The Autumn Book from Enid Blyton’s Round the Year series can be found in two formats; either as a slim paper back volume with a pretty illustration of birds and apples on the front of a brown cover or in a hardback volume that contains all the books in the Round the Year series.
These books are part of Blyton’s Nature collections and are published (at least the copy I have, given to me by Fiona) by Evans Brothers Ltd. These were written when Blyton was living at Old Thatch in Buckinghamshire, as the foreword in the front of the book says. Blyton explains that she would like to have the children walk through the countryside with her to see the changing seasons, but as she can’t she has written these books.
The Autumn Book is divided into 11 short chapters that talk about autumn nature. Blyton starts with looking at what sort of wheat we grow in our cornfields during this time, and explains the differences between the wheat that is grown, what it looks like in the fields and what it is used for. There are even illustrations to show what the different wheat grains look like.
At the end of each chapter there is a little list of “things to do” to encourage children to talk about, appreciate and enjoy nature. I think a large part of Blyton’s nature books is to get children interested and involved with nature, so these little lists help them do this. However the list seems slightly easier for country dwelling children than for city children but the descriptive nature of the book means that any children can understand what Blyton was talking about.
“The Birds Fly South” is the next chapter, where she talks about migration in birds and the reasons they do leave the country. She also explains which birds don’t leave us and will be about during the winter.
The third chapter is “All About Shadows” where she talks to the reader about the change in shadows as the day goes on. This is a slightly strange topic I feel, but an interesting one. She talks about creating a sun dial, and how it would work, well it sounds like a good project for older children.
All in all there are eleven chapter covering topics such as bulbs, worms, seeds, clouds, rain, cats and dogs, and sparrows and spiders. All in all a great range of nature crammed into this very nice slim volume. There are printed pictures and illustrations which break up the text nicely. It’s nice to have some printed photographs in there as well, it makes a pleasant change from the illustrations.
If you can get hold of a copy of the book, or a copy of all that seasons together, I do recommend that you do. It’s a neat little book to have and like the Nature Lover’s Book will help you identify different aspects of the seasons.