The Nature Explorer’s Sketchbook

The Nature Explorer’s Sketchbook helps kids look more closely at nature and capture what they discover with pencil, pen, and paint. The book inspires exploration, creativity and observation with beautiful sketchbook illustrations, ideas and tips, and plenty of space for kids to draw.

A perfect tool for environmental education programs, STEAM programs, or to give as a gift to young artists and nature lovers. Who will you inspire?


Target audience: Youth ages 9+.
Number of pages: 80 
Dimensions: 7″x10″
Soft cover, with heavy paper suited for sketching with mixed media

Available from:

To order from your local book store, use ISBN #: 9781943431595

Take a Peak Inside 

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”

Rachel Carson, The Edge of the Sea
What People Are Saying…
  • Kirkus Starred Review:
    Exercises and blank space provide nature explorers a way to record their observations.
    The first 27 pages of this 80-page journal contain inspiration for what to record in art and words, along with simple instructions for how to do so. Each spread in this section focuses on one topic, such as pencil drawing, adding color, writing down questions, or recording your journey. Small text boxes highlight “Try This” ideas explorers can use to develop their nature journaling techniques. The remaining pages offer additional “Try This” exercises every five pages or so, sprinkled among blank pages for drawing, sketching, painting, and writing, some of which have smaller boxes to frame smaller sketches. The texture of the pages and their soft eggshell color make this book feel like a true artist’s delight. The guidance and exercises strike the perfect balance of encouragement and instruction, allowing explorers to observe, discover, and appreciate the natural world starting from where they are—and to try again if they aren’t satisfied with their results. There are instructions for sketching birds and insects, breaking down the body parts for artists to copy. The sample artwork throughout is skillful and beautiful but not intimidating; the visible strokes of pencil and brush imply that results can vary with attention and practice.

    A lovely and useful beginning. – Kirkus Review (Nonfiction. 9-adult)
  • “Jean Mackay is one of the freshest, most observant nature journalers I know. Jean shows you how you too can capture beautiful images of nature, spend quality time in the field, and learn to be an integral part of the place your feet are planted.”
    Cathy Johnson, Author of The Sierra Club Guide to Sketching in Nature and Artist Journal Workshop

  • “A wonderful tool for beginning journals. The prompts and examples will inspire you to use your journal pages in new and creative ways that will bring you closer to nature.”
    John Muir Laws, Author of The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling

  • “Brimming with charming illustrations and a multitude of insightful nature exploration activities that will delight not only the young adventurers for whom the book is designed, but also adults who have wanted to try nature journaling. This is your new favorite book to keep at home and take on vacation!”
    Susan Snyder, artist and teacher-naturalist at Ogden Nature Center, Ogden, UT

  • This beautiful sketchbook is a provocative invitation to take up the art of nature journaling. I taught teachers for 20 years and I would have loved to have had this book as an introduction to my Nature Journal course. You are never too young or too old to begin to learn, through art, the intricacies of our beautiful Earth. It is all at our fingertips waiting to be discovered. This sketchbook will launch you.
    Coleen O’Connell, Lesley University Faculty (retired) and Trustee of the Center for Ecological Teaching and Learning, ME

The Nature Explorer’s Sketchbook won a 2020 American Graphic Design Award from Graphic Design USA. From more than 10,000 entries, only a small handful of projects were selected as winners. Congratulations and many thanks to Kris Fitzgerald at 2K Design for her award-winning performance and creative excellence in helping bring the book to life.

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