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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Let's Celebrate the Letter "A"!

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!  Today is a day filled with excitement!  Want to know why?  (Oh, come know you do...or at the very least you are curious about the title of this post...) First reason (and first "A" to celebrate)...I just saw Avatar.  I know, I know...I'm behind on this band wagon of fans, but honestly I had no interest in seeing it....and honestly I was wrong for not having seen it sooner.  It's not that the graphics were fantastic or anything (which was the main buzz), to me they were a bit more along the lines of "eh"'s the story that really spoke to me (despite the blue creatures...yeah, never could quite get my mind around that one...they always seemed a bit awkward to me).  At it's heart of hearts, it is a story of...well, us.  Not "us" us in the literaly sense of you and me at this very moment, but "us" in the sense of our history and history-in-the-making.  Claiming land, destroying nature and cultures, all in the name of progress.  What can I say, I love new things as much as the next person, but if we continually use and use without giving back, one day...what will be left?

Conservation is a step taken by the largest of us and the smallest of us; both have equally important impacts on our futures.  I'm not saying that each and every person needs to become 100% green right this very moment (though it would help), but doing your part will go a long way in creating a better tomorrow.  How can you help?  There's recycling, turning off the lights when you leave a room, turn the water off while brushing your teeth...just to name a few.  Some companies have gotten in on the action too and made the process easier and even more fun.  You may or may not have heard of a little company called Terracycle.  Their site explains it better than I could, but basically they take different categories of recycled goods and turn them into various products....including school supplies, purses, lunch bags, and more.  They are actually pretty cool (in my opinion), unique (yea, that sounds better).  So the next time you toss your soda can by the wayside or leave your office for lunch....why not consider taking the green step available to you?  (End of "A" celebration number 1...moving to celebration number 2....ready?)

Our second "A" celebration focus is due to the given day!  It is 04/30/10 (or at least it is in a few minutes) and Arbor Day is here!  What's Arbor Day?  (My, my, my...aren't we curious today.  That's okay, I like it that way.)  Arbor Day is the day that we all band together across the 50 states to plant a tree and help preserve the beauty and majesty of the world we live in.  It's growth in popularity has even made it an idea celebrated in several other countries around the globe.  With this wonderful message of helping Mother Nature with her tasks, the post for today is offered for your review.  Today's book of choice is....

Kathryn O. Galbraith
Illustrated by
Cyd Moore

Katie and Papa are the true narrators of the story but the star of the show is nature's wonder itself....the tree!  From start to finish, we follow Katie and her family as their little portion of the world under goes changes for the better under their own hands.  We start out with a dry treeless plain (GASP!  The horror...) and slowly but surely move to a land of green generations later, all thanks to a little thought from the townspeople.  You see, this little town needs a towns square.  Why?  Well, if you have one where you live (I did back up North and it was literally a square, but alas, not down here), you know that they are more than a potential marking point for the center of town.  They serve as a gathering place as well for relaxing, festivals, and all sorts of fun.  People meet, greet, and play in these designated areas and why not have it be a place of beauty?  With a little hard work and a little community love, this is one little town that will show the world that green is a great color to be.

A sweet and touching story, the author has done a wonderful job of keeping the spirit of the day it celebrates while creating a story that will capture young readers.  The illustrations are warm and full of life while still depicting the quaint nature of their beginnings straight through to their prolific city of tomorrow.  Trees (and Nature in general) are an important aspect of our natural enviroments.  They provide shade, housing (in both lumber and for small animals), food (acorns, and leaves depending on the critter), and of course they help to clean our air of carbon dioxide.  That's right!  Your favorite little places to while away a summer day while appreciating the beauty of the world, the feel of the breeze, and a good book (oh, wait, that's MY ideal...well, perhaps you share "the dream") also do their part in making our world a better place.  I love the fact that the author takes the last page and dedicates it to the abbreviated history of this yearly event sharing its origins (in 1872 no less!), the worldwide appeal and also the website for the National Arbor Day Foundation.  (Loads of great information there....including the option to buy trees online, participate in contests, and even a tree identifying index!)

To say that this book is just that, a book....would be doing it a disservice in my eyes.  The story is touching, the pictures a perfect accompaniment as you read along, but the message it conveys is relevant for this generation and every generation.  If we want a greener tomorrow, it all starts with the little choices we make today.  From recycling, turning off lights and electronics when not in a room, turning off the water while brushing our teeth....there are so many little things we can choose to be a part of that will have an impact on the overall picture.  So, how will you start?

Review copy received courtesy of Erin at Peachtree Publishers. (THANK YOU) For more on this and their other great titles, be sure to check out their site, BLOG, or follow along on ther Twitter feed (one and two).

What are you doing for Arbor Day?  What programs or activities do you participate in to ensure a greener tomorrow?  Care to share?  The comments are open....

Until next time....give Mother Nature a hand and plant a tree today!
(...and of course, happy reading!)

**Special thanks to Erin and the art team at Peachtree Publishers for the beautiful book art to include in this post.  Aren't they beautiful?**


Vanessa said...

I thought the storyline for Avatar was just OK. It's been done before, but at least it was done well. But I did really enjoy the movie.

The1stdaughter said...

I'm with NotNessie on this one, not a huge fan of Avatar here, but the overall presentation was really good. I think a lot of it had to do with hype, but at least a lot of it centered around such a good cause. Very good point by you!

As for the Arbor Day Square book, I'm right with you. I absolutely love this book! I think it's done so so well and in such a way that kids will learn (and want to) so much from it. Beautifully done. Great review as always.

And you may be surprised to know that our family is a very "green" family. We buy from our local farmer's market, try to buy only organic, recycle everything possible and are even starting to grow some of our own food. It's also nice that we live in such a small community because that means less driving time.

Sorry for the forever comment! :o)

Gina said...

NotNessie: Glad you enjoyed the movie! Yes, the theme in the movie is tried and true, but I enjoyed the different approach used. ^_^

The1stdaughter: See, the hype is EXACTLY what was drawing me AWAY from seeing this one (that and the blue creatures bit...yeah, still doesn't site well with me), but the cause in the message is truly worthy.
Glad you enjoyed the Arbor Day was special. It doesn't surprise me actually that your family is "green". That's a great habit to build from early are setting a great example for your little ones and helping to create a better tomorrow! ^_^ (Oh, no worries on the forever comment...HELLO...I ALWAYS type forever. LOL)

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