By: Charlene McIver
Illustrated by: Claudia Gadotti
Publication Date: November 2022
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: February 24, 2023
In book 3 of Leigh's Wheelie Adventures series, Nature Study Buddies, Leigh and his friends are off on another adventure, one that will challenge them in unexpected ways and prove that with friendship, caring, and the ability to work together, anything is possible.
It's Nature Study Week at school and the assignment the students are given is to study an animal, learn about its food, get a recording of the call it makes, a sample of what it eats, and find a biological sample such as a feather or bone. Tara is excited about the project and can't wait to get started while Cosmo isn't quite so sure that it's going to be a fun activity. Tara's mind is buzzing with possibilities, but when she suggests they study a nocturnal animal, maybe one living up in a tree, Leigh is a bit apprehensive. Never one to let his wheelchair slow him down, Leigh is still a bit cautious about how he'll be able to help study an animal that might be hiding up in a tree.
When Leigh tells his friends that, "I can't help with the search in the tree," Cosmo quickly replies that they'll figure out a way. Cosmo and Tara get to work on finding a solution to help Leigh participate in their project. They decide to get their friend onto a swing and hoist him up high into the tree. While he's a bit nervous at first, Leigh quickly realizes that being up in the tree is incredibly freeing. That is until an angry mother magpie starts attacking him because he's too close to her nest. Tara and Cosmo act instantly to get Leigh down to safety, but how will the wheelchair-bound boy now be able to help with the nature project?
Author Charlene McIver has made it her mission to tell positive stories that build self-esteem and confidence while showing what amazing things children can achieve, particularly children in wheelchairs. Nature Study Buddies is the third book in her "Leigh's Wheelie Adventures" series that features a young man who doesn't let his wheelchair slow him down. If you haven't read the first two books in the series, then the opening of this story may be a bit confusing. The story jumps right into the kids trying to decide what animal to study without introducing them. It may also surprise some readers to read about Tara and Cosmo lifting their friend up into a tree via a swing. But the story does have a wonderful message about the amazing things kids can do when they work together, and especially how Leigh is able to get many of the needed things for their project, while safely on the ground. Overall, this is a very positive story about kids working together and showing their kindness while discovering new ways to help each other.
Quill says: Nature Study Buddies continues Leigh's Wheelie Adventures series with another positive message, and fun adventure, with Leigh and his best friends.
For more information on Nature Study Buddies (Leigh's Wheelie Adventures, Book 3), please visit the author's website at: charlenemciverauthor.com
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