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Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Friday, 02 March 2012
in Clean Fun

Explaining Environmentalism to Children Through Books

Today is important because it’s Read Across America Day! A day millions of children across the United States and throughout the rest of the world will celebrate literacy.columbus library 

Schools, libraries, and businesses will also celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday and host Seuss-centric or Lorax themed activities. The Lorax opens in movie theaters and even though it hasn’t received praise from everyone, parents and educators are using the book and new animated movie as a launching pad to discussing this year’s green theme.

Most of us know the story of the Lorax (published in 1971) and the Truffula trees he tries  to save as the Once-Ler moves in to chop the trees down to manufacture a product everyone thinks they need. The Once-Ler decimates the pristine forest world and the creatures, including the Lorax must abandon their home.

The Lorax is extremely popular and makes explaining environmentalism and the effects of industrialization and deforestation to young children easy because of Seuss’ usage of rhyme and his quirky, intriguing characters and illustrations.

A common complaint about children’s books that discuss environmentalism is that they are one-sided and only present the viewpoint of the extreme conservationist: choosing to portray industry and humans as reckless and evil. That may be so but it is essential to remember that a part of literacy is reading comprehension. Reading isn’t just about going through the motions and screaming, “I’m done! Next!” at the end. Reading and thinking about what is read encourages discussion and a one-sided book can lead to conversations about opposing viewpoints.

Here is a list of ten “green books” for children, from babies to teenagers, that can lead to lively discussions and awareness:

 Eco Babies Wear Green by Michelle Sinclair Colman

The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rainforest by Lynne Cherry

A River Ran Wild: An Environmental History by Lynne Cherry

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

B is for Blue Planet: An Earth Science Alphabet by Ruth Strother

The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown

Recycle!: A Handbook for Kids by Gail Gibbons

Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling C. Holling

Hoot by Carl Hiassen

The Omnivore’s Dilemma for Kids: The Secret Behind What You Eat by Michael Pollan

readingDK Eye Wonder/ EyeWitness, the Magic School Bus series, the Magic Tree House series and other science oriented books about eco-systems, animals and nature are excellent in presenting children with a factual look at the world.

Happy Reading!

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Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. Samina and her husband believe that sustainability starts in the home and try to live their lives as simply as possible without compromising comfort.


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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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