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Following on from the success of our Coffee Morning, which was inspired by the wonderful book, Red Alert (you can read more about the coffee morning here) D and E have been even more interested in the ideas it presented and have asked about things they can do to help.
We have of course talked about recycling, and trying to limit our use of single-use items (such as plastic bottles etc) and they can see some of the changes in place in our home. We have been sharing some books that touch upon the issues in a way that is relevant to them and in a manner that they can identify with and understand.
With that in mind, I wanted to share my favourite books for young conservationists that we have been sharing recently.
Of course, first up has to be Red Alert by Catherine Barr and Anne Wilson. To say that we love this book is an understatement and it has been truly instrumental in awakening D and E’s minds to the realities the impact of humans have on the world.
It’s been an eye opener for them and in turn, it has lead to some challenging conversations (for me) as well as touching upon ideas about countries that are less developed than our own and the impact of emerging nations etc. Difficult concepts to grasp at 30 something so hard for little heads to understand, but they’re getting there and they understand that it’s important that we think about our individual impact on the world.
In the Forest is a wonderful and clever pop-up book that demonstrates the impact of deforestation. There is a sloth who the reader follows throughout the book as we see the impact deforestation has on his habitat. A very visual book that is a joy to read.
The Coral Kingdom by Laura Knowles and Jennie Webber is a beautiful book that explores the magical underwater world – it’s well written with gentle rhymes and the most stunning illustrations and has a gentle eco message about the need to protect the coral environments. It’s got so much detail in the pictures that this is one that the children have just sat and studied. I want to do a ‘sea’ project with them at some stage and this will be a key book in helping them learn more about the coral.
Continuing a ‘sea’ theme – Where’s the Starfish? by Barroux is a brilliant book and one that we have read together a few times over the years. It’s a simple book that starts with three creatures to spot in the sea. As the waters become more polluted it becomes easier and easier to spot them…. a simple way to demonstrate the (current) big issue of plastics and sea pollution.
Wild World by Angela McAllister and illustrated by Hvass and Hannibal is a book that I think we have barely scratched the surface of and one that D, in particular, has enjoyed leafing through and studying the images of. It’s a poetry book that takes 13 different environments and describes the wildlife, plants and features of each one. This is a beautiful book and helps to inform little ones about the struggles each habitat faces, and the things they can do to help save them. A book that fully deserves a space on any bookcase.
Finally, Lots: The Diversity of Life on Earth by Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton is the most stunning book but it painful reading as it gently points out that there are probably many species that we lost before we even knew about them.
We have teamed all these books with encyclopedias and other books with more specific information on the species etc and I’ll share more about those in a future post. What other books do you think help spread a message about looking after the planet and the environment?