“Put On Your Owl Eyes” Book Review

Do you remember when you were a child, and you were at awe with your surroundings and nature? It seems that the younger generation is missing that wonder, and most kids are glued to smart phones and electronics. Even adults seem to have lost it too, because we are too busy to spend a moment of our day, just breathing in the sights and sounds of the world around us. Maybe it’s because you live in a city or maybe its because you have no time to do anything but work.

It is almost a novelty to spend time outdoors. That is why when I read “Put On Your Owl Eyes: Open Your Senses & Discover Nature’s Secrets; Mapping, Tracking & Journaling Activities” by Devin Franklin, I was so excited. The whole premise of Devin’s book is to get kids outside to observe nature, and it doesn’t matter where you live, anyone can do it. I also think it’s a great book for adults too, because sometimes we just need to reconnect with nature. Anyone can benefit from time outdoors and a little meditation. **Please note, this was a courtesy copy sent to me free of charge. All opinions are my own.

Excerpted from Put on Your Owl Eyes© 2019 by Devin Franklin. Used with permission from Storey Publishing.

From the Back Cover: “Step into the wild. With this book as your guide you can… find your sit spot, put on owl eyes to track a rabbit, learn a fox’s habits, get to know a tree, put on deer ears to hear bird language and map your favorite places”.

About “Put On Your Owl Eyes”: Put On Your Owl Eyes” is a book with fifteen guided activities, to get children (and adults) outside and exploring nature more. There are five sections: Discovering a New Backyard, Your Backyard Trees, Your Backyard Mammals, Your Backyard Birds and Your Backyard Community. Each section is broken down into three activities, each activity building on the one previously. The activities include journaling, note taking, drawing and mediation. This book is for ages 8-13 and encourages children to establish relationship with the outdoors. For adults, it gives them the opportunity to take a few minutes out of their day and enjoy their natural surroundings.

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About The Author: Devin Franklin holds a degree in environmental education and teaches survival, tracking and awareness skills. He is the director of programming at Flying Deer Nature Center, a wilderness school and community in Chatham New York.

My Thoughts About This Book: My eight-year old was able to help me review this book, but I enjoyed it too. With only five of the fifteen complete guided activities, we have learned new ways to enjoy nature. I think that too often, we take for granted the fact that we live in the woods and don’t stop to enjoy it. With the activities, we have been more active spending time in our forest and are more aware of the animals and the beauty that we have around us in our backyard. The “sit spot” that we chose, which is the first activity in the book and included below, was our favorite activity so far. I think this book is brilliant and I am so glad that the author has written this, so that others can enjoy nature like we do.

Ready for an activity? Check out the first activity of the book “Sit Spot”, Excerpted from Put on Your Owl Eyes© 2019 by Devin Franklin. Used with permission from Storey Publishing.

Choose a Sit Spot

Our sit spot

A Sit Spot is a special area that you choose outdoors. Have a seat, settle in, and watch the world around you. It is a place all your own.Your Sit Spot area can be under an old tree in the forest, at a bend in a stream, on a park bench, or on your own front stoop. Choose a place. . .

  • that is easy to visit· with a view of something wild
  • with an appealing place to sit
  • where you will enjoy spending time.

What You Need

  • · A watch or other timepiece

What to Do

  1. Explore your backyard. Take a leisurely walk around the area. Enjoy your surroundings, and notice any areas that might feel good to make your Sit Spot.
  2. Choose one spot to be your Sit Spot area for your observations and explorations.
  3. Observe your backyard quietly for at least ten minutes. What do you notice? Use all of your senses to observe your surroundings.

When you go indoors, write on the next page the date and any observations you remember about your backyard — what you saw, heard, smelled, or felt while enjoying your Sit Spot area.

If you noticed new things today, write a bit about how it felt different from your normal everyday activities.

Excerpted from Put on Your Owl Eyes© 2019 by Devin Franklin. Used with permission from Storey Publishing.
Excerpted from Put on Your Owl Eyes© 2019 by Devin Franklin. Used with permission from Storey Publishing. Image courtesy of Getty Images.

Game of the Day: Sit Spot On-the-Go 

Sometime today, make time for a Sit Spot On-the-Go. Pick a familiar place or one that’s new. Wherever you are, take a moment to settle in and tune in to your surroundings, just as you did earlier at your Sit Spot. What do you notice at your Sit Spot On-the-Go? 


In this Exploration you practiced sitting still and noticing your surroundings. How did that feel? Each time you visit, you will notice more and see more deeply into the world around you.  If you noticed new things today, write a bit about how it felt different from your normal everyday activities.

What a fun activity! This was such a great book. Not only is is getting kids outside, but it’s teaching them skills about meditation and observation and also writing and journaling skills. We will be finishing this book in the next few months as an educational and fun summer activity. I think that not only is this book great for kids and adults, but could also be a great tool for science and English class and homeschoolers. If you try it out, be sure to let us know. As always, be outside with no limits.



