My repertoire of flower names begins and ends with a small handful: Daisies, Bluebells, Primroses, Poppies, Daffodils. The same goes for birds, trees, insects and bees, butterflies and beetles. On regular weekend walks, I find myself wishing I knew more about the lovely countryside and woods around me.

We picked up a copy of “Woodland Life”, part of the Usborne Spotter’s Guide series and it has been a knowledgeable companion where mobile phones do not work. It’s a brilliant start for beginners eager to learn a little bit about everything and great fun for children who will love ticking off what they see.

Product Information

Price: RRP £4.99

Paperback only.

Retailer: Amazon +

About Usborne Publishing Ltd

“Usborne is the biggest and most successful independent children’s book publisher in the UK. We have around 2,000 titles in print, and publish almost every type of children’s book for every age group, from baby books to young adult novels.”* It operates with a number of ethical policies in place and makes regular, positive contributions to increase literacy and access to educational material for children of all ages.

About Sue Jacquemier and Sarah Kahn (Author & Editor)

Sue Jacquemier and Sarah Kahn are published authors of children’s books. They have each contributed to multiple Usborne Guides, including Creepy Crawlies (First Nature), The Young Naturalist (Usborne Guide), Garden Flowers (Usborne Spotter’s Guide) and Animals, Tracks and Signs (Usborne Spotter’s Guide).


It is small enough to fit in a small bag or large coat pocket and lists the most common things one would find on a walk in the woods. The illustrations are hand-drawn and there is a tick-box next to each item’s listing. It includes a dictionary, scorecard and index.

  • Travel book
  • Target age range: All, Recommended for age 6+ for independent use
  • Target gender: Gender neutral design
  • Target audience: Complete novices and young children – it’s focused on the first 8 – 18 or so most common woodland flowers, trees, insects, birds, animals, fungi, butterflies, moths and bugs.

Environment & People

ecologicaleducationalergonomicethicallymadeinclusivedesignBuild quality


£4.99 for a slim book with 64 pages is a standard price in the book world. Usborne books are high quality, durable, ethically sourced and manufactured, accurate and usually beautifully illustrated. Woodland Life is all of these things wrapped inside a single book that is conveniently small to carry on walks in the woods. Perfect for children, but also great for adults who know little about woodland life.


Product dimensions: 11.5 x 0.6 x 19 cm
Materials: Paper
Release date: 30 January 2009.
Pages: 64 pages
Available formats: Paperback
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd.
Language: English
Companion website: Usborne’s Spotter’s Guide On-line Resources
Key Stage: KS2 S/G
ISBN: 9780746095911


Woodland Life is a beautifully illustrated paperback that slides into a backpack. It encourages young children to appreciate and develop a deeper understanding of woodland life surrounding them that often go unnoticed in favour of muddy puddles, not that muddy puddles aren’t wonderful things. It is not a typical children’s book, but equally accessible in its content and design for budding nature lovers of all ages.

It provides a learning experience in a nutshell with no prior research needed, but for the voracious young nature enthusiast, it is an Internet-linked booked with much more information, interactive content and other resources aimed at primary school children at the link above. Top notch quality, accurate and engaging, it is a little book stuffed with knowledge for every beginner.

Highly recommended.


woodland life usborne guide

The review is based on the Woodlands Life paperback edition published in 2009. This article was first published on 15 May 2016 and last updated on 14 November 2016.