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The Picture-Book Club > April 2010: Environmental and Nature Books (Master List and General Discussion)

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message 1: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Mar 14, 2010 12:16PM) (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
Please VOTE HERE for your choices for the group read for April, Environmental/Nature Theme by posting your TOP FIVE CHOICES in the COMMENTS section. (Since we are choosing multiple books, I will ask you to list your top five here as opposed to voting for only one book on a poll.) I will choose the FIVE most popular titles (provided they are also widely available through libraries or inexpensive online) for our group read--and keep this thread open to discuss those books listed that don't make the top five.

Voting closes March 21st.

Please choose five of the following:

The Curious Garden

On Meadowview Street

The Wump World

The Salamander Room

The Earth Is Painted Green: A Garden of Poems About Our Planet

There's a Barnyard in My Bedroom

Help the Animals of North America

Redwoods

The Water Hole

The Tin Forest Modern Gems Edition

What Planet Are You from Clarice Bean?

An Egg Is Quiet

Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau

Earth Day Birthday

Brother Eagle, Sister Sky: A Message from Chief Seattle

A Seed Is Sleepy

The Lorax

Tell Me, Tree: All About Trees for Kids

The People Who Hugged the Trees: An Environmental Folk Tale

The Gift of the Tree

Jaguarundi

The Hidden Forest

Salmon Forest

A Tree Is Just a Tree?

The Apple-Pip Princess

Into the Sea

Life in the Boreal Forest

Hey! Get Off Our Train

The Sun in Me: Poems About the Planet

The Beeman

What's This?: A Seed's Story

Who's in the Garden?

The Tree That Time Built: A Celebration of Nature, Science, and Imagination

Miss Rumphius

The Gardener

Matthew's Meadow

The Tree

Poetrees

My Garden

Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out!


message 2: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Kathryn, You added 5 of the 7 I was going to add off the top of my head (The Curious Garden, On Meadowview Street, The Wump World, Redwoods, and An Egg is Quiet). The 6th is by the same team as An Egg is Quiet: A Seed Is Sleepy. The 7th is The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.

However, I know I have more suggestions. I'll try to remember to check my shelves before nominations end.


message 4: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
Thanks, Gundula and Lisa, for adding such great books to the list!


message 5: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
Here's another one:

Hey! Get Off Our Train


message 6: by Donna-Lee (new)

Donna-Lee | 16 comments Here is one for the poetry fans.
The Sun in Me Poems About the Planet by Judith Nicholls The Sun in Me: Poems About the Planet

Bees play a vital role in our world. This book is a personal favorite of mine.
The Beeman by Laurie Krebs The Beeman

What's This? A Seed's Story by Caroline Mockford What's This?: A Seed's Story

Who's in the Garden? by Phillis Gershator Who's in the Garden?


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)


message 8: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7266 comments Mod
Although I would love to read lesser-known titles as well, I think we should have a mix of both well-known and lesser known titles, because some of the lesser known titles might not be so readily available at local libraries.


message 9: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7266 comments Mod
Abigail wrote: "That's a good point, Gundula! I was just worried that I would have read many of the titles already... but with such a diverse array of suggestions, I probably needn't be concerned!"

I almost think that limiting ourselves to only five picture books will be extremely difficult, there are so many great choices. And, being from Canada, I hope that one of the choices will be by David Suzuki.


message 10: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
Oooh, yay, more great suggestions! :-)

First, yes, we will go with a mix of lesser known and more "popular" titles so that more people can get the books (or will maybe have already read them) and can participate in the discussion while also maybe being able to get a few they wouldn't otherwise have discovered.

Also, if the majority of you want to read MORE than five books for the April club reads, that is totally fine with me. I just choose five as a number I hoped would give enough for compare/contrast but not so much to prove overwhelming at first. I know I read many more than the five (six) books on Outstanding Women so I'm up for more "officially" in April. Let me know what you all think.


message 11: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Abigail, The Lorax is well known but I'm not sure about The Curious Garden, for instance. I also loved Matthew's Meadow.

Kathryn,

I'd like to stick to the 5 or 6 official books, with members feeling free to read the the nominated books/any other books. I know I'm going to try to read all the official books (if I can borrow them from the library) and I'm already overwhelmed with group reads. For March, in addition to the 6 picture books, I have/had 8 ("full" length) group books, including the one for my real life book club. Also, I am trying to cut down on group reads a bit because there are so many not for groups books that I am eager to read, including two to be published in April. Just my 2¢.


message 12: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
Thanks, Lisa! I appreciate the perspective. I know a lot of people on GoodReads are involved in other groups and that we have a few clubs with monthly reads already going on even within our Children's Book Group so that's one of the reasons I started by keeping the picture books to a shorter "official" list but keep the suggestions list open so people can see all the wonderful books out there on the theme and read more if they choose. But, I welcome others to share views, too in case the majority want more...?


message 13: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Mar 04, 2010 10:53AM) (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
By the way, I just saw that PBS will be airing a special "Earth Days" on April 19th. You can watch a trailer here. Not that it's for kids, but I thought some of you might enjoy it.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexper...

"It is now all the rage, but can you remember when everyone in American was not “Going Green”? AMERICAN EXPERIENCE’s Earth Days looks back to the dawn and development of the modern environmental movement through the extraordinary stories of the era’s pioneers — among them Former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, biologist/Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich, Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand, Apollo Nine astronaut Rusty Schweickart, and renewable energy pioneer Hunter Lovins.... Directed by acclaimed documentarian Robert Stone (Oswald’s Ghost, Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst) Earth Days is both a poetic meditation on man’s complex relationship with nature and an engaging history of the revolutionary achievements — and missed opportunities — of groundbreaking eco-activism."


message 14: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
Just a reminder this is the last week to NOMINATE BOOKS for our April reads.

Beginning on March 14th, you can vote here for which books on our nominations list you'd like to read.


message 15: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Mar 08, 2010 08:46AM) (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
Great question! You will be able to vote by posting a comment here listing your five choices. I don't really know of a way to do the "poll" feature where people will be able to vote for more than one book (unless we set up multiple polls, which could get confusing) and since we will be choosing five books to read, I would love for everyone to be able to name their top five choices--it might be a more accurate picture of what you all would really like to read than if you just got to vote for one book. From there, I'll go through the votes and tally them up :-)

But, the club is all new so I'm just trying things out and seeing which methods work best. If anyone prefers to go by a poll (where you'd have only one vote and then we'd just choose the top five vote-getters for the club reads) we could go that way, too.


message 16: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Kathryn, If you don't mind the extra work, I'd love for us to be able to post our top 5 picks in a thread. Thanks!


message 17: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
I'd be glad to do it this way as long as I have the time ;-)


message 18: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
Recommended by The Horn Book:

Poetrees a book about trees told in eighteen poems (good for those of you who wanted poetry!)

My Garden by Kevin Henkes

Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out!


message 19: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
Thanks everyone for the great nominations! Please VOTE for your top five (post a comment here with your choices) from the MASTER LIST in the first post on this thread. Thanks!


message 21: by Gaynor (new)

Gaynor (seasian) | 52 comments My five votes:
Life in the Boreal Forest because it is such a different habitat
The Curious Garden because it looks at a garden in the city
The Hidden Forest because it is set in the sea
The Beeman because if we kill all the bees, we are doomed
"A seed is sleep" because life from a seed is a miracle
This was not easy, so many great titles.


message 22: by Lee (new)

Lee (leekat) So many great books to choose from. Here are my five:

The Wump World
The Water Hole
An Egg is Quiet
A Seed is Sleepy
Into the Sea


message 23: by Emily (new)

Emily | 61 comments Wow, this was tough. Here are my five:

The Wump World
The Water Hole
Poetrees
The Lorax
The Salamander Room


message 24: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments I usually jump to vote, any opportunity to vote and I'm there. I think I'll abstain here. The reason is I've read about half the books and so I'd probably vote for ones I hadn't yet read (as long as I could borrow from the library) but at least five of those I've read would make perfect books for this club. So, I'm happy to have any five selected. (If I change my mind I'll edit this post before the deadline.) I'm looking forward to our April books and discussion.


message 25: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
Thanks for the votes so far! :-)

Lisa, that's very kind of you to abstain--at least for now. I know what you mean, I feel torn between pulling for a few of my favorite books here and trying something new. I, too, am going to abstain on this vote since I'll ultimately have to be the tie-breaker.


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

I choose The Curious Garden; The Water Hole; The Tin Forest; The Lorax; A Seed is Sleepy. Terry


message 27: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Mar 17, 2010 11:48AM) (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
I know it's too late to add it to our official list, but I just read Big Bear Hug and loved it! It's got a very sweet and not over-the-top environmental message and is one that even very young children could appreciate, I think. So, just had to give it a shout out :-)


message 28: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Kathryn, I recently read Big Bear Hug too and it would have been perfect. Ah well. It's so funny and sweet!


message 29: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
Reminder: Just two more days to CAST YOUR VOTE ;-)
(March 21st is the deadline.)


message 30: by Gloria (new)

Gloria | 12 comments My votes may give away my age! As a recently retired elementary teacher, I am choosing a few of these from my experiences with kids who also loved them!
Matthew's Meadow
Miss Rumphius
Apple Pip Princess
Brother Eagle Sister Sky
Manfish
There are several others I love, too!


message 31: by Donna-Lee (new)

Donna-Lee | 16 comments It was hard to narrow the list down to 5 but here are my choices.
The Curious Garden, On Meadowview Street, Redwoods, The Beeman, What's This?: A Seed's Story.


message 32: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
VOTING IS NOW CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who both made suggestions for the book list and who voted. Please click HERE to see the winners:

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/3...

