Did you know that over 80% of the world’s land animals live in forests?1 Yet we continue to destroy their natural environment due to our own selfish needs and lack of sustainable practices.
All animals play an important role in the ecosystem. When we alter the places they live, we threaten their survival and throw these natural systems off balance. This can cause a major disruption in the food chain as well as the environment. In essence, our lives depend on animals and nature. Without them, the world as we know it will cease to exist.
Inspiring Environmental Advocacy with Literature
That’s why it’s so important to educate young people about sustainable practices and protecting the environment. Books about nature make this possible. Teachers, librarians, and caretakers can use books about nature to spark conversation about the environment and help children understand the importance of sustainability.
That’s why we’ve dedicated this series of articles to highlighting some of the innovative books out there that are helping to spread environmental awareness. This month, we’ll be taking a look at another winner of the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award, The Girl Who Drew Butterflies.
About the Book, The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science
The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science is an inspiring book that tells the story of female artist Maria Merian and her contributions to science.
Maria was an artist at a time when it was controversial for women to paint and draw. Her natural curiosity about insects led her to start creating sketches of butterflies. At the time, this was a very unusual activity for a lady to participate in, but Maria did it anyway, despite the stigma and judgment of her peers.
She searched out and found places where caterpillars would hide during metamorphosis, then documented the changes through her drawings. These drawings had an incredible impact on the scientific community and helped pave the way for a deeper understanding of nature and the world.
Why It’s Important
Maria Merian’s discovery of metamorphosis was important because it allowed us to gain insight about an important animal species and how the natural world operates. Understanding the processes of nature is important for our ability to live in harmony with the environment. The more that we know, the more we can do to limit our environmental impact.
Check Back for More Books About Nature
Next month, we’ll continue discussing more books that are inspiring environmental advocacy among youth. Be sure to check back soon to see what book we’ll be talking about next!
- World Wildlife Fund. “Deforestation and Forest Degradation.” https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation