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The Green Life: Book Roundup Wednesday: Eco-Activities for Parents and Kids

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June 17, 2009

Book Roundup Wednesday: Eco-Activities for Parents and Kids

Books about environmentalism Every Wednesday, we review a selection of new and upcoming books addressing a specific aspect of environmentalism. Today we're recommending books to help parents introduce nature and outdoor activities to children.

Let's Go Outside: Outdoor Activities and Projects to Get You and Your Kids Closer to Nature (by Jennifer Ward, $14, Trumpeter Books, July 2009): Collecting leaves, flying kites, looking for bugs, and playing tag may evoke fond childhood memories for many adults, but these activities are at risk for extinction in a world where television, video games, and computers compete for children's attention. Get back to the basics with this delightful collection of fun outdoor games, crafts, and adventures.

Recycle This Book: 100 Top Children's Book Authors Tell You How to Go Green (edited by Dan Gutman, $6, Yearling, 2009): Short pieces written by bestselling children's book authors (including Ann Brashares, Laurie Halse Anderson, Daniel Pinkwater, Jerry Spinelli, and others) are peppered with practical tips and interesting facts. This is a great book for kids and parents to read together, as some of the tips will involve the entire family.

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder (by Richard Louv, $15, Algonquin Books, 2008): An updated and expanded edition of the book that inspired readers to rethink their children's relationship with nature, Richard Louv's call for unstructured play and environment-based education now includes a field guide with activity ideas, helpful resources, and discussion points.

Early Spring: An Ecologist and Her Children Wake to a Warming World (by Amy Seidl, $25, Beacon Press, 2009): Ecologist Amy Seidl examines the rural Vermont landscape with the knowledge of a professional scientist and the sensitivity of a mother who hopes her children will share her fascination with nature. Focusing on the subtle details of her surroundings, Seidl confronts the reality of global warming and the future her children will inherit.

--Della Watson

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