Thursday, April 19, 2012

Three For Earth Day

Get Outside: The Kids Guide to Fun in the Great Outdoors
by Jane Drake and Ann Love
illustrated by Heather Collins
Kids Can Press, 2012
review copy provided by the publisher

This guide is organized first by season, and within each season by these categories of activities: Nature Lover, Outdoor Fun and Games, Snug Inside, and Look to the Sky.

Kind of sad that the sort of "mucking about inventing our own fun and games" stuff we did when I was a kid needs categories and step-by-step instructions, but we need whatever it takes to get this generation of kids outside!

This is a good book for kids, but also a good book for Environmental Club leaders (me), Girl Scout Leaders, Day Camp Leaders, Home Schoolers, and parents.

Energy Island: How One Community Harnessed the Wind and Changed Their World
by Allan Drummond
Frances Foster Books/Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011
review copy provided by the publisher

This picture book is good for many ages. The main text is embedded in engaging illustrations, but the sidebar information about energy is good for 5th grade and up.

The Danish island of Samso is very windy. This book chronicles the long process the residents of that island went through to make the transition to being almost completely energy-independent by harnessing the power of the wind.

Meadowlands: A Wetlands Survival Story
by Thomas F. Yezerski
Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011
review copy provided by the publisher

This gorgeously-illustrated picture book reminds me of A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry. They both are environmental histories about places in nature that humans came really really close to completely destroying...but didn't...and the slow and hopeful recovery process. Both have border illustrations that extend or elaborate on the main illustration or information on the page.


  1. I really enjoyed Meadowlands, even more than I expected to!

  2. I was just going to say that Meadowlands looks wonderful. I have Lynne Cherry's books, have used them as mentor texts for students reporting & wanting to give information in a creative way. The energy book looks interesting, too, Mary Lee. Thank you!

  3. I too was immediately struck by the cover of Meadowlands and your summary, looks beautiful and informative! The other two books look like great ones to share with my soon to be 7 year old dreamer of a son who loves mucking about! Thanks for the great book titles!

  4. Mary Lee,

    I agree about getting kids outside more--especially to explore nature. The first field trip I took my class on every school year was a walk in the woods. My students were excited about all the different things we'd see--including salamanders under rotting logs, lichens growing on rocks, insect galls, glacial erratics.

  5. I was talking with a friend last night who related the story that prior to going overseas to teach for a few years, she and her husband did a lot of biking in their neighborhood, always wondering at kids' play and the number of people outside to enjoy the warmth, the freedom. Since their return and a resumption of their nightly bike ride, they are astounded to find that there are few children outside no matter time of day or sad!


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