Reading bedtime story

Tales of Peter Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh, and The Hobbit do more than simply delight children at bedtime.

Heneghan: “Storytime not only is this special moment of repose. You start seeing these environmental themes everywhere in the books that kids are reading.”

Liam Heneghan of DePaul University in Chicago is author of a new book called Beasts of Bedtime: Revealing the Environmental Wisdom in Children’s Literature.

He says children’s books can help plant the seeds of environmental awareness.

Author says children's books can help plant the seeds of environmental awareness. Click To Tweet

For example, he says The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien reflects concerns about the destruction of the natural world. Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax tells a cautionary tale about deforestation and human greed.

And, he says, characters like Winnie the Pooh, Peter Rabbit, and even Calvin and Hobbes, can help teach what may be the most important lesson of all: to love and appreciate nature.

Heneghan: “Even though we should be honest with ourselves and ultimately with our children that we’re facing harsh times with difficult battles to fight, you know, this world is still worth fighting for because this world is something that we can love.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

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