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Nix that Nature deficit disorder!

Nix that Nature deficit disorder!

The stats are in. Millennial children (those born after 2005) spend an average of 35 hours a week on media. That’s the equivalent to a French work week! Though there are positive aspects to TV- certain shows can teach your child information they may not otherwise be exposed to, there have, in recent years been correlations to the rising rate of childhood obesity because of a more sedentary lifestyle and some more violent shows have been linked to anxiety and depression. At any rate, books are great and so is nature. So what could be better than books about nature? Here are some riveting reads new to our collection to get kids to unplug and reconnect with the natural world. I suggest a flask of lemonade, a picnic blanket and a sweet spot by a babbling stream.

Some Birds, by Matt Spink

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In Some Birds, Matt Spink has presented absolutely stunning illustrations of the always winged (but sometimes flightless birds-see penguins who waddle). The pictures are mesmerizing and adults as well as children will revel in the way the different birds have been drawn. The text, while simple is good for young readers and allows the pictures to shine. Spink’s book is a delight to read again and again. 3-8 years

The Perfect Tree, by Chloe Bonfield

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Jack is searching for the perfect tree to chop, hack and stack and so finally wanders into a dark corner of the forest when the creatures there show him a perfect tree in “their” world. A woodpecker summons a myriad of other feathered friends; a squirrel, swift as a gymnast, flips through the trees and a spider takes the boy on a zip line through the canopy to show him his favorite. Jack learns the intrinsic value of nature through his woodland friends and decides trees are good for more than just chopping, hacking and stacking…much more. Again the illustrations in this book are fantastic! 5-10 years

Sonya’s Chickens, by Phoebe Wahl

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Sonya’s Chickens introduces elementary-aged readers to the concepts of life, death and re-birth. Sonya is given some chicks to rear and she takes the responsibility very seriously- she makes sure they are warm, well fed and loved. One night a fox gets into the coop and Sonya’s father explains that foxes, too are just trying to feed their family. This book is charming. The pictures illustrate the characters’ emotions extremely well and complement the text. The book is bright and an important subject for children to be able to understand. 4-9 years

Stories from Bug Garden, by Lisa Moser, Glen Millward

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While the garden was at first thought to be old and forgotten, Bug garden is in all actuality teeming with all kinds of whimsical life- from ladybugs who run barefoot and whistle through blades of grass, to philosophical bees. The expressions on these bugs are priceless and the flora and fauna shine! The author shows children a different way to see nature through the eyes of personified bugs and it is really quite captivating. The short stories are well written and one metaphor that stood out was about an earthworm that “wiggled and wiggled and giggled under the rainbow of roots”. 5-9 years