⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Outside In Written by Deborah Underwood and Illustrated by Cindy Derby [with teaching ideas]

Publication Date: April 14, 2020 | Grade Levels: Preschool -3

Today I spent some time reading aloud to my students, all future teachers. And we had such a marvelous time. One book I read to them was Outside In, written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Cindy Derby. This 2021 Caldecott Honor book is quite simply beautiful.

Quick Summary. In beautifully poetic language, Outside In prompts us – in its calming tone and awe-inspiring illustrations – to truly be outside.

Critique. Such a poignant book, Outside In captures the power of the outside. A soft and steady outside urges us to come outside. Perhaps the most startlingly beautiful aspect of the text is when the narrator so rightly articulates that sometimes even when we are outside, we are not. This is a book that belongs in classroom libraries that value lessons of mindfulness, presence, and the power of the outside. It also may prove quite impactful in the lives of the adult readers who read it to their students or children.

{Here is my TODAY Parenting blog post that features this book.}

Teaching Ideas. Here are some teaching ideas for Outside In:

  • One of my students read me a book recently. This was such a fabulous experience for so many reasons. The book she shared with me was Pham’s Outside, Inside, a text that would pair well with Outside In. {I hope to do more work on these books and how they may function in this particular time of COVID and beyond.}
  • Go on an awe walk after reading Outside In to your students. Have them focus on things in the natural world that they might not always notice.
  • Add this book to a text set that features books on mindfulness and presence.

A beautiful book that will inspire children and adults to truly treasure all that the outside offers, Outside In earns five stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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