Friday, July 25, 2008

A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry



I know that my fellow Wormers have been talking about cherry picking, but how about picking a Cherry? Lynne Cherry that is, one of my favorite eco -styled writers for children. A River Ran Wild: An Environmental History is a hot pick for kids right now as parents explore ways to talk about ecology, pollution, and how we can change the world one river at a time.

Cherry traces the history of the Nashu River in New England from a beginning as a special place for Native Americans. It was a lush green place filled with wildlife, fertile in natural bounty for man and animal. As the area was settled the Nashu became a dumping spot for various industrial plants such as a dye factory. The wildlife died or left as the Nashu became a place of decay and pollution.

Hope springs in that we see the Nashu healed as citizens demanded change with the passage of clean water and pollution laws. The Nashu was gradually restored as people worked together to change the situation both for themselves and for nature.

I do find this book, despite a few technical flaws, appealing to use with children. You can read the main body of the text in a small group or lap situation and older children will be fascinated with the illustrative style. Look closely at the cover picture above and it will reflect the style of the entire book. The small blocks around each picture will document inventions used by industries, what was happening in each time period, and other facts of note. Older readers will find themselves explore the book several times and learning new information each time.

If you want a hopeful book about making a difference, this one is one for you.

Other books by this author I'd happily "Cherry" pick are:

The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest
Flutes Journey: The Life of a Wood Thrush
The Sea, The Storm and the Mangrove Tangle

I haven't read her new book about changing climate yet, but I'm trying to get my hot little hands on a copy. It is titled How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate: Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming. I do know this author deals with environmental issues in a very kid friendly way, so I'm hoping this will be a good read for older child that are discussing what they hear 'round the composter.

Your local library should have copies of these books in their kids section. Parents and teachers can get a good deal of mileage out of her works both for information and inspiration.

8 comments:

Myshell said...

This author feels right up our alley...

kale for sale said...

I love that you're including kids books. Thank you. I have the perfect small person that will love this book.

Going Crunchy said...

Oh, thanks ya'll! I was hoping that would fit o.k. I do know a great deal of us are parents and searching for good reads. Cheers! Shannon

Bobbi said...

I think it's great that children's books are starting to pick up on the green theme!

Anonymous said...

Hi,
just thought I should respond to Bobbi's comment regarding A River Ran Wild that " I think it's great that children's books are starting to pick up on the green theme."
I wrote The Great Kapok Tree in 1989 and A River Ran Wild in 1990. I've been trying to provide kids with environmental information for these 18 years and it looks as if finally the world is waking up due to people's concern about climate change.

My book How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate was co-authored with photojournalist Gary Braasch. It is about climate science and solutions. I'm hoping to inspire kids to speak out and write letters to protect their future.

You can see more on my website LynneCherry.com
and our book website HowWeKnowClimateChange.com.

Lynne Cherry

Going Crunchy said...

Wow, I feel like we were just knighted with Lynne Cherry posting a comment. Thanks for the input Lynne, and I'll happily reccomend your books any day.

Thanks so much for the work that you do! Shannon

Melissa said...

Wow, I was very excited to see this book, as I used to live in Nashua, NH, less than a mile from the river. It's always great to read books about places you know! I don't have any kids, but I'll be getting copies for some of my friends who do.

VeganCowGirl said...

This is a brilliant book that I used as a part of a Geography unit in a urban Toronto classroom - the kids really got it...despite most of them never being out of downtown toronto.
Excellent recommendation.