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  • Writer's pictureClover

Oh Yeah! Earth Day!

Updated: Jan 28, 2023

It’s easy for Clover to laud her favorite date—your bee buddy gets gushy-buzzy on April 22. To pay homage to the day, Clover announces her “Oh Yeah! It’s Earth Day” theme, presenting books about animals and growing things that beautify and bewitch us with boundless natural blessings.

Celebrate nature by taking a book outside in the spring sunshine, paying heed to the gifts the world bestows 365 days of the year.

The Community Literacy Foundation, in partnership with Neighborhood Reads and with support from its sponsors, provides these books to 40 school and public libraries in Washington, Union, Pacific, St. Clair and surrounding communities. Learn more at

Youngest Read

Go green with “Trees,” a breathtaking book with words and illustrations certain to inspire and grow an even greater appreciation for the gentle giants that provide shade, and smaller varieties that decorate our gardens and forests with flowers.

Author Tony Johnston’s simple, poetic text offers beautiful examples of the contributions trees make to all living beings. He begins with what trees love most.

“Trees love sky. They love all the blue above them. Trees love clouds. They reach high to touch them.” Johnston then switches course, noting how trees gift others too. Birds for example, trees “…hold out their limbs for songbirds to come,” and of course there’s the “…shade to wanderers passing by,” a variety of creepy-crawlies slinking by beneath branches.

Each page uses rich color in vibrant, overlarge illustrations by Tiffany Bozic, an explanation of her process detailed in the back of the book where she points out that each picture was originally painted on wood. A studied look shows the grain on the pages, lending yet another natural quality to a book that pulls you in, amazed and wonder-filled at its beauty.

Middle Read

Everything you’ve always wanted to know about owning a goldfish can be found in “My Pet Goldfish,” by Catherine Rayner, a fun read about Richard and his owner, a brunette with curls who adores her sunny, swimmer friend with fins.

The girl is attentive to her goldfish, a pet she got when she was 4, “…a fish no bigger than (her) hand, with red and orange scales.” The little fish delighted the child and she did her best to provide Richard with a good home and plenty of love.

Richard lived in a fish tank in the girl’s kitchen. As she watched over him, the girl learned about Richard—he seemed to be able to see her through the glass, and recognize who she was. The goldfish, however, hid behind rocks the day her friend Sandy came by, but then they spotted him taking a nap on the bottom of the tank.

The girl took such great care of Richard that he grew and grew, and his future didn’t remain in the child’s kitchen. Instead, at 6 months, Richard made a move that suited his size but one that pleased his pal too.

This sweet story combines goldfish fact and fiction, and is based on the author’s own experiences with her goldfish.

Ranyer compliments her text with delicately washed illustrations, created in? You guessed it—watercolor.

Oldest Read

The woodlands come to life in an engaging newbie starring Cress, an adventurous bunny that relates her story in “Cress Watercress” by Gregory Maguire, the author of “Wicked.”

After her father disappears, Cress, her younger brother Kip, and their mother must seek a new home in Broken Arms, a less than desirable address where renters adhere to the rules of Mr. Owl, the property’s landlord. Leaving home is hard, Cress hates to biddy her friends goodbye, but soon the bunny is busy interacting with a bevy of creative creatives, quirkily personified by Maguire, who gives each a distinct personality and voice.

There’s Lady Cabbage, a skunk with airs and a live-chinchilla stole fastened round her neck, cranky Mr. Titus Pillowby Owl, a miser intent on overcharging for rent, a clan of field mice and a cavalcade of other forest inhabitants—two whose very names strike terror in the animals’ hearts—a wily fox and a snake that’s all hiss and vinegar.

Their presence causes tension in the story as Cress adjusts and makes new friends, one of whom tries her patience because she’s cheeky, challenging rules continually.

Lush Illustrations by David Litchfield glorify this modern-day classic.

Written by Chris Stuckenschneider. Copyright 2022, Community Literacy Foundation. Reprinted with permission.

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