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Monday
Mar192018

Children's Books About  Nature

Flickr | Boston Public LibraryThe Little Prince or Harry Potter series prove that children books conquer the hearts of little readers as well as the grown up ones. The books we’ve listed in this article carry important messages for any age groups. They discuss important and complex environmental issues in a simple way which can be understandable to children and still enjoyable for adults.

Tidy by Emily Gravett

City parks and gardens are often too neat. Although it can be pleasing for our eyes, it’s not always good for the ecosystems. Fallen leaves, overgrown grass and broken branches are essential to wilderness. However, this is not always understood by the public. This funny book Tidy uses warm humour to explain it. It tells a story about Pete the badger, who is over-zealous about tidiness and cleans all the leaves from trees and flowers from the ground without realizing that his actions are actually destroying the forest. Fortunately, other animals help him to set things right again.

Hörst du wie die Bäume sprechen? by Peter Wohlleben

This book invites children to an incredible journey in the forest and shows them how exciting and magical this place can be. It follows Wohlleben’s previous books The Hidden Life of Trees and The Inner Life of Animals, however, this time the ideas are presented in a children-friendly format. With catchy titles like Do Trees Use The Internet? or Can Trees Feel Fear? Wohlleben explains the biological wonders of forests and presents his view on trees as incredible creatures with exciting lives full of emotions that are similar to human beings. Moreover, he adds small challenges to every chapter to make the next walk in the forest even more adventurous. Unfortunately, the book hasn't been published in English yet but you can read it in German or French.

No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Allen Young and Melissa Stewart

The book No Monkeys, No Chocolate reveals the connections between various elements in ecosystems and reacts to a common lamenting that current generations don’t know where their food comes from. Also, it teaches children about global problems that the world is currently struggling with. The book is based on an example so familiar to children. Chocolate is an essential ingredient in many sweets and it is always easily accessible in supermarkets. However, the authors remind us how much energy and resources are needed to produce a chocolate bar.  The process involves beans, trees, insects and of course, monkeys. When we learn about how many creatures on which we depend, we might appreciate nature and value chocolate much more.

Seed Savers by S. Smith

This is another book that can teach us about the origins of our food but it targets older children from 8 to 12 years old. Seed Savers is an unusual dystopian trilogy about life in 2077 where growing your own fruits or vegetables is banned by the government and people can consume only food that is processed and packaged. In this age, three children decide to risk their safety and learn about the importance of seeds. Who would say that illegal gardening could be that adventurous?

That's Why We Don't Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things by Ruby Roth

Although there are already some artworks that teach us to love farm animals (Babe - 1995, Ferdinand - 2017) this is the first book that aims to explain to children what vegetarianism and veganism mean. Through beautiful illustrations, it shows the differences between the natural behaviour of chickens and turkeys and how this is affected and limited by the conditions on factory farms. It also points out the differences in treatment of pets and farm animals. Jane Goodall said about That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals that it is “a powerful and important book. It will not lead to nightmares, rather respect and compassion for the creatures whose well-being is in our hands.”

By Eliška Olšáková - Online Journalism Intern

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