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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Earth Day, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Earth Day Essential Classic!

Poetry of Earth

Selected and illustrated by Adrienne Adams

 

Did you know that Earth Day started way back in the 1970’s? For many it marks, as a website quotes, “the birth of the modern environmental movement.”

Way back in 1962, author Rachel Carson began the run up to concern for the environment with her New York Times bestseller, “Silent Spring.” It generated with its sale of 500,000 copies in 24 countries, a call for public awareness of concern for the gradation of the environment and by inference, its impact on public health.

Change is a hard thing to measure and it is usually only measurable AFTER it has occurred.

That is why the picture book’s value in its ability to both entertain and enlighten, is so underrated in some quarters in the sometimes headlong drive to get to the chapter book. So much is missed and discounted in what the picture book has offered in the past and continues to offer in the present. And Ms. Adams’ book is a perfect example.

Adrienne Adams is the winner of two Caldecott Honor books in 1960 and 1962 for “The Day We Saw the Sun Come Up” and “Houses From The Sun”. Both were done with text by Alice E. Goudey.

She is also the illustrator of ALA notable books for her Grimm’s Brothers versions of “The Shoemaker and the Elves, ”Jorinde and Joringel,” and “Thumbelina” by Hans Christian Andersen.

In “Poetry of the Earth,” Ms. Adams has chosen thirty-three poems from renowned poets such as Robert Frost, Randall Jarrell, Carl Sandburg, William Butler Yeats, and Edna St. Vincent Millay, celebrating everything from buffaloes to bats, snails to specks, sandhill cranes to squirrels and tiger lilies to tortoises.

Listen to this small sample from Robert Frost’s, “Dust of Snow”:

                 “The way a crow

Shook down on me

The dust of snow

From a hemlock tree”

 

Has given my heart

A change of mood

And saved some part

Of a day I had rued.”

 

Young readers, once you get past their understanding of the word, “rued”, will certainly get the visceral feeling of how one single moment can change a day; one small second in time can change a minute from moody to merry. Kids do it all the time; it’s part of being a child!

And its impetus for them can be a poem, a line from a book, a hug, a smile, or a touch of the hand.

Let Earth Day this year, and books that echo both the shelter and nourishment it gives humanity, be the jumping off spot for a teachable moment with young readers. Share books with them that celebrate how wonderful and healing the earth can be; what a sacred space it is, and how much it is in our care.

 

Below is a link to 50 fun and engaging hands on Earth Day Activities for young ones.

http://tinkerlab.com/fifty-earth-day-activities/

 

 

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2. Poetry Friday: Animal Poems of the Iguazú/Animalario del Iguazú


April
 is National Poetry Month! All month long we’ll be celebrating by posting some of our favorite poems for Poetry Friday. To celebrate Earth Day, for today’s Poetry Friday, we chose a poem from Animal Poems of the Iguazú/Animalario del Iguazú, written by Francisco X. Alarcón and illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez.

Same Green Fate

let’s listen to

the green voice

of the rainforest

the colorful chorus

of so many flowers

trees and birds

let’s learn

the distinct

living alphabets

of so many species

so many insects

and butterflies

let’s be part

of the clamor and

song of this land:

you all belong

to us and we all

belong to you

protect all of us

for the Earth’s fate

for your own sake

let’s make the world

a true Ybirá Retá—

a Land of the TreesAnimal Poems of the Iguazu


Purchase Animal Poems of the Iguazú/Animalario del Iguazú here.

Our Earth Day Poetry Collection is now 25% off! Purchase it here.


Further Resources

Reading for the Earth: Ultimate Earth Day Resource Roundup

Happy Earth Day from LEE & LOW BOOKS

Earth Day: Saving the Pufflings

What We’re Doing to Celebrate Earth Day

Seven Children’s Books to Celebrate World Water Day

Resources for Teaching about Wangari Maathai and Seeds of Change

Turn a Blanket into a Scarf! Book-Inspired DIY Projects

Where in the World: How One Class Used Google Maps to Explore the Vanishing Culture Series

Beyond “Did You Know…”: Teaching Geo-Literacy Using the VANISHING CULTURE Book Series

How to Be an Explorer in Your Own Backyard: The Olinguito Activity Kit and Teacher’s Guide

Twelve Months of Books: April

Poetry Ideas and Resources

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3. Resources for Teaching About Wangari Maathai and SEEDS OF CHANGE

Today is Wangari Maathai’s birthday! Wangari Maathai was the first African woman, and the first environmentalist, to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Seeds Of Change: Planting a Path to Peacewhich tells Wangari’s story, continues to be one of the most popular books that we publish!

In honor of Wangari Maathai’s birthday and upcoming Earth Day later this month, here’s a list of the many fantastic resources and ideas available to educators who are teaching about Wangari Maathai’s legacy and using Seeds Of Change: Planting a Path to Peace:

                                     Seeds of Change

Elementary School:

wangariMiddle School and High School:

  • Seeds Of Change won the American Library Association’s Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent in Illustration in 2011. The Committee Chair and Book Jury have prepared activities and discussion questions for Seeds Of Change in the 2011 Discussion Guide for Coretta Scott King Book Awards, P. 20-21.
  • Have students read and discuss author Jen Cullerton Johnson and illustrator Sonia Lynn Sadler’s joint interview with Lee & Low, which covers the environment, their travels, and Wangari Maathai’s achievements.
  • After introducing Wangari Maathai with Seeds Of Change, delve deeper with the Speak Truth To Power human rights education curriculum, a project of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. They present an in-depth exploration on Wangari Maathai, the Green Belt Movement, and sustainability issues.
  • In teaching standard 7 of the ELA Common Core, have students evaluate how Wangari Maathai is presented in a documentary compared to the Seeds Of Change biography. PBS’s documentary on Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement, Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai, contains a classroom section full of video modules, handouts, and lesson plans.

Seeds of ChangeWhat did we miss? Let us know how you are using Seeds Of Change in your classroom!


Purchase a copy of Seeds of Change here!


Further Reading:

Remembering Wangari Maathai

Planting Seeds of Change Around the World

Compiling Rigorous Thematic Texts: Books Set in Kenya

Reading for the Earth: Ultimate Earth Day Resource Round Up

Book List: 11 Children’s Books About Human Rights

10 Great Women of Color Whose Stories You Should Know

School Library Journal: Inquiry and Integration Across the Curriculum: Global Citizenry

Kid World Citizen: Introduce Kids To Nobel Peace Prize Winner Wangari Maathai: “Mama Mati


Jill Eisenberg, our Resident Literacy Expert, began her career teaching English as a Foreign Language to second through sixth graders in Yilan, Taiwan as a Fulbright Fellow. She went on to become a literacy teacher for third grade in San Jose, CA as a Teach for America corps member. She is certified in Project Glad instruction to promote English language acquisition and academic achievement. In her column she offers teaching and literacy tips for educators. 

