Today is Earth Day one of my favorite days of the year. It’s a time when humans share a like minded cause of remembering to care and cherish our Earth. Here at Jump into a Book it means, along with getting outside to frolic in nature, it’s a great opportunity to take a good book along with you. Here are few ideas to get you going. All of these books are favorites here and have a place not only on the book shelves, but also on coffee tables and night stands all throughout the house! Hope you enjoy them and have a very Happy Earth Day !!!
A Nest is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston & Sylvia Long
From the award-winning creators of An Egg Is Quiet, A Seed Is Sleepy, A Butterfly Is Patient, and A Rock Is Lively comes this gorgeous and informative look at the fascinating world of nests. From tiny bee hummingbird nests to orangutan nests high in the rainforest canopy, an incredible variety of nests are showcased here in all their splendor. Poetic in voice and elegant in design, this carefully researched book introduces children to a captivating array of nest facts and will spark the imaginations of children whether in a classroom reading circle or on a parent’s lap.
Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner, Illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
In this exuberant and lyrical follow-up to the award-winning Over and Under the Snow, discover the wonders that lie hidden between stalks, under the shade of leaves . . . and down in the dirt. Explore the hidden world and many lives of a garden through the course of a year! Up in the garden, the world is full of green—leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit. But down in the dirt exists a busy world—earthworms dig, snakes hunt, skunks burrow—populated by all the animals that make a garden their home.
When the Animals Saved Earth: An Eco-Fable Retold by Alexis York Lumbard, Illustrated by Demi
On a secluded island, in a faraway sea, the animals live in peace and prosperity. But one day, the winds of fate bring humans to their shore. Down come trees and up go houses, farms, and a bustling market. The humans capture the animals and put them to work. A great sadness falls upon the land, and only a young boy named Adam can hear the animals’ cries. Compelled to act, Adam escapes into the jungle and joins with the remaining free animals, attempting to summon the Spirit King Bersaf. Will the king bring the humans to trial for their harmful actions? Will justice be had? Will balance return to land, sea, and sky?
Just Like Me Climbing a Tree: Exploring trees Around the World by Durga Yael Bernhard
If you were climbing a tree, just what might you see? Birds or animals or insects? Would you swing like a monkey? Or pick the ripest fruit straight from the branch? Join award-winning author and illustrator, Durga Yael Bernhard, on a trip around the world to climb its weirdest and most wonderful trees. No matter if you are in Africa, Asia, Europe, or America, there is a grand adventure waiting for you—provided you have a tree to climb in your neighborhood!
Just Like Me, Climbing a Tree explores 12 of the most distinctive trees from across the globe, and includes educational notes about each of the trees to help answer questions that curious young minds might have.
Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees by Franck Prevot, Illustrated by Aurelia Fronty
Wangari Maathai received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her efforts to lead women in a nonviolent struggle to bring peace and democracy to Africa through its reforestation. Her organization planted over thirty million trees in thirty years. This beautiful picture book tells the story of an amazing woman and an inspiring idea.
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Long before saving the earth became a global concern, Dr. Seuss, speaking through his character the Lorax, warned against mindless progress and the danger it posed to the earth’s natural beauty.
The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rainforest by Lynne Cherry
One day, a man exhausts himself trying to chop down a giant kapok tree. While he sleeps, the forest’s residents, including a child from the Yanomamo tribe, whisper in his ear about the importance of trees and how “all living things depend on one another” . . . and it works. Cherry’s lovingly rendered colored pencil and watercolor drawings of all the “wondrous and rare animals” evoke the lush rain forests, as well as stunning world maps bordered by tree porcupines, emerald tree boas, and dozens more fascinating creatures.
Compost Stew: An A to Z recipe for Earth by Mary McKenna Siddals
From apple cores to zinnia heads, readers will discover the best ingredients for a successful compost pile! Kids everywhere are knowledgeable about the environment and climate change. Not only is composting becoming more common in households and residential gardens, but many school gardens feature compost piles, too. But how do you start a compost pile? What’s safe to include? Perfect for an Earth Day focus or year-round reference, this inviting book provides all the answers for kids and families looking for simple, child-friendly ways to help the planet.
Great Chapter and Non -Fiction Books
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
A book for young readers. It involves new kids, bullies, alligators, eco-warriors, pancakes, and pint-sized owls. A hilarious Floridian adventure!
SeedFolks by Paul Fleishman
A vacant lot looks like no place for a garden. Until one day, a young girl clears a small space and digs into the hard-packed soil to plant her precious bean seeds. Suddenly, the soil holds promise.
Heroes of the Environment by Harriet Rohmer
This inspiring book presents the true stories of 12 people from across North America who have done great things for the environment. Heroes include a teenage girl who figured out how to remove an industrial pollutant from the Ohio River, a Mexican superstar wrestler who works to protect turtles and whales, and a teenage boy from Rhode Island who helped his community and his state develop effective e-waste recycling programs. Plenty of photographs and illustrations bring each compelling story vividly to life.
John Muir: My Life with Nature by Joseph Comell
Written mostly in the words of Muir, it brims with his spirit and adventures. The text was selected and retold by naturalist Joseph Cornell, author of Sharing Nature with Children, who is well known for his inspiring nature games. The result is a book with an aliveness, a presence of goodness, adventure, enthusiasm, and sensitive love of each animal and plant that will give young adults an experience of a true champion of nature. It is a book that expands your sense of hope, adventure, and awareness. Adults will be just as fond of this book as young readers. Cornell includes numerous explore more activities that help the reader to understand and appreciate the many wonderful qualities of Muir.
