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Earth Day 2017

simon_global warming

Earth Day and the March for Science are tomorrow! The campaign focus for Earth Day 2017 is “Environmental and Climate Literacy.” In keeping with that theme, the books below celebrate our precious planet, educate about the crises it faces, and offer age-appropriate models for environmental activism. The list includes both fiction and nonfiction titles for […]

Review of Anywhere Farm

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Anywhere Farm by Phyllis Root; illus. by G. Brian Karas Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 3/17    978-0-7636-7499-1    $16.99    g “For an anywhere farm, / here’s all that you need: / soil / and sunshine, / some water, / a seed.” Root’s upbeat Green Eggs and Ham–esque rhyming text details all the places […]

For animal lovers only

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Four middle-grade novels feature animals (and one mysterious creature) that change the protagonists’ lives. From an inventive, slightly mystical environmental fable to a compelling work of historical fiction, these are all recommended for the animal lovers in your life. Me and Marvin Gardens is a smart, environmentally conscious fable with a lot of heart and […]

Love the Earth 2017

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Earth Day and the March for Science are coming up on Saturday, April 22, 2017. The following picture books introduce children to some of the challenges facing our Earth, and provide suggestions to help on a scale they can manage. For more on this topic, see Kathleen T. Isaacs’s Horn Book Magazine article “Fostering Wonder.” […]

Rivers of Sunlight: How the Sun Moves Water Around the Earth

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Rivers of Sunlight: How the Sun Moves Water Around the Earth [Sunlight] by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm; illus. by Molly Bang Primary    Blue Sky/Scholastic    48 pp. 1/17    978-0-545-80541-4    $18.99 Bang and Chisholm bring their energy-centered perspective on Earth systems to the water cycle. As in prior volumes (My Light, rev. […]

Environmental activism

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Drummond, Allan  Green City: How One Community Survived a Tornado and Rebuilt for a Sustainable Future Gr. K–3    40 pp.     Farrar/Foster On May 4, 2007, a tornado leveled Greensburg, Kansas. The citizens who stayed decided to rebuild a community as environmentally sound as possible. Drummond creates a first-person narrator from a composite of experiences “meant […]

Care for Our World app review

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Care for Our World (Sunbreak Games, March 2017; iOS only), the app based on a 2012 picture book written by Karen Robbins and illustrated by Alexandra Ball (Compendium Inc.), seeks “to inspire children to care for the earth they call home: a timely reminder of the responsibility every generation shares to nurture and respect life […]

Fostering Wonder

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Sixty years ago, Rachel Carson first opened our eyes to children’s need for a sense of wonder about the natural world in her essay “Help Your Child to Wonder” (first published in Woman’s Home Companion in 1956). She urged parents and caregivers to allow children to explore the world around them, suggesting taking them to […]

National Parks Service at 100

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Brown, Craig  Mule Train Mail Gr. K–3     40 pp.     Charlesbridge The book opens with postman Anthony at the top of the Grand Canyon loading mules with letters and packages. The landscape’s yellows, browns, and rust colors radiate heat; the palette changes to whites and blues to convey the danger of driving rain and sleet. An […]

Review of Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles

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Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles by Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson; illus. by Meilo So Primary    Chronicle    48 pp. 4/16    978-1-4521-1241-1    $16.99 When Viv moves with her family to one of the South Carolina barrier islands — beautifully evoked in So’s luscious watercolors of […]