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4. The conservation of biodiversity: thinking afresh

In many walks of life there is much talk about “disruptive” developments which bring change that shatters the established way of doing things. In relation to the conservation of biodiversity, we can see two very different developments which might have such an effect on the conventional legal approaches.

The post The conservation of biodiversity: thinking afresh appeared first on OUPblog.

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5. Science informed by affection and ethics

“We may, without knowing it, be writing a new definition of what science is for,” said Aldo Leopold to the Wildlife Society in 1940. A moderate but still crisp April breeze was playing in my hair as the sun worked to melt the last bits of frost in the silt. Shoots of prairie grasses were popping up through the mud, past shell skeletons of river mussels and clams.

The post Science informed by affection and ethics appeared first on OUPblog.

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6. Protecting the Earth for future generations

Earth Day is an annual celebration, championed by the Earth Day Network, which focuses on promoting environmental protection around the world. The Earth Day Network’s mission is to build a healthy, sustainable environment, address climate change, and protect the Earth for future generations. The theme for Earth Day 2016 is Trees for the Earth, raising awareness around protecting the Earth’s forests.

The post Protecting the Earth for future generations appeared first on OUPblog.

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7. An Earth Day BookList for The Whole Family

earth Day booklist

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

earth day booklist

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

Earth Day booklist

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

eartyh day booklist

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

Earthday booklist

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

earth day booklist

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

earth day booklist
Tweet: “Unless someone like http://ctt.ec/bvlm9+ a whole awful http://ctt.ec/0LtyJ+ is going to get http://ctt.ec/o1CWD+ not.” Earth Day Booklist @JumpIntoaBook1

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

Earth Day Booklist

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

Earth Day Booklist

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

earthday book list

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

earth day booklist

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

earth day booklist

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.

earth day booklist

John Muir: My Life with Nature by Joseph Comell

earth day booklist

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

Earth day booklist

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

earth day booklist

In the Blast Zone: Catastrophe and Renewal on Mount St. Helens by Charles Goodrich, Kathleen Dean More, and Frederick J. Swanson

Earth Day booklist

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

earth day booklist

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.

Crossing Antarctica by Will Steger and Jon Bowermaster

earth day booklist

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

earth day booklist

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

earth day booklist

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

earth day booklist

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.

The Fox Diaries

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!!

The Fox Diaries

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8. Happy Earth Day!

schrefer_endangered199x300It’s Earth Day! To celebrate, we’ve updated our Earth Day reading list with new books about the beauty of our world and ways to help protect it, all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine. Check ‘em out, then let us know what you’re reading today in the comments.

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The post Happy Earth Day! appeared first on The Horn Book.

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9. 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, survives by stealing. When one of her targets says she may keep the bag she’s taken if she promises to plant what’s in it, the girl commits herself to a lifetime of planting to transform bleak city landscapes. Grade level: 1–3. 48 pages.

Two Little Birds by Mary Newell DePalma (Eerdmans)
Two adorable bird siblings (based on the orchard oriole of North and Central America) hatch and begin their first year of life. Simple sentences explain the birds’ actions and underscore the instincts that drive each behavior. Grade level: PS. 40 pages.

Sophie Scott Goes South by Alison Lester (Houghton)
On an Antarctic adventure with her boat captain father, Sophie spots penguins, seals, and whales; one night she’s dazzled by the southern lights. Sophie’s scrapbook-style journal is written in a conversational style with appealing childlike art. Grade level: K–3. 40 pages.

Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid (Whitman)
“There is more than one way to picture a tree.” A series of vibrant Plasticine compositions focus readers’ attention on the shapes, colors, and textures of trees; parallel to these tree portraits are interlinked human stories. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

Subway Story by Julia Sarcone-Roach (Knopf)
Retired subway car Jessie is dismantled and dumped into the ocean, where she happily resides as an artificial reef, home to myriad sea animals. The theme of reuse and recycling emerges naturally from a fine tale. Grade level: K–3. 40 pages.

 

Younger fiction

Suggested grade level for each entry: 1–3

Emmaline and the Bunny by Katherine Hannigan (Greenwillow)
The mayor of Neatasapin bullies everyone into inordinate tidiness and forbids all things wild. After lonely Emmaline befriends a wild bunny, she enlists her parents to invite wildlife back into the community. 101 pages.

Just Grace Goes Green by Charise Mericle Harper (Houghton)
In Grace’s fourth book, the third grader and her classmates are passionate about going green. While sneaking in information about recycling and reusing, Harper knows how to keep the story moving: amusing lists and sketches will keep her fans entertained. 178 pages.

 

Intermediate fiction

Suggested grade level for each entry: 4–6

The One and Only Ivan written by Katherine Applegate; illus. by Patricia Castelao (HarperCollins/Harper)
In this 2013 Newbery Award winner, Ivan is a gorilla who lives in a circus mall. When a new baby elephant arrives, Ivan taps into his creative side to help them both escape their restrictive environment. 307 pages.

Crunch by Leslie Connor (HarperCollins/Tegen)
When a severe fuel shortage strands their parents, the five Marriss children hold down the fort — and the family’s bike business. With fewer cars on the highway, the now-growing shop is about to overrun the kids’ abilities. Connor’s narrative ambles pleasantly along. 330 pages.

Toby Alone written by Timothée de Fombelle; illus. by François Place (Candlewick)
The world of the Tree, a society of miniature people, is threatened when a gangland boss/evil property developer grabs power. It’s up to thirteen-year-old Toby to save his parents, the Tree, and the day. 384 pages.

Blue Mountain by Martine Leavitt (Farrar/Ferguson)
Mankind encroaches upon the bighorn sheep’s habitat; wolf and puma feed on their dwindling herd. Biggest lamb Tuk must save the herd by finding a way west to “blue mountain,” a place he sees in visions and may not be real. 163 pages.

Operation Redwood by S. Terrell French (Abrams/Amulet)
Julian caught up in the conflict between his uncle and Robin, who is trying to protect a redwood forest from Uncle Sibley’s voracious investment company. French works in many facts about redwoods without losing the story’s focus on its characters. 355 pages.

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen (Knopf)
Wahoo Cray’s pop, a well-known South Florida animal wrangler, can’t work after an injury, so a lucrative offer seems like a godsend. Expedition Survival!, a TV program featuring a bumbling, egomaniacal star, wants to use their backyard zoo and faux Everglades pond. 290 pages.

 

Older fiction

Suggested grade level for each entry: 7 and up

H2O by Virginia Bergin (Sourcebooks/Fire)
Years after an asteroid almost collides with Earth, dust from the asteroid infects water molecules with an alien virus that kills humans on contact. Alone and thirsty, teen Ruby Morris holds tightly to the unlikely hope that her father is still alive. 331 pages.

