Slow Down: Bring Calm to a Busy World with 50 Nature Stories

by | Feb 6, 2024 | Book Review, Picture Book

Through the forest (cover)

Book Details

Slow Down: Bring Calm to a Busy World with 50 Nature Stories

Rachel Williams, illus. Freya Hartas. London: Magic Cat Publishing, hb, 978 1 91618 051 2, 2020, £17.99, 128pp.

Picture book, 3-6 years.

Slow Down inspires children to observe the daily magical transformations of nature unfolding right in front of them.

Beginning with the poem ‘Leisure’ by W.H. Davies, which laments the lack of ‘time to stand and stare’ in the modern world, this book asks its readers what they can find when they slow down.

The main section includes 50 stories from the natural world, which range from shooting stars to the formation of a snail trail. Many of these little ‘miracles’ can be observed from through a window or in a garden. The natural events are recorded in beautifully detailed double-page spreads, encouraging a slow reading of the book in small doses, which can be revisited.

Past-story and part-science, Williams’ explanations are easy to understand and accompanied by a detailed sequence of Hartas’ illustrations and diagrams, breaking down the processes into smaller steps. The book ends with a morning-time mindfulness exercise that encourages readers to pay attention to their senses in the natural world.

Sparking a sense of wonder found in the experience of ‘standing and staring’, this book is a great antidote for fast-paced modern life. It uses beautiful illustrations and engaging stories to encourage children to take a break from technology and appreciate the natural world. 


Review by Emily Gilbert