So far in this blog series we’ve covered how being in nature makes us better humans and how to make time for nature in each and every season. In this post I’ll share where I got my inspiration, as well as books I hope to read in the future and children’s books to inspire the little ones in your life.
The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative by Florence Williams
The Nature Fix explores the scientific case for getting outdoors more often as our culture shifts in masses towards living a sedentary, distracted existence indoors. Florence Williams travels to regions all over the world to learn from experts in the field and to personally experience nature’s power to transform our physical and mental health, and our relationships with each other. I enjoyed reading about how nature affects humans at a chemical level rather than just being surface-level enjoyment. The diversity of natural settings in our world described in the book gave me a bad case of wanderlust as well.
Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
A growing number of children these days seem to prefer hours of screen time to spending time in the great outdoors, a phenomenon that would be totally foreign to members of previous generations. Author Richard Louv sees this problem, described in the book as Nature-Deficit Disorder, as having catastrophic consequences on the health and wellness of not only the children themselves, but the communities and societies of the future. Louv gives practical and scientific reasons for children to spend time in natural settings in hopes that parents will ensure their children get outside and avoid being the “last child in the woods”. This book inspired me to get my toddler outdoors more often, as I learned about how nature can play a huge part in her development.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
One of my new favorite books, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle takes readers on a journey through a year of eating locally. The family eats only what has been grown and raised on their own land or their neighbor’s land, and the delicacies that will not grow in their local climate, they simply go without. The story fuses Kingsolver’s memoir with an in-depth look at the current state of the industrial-food pipeline which supplies most of us with our groceries each week. This one had me reconsidering where I source my family’s food from by the end of the first chapter.
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
This is one book that is has been near the top of my “to read” list on Good Reads for a while. It is a story about work, love, science, nature, and relationships (see the Amazon link for a full description). Lab Girl has great ratings on both Good Reads and Amazon and I am so excited to hunker down and hopefully join the hype!
Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman
This book is beautiful! Covering everything from fossils to butterfly anatomy to leaf identification, this book encourages readers to look more closely at the world around them. I could spend hours studying the illustrations and learning more about the various aspects of our natural world.
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
Peter Brown is one of our family’s favorite children’s book authors and this book of his does not disappoint! The Curious Garden begins with a boy named Liam discovering a modest garden struggling to survive in the cold, gray industrial city. Liam finds that with a little care and attention, this garden can grow and flourish, spreading it’s vibrant colors and textures to even the darkest corners of the urban area.
A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long
A Seed is Sleepy provides a great foundation for teaching kids about the source of plant life. The detailed illustrations, poetic language, and fun facts (represented by smaller text on the pages) come together in an educational masterpiece, appealing to a wide range of ages.
Anywhere Farm by Phyllis Root
Anywhere Farm empowers kids (and adults) to become farmers and gardeners in any location, whether you live in a farmhouse surrounded by open field or on the fifth floor of an apartment building in the urban core of a big city. Anything can be turned into a growing vessel – a boot, a crate, or a bucket. This book made me want to plant my very own windowsill garden!