Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2021

EXPLORE YOUR ENVIRONMENT

K-8 ACTIVITY GUIDE

An important and engaging tool for teachers.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2021

A creative resource for educators looking to focus on teaching sustainability.

This work is a publication of Project Learning Tree, an initiative of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, whose goal is to advance “environmental literacy, stewardship, and career pathways using trees and forests as windows on the world.” The activities are broken down into grade-specific categories—K-2, 3-5, and 6-8—and aim to foster students’ ability to care for a sustainable world. Appendices offer helpful additional material, such as “Tips for Teaching Outdoors,” “Making a Scientific Argument,” “Planning an Investigation,” as well as “Urban Outlook,” which offers ways to adapt the material to city settings (“An urban environment is a vital and rich environment worthy of study and exploration, whether it is a city sidewalk or an urban forest”). Each activity is color-coded and presented with quick reference icons that help educators match their curriculum plans to their needs. The easy-to-grasp visual presentation offers an overview of each lesson, highlights the appropriate grade level, and lists the types of differentiated instruction and STEM skills involved as well as learning objectives; it also provides useful background information to help teachers capture students’ interest. Each activity offers clear step-by-step directions, assessments, and ideas for extended learning, including workbook pages. The activities are innovative and playful; the K-2 activity “Have Seeds, Will Travel,” for instance, suggests using a masking-tape bracelet to help collect seeds, and “Trees as Habitats” includes a Tree Observation Bingo sheet to help learners find evidence of habitation. In the Grades 3-5 section, activities effectively encourage students to extend their studies by considering their future careers in “My Green Future,” make personal connections through the use of “Poet-Tree,” and understand the consequences of human action in “Web of Life.” The learner’s role in the ecosystem plays a more central role in “Decisions, Decisions” for Grades 6-8, which asks kids to consider complicated land-use choices, and in “If You Were the Boss,” about creating a forest management plan. The activities are consistently fun throughout and offer a path toward creating a new generation focused on environmental issues.

An important and engaging tool for teachers.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-99-708068-1

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Project Learning Tree

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

Categories:

THE ELEPHANTS OF THULA THULA

A heartwarming and inspiring story for animal lovers.

The third volume in the Elephant Whisperer series.

In this follow-up to An Elephant in My Kitchen, Malby-Anthony continues her loving portrait of the Thula Thula wildlife reserve, which she co-founded in 1998 with her late husband, South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony, who published the first book in the series, The Elephant Whisperer, in 2009. Following his death in 2012, Malby-Anthony sought to honor his legacy by continuing his vision “to create a massive conservancy in Zululand, incorporating our land and other small farms and community land into one great big game park.” At the same time, the elephants gave her “a sense of purpose and direction.” In the Zulu language, thula means quiet, and though the author consistently seeks to provide that calm to her charges, peace and tranquility are not always easy to come by at Thula Thula. In this installment, Malby-Anthony discusses many of the challenges faced by her and her staff, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. These included an aggressive, 2-ton rhino named Thabo; the profound loss felt by all upon the death of their elephant matriarch, Frankie; difficulty obtaining permits and the related risk of having to relocate or cull some of their animals; the fear of looting and fire due to civil unrest in the region; and the ongoing and potentially deadly struggles with poachers. Throughout, the author also shares many warm, lighthearted moments, demonstrating the deep bond felt among the humans and animals at the reserve and the powerful effects of the kindness of strangers. “We are all working in unity for the greater good, for the betterment of Thula Thula and all our wildlife….We are humbled by the generosity and love, both from our guests and friends, and from strangers all around the world,” writes the author. “People’s open-hearted support kept us alive in the darkest times.”

A heartwarming and inspiring story for animal lovers.

Pub Date: April 25, 2023

ISBN: 9781250284259

Page Count: 320

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023

WHY FISH DON'T EXIST

A STORY OF LOSS, LOVE, AND THE HIDDEN ORDER OF LIFE

A quirky wonder of a book.

A Peabody Award–winning NPR science reporter chronicles the life of a turn-of-the-century scientist and how her quest led to significant revelations about the meaning of order, chaos, and her own existence.

Miller began doing research on David Starr Jordan (1851-1931) to understand how he had managed to carry on after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake destroyed his work. A taxonomist who is credited with discovering “a full fifth of fish known to man in his day,” Jordan had amassed an unparalleled collection of ichthyological specimens. Gathering up all the fish he could save, Jordan sewed the nameplates that had been on the destroyed jars directly onto the fish. His perseverance intrigued the author, who also discusses the struggles she underwent after her affair with a woman ended a heterosexual relationship. Born into an upstate New York farm family, Jordan attended Cornell and then became an itinerant scholar and field researcher until he landed at Indiana University, where his first ichthyological collection was destroyed by lightning. In between this catastrophe and others involving family members’ deaths, he reconstructed his collection. Later, he was appointed as the founding president of Stanford, where he evolved into a Machiavellian figure who trampled on colleagues and sang the praises of eugenics. Miller concludes that Jordan displayed the characteristics of someone who relied on “positive illusions” to rebound from disaster and that his stand on eugenics came from a belief in “a divine hierarchy from bacteria to humans that point[ed]…toward better.” Considering recent research that negates biological hierarchies, the author then suggests that Jordan’s beloved taxonomic category—fish—does not exist. Part biography, part science report, and part meditation on how the chaos that caused Miller’s existential misery could also bring self-acceptance and a loving wife, this unique book is an ingenious celebration of diversity and the mysterious order that underlies all existence.

A quirky wonder of a book.

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6027-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

Close Quickview