Breathe by Sarah Crossan (Greenwillow)
In an environmentally ravaged world with four percent oxygen in the air, people live inside glass domes (and pay for air) or struggle to survive outside. Privileged Quinn, his poorer friend Bea, and rebel Alina travel outside of the dome and are stranded there. 373 pages.

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne (Feiwel)
Environmental disasters including a devastating hailstorm, an earthquake, and a chemical spill lead to a school bus of kids (teens and younger) seeking refuge in a superstore — with abundant resources and no adult supervision. Sequel: Monument 14: Sky on Fire. 296 pages.

The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd (Holiday)
London teen Laura chronicles in biting journal entries the first year of Britain’s new, stringent carbon rationing points system. She balances big-picture fears (blackouts, riots) with everyday issues of crushes and friends, and her punk band. Sequel: The Carbon Diaries 2017. 330 pages.

Endangered by Eliot Schrefer (Scholastic)
When Sophie, fourteen, visits her Congolese mother’s animal sanctuary, she becomes attached to a baby bonobo. When the political situation destabilizes dangerously and she’s scheduled to be airlifted back to Miami, she can’t bear to leave him behind. Companion book: Threatened. 264 pages.

My Chemical Mountain by Corina Vacco (Delacorte)
Jason and his friends roam the industrial zone near their neighborhood, swim in the toxic creek, and ride their dirt bikes around a landfill they call Chemical Mountain. This thought-provoking modern-day dystopian novel is plausible and action-packed. 186 pages.

 

Nonfiction

Suggested grade level listed with each entry

It’s Our Garden: From Seeds to Harvest in a School Garden written by George Ancona; photos by the author (Candlewick)
Full-color photographs and no-nonsense prose (perfect for new readers) chronicle a year in the life of an elementary school garden; students compost soil, water plants, raise butterflies, and sample edible delights. Grade level: K–3. 48 pages.

Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm; illus. by Molly Bang (Scholastic/Blue Sky)
Bang and Chisholm explain the production and consumption of fossil fuels, along with the consequences: climate change. The sun narrates the relationship between photosynthesis/respiration and energy; a slight imbalance produces fossil fuels. Grade level: K–3. 48 pages.

Beetle Busters: A Rogue Insect and the People Who Track It [Scientists in the Field] by Loree Griffin Burns; photos by Ellen Harasimowicz (Houghton)
The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), an invasive species, threatens “the entire northeastern hardwood forest.” In Worcester, Massachusetts, scientists hypothesize that destroying all of Worcester’s infected trees — i.e., the ALB habitat — will eradicate the beetle. Grade level: 4–6. 64 pages.

Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard written by Loree Griffin Burns; photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz (Holt)
Detailed accounts and handsome color photography introduce four scientific projects — studying monarch butterflies, birds, ladybugs, and frogs — which enlist regular people in data collection. Grade level: 4–6. 80 pages.

Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette LeBlanc Cate (Candlewick)
In this introduction to birdwatching, the author/illustrator and birds (portrayed in cartoons with speech balloons) poke fun at themselves and one another while teaching basic bird identification: color, shapes, behaviors, songs, habitat, range, and migration. Grade level: 4–6. 64 pages.

The Bat Scientists [Scientists in the Field series] written by Mary Kay Carson; photographs by Tom Uhlman (Houghton)
With deft description and careful explanation, Carson profiles Bat Conservation International (BCI) as it researches the misunderstood title creatures. Clear text debunks “Batty Myths” while highlighting BCI’s conservation efforts. Grade level: 4–6. 80 pages.

Island: A Story of the Galápagos by Jason Chin (Roaring Brook/Porter)
Witness the six-million-year evolution of the Galápagos, from “birth” through “childhood” to “old age” and beyond. Gorgeous illustrations include sweeping double-page spreads and panels arranged to show dynamic changes. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

Redwoods by Jason Chin (Roaring Brook/Flash Point/Porter)
In a fantastical visual narrative paired with a straightforward nonfiction text, a young boy waiting for the subway finds an abandoned book about redwood trees. He finds himself in a redwood forest, learning all manner of things about them. Grade level: K–3. 40 pages.

The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge [Magic School Bus series] written by Joanna Cole; illus. by Bruce Degen (Scholastic)
Ms. Frizzle’s class gathers information for a play about climate change. Cole and Degen are straightforward about the seriousness of global warming but focusing on day-to-day changes individuals can make. Throughout, humor keeps readers engaged. Grade level K–3. 40 pages.

Earth in the Hot Seat: Bulletins from a Warming World by Marfé Ferguson Delano (National Geographic)
Beginning with examples of changes seen by scientists, this well-written narrative then moves to thorough explanations of the underlying science and explores the ecological consequences of climate change. Grade level: 4–6. 64 pages.

In the Rainforest [Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science] by Kate Duke (Harper)
This tour through the rainforest describes the special features of the area and defines unfamiliar vocabulary. Cheerful mixed-media illustrations show visiting children climbing trees (with ropes and clamps), journaling, and exploring the ecosystem. Grade level: K–3. 40 pages.

Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines by Paul Fleishman (Candlewick)
A wake-up call about the environmental crisis, this book homes in on five “key fronts” — population, consumption, energy, food, and climate — and explores historical and sociological contexts. A refreshingly opinionated approach to informed action. Grade level: 7 and up. 204 pages.

Wild Horse Scientists [Scientists in the Field series] by Kay Frydenborg (Houghton)
Researchers are attempting to control the horse population on Assateague Island by developing a contraceptive vaccine that limits mares to a single foal per lifetime. Relevant and clear color photographs show both horses and scientists in situ. Grade level: 4–6. 80 pages.

The Buffalo Are Back by Jean Craighead George; illus. by Wendell Minor (Dutton)
This compact ecodrama documents the buffalo’s slaughter to decimate the Native Americans and open the prairie to settlers, then turns to the reversal: the discovery, instigated by President Theodore Roosevelt, of three hundred remaining wild buffalo. Grade level K–3. 32 pages.

Galápagos George by Jean Craighead George; illus. by Wendell Minor (HarperCollins/Harper)
The life cycle of a single female Galápagos tortoise, Giantess George, is extrapolated to the development of the entire species. She and other tortoises are transported to different islands in a storm; over thousands of years, they evolve into different subspecies. Grade level K–3. 40 pages.

Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose (Farrar)
One rufa red knot known as “Moonbird” has flown some 325,000 miles in his lifetime. Lucid, graceful prose (with glorious photographs) details the birds’ characteristics, profiles scientists and activist kids, and explores long-term prospects for survival. Grade level: 4–6. 148 pages.

The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever written by H. Joseph Hopkins; illus. by Jill McElmurry (Simon/Beach Lane)
Kate Sessions, the first woman to graduate from Berkeley with a science degree, was responsible for populating San Diego’s Balboa Park with lush, green trees, just in time for the Panama-California Exposition in 1915. Grade level K–3. 32 pages.

