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Environmental activism

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

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 […]

From The Guide: Wonder-full World

In Miss Rumphius, Alice’s grandfather told her to “do something to make the world more beautiful.” Now more than ever we need to encourage children’s interest in, connection to, and responsibility for the Earth and its inhabitants. As contributor Kathleen T. Isaacs says in “Fostering Wonder,” “When we share picture books that explore the natural […]

Fostering Wonder

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

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

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 […]

Earth Day 2016

Baillie, Marilyn, Jonathan Baillie, and Ellen Butcher How to Save a Species Gr. 4–6     48 pp.     Owlkids Featuring fifteen animals and two plants, this book offers succinct information on the habitat, numbers remaining (there are only four Red River giant softshell turtles left!), and action needed to save each endangered species. Clear color photographs of […]

Luna, Julia, and readers

We recently received Luna & Me: The True Story of a Girl Who Lived in a Tree to Save a Forest by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw (Holt/Ottaviano, May 2015). It’s sort of dual picture-book biography, telling the stories of a thousand-year-old redwood tree called Luna, which was slated to be logged; and of young activist Julia […]

Updated Earth Day reading

The books recommended below were reviewed by The Horn Book Magazine. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.   Picture books Suggested grade level listed with each entry The Promise written by Nicola Davies, illus. by Laura Carlin (Candlewick) A girl, “mean and hard” as the city she lives in, […]

Happy (early) Earth Day!

Tomorrow is Earth Day, and to celebrate we’ve got a new list of recommended reads on environmentalism, endangered species, and the wonders of nature. The list includes fiction and nonfiction for a wide range of ages. Check it out, then let us know what books you’re sharing this Earth Day.