As Maya Grows in the Natural World by Patricia Ambinder (Book Review)

“As Maya Grows in the Natural World” celebrates the joyful play of a young child and her friends as they discover the wonderful sights, sounds, tastes, touches, and textures in the natural world. Catch a falling leaf that waved goodbye to its tree, wiggling fingers in the squishy and lumpy earth, and dancing to the music of branches that sway as the wind plays are just a few of the book’s experiences for nurturing a child’s love and care for the environment.

Fun prompts and cues encourage outdoor exploration, enhanced by the whimsical and stunning illustrations and poetic phrases. Timeless quotations about nature and its profound impact on children are a wellspring of wisdom for adults to reflect on and share with the reader. The red lotus flower seek and find encourages attention to detail and instills a sense of accomplishment that brings a smile.

Feel the presence of nature’s calm and engage a child’s imagination as a listener, reader, and thinker through the book’s enchanting words and colors.

For budding nature explorers, ages 2-6.

Reedsy Discovery Link




I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.


The author quotes Qwatsinas – Chief Edward Moody, Nuxalk Nation, saying, “We must protect the world for those who can’t speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish, and trees.” As Maya Grows in the Natural World shows readers all the beauty that is around them. Children will walk the beaches, feel the sand between their toes, listen to the waves, and smell the salty water. As they enjoy an exciting day at the park, they’ll see a rainbow light up the sky and hear the city come alive. 

Chirping birds. Purring cats. Colorful butterflies fluttering from flower to flower. A falling leaf that signals the changing of the seasons. Sprouting seeds. Apple picking. Jumping in leaves. Flying kites. Buzzing bees. As Maya Grows in the Natural World was an absolute joy to read. It highlights the fun to be had in nature using a diverse cast of characters and spectacular illustrations. 

As Maya Grows in the Natural World is advertised for children 2-6 years of age. The simplicity of the text and the illustrations fit this age group; however, the poetic phrases distract from the overall story. While the thoughtful insights are lovely, they interfere with the flow of the story and are best suited for older children, not toddlers and young preschoolers. 


This story encourages children to explore nature and help protect it. 

“If you like fruits, plant a tree,

If you like birds, plant a tree,

And if you care for others, plant many trees.”

– Unknown.


How We Learn states: “I will know problem-solving, self-exploration, decision-making, number relationship, structures, complex vocabulary, healthy living, cause and effect, creativity, imaginative thinking, and my natural world when I am big. Because I play outside when I am little.” Playtime has many health benefits: physical, emotional, and mental. It helps set the foundations for social interactions. Children learn cooperation as they learn empathy. This story spotlights these points while showing the importance of cherishing and protecting nature from tiny seeds, dolphins in the seas, our furry friends, and more. 

I recommend the book to elementary school children. 


Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤❤

Reedsy Discovery Link



Meet the Author

A writer of poetry and prose, Patti Ambinder is a passionate advocate for social justice. Drawn to the palette of words and the language of colors, she uses them to seek a deeper understanding of the human experience and its relationship with nature. Patti loves spending time outdoors.

Reedsy Author Link




Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.