12 Favorite Books for Connecting Kids with Nature and Life
We have three small children. Since Day One, we’ve read to the kids almost every night. Books are everywhere in our house. The library is one of our favorite places to hang out, explore and get lost in.
Yet in a world where TV often times serves as proxy teacher as well as time-zapper, the lessons that books can open our kids’ minds to sometime get lost in the shuffle.
Reading is one of those multi-sensory experiences: The tone and cadence of your voice engages young ears; the imagery you share makes eyes twinkle and sparks imagination; the feel of the book in your hands and little hands grabbing for pages; the après-story ‘debriefing’ to place the message in the context of their impressionable lives plants seeds that will hopefully bear much fruit in the years to come.
With that, I thought I’d share some of our family’s favorite books for connecting kids with the big, wide Web of Life we call home. Our copies are well-worn with years of little hands flipping through the pages.
- The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
- Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth
- Three Questions by Jon J. Muth
- Stonecutter by Jon J. Muth and John Kuramoto
- Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth
- Brother Eagle, Sister Sky by Susan Jeffers
- The Tree in the Ancient Forest by Carol Reed-Jones
- Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
- The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
- Frederick by Leo Lionni
- Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
Another set of books you might want to check out are the Zeke and Ky series by Gwynneth Beasley. I discovered them earlier this week and while we have not had the chance to read any, the inspiration behind these nature-based books is just awesome. You can read all about them at Gwenneth’s blog.
What to do after reading all these books? Head outside of course and experience this amazing world firsthand! Books can plant the seed but it’s up to us parents to nurture it from there.
What books have you and your families enjoyed? Is there a book from your childhood that still puts a smile on your face when you think about it?
If you enjoyed this post and think others will too, please take a moment to share it with those in your circle. Tweets are great; other social media works well too. While you are here, you might also enjoy these posts:
- 33 Simple Things to Reconnect You with Nature
- Meditation: The Awesome Power of Nature
- The 7 Joys of Time Well Spent and How to Realize Them