  • Verla

    5 years agoReply

    I love the sound of this book for all ages really 🙂

  • Haley Kelley

    5 years agoReply

    Love kids books! We are always looking for new ones!

  • Paloma Cotton

    5 years agoReply

    This is awesome! My daughter is one and half and I am definitely trying to get her outdoors more, its so amazing to be able to just enjoy nature, and she hates being inside so it works out!

  • Joanne

    5 years agoReply

    What a great way to get children interacting with nature and the outdoors!

  • Holly Bird

    5 years agoReply

    Great review! Thank you for sharing this I am going to get my copy today!!

  • Cynthia Mackintosh

    5 years agoReply

    I love this because we are always so busy and don’t notice the beauty that is right in front of us. I have a perfect sit-spot at my local park. It’s in front of a small running waterfall that goes into a little lake. So serene and perfect place to contemplate life. What a wonderful book for kids (and adults)!

  • Amber Porter

    5 years agoReply

    We love doing activities put doors. This is a great idea. We tend to get the ranger books at the state parks but it’s limited to the parks. I’ll be looking into getting this. Great post!

  • Jennifer

    5 years agoReply

    I think my kids would enjoy this!

  • Jennifer L Markell

    5 years agoReply

    Neat book idea! 🙂 Great review!

  • Laura Lee

    5 years agoReply

    I think this is a great reminder for everyone to slow down and observe our surroundings…and learn to appreciate what’s around us. We’re all so busy these days and don’t take the time to just soak it in.

  • Kymberly Irwin

    5 years agoReply

    This is a wonderful book. Since moving to Florida almost two years ago, I find myself outside all the time. I love our alligators and could watch them all day. I see big turtles, snakes, lizards and deer. So much better then watching TV.

  • Tonya | the Writer Mom

    5 years agoReply

    I love this idea!! It would be so much fun to do with my girls. I am sure they would enjoy it, as would I.

  • Jelane

    5 years agoReply

    Love this book idea. What a great way to teach children to look for the beauty of nature.

  • Robin Frields

    5 years agoReply

    What a great idea! My boys would have loved this.

  • angela

    5 years agoReply

    A love of books and the outdoors – great combo!

  • Suzan

    5 years agoReply

    Anything that reconnects us with nature is a WIN for me. Love the “sit spot” 🙂 Encourages one to just be in the moment!

  • Beth

    5 years agoReply

    This looks like a really great book! Kids need to get outside more esp mine. Thanks!

  • Karie

    5 years agoReply

    What a great book. I think I want to do this for myself. I will have to make sure I have it when I go see my grand baby.

  • Stephanie Dee

    5 years agoReply

    This book looks like a winner for adults too. We sometimes lose our sense of wonder with the outdoors, and this book seems like the perfect way to regain the awe that we experience when we see something grand and beauty in nature.

  • Leigh Ann Newman

    5 years agoReply

    I love this idea that we can simply sit quietly in our own back yards and find something new and exciting to observe. Thanks for sharing your review!

  • Tricia Snow

    5 years agoReply

    I would love to sit in your back yard! My back yard feels like 107 today. Maybe in the fall! All kidding aside this does sound lovely. I love connecting with nature and being outdoors.

  • jen

    5 years agoReply

    This looks like an excellent book to bring on outings this summer! I’m absolutely looking into this! Wonderful review!

  • Magan

    5 years agoReply

    How fun! I think I need to check this out. I grew up camping on Table Rock Lake with my family, so I spent lots of time outside, exploring. My children don’t have that same experience though. What a great way to add some of this to our lives. Thanks for sharing!

  • Meagan

    5 years agoReply

    I love journaling books for kids and adults and this one is so cool! What a great way to guide your kid through outdoor exploration!

  • Melissa Jones

    5 years agoReply

    So fun! Great information!

  • Angela Greven | Mean Green Chef

    5 years agoReply

    Such a wonderful idea for a book, everyone is overloaded with electronic devices and balance is much needed. Especially the little ones, being outside and playing in nature is so important, thanks so much for sharing this great book! 🙂

  • katie

    5 years agoReply

    Oh! What a fun idea for kids, especially during summer time. So many great ideas, I need to start keeping track and saving them so my little one can do fun things like this!

  • Karla

    5 years agoReply

    Thank you!!! I am adding this to our summer routine. With 7 kids in the house all summer, a brief meditation activity is just the ticket. THANKS! Karla

  • Marisa

    5 years agoReply

    Oh my, this is GORGEOUS! and I want not only ONE for me, I want one for my son and I want a class set for my 2nd graders! I have always wanted to be THAT teacher who does more ‘school’ outside…still working on class control, though. Maybe THIS year… I LOVE This on so many levels.

  • Cindy

    5 years agoReply

    I love this activity book! I did these kind of things, homeschooling my kids. My grandkids however would be encouraged to get outside more and would enjoy the activities. Thanks for sharing!

  • Annette Durbin

    5 years agoReply

    This sounds like a great book for all ages!!!

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