At the end of my recent post at Hearth, Heart, & Home, I offered my pagan readers a short list of five picture books to encourage children to tend the earth and grow something. I’ll expand on each of them here:
The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono – I can’t promote this book enough. With simple woodblock prints and an easy, yet profound tale, this is a treasure. I reviewed this before when my daughter and I first discovered it, recommended by a summer camp she attended.
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney – This tale tells a similar tale as the one above, but this is of Miss Rumphius, the Lupine Lady. Having fulfilled her first two life goals, she sets about attempting to achieve the third: to make the world more beautiful. When I discovered this in a bookstore, I cried at the end and was compelled to hand over my money to the book clerk.
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown – this is the tale of Liam, an unusual boy who takes walks in a bleary, industrial town, and accidentally becomes a gardener. The plants are patient with him while he figures it out. The transformation of his town is told more in the art than the words, and each jovial illustration has much to see. Look closer with each read. There’s bound to be something you missed before!
The Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall – A family’s annual cycle of life comes full-circle in this tale of a man selling his family’s handmade goods.
Weslandia by Paul Fleischman – Wesley bucks the trends of his peers and seeks to start his own civilization based on certain facts he’s learned from school. See his summer science project come to life as he grows Weslandia.