01
Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca info
Paperback 312 pages  
ISBN: 0349117608
Salesrank:
Weight:0.35 lbs
Published: 2005 Abacus
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 135.74:Used from CDN$ 0.53
Buy from Amazon.ca





Product Description
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?