Entries tagged with “nature


I don’t think there’s anything more important than connecting the “new people” in the world with nature. After all, they are the future of this planet of ours! I’m always seeking new ways to do this, both through my books and in my life. So this is the first of a series of blog posts on this theme.

Many bemoan technology for taking away time that children could be spending outdoors. But sometimes it can help kids make those all-important connections.
cover of It's a Firefly Night by Dianne Ochiltree
For instance, one evening I was in charge of two girls, 2 and 4. We read It’s a Firefly Night by Dianne Ochiltree, a lovely picture book about a girl catching fireflies–and letting them go–with her father. Since we live where there are no fireflies, at least anymore, I wondered, How can I show them that fireflies are real creatures and what they look like when they flash?

Then I had a flash–and went to youtube. Searching on lightning bugs, I found a home video of a little girl catching fireflies in a jar while her dad filmed her on a summer evening. The girls were transported, mentally putting themselves in the midst of the action. And when Daddy came to claim them, they couldn’t wait to tell him all about fireflies.

Have you got a breakthrough moment when you’ve helped kids connect with nature to share? Please comment! I’d love to hear your stories.

Much of what I’m writing now has an environmental theme, and I work in a bookstore as well. One of my missions is connecting kids with nature through books. Here are some standout nature titles from other authors:

inmymeadowFor very young kids, nothing beats In My Nest. The original in this adorable board book by Sara Gillingham and Lorena Siminovitch has now been joined by In My Pond, In My Den, In My Tree, In My Flower, and In My Meadow. For more on this, see my post on the “Interesting Nonfiction for Kids” blog.

Picture book readers will love Kevin Henkes’ newest wonder,  My Garden. This story, full of imagination, is definitely fiction. But it may spur kids to get out there and try their hand at gardening!

plantsecretsPlant Secrets by Emily Goodman and illustrated by Phyllis Limbacher Tildes offers a different—and beautiful—nonfiction take on plants from seed to flower to fruit.

Older elementary kids will be fascinated by How the World Works: A Hands-On Guide to Our Amazing Planet by Christian Dorian and Beverly Young. Tabs, wheels, flaps, and absorbing graphics make basic life and earth science come alive.