Apr 22, 2021

It's Official: EARTH DAY 2021: Looking Back To Move Ahead

 This EARTH WEEK I have featured two or more picture books for several days running. Now it is officially EARTH DAY. One of the reasons I chose to continue to live here in Wisconsin after graduating and beginning my career is the long history and then contemporary respect for nature and the environment. Wisconsin's own ALDO LEOPOLD was a leader of the modern environmental conservation movement in the early twentieth century. In 1970, Wisconsin's longtime Senator, Gaylord Nelson, was the activist leader of the first EARTH DAY. It was easy to love a state that offered a wide range of natural beauty but also produced leaders and defenders of wild places and wildlife. 

Earth Day, Earth Week, and other conservation/restoration activities play a crucial role in bringing to our attention the damages done by humans and the ways in which each of us humans have a role to play in restoring balance and guard rails to nature's resources.

Picture books can support that role. ALL YERA LONG! That's why I've shared two or more picture books on these themes every day this week, a much more frequent schedule than I usually follow. And it is why I review and recommend inspiring and informative books with environmental themes all throughout the months and years. 

So today, the actual fiftieth anniversary of the original EARTH DAY, I will link back to a few of the many books that are favorites I featured on this topic. Recently I made that point about sustaining awareness and action when reviewing WELCOME HOME, WHALES by Christina Booth.

If you missed it, I hope you'll click and read what I thought about it HERE.

Then consider the remarkable ways in which Earth's lifeforms make phenomenal adaptations in order to survive what Nature, and our human abuse of Nature, can do to the habitats, food chains, climates, and other essentials of their survival.

One such story is told in MOTH: AN EVOLUTION STORY, written by Isabel Thomas and gloriously illustrated by Daniel Egneus.

In that same post I examined SEA BEAR: A JOURNEY FOR SURVIVAL, written and illustrated by Lindsay Moore. This pair of books are both award-winning and heartbreaking. Nonfiction content is revealed with grace in text and glory in illustration. Do yourself a favor and check out the post HERE. 

Though there are many other books related to these topics among years of reviews here, I'll include just one more post that celebrates the simple wisdom and beauty of a rock. A STONE SAT STILL is written and illustrated by the brilliant Brendan Wenzel. Here's part of what i said about it in that original post:

Each phrase, each panel, each perspective elicits engagement, draws me into the moment portrayed. 
Is this:
 a quiet book, a reflective book, a bedtime book, a nature book, a calming book? 
Yes, to all of those.

The magic of Wenzel's creation, in my opinion, is that this book is also:
an environmental book,
a climate change book,
an endangered species book, 
a science book,
a habitat book, 
a food chain book,
a call-to-action book.

In that same post I featured a classic favorite picture book, EVERYBODY NEEDS A ROCK, by the multi-award-winning pair, author Byrd Baylor and illustrator Peter Parnell. My final sentence in that post is this:

Empowering books can empower lives- and maybe even change our world for the better.

I hope you'll take a look at one or more of these amazing picture books, share them with young readers, and  encourage active protection of our EARTH on every day of the year. Environmental awareness and activism can't be a one day, one week, one state effort. We are all in the same boat. Here's my EARTH DAY gift to you, a YOUTUBE link to the truth-telling song, BLUE BOAT HOME written by Peter Mayer, in a video created by Scott McNeill

Click. Watch. Listen, Reflect.


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