Can We Save the Tiger? written by Martin Jenkins; illus. by Vicky White (Candlewick)
This volume provides a gracefully organized overview of several endangered species. Jenkins’s narrative voice is engagingly informal. White’s pencil and oil paint illustrations fill the large pages. A stunningly beautiful book as well as an eloquent appeal. Grade level K–3. 56 pages.

The Animal Book: A Collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest — and Most Surprising — Animals on Earth by Steve Jenkins (Houghton)
This thoughtful book begins with a survey of the animal kingdom, then covers “Family,” “Senses,” “Predators,” and “Defenses.” The paper-collage art is taken from Jenkins’s previous work, each image recontextualized to serve the book’s purpose. Grade level: 4–6. 208 pages.

Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World written by Laurie Lawlor; illus. by Laura Beingessner (Holiday)
From the naturalist’s early fascination with wildlife to her determination to finish her landmark work, Silent Spring, before her death, this accessible account folds a commendable amount of significant information into picture book format. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

Puffling Patrol by Ted and Betsy Lewin (Lee & Low)
On Iceland’s Heimaey island, children take part in a generations-old fledgling puffin search-and-rescue tradition. As they tour the island with researchers, the Lewins capture the beauty of the landscape and the awkwardly amusing appeal of the birds. Grade level: K–3. 56 pages.

The Manatee Scientists: Saving Vulnerable Species [Scientists in the Field series] by Peter Lourie (Houghton)
Scientists Fernando Rosas (Brazil), John Reynolds (Florida), and Lucy Keith (West Africa) investigate manatees in the wild and in captivity. The text and photographs capture the science and politics of animal conservation and the scientists’ dedication. Grade level: 4–6. 80 pages.

The Polar Bear Scientists [Scientists in the Field series] by Peter Lourie (Houghton)
Lourie takes us to Alaska to observe biologists researching a subpopulation of polar bears, then to the lab where the data is processed and stored. Crisp photographs capture the animals and the equipment needed to do research in such extreme conditions. Grade level: 4–6. 80 pages.

The Chiru of High Tibet: A True Story by Jacqueline Briggs Martin; illus. by Linda Wingerter (Houghton)
The antelope-like chiru of northern Tibet were hunted nearly to extinction for their soft wool. Wildlife champion George Schaller hoped to save the chiru by protecting their birthing ground — but first he had to find it. Grade level: K–3. 40 pages.

Chasing Cheetahs: The Race to Save Africa’s Fastest Cats [Scientists in the Field] by Sy Montgomery; photos by Nic Bishop (Houghton)
Journal-style text and striking photographs introduce Laurie Marker and her team of conservationists at the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia. Of special interest is Tiger Lily, a cheetah who has spent her life at the CCF as an “ambassador.” Grade level: 4–6. 79 pages.

Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot [Scientists in the Field] by Sy Montgomery; photos by Nic Bishop (Houghton)
Montgomery and Bishop trek to Codfish Island off New Zealand’s coast to bring us a marvelous account of the efforts of naturalists to save the kakapo. In-depth descriptions and glorious photographs cover all aspects of the conservation effort. Grade level: 4–6. 74 pages.

The Tapir Scientist: Saving South America’s Largest Mammal [Scientists in the Field] by Sy Montgomery; photos by Nic Bishop (Houghton)
In the Pantanal wetlands of Brazil, scientist Patricia Medici and her team study the lowland tapir. Montgomery’s dramatic account of tracking the elusive animals is interspersed with scientific information about tapir species. Grade level: 4–6. 74 pages.

Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle by Claire A. Nivola (Farrar/Foster)
Earle’s intimate knowledge of the creatures she’s spent over half a century observing permeates this biography illustrated with exquisite watercolors. An author’s note explains why we all need to help curtail the threats of overfishing, climate change, oil spills, and pollutants. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

Leopard & Silkie: One Boy’s Quest to Save the Seal Pups written by Brenda Peterson; photographs by Robin Lindsey (Holt/Ottaviano)
The Seal Sitters is a Pacific Northwest watch group that educates human beachgoers and protects harbor seals when they come ashore to give birth to and care for their young. Newborn seal Leopard is fortunate to have “kid volunteer” Miles on the case. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

Celebritrees: Historic and Famous Trees of the World written by Margi Preus; illus. by Rebecca Gibbon (Holt/Ottaviano)
This gallery of impressive trees offers substantive information on what makes each specimen unique. Friendly folk art–style paintings bustle with life, including birds and squirrels in the branches and people in the shade. Conservation tips are appended. Grade level: K–3. 40 pages.

Plant a Pocket of Prairie written by Phyllis Root; illus. by Betsy Bowen (University of Minnesota)
There’s not a lot of prairie left in the U.S.; this book encourages readers to reverse this trend by planting native plants in their own backyards and watching what animals are attracted by each plant species. Grade level: K–3. 40 pages.

Parrots over Puerto Rico written by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore; illus. by Susan L. Roth (Lee & Low)
This gorgeously illustrated history of the endangered Puerto Rican parrot underscores the consequences of human populations on animal species. With stunning paper-and-fabric artwork, the book is laid out vertically to give a sense of height. Grade level: K–3. 48 pages.

Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy (Roaring Brook/Macaulay)
This account of great white sharks off the Northern California coast examines fascinating details about the predator. The main narrative describes a shark hunting; information-rich sections tell more about shark biology and about the scientists who study them. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! written by April Pulley Sayre; illus. by Annie Patterson (Charlesbridge)
Very few sea turtles survive to adulthood. This turtle is one of the fortunate ones, thanks to the volunteers who protect turtle nests and hatchlings. Readers will be drawn in by Turtle’s newborn awkwardness, captured by softly colored realistic illustrations. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives by Lola M. Schaefer; illus. by Christopher Silas Neal (Chronicle)
The concept of quantity is examined in the context of animal lives. Schaefer presents the number of times an animal “performs one behavior” in its lifetime, from the single egg sac spun by a spider, up to the thousand babies carried by a male seahorse. Grade level: PS, K–3. 40 pages.

Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature written by Joyce Sidman; illus. by Beth Krommes (Houghton)
Scratchboard illustrations, vividly depicting spirals in nature, suffuse every page with color, shape, and movement. Each spread offers a treasure trove of details that will captivate the youngest readers. The simple text is powerful and poetic. Grade level: PS. 40 pages.

