by Andrea Debbink & Asia Orlando
This read-together book for families of kids 4 to 12 years old introduces nine world ecosystems: mountains, forests, deserts, polar lands, ocean, fresh water, cities, rain forests, and grasslands. Each ecosystem chapter includes biographies of people whose work impacted that ecosystem positively, including Wangari Maathai, Ansel Adams, Jules Verne, and many others who were new to me. I would have recommended this book if it only had biographies, but it is so much more. For each ecosystem there is a facts page, a natural wonder, and an environmental success story. There are DIY projects for each ecosystem, including practical things like hiking sticks and bird houses, and also art projects using natural materials. Best of all, there are suggestions for field trips and stewardship opportunities. I hope you read this book but, more than that, I hope you get outside this summer and spend time taking in all the wilderness has to offer. And I hope you all––teachers, students, and parents––return to school next year with renewed vigor and a heart for all the wild things of the earth.