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5 Great Children’s Books About Nature

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5 Great Children’s Books About Nature

By Jon Schwedler, The Nature Conservancy

I’m going to admit conservation sacrilege: I never read The Lorax as a kid.

Despite being born the same year as the book (1971), the first time I laid eyes on it was when a girlfriend gave a copy to me for my 28th birthday. By that time my conservation career was already well established, and the book offered was purely tongue-in-cheek.

While I am very thankful The Lorax planted the seed of conservation in the minds of my generation — bearing fruit today in efforts to save Brazil’s Atlantic Forest and restore America’s forests here at home — for me inspiration did not spring from the stump of a truffula tree.

No, instead my personal Lorax came in a different, although equally prickly, form: my grandmother. Born a century ago at the foot of New York’s dark Adirondack Mountains, my grandmother was exactly the kind of formal, no-nonsense type lady you would expect of that generation. It was clear on our yearly visits to her home we were to be seen and not heard — or face the wrath of 88 pounds of baby-powdered fury.

Besides her temper, she also was a bit quirky. She was terrified of bees; she only took baths; and for some reason never explained she referred to me as “Joachim” (no one else called me this).

One day I wandered into her small library room, with stacks of books reaching the ceiling. I discovered many of these books were about birds and started leafing through.


I froze; her tiny shadow menaced while still only filling a quarter of the doorway. She raised a pointed finger, but only to aim past me, out the window to a bird on a feeder.

“That bird is in that book.”

From that point on my grandmother took me under her wing. Anytime a bird landed on her feeder she sent me to the library to find it in her books. Every birthday and Christmas she gifted a wildlife book to me. At her suggestion I read Farley Mowat’s Never Cry Wolf at age 10, and then Peter Matthiessen’s The Snow Leopard the following year. Both are favorites of mine.

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5:23PM PDT on Oct 29, 2013

We are about to publish a children's book called A Voice from the River. The tagline is: Water is life. Somewhere there is plenty, but in this African village, water is threatened by one greedy man. Can Hemma and her friends save River Nkwa, and life for her village?

We are publishing pro bono because we love this author and support his cause. We could use help spreading the word AND you readers will enjoy the book.

Not sure I can leave a link but here's a try:

1:58PM PST on Dec 12, 2012

Thank you, the sooner people teach their children to take care of the planet the better!

1:58PM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

I LOVED "The Giving Tree" so much when I was little!

5:38PM PDT on Apr 1, 2012

Love them!

1:12PM PDT on Mar 14, 2012

thank you

7:59PM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

great idea for some reading for my kids!

2:56PM PDT on Mar 13, 2012


9:57AM PDT on Mar 13, 2012


1:52AM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

Thank you.

1:52AM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

Thank you.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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