Dolphins by Seymour Simon (HarperCollins/Collins)
Simon draws readers beyond initial captivation with dolphins’ appearance and intelligence into deeper discussions of species, life cycles, and social organization. Vivid full-page photographs are well-matched to the text. A note on conservation is appended. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

Global Warming by Seymour Simon (HarperCollins/Collins)
With straightforward prose, Simon leads novices through such tricky concepts as greenhouse gases and the differences between daily weather and long-term climate change. The book ends with the reassurance that we can help reverse the rate of change. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart and Allen Young; illus. by Nicole Wong (Charlesbridge)
Stewart and Young explain where chocolate comes from: working backward from cocoa beans (dried and processed by humans) to cocoa pods (from cocoa flowers pollinated by midges) to monkeys dropping cocoa seeds on the rainforest floor. Full-bleed ink and watercolor illustrations show each step along the way. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

The Sea Turtle Scientist [Scientists in the Field] by Stephen R. Swinburne (Houghton)
The Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) studies the sea turtles in the Caribbean and works for their preservation. This series entry follows Dr. Kimberly Stewart, a.k.a. the “turtle lady,” who lives and works with WIDECAST on the island of St. Kitts. Grade level: 4–6. 65 pages.

Project Seahorse [Scientists in the Field series] written by Pamela S. Turner,; photographs by Scott Tuason
Readers follow conservation group Project Seahorse in its efforts to preserve seahorses, coastal reefs, and the fishing-based livelihood of Handumon, in the Philippines. Interspersed are details about seahorses, portrayed beautifully in underwater photography. Grade level: 4–6. 57 pages.

Meadowlands: A Wetlands Survival Story by Thomas F. Yezerski (Farrar)
This ecological history of Meadowlands of New Jersey captures the complex relationship between humans and the environment. Each double-page-spread illustration is bordered by tiny images with a wealth of taxonomical information (and sly humor). Grade level: K–3. 40 pages.

Secrets of the Garden: Food Chains and the Food Web in Our Backyard written by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld; illus. by Priscilla Lamont (Knopf) 
Alice and her family have a plot of land upon which they grow edible plants, raise chickens, and enjoy their interactions with the variety of living things in their backyard ecosystem. Grade level: K–3. 40 pages.

 

Poetry

In the Wild by David Elliott; illus. by Holly Meade (Candlewick)
Full-spread woodcut and watercolor art captures both the essences and habitats of fourteen worldwide animals: a jaguar prowling the jungle floor, a polar bear immersed in a blue-green sea, etc. Deftly composed verses include paradoxes and wry thoughts. Companion books: In the Sea and On the Wing. Grade level: PS. 32 pages.

UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian (Simon/Beach Lane)
Florian evokes the world of bees with repetitive patterning that cleverly references honeycombs, flowers, and the bees themselves. His humorous rhythmic verse, too, echoes bee behavior. A paragraph of more straightforward facts elucidates each spread. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

All the Water in the World written by George Ella Lyon; illus. by Katherine Tillotson (Atheneum/Jackson)
Lyon celebrates the essence of life itself in a lyrical poem about the water cycle. In sweeping, digitally rendered art resembling watercolor and collage, Tillotson creates luxuriant ocean swirls and pelting streaks of rain. Grade level: K–3. 40 pages.

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10. Way Back Wednesday–Poetry Month–Earth Day Essential Classic!

Poetry of Earth

Selected and illustrated by Adrienne Adams

 

Thought I might hit a veritable trifecta here, with one title meeting all three criterion that I was aiming for. Adrienne Adams’ title hits the mark with her glorious picture book aptly fitting in with April’s National Poetry Month, a Way Back Wednesday classic picture book designation AND its subject matter dovetailing with the celebration of Earth Day 2015 on April 22nd. How’s that for a triple threat for young readers in one title?

Did you know that Earth Day started way back in the 1970’s? For many it marks, as a website quotes, “the birth of the modern environmental movement.”

Way back in 1962, author Rachel Carson began the run up to concern for the environment with her New York Times bestseller, “Silent Spring.” It generated with its sale of 500,000 copies in 24 countries, a call for public awareness of concern for the gradation of the environment and by inference, its impact on public health.

Change is a hard thing to measure and it is usually only measurable AFTER it has occurred.

That is why the picture book’s value in its ability to both entertain and enlighten, is so underrated in some quarters in the sometimes headlong drive to get to the chapter book. So much is missed and discounted in what the picture book has offered in the past and continues to offer in the present. And Ms. Adams’ book is a perfect example.

Adrienne Adams is the winner of two Caldecott Honor books in 1960 and 1962 for “The Day We Saw the Sun Come Up” and “Houses From The Sun”. Both were done with text by Alice E. Goudey.

She is also the illustrator of ALA notable books for her Grimm’s Brothers versions of “The Shoemaker and the Elves, ”Jorinde and Joringel,” and “Thumbelina” by Hans Christian Andersen.

In “Poetry of the Earth,” Ms. Adams has chosen thirty-three poems from renowned poets such as Robert Frost, Randall Jarrell, Carl Sandburg, William Butler Yeats, and Edna St. Vincent Millay, celebrating everything from buffaloes to bats, snails to specks, sandhill cranes to squirrels and tiger lilies to tortoises.

Listen to this small sample from Robert Frost’s, “Dust of Snow”:

                 “The way a crow

                 Shook down on me

                 The dust of snow

                From a hemlock tree”

 

                 Has given my heart

                 A change of mood

                 And saved some part

                 Of a day I had rued.”

 

Young readers, once you get past their understanding of the word, “rued”, will certainly get the visceral feeling of how one single moment can change a day; one small second in time can change a minute from moody to merry. Kids do it all the time; it’s part of being a child!

And its impetus for them can be a poem, a line from a book, a hug, a smile, or a touch of the hand.

Let Earth Day this year, and books that echo both the shelter and nourishment it gives humanity, be the jumping off spot for a teachable moment with young readers. Share books with them that celebrate how wonderful and healing the earth can be; what a sacred space it is, and how much it is in our care.

 

Below is a link to 50 fun and engaging hands on Earth Day Activities for young ones.

http://tinkerlab.com/fifty-earth-day-activities/

 

 

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11. WWF Together app review

wwf together menuWith Earth Day‘s 45th anniversary celebration yesterday, it seems a good time to review the World Wildlife Fund’s lovely awareness-raising app WWF Together (2013).

The app introduces sixteen endangered species from around the world, each characterized with a quality emphasizing its uniqueness: e.g., panda (“charisma”), elephant (“intelligence”), marine turtle (“longevity”), tiger (“solitude”). Each animal receives its own interactive “story,” comprised of stats (population numbers in the wild; habitat; weight and length; and “distance from you,” the user, if you enabled your iPad’s location services), spectacular high-def photos, information on threats to its survival, and conservation efforts (particularly WWF’s). Tap an info icon at a photo’s bottom corner to trigger a related pop-up fact — did you know gorillas live in stable family groups, or that bison have been around since the ice age? Many of the stories also include “facetime” (close-up videos with narration) and/or educational activities. At the conclusion of each animal’s section is an opportunity to share it via email or social media and to explore symbolic adoption options.

wwf jaguar menu

wwf together jaguar stats

In addition to truly gorgeous photographs and video of these endangered animals, a cool animated-origami design element illustrates the text throughout. Disappointingly, every time I tried to access the (real-life) origami folding instructions from the app, it crashed — which may well be the fault of our iPad. But they’re easy enough to find and download (for free, although email registration is required) on WWF’s website.

