Parents today are understandably concerned with raising children who care about the planet. There are many ways to teach them to protect their immediate surroundings, and more importantly, planet Earth! A great approach is through books. Countless children’s books at the Thunder Bay Public Library offer meaningful information about saving the planet by exploring topics such as nature, climate change, wildlife preservation and the importance of recycling.
Picture books are definitely at the top of the pile during every shared book reading between parent and child. The illustrations are appealing and colourful while adding to the story. What better way to introduce and enlighten your little ones to the wonder of our planet and the urgency of saving it! Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth, was written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers for his young son. It is a celebration of the plant on which we live. It encourages children to take notice of the world around us. It gently urges its readers to look after the environment, others and themselves. From the skies to the animal kingdom to the peoples of the world, Here We Are carries a simple message: Be kind to the planet!
What can rocks, grass, trees and birds teach human beings? Our next book is the answer. Siha Tooskin Knows the Nature of Life is a wonderful addition to the Siha Tooskin Knows series, located in the Indigenous Knowledge Centre at the library. This short chapter book is written by Canadian Indigenous authors, Charlene and Wilson Bearhead, and beautifully illustrated by Chloe Bluebird Mustooch. Paul (Siha Tooskin) is excited to go for a walk with his mother Ena (Mother Nature) to learn about the forest. Paul and his mom talk about the importance of sharing and respect for animals, rocks and the natural world. Through reading, children gain an awareness of the natural world and a desire to protect Earth. A glossary at the back with an explanation of how Nakota was used in the book, offers even more educational messages. This book is a great read with an appeal to both children and adults
You can’t raise a planet-friendly child without teaching them to “go green”. Understanding the basics of a “green” lifestyle, and being environmentally friendly is a great way to help take care of the natural world, and there is no better time to start than in childhood. The Mutts are a well known and loved comic strip created by Patrick McDonnell. McDonnell is a champion for environmental causes and pet rescue operations. Mutts Go Green is a graphic novel, and it’s very funny! It follows the adventures of Earl, a dog, and Mooch, a cat, with hundreds of adorable comics for children. It carries with it a great message on saving our planet and being green. It encourages children to be kind to them and to their home—planet Earth. It speaks to the children with hope for the future. It is the perfect book for animal lovers, comic fans, and anyone who believes that every day is Earth Day.
For those kids who let their actions speak louder than their words, the next book, written by Elizabeth May, will surely inspire them to make a difference. Growing Up Elizabeth May: the Making of an Activist, tells the story of Elizabeth’s life as a young activist and what motivated her to take action for the environment. Co-written by Elizabeth’s daughter Cate, this book is full of quotes, art and poetry from young activists all across Canada. Also included are tips for making change in your own community. Part biography and part blueprint for activists in the making, this book shows how Elizabeth continues to inspire young people today to stand up for the planet.
The sad reality is that our children will be inheriting an environmental mess. There’s never been a more crucial time to raise Earth-friendly children. Caring for the planet is now more important than ever. It’s time to teach your children how to save the world and the Library can help.
All of these books and many more are held at the Thunder Bay Public Library. Call us at 345-8275 or www.tbpl.ca to place holds and pick up your titles curbside. And, if you need a library card, don’t hesitate to call us at the number above, or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you set up.
Louise -www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you.