When I first took up photography I had no idea where it would lead me. I eagerly began snapping shots of nature to share with family and friends. But it didn’t stop there. As my skills developed and my interested increased, I discovered that I was drawn to close-up and macro photography. I soon learned that I could share a part of nature with others that they rarely saw. From a tiny world reflected in a dewdrop to the hairy legs of an ordinary housefly, each image propelled me forward. I began to notice that some of my photos were ideal for children's books.
According to the White Hutchinson Leisure and Learning Group, children’s experiences with nature is increasingly relegated to media sources, such a television nature series, Internet sites and other interactive sources. These sources present nature as something “out there” that seems far away from the child’s world. Although they may inspire wonder, they cannot help children connect with the natural world around them in a concrete way.
The In My Backyard series introduces young children to nature in a meaningful way. It features common flora and fauna found in typical American backyards, not is some exotic, remote island they will never see.
The books can be read and enjoyed from the comfort of the home, but they can also be used as a guidebook for exploring backyards and neighborhoods. As a parent or teacher, you can help the children in your life make meaningful connections with nature that will help them develop environmental consciousness, spur the imagination and teach them to respect the environment.
It is my hope that the In My Backyard series will help children connect with nature and will make your job as a parent or teacher a little bit easier.