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noah and i had such a fantastic conversation the other day, i don't remember how it started, he was asking me questions about cutting down trees, which led to a whole discussion about why it's important to preserve our natural resources.

we even stopped walking and sat down by the side of the sidewalk so that i could concentrate on how to explain it all to him and he was SO interested. but it was SO hard to explain how and why everything is connected and the importance of that (he just kept going on about how he wanted to cut down "only" THREE trees........why?...couldn't quite figure it out).

anyway, the next time we were at the library i looked and all i could find was some lousy book about recycling (i even had the librarian help me). which wasn't SO bad but it was geared to older kids, too wordy.

we have the "lorax" by dr.seuss which is great, but i'm looking for something a little more formal. any suggestions?

rowan
 

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I read somewhere (can't remember where - it may even have been mothering mag) about why it was really important not to overburden children with the details and ramifications of potential environmental disasters until they're much, much older (I think the author was trying to explain that at their age, it can bring about a fatalistic attitude in children since they are too young to make - or feel that they can make - a concrete or measurable difference to a problem / problems of that magnitude).

And about why it was more important to let them develop a love for nature by immersing them in it as much and as often as possible to allow their natural sense of stewardship to emerge.

I think at this age, huge doses of nature, plus beautifully illustrated books on the animals, trees, forests (watch out for those "pc" environmentalist messages which usually creep in at the end of non-fiction books!), oceans and deserts are far more impactful in allowing a deep love for all of nature of blossom and flourish.

Warmly,
Michelle
 

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We have a couple of books from the San Diego Zoo Animal Library series, and they mention when an animal is endangered or their habitat is shrinking. You can get them on Amazon.com--do a search for San Diego Zoo Animal Library. They don't deal specifically with environmental issues, but I figure it's better to discuss the issues in context than to get too "preachy", IYKWIM.

The Amazon website has a section for Subjects > Children's Books > Science, Nature & How It Works > Nature > Environment and for Subjects > Children's Books > Science, Nature & How It Works > Environment & Ecology (I hope those links work), which may give you some good ideas. These two look like a fun place to start: Backyard Pets: Activities for Exploring Wildlife Close to Home and Kids' Easy-to-Create Wildlife Habitats: For Small Spaces in City-Suburbs-Countryside. Not only would a book like that deal with the issue in context, but it puts conservation at the micro level and lets the child see the immediate benefits of his efforts. (Maybe I've been watching too much Backyard Habitat on Animal Planet.
)

Oh, and the National Wildlife Federation has magazines for kids which are good and touch on environmental issues.
 

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I can't believe I forgot!!! Many of the Magic Schoolbus books (and TV shows) deal with environmental issues. My local used books store had at least an entire shelf full of Magic Schoolbus books, and the library has a ton of them, too.
 
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