Companions in Wonder

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-02-17
  • Publisher: Mit Pr
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Rachel Carson's classic 1956 essay "Help Your Child to Wonder" urged adults to help children experience the "sense of wonder" that comes only from a relationship with nature. It's clear we haven't succeeded in following her advice: eight-year-olds surveyed in the United Kingdom could identify more Pokémon characters than common wildlife species; and Richard Louv's recent best-selling book Last Child in the Woods identifies a "nature deficit disorder" in children around the world. But today a growing number of environmentally minded parents, teachers, and other adults are seeking to restore nature to its rightful place in children's lives. This anthology gathers personal essays recounting adventures great and small with children in the natural world. The authors--writing as parents, teachers, mentors, and former children--describe experiences that range from bird watching to an encounter with an apple butter-loving grizzly bear. Rick Bass captures fireflies with his children and reflects on fatherhood; Michael Branch observes wryly that both gardening and parenting are "disciplines of sustainability"; Lauret Savoy wonders how African American children can connect to the the land after generations of estrangement; and Sandra Steingraber has "the big talk" with her children, not about sex but about global warming. By turns lyrical, comic, and earnest, these writings guide us to closer connections with nature and with the children in our lives, for the good of the planet and our own spiritual and physical well-being.

Author Biography

Julie Dunlap is the author or coauthor of many children's books about nature and the environment, including Louisa May and Mr. Thoreau's Flute and Parks for the People: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted. Stephen R. Kellert is Tweedy Ordway Professor Emeritus of Social Ecology at Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He is the author of a number of books, including Building for Life: Designing and Understanding the Human-Nature Connection, and the coeditor of Children and Nature: Psychological, Sociocultural, and Evolutionary Investigations (MIT Press).

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledmentsp. xxi
Introductionp. 1
The Farmp. 25
MyChild's First Gardenp. 33
Tracking Our Wayp. 51
Tidal: Subtidalp. 61
The Toad Not Takenp. 71
Of the Fittestp. 81
A New England Childhoodp. 97
Child's Play: Finding the Green in the In-Betweenp. 107
The Naturalistic Necessityp. 113
Children in the Woodsp. 137
Fathers and Sonsp. 141
Moving through the Landscape of Healingp. 149
Belonging on the Landp. 155
A Field Guide to Wetern Birdsp. 165
At Home with Belongingp. 171
Animal Alliesp. 181
Grandmother, Grizzlies, and Godp. 189
Parents without Children: Confessions of a Favorite Unclep. 197
Raising silasp. 205
Grandma's Bawenap. 213
Mountain Music Ip. 219
Bowl of Stonesp. 231
Colored Memoryp. 237
We Are Distractedp. 243
The Big Talkp. 247
On Being "Indian", Unsilent, and Contaminated along the U.S.-Mexico Borderp. 251
The Prophets of Placep. 259
Huckleberry Countryp. 265
Scorched Earthp. 271
Children in the Riverp. 277
Afterwordp. 289
Creditsp. 295
About the Contributorsp. 299
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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