Monday, May 12, 2008

i love dirt

Title: i love dirt
Author: Jennifer Ward
Pages: 153
Publisher: Trumpeter (Shambhala Publications)
Yearly Count: 24

Dirt, leaves, worms, bugs, stars, raindrops and watching trees grow...all that fills i love dirt to capacity with 52 activities for parents and kids to do together. If I read thorough a book and can't help but dog-ear the pages I know it is a great one. i love dirt by Jennifer Ward is a book about kids, and exposing them to the nature and outdoors while siultaneously leaning of the wonderful nature of earth science. From bugs, to leaves, from trees to snowmen this is a book to enjoy through all the seasons. i love dirt is divided up into activities that would work best in the seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter so that children and adults can observe and enjoy every new stage as it comes and admire what is different and beautiful about them.

i love dirt is Jennifer Ward's antidote to the current situation of "nature deficit" that children are experiencing. The generations previous to this one relied on nature. Our schools were even let out and in during the communities harvest time, and daylight savings time was initially agreed upon because of the impact another hour of light could do in the farmer's life. It was not all working outside, but also the playing in nature and with nature that was important. Participating in such activities as picnics, mid-afternoon fishing trips, laying under the sky's blanket to see just one shooting star, and the amazing world of mud pie making! To go outside and play, to put on rain gear and jump in puddles, or camp outside in the backyard on a warm summer night, or to explore the woods and make a fort these need not be things of the past. Outdoor activities are a learning and teaching experience that if neglected will fill our nation with a bunch of kids who can learn through books, but not from the beauty that surrounds them. Weather in the city, or country there are opportunities in i love dirt to get down and dirty and feel the particles of nature on your skin.

I personally loved this book so much, seriously does it get any better than a book that discusses all the fun things you can do to learn about nature and the processes that engulf us humans? Each section of the book, each activity has a short (kid friendly) explanation of the activity and its importance and a Help Me Understand question and answer as well. Here are some Q and A examples:

Q: What is Dirt?
A: Dirt is a mixture of all kinds of things: broken rock and stones, minerals and organic matter such as broken down bits of plants. (p.44)

Q: What makes new plants sprout in the spring?
A: They get more sunlight than they were getting in the winter. In the spring, the days get longer, brighter and warmer. These things help new plants to grow. (p.4)

There are so many more tid-bit facts of things every child asks, or at least mine do! I have decided to use this book for our outdoor explorations. I am very impressed with Jennifer Ward and i love dirt, too! This would not just be a great book to use for parents, but also for grandparents, and teachers as well. I am going to use this book for our science course when we begin homeschooling next year. To be honest though, it is all but burning though my hands, and since it is spring right now, I really see no need to wait...we're going to dive into this one with rubber boots, or barefoot! For when nature calls, we listen!

i love dirt is ON SALE tomorrow, may 13th!
here is link to i love dirt on

Jennifer Ward has written many children's books, check out her website here: Jennifer Ward, Award winning author of wildly fun books


Julie said...

Ha ha, I have to get a copy of this. Yesterday my 4yo asked me, completely out of the blue, "Mommy, are worms your favorite animal?" :)

heather (errantdreams) said...

What a great topic for a book! And a great way to get parents and their kids outside!

bethany said...

julie- is a good one for a curious mind. I really did enjoy it.

heather- OUTSIDE! that is the main problem that it addresses, that we think there is no merit in "getting outside".