Jun 28, 2011

My First Green Book

by Angela Wilkes
A life-size guide to caring for our environment

Just finished reading this book last night with my six-year old. It's all about environmental issues and things kids can do to help. It goes beyond just recycling and conserving electricity (although those things are mentioned). There are sections about air pollution, acid rain, how nature recycles waste, composting, choosing products wisely, healthy soils, plants that encourage wildlife, how trees improve our air, what's happening to the rainforests (and how much we depend on them), etc. At the end one page explains how to keep a simple diary where kids can record things they observe about the environment, and how to campaign to improve things up in your own neighborhood. There are lots of simple experiments to try illustrating different things about the environment. For example, one you take a piece of fresh celery, and several cut white flowers and put them in a glass of water with red food coloring or dye in it. The plants absorb the dye along with the water and turn pink. This shows kids how pollutants in water get absorbed by and can adversely affect the plant.

The formatting of My First Green Book is large, easy to read and understand. The book is a full 13 inches tall, so the large photographs have plenty of detail. All the experiments and information are explained simply enough for children to understand. We've already done a few of the experiments, one to see how plants respond to polluted water, another to see evidence of contaminants in our air. Right after reading the section on air pollution and seeing pictures of what types of lichens grow on trees, my kid inspected bark on trees in the local park and then ran to me shouting: "we have clean air! we have clean air!" because the lichens were a healthy leafy type. All in all a most excellent book. I recommend it to anyone who wants to encourage their children to care for the environment and learn simple things that actually make a difference.

Rating: 5/5 ........ 48 pages, 1991

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