GeekDad: Stack Overflow: Books for Earth Day


Earth Day fits in nicely with spring themed books, animal stories, vegetables and ecofriendly activities, so I thought you might want to take a peek into this stack. These books go by age and reading level, from baby books to early readers.

Cardboard books for babies and up:

The Easter Egg Is Missing! by Kathryn Selbert (Illustrator)

I would have loved to have this little book around Easter. Because, this board book has cut out pages in the shape of an egg, that go progressively smaller, and open themselves to reveal hiding places in each turn of the page.

When you peek at them, you get to see the illustration inside, with simple imagery in a farm where the golden egg must be hunted and cannot be found until the very last page. I love Jean Brett’s take on the same subject, but her rich illustrations are not to every kid’s taste.

Instead, this book is nice in its simplicity, and babies will enjoy peeking at it.

The Easter Egg Is Missing! has been on sale since January 05, 2021.

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publish Date: January 05, 2021
Type:Board Books
EAN/UPC: 9780358192657ISBN: 9781633228542

Reuse This Book! by Emma Morris (Illustrator)

Another deceptively simple book for early readers, this book talks about recycling in a very clever way.

Inspired in the Mix it Up series of books, this particular illustrator invites your toddler to: tap the seeds to help them grow, tilt the book to water the tree, throw your bits and ends of organic matter into a heap, and then tilt it again to make a compost heap.

The collage art is made from reused mixed media materials, and it incorporates some basic concepts in a way that is both interactive and fun.

Reuse This Book! has been on sale since March 30, 2021.

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publish Date: March 30, 2021
Type: Hardcover
EAN/UPC: 9780358447740

Lastly, by far my favorite book was this one:

Goodnight, Veggies by Diana Murray (Author) Zachariah Ohora (Illustrator)

How do vegetables sleep at night?

“As the sun begins to set, the tomatoes are tuckered out, the cucumbers are calm, and the beets are simply beat”.

This ingenious rime takes a closer look to a sleepy patch of little veggies, all going to sleep in their respective places.

With perfectly matched rimes and imagery, you can put potatoes, radishes, baby lettuces and peas to sleep. It will work great to introduce your kid to the plant as they grow on the earth, so to speak, and will work as a bedtime ritual book as well. Also, it is a great fit for National Poetry Month!

Goodnight, Veggies has been on sale since March 10, 2020.

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publish Date: March 30, 2021
Type: Hardcover
EAN/UPC: 9781328866837

For toddlers and up, Quarto has taken a new line of publications.

True Stories of Animal Heroes: Fluffles: The Brave Koala Who Held Strong Through a Bushfire by Vita Murrow (Author) and Rachel Qiuqi (Illustrator).

This book requires a big suspension of disbelief in order to buy its premise: Fuffles got burnt in Australia’s bush fires, he was badly injured, but accepted help by a human. When he was recovering, the first thing he did was to run over another koala and hug him tightly.

These are the facts, and the whole series is based upon this type of observations of animals in nature. Don’t get me wrong: acts of kindness and bravery deserve to be celebrated. But the suspension of disbelief comes when we give human traits to this action, when we call him brave, and a hero, and a kind hugger. You might want to discuss this with your kid once you’ve read the book.

The idea of us understanding animal behavior and giving it human characteristics amuses me. I just couldn’t keep out this Speaker of the Dead quote from my mind:

“The Nordic language recognizes four orders of foreignness. The first is the otherlander, or utlanning, the stranger that we recognize as being a human of our world, but of another city or country. The second is the framling— Demosthenes merely drops the accent from the Nordic frimling. This is the stranger that we recognize as human, but of another world. The third is the ramen, the stranger that we recognize as human, but of another species. The fourth is the true alien, the varelse, which includes all the animals, for with them no conversation is possible. They live, but we cannot guess what purposes or causes make them act. They might be intelligent, they might be self-aware, but we cannot know it”.

The greatest difference between humans and animals is that we cannot fathom why they interact the way they do, and since that is our true division, humanity feels alone in the world. That is why we keep inventing faeries and demons, aliens and monsters, possible ramen and framling with whom we could strike up a conversation.

Taking note of what I’ve said above, you cannot expect us to believe in this in the way it is presented. For instance, the next book in the series talks about Onyx:

Onyx, the wolf pup, who was the runt of the litter. Although he was bullied by his siblings for being the smallest and scruffiest, Onyx knew that he could lead a pack better than anyone. As he grew up, he learned to resolve conflict, becoming a step-dad to another family of wolves who had lost their alpha.But it all changed when the toughest pup of the family partnered with a rival pack…

At Yellowstone, packs of wolves are being introduced to save the species, and they’re running out of space. However, one runt did survive the normally cruel behavior and has displayed early signs of cooperation with other packs of wolves.

This behavior is being monitored and studied, as you can see in this link.

Could it be that they’re engaging in human-like cooperative behavior? I would say, from a scientific stand point, that this is highly unlikely.

The illustrations are very beautiful, but I still recommend discussion afterwards.

True Stories of Animal Heroes: Fluffles: The Brave Koala Who Held Strong Through a Bushfire has been on sale since March 2, 2021.

Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Publish Date: March 2, 2021
Type: Hardback
ISBN: 9780711261594

Lastly, here’s a fun book for older readers, full of facts:

Nerdlet: Animals by T J Lester (Author) Photographs by National Geographic.

From diving bell spiders, to cute penguins, to giant rhinos, this book is all about cool animal traits. The list goes on and on: sharks, moles, orangutans and okapis. Lions and praying mantises. If it has something interesting to be said about it, you will find it here.

The diving bell spider, for instance, has learned to bring oxygen to her submerged habitat by attracting it in her tiny hairs, and making a bubble for herself: she lives, breathes and reproduces, under water!

National Geographic Kids specializes in complex animal behavior, stunning photographs and scientific data that still catches us by surprise.

As usual in the series, you will also find interviews, personality quizzes, fun facts, animal superheroes, and, of course, a couple of Star Wars references… the passion it transmits is highly contagious.

Nerdlet: Animals has been on sale since September 15, 2020.

Publisher: National Geographic Kids
Publish Date: September 15, 2020
Pages: 216
Type: Paperback
EAN/UPC: 9781426338724

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