Pancake Breakfast & Great Nature Reads List Reveal

The time has come! We are proud to announce Tyler’s list of 75 Great Nature Reads!

If you wish to purchase any of the texts below, please consider doing so via AmazonSmile (where a portion of the price of your purchase will go to Tyler Arboretum). To learn how to do this, go here: Tyler at AmazonSmile.


CoverBook Title and Author(s)Submitter's CommentsGenreISBN
alex and me coverAlex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process by Irene M. Pepperberg"Most beautiful and meaningful non-fiction account of a bond between a person and natural creature." - Brad WhitmanNonfiction; Memoir9780061673986
american canopy book coverAmerican Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation by Eric Rutkow"A well written book on how the search