Book Re­view

In­still­ing chil­dren with ap­pre­ci­a­tion for na­ture is the first step to cre­at­ing fu­ture ac­tivists and ad­vo­cates — and what bet­ter way than through the power of a good story

Canadian Wildlife - - FEATURES - By Leah Collins Lipsett

Gift­ing a young child an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for na­ture is a key part of a healthy start — and what bet­ter way than through a good sto­ry­book?

The won­der of na­ture is best dis­cov­ered young. Along­side splash­ing in pud­dles and catching bugs out­side, that won­der can be com­ple­mented with a book. Many of us re­mem­ber the im­pact of “the very last Truf­fula tree of them all” get­ting cut down in Dr. Seuss’s The Lo­rax, or the near-ex­tinc­tion of the Wumps mov­ing us to tears in Bill Peet’s The Wump World. In­still­ing chil­dren with ap­pre­ci­a­tion for na­ture is the first step to cre­at­ing fu­ture ac­tivists and ad­vo­cates — and what bet­ter way than through the power of a good story.

Th­ese days books with an eco­log­i­cal bent are easy to find. Schools tend to grav­i­tate to­ward fact-filled non-fic­tion, like the B.c.-based Orca Foot­prints se­ries. Picture books like 10 Things I Can Do to Help My World by Me­lanie Walsh and The Earth Book by Todd Parr in­tro­duce chil­dren to the en­vi­ron­ment one step at a time. And Na­tional Ge­o­graphic’s many in­fo­graphic-filled of­fer­ings are big hits with kids and teach­ers alike. Some­times, though, it’s nice to re­turn to sto­ry­telling to get kids in­ter­ested—just as The Lo­rax has been do­ing for gen­er­a­tions.

If you want to con­nect a child to na­ture through a story this hol­i­day sea­son, th­ese ex­cel­lent ti­tles of­fer some­thing for read­ers of all ages.

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