12 Favorite Books for Connecting Kids with Nature and Life

what makes a shadow, children's books, reading to kids, nature books“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”
~ Emilie Buchwald


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.

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?

Be well,

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[Image: xtinalamb]

6 Responses to “12 Favorite Books for Connecting Kids with Nature and Life”
  1. Courtney says:

    My daughter is almost 15 now, so while we don’t read together much, her appetite for reading is amazing. She can be lost for days in Pride and Prejudice or Wuthering Heights and seems to have a much better understanding of them than I ever did. Some of my best memories of her growing up are cuddling in a chair or in bed and reading (usually the same book over and over).

    We had many favorites, but the one that always sticks with me is Good Night Moon.

    Reading to your children and connecting in that way is sometimes too big for words but you did a great job!

  2. Bill Gerlach says:

    Courtney // I can only hope they are still reading with the same fervor at 15! That is wonderful. Yes, “Good Night Moon” ranks up there too. I think we’ve gone through two or three of the paperboard versions in the last 7 years. My favorite part of that book: Trying to emulate the whisper of the last few pages JUST right to make the kids smile. Have a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Nate says:

    For older kids (and adults with a time crunch), I recommend Bill Polian’s “Omnivore’s Dilemma (Young Reader’s Edition).” My 11-year old loved it.

  4. Bill Gerlach says:

    Hey Nate // Thanks for stopping through! Great suggestion indeed! Be well.

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