Not long ago we read this article about the lack of nature and animal themes in children's books and frankly, felt a bit shaken. Could it be true? We had to see for ourself.
In the kid-lit area of our big new bookstore we found, right on the top shelf of the picture-book section this:
A wonderful book about a grandpa whose fading memories are kept in the topiaries he creates.
A girl's imaginings of the colorful and whimsical garden she will plant. Jellybean bushes are involved.
Author illustrator team, Philip and Erin Stead put out annual lists of their picks for the Phildecott and Steadbury awards and we are pleased to discover that many of their choices are both nature and animal themed books.
Based on our independent study and that of the Steads we are choosing to believe that the report of the dwindling of books of this genre is premature. They are there but it may take some intention to seek them out and share them with the kids in your life to help keep them connected with their "big backyard". Better yet, read some of those stories to them right in the great outdoors.