On Our Bookshelf

Picture Books | Chapter Books | Teachers | Children and Nature | Environment (Adults)

10 Great Picture Books

  • Paddle-to-the-Sea
  • The Way of the Willow Branch
  • The Mountain Loved a Bird
  • Seeds of Change
  • As the Crow Flies: A First Book of Maps
  • The Web at Dragonfly Pond
  • The Lorax
  • The Looking Book
  • There’s a Hair in My Dirt! A Worm’s Story
  • The Berenstain Bears’ Big Book of Science and Nature

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10 Great Chapter Books

  • The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh
  • James and The Giant Peach
  • My Side of the Mountain
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Black Beauty
  • Operation Redwood
  • The Secret Garden
  • The Blind Faith Hotel
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Treasure Island

An overwhelming list of environmental-focused books at: www.childsake.com

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For Educators

  • Orion’s The Nature Literature Series (and all work by David Sobel on place-based education)
  • A Sense of Place, Teaching Children About the Environment with Picture Books by Daniel A. Kriesberg
  • Worms Eat our Garbage by Mary Applehof
  • The Third Teacher, OWP/P, Bruce Mao, VS Furniture
  • Growing Food, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Green Teacher (magazine) at www.greenteacher.com
  • Environmental Education Community (California based):http://www.creec.org/stories/storyReader$42

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Six Great Books For Parents and Adults on Children and Nature

Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, Richard Louv from www.richardlouv.com: the book “has spurred a national dialogue among educators, health professionals, parents, developers and conservationists. This is a book that will change the way you think about your future and the future of your children.”

I Love Dirt by Jennifer Ward McNally
52 activities to help you and your kids discover the wonders of nature.www.jenniferwardbooks.com

Einstein Never Used Flash Cards by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek Ph.D.
“… explains how, by nurturing your child’s love for learning through play, you will foster initiative, creativity, curiosity, empathy …” – Janet Rice Eflman, Executive Director of The Association of Children’s Museums in Washington, D.C.
Einstein Never Used Flash Cards on Amazon

Sharing Nature with Children, Joseph Cornell
Joseph Cornell’s first book, Sharing Nature with Children, sold 500,000 copies in over 20 languages, sparking a worldwide revolution in nature education and becoming an instant classic. Joseph’s books now serve as popular nature-education resources all over the globe. www.sharingnature.com

The Element, Sir Ken Robinson, sirkenrobinson.com

The Sense of Wonder, Rachel Carson
“The Sense of Wonder is a timeless volume that will be passed on from children to grandchildren, as treasured as the memory of an early-morning walk when the song of a whippoorwill was heard as if for the first time.” Google Book Results

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20 Great Books For Adults on the Environment

A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold
What Muir is to the Sierra Nevada and Thoreau is to New England, Leopold is to the Midwest. Plus, he’s more fun to read.//www.aldoleopold.org/about/almanac.shtml

Confessions of a Radical Industrialist, Ray Anderson
The founder of Interface, now a billion dollar carpet manufacturer, reveals how thinking like nature drastically reduces his worthless waste and pollution, while increases profits and market share.//www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3qFL3kRDDE

The Bridge at the Edge of the WorldCapitalism, The Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability, James Gustave Spath.
Explores a wide variety of promising and even radical ideas for transforming modern capitalism so as to protect and restore the natural world.www.thebridgeattheedgeoftheworld.com

Blessed Unrest, How the Largest Social Movement in History is Restoring Grace, Justice and Beauty to the World, Paul Hawken
A description of humanity’s collective genius, and the unstoppable movement to reimagine our relationship to the environment and one another.

Becoming Native to This Place, Wes Jackson
Lays the foundation for a new farming economy grounded in nature’s principles and located in dying small towns and rural communities. Exploding the tenets of industrial agriculture, Jason seeks to integrate food production with nature in a way that sustains both. www.landinstitute.org

Biomimicry, Innovation Inspired by Nature, Janine M. Benyus
Revolutionary new science that analyzes nature’s best ideas- spider silk and prairie grass, seashells and brain cells- and adapts them to human use. The products of biomimicry are things we can all use- medicines, “smart” computers, super-strong materials, profitable and earth-friendly business. Biomimicry shows that the answers are all around us. www.biomimicry.net

Common Wealth, Economics for a Crowded Planet, Jeffrey Sachs
Sachs offers an urgently needed assessment of the environmental degradation, rapid population growth, and extreme poverty that threaten global peace and prosperity. Common Wealth provides a set of practical solutions based on a new economic paradigm for our crowded planet. www.earth.columbia.edu

Conversations with Wendell BerryEdited by Morris Allen Grubbs
“Whether we know it or not, whether we want to be or not, we are members of one another….The work of the imagination, I feel, is to understand this. I don’t think it can be understood by any other facility.” Wendell Berry is a 21st century literary giant, our present day Thoreau. Berry pleads with us to understand enough to care.

