Backyards are more than just the spaces behind our homes where we plant vegetables and play fetch with our dogs—our natural environment and the communities we live in are also our backyards! Join us in celebrating National Read a Book Day and National Wilderness month with this list of books that will inspire you to explore the wider backyard around you and play an active role in the conservation of your environment.
A Walk on the Tundra, by Rebecca Hainnu and Anna Ziegler
This delightful book tells the story of Inuujaq, a young girl who joins her grandmother for what she thinks will be an uneventful walk on the tundra. But as they embark on their journey, Inuujaq discovers how important Arctic plants are to Inuit people and their natural environment—such as qijuktaat, a plant used to fuel cooking fires. Join Inuujaq and her grandmother on their walk and use the plant glossary at the back of the book to learn all about Arctic plants and how they can be used for food, medicine, and even weather forecasting!
My Wounded Island, by Jacques Pasquet and Marion Arbona
In this riveting story, climate change is depicted as a sea monster tormenting the Alaskan island of Sarichef which is home to Imarvaluk and her family. As the monster threatens to engulf the small island with its rising sea levels, Imarvaluk’s family is forced to seek refuge closer to the mainland, and they worry about all that will be lost if the monster is not stopped. Using text and mixed-media illustrations, Jacques and Marion depict the realities of climate change in a way that is easy to understand.
100 Nature Hot Spots in British Columbia: The Best Parks, Conservation Areas and Wild Places, by Lyndsay Fraser and Christina Smyth
Learn all about the remarkable locations in our own backyard in this beautifully illustrated guidebook for British Columbia. Discover new places to hike, camp and explore, such as Othello Tunnels, Saturna Island and Haida Gwaii. With descriptive profiles and stunning photographs of lush rainforests, snow-capped mountains and the natural beauty of British Columbia, this guidebook will teach you about this wonderful province fondly called "Super, Natural British Columbia.”
The Right to Be Cold: One Woman's Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet, by Sheila Watt-Cloutier
“Ice matters. Ice is life,” Sheila Watt-Cloutier, an Inuk activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, tells us in this powerfully written memoir that addresses the human impact of climate change. Using personal stories from her childhood spent in the Arctic village of Kuujjuaq and her journey as an environmental activist, Sheila details how the loss of ice in the Arctic leads to the loss of Inuit culture. As ice continues to melt in the Arctic, coastlines crumble, communities are forced to relocate, and wildlife face threat of extinction. Sheila calls on us to act, reminding us that Inuits have the right to health, the right to a safe environment, and “the right to be cold.”
101 Things for Kids to do Outside, by Dawn Isaac
Take yourself on an adventure by going outside and exploring your natural surroundings. Discover the wide range of plants and animals that live around you and challenge yourself to fun experiments, crafts, games, and gardening projects. Start a worm farm, make a butterfly feeder, construct a rain gauge, or plant a potato tower. Packed with a variety of activities for every season, this book will keep you entertained and show you that science is all around us!
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