From an unobtrusive menu along the left side, you can access a globe — also with a “folded paper” look — which shows locations of all of the featured species for a global perspective and supplies information on additional endangered species. A news section frequently updates the app with current information. Soothing acoustic music by Copilot rounds out this informative and moving app.

Available for iPad (requires iOS 6.0 or later) and Android devices; free. Recommended for intermediate users and up.

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12. All the Wild Wonders – an interview about poetry with Wendy Cooling

wildwondersAll the Wild Wonders – Poems of our Earth, edited by Wendy Cooling and illustrated by Piet Grobler is a collection of poetry which poses interesting questions about the world we live in. The poems encourage reflection on the wonders and beauty around us on our planet, and provoke thought about what the future holds given the impact humans have on the natural environment. There are poems in many different styles from Benjamin Zephaniah to William Blake, via Ogden Nash and John Milton, each juxtaposed in ways that draw out new and sometimes surprising comparisons.

Rich and colourful watercolour illustrations throughout make this look more like a picture book than many a poetry anthology whilst the embossed, textured cover and luxuriously thick paper that have been used for this new edition make this book simply delightful to hold in your hands as well as to read silently or aloud.

To celebrate publication of All the Wild Wonders in its new and exceptionally beautiful format earlier this spring I put some questions to Wendy Cooling, the editor of the anthology, about the way she works, the state of children’s poetry and what we could look for in the library or bookshop if we wanted to offer more great poems to the kids in our lives.

Playing by the book: When I look at the poetry books you’ve worked on sometimes they are described as being “written” by you, other times “edited” or “selected”. So what is a poetry editor? I see you almost more as a curator – you choose poems to present and juxtapose, rather than (I imagine) editing their actual words or structure?

Wendy Cooling: Yes, a poetry editor is really more like a curator than a book editor as he/she cannot change the words in a poem, or amend in any way without the poet’s consent. Sometimes an extract from a poem is agreed to but otherwise the poem is as the poet wrote it. The editor chooses and arranges the poems to present a theme or an idea in a coherent way.

An excerpt from All the Wild Wonders, illustrated by Piet Grobler

An excerpt from All the Wild Wonders, illustrated by Piet Grobler

Playing by the book: Where and how do you start when you’ve a new anthology to curate? With lots of books on the table? Innumerable post-it notes?….

Wendy Cooling: The beginnings of an anthology are pure joy to me. I sit somewhere comfortable, often under a tree in the garden, surrounded by mountains of poetry collections and anthologies I just read and read and read… and use lots of post-it notes. I visit the Poetry Library in London’s Festival Hall and indulge in more poetry reading and lots of photocopying. I have of course far more poems that I can ever use.

An area specially for families and children in the Poetry Library.

An area specially for families and children in the Poetry Library.

The next bit is the hard bit, weeding out poems I love but don’t quite work for the age-group or within the overall developing theme. I look for a mixture of forms as I want to move children away from the idea that poems must rhyme. I look for writing from many cultures to give a sense of the universality of poetry.

I have a budget to consider too as of course poets are paid for the inclusion of a poem. There are always one or two very eminent poets we just can’t afford.

Playing by the book: So just with the words, there are plenty of different considerations. What about when an anthology is accompanied by illustrations, as many of yours are. When you are working on an anthology to what extent do you liaise with the illustrator?

Wendy Cooling: It is quite unusual for editor and illustrator to liaise, often the two never meet. Luckily I do get to see and comment on Piet Grobler‘s very earliest roughs. We don’t always quite agree on the meaning of a poem and can talk this through, quite a fascinating process. I think I’m very fortunate and do hope to work with Piet in the future.

Playing by the book: I’d love to be able to eavesdrop on those conversations where it turns out your two interpretations don’t quite match. I bet they are very rich and interesting!

What sort of anthology would you like to curate next if you could have an entirely free say in it? Is there a theme you’d especially like to explore which you haven’t yet?

Wendy Cooling: I have three ideas that I’m working on at the moment but won’t reveal them here!

Playing by the book: Fair enough – but I will be keeping my eyes peeled for future collections!

What about this then: Is there something that poetry does better or differently than other genres in your opinion?

Wendy Cooling: Poetry is very special as it helps children to really taste words and to experiment with their own writing. To children who struggle as readers, a poetry book is very liberating – poems are quite short and there’s no rule that says you must read them all. Poetry well-introduced can be perfect to get some children into reading – they all love the ‘no rules’ bit.

Poetry is wonderful at expressing a very deep thought in few words and with great immediacy. Children don’t become good readers until they are able to hear words sing in their heads, poetry helps them to experience this magic. Too often children are asked to find similes, metaphors, examples of alliteration, onomatopoeia, etc and they couldn’t care less what the poem is about. Let’s leave all the analysis for later on and introduce poems as pleasure, fun and excitement, things to make you laugh, feel and think.

An excerpt from All the Wild Wonders, illustrated by Piet Grobler

An excerpt from All the Wild Wonders, illustrated by Piet Grobler

Playing by the book: What’s your opinion about the state of children’s poetry in the UK? Who are the up and coming children’s poets we should be looking out for?

Wendy Cooling: Children’s poetry is very strong at the moment but few publishers will publish it as they’re nervous of achieving the necessary sales. We need to be brave and to celebrate poetry. I’m very keen on James Carter and Rachel Rooney as well as more established poets like Michael Rosen, Benjamin Zephaniah, John Agard, Carol Ann Duffy, Roger McGough, Valerie Bloom, Judith Nicholls and many many more.

Playing by the book: This seems like an opportune moment to congratulate Rachel Rooney on making this year’s CLPE Poetry Award shortlist which was recently announced. And what about you? Do you write poetry yourself?

Wendy Cooling: I write myself but not for publication! It’s a great pleasure perhaps a personal indulgence in my case.

Playing by the book: Apart from All the Wild Wonders, what three other children’s poetry anthologies would you encourage us to seek out if we were looking at starting a home poetry library?

Wendy Cooling: There are many terrific anthologies to look at, one of my favourites is Adrian Mitchell‘s A Poem a Day, it’s a delight to dip into and perfect for families to look at together. A Caribbean Dozen edited by John Agard and Grace Nichols is special too. If you can’t go to the Caribbean this is the next best thing as it invites you to experience the rhythms and atmosphere of another land.

There’s nothing like a live poet though, listening to them read, or perform their own poems can be a great experience. Children love to perform their poems too but should only be encouraged to learn by heart poems they really want to remember for ever.

