Friday Library Recommendations: Rewilding

Monday 22nd April is Earth Day, which was set up in 1970 to demonstrate support for environmental protection, so this week, I have chosen books on the theme of Rewilding. This is the process of restoring an area of land to it’s natural state, including returning wild plants and animals to the area.

For our younger children, I have picked The Wall And The Wild by Christina Dendy and Katie Rewse.  At a time of accelerating climate change, this is an eye-opening story about gardening, rewilding and embracing biodiversity in all its forms.

In a plot of land at the edge of town, Ana grows only perfectly-sized plants and perfect-looking flowers, and throws all the irregular shoots and uneven seeds over the wall into the disorderly Wild. But as her garden gets tidier, neater and more constrained, the Wild begins to grow…

For older children, I’ve chosen the latest book in the fabulous Explodapedia series: Rewild: Can Nature Heal Our World by Ben Martynoga, illustrated by Moose Allain, which is a celebration of nature and the incredible ways it keeps us alive, and an exploration of how we can welcome the wild on a personal and epic scale.

River-nurturing wolves, tree-toppling beavers, climate warrior whales and even genetically-engineered woolly mammoths could all help us protect, revive and restore our planet to its full glory. Join Ben Martynoga and Moose Allain for an inspiring look at how we can rewild life so that nature – and humankind – flourishes for a long time to come.

And finally, I’ve chosen one of my favourite non-fiction books from last year – Ultrawild: An Audacious Plan To Rewild Every City on Earth by Steve Mushin. It’s not just the title that’s audacious – everything from the brilliantly bold ideas to the chatty, graphic novel style delivery of some, quite frankly, mind-blowing science stakes claim to that description make this an outstanding read. Whether it’s ideas from ancient sewerage systems or futuristic hi-tech pollinators and plants, there are no limits on the creative solutions Steve discusses to bring the wild back to all areas of our planet.

Jump into his brain as he designs habitat-printing robot birds and water-filtering sewer submarines, calculates how far compost cannons can blast seed bombs (over a kilometre), brainstorms biomaterials with scientists and engineers, studies ecosystems and develops a deadly serious plan to transform cities into jungles, rewilding them into carbon-sucking mega-habitats for all species, and as fast as possible.

Through marvelously designed and hilarious engineering ideas, Mushin shares his vision for super-high-tech urban rewilding, covering the science of climate change, futuristic materials and foods, bio reactors, soil, forest ecosystems, mechanical flight, solar thermal power and working out just how fast we could actually turn roads into jungles, absorb carbon and reverse climate change.

Happy reading!