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Published on: Nov. 2, 2004

Last revision: Nov. 17, 2010

almost everyone, some youngsters want to read a story on their own. Katy Did It!, by Victoria Boutis, is a novel for young readers about a girl who, despite her lack of confidence, goes hiking with her dad. She learns that it's not easy hiking in the rain, cooking outdoors and understanding that death in the wild means life to others. When she reaches the summit of the mountain, she feels accomplishment as she thinks over the past few days' experiences.

"I measured the walnut board, my father sawed it, and both of us fitted the pieces together."In Meeting Trees, by Scott Russell Sanders, a father shares with his son his woodworking skill and his respect for the trees he harvests. The book begins with a boy and his father in their workshop making a walnut stool for the boy's grandmother. It ends with the father "introducing" his son to a walnut tree on their property. This is a wonderful book to teach children about the value of trees as renewable resources.

Do you have a family tradition of bundling up and venturing into the cold to bring home a live Christmas tree each year? In Christmas at Long Pond, by William T. George, a father and son venture through the snow on Christmas Eve to harvest a Yule tree from a stand of spruce that the boy's grandfather planted years ago. During their walk, the two see many signs that the out-doors is still very doors is still very much alive in winter. George has written an entire series of enjoyable books about the family's life at Long Pond.

Whether you have a real or manufactured tree in your home, you can enjoy decorating a tree for wildlife like the family did in Night Tree, by Eve Bunting. For their annual trek into the woods, this family brings fruit, seeds, nuts and strings of popcorn to adorn the same tree they decorate every year. After decorating, they all gather on a blanket, drink hot chocolate and sing Christmas carols. Much to her brother's dismay, the young girl chooses to sing "Old McDonald."

Back at home, warm in bed, the boy imagines all the creatures that will be having a Christmas feast at their tree in the forest.

"...the owl shadow hooted again.'"Have you ever taken someone owling? Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen, has award-winning illustrations of a dark snowy

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