Nature Near and Far by Moderator Jennifer Emmett

The Classic Treasury of Childhood Wonders by Susan Magsamen and One White Wishing Stone by Doris Gayzagian encourage children to connect with nearby nature. Having the sense that nature is accessible is clearly the best way for kids to feel inspired to make their own nature connections. But at NGS we also like for kids to connect with nature in an aspirational way. We are fortunate to work with many explorers who spend time in the world’s wildest places.

In African Animal Alphabet by Beverly and Derek Joubert (NGS 2010), kids can see the wild through the eyes—and lens—of Beverly and Dereck Joubert, a writer and photographer team who live in Africa studying and photographing wild animals. Their book gives kids a window into a world filled with warthogs, dung beetles, and baboons. It is a wonder of childhood to know there are places on Earth where kids can spot lions and leopards instead of squirrels or slugs. And Dereck and Beverly bring this world to the kids who can’t see it for themselves. But hopefully someday will!

Do you seek out wild places for your nature experiences? Or do you find nature in your own backyard or nearby park or vacant lot? What do you think of the Indian saying quoted in Last Child in the Woods: “It is better to know one mountain than to climb many”? What books about remote wild places have fueled your or your children’s imagination and sense of wonder?

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