Book Review: The Naturalist's Notebook

The Naturalist's Notebook: An Observation Guide and 5-Year Calendar-Journal for Tracking Changes in The Natural World Around You

By: Nathaniel Wheelwright & Bernd Heinrich

Book Review: The Naturalist's Notebook || Words With Jennifer
Reader Problem

You are interested in natural history and want a beautiful journal to record your observations.

Or perhaps you are looking for a Christmas gift for a nature lover.

Author Solution

The Naturalist’s Notebook: An Observation Guide and 5-Year Calendar-Journal for Tracking Changes in the Natural World Around You

Book Review: The Naturalist's Notebook || Words With Jennifer

The Naturalist’s Notebook is divided into two parts. The first part is made up of six chapters that explain the importance of attention to detail, being observant, and how you can develop these skills.

  • Chapter One: Being Attentive
  • Chapter Two: How to Become an Observant Naturalist I
  • Chapter Three: How to Become an Observant Naturalist II
  • Chapter Four: A Naturalist’s Toolbox
  • Chapter Five: Simple Experiments As a Way of Learning
  • Chapter Six: Knowing Nature Where You Are

Have no fears if you lack experience. The authors walk you through the process of recording your observations. It doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if you are just starting out. You can make small notations about the birds in your backyard, the leaves on your trees, the insects you see as you walk through your neighborhood. You don’t have to put on hiking boots and head out to the nearest trail. You don’t have to spend the night in a sleeping bag, in the wilderness, without wifi. Just start in your backyard, your terrace, your neighborhood park. Keep it simple. Then as you gain experience you might enjoy conducting experiments or sharing your findings with others on websites such as eBird or iNaturalist.

Book Review: The Naturalist's Notebook || Words With Jennifer

The illustrations in The Naturalist’s Notebook are beautiful, with inspiring detail. Don’t be discouraged by those sketches. I don’t draw. At all. But I can make notes. And maybe at some point over the life of the five-year journal, I’ll learn some artistic skills. But if not, that’s ok. The point isn’t to create a “beautiful” piece of work, but to immerse yourself, even briefly, in the outdoors. Reap the benefits of spending time in nature. (You can read more about the benefits of nature here & here.)

Book Review: The Naturalist's Notebook || Words With Jennifer

The second part of the book is the journal itself. The month and date run across the top and the years run down the side. It’s a five year journal so you will be able to compare what is happening from year to year. The pages are smooth, a strong weight, perfect for journaling and a pleasure to write on. 

The Naturalist's Notebook would be a quality keepsake gift for a nature lover or for yourself.

The Naturalist's Notebook is available at Amazon.

*I requested a review copy and the publisher was kind enough to send me one. I was under no obligation to review this book on One Book Blog.*