Posted tagged ‘Nature’

Earth Day 2017

April 20, 2017

“The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity… that’s all there is. That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world.” ~Gaylord Nelson

Gaylord Nelson, a popular political figure from Wisconsin, is the founder of Earth Day. He had the foresight to understand the need to protect our environment. On April 22, 1970, millions of Americans gathered to raise awareness about our environmental problems and demand that our elected officials see the necessity to do something about it.

This Saturday, April 22nd, we continue to celebrate Earth Day. The theme of this year’s event is Environmental and Climate Literacy.

Below are selected picture books to share with young readers to help them become more knowledgeable about our environment and to encourage them to take care of our earth’s precious gifts.

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Tidy written and illustrated by Emily Gravett, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

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Watersong written by Tim McCanna and illustrated by Richard Smythe, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

giant

The Lonely Giant written and illustrated by Sophie Ambrose, Candlewick Press

pond

Over and Under the Pond written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal, Chronicle Books

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One Plastic Bag: IsatouCeesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon, Millbrook Press

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Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter, Harcourt Children’s Books

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What Does It Mean To Be Green? written by Rana DiOrio and illustrated by Chris Blair, March 4th Inc

garden

The Curious Garden written and illustrated by Peter Brown, Little, Brown Young Readers

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The Lorax written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss, Random House Children’s Books

stew

Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth written by Mary McKenna Siddals and illustrated by Ashley Wolff, Tricycle Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DU IZ TAK?

December 1, 2016

If you have very young children, you know they have a language of their own – uhda, madee, ticka …  They know what they’re saying, but it’s up to us to figure it out. And that brings me to a picture book that fascinates me. When I first heard about this book, I was convinced it was written in a foreign language. When I finally got my hands on it, I was in for a big surprise!

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Du Iz Tak? is written and illustrated by Carson Ellis. The text is sparse, using “invented” words. With that in mind, Carson Ellis has masterfully crafted a fanciful story filled with creativity and imagination. Two damselflies discover a shoot growing out of the ground. Other insects investigate the growth. After some interesting discussion and the help of Icky the bug, they build a tree house in the growing shoot. Drama comes into play with the addition of a huge spider, a hungry, bird, and a blossoming flower. While all of this is taking place, a caterpillar has made its cocoon. At night, a violin-playing insect sits above the cocoon and plays to the night sky. This oversized picture book is one that needs time to absorb. Ellis’ illustrations are filled with the beauty and wonder of nature and what can happen when imagination blossoms. This circular story has a very satisfying ending and lends itself to close examination and discussion.

Another picture book with invented words and fun to read is Best Frints in the Whole Universe by Antoinette Portis. See my comments here.

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Break Out!

October 13, 2016

Creativity can only go so far in in your little writing hidey-hole. Maybe it’s time to break out! Stretch your wings, breathe the crisp fall air, and enjoy the beauty surrounding you.img_1498

Last week, I did just that. We took a trip to the Midwest to see friends and attend a wedding. It included a little history, a little culture, a little nature, and a lot of love and friendship.

A little history …

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James J. Hill:  Builder of the Great Northern Railway

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A little religious culture at the Cathedral of St. Paul …

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A little pop culture … a Prince-ly site.

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The Capital in Madison, WI

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Nature

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 Minnesota:  Land of 10,000 Lakes and big pumpkins!

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Love

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Friendship

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This is a fabulous time of the year to feed your inner self with the beauty that’s all around you. It’s a perfect way to spark creativity.

And don’t forget to take time and read!

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Nature At Its Best

June 25, 2015

Since we’ve moved into our new house in a new state, there have been challenges and frustrations. At the end of the day, the one  thing that always brings joy is the beauty of the sunset.

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I’m enjoying the view. It’s good for the heart and soul.

Happy Beautiful Day!

November 20, 2014

In honor of Beautiful Day, I’m posting a few of my favorite pictures. Let the beauty shine through.

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No matter what your day may be like, try to find the beauty in your life. I hope you have a beautiful day!

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And on this Beautiful Day, I want to wish a very special Happy Birthday to my fabulous daughter and husband!

Planting Seeds of Knowledge

May 9, 2013

It’s seventy degrees. The sun is out. I have a smile on my face.

It was a wicked winter to say the least. With these warms days upon us, I think it’s safe to say spring has finally arrived. Good-bye you extra boots, mittens, scarf, hat, and coat. You’ve overstayed your welcome. You’ve taken up  space in the back seat of my car for the last seven months! It’s time to get out.

Spring means new life. Crocuses, daffodils, and tulips brighten drab landscapes. Surprise seeds planted by animals and wind begin to burst forth. It’s a time to get outside and discover those new treasures.

Here are some fabulous nonfiction picture books that are sure to make you smile. Go ahead. Plant a seed in your brain and let your knowledge grow.

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Planting the Wild Garden written by Kathryn O. Galbraith and illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin is a beautiful book with soft colors filled with pictures of animals and seeds. Galbraith’s lyrical language and clever use of onomatopoeic words add to the enjoyment of the book while educating readers on how seeds are planted in nature.

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The Reason for a Flower written and illustrated by Ruth Heller is a perfect book to pair with the one above. Heller’s illustrations are bright and inviting. The simple rhyming text explains how flowers are pollinated, how seeds are spread, and how seeds grow. Scientific terms are easily understood through Heller’s text and illustrations.

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Another educational book that explains the journey of a seed is A Seed Is Sleepy written by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Sylvia Long. Each page has lyrical text and detailed illustrations along with an explanation of what happens to a seed. It’s an ideal pick for learning about seeds and nature.

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Seeds travel everywhere. Take a peek at Flip, Float, Fly  Seeds on the Move written by JoAnn Early Macken and illustrated by Pam Paparone. A puff of wind sends seeds soaring. Page after page reveals new information about seeds and where they go. Like a giant microscope, Paparone’s illustrations zero in on the details of certain seeds and how they go from seed to flower to fruit. This book is fun and educational.

Now smile and go plant some seeds.

 

Picture Book Month: It’s a Bear!

November 15, 2012

I was pawing through some books when I came across one of my all-time favorite bear books, Winnie-The-Pooh, written by A.A. Milne and illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard. I hold this book close to my heart. It has charming characters and many pearls of wisdom. If you’ve never read it, do it!

I can “bearly” contain my excitement when it comes to a good bear book. Bear Snores On, a winner of multiple awards, is one of them. It was written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman. This book deserves a big bear hug! Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books in 2002, this delightful story is told in rhyme. As the bear snores on, little critters sneak into the bear’s cave. Each brings something to share, and soon they’re having a great time as the bear snores on. When the bear is awakened, he grumbles and growls then whimpers and moans because he missed the party. The critters are more than happy to share. As a new day dawns, the bear is wide awake, but his new-found friends snore on. Jane Chapman used whites and blues to depict the outside scenes. Scenes inside the cave are done in earth tones, giving an otherwise cold, dark cave a warm feeling – just like the book!

Another bear book I’d like to roar about is Baby Bear Sees Blue written and illustrated by Ashley Wolff. This charming book was published in February of this year by Beach Lane Books. Wolff does an excellent job of portraying Mama Bear and Baby Bear as loveable creatures. Each page turn shows Baby Bear discovering different signs and colors found in nature. The illustration of Mama Bear and Baby Bear admiring a rainbow is sweet, but I adore the double spread of Baby Bear and the butterflies! This is a perfect book to introduce and reinforce colors while enjoying a romp through nature with Mama Bear and Baby Bear. Four paws up for this one!


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