This post was originally posted on Eco-Libris blog on April 2.
This week we have a very unique book that suits perfectly not only the upcoming Earth Day but also Passover, the Jewish holiday that we’re celebrating this month.
Our book for today is:
As we mentioned yesterday, in celebration of Earth Day, Barefoot Books are working together with Eco-Libris this April to plant a tree for every copy sold of this book!
Author: Dawn Casey
Dawn Casey has always been passionate about traditional tales, believing that folklore can help answer some of the toughest questions about humankind. This is Dawn s second project with Barefoot Books, following The Great Race (2006). Dawn combines writing with a career as a primary school teacher. She and her family live in East Sussex, England.
Illustrator: Anne Wilson
Anne Wilson gains much of her inspiration and sense of color from her travels. She has an MA in illustration from St. Martin’s College of Art, London, and has been illustrating children’s books for several years. This is Anne’s fourth project for Barefoot Books, following Storytime (2005), The Great Race (2006) and We’re Sailing Down the Nile (2007). Anne live s in Reading, England, with her husband and daughters.
Publisher: Barefoot Books
Published on: April 1, 2009
Reading age: Reading together: 4-8, Read alone: 6-10
What it is about:
In this beautiful anthology of folktales, young readers learn how different cultures around the world live in harmony with the rhythms and patterns of nature. Discover how to tread lightly on our precious Earth by following the easy eco-tips and trying out some of the fun and creative activities that accompany each story.
Children will discover how the residents of the Kingdom of Benin keep within the Nigerian rainforest consume less and conserve more; how the Comanche Indians respect Mother Earth by giving more than they receive; among Bali’s coral reefs and volcanic mountain peaks iis the lesson that everything in nature is connected.
Why you should get it:
The stories are really special and connect you to ancient cultures. Even more, these are not just folk tales, these are the cornerstones of human relationship with mother earth, which we need to be reminded of now more than ever.
I think the uniqueness and importance of these stories can be summarized in the words of Chief Seathl, which are brought at the introduction to the American Southwest story:
“Every shining pine needle, every clearing, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods and every humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people.
Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the Earth is our mother. The rivers are our brothers; they quench our thirst and feed our children. The air is precious to the red man, for all things share the same breath – the beast, the tree, the man – they all share the same teeth.”
Add to these stories the special hands-on activities that append each story to help children put green ideals into practice and you get a great children’s book that is truly unique, important and fun.
Maybe like with the Haggadah of Pesach, which passes the story about the Jewish liberation from slavery in Egypt from generation to generation, these stories should be told by parents to their kids every Earth Day to keep these ideas about man-mother earth relationship in our hearts and minds for good.
[This post was written by Raz Godelnik.]