Each month, I write a book review column for a local magazine here in town. In collaboration with (and with permission from) the publisher, thought it might be fun to read here. So – here you go:
Planting the Wild Garden – Kathryn O. Galbraith and Wendy Anderson Halperin
A gorgeous nature book with a light touch, this explains how seeds and nuts get dispersed in the wild when there is no human to plant them: through wind, rain, animals… A really charmingly illustrated book with lots to look at, the story uses a few short sentences in a lyrical and poetic way that makes it a joy to read aloud to younger listeners. The colored pencil and water color illustrations make it a gentle book to look at, and there is a list of book titles at the end for further reading for both parents and children. A great way to introduce the idea of the nature cycle and how important it is to the world around us.
Heroes for my Son/Daughter – Brad Meltzer
With an edition also available for daughters, both of these volumes list quite an eclectic selection of men and women from all over the world and from different times – ordinary people who have done extraordinary things to make the world a better place. Examples of heroes include Sojourner Truth, Jackie Robinson, and numerous others from the worlds of sport, literature and science, from people who have planted trees and studied the environment to those who have saved people’s lives and changed the way of life of whole nations. As any list would be, the selections are debatable but they would be good springboards to digger deeper to find out more about these fascinating people who have changed their worlds. Optimistic and motivational, these are good choices for further discussion for almost any young readers.
Fashion: A Definitive History of Clothing – Smithsonian Museum
This is a HUGE book which is packed with beautiful illustrations and photographs about how clothes have evolved over the past 3,000 years. Published by the Smithsonian Museums, it is stuffed with details about clothing and textile history, which can become a bit overwhelming if you take it all in one bite. However, if you break it down into smaller sections, it’s a treat to read and a sumptuous feast for your eyes. I’m not a fashion maven by any description and I rarely keep up with the latest trends, but I do appreciate good design and photography, and an interesting topic. This hefty book has all of those in large quantities. What a treat. (Another similar good title for delectable design: 100 Dresses by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.)