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The Little Gnome Tenderroot

Jakob Streit

Translated by Nina Kuettel

Illustrations by George Feldmann



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Dear Little Gnome Tenderroot just loves the plants and soil he cares for.  Each season he looks to see what he can do that will most especially help the roots and branches to spring to life or, in winter, fade into a deep, good sleep.  He lets the stars and the angels help in all he does, and is just such a happy little fellow it's hard not to want to run outside in the hopes of catching a glimpse of him sending star milk from heaven down into the deep earth so that the plant leaves will flutter brightly.

These little nature stories are wonderful for children in first or second grade - and for all the adults lucky enough to get to read them, too.

Nature Stories

Margaret Peckham

Stapled booklet


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Margaret Peckham originally created these dear stories for her first graders at the Rudolf Steiner School in NYC. They are a lively, imaginative introduction to nature and its ways -- sure to captivate any child who hears them.


  • The Littlest Gnome
  • The Second Gnome
  • The Discontented Brook
  • First Signs of Spring
  • The Little Girl in the Woods
  • The Butterfly
  • Treasure Chests

Nature Ways in Story and Verse

Dorothy Harrer

Illustrated by Robin Crofts Lawrence



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Nature Ways is filled with lilting stories that will captivate the children to whom they are read. It is, in fact, intended to be read aloud by parents, grandparents, and, yes, teachers, too. These stories and poems share the magic of nature that occasionally breaks in upon us all -- even when we, like the character Twig, aren't particularly happy with the way things are going.

A golden Waldorf classic - for children in the early grades.

Sacred Song of the Hermit Thrush

A Native American Legend




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Originally $5.95 -

Sacred Songs of the Hermit Thrush

Long ago, the Birds had no songs.
Only Man could sing, and every morning,
Man would greet the rising Sun with a song.

This is a Native legend that tells the story of how the birds were given song, and most especially how it came about that the Hermit Thrush was given the loveliest song of all.  It is so beautifully retold that you can almost hear the voice of the storyteller as you read the words.  The line drawings are heartfelt and exquisite.

As if this were not enough to recommend it, this little booklet is simply perfect for the Waldorf 4th Grade biology block, and in the US, also the section of the geography block that concerns Native culture.  In addition to its very beautiful legend, there is a chapter at the end on "The Natural History of the Hermit Thrush" that paints a wonderful picture of the life and ways of this little bird, along with its basic biology and nature.  The legend and this addtional information combine to make a meaningful and vibrant introduction to the nature of birds and life itself.

Farther back in the book is a listing of the seasonal ceremonies of the Mohawk people, which could easily form the basis for conveying the Native cultural impulse to 4th graders as part of their geography block and throughout the year.

Sacred Song of the Hermit Thrush is a gem that can resonnate in every child's heart, with or without Waldorf education.  The fact it fits perfectly within the Waldorf curriculum simply echoes the beauty of the human heart through the world.  I can't tell you how much I hope that many, many children will be able to hear and learn this story, and how much I hope it inspires many, many adults to offer it to the coming generations.


Storytelling for a Greener World

Environment, Community and Story-Based Learning

Edited by Alida Gersie, Anthony Nanson and Edward Schieffelin

Foreword by Jonathon Porritt


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This is a beautiful, deeply considered delving into the power and wonder of stories, how traditional stories have shaped the way generations have seen the earth, and what it can be to reshape some of those stories to reflect a union and love between man and nature.

There are many authors and viewpoints between the covers of this wonderful book.  Each story they select and the thoughts they share about it are like an overflowing cornucopia of delight and wonder, knowledge and wisdom.  Where one might expect to find "nice, environmentally friendly" stories, instead you will be treated to literary richness grounded in the depths of history and folk wisdom. 

Storytelling for a Greener World is a treasure to be visited and revisited as often as possible.


From the publisher:

A treasury of 43 stories, creative activities, techniques, tips and descriptions of inspiring practice to both empower newcomers and seasoned practitioners.

A handy, unique and authoritative resource for developing innovative story-work, and a key sourcebook of lasting usefulness.

This handbook offers time-tested stories, creative activities and methods that environmental educators and storytellers can use to affect people’s pro-environmental behavior.  Whether it is a brief mention of seeing a skein of geese flying in an evening sky, or children from a tough area getting inspired by kittiwakes, both adults and children can engage profoundly with nature through the imaginative power of story, with lasting personal and environmental changes.

It explores the links between storytelling and emotional literacy, place, environmental justice, connecting with alienated youngsters, how to encourage children and adults’ curiosity about nature, building community, sustainability and indigenous peoples, local legends, human-animal communication and how to co-create a sustainable future together.

Storytelling for a Greener World brings together the wisdom of cutting-edge storytellers who offer a range of distinctive but complementary approaches to the art of telling stories for environmental education in 21 chapters.

The Bee Book

Jakob Streit



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Streit’s father was a beekeeper and it was in early childhood that Jakob developed a passion for the honeybee. This exquisite reader factually and scientifically allows one to enter into the magic and mysterious world of the bees.

The Bee Book offers a beautiful transition from the Animal and Human Being lesson block of Grade 4 to the Botany lesson block of Grade 5 - and would be an appropriate reader for those grade level.

Geology and Astronomy

Charles Kovacs



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Part one of this book describes the different kinds of rocks, soil, and mountains found on our planet and explores how they came into being. This section also deals with the depths of the Earth and the long ages of time.

By contrast, part two examines the heights of our universe in the movement of the Sun, Moon, and stars. These celestial bodies give us our sense the cycles of days, months, and years.

Throughout, Kovacs links the phenomena he is describing to human experience and how they affect people in various parts of the world. Geology and Astronomy is a resource for Waldorf teachers in classes six and seven (ages 11–13).

Minn of the Mississippi

Holling Clancy Holling

A Newbery Honor Book

Beautiful and detailed color and black & white illustrations



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Another favorite book from my own childhood, Minn of the Mississippi is a great story, a wonderful natural history of the Mississippi River, and an outstanding geography/history lesson all rolled into one.

Minn is a snapping turtle who begins life as an egg laid at the source of the Mighty Mississippi. [I still remember my amazement when I learned while reading Minn at around age 9 that the Mississippi River also begins as something so small a child can stand astride it. The only part of the Mississippi I had ever seen was under the bridge we crossed every year to get to my grandmother's house in southern Iowa -- I had assumed the river was always about half a mile wide.]

One thing leads to another, and over the course of many, many years, Minn makes his way down the full length of the Mississippi, at last making his home among barnacle encrusted treasures left on the Gulf bottom by pirates and adventurers of long ago. Minn's travels bring him into contact with most of the wildlife that makes its home in and near the river, many of the people, and evidence many peoples gone long before.

I just love Minn of the Mississippi and the story that is told here. One of the remarkable things that H. C. Hollings does here and elsewhere is to create a story where the animal at the center of the action remains an animal (i.e., no talking, thinking or anthropomorphic behavior), yet evokes in the reader a great sympathy and involvement. And he does this while teaching a huge amount about nature, geography and history! It doesn't get better than this.


Holling Clancy Holling



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The stories of Holling Clancy Hollings rest as some of my childhood favorites - I still remember the thrill of getting to check them out of the library (again and again!) and my rapt absorbtion in the stories of creatures and things that were such great adventurers. As the captivating page turners rolled out their tales, I learned so very much about the aspect of the natural world in which the story took place. Hollings stories are a rarity in that they are great books and while also being great learning tools.

Pagoo is an intricate study of the teeming life of tide pools, told through the adventures and misadventures of Pagoo, a hermit crab.


Holling Clancy Holling

A Caldecott Honor Book


Captivating illustrations in color and black & white


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An Indian boy living along the shores of Lake Superior carves a small canoe with a "Paddle Person" in it. He names it "Paddle-to-the-Sea" and sets it on its journey from Lake Superior all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. As Paddle-to-the-Sea travels, we journey with him through all the Great Lakes, meeting boats and barges and seafarers along the way. Paddle even goes over Niagra Falls and through the locks on the St. Lawrence River. And after surviving all those adventures, it should come as no surpirse to learn that he eventually crosses the whole Atlantic Ocean and arrives in France!

A great book with a riveting story. I don't think the natural and social life of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway has a better chronicler than Holling.


Holling Clancy Hollings

A Newbery Honor Book



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In the days of the great square-rigged sailing ships, a seaman and his ship are saved from a collision with an iceberg by the swooping flight of a seagull off the shores of Greenland. In gratitude and for future good luck, Ezra Brown, the seaman, buys some ivory ashore and carves a beautiful ivory gull. Together they travel the seas on their whaling ship. Later, when the seaman is captain of his own ship, they sail together on the swift Clipper Ships to the South Seas and the Orient.

Seabird continues to ride the waves with Ezra's son, and then with his grandson, traveling on the fastest sailing ships, then on the steam ships that replaced them. At the end of the book, Ezra's great-grandson takes the Seabird along as he flies the skies, soaring through the air as he pilots the new airplanes around and around the world.

Another wonderful book by Hollings.

Keeping a Nature Journal

Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You

Clare Walker Leslie & Charles E Roth

Foreword by Edward O Wilson

Softbound, beautifully illustrated in pen and ink drawings and watercolor


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Clare Walker Leslie's work is so invaluable in the field of nature study, for all ages everywhere. We use it in our Roots & Shoots program to help young people sharpen their observation skills and deepen their connection with nature.

- Jane Goodall
Founder, The Jane Goodall Institute

For many years now, both Bob and I have felt strongly that there was a need to offer 6th, 7th and 8th grade students (and high school students, for that matter) more direct contact with living nature than the conventional Waldorf curriculum calls for. In our view, our modern world has become so very separated from the Life of the world, that it has become a pedagogical need to balance that reality with something more.

Keeping a Nature Journal offers a beautiful, lively way to do just this - and to do it in the contexts of Steiner's phenomenological approach to science, drawing & painting, and upper grades composition writing. Whether in a classroom or homeschool setting, this book opens doorways to really seeing our world and in the process, also really seeing ourselves and each other. It is simply a gifted work of art, something anyone who teaches will want to discover for themselves. There is even an entire section devoted to ways of teaching this to both children and adults.

Our hope is that the offering of this book will lead many more adults to travel the seasons with their students, and to share the love for nature that grows from such a journey.

Eric Sloane's Book of Storms

Hurricanes, Twisters and Squalls

Eric Sloane



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Put some punch into your lessons on weather! Or, just leave this book lying around to fascinate children and adults alike.

Eric Sloane brings his characteristic enthusiasm to bear on the subject of extreme weather events - and leaves every reader not only edified, but captivated with wonder that such things can be.

What triggers a tornado? What can you see in the eye of a hurricane? What is the difference between a thunderbolt and a thunderclap? Eric Sloane demonstrates why weather is something best understood by seeing it. His rich illustrations show weather in action with not a glimmer of a sunny day - cyclonic storms, whirlwinds, waterspounts, lightnigh bolts, and other fascinating, weather-related topics abound. More than 70 pages of drawings and diagrams bring the worst of weather alive in a most wonderful way.