Friday, April 16, 2010

Guest Post and Giveaway: Mother Nature’s Library

Today I have a guest post from Kim Zook of the Motherhood Muse. The Motherhood Muse literary magazine is a new publication that features the writing of women, men and children who find nature as their muse. In addition to creative non-fiction essays, short stories, and poetry, we publish features and columns, including my column, Mother Nature's Muse, which focuses on women writing at the confluence of nature and family. Welcome Kim!

Before I became a mother I used to arrive at airports well in advance of my flight departure time to give myself plenty of time to watch people. I was fascinated by their actions, appearances, and dialogue. It gave me plenty of material to feed my imagination when I picked up my pen to write. But then I became a mom. We still arrive early to an airport, but somehow we always manage to get to our gate a few minutes before boarding!

My observant eyes, however, have found a new interest to take in: the books lining the shelves of moms who we visit for play dates. While my toddler and baby play with friends, I feast my eyes on all the books, inquiring about a title or two, trying to memorize intriguing reads. I usually find one or two books on healthy living, nutritious meals, organic lifestyles, or post-pregnancy pilates. Occasionally I find the title Last Child in the Woods or Sharing Nature with Children. Like our own bookcases at home, I find more children’s books on nature, both fiction and non-fiction, that are diverse, colorful, and creative.

Before I created The Motherhood Muse my own bookshelf contained only a few more books on Mother Nature: Cries of the Spirit, Earth Prayers from Around the World, Sisters of the Earth, and Writing About Nature. During the initial days of creating the idea of The Motherhood Muse, I realized I needed more literature on nature written by mothers. The writing in my books focused primarily on the perspective of women, but I wanted to read about the relationship between mothers and nature. When I decided to create The Motherhood Muse magazine, I did so with the hope that I would receive many submissions written by women and men that look at Mother Nature through the lens of a parent.

The above mentioned books and The Motherhood Muse literary magazine are valuable sources of literature, but Mother Nature’s library consists of so much more. While living in the rainforest I learned that an area as small as 12” x 12” stretching from the forest floor up to the top of the canopy can tell a story if one sits and observes it over time. My almost three-year-old daughter is discovering the joy of reading cloud shapes, patterns carved into leaves by leaf miners, and tracks made by animals on the ground. While working as a naturalist I watched people of all ages read the course of a river to find their way to a 300’ waterfall. As a biology teacher, my students created nature journals to explore and discuss their observations and questions about nature.
My bookshelf now contains many more books on motherhood and nature. The bookstore of The Motherhood Muse features these books in hope that our readers will find new titles that will inspire them to reconnect with nature. We would love to learn of more books on the topics of motherhood, nature and children, so if you know of any that are not featured in our bookstore please mention them in the comments here today! Thank you for stopping by Andrea’s blog today to read our guest post!
Leave a comment on this post between now and Wednesday April 21 for a chance to win a free subscription to The Motherhood Muse, and be sure to follow the other posts in Kim's blog tour.


  1. I think it's so important to connect our children to nature, as well. With all the technology we are surrounded by, nature, the outside world, gets lost in the shuffle.
    Look forward to reading more!

  2. Ah,

    I followed a trail from Brain, Child to here and I am feeling grateful to see mothers who are writing (!) and connecting with their children out doors. You are my people!

  3. i hadn't thought of books connecting nature and parenting! i think the closest ones i have are waldorf-y ones i bought for school: children at play by heidi britz-crecelius has some nature-y sections!

    otherwise, mostly herb books around here - identifications, medicine making, etc.!

  4. I have found fiction stories to be a good jumping off point for talking about nature with children. I like Deborah Turney Zagwyn's seasonal books about a little girl named Clee - The Winter Gift, Turtle Spring, The Sea House, Pumpkin Blanket. I also really like Pond Year by Kathryn Lasky and Three Days In A River In A Red Canoe by Vera Williams.

  5. Am I too late? For the giveaway?
    Not sure, but here I am.

  6. Hi there,
    So great to know about this magazine. Thanks Andrea and Kim. I've already checked out the site!

  7. Oh, I hope I entered in time! I just discovered your blog today, and it looks like there's so much good stuff here. I'm excited to learn more about this.


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