Beasts at Bedtime: Revealing the Environmental Wisdom in Children’s Literature

An engaging and insightful analysis of the environmental wisdom to be found in Children’s literature, this book aims to illustrate the thematic richness of children’s stories and serves as a toolkit for recognizing environmental themes.

In addition to in-depth analysis of several classic children’s books such as Winnie the Pooh and Peter Rabbit, the author looks at how to build a love of nature and of reading with young people.

At first glance, this appears to be an academic text analysing the relationship between books and nature, with lots of references and examples of scientific research done on this subject. It also looks at the connections between environmental science and everyday life.

But the more you read, the more you realise that the author is having an informative, yet engaging conversation with his reader about his own love of books, about nature and about the interconnexion between the two. It is also a very personal journey as the author through rereading and rediscovering many of his own childhood favourites finds that he still loves them every bit as much as when he first discovered them, both by having them read to him, and reading them himself.

I would urge anyone involved with young people to read this book. A book for parents, teachers, librarians and guardians of those children who imagine themselves as beasts like those around us, cats, dogs, birds, lions etc., and who would benefit from learning how to excavate the green content in favourite books of their own.