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Why Aren't We Leading the Charge for Conservation?

A few months ago, I woke up with something on my mind -writing a picture book. I thought that was weird, because I’ve never had a desire to write a picture book. I love them and since I have 4 young kids, I’ve read my share of picture books, but it never occurred to me to write one. But this gnawing feeling wouldn’t let up and I knew I had to try my hand at it.

First, let’s rewind. If you know me, you know I love to put out seasonal and holiday books for the kids. Since I like to keep it fresh, I’ve added some holidays you wouldn’t think about. One of these lesser known types of books are Earth Day books. If you go to Barnes and Noble or look at a scholastic order round April 22, you’ll see books about Earth Day. We have a few, but the thing that woke me up a few months ago, was the fact that I’d never seen an Earth Day book from a Christian perspective.

The books I’ve seen are typical books about why kids should pick up trash, recycle, or save water. And those are great. In fact, we didn’t regularly recycle until our oldest read one of these books when she was young. She urged us to make a change and we did.

The other types of Earth Day books are more poetic, but they don’t really jibe with me. They have a strange “worship the earth”/almost Pagan quality about them. Lots of “Thank you mountains and thank you ocean” -that kind of thing. It occurred to me, that when we look at creation, especially a breathtaking view, our first response is to thank someone or something. In other words, we want to worship. So, why isn’t there an Earth Day book about worshiping God when we see creation? Shouldn’t there be a book that challenges kids and adults to take care of the gifts we’ve been given from God specifically on Earth Day? If I’m a follower of God, the Creator, shouldn’t I be leading the charge in protecting his creation?

And so, I woke up with this urge to write one. I pushed it away for more pressing things on my calendar. However, the next morning, I got that nagging again. I got out my fountain pen (yes, I’m like one of the founding fathers when I’m brainstorming) and I started making notes.

Two things you should know:

1. It’s possible that this book stinks. I haven’t done the amount of research others have done to write a picture book, so I have no idea if it’s any good.

2. I’m not perfect when it comes to being earth-friendly. In fact, last week, on earth day I bought soda in plastic bottles stuck together with animal-killing plastic rings. This I did on actual Earth Day. When it occurred to me, I thought, "I have no business writing anything about conservation." So, if you think you could never have a picnic with me again because you use plastic baggies, think again. I’m guilty too and certainly not one to judge.

But I do think we can make a change by instilling values in our children so they can be a part of the solution moving forward.

You may be thinking, “Wasn’t Earth Day last week?” Yes, it was. Earth Day is for spreading awareness, but the real work begins after we become aware. To summarize an article I read last week, “the earth doesn’t need more environmental scientists. It needs millions of people like you and me making small changes in order to make a big impact.” The research is there. Now it’s time to get to work.

My little picture book may not be the one that gets published, but I sure hope one will. I want a picture book about God's beautiful Earth and a reminder to take care of it. The future is bright if we do.




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