Playing by the book: I couldn’t agree more with you Wendy. Thank you.

An excerpt from All the Wild Wonders, illustrated by Piet Grobler

An excerpt from All the Wild Wonders, illustrated by Piet Grobler

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13. International law at Oxford in 2015

It's been another exciting year for international law at Oxford University Press. We have put together some highlights from 2015 to reflect on the developments that have taken place, from scholarly commentary on current events to technology updates and conference discussions.

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14. Poetry Friday -- This is the Earth



This is the Earth
by Diane Z. Shore and Jessica Alexander
illustrated by Wendell Minor
HarperCollins Children's Books, 2016
review copy provided by the publisher

If you just read the visuals in this gorgeously illustrated book, you will trace the historical impact Americans* have had on the earth. In the first spread, there are no humans, in the second, a single canoe on a wild river. The sky dominates the third spread, but there is a group of teepees in the lower left corner. European settlers, railroads, steamships and airplanes appear in rapid succession, then modern cities, smoking landfills and waste spewing into the ocean. Before our eyes, a rainforest is leveled and glaciers melt into the ocean as polar bears look on. Just in the nick of time, we see recycling, commuters on bikes, a community garden, sea turtles being helped across the sand to the ocean, trees being planted, reusable grocery bags being carried. Finally, humans become a small part of the big picture again, as a group of four hike across a mountain meadow while alpine wildlife look on. Any grade level with a standard that teaches students to attend to the tone or mood created by the visuals in the media could use this book to spark rich discussions.

The text is rhyming, with the pattern, "This is the..." Mirroring the images, the book begins with "This is the earth..." then "This is the river..." and "This is the sky..." before changing to "This is the spike..." and This is the steamer..." and "This is the plane..."

Here is a sampling from the hopeful ending of the book:
"This is the Earth that we treat with respect,
where people and animals interconnect,
where we learn to find balance between give and take
and help heal the planet with choices we make."


Linda is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup at TeacherDance.



*I originally typed "humans," but then realized that this story is predominantly that of the United States' impact on the environment. We're not the only ones, but we're huge, and if this giant would take a positive stand to make sweeping changes, we could lead the way toward a healing and healthy Earth.

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15. People’s Climate March, NYC, Sept. 21st, 2014

One big focus on my blog and in my writing is our responsibility towards all life on this planet, so I had to do a post about yesterday’s historic climate  march!  I believe it to be the most important issued … Continue reading

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16. Author/Photographer Interview – Cat Urbigkit

About three years ago I saw Cat’s photos popping up regularly in my friend Terri Farley’s Facebook feed (Terri is a fabulous advocate for wild horses and a children’s author). I quickly friended Cat and look forward daily to her … Continue reading

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17. The Last Polar Bear – Perfect Picture Book Friday

This is my last picture book in the series of books I wanted to suggest as part of your Earth Day celebrations next Wednesday. Title: The Last Polar Bear Written by: Jean Craighead George Illustrated by: Wendell Minor Published by: Harper, 2009 Themes/Topics: polar bears, … Continue reading

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18. Earth Day: A reading list

To celebrate Earth Day on 22 April, we have created a reading list of books, journals, and online resources that explore environmental protection, environmental ethics, and other environmental sciences. Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 in the United States. Since then, it has grown to include more than 192 countries and the Earth Day Network coordinate global events that demonstrate support for environmental protection. If you think we have missed any books, journals, or online resources in our reading list, please do let us know in the comments below.

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19. Reading for the Earth: Ultimate Earth Day Resource Roundup

Earth Day, April 22nd is right around the corner, and we at Lee & Low are some pretty big fans of this blue planet we live on. So, whether you choose to plant a tree or pledge to better uphold the 3 R’s -reduce, reuse, recycle- we are celebrating and promoting awareness the best way we know how- with books!

Here are 5 environmentally friendly collections to bring nature READING FOR 1 yellowindoors & encourage “thinking green”:

Save the Planet: Environmental Action Earth Day Collection: Be inspired to be an advocate for planet Earth through the true stories of threatened ecosystems, environmental recovery efforts and restorations plans, and heroic actions. Like the individuals and communities explored in these stories, children everywhere will realize the difference they can make in protecting our planet and preserving its natural resources.

Earth Day Poetry Collection: Through rhythm and verse, float down the cool river, reach as high as the tallest tree, and search for all of the vibrant colors of the rainbow in the natural world. This collection of poetry books are inspired by the joy and wonder of being outdoors and brings the sight and sounds of nature and all of its wildlife to life.

Seasonal Poems Earth Day Collection: Travel through winter, spring, summer, & fall through a series of bilingual seasonal poems by renowned poet and educator, Francisco Alarcón.  Learn about family, community, and caring for each other and the natural environment we live in.

Adventures Around the World Collection: Explore Africa while traversing Botswana’s lush grasslands and Uganda’s Impenetrable Forest, celebrate the deep-seeded respect for wildlife in India, Mongolia and on an island off the coast of Iceland, and journey to Australia to explore animals found nowhere else on Earth.

Vanishing Cultures Collection: The 7-book series introduces readers to the Yanomama of the Amazon Basin, Aborigines of Australia, Sami of the European Arctic, Inuit of the North American Arctic, Tibetans and Sherpas from the Himalaya, Mongolians of Asia, and Tuareg of the Sahara.

Lesson Plans & Ideas:

What fun is Earth Day if you don’t get your hands a little dirty? Bring some of the outdoors into your classroom-or vice versa- by engaging students in various hands-on and project-based Earth Day lessons and activities:

Earth Day Curriculum Resources, Grades K-5 from The National Earth Day BooksEducation Council. Features lesson plans, units, useful websites, games & activities, printables, and video.

Environmental Education Activities & Resources from The National Education Council. Features lesson plans, activities, projects, games, and professional development ideas.

Celebrate Earth Day! from ReadWriteThink. Features a classroom activity, 6 lesson plans for grades K-2, 6-8, and 7-9 & other Earth Day resources for kids.

Nature Works Everywhere from the Nature Conservancy. Features lessons, video, and tools to help students learn about and understand nature in various environments and ecosystems across the globe.

Check out the research-based read aloud and paired text lessons for The Mangrove Tree created by the staff at the award-winning, non-profit ReadWorks.org

Explore the educator activities for The Mangrove Tree and Buffalo Song, titles featured in RIF’s Multicultural Book Collections. To find other free activities that inspire young readers as well as learn more about Reading Is Fundamental, visit RIF.org

Activities, Projects, & Video:

Greening STEM Educator Toolkits from National Environmental Education Week. Features toolkits for activities based on water, climate, energy, and engineering a sustainable world through project-based service learning.

NOVA Earth System Science Collection from PBS LearningMedia. Standards-based video collection that explores important Earth processes and “ the intricate web of forces that sustain life on Earth.”

