April 21, 2018


Three Earthy Kids Books

  • Go outside and listen to the birds for 10 minutes 

I write up a school list for my son every day, and always add something unexpected. Like,

  • Make up a new dance move


  • Build something out of toothpicks

If it's on the list, he complies. So I often also add,

  • Clean your room!

It's spring in Santa Barbara and our backyard fountain is a busy place mid-morning. Birds are drinking, bathing, snacking on loquats. They wait their turns on the giant cedar out front, or on the branches of our backyard fig. My son sits and stares at the fountain, and his (fancy new GShock) wristwatch counts down the seconds. We only have this little patch of nature to cultivate, but we are grateful for it. Yesterday he heard four separate birds chatting with their friends.

Do you like holidays? I love holy days. Theophany, Christmas, Easter. But I'm not such a huge fan of Mother's Day and Labor Day and some of the other made up days that we've incorporated into our calendar. Earth Day? For me, it's every day. Actually, truthfully, the Earthiest of all Days for me is the day after Halloween, when my son and I scour the streets of our neighborhood, picking up trash so that the candy wrappers don't get swept into the storm drain and out to sea (we pick up hundreds and hundreds of wrappers). But I am a fan of getting kids to read books, so in the spirit of pascha, and spring, and the earth being an awesome place, I want to recommend three of my favorite nature books for you to find and read to those bright-eyed, spunky, ready-to-run people in your life.


Swirl by Swirl. In the pages of this smartly designed book you'll discover some of the many spirals found in our natural world. The text is clean and concise, using just the right words for each image. Wonderful for a toddler who is learning about shapes and the natural world--great for a preschool or kindergarten teacher to pull out during a nature unit--and for the older child, there's a back spread that has additional information.

Celebrate the Earth. Perfect for 3-7-year-olds. The bright, colorful illustrations are easy to interpret and visually appealing. The portrayal of the Psalm is masterful, and the text is soul nourishing. A nice story to read and reflect on before bed...

The Curious Garden. This story shows the power of one boy's work, and how, in time, that work can spill over and change a whole community. We see young Liam bring a whole city alive through his small, daily efforts. The illustrations are masterful--some pages are worth staring at for a very, very long time. Perfect for school aged children who are entering that phase of seeing beyond their small world of family and friends...

Any nature books for kids you'd recommend?


Published: April 21, 2018 | Filed under: Books

Comments (2)
Carol said:
April 27, 2018 @ 9:30 AM

You are right. Earth day IS every day. I wish everyone knew that! We like the Burgess Books (we are reading the Burgess Books of Animals right now) but as for picture books, we always enjoyed the Over In The Meadow book (Wadsworth I think was the author)and others like it. I recall there's one That I think is titled Inch by Inch as well. John Denver sang that as a song on one of his albums. I don't know if it was written to be a song or not, but it did make a nice children's book.

jane g meyer replied:
April 27, 2018 @ 8:06 PM

Carol, thanks for your recommendations. I'll check out those books!

Leave a comment

Don't worry, I keep your email address private!