We all have our "favorites"... favorite places, favorite sayings, favorite food, favorite "stuff", right? It would be great for all of us Natural Families to share our favorite books that are nature-related. Really think of your most unique and all-time favorites! 

I'm thinking we can have a few general categories (here's what we're looking for):

  1. Fiction for children
  2. Fiction for adolescents
  3. Fiction for adults
  4. Journal/Activity books for kids (that they use themselves)
  5. Resources for adults

Those are pretty general categories, but can you think of any others we need to include? I'm thinking that non-fiction is pretty easy to find -- unless you've got a really special one!

Please use this format when submitting your faves:

  1. Title
  2. Author
  3. Publication date
  4. Recommended age(s)
  5. Synopsis
  6. Why you think it's such a great book or resource
  7. If possible, include a link to the author or amazon so folks can get more details if they're interested

Also, in thinking about reaching out to diverse populations, it would be great to know if a given book is culturally relevant and if it is available in any languages other than English.

I can't wait to see and read some new books! Thanks for sharing!!



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Title: There's a Hair in my Dirt: A Worm's Story

Author: Gary Larson

Publication date: 1999

Recommended ages: As a bedtime book, when my youngest was 4 we could always count on this book to make him laugh. Not sure he understood it all, but he does now (he's 8) and he still laughs.

Synopsis: From Amazon--"Dirt for breakfast, dirt for lunch and dirt for dinner! Dirt, dirt, dirt! And look--now there's even a hair in my dirt! The final insult--I can't stand it any longer! I hate being a worm!" It isn't easy being an earthworm, and when one little guy gets mad at a hair in his dinner, Father worm decides to tell him a story. What follows is an ecological fable that combines environmental lessons with the kind of off-the-wall humor that could only come from one man: Gary Larson. Fans of The Far Side have been waiting for Larson's latest work since January 1995 when the final Far Side strip appeared in newspapers around the world, and they won't be disappointed. Father worm tells the story of Harriet, a beautiful but stupid maiden who frolics through the forest enjoying the beauty of nature, but completely failing to understand it. The young earthworm learns that nature is not a cute and cuddly theme park designed for the entertainment of stupid humans, but a complex, fragile, and sometimes violent system where every creature plays a vital role, even the lowly worm. Larson is never preachy, the text is hilarious, and his illustrations are filled with wonderful sight gags. It may look like a children's book, but there's enough here to keep the most sophisticated adult chuckling for hours. You might learn something, too."

In short, it's the tale of a worm that finds hair in his dirt, the lady who the hair once belonged to, and the grand circle of life.

Why it's such a great book: The characters are fun and likable, and it teaches kids about lifecycles, death and rebirth, unintended consequences, and why we need worms. It's also funny and I'd rather read it over and over than 99% of the kids' books out there.


TITLE:  Stickeen: John Muir and the Brave Little Dog

AUTHOR:  John Muir, as retold by Donnell Rubay


RECOMMENDED AGES:  6+ (good one to share, reading together)


This true tale actually happened in Alaska to the famous naturalist, John Muir, and it became what he called the most memorable of all his wild days. One day, Muir set out to explore a huge glacier during a blizzard. Stickeen--an aloof little dog belonging to a fellow traveler--insisted on going along. They become stranded on the glacier. The only way out was over a precarious ice bridge, dangerous for a man and almost impossible for a dog. When, amazingly, they both escape, Stickeen's aloofness is replaced by rapturous adoration for Muir. The author skillfully weaves Muir's own words, the illustrations are extraordinary, and the result is a classic.


This book is a great adventure to share with your kids and allows a glimpse into the life and times of John Muir. The picture book format makes this wonderful story accessible to younger children. There is also a novel by John Muir with the same title.

AMAZON LINK: Click Here.

Here's the novel's cover (better for older kids):

This looks like the perfect book for my 8-year-old. Thanks!

1.The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families, and Classrooms 

2. Clare Walker Leslie

3. 2010

4. Families, children 6+, adult nature study

5. This nature journal uses a month-by-month approach with journal sheets incorporated in the book. It shares information on nature journaling in general and also helps guide what we might look for in a certain time period or season. 

6. Even as an adult, I have lots to learn through my interaction with nature. This book facilitates my nature study and helps me as I work with my own and other children in nature. I share it with so many people and they all want it too. It has useful information included. There are some downloadable nature journal pages at the publisher's website. 



I recently released a nature-themed kids' book.

1. Lotto's Super-Awesome Unbelievable Park Adventure

2. Jan Ferrigan

3. Publication Date (Nov 2012 and Jan 2013 depending on format)

4. 8 - 11 years old

5. Fantasy meets travelogue in a middle grade adventure novel.

Eleven-year-old foster kid Lotto Lewis is gifted, but he wants to be cool and watch more TV. Lotto also wishes that his older brother Armond would stop giving up on himself and act like he used to when their mom was alive. Life and luck changes for Lotto, Armond and their younger sister Riley when their mom’s long-lost cousin invites the siblings to spend a summer solving a park challenge that involves traveling to seven different state and national parks. At each park, the siblings encounter a magical person, animal or geological formation that provides a scrambled word that is part of a message. To solve the secret message and grow together as a family, Lotto, Armond and Riley must overcome self-doubt, believe in magic and stay one step ahead of a grumpy, silly, bad guy named Mr. Finklestink.

6. Parks, magic, adventure, mystery and fun facts. 

7. Lotto's Super-Awesome Unbelievable Park Adventure on Amazon or see my author page janellenferrigan.com

The main characters are African American, but that is intentionally not a big deal in the book. I wanted to appeal to a mainstream audience with a young hero who just happens to be African American.

This weekend - May 3 - 5 - $1 from every print or Kindle copy of Lotto's Super-Awesome Unbelievable Park Adventure goes to the Children and Nature Network!


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