22 Interactive Lessons to Bring Earth Day to Life from Mind/Shift. Features informational videos, images, and other forms of multi-media highlighting research on biodegradation, climate change, waste, energy sources, and sustainable practices.

I Want to Be Recycled from Keep America Beautiful. Find out how different kinds of materials are recycled, transforming trash into new things. Students can play a super sorter game and start a recycling movement in their community.

Journey North: A Global Study of Wildlife Migration & Seasonal Change from Learner.org. Track various migratory species with classrooms across the world.

The Global Water Sampling Project from the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE). Students from all over the world collaborate to compare the water quality of various fresh water sources.

Tools to Reduce Waste in Schools from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Learn how to begin a waste reduction program in your school or community with helpful guides and resource tool kits.

Wildlife Watch from the National Wildlife Federation. Learn about and monitor the wildlife where you live, helping track the health and behavior of wildlife and plant species across the nation.

What’s Your DOT (Do One Thing)? from the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE). Pledge your DOT (Do One Thing) to take action and inspire others to make a difference.

Plant a Poem, Plant a Flower from the blog Sturdy for Common Things. Since April celebrates both National Poetry Month & Earth Day, why not plant a little poetry in nature?

And finally… some Earth Day treats!

Earth Day Cookies from Tammilee Tips
Earth Day Cookies from Tammilee Tips at tammileetips.com

 

Earth Day Cookies

Earth Day Dirt Cup

Earth Day Cupcakes

 

 

 

 

veronicabio

Veronica has a degree from Mount Saint Mary College and joined LEE & LOW in the fall of 2014. She has a background in education and holds a New York State childhood education (1-6) and students with disabilities (1-6) certification. When she’s not wandering around New York City, you can find her hiking with her dog Milo in her hometown in the Hudson Valley, NY.

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20. Are you an “earth ranger”? [quiz]

No time to plant a garden or ride your bike to work this Earth Day? Don't worry--you can still do your part to honor Mother Nature today by staying informed about our global environment. Test your knowledge of water, weather, air, sea, and soil with the Earth Day quiz below, featuring content from Oxford Bibliographies in Environmental Science.

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21. Food security in the twenty-first century

There are currently about 7 billion people on Earth and by the middle of this century the number will most likely be between 9 and 10 billion. A greater proportion of these people will in real terms be wealthier than they are today and will demand a varied diet requiring greater resources in its production. Increasing demand for food will coincide with supply-side pressures: greater competition for water, land, and energy, and the accelerating effects of climate change.

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22. Why understanding the legally disruptive nature of climate change matters

It is now commonly recognized by governments that climate change is an issue that must be addressed. The 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Paris in December 2015 is the most high profile example of this, but there are also many examples of governments beginning to craft national and supranational regulatory responses.

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23. EARTH DAY, 2015 on Miss Marple’s Musings – How will you celebrate?

Earth Day’s 45th anniversary could be the most exciting year in environmental history. The year in which economic growth and sustainability join hands. It’s our turn to lead. So our world leaders can follow by example. I have very excited … Continue reading

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24. Earth Day 2015: "Everglades Litany"





and blessed be the morning star in the arms of gumbo limbo
blessed be the sun on the cruciform wings of anhingas
blessed be the wind where ospreys and black vultures ride
blessed be zebra butterflies on crowns of tamarind
blessed be lightning on the spires of royal palms.
blessed be wildfires that temper berries of the green hawthorn
blessed be hurricanes that tear at the bark of tallowwood and bay-cedars
blessed be bracken and wild olives huddled by salt marshes
blessed be august heat that rasps the throat of morning glories
blessed be panthers and deer hiding behind a screen of leatherwood
blessed be brown pelicans grunting in mangroves after thunderstorms
blessed be the evening star over aisles of magnolias
blessed be barred owls cooing by swamps and hardwood hammocks
blessed be june beetles dusting pollen off their backs in the damp air
blessed be woodstorks and spoonbills wading through resurrection ferns
blessed be chanterelles, their yellow plumes rising from oak and pine
blessed be the moon ripening with pond apples on the banks of canals
blessed be dew and mist, fog and hail, falling on blades of  sugar cane
blessed be  loggerhead turtles lumbering past the thorns of anemones
blessed be, blessed be all that move, live, and breathe on the edge of these lakes
blessed be, blessed be... everything


Geoffrey Philp

Excerpt from xango music: http://www.amazon.com/Xango-Music-Geoffrey-Philp/dp/1900715465
 
 

 
 

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25. Happy Earth Day

EarthdayDid you know that the first Earth Day was on April 20, 1970?

Started by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson and his small staff, the first Earth Day saw 20 million participants and has grown every year. Initially started as a day to teach the public about the condition of our environment, today this environmental movement is credited with starting the EPA, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act and Water Quality Improvement Act.

Forty-five years later our environmental awareness has improved and people of all ages celebrate Earth Day. Find events near you and celebration ideas on EarthDay.org!

At Arbordale, we are also passionate about the fate of the planet and our way of helping the environmental movement is to educate young children about the world around us and those living in it. Many of our books feature endangered animals or vulnerable environmental elements. In celebration of Earth Day here are three books to get a conversation started with your little ones about the environment!

Nature Recycles: How About You?
By Michele Lord, illustrated by Cathy Morrison
NatureRecycles_187
From sea urchins in the Atlantic Ocean to bandicoots on the Australian savanna, animals all over the world recycle. Explore how different animals in different habitats use recycled material to build homes, protect themselves and get food. This fascinating collection of animal facts will teach readers about the importance of recycling and inspire them to take part in protecting and conserving the environment by recycling in their own way.

The Glaciers are Melting!
By Donna Love, illustrated by Shennen Bersani
glaciers coverChicken Little may have thought the sky was falling but Peter Pika is sure the glaciers are melting and is off to talk to the Mountain Monarch about it. Joined along the way by friends Tammy Ptarmigan, Sally Squirrel, Mandy Marmot, and Harry Hare, they all wonder what will happen to them if the glaciers melt. Where will they live, how will they survive? When Wiley Wolverine tries to trick them, can the Mountain Monarch save them? More importantly, can the Mountain Monarch stop the glaciers from melting?

Felina’s New Home: A Florida Panther Story
by Loran Wlodarski illustrated by Lew Clayton
Felina's New HomeFelina the Florida panther loved growing up in her forest home, until the forest starts to shrink! Trees begin to disappear, and Felina doesn’t understand the new busy highway in the neighborhood. Other animals are in danger, too. Will Felina find a way to survive as humans threaten to ruin her home? Environmental science writer Loran Wlodarski gives children a look into deforestation and endangered animals in Felina’s New Home: A Florida Panther Story, complemented by the detailed, emotive illustrations of Lew Clayton. Learn whether the animals in Felina’s forest adapt to the new human presence and what children can do to keep wild animals safe, happy, and healthy.


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