Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Kids books that teach earth-friendly ways

When you're reading a book to your child do you ever stop to consider exactly what you're teaching him or her? It's amazing all the "norms" that are engrained through simple, cherished stories we share with our kids. For instance, Three Little Bears reinforces the notion of a nuclear family (mama, papa, baby). Where The Wild Things Are concludes that there really is no place like home, especially for a bratty little boy with his hot supper in his cozy room. The Poky Little Puppy elevates dessert to a God-given right.

While these and most are pretty harmless, many reinforce consumerism, gender stereotypes and wastefulness, most times not with overt themes, but in the actions of the central characters.

But don't worry, you don't have to give up on reading to your kids. Great alternatives do exist. You just have to work to find them. Here are a few I've unearthed (ha ha, no pun intended) that would be nice options for your summer reading lists:

Green Sugar Press "Books to engage, entertain and enlighten children with the wonders of nature."

  • An Environmental Guide from A to Z (ages 8-13)

  • Earl the Earthworm Digs for His Life (ages 5-9)

  • N is for Nature: An Environmental Alphabet Book (ages 2-6)
Simon & Schuster also has a line called "Little Green Books" with titles such as Don't Throw That Away! and The Adventures of an Aluminum Can. The books are made from recycled materials and cover earth-friendly topics.

Want the most comprehensive list anywhere I could find? Here's the site in all its ugly glory.

But, wait. Before you buy another new book from a big bookseller, consider a new model--Better World Books. Their motto: "Buy used books to fund literacy worldwide." When I checked, the stats at the top of the page were staggering, and growing before my eyes:
  • Funds raised for global literacy: $6,427,439.60

  • Books saved from landfills: 24,688,398

  • WOW.

1 comment:

  1. Organic products are essentially earth-friendly, sustainable and natural, not only in its entity but in production mode. Which makes safer and healthier.