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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Nowhere Else on Earth, written by Caitlyn Vernon. Orca Book Publishers, 2011. $22.95 ages 9 and up

"The rainforest is a magical place, where edible plants, fish from the ocean and tiny creatures in the soil are all connected. People live among the giant trees too, and whales swim offshore. Wolf pups play with ravens on the beach, and eagles soar overhead, teaching their young to catch fish. Spirit bears roam the forest..."

For kids who love information this book is just right. Its pages are filled with  personal eco-stories, ideas for taking action, quotes, maps, full color photographs and 'did you knows?'.  As do many books about the environments found in our amazing world, the author helps her readers think about and determine the kind of world they want to live in, and offers ideas and actions they might take individually to help make it happen.

It is set in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia and certainly provides incentive for a visit to that beautiful habitat. By gaining knowledge of such environments we become aware of and concerned for its viability in the future and what must be done to protect it now. We can do person can encourage others to join in initiatives that will make a difference, no matter how small.

"Up and down the coast, people tell stories about salmon. Stories about how many there used to be, and how few there are these days. Stories about how skinny the bears are because they don't have enough salmon to eat. You hear about streams where only three hundred salmon returned instead of the usual three thousand...What is going on in the rainforest?"

Caitlyn Vernon describes the beauty of this rainforest....its ancient trees, its plants, its amazing animals and birds, its sea life and its allure for those who have lived there for thousands of years. She includes a poignant and compelling suggestion from E.B. White (Charlotte's Web):

"Every morning I awake torn between a desire to save the world and an inclination to savor it. This makes it hard to plan the day. But if we forget to savor the world, what possible reason do we have for saving it? In a way, the savoring must come first."

Reading around this text offers many hours of learning...gathering new information, thinking about the future, determining what is possible for young readers to undertake in an effort to make their world better, and hearing the voices of many who share their concerns. It is a book that invites the reader to come back time and time again.

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