Nature Study Buddies
Charlene Mclver (author) Claudia Gadotti (illustrator)
Independently Published (2022)
Reviewed by Lily Andrews for Reader Views (12/2022)
“True friends are like diamonds—bright, beautiful, valuable, and always in style.” –Nicole Richie.
“Nature Study Buddies” is an inspiring and educative children’s book by award-winning author Charlene McIver, and the third book of her “Leigh’s Wheelie Adventures” series. In this story, Leigh, Tara, and Cosmo are close friends who are trying to figure out what kind of animals they will study for their school program.
Leigh suddenly brightens up with an idea; he has always been curious about the animals that appear at night, at the tall gum tree behind his house. Studying them sounds like a fantastic idea for the trio. However, Leigh fears that he may not be able to help his friends search for the night creatures up the tree, since he is handicapped. Fortunately for him, Tara and Cosmo are very understanding and supportive. They can’t wait to lift him off his wheelchair and get him up the towering tree for an exciting adventure of his lifetime. All looks well until a suspenseful twist of events nearly jeopardizes Leigh’s safety up in the branches, an incident that greatly tests the authenticity of their commitment, friendship, and dedication to one another.
“Nature Study Buddies” is an amazing piece of children’s literature that hasn’t been written to just entertain, but to teach as well. I like the way the author champions love, guidance, encouragement, and positive influence for handicapped children just like for any other child out there. Leigh’s joy after climbing the gum tree with the help of his friends is a true confirmation that confidence and self-esteem in children grow as they learn and complete new tasks and goals. Charlene’s books are fun to read and easy to understand, with plenty of bright imagery endowed with glowing colors that bring the pages to life, serving as a visual roadmap for the story, and this book is no exception.
Overall, “Nature Study Buddies” is a solid, sweet, and heart-warming five-star book, one that I would highly recommend for family and leisure reading. It is a great resource that can be utilized to develop early literacy skills, spark a child’s imagination, and stimulate curiosity.