At Creatures in the Wild one of our main goals is to help families foster a connection with each other and with the earth. One of our new favorite ways to do that is our Seasonal Book Club!
How it works is a book is selected for a season and families read out loud over the course of 3 months, this slow intentional way of reading a book lets us dive deep into the story and connect with each other through the characters. At the end of the season everyone meets for a potluck themed party! The families get to bond over the story and characters. During the season please join the Facebook Group to discuss the reading and meetings with other families.
This past Winter we explored the connection between technology, humans and the animal kingdom by reading The Wild Robot by Peter Brown. Roz the robot was much beloved by all of the children. Families dove deep into topics such as emotions, the circle of life and death for animals, family, morality and the relationships between humans and robots. We all came out a little more wild at the end.
Spring Book: Pax by Sara Pennypacker
This book was recommended across the board by every librarian we asked. After reading all of the reviews we could get our hands on we agreed, this is a great selection for our next book. Families will be able to explore a huge variety of topics, the biggest one being the connection between humans and animals. Reviews do note that there are some violent parts as a war is going on during the story. Instead of passing on this book we decided to leave it up to the parents. Please feel free to read ahead to see if there is anything you would like to skip as a family. Our family will be reading it all as we feel it gives us an opportunity to discuss important topics. Here is a review to get an idea of what the book is about.
Review by The Classroom Bookshelf:
“With eloquent prose and gripping plot development, Sara Pennypacker guides readers through a tumultuous and tender story about love, loyalty, grief, and the complex interdependence between humans and animals. Pax was a vulnerable kit alone in the woods when Peter rescued him. Years later, when Peter’s father enlists in the military to fight in an encroaching war, Peter, now an adolescent, must return his beloved fox to the woods and move in with his surly grandfather 300 miles away. Chapters alternate between Pax’s quest to find “his boy” in an unknown landscape and Peter’s rigorous pursuit of Pax after regretting the abandonment of his beloved pet. Peter sustains an injury on the first night of his journey and is taken in by Vola. While Vola nurses Peter back to physical strength, she begins to heal from her own post-traumatic stress disorder associated with her service in a previous war. At times, descriptions of the consequences of war are graphic and painful. Jon Klassen’s black-and-white pencil illustrations heighten our understanding of select moments giving readers an opportunity to pause and reflect on the loneliness, uncertainty, and unwavering hope that drive the story. A luminous read aloud or independent reading selection, Pax offers countless opportunities to discuss empathy building and our human need to find belonging as well as cross curricular connections to studies of animal behavior and adaptation.”