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E for Environment.

This annotated bibliography of children's books provides descriptive information on 517 trade books with environmental themes (preschool through age 14). Five chapters focus on environmental awareness, ecology, issues, people and nature, and activism. Selected topics include energy, pollution, marine ecology, greenhouse effect, habitat loss and issues that will determine the quality of life on Earth. Most of the books were published during the past 10 years. The author, however, does include several older and well-known children's books, such as McCloskey's Time of Wonder and Burton's The Little House.

This guide provides detailed bibliographical information on each book: author, title, publisher, publication year, number of pages, ISBN code, fiction/nonfiction indicator and interest level. Sinclair reviews each book's special features, adding a brief critique or summary. In some cases, she suggests other related books or offers comments concerning sensitive areas or controversial sections that deserve educators' consideration.

The book's interdisciplinary focus will make it useful for a number of educators. In addition to science educators, language arts and social studies professionals will also consider E for Environment a valuable resource, especially when designing lesson plans or teaching units that cross curricular boundaries. For example, John Goodall's The Story of a Main Street (p. 176) provides an excellent resource for both science and social studies (ages 5 up). Nick Middleton's Atlas of Environmental Issues (p. 85), for upper elementary learners, is appropriate for a number of curricular areas.

While Sinclair places the greatest emphasis on children's books, she recognizes that some adults might feel a need to learn more about the environment. Therefore, she includes an Appendix called "Environmental Classics: Suggestions for Further Reading," offering seven pages of books for adults and older readers. Although not an exhaustive list and not so detailed as the children's books, this guide presents an excellent beginning point for adult readers wanting additional information.

I enthusiastically recommend this book to both science educators and other professionals interested in environmental issues and interdisciplinary approaches for children from pre-school through age 14.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Association for Childhood Education International
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Gilstrap, Robert L.
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 22, 1993
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