Tuesday, July 5, 2016

TWO FOR ONE REVIEWS: Bringing the Outside In by Mary McKenna Siddals

Reviewed by Lynne Marie and Kayla Michelle

by Mary McKenna Siddals
Illustrated by Patrice Barton
Random House, 2016

We're bringing the outside in, oh
Bringing the outside in...

And so begins this sing-songy rhyming romp which follows little ones as they interact with nature.

Siddals uses fund active verbs -- mopping, dumping, shaping, sweeping, digging and Patrice Barton draws splashing, jumping, skipping and romping to keep the action flowing as the adorable children enjoy the outdoors. Woven into this season concept book are threads that suggest fun ways for children to bring nature into their lives. There's so much fun to be had that a little bit always follows them into their home -- whether it be mud, sand or leaves.
I think the sing-songy simple but active text is perfect for toddlers to learn words and repeat. And Patrice Barton's sweet digitally-colored pencil illustrations are adorable and engaging! It makes a great Baby Shower Wishing Well gift, as well as toddler present.
Kayla and I both really enjoyed the art and illustrations, as well as the inspiration. Here is a list of outdoor activities that we have compiled to enjoy along with this book.

1. Collect rocks
2. Make a sandcastle
3. Make a sand drawing
4. Make a rock sculpture
5. Make a leaf scarecrow
6. Plant a seed and watch it grow
7. Let a snowflake land on your tongue
8. Let snowflakes fall on black paper and observe
9. Read Mary's Millions of Snowflakes book
10. Lay on the grass and look up at the clouds - find cloud animals!

More about Bringing the Outside In:
Mary's Facebook page for the book: 
Amazon link to the book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0449814300/ 

Mary McKenna Siddals
Bringing the Outside In (Random House)
Shivery Shades of Halloween (Random House)
Compost Stew (Tricycle / Random House)
Millions of Snowflakes (Clarion / Scholastic)
Tell Me a Season (Clarion)

NOTE from REVIEWER: If you are an author or illustrator who is interested in having your book reviewed on this blog, please e-mail LiterallyLynneMarie@Gmail.com for hard copy address. We would be glad to review your book, and if possible, include an activity for readers. We are also interested in Guest Blog Posts and select Interviews. Thank you for supporting My Word Playground in it's goal to spread the Word about reading and children's writing. 


  1. What a lovely review of BRINGING THE OUTSIDE IN! Kudos to you and Kayla on this clever collaboration (your list of outdoor activities adds an especially fun touch!), and many thanks again, Lynne, for shining such a generous spotlight on my book with your kind words and enthusiasm...

    1. You are so very welcome, Mary McKenna Siddals. It was our pleasure to have you visit us on My Word Playground! Wishing you all the best!