Recommended Books and Articles

Picture of the book, Sparrow


by Kim Todd
Innocent. Invader. Lover. Thief. Sparrows are everywhere and wear many guises. In Sparrow, award-winning science and natural history writer Kim Todd explores the bird’s complex history, biology, and literary tradition. With lush illustrations, ranging from early woodcuts and illuminated manuscripts to contemporary wildlife photography, this is the first book-length exploration of the natural and cultural history of this beloved, reviled, and ubiquitous bird.

Picture of the book City Birds Country Birds

City Birds/Country Birds

by Sharon Stiteler
This wonderful, easy to read book will teach you how to attract birds no matter where you live, even in an urban environment. It includes “apartment tips” for people who live in shared living spaces and is chock full of applicable information for anyone who wants to get to know birds better in cities. You’ll learn about threats to urban birds and get clear information about feeding birds as well as providing them with water and shelter.

Picture of the book Last Child in the Woods

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

by Richard Louv
There is a growing disconnect between children and nature. Children’s lives are out of balance, with little free time. They are spending most of their time in structured indoor activities and less and less time simply playing outdoors. People protect what they value, and they value what they know and appreciate. If children don’t cherish the natural environment, there is a good chance that they won’t grow up to be good stewards of the earth that sustains us.

Publisher Comments:
“I like to play indoors better — cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are,” reports a fourth grader. But it’s not only computers, television, and video games that are keeping kids inside. It’s also their parents’ fears of traffic, strangers, Lyme disease, and West Nile virus; their schools’ emphasis on more and more homework; their structured schedules; and their lack of access to natural areas. Local governments, neighborhood associations, and even organizations devoted to the outdoors are placing legal and regulatory constraints on many wild spaces, sometimes making natural play a crime.

As children’s connections to nature diminish and the social, psychological, and spiritual implications become apparent, new research shows that nature can offer powerful therapy for such maladies as depression, obesity, and attention deficit disorder. Environment-based education dramatically improves standardized test scores and grade-point averages and develops skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making. Anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that childhood experiences in nature stimulate creativity.

Picture of the book The Black & Brown Faces in America's Wild Places

The Black & Brown Faces in America’s Wild Places: African Americans Making Nature and the Environment a Part of Their Everyday Lives

by Dudley Edmonson

Photographs and interviews with people of color who are deeply involved with our natural spaces. Insightful and inspiring!

Picture of the book Pigeons- The Fascinating Saga of the World's Most Revered and Reviled Bird

Pigeons: The Fascinating Saga of the World’s Most Revered and Reviled Bird

by Andrew D. Blechman
Pigeons: you either love them or hate them! Are they just “rats with wings” or much more? Learn all about them in this wonderful, comprehensive, and very readable book.

“I’ve been as guilty as anybody of looking down on the lowly Rock Dove. But Andrew Blechman’s Pigeons woke me up. Informative and well-written, if anybody can read his book and still harbor contempt for pigeons, I have to wonder if there is hope for human beings.”

—Mark Bittner, author of The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

Picture of the book Songbird Journeys

Songbird Journeys: Four Seasons in the Lives of Migratory Birds

by Miyoko Chu
Learn about the lives of songbirds as they move from continent to continent with the seasons.

Grandmother’s Pigeon

by Louise Erdrich
This is a wonderful children’s book! An eccentric grandmother leaves behind three old eggs that hatch into Passenger Pigeons. Blends fantasy and science.

Picture of the book On Meadowview Street

On Meadowview Street

Written and illustrated by Henry Cole
This book is sympathetic to the goals of the Celebrate Urban Bird project; what would happen if you stopped mowing your lawn and created an interesting habitat? You’d get flowers, trees, butterflies, amphibians, and of course, lovely birds — a home for everyone! Henry Cole shows exactly what families can do to revitalize an entire neighborhood. It’s a cute story, and it could be real!

Also of interest by Henry Cole are two marvelous picture books about observing nature, sharing space with beautiful animals and plants, and the rewards of finding “a place to sit and watch and listen.”

Picture of the book I Took a Walk

I Took a Walk

Take a peaceful walk through nature and explore the different types of wildlife and plants on both land and water. Filled with fun interactive pop-ups, this colorful book will provide you with an adventure that’ll give you the chance to learn what nature has to offer.
by Henry Cole

Picture of the book On the Way to the Beach

On the Way to the Beach

With this book, you can take a trip to the beach whenever your heart desires! Use your senses to learn about the various forms of wildlife, including a variety of birds, that call this rich environment their home.
by Henry Cole

Picture of the book Gracie, The Public Gardens Duck

Gracie, The Public Gardens Duck

story by Judith Meyrick, illustrations by Richard Rudnicki
Gracie can’t understand why her regular sources of food are leaving her hungry. Will she figure out where the ‘natural’ duck food in the park is? Set in Halifax Public Gardens, Canada.