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Books: Earth Recovery | Children's Books | The Arctic

Brower's Cosmos, Beaver's Destiny

Reviewed by Bob Schildgen

Because kids seem to have an inborn affinity with nature, many children's books feature animals and the outdoors. A couple of nice selections from the many offerings:

  • Reading the Earth: A Story of Wildness by David R. Brower and Aleks Petrovitch (Berkeley Hills Books, $16) is a history of Earth for ages three and up, narrated by no less an authority than famed environmentalist Brower. Petrovitch gorgeously illustrates this adaptation of Genesis, depicting Brower himself telling the saga of cosmic evolution to three curious kids. The fact that Brower the narrator looks a bit like the Creator in blue jeans and running shoes only adds to the charm.
  • Edgar Beaver's Destiny: An Environmental Fable by Joseph Petulla (Xlibris, $16), for readers eight and up, tells of a young beaver's campaign to save the forest from the elder beavers' extravagant clearcutting. Petulla, author of the ground-breaking American Environmental History, works in details of beaver ecology so deftly that readers will feel as if they're splashing around with Edgar and his family.

Seasons of the Arctic
Photographs by Paul Nicklen, text by Hugh Brody, Sierra Club Books, $32
The aurora lights up the arctic forest in full winter. Scores of other photos capture the dramatic change in plants and creatures as they awaken or return during the six seasons of the North.

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