This week we celebrate our love of books and our love of reading! Some of my fondest memories have been relaxing in a beautiful place with a great book and getting so engulfed in the story that hours went by in the blink of an eye. Books are very powerful tools for instilling knowledge and eliciting emotion in us. I still remember when my 10-year-old nephew finished reading Charlotte’s Web and tears welled up in his eyes. It was the first time a book had made him cry.
Throughout the years different books have stuck with me because they educated me on a subject, pulled at my heart strings a bit, connected with an experience I had, made me laugh out loud, or simply entertained and distracted me for a while. Whatever the reason, books can be a very important tool in environmental education. Storytelling is so powerful in working with students; helping them remember a concept much better than just throwing facts at them. And storytelling, an age-old practice, was used by many Native American tribes to pass along information. Over the years these stories transitioned from being passed down orally to being written on clay tablets, wood, bone, calfskin and eventually paper. And I guess I should extend that to now include digital format! In addition to their storytelling function, books have even been important symbols of free speech and anti-censorship.
Now that we’ve reminded ourselves how important books and reading are, below are a few of my favorite children’s books about redwoods:
A Voice For the Redwoods by Loretta Halter
The Tree in the Ancient Forest by Carol Reed-Jones
Redwoods by Jason Chin