A Boy and a Jaguar

Boy & JaguarAs a child, Alan Rabinowitz stuttered uncontrollably–except when he spoke to animals, then he was fluent. Follow the world-renowned wild cat conservationist Dr. Rabinowitz’s remarkable life as he finds a voice to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. (biography, nature, special needs, ages 8-12)

Marina Marchese of Red Bee Honey writes about bees and honey

MarinaA leading authority in the world of honey tasting, Marina Marchese has dedicated her life to honeybees and to educating chefs, foodies and beekeepers across the country about the culinary delights of single-origin honey. Marina has shared her inspirational journey as a beekeeper in her international best selling book “HONEYBEE Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper” and now the groundbreaking concept of terroir and tasting and pairing honey in her recent book “The Honey Connoisseur” (co-written with Kim Flottum, editor of Bee Culture magazine). Red Bee honey is now carried at Byrd’s Books.

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Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons

HiKooBy Jon J. Muth

Caldecott Honoree and New York Times bestselling author/artist Jon J. Muth takes a fresh and exciting new look at the four seasons!

Eating warm cookies
on a cold day
is easy
water catches
every thrown stone
skip skip splash

With a featherlight touch and disarming charm, Jon J. Muth – and his delightful little panda bear, Koo – challenge readers to stretch their minds and imaginations with twenty-six haikus about the four seasons.

The River

RiverBy Alessandro Sanna

Surprising, original, and gorgeous, The River is a book about the seasons and the different kinds of experiences and stories that each season brings. Consisting almost entirely of images, The River presents each of the four seasons as its own chapter and story. A few sentences at the start of each chapter set the stage and provide clues for following each story. Beginning in autumn and ending in summer, The River is about our connection to place, as well as about the connections between geography, setting, and the stories we tell. The River is also about the flow of time, which flows like the river, and carries us.

Alessandro Sanna and his work are renowned throughout Italy and this book, which will fascinate young and old alike, demonstrates why.

Born in 1975, Alessandro Sanna’s work is well-known throughout Italy. He has earned wide recognition across Europe as an illustrator and author, and his work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review and the New Yorker. He is a prolific and popular creator of illustrated books for children and readers of all ages and has received many awards and had many exhibitions. He lives and works in Mantua, Italy.

Storm Kings: The Untold History of America’s First Tornado Chasers

Storm KingsBy Lee Sandlin

From the acclaimed author of Wicked River comes Storm Kings, a riveting tale of supercell tornadoes and the quirky, pioneering, weather-obsessed scientists whose discoveries created the science of modern meteorology.

While tornadoes have occasionally been spotted elsewhere, only the central plains of North America have the perfect conditions for their creation. For the early settlers the sight of a funnel cloud was an unearthly event. They called it the “Storm King,” and their descriptions bordered on the supernatural: it glowed green or red, it whistled or moaned or sang. In Storm Kings, Lee Sandlin explores America’s fascination with and unique relationship to tornadoes. From Ben Franklin’s early experiments to the “great storm war” of the nineteenth century to heartland life in the early twentieth century, Sandlin re-creates with vivid descriptions some of the most devastating storms in America’s history, including the Tri-state Tornado of 1925 and the Peshtigo “fire tornado,” whose deadly path of destruction was left encased in glass.

Drawing on memoirs, letters, eyewitness testimonies, and archives, Sandlin brings to life the forgotten characters and scientists who changed a nation – including James Espy, America’s first meteorologist, and Colonel John Park Finley, who helped place a network of weather “spotters” across the country. Along the way, Sandlin details the little-known but fascinating history of the National Weather Service, paints a vivid picture of the early Midwest, and shows how successive generations came to understand, and finally coexist with, the spiraling menace that could erase lives and whole towns in an instant.

Oceana

By Ted Danson

Most people know Ted Danson as the affable bartender Sam Malone in the long-running television series Cheers. But fewer realize that over the course of the past two and a half decades, Danson has tirelessly devoted himself to the cause of heading off a looming global catastrophe – the massive destruction of our planet’s oceanic biosystems and the complete collapse of the world’s major commercial fisheries. In Oceana, Danson details his journey from joining a modest local protest in the mid-1980s to oppose offshore oil drilling near his Southern California neighborhood to his current status as one of the world’s most influential oceanic environmental activists, testifying before congressional committees in Washington, D.C., addressing the World Trade Organization in Zurich, Switzerland, and helping found Oceana, the largest organization in the world focused solely on ocean conservation.

In his incisive, conversational voice, Danson describes what has happened to our oceans in just the past half-century, ranging from the ravages of overfishing and habitat destruction to the devastating effects of ocean acidification and the wasteful horrors of fish farms. Danson also shares the stage of Oceana with some of the world’s most respected authorities in the fields of marine science, commercial fishing, and environmental law, as well as with other influential activists.

Combining vivid, personal prose with an array of stunning graphics, charts, and photographs, Oceana powerfully illustrates the impending crises and offers solutions that may allow us to avert them, showing you the specific courses of action you can take to become active, responsible stewards of our planet’s most precious resource – its oceans.

American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation

By Eric Rutkow

This fascinating and groundbreaking work tells the remarkable story of the relationship between Americans and their trees across the entire span of our nation’s history.