I will leave this thread open to DISCUSS any other environmental/nature books that were not chosen for our group reads.


message 33: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Oh, I just finished The Water Hole, which I liked a lot, and it reminded me of a book I read a while back, which would have also been perfect for our April environmental/nature theme, and is also about water: The Wonder Thing. Well worth reading, if I'm remembering correctly.


message 34: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
I read your review and "The Wonder Thing" sounds just great, Lisa. Thanks for posting!


message 35: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Gosh, I just finished Tree of Life: The Incredible Biodiversity of Life on Earth, and if you can find it this month, it's the perfect book - perhaps one could say "textbook" - for this month's environmental/nature theme. I loved it. Maybe I'm "off" because it hasn't gotten consistently good ratings.


message 36: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
Oooh, sounds neat! Thank you for sharing :-)


message 37: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Kathryn wrote: "Oooh, sounds neat! Thank you for sharing :-)"

Kathryn, It's well worth seeking out. For any parent of a school aged child, I highly recommend it!


message 38: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7266 comments Mod
Lisa wrote: "Kathryn wrote: "Oooh, sounds neat! Thank you for sharing :-)"

Kathryn, It's well worth seeking out. For any parent of a school aged child, I highly recommend it!"


I've put it on my forever growing to-read shelf as well.


message 39: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments I just read This Is the Rain and it's another good nature book.

Kathryn, It's another water book so I do recommend it for you. ;-)


message 40: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Apr 17, 2010 05:41PM) (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
Lisa wrote: "I just read This Is the Rain and it's another good nature book.

Kathryn, It's another water book so I do recommend it for you. ;-)"


Oooh, goodie! Thank you! :-) It's at the library so I'll get it soon.


message 41: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
That looks sooo cute, Abagail! And beneficial, too. Thanks!


message 42: by Zoe (new)

Zoe (playingbythebook) | 18 comments Thanks Abigail for the summary of Watching - I definitely want to get my hands on it now!


message 43: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 229 comments Just wanted to mention that, although George Washington Carver is a picture book biography, there is a lot of emphasis on his role as an early environmentalist. I had not realized how much he stressed recycling, using natural products, and so many other environmental issues that I thought of as more recent. When we garden, my grandson and I always quote Carver from this wonderful book - "In dirt is life!"


message 44: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
That book looks wonderful, Wilhemina!!! I think he is a really fascinating individual and would love to read more about him. I read a picture book biography (not this one) on Carver as a child and he really intrigued me.


message 45: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
Chandra wrote: "Sounds awesome! I am really growing to love picture book biographies!"

Me, too! I think they are such wonderful ways to get a thoughtful, touching snapshot of someone's life--and then this often spurs me on to read more about the person.


message 46: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
Sounds wonderful! Thanks, Abigail!


message 47: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5778 comments Mod
Just read Home (Horn Book Fanfare List and loved it! A wonderful message about the importance of bringing nature into the cities and how we can make a difference in our own neighborhoods.


message 48: by Gaynor (new)

Gaynor (seasian) | 52 comments Kathryn, Jeannie Baker's books are also favorites of mine. I have tried to collect all of her books, because they are all slightly different, but wonderful.
The author favors wordless books (or sometimes uses only a few words)and concentrates on her marvelous collage. The majority of her titles also have environmental themes.
Some titles I have:
The Story of Rosy Dock about a woman who brought the seeds of a plant (a favorite back in Europe) to Central Australia. That plant became a weed and is now a blight on the countryside.
Where the Forest Meets the Sea about civilization encroaching on tropical rain forest.
Window shows the gradual but steady change in a new suburban development - I sometimes use this book to illustrate the concept of change.
The Hidden Forest about the kelp forest, so it's set under water and has the most beautiful illustrations.
Belonging has a very similar theme and story line to "Home" it almost sounds the same.
Another story of hers that I don't own - yet - Mirror is bilingual (English and Arabic) and follows the day of a father and son in Australia and Morocco.
Glad you enjoyed her work as much as I do.
Oh! There is one moreHome in the Sky about life in NYC in the 8os. People say it's great, but I haven't seen it.


message 49: by Gaynor (new)

Gaynor (seasian) | 52 comments Abigail wrote: "I wanted to pop back into this thread, in order to mention a non-fiction picture-book I've just read, Saving Birds: Heroes Around the World, which highlights six threatened bird spec..."
That is a happy coincidence because this book just arrived in a shipment. I can't remember why I chose it - did I hear about it here? or did I choose it for an endangered animals unit because it's about birds (not many books talk about endangered birds exclusively or about those who have worked to save them)? It will make a good companion to
She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!. Some of the birds featured in that story come from this tropical area and the students love reading it. I often hear exclamations of disgust (it seems they love to be horrified as do all kids of a certain age)- so they are ready for "Saving Birds". I told them the story (of dead birds on heads) is based on truth and there were really ladies who fought against the ridiculous fashion of the day. That's right isn't it?


message 50: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (onthemove) When we pick a theme for the month It is so broad, I wonder if we should narror our think a bit. So for the nature theme, I wonder if we should focus on learning about how things grow, or how we can "save the world".

I find that each book is so different and I am not sure it ties the theme together.

Like for black history month, was our goal to educate our children about the struggles of African-americans? Was it to learn about different cultures?

Maybe I just need a little more clarity about the theme??

Thanks


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