Cradle to Cradle, Remaking the Way We Make Thingsby William McDonough and Michael Braungart
Guided by the principle “waste equals food”, Cradle to Cradle explain how produces can be designed from the outset so that, after their useful lives, they will provide nourishment for something new. McDonough and Braungart make an exciting and viable case for putting eco-effectiveness into practice, and show how anyone involved with making anything can begin to do so as well.www.mcdonough.com

Deep Economy, The Wealth of Communities and the Durable FutureBill McKibben
McKibben offers the biggest challenge in a generation to the prevailing view of our economy. For the first time in human history, “more” is no longer synonymous with “better.” Deep Economy puts forward a new way to think about the things we buy, the food we eat, the energy we use, and the money that pays for it all.www.billmckibben.org

Diet for a Small Planet, 20th Anniversary Edition, Francis Moore Lappe
The book that started a revolution in the way we eat. How we eat affects not only ourselves, but our world. The way we grow our food exhausts our topsoil, pollutes our air and water, wastes energy and creates needless world hunger. The extraordinary bestselling book that taught America the social and personal significance of a new way of eating — one that remains a complete guide for eating well in the new millennium.

Diversity of LifeE.O Wilson
One of the world’s most distinguished scientists, Wilson is a Harvard University entomologist who writes brilliantly about our connection to the natural world. Our separation leads to trouble. Wilson’s elegant explanations on the science of nature and the variety of species is as clear as it is important. He reasons “every species of biodiversity” is worth saving and makes a compelling case.www.eowilson.org

Let My People Go SurfingYvon Chounard
A collection of stories and thoughts from the outdoor sportsman and the founder/owner of Patagonia. From his start as a climber to his struggles building a company and trying to “do no unnecessary harm.” Simple, inspiring and powerful.

Natural Capitalism, Creating The Next Industrial RevolutionPaul Hawkins, Amory Lovins and L. Hunter Lovins
The world of business is changing fast. The prevailing model for creating wealth no longer applies. Natural Capitalism reveals how tomorrow’s most successful global businesses will draw profit from their own environmental responsibility.

Plan B 3.0, Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Lester R. Brown
With business as usual no longer an option, Brown diagnoses the central ecological problems affecting our planet and offers a response for individuals and governments. Among other concerns, he considers how to raise energy efficiency worldwide and how to harness alternative energy sources on the scale needed.

A Short History of Progress, Ronald Wright
A concise history of the world since Neanderthal times, elegantly written, brilliantly conceived, and stunningly clear in its warning to us now. Only by understanding our patterns of progress and disaster, Wright contends, can we hope to change our ways and ensure that civilization has a longterm future.

Silent SpringRachel Carson
Silent Spring altered the course of history The outcry that followed its publication in 1962 forced the banning of DDT and spurred revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land and water. Carson’s passionate concern for the future of our planet reverberated powerfully throughout the world, and her eloquent book was instrumental in launching the environmental movement. It is without question one of the landmark books of the 20th century. www.rachelcarson.org

The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollen
Taking us from Iowa cornfields to food-science laboratories, from feedlots and fast-food restaurants to organic farms and hunting grounds, Pollen emphasizes our dynamic coevolutionary relationship with the handful of plant and animal species we depend on. Omnivore’s Dilemma promises to change the way we think about the politics and pleasure of eating. For anyone who reads it, dinner will never again look, or taste, quite the same. www.michaelpollan.com

The Sustainability Revolution, portrait of a paradigm shift
Andres R. Edwards
Sustainability has become a buzzword, but its full meaning is complex, emerging from a range of different sectors. In practice, it has become the springboard for millions of individuals throughout the world who are forging the fastest and most profound social transformation of our time. www.sustainabiltyrevolution.com

Upsizing: The Road to Zero Emissions, Gunter Pauli
The world of waste is world of opportunity. Pauli founder of ZERI, examines how the adoption of the Zero Emissions concept not only radically reduces pollution and waste but can contribute significantly to the generation of income and jobs- specifically for those that need them most: the rural poor in less developed countries.

Ecology of Commerce, Paul Hawkin
Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and author. Starting at age 20, he dedicated his life to sustainability and changing the relationship between business and the environment. His practice has included starting and running ecological businesses, writing and teaching about the impact of commerce on living systems, and consulting with governments and corporations on economic development, industrial ecology, and environmental policy. www.paulhawken.com

Picture Books | Chapter Books | Teachers | Children and Nature | Environment (Adults)