The following is an excerpt from the book About Books and Children by Bess Porter Adams. In my last post I quoted this wonderful little book from a chapter on the importance of the imagination in the education of the young. This next excerpt is about the importance of nature in the life of a boy.
The eight- or nine-year-old child is a curious, alert little person, keenly observant of the world about him. Nature is still an absorbing interest. He wants animal pets of his own; he wants to plant seeds and watch them grow–though he will probably lose his enthusiasm for the garden before harvest time. He is especially drawn to the wild-life of fields, woods, stream, and shore. The child who spends these years in a large city is likely to miss many of the most satisfying adventures of childhood.
It should be a privilege of every child to spend much of his waking time among the plants and animals of the open country. There should be grass under his feet and trees over his head. He should know the birds of his region and be able to recognize their songs and their nests. He should know the small earthly creatures of the fields and hillsides, and the fascinating inhabitants of streams, or ocean surf and reefs. Because many thousands of children must live these experiences vicariously, books about nature are particularly important.
Ms. Adams makes an interesting observation about the great need for the young to experience the wonder of nature. Teddy Roosevelt once said “It is an incalculable added pleasure to any one’s sum of happiness if he or she grows to know, even slightly and imperfectly, how to read and enjoy the wonder-book of nature.”
Below are some nature themed book recommendations from her book, and some Riverside recommendations as well:
Bess Porter Adams
The First Book of Stones by M.B. Cormack
Frogs and Toads by Herbert Zim
Rabbits by Herbert Zim
Plants by Herbert Zim
The Book of Nature Hobbies by Ted Pettit
Gypsy by Kate Seredy
Just Some Riverside Recommendations
The Handbook of Nature Study by Anne Botsford Comstock
Forest and Field Handybook by Daniel Carter Beard
Trees of North America by Donald Culross Peattie
The Burgess Bird Book for Children by Thornton W. Burgess
The Burgess Animal Book for Children by Thornton W. Burgess
Owls in the Attic by Farley Mowat
Paddle to the Sea by Holling Clancy Holling
Minn of the Mississippi by Holling Clancy Holling