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Book Review: Eco Boys And Girls by Maria Snyder
The greatest challenge in providing education for young children is how to have an artful balance of informative lessons and entertaining pictures and stories that capture a child’s mind and heart. The new Eco Boys And Girls book series by artist, eco-entrepreneur and author, Maria Snyder accomplishes this blend beautifully. The series is especially captivating because it was developed for an age group that is often overlooked in environmental education – the very young.
Snyder, from Maine, who lived and studied abroad and now resides in New York, has been successful in modeling and fashion design. She has a great love of the Earth and great hopes for more sustainable society. She knows that engaging the young, while they are forming their own views of the world, is critical.
So, with the tender-aged in mind, she wrote these books with great care with story and editorial support from Simon Snyder and Michael Smith. She also added a special touch that is uniquely hers. The series features a set of five kid-friendly characters each of whom represents hope for ecologically sound living and a healthy planet. Meet Ernie Earth, Lulu Love, Patsy Peace, Ray Recycle and Sammy Sun. These characters reflect her sense of color, design and character development and they make the books come alive for kids.
The books themselves inform their young readers about the wonders of gardens, organic farms, the ocean, energy and even the spectacular Everglades National Park. Their messages include how amazing these places are and that steps can be taken, even by kids, to appreciate and protect them. They are serious in places but not too heavy or scary for kids. Importantly, Eco Boys And Girls boldly address an age group that most environmental educators shy away from. Snyder understands that the minds of children in the lower grades (K-3) respond best to simple messages and simple solutions and that they will naturally identify with her cast of characters.
The books are presented in a box set and titles include:
- Meet the Eco Boys And Girls
- Eco Boys And Girls Visit the Ocean
- Eco Boys And Girls Learn about Energy
- Eco Boys And Girls Visit the Everglades
- Eco Boys And Girls Go To An Organic Farm
- Eco Boys And Girls Plant An Urban Garden
The art, words and thoughtful intentions of the Eco Boys And Girls book series make it a keeper for parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents. And, for teachers and early childhood instructors, it is accompanied by a free curriculum guide available on the National Education Association’s website.
Any adult looking at these books can easily picture intent and highly intrigued children, learning important lessons about creatures, energy, food and the planet. But, in Snyder’s pages you can also see great hope for a brighter future for the world.
Eco Boys And Girls© by Maria Snyder, Illustrations by Maria Snyder. Book sets are available through ShopNWF.org/EcoBoysandGirls for $49.99.