Lizs Book Snuggery

Celebrate Earth Day and Respect the Balance She Requires in the Use of Her Resources.

Crinkleroot’s Guide to Giving Back to Nature

by Jim Arnosky

Earth Day 2018 is being celebrated on Saturday April 21 this year and in schools across the country, children are ever more aware through education programs of the delicate balance of the interdependent ecosystem that we humans share with plant and animal life on planet Earth. In ways large and small we impact it for good or ill on a daily basis. And these facts are at the heart of this thoughtful, thoroughly delightful Earth Day read by Jim Arnosky.

Jim Arnosky is a self-taught artist and naturalist who has illustrated over 90 nature books for children. His Slow Down for Manatees was included on the Smithsonian’s 2010 Notable Books for Children list and the 2011 Science Trade Books For Students K-12 reading List.

Here, in his Crinkleroot’s Guide to Giving Back To Nature, Jim reintroduces his young readers to the wise and whiskery Crinkleroot, a character who I think is an offshoot of Johnny Appleseed, Santa, the Roaming Gnome and Robinson Crusoe intertwined. School Library Journal states that Crinkleroot, “has become a reliable old friend and guide to the natural world.” The book is packed with activities that children can do alone or with adult supervision.

This book speaks to the heart of the questioning child in all of us, as it asks what most humans do when they perceive a problem and see a need to be filled, namely “What can I do?” and “Will what I do make a difference?” Crinkleroot is definitely here to help you and your child answer those questions.

  • Do you want to know how to catch and release a fish? Crinkleroot has the technique down and shares it with you.
  • Want to know how to tell if a seashell still has an animal living inside it? It’s all here in great detail.
  • Crinkleroot even has a guide to composting leaves-simple as spreading them on a lawn.
  • Want to plant a tree? No problem. Crinkleroot has the technique from young seedling to sprouting tree.
  • Do you have a desire for butterflies at home or at school? Crinkleroot can give you the solution to attract swarms of them.

Kids will enjoy following Crinkleroot on his winter sojourn in the woods and travel with him as he journeys through the other seasons of the year. The book portrays his respectful interaction with his environment in very practical ways. He gives specific suggestions for kids to use on how to “Give Back to Nature” and on the opposite page, uses illustrations to demonstrate how this can be accomplished.

For instance, he notes that trees provide shade and cool the earth, their roots hold soil in place, their leaves produce oxygen for the air we breathe, and their trunks, limbs and branches are a habitat for wildlife. He notes that for every tree that falls because of an ax, weather or age, one should be replaced. Many towns have organizations that will permit a donation to plant a tree in someone’s honor or memory.

And speaking of trees, Crinkleroot would surely appreciate some corporations’ realization of their responsibility to provide replacement for trees lost to the creation of books. Specifically, Penguin Group (USA) has partnered with the Nature Conservancy to PLANT a BILLION TREES showing its commitment to future generations and the environment. Well done!

Additionally, as you will see, from the link on the bottom of this blog, plastic and other debris, in its many forms, from packaging to plastic bottles to the ubiquitous carry home bag that seems to replicate itself, has become an ever increasing problem in the enormous amounts of it that finds its way, after disposal, into our ecosystem.

Did you know that the world’s largest collection of garbage is twice the size of Texas, according to this USA Today article by Doyle Rice from March 28, 2018? It posits significant effects that it will have on the food chain.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, as it is referred to in the article, has grown to 600,000 square miles and floats halfway between California and Hawaii!

A non-profit group called Ocean Cleanup Foundation, with its lead author of the study, Laurent Lebreton, was the force behind the research that led to this information and its implications.

At our local IGA  and a recently enacted law geared at lessening the use of plastic, plastic bags may indeed be given for packing groceries…but they will now cost 5 cents per bag!

I think Crinkleroot would give that one a big thumbs up, along with the use of reusable bags that many grocery shoppers have taken to carrying.

And circling back to Crinkleroot’s Guide to Giving Back to Nature,  Jim Arnosky’s artistry, in this entertaining and enlightening picture book, is bright and eye-catching with its beautiful renderings of birds, butterflies, fish, frogs and sea creatures from conchs to clams. Crinkleroot’s Guide to Giving Back to Nature is the perfect companion book for you and your child to share on how to celebrate planet Earth.

Mother Earth, in all of her majesty, continues to delight us with her beauty and awe inspiring vistas.

Your young reader, I’m sure, will join Crinkleroot and myself in doing our individual parts to see that Mother Earth continues to flourish for many generations to come.

Her legacy is truly ours to share and preserve for the ones who will follow us.


For other Earth Day reads, may I suggest?

Gabby and Grandma Go Green by Monica Wellington

For your youngest of readers:

Te amo, sol. Te amo, luna. I Love You, Sun. I Love You, Moon by Karen Pandell illustrated by Tomie de Paola

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