Like many of us, historians have long been guilty of taking trees for granted. Yet the history of trees in America is no less remarkable than the history of the United States itself – from the majestic white pines of New England, which were coveted by the British Crown for use as masts in navy warships, to the orange groves of California, which lured settlers west. In fact, without the country’s vast forests and the hundreds of tree species they contained, there would have been no ships, docks, railroads, stockyards, wagons, barrels, furniture, newspapers, rifles, or firewood. No shingled villages or whaling vessels in New England. No New York City, Miami, or Chicago. No Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan, or Daniel Boone. No Allied planes in World War I, and no suburban sprawl in the middle of the twentieth century. America—if indeed it existed—would be a very different place without its millions of acres of trees.

As Eric Rutkow’s brilliant, epic account shows, trees were essential to the early years of the republic and indivisible from the country’s rise as both an empire and a civilization. Among American Canopy’s many fascinating stories: the Liberty Trees, where colonists gathered to plot rebellion against the British; Henry David Thoreau’s famous retreat into the woods; the creation of New York City’s Central Park; the great fire of 1871 that killed a thousand people in the lumber town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin; the fevered attempts to save the American chestnut and the American elm from extinction; and the controversy over spotted owls and the old-growth forests they inhabited. Rutkow also explains how trees were of deep interest to such figures as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Teddy Roosevelt, and FDR, who oversaw the planting of more than three billion trees nationally in his time as president.

As symbols of liberty, community, and civilization, trees are perhaps the loudest silent figures in our country’s history. America started as a nation of people frightened of the deep, seemingly infinite woods; we then grew to rely on our forests for progress and profit; by the end of the twentieth century we came to understand that the globe’s climate is dependent on the preservation of trees. Today, few people think about where timber comes from, but most of us share a sense that to destroy trees is to destroy part of ourselves and endanger the future.

Never before has anyone treated our country’s trees and forests as the subject of a broad historical study, and the result is an accessible, informative, and thoroughly entertaining read. Audacious in its four-hundred-year scope, authoritative in its detail, and elegant in its execution, American Canopy is perfect for history buffs and nature lovers alike and announces Eric Rutkow as a major new author of popular history.

The Man Who Planted Trees

The Man Who Planted Trees: Lost Groves, Champion Trees, and an Urgent Plan to Save the Planet by Jim Robbins

THIS BOOK JUST MIGHT SAVE THE PLANET.

“When is the best time to plant a tree? Twenty years ago. The second best time? Today.”—Chinese proverb

Twenty years ago, David Milarch, a northern Michigan nurseryman with a penchant for hard living, had a vision: angels came to tell him that the earth was in trouble. Its trees were dying, and without them, human life was in jeopardy. The solution, they told him, was to clone the champion trees of the world–the largest, the hardiest, the ones that had survived millennia and were most resilient to climate change–and create a kind of Noah’s ark of tree genetics. Without knowing if the message had any basis in science, or why he’d been chosen for this task, Milarch began his mission of cloning the world’s great trees. Many scientists and tree experts told him it couldn’t be done, but, twenty years later, his team has successfully cloned some of the world’s oldest trees–among them giant redwoods and sequoias. They have also grown seedlings from the oldest tree in the world, the bristlecone pine Methuselah.

When New York Times journalist Jim Robbins came upon Milarch’s story, he was fascinated but had his doubts. Yet over several years, listening to Milarch and talking to scientists, he came to realize that there is so much we do not yet know about trees: how they die, how they communicate, the myriad crucial ways they filter water and air and otherwise support life on Earth. It became clear that as the planet changes, trees and forest are essential to assuring its survival. The Man Who Planted Trees is both a fascinating investigation into the world of trees and the inspiring story of one man’s quest to help save the planet. This book’s hopeful message of what one man can accomplish against all odds is also a lesson about how each of us has the ability to make a difference.

This book was printed in the United States of America on Rolland Enviro Book, which is manufactured using FSC-certified 100% post-consumer fiber and meets permanent paper standards.

How Not to Be Eaten: The Insects Fight Back

By Gilbert Waldbauer

All animals must eat. But who eats who, and why, or why not? Because insects outnumber and collectively outweigh all other animals combined, they comprise the largest amount of animal food available for potential consumption. How do they avoid being eaten?

From masterful disguises to physical and chemical lures and traps, predatory insects have devised ingenious and bizarre methods of finding food. Equally ingenious are the means of hiding, mimicry, escape, and defense waged by prospective prey in order to stay alive.

This absorbing book demonstrates that the relationship between the eaten and the eater is a central—perhaps the central—aspect of what goes on in the community of organisms. By explaining the many ways in which insects avoid becoming a meal for a predator, and the ways in which predators evade their defensive strategies, Gilbert Waldbauer conveys an essential understanding of the unrelenting coevolutionary forces at work in the world around us.

House Held Up by Trees

By Ted Kooser

Illustrated by Jon Klassen

“Not far from here, I have seen a house help up by the hands of trees. This is its story.”

From Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Ted Kooser and rising talent Jon Klassen comes a poignant tale of loss, change, and nature’s quiet triumph.

When the house was new, not a single tree remained on its perfect lawn to give shade from the sun. The children in the house trailed the scent of wild trees to neighboring lots, where thick bushes offered up secret places to play. When the children grew up and moved away, their father, alone in the house, continued his battle against blowing seeds, plucking out sprouting trees. Until one day the father, too, moved away, and as the empty house began its decline, the trees began their approach. At once wistful and exhilarating, this lovely, lyrical story evokes the inexorable passage of time – and the awe-inspiring power of nature to lift us up.


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