March 2 marks Dr. Seuss’s 114th birthday, so we’re celebrating by putting together a list of our favorite books, centered around experiences in nature. Celebrate reading and get in touch with the natural world—and your love of CVNP—with a few of these nature-inspired reads. Note that many of the children’s books highlighted area available right here in CVNP at our Trail Mix Peninsula store!
Dr. Seuss | Random House Books, 72 pages, $14.95
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better—it’s not.” Dr. Seuss’s classic story of The Lorax is inspiring whether you’re five years old or 100. Re-live your childhood with this cautionary but ultimately hopeful tale of the Truffula Trees and their beloved caretaker.
Take-Along Guide – Tracks, Scats and Signs
Leslie Dendy | Cooper Square Publishing, 48 pages, $7.95 at Trail Mix Peninsula
This fun children’s book is jam-packed full of useful information that can make a hike more informative and interesting. Even though you may not see a particular animal during a hike, you can still look for signs of that animal. For example, you can look for these signs that a beaver lives in the area: a zigzag trail in the mud shows where a beaver’s fat tail was dragging, pointy-topped tree trunks where beavers have used their teeth to chop down a tree. It features many animals that live in our national park including raccoons, rabbits, woodpeckers, and coyotes.
Britta Teckentruap | Doubleday Books, 32 pages, $14.99 at Trail Mix Peninsula
This beautiful hard-cover book has lovely illustrations and simple rhyming text. The story takes you through the seasons from the vantage point of an owl in a tree. From the back cover: “See the seasons like never before! Peek through the holes in this book and discover the bustling life of a tree and its many forest friends. From blooming flowers in spring to fresh-fallen snow on the winter ground, children will love finding all the new animals, colors, and plants that greet each and every season.”
On the Trails with Maestro
Robin Kirk | Steuben Press, 32 pages, $12.95 at Trail Mix Peninsula
First, we love that the cover shows the view from the Ledges Overlook right here in CVNP. This book is a fantastic souvenir book because it references specific hikes in the park – the Ledges, Forest Point, and Brandywine Falls. It tells a sweet story about Maestro, a little mouse who lives in car number 3 on the train, and his adventure on a ranger-led hike through popular trails in CVNP.
The Goodnight Train
June Sobel | HMH Books, 30 pages, $7.99 at Trail Mix Peninsula
This book is in the same style as Good Night Moon, but set on a Goodnight Train. Great for smaller kids, this board book has colorful illustrations and rhyming text. Follow the journey of a train from “All aboard” to pulling into Dreamland Station!
Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life
Richard Louv | Algonquin Books, 304 pages, $15.95
An inspiring prescription for “Vitamin N” (for nature), Richard Louv’s new book offers real-world advice for adding more nature to your life. It includes 500 outdoor activities for kids and adults—like picking a “sit spot” or creating a long-term family photo scavenger hunt—as well as essays and helpful websites.
The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies Are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet
Kristin Ohlson | Rodale Books, 256 pages, $23.99
Former Clevelander Kristin Ohlson knows a thing or two about dirt. In this book, she writes about an idea to reverse global warming by turning atmospheric carbon into beneficial soil carbon. Ohlson makes a compelling case for the healing of the planet with exceptional literary skill.
Flight Behavior: A Novel
Barbara Kingsolver | HarperCollins, 448 pages, $28.99
In Barbara Kingsolver’s most recent novel, the discovery of an unexpected and miraculous congregation of monarch butterflies leads to a national sensation and biological mystery. Kingsolver’s writing is top-notch, as always—get ready to explore the intersection of science, religion, nature, and wonder.
Grass Roots: The Universe of Home
Paul Gruchow | Milkweed Editions, 250 pages, $13.95
Sink deep into Paul Gruchow’s prose with Grass Roots, an exceptional and sometimes bittersweet book about rural America from a “contemporary Thoreau.” Gruchow writes about finding his own roots and discovering “untamed places” in the heartland.
Have recommendations of your own? We want to hear from you! Share your favorite nature-inspired reads on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #forCVNP.