Friday, December 15, 2023

How to Be an Earth-keeper

Caring for Earth (Ultimate Spotlight)
by Sandra Laboucarie and Sarah Reynard; illus. by Julie Mercier
12 pages; ages 5 & up
Twirl, 2023

theme: ecology, nature, environmental protection

Nature is all around. We can learn a lot from nature by observing how plants and animals interact in the wild.

The environment we live in is full of complexity, and this book shows five detailed views of the nature around us. It’s an interactive book with flaps to open, wheels to turn, tabs to pull, and pop-ups. It is also written with a permaculture sensibility, showing how families could create a forest garden as well as develop a fruit and vegetable garden. One spread focuses on a house built with nature in mind, and the book ends with suggestions for how people can create an environment that is good for the earth in their neighborhood and at school

What I like about this book: As a gardener, there are things I definitely liked in this book. For example, showing how to create a raised bed using straw bales. There’s a family in our town who started their gardens this way a few years ago, and now they have deliciously rich soil in their beds. I also like the multi-layered pop-up showing a forest garden and the layers of fruit trees, fruiting shrubs, and flowers that could grow with taller trees in your backyard, local park, or schoolyard.

 And I like that, in the "natural house" they included a composting toilet. If nothing else, this book will provide openings for questions and may inspire you to grow a small fruit tree in your yard for the birds!

Beyond the Books:

Explore nature right out your front (or back) door. What kinds of trees and shrubs live around you? What do you notice about them right now? Draw a picture of your favorite tree and save it where you can look at it later. Try drawing a picture of your tree each month and see what changes you notice.

What kinds of wildlife shares your neighborhood? Maybe you see squirrels, birds, insects. Maybe you hear coyotes howling at night …. Get to know some of your wild neighbors.

Think of three things you can do to make the Earth a better place for all the plants and animals (including people). Write down one of the things – then go do it.

Today we’re joining Perfect Picture Book Friday. It’s a wonderful gathering where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copies provided by the publishers.

Book reviews are taking a winter break ~ I'll be back with more book talk in mid-January.

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