It may sound clichéd, but as a librarian, one of the best gifts you can give me is a book. For Christmas one year, I received a re-issue of Rachel Carson’s 1965 Sense of Wonder . This book is an expansion of her 1956 essay “Help Your Child to Wonder” published in the July issue of Woman’s Home Companion. Using images of nature and writing, Carson’s Sense of Wonder inspires the children in us all to appreciate and respect the natural world around us. It reminds us that no matter how busy we are, taking a moment to observe a flower or a tree can be richly rewarding.
On May 27, we celebrate the birth of conservationist and scientist Rachel Carson, who has encouraged many of us to wonder about our world.
Back in 2007, in observance of the 100th anniversary of her birth, we created a guide of books and articles available at the Library of Congress authored by and about Miss Carson, in addition to internet resources. The impact of her seminal book, Silent Spring (1962), is felt even today as our awareness of environmental contaminants continues to grow. Listed in this guide is her 1944 report on Fish and shellfish of the south Atlantic and Gulf coastsand with the recent Gulf Coast oil spill, this work remains as relevant today as it was over 60 years ago.
And if by reading this post, you get a craving to read more inspirational nature writing, you might wish to take a look at our guide to Nature Study, Nature Writing: Past and Present , where you will find titles by notable naturalists John Burroughs, Susan Fenimore Cooper, Anna Comstock, John Muir, and many others.