I’m assembling a list of great children’s books centered around nature and the environment, but that will take a bit more time to get together. In the meantime, I want to tell you about The Puddle Garden, an awesome children’s book written by Jared Rosenbaum of Wild Ridge Plants.
Wild Ridge is one of just a few native plant nurseries in New Jersey, and we had the chance to meet its owners, Rachel Mackow and Jared Rosenbaum at the Native Plant Society of New Jersey Fall Conference a few weekends ago. They are great, warm, knowledgeable people who are propagating their plants from local, wild seeds, and grow them using sustainable methods. We bought the coral honeysuckle? Tim mentioned from them, but also we bought this wonderful book called, The Puddle Garden, or as Mae calls it, “Puddle” or “Bear.”
The story is about a young bear who moves to a new home that feels “empty inside and out,” as it is surrounded by just grass. He wants more of his friends (bugs and animals) to join him at the new home and make it less lonely, so his Papa and Mama Bears help him select and plant native flowers and shrubs around a puddle he finds outside.
It’s a darling book, and unique in that it teaches specifically about the importance of restoring the local ecosystem with native plants. Added bonus: It’s printed in the USA on FSC-certified paper. I’m going to mention it to the owner of Inkwood Books in Haddonfield next time I stop by, but it can also be purchased online.
If you’re looking to support small and local businesses this holiday season, or are just always on the hunt for new ways to encourage your children to love, respect and understand our environment, Mae and I both highly recommend this book.
Also, if you have recommendations for other nature-focused books, let me know in the comments!