My children are my touchstones. The are my deepest and truest connection to the natural world. In many ways, they have taught me more about the world than I could ever teach them. When my family took a walk around a small local lake recently, I had the opportunity to see the first subtle signs of spring through their eyes. The shaded side of the lake was still frozen and my youngest could walk out, giggling onto the ice. But, on the sunny side, the ice had already given way to slush and chilly water we dipped our fingers in. The frozen ground was softening and the breeze was cool off the lake. It was a wonderful way to shake off winter hibernation and celebrate the world waking up around us. No matter how troubled or lost I may feel, the joy of experiencing nature with my children is like a little revival of the soul. Exploring nature together will always hold a special magic for us.
Another way we share our love of natue is through literature. I have begun a link list of some of our favorite children's nature stories. I'm sure the list will grow and evolve over time but this is a start. I resisted titling the list "children's environmental books." I have learned that the most significant books for us are those that tell a story or share a experience. This is the power of literature. So, I have declined to list children's field guides or instructional texts here for the sake of "nature stories," in the broadest definition. If you are interested in more classic examples of environmental books for children, see childsake. And wake up to Spring!