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The Looking Book Helps Kids Look

March 14, 2010

The Looking Book
Written by P.K. Hallinan, Illustrated by Patrice Barton
Ideals Children’s Books 2009
Picture Book

For all those parents out there who’ve ever said, “Turn off that T.V. . . . go outside and play!”  This book is for you.

Actually, this book is for your kids. Which is even better.

The Looking Book sends the television-watching children from the T.V. to the great outdoors –with a purpose. To look and observe.  (You know, the outdoors? That place where there is no T.V.)

Yes, but “How?” you ask.  Well, this book’s mom gets her kids to look at nature by giving a gift, blissfully ignoring their whines of “we don’t want to go out.” (Note to self:  Good parenting tip — ignore whining.)

But Mommy just smiled
through their long, sad sighs;
and when they were done,
she held out
a surprise. . . .

Lookers . . .
They help you to look and they help you to see

She hands each boy a pair of lens-free glasses called “lookers”. A freckled-faced redhead boy sticks his arm through one of the eye circles, with a puzzled look on his face. His mother then adds, “look with [your] lookers like never before.”

And the boys run out the backdoor to look with their lookers.

The illustrator shows the boys staring at trees, noticing a ladybug on a stick, finding ants in the dirt, looking high and looking low. One boy shouts,

“There are twig-things and rock-things
and dirt-things and string-things,
along with a whole lot of little black bug-things.”

I love this, don’t you?  What a lovely way to give children (and us) a purpose for going outside to play!

Book Play: Grab those pipe cleaners and make your own Lookers! Take your lookers and sketch book outside and make a backyard nature sketch book. For more learning, write your observations in descriptive language using your five senses. It looks like, It smells like, It MIGHT taste like, It sounds like. Enjoy your looking!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 16, 2010 3:02 am

    Love it, Melissa!!!
    My little gigglebox was bird watching with binoculars from the playground tower at recess today. Magnified lookers! 🙂

  2. March 17, 2010 11:04 pm

    I love it, Melissa! Hope the book is a bestseller, and gets kids over NDD – Nature Deficit Deficiency – to discover the wonder-full world outdoors. Kudos to the clever mom.

    Check out two other clever books for kids: Liking Myself, and The Mouse, the Monster and Me. They were written by Dr. Pat Palmer, the founder and director of the Assertiveness Training Institute of Denver, and hand-lettered and illustrated by Betty Shodeck, an elementary school art teacher in the Aurora School District. They sold half a million copies around the world.


  1. Author, P.K. Hallinan on Helping Kids Loving to Write

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