Celebrate World Environment Day - Read The Carrot Seed

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susannah Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review and related resources for parents and others who work with young children.

June 5th is World Environment Day.  The theme for 2012 is Green Economy: Does It Include You?  According to Wikipedia, Green Economy is “growth in income and employment that is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem.”

Does Green Economy include you?  How can parents become involved in lessening the carbon footprints of their family?  How can parents engage young children in environmental activities?

Here is the perfect picture book that can serve as a launching pad for a summer family vegetable garden that will inform, engage and involve kids in what will hopefully become a life-long concern for preserving the environment and living a healthier lifestyle.  The book is one of the hundred classic picture books recommended in Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  Please check out a stellar review of my book by Nancy Hatch on Spirit Lights the Way.

The Carrot Seed

Written by Ruth Krauss

Illustrated by Crockett Johnson

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers  (1945…and NEVER out of print since then!)

Ages: 2 and up

Themes:

Determination, perseverance, self-esteem, gardening, self-reliance

Opening Line:

“A little boy planted a seed.  His mother said, “I’m afraid it won’t come up.”

Synopsis:

From Amazon: “Ruth Krauss, author of A Hole Is to Dig, has crafted a story almost Zen-like in its simplicity. A little boy plants a carrot seed and waits patiently, tending to it carefully, while everyone around him insists that “it won’t come up.” His conviction is steadfast, however, and sure enough, a carrot worthy of first prize at any state fair springs forth from the earth. Krauss’s husband, Crockett Johnson (creator of Harold and the Purple Crayon), illustrated The Carrot Seed, and while the little boy is rendered with uncomplicated lines, all of his hope, confidence, and serenity shine through. The image that resonates most strongly in this minimalist tale is the unfaltering faith of the mild-mannered little boy. Young readers learn that standing your ground in the face of opposition and doubt can often result in twice the reward expected (even thrice the reward, if judging by the girth of this carrot).”

Why I like this book:

The illustrations: simplicity in its purest form!

The text: minimalistic and appealing!

The message: POWERFUL…believe in yourself, even when no one else does!

What a wonderful book for every young child…this is a story that encourages kids to stand up for what they believe in.  With World Environment Day coming on June 5th, this book can be a launching pad for starting a home vegetable garden this summer that will decrease your family’s carbon footprint.

Related Activities:

Plant a carrot seed, of course!  With young children, you can also take the butt end of a fresh carrot and plant that in a container of soil.  The carrot will grow profuse greenery that smells just like a carrot and can be cut and used to garnish salads and vegetable dishes.

You can find some great instructions for container gardening here.

There are lots of good tips for growing veggies with kids here.

Investigate your local community to see if there is a community gardening project that your kids can get involved in.

Lesson plan and activity unit for third grade based on the Carrot S...

Crockett Johnson’s Homepage has some interesting info on the Carrot Seed song.

Brighttub has a page of lesson plans and activities.

Scholastic has a page of lesson plans and activities.

Curriculum for The Carrot Seed.

Read about World Environment Day 2012 on Mauritius first-ever youth newspaper

Read about the 2012 Theme of Green Economy: Does It Include You on Wikipedia

Connect with world-wide events and celebrations on the United Nations site

San Francisco has been in the forefront of green mandates…Sophie Azouaou is the SF Green Living Examiner.

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill.  Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.  Her page is a perfect resource go-to for summer activities for kids!

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