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23 March 2022 PRESERVATION WITH ALDO LEOPOLD (Board Book) by Maureen McQuerry and Robin Rosenthal, Putnam, March 2022, 20p., ISBN: 978-0-593-32372-4


“Try and leave this world a little better than you found it, and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate, you have not wasted your time but have done your best.”

– Lord Baden-Powell (1857-1941)


“This land was made for you and me”

– Woody Guthrie (1912-1967)


“Aldo thought some places should remain wild, and that humans should visit nature as much as possible. He wrote, ‘When we see the land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.’

Aldo worked hard to convince people that wilderness areas should be protected for everyone to enjoy. This idea is called preservation. People could hike through forests, climb mountains, swim in rivers, and even set up camp if they treated the land with respect. 

Have you ever gone hiking or camping?”


My legs are a little sore this morning. I’ve just returned from a couple of weeks of hiking through some awe-inspiring, preserved wild spaces in southern California. From miles of pristine, sandy beaches in Santa Barbara to the desert ecosystems of Joshua Tree National Park and Anza Borrego State Park, I’ve fallen in love all over again with my adopted state.


A child of the Sixties, I learned to hike in Boy Scouts. Scouting also taught me to leave a place better than I found it. 


Scouting led me to Earth Day and environmentalism. And the environmental movement led me to Professor Aldo Leopold’s 1949 seminal publication, A SAND COUNTY ALMANAC.


Half a century later, I am a grandfather in love with my young grandchildren, and the potential for the future that they represent. And I am anguished about what climate change means for their generation, and for humankind as a whole. It is going to take ingenuity, dedication, and more than a little bit of luck, to mitigate the runaway negative impacts of our species upon the planet. 


But, between COVID and the potential for World War III, the fact that the planet is rapidly becoming inhospitable for human survival often seems to be getting lost in the shuffle.


And so I am excited about this stellar introduction to Professor Leopold’s philosophy and how kids can act upon it. PRESERVATION WITH ALDO LEOPOLD is part of an excellent, brand-new, board book series for young kids. Other books in the series include introductions to ecosystems and Rachel Carson; conservation and Jane Goodall; and restoration and Wangari Maathai. These are must-share books that will be perfect for circle time read alouds with the fours- and fives-.


So go take a hike! Check out these books.  And remember, as Aldo taught us, that Earth does not belong to us. We belong to the earth.


Richie Partington, MLIS

Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.pbworks.com






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