Resource | K-12 Evaluated Resource Collection

K-12 Evaluated Resource Collection

Robert Bateman: The Boy Who Painted Nature

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Author/Publisher/Website: Ruurs, M.
Copyright: 2018
Evaluation/Record Entry Date: Nov/2019
Submitting suppliers/Website: Not Available
Primary Identifier: 9781459819924
Recommended Grades and Subjects/Courses: K-3
(View recommended grades and subjects)

Resource Description

This picture book traces the life of Canadian artist, naturalist, and conservationist Robert Bateman from childhood, when he was fascinated by nature, to developing his skills as an artist, marrying, having a family, becoming a teacher and artist, to his life today as he passes on his love for the Earth to his grandchildren. The simple text and rich illustrations, including some of Bateman’s paintings, nature sketches, and family photos, will engage children in K-3 and inspire them to think about their roles and responsibilities in the larger world. Useful for research projects, to study art techniques, as a prequel to a nature walk, and to show children they can follow their dreams and passions.


Does the resource support BC curriculum?
This product supports the Core Competencies of the BC curriculum:
Creative Thinking
Critical thinking
Positive Personal and Cultural Identity
Personal Awareness and Responsibility
Social Responsibility
This resource strongly supports the Big Ideas K-3 for Language Arts: “Everyone has a unique story to share” and “Curiosity and wonder lead us to new discoveries about ourselves and the world around us.” As well, it supports the Big Ideas K-3 for Arts Ed: "People create art to express who they are as individuals and community”, “Creative expression develops our unique identity and voice.” Finally, it supports the Big Ideas K-3 for Career Ed: “Learning is a lifelong enterprise”, “Everything we learn helps us to develop skills.” As this resource is a biographical picture book following Robert Bateman as a young child to an adult, children will see that learning is indeed a lifelong endeavour.


Social Considerations Comments:
No social considerations were noted in this resource.


Should this product be identified as Canadian?
Is the resource engaging?
Is the content current for the intended curriculum and grade?
Is the content accurate for the intended curriculum and grade?
Is the content timely and important for student broad understandings?
Is the content appropriate to the emotional maturity and cognitive level of students?
Does the resource provide opportunities for creative and critical thinking?
Is the level of detail appropriate?
Is the language use appropriate to the emotional maturity and cognitive level of students?
This resource is written by an award-winning Canadian author, illustrated by an award-winning and world-renowned Canadian artist, and published by a Canadian company. This resource will capture the hearts and minds of young children who naturally love animals and will appeal to their desire to relate to nature and the world around them. The simple text and rich, detailed illustrations will serve to inspire children to think more critically about their roles and responsibilities in the larger world around them and their future aspirations.


Does the resource make effective use of the medium?
Is the location of illustrations appropriate?
Is the resource easy to use?
Is the use of font, text size and presentation uniform?
Are extraneous elements/illustrations kept to a minimum?
The strong and detailed reproduced illustrations by Robert Bateman contained within this resource can serve to inspire young children. The inclusion of his notebook sketches as well as his personal family photographs will also intrigue and captivate young children. The font is simple and the text is minimal with just enough information to not overpower the detailed art contained within this resource. The paintings sometimes carry over onto a second page which serves to maximize their effect. The paper is of good quality to support the detailed and rich paintings of Bateman.


Does the text show insight into the complexity of the human condition?
Does the text broaden students’ experiences and understanding?
To what degree is this text stylistically rich?
Plot description:
This biographical picture book follows the life of Robert Bateman, a world-renowned Canadian artist, naturalist, and conservationist. It begins with details of his life as a young boy, fascinated by nature and the world around him. This led to him developing his skills as an artist, beginning with nature sketches. Eventually, he married, had a family of his own, and became a teacher, all the while continuing to paint. Due to his love of nature, he became an ardent naturalist and conservationist and has tried to instill this love for the Earth in children. The story ends with a painting of him walking with his grandchildren as he points out interesting details in the forest around them.
Related Comments:
Even though the text in this book is quite simple, children will be drawn in by the realistic paintings, nature sketches, and family photos which serve to make the story more interesting and relatable. Classroom discussions will also help children make their own connections to the story.
Picture book
Literary Highlights:
Point of view
Picture book
Visual Highlights:
Picture book


At intended grade level(s)
This resource received the following nominations: Green Earth book award 2019 - long listed, Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literary prize 2019 - short listed, Chocolate Lily Award2019 - short listed. This resource is available as a hardcover book, MP3 with PDF, and audiobook.


This biographical picture book can be used in the classroom for a Canadian famous person study or artist or animal research project. Extension activities in art using sketching/painting techniques would provide enrichment opportunities for students. As well, it could be used as a prequel to a nature walk and ensuing nature sketch. It could be used as a motivating read-aloud book for Career Education Big Ideas K-3. Finally, it can support students in the Core Competencies of Personal and Social Awareness and Responsibility as a springboard to class discussions after a read-aloud by the teacher. This resource will show children that they can follow their dreams and passions and be successful.