Category Archives: global

One Year Off by David Elliot Cohen

  • I don’t know how this book ended up on my shelf. But, looking for a book to take along on my next trip, it seemed like a fitting title.
  • After one chapter I knew that this was not a book that I would leave along the way, as I usually do when I travel. This book I want to keep.

Reading One Year Off was like going along on the Cohen’s trip around the world. Told in a conversational, comfortable voice, I identified with David Cohen’s travel experiences. In fact, he seemed to have very similar ideas to mine as I travel. And we, too, once traveled for a whole year with our young children. We did it less drastic – in a camper all around North America.

The Cohen’s hoofed it all around the globe. Having traveled before they got married, this couple wanted to do so again with their children – ages 9, 7 and 2 or so as they set off.

They take the bare essentials as they fly off to Costa Rica to discover a rain forest. They spend time in Europe and have fun adventures in France and Italy. They describe a crazy ferry ride to Greece and have fun holding their own Olympic races on the original site of the first Games.

I especially enjoyed reading about their African adventures as they go on safari. Like us, they spend time traveling across Australia. I recognized much of the descriptions of the vast empty Nullarbor and the convivial Aussies they met.

One place I have not been to, that the Cohen’s visit in this book, is India. Their descriptions of the annual camel market in Rajasthan made me want to put this at the top of my bucket list!

The book is realistic. It gives practical advise in case you, too, want to take a year off with young children. But even without that, it makes for a plain fun read.

Remember to order from your local bookstore or from
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684836017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684836010

Window by Jeannie Baker

Window by Jeannie Baker 

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. In that case, the picture book Window equals a thick novel! A wordless picture book with story telling possibilities for all ages, this is a book of environmental awareness.

One window frames an ever evolving view. First of a green back yard. But as the baby inside the home grows up, the yard has its own story. Diapers on the clothes line give way to toys and bikes, then a VW beetle. The walls show their age, trees disappear to make way for a new subdivision, stores and roads.

Eventually the boy is a grown up and moves into his own home, with his own family – to enjoy the view from a new window: of green and the promise of a more natural environment for his new baby.

Endless possibilities to discuss urban expansion, growing populations, preservation and threats to the environment! Combine this with Jeannie Baker’s wonderful collage art, and this book is a must for all classrooms.

“The effect human beings have on the landscape around them is the theme of Baker’s most recent tour de force….The artist’s multimedia collage constructions are, as ever, fascinating in their realistic detail and powerfully convey the dramatic message..”– Horn Book.

Hardcover, 32 pages, Greenwillow Books
ISBN 0688089186 (ISBN13: 9780688089184)

Lesson Plans:

Books for Earth Day!

Here are four books that are perfect to celebrate Earth Day with your students or family:

Product Details

MAKE A SPLASH! by Cathryn Berger Kaye and Philippe Cousteau.
This colorful book starts with an introduction to Philippe Cousteau’s famous grandfather Jacques and his groundbreaking research into the world of water. Following in his footsteps, and teamed up with educator Berger Kaye, Cousteau invites kids to learn more about water in its broadest sense.
Making A Splash touches on major concerns such as pollution, over-fishing, oil spills and climate change. Yet it does so in a child-friendly manner and gives kids tools to be positive, effective change-makers. The books shows how individual kids, as well as schools, have made a difference by taking action.
Through photos, colorful charts, interviews, and pictures it shows how much water we need, how we can work toward cleaner oceans and streams and what kids can do to protect wetlands. A fabulous new resource for all classrooms!

Product Details

GOING BLUE is a Teen Guide to Saving our Oceans, Lakes, Rivers and Wetlands. Similar to the previous book but aimed at an older audience, it gives teens much needed information on global, environmental issues while giving them realistic tools to make a difference.
With features across Asia, Africa and around the world this book brings awareness of critical issues concerning all aspects of water. Put this book in the hands of an environmental aware teen, especially one who loves scuba diving, and amazing things will happen!

Both books are published by Free Spirit:

Product Details

50 Climate Questions by Peter Christie, illustrated by Ross Kinnaird, published by Annick Press.

50 questions, and more importantly 50 answers, look at how climate has influences human and natural evolution. The book touches on environmental components like rain, wind, water. From mummies to poop, it investigates questions that curious kids will like and learn from.

Product DetailsThe Earth, by Cynthia Pratt Nicolson, illustrated by Bill Slavin, published by Kids Can Press.

This illustrated picture book looks at how we can be hurling through space at 100 000 KM/hr, why we have day and night, what earth looked like to dinosaurs and how earth is threatened by pollution. Touching on earth quakes, volcanoes and many other intriguing earthly features, this book will bring satisfaction to curious kids. ‘Try It’ activities add a fun but important component by giving young readers (and educators) activities to become scientists themselves.

Each of these titles will bring awareness of critical environmental information to young readers, giving them the power and tools needed to become concerned citizens who can make a difference to our precious earth! Happy Earth Day!