Because if you're anything like me, as much as you may love that cute little Kindle or that very shiny, very smart, very sexy looking iPad, you also know that there's just nothing like holding a real ink and paper book in your hands. Feeling the various textures beneath your fingers, staring lovingly at the images and fonts and the way the light changes them when you move, appreciating and interpreting the selective and intentional formatting, and then ever so carefully finding just the perfect spot on your shelves, right between to The Extended Works of William Blake and The Story of O.
But seriously...I'm just unbelievably heartbroken to know that children's books about saving the rainforest are actually, sadly and frustratingly, partly responsible for their deforestation.
Evidently, most of the children's books (from 9 out of 10 major US children's book publishing houses!!) tested in this random sampling contained materials sourced from Indonesian forests. Indonesia is now 3rd (to US and China) in greenhouse emissions.
But Indonesia also houses 10 percent of the world's mammals, 11 percent of the world's reptiles, and 16 percent of the world's birds—not to mention a number of endangered species, including orangutans, Sumatran and Javan rhinos, Sumatran tigers, and Asian elephants.
US publishers must commit to eliminating from their supply chain any and all materials sourced from Indonesia. And we, as parents and lovers of children's books, must demand it. They also need to know that producing rainforest-safe books is not only possible, but that they're already being produced.
To that end, Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has issued a LIST OF 25 RAINFOREST-SAFE READING BOOKS.
The list includes the following titles:
The Earth Book by Todd Parr
The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen
SpongeBob to the Rescue! By Alison Inches
Bunny’s Garden (Pat the Bunny) by Golden Books
Nature Discovery in My Backyard by Rebecca Mattano
The complete summer reading list (which is dynamic and continues to evolve) can be found here: http://ran.org/content/rainforest-safe-summer-reading-list
So, while you continue to enrich your children's minds, expand their horizons, and reduce their carbon footprint this summer, HAPPY HAPPY READING!