“God wrote “I love you”—He wrote it in the sky, and on the earth, and under the sea. He wrote his message everywhere! Because God created everything in the world to reflect Him like a mirror—to show us what He is like, to help us to know Him, to make our hearts sing.”— Sally Lloyd-Jones, from The Jesus Storybook Bible
This month we celebrate Easter and new life seems to be all around. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing trees blossom and birds build nests. What is dormant is now vibrant and full of life! It’s such a lovely time for us all to look around at nature since it is neither too hot nor too cold to be outside. Children love this time of year and they are so observant, aren’t they?! It is for this reason I’ve put together this list of books in which we can praise our Lord who has given us such beautiful gifts in the world around us, encourage our children to look carefully at the intricacies of what He has made, learn about people who have aided in His creative powers, and become inspired by what could happen when we make the tiniest effort to take care of His gifts for us. Loving our planet and all that it holds means nothing if we forget who gave it to us.
I’ve divided the list into sub-sections to help break it up a bit. Click on the picture of the book for our affiliate link!
In Praise of Nature and God’s Wonderful Creations
St. Francis sings of God’s love and all of the surrounding nature join him. Beautifully illustrated and poetic, Tomie de Paola never disappoints.
Using text from the Old Testament, Tomie dePaola praises all of God’s creations from the sky to the earth to under the water. It’s a celebration of nature. Continue reading 25 Picture Books to Encourage a Love of Nature
“Death by Eve, life by Mary” — Saint Jerome (Epistle 22)
Interest Level: Ages 3+
Review and Comments:
Maura McKeegan illustrates how events of the Old Testament foreshadow the New Testament in this straightforward story of Adam and Eve and Jesus and Mary. She begins in Genesis with Eve’s disobedience and explains how the Blessed Mother is the new Eve with her obedience and “yes” to God. Then, the story continues with Adam’s temptation and betrayal prefiguring Jesus’ temptation and fulfillment of His Father’s will. The angel’s fiery sword guarding the tree of life foretells the angel sent to comfort Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Where Adam and Eve’s sin closed the gates of Heaven, Jesus opened the gates and fulfilled God’s plan of redemption. Continue reading Unity of Scripture: A Review of ‘The End of the Fiery Sword, Adam & Eve and Jesus & Mary
“A year spent in artificial intelligence is enough to make one believe in God.”—Alan Perlis
The draw of The Wild Robot is definitely its premise. We’ve all read stories of characters trying to survive in the wilderness in books like Hatchet and Robinson Crusoe. We’ve also read futuristic stories of robots who have evolved to act more and more like humans. Rarely, however, are the two instances put together as they are in this novel. Peter Brown brings us this intriguing situation and, I admit, this is what drew me to the book. Continue reading Into the Wild: A Review of ‘The Wild Robot’
“The earth has yielded its harvest; God, our God, blesses us.”–Psalm 67:7
Reading Level: Grades K – 1 [according to common core]
Grade 3.6 [according to Scholastic – reflects the grade level at which a student reading on grade could read the book independently]
Interest Level: Grade K – 3
Review and Comments:
This is the story of the life cycle of an orange beginning with a blossom and ending with friends sharing the sweet fruit. As all organisms go through stages of development this story shows how bees, rich soil, sunshine, and rain help the fruit mature into edible deliciousness. Then the reader follows the processing of the fruit. It is carefully picked, transported through different locations, and finally arrives at the grocery store. Continue reading The Land Has Yielded Its Produce: A Review of ‘An Orange in January’
“Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God.” –George Washington Carver
Review and Comments:
“Some people come in and out of your life, as quick as a hummingbird darting at a trumpet vine. And some of them, when gone, leave something behind that sticks in your heart or mind. It sticks to you like a little burr on your sock. It wraps around like the tendrils of a vine.”
These are the thoughts expressed by a little girl named Sally after meeting Dr. George Washington Carver. She first sees Dr. Carver with an old wagon he calls his “movable school.” She recognizes him from his reputation as the plant scientist from Tuskegee. Dr. Carver has done much research with plants and now he is sharing that knowledge with others. He teaches people how to improve their lives by making poor soil rich again and simple foods into other products. Continue reading Like the Tendrils on a Vine: A Review of ‘In the Garden with Dr. Carver’
Suggested Grade Level:
Kindergarten -2nd Grade
Review and Thoughts
“You must do something to make the world more beautiful.”
This was the advice given to the main character, Alice, by her very wise grandfather. Alice was just a little girl with big dreams, but she took his advice to heart and made it the third goal she hoped to achieve in her lifetime. But she wasn’t sure exactly how she would do that.
When she grew up she traveled and experienced marvelous sites, adventures, and friendships. She lived happily by the sea. “She was almost happy.” It took Alice a long time to discover how to accomplish her third goal – the challenge given to her by her grandfather. As an old woman living by the sea Alice saw that the little garden next to her house had scattered its seeds to new and surprising locations. She saw the beauty and it renewed her effort to spread this beauty. She began to scatter handfuls of seeds wherever she walked. The next spring exploded with lupine beauty. The promise to her grandfather was accomplished. She had made the world more beautiful. Continue reading Making the World More Beautiful: A Review of ‘Miss Rumphius’