Wild Wings by Gill Lewis
This “vividly imagined and well-written novel” (Booklist, starred review) tells a gripping story about a boy from Scotland and a girl from West Africa who join together to save a migrating Osprey—and end up saving each other.
When Callum spots crazy Iona McNair on his family’s sprawling property, she’s catching a fish with her bare hands. She won’t share the fish, but does share something else: a secret.
She’s discovered a rare endangered bird, an Osprey, and it’s clear to both her and Callum that if anyone finds out about the bird, it, and its species, is likely doomed. Poachers, egg thieves, and wild weather are just some of the threats, so Iona and Callum vow to keep track of the bird and check her migratory progress using the code a preservationist tagged on her ankle, no matter what.
But when one of them can no longer keep the promise, it’s up to the other to do it for them both. No matter what. Set against the dramatic landscapes of Scotland and West Africa, this is a story of unlikely friendships, the wonders of the wild—and the everyday leaps of faith that set our souls to flight.
Great Reads for High Schoolers
In the Blast Zone: Catastrophe and Renewal on Mount St. Helens by Charles Goodrich, Kathleen Dean More, and Frederick J. Swanson
I’m a survivor of the Mt. St Helens volcano eruption. You simply cannot imagine the devastation that was left behind. This book shows the amazing renewal of the region of the past decades. Using human, geographical, and ecological dimensions to show the cycle of this active volcano in the Cascade mountains.
Meditations on John Muir: Nature’s Temple by Chris Highland
Editor Chris Highland pairs 60 insightful Muir quotes with selections from other celebrated thinkers and spiritual texts. Take this pocket-size guide with you on backpacks, nature hikes, and camping trips.
In March 1990, Will Steger completed what no man had ever before attempted: the crossing of Antarctica, a total of 3,700 miles, on foot. Lured by the challenge and the beauty of Earth’s last great wilderness, and determined to focus the world’s attention on the frozen continent now that its ecological future hangs in the balance, Steger and his International Trans–Arctica team performed an extraordinary feat of endurance.
Forests (Diminishing Resources) by Allen Stenstrup
Examines forests around the world, discussing the impact that humans are having on them, the deforestation of the Amazon, the threat to mangroves, and the efforts that different countries are making to preserve and increase their forests.
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was first published in three serialized excerpts in the New Yorker in June of 1962. The book appeared in September of that year and the outcry that followed its publication forced the banning of DDT and spurred revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. Carson’s passionate concern for the future of our planet reverberated powerfully throughout the world, and her eloquent book was instrumental in launching the environmental movement. It is without question one of the landmark books of the twentieth century.
The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring By Richard Preston
This is one of my all time favorite books. It instilled in me the desire to climb a Redwood Tree to see the unseen, unknown worlds that exist up in the branches of those behemoth beauties.
Here’s a little bit more about it…..
Hidden away in foggy, uncharted rain forest valleys in Northern California are the largest and tallest organisms the world has ever sustained–the coast redwood trees, Sequoia sempervirens. Ninety-six percent of the ancient redwood forests have been destroyed by logging, but the untouched fragments that remain are among the great wonders of nature. The biggest redwoods have trunks up to thirty feet wide and can rise more than thirty-five stories above the ground, forming cathedral-like structures in the air. Until recently, redwoods were thought to be virtually impossible to ascend, and the canopy at the tops of these majestic trees was undiscovered. In The Wild Trees, Richard Preston unfolds the spellbinding story of Steve Sillett, Marie Antoine, and the tiny group of daring botanists and amateur naturalists that found a lost world above California, a world that is dangerous, hauntingly beautiful, and unexplored.
The canopy voyagers are young–just college students when they start their quest–and they share a passion for these trees, persevering in spite of sometimes crushing personal obstacles and failings. They take big risks, they ignore common wisdom (such as the notion that there’s nothing left to discover in North America), and they even make love in hammocks stretched between branches three hundred feet in the air.
The deep redwood canopy is a vertical Eden filled with mosses, lichens, spotted salamanders, hanging gardens of ferns, and thickets of huckleberry bushes, all growing out of massive trunk systems that have fused and formed flying buttresses, sometimes carved into blackened chambers, hollowed out by fire, called “fire caves.” Thick layers of soil sitting on limbs harbor animal and plant life that is unknown to science. Humans move through the deep canopy suspended on ropes, far out of sight of the ground, knowing that the price of a small mistake can be a plunge to one’s death.
Preston’s account of this amazing world, by turns terrifying, moving, and fascinating, is an adventure story told in novelistic detail by a master of nonfiction narrative. The author shares his protagonists’ passion for tall trees, and he mastered the techniques of tall-tree climbing to tell the story in The Wild Trees–the story of the fate of the world’s most splendid forests and of the imperiled biosphere itself.
What will you do to honor our Earth today?
**Some of these links are affiliate links
SPRING MEANS FOXES! The Fox Diaries: The Year The Foxes Came to Our Garden
From the forest to the front yard, experience the magical story of a family of foxes that took up residence right in the front yard of the author and publisher, Valarie Budayr.
Great to share with your children or students, The Fox Diaries speaks to the importance of growing and learning both individually and as a family unit. It is a perfect book for story-time or family sharing. Not only can you read about the daily rituals of this marvelous fox family, there is an information packed resource section at the end of the book which includes lots of facts and even a few “fox movies” that you can enjoy with your family.
Purchase your copy of The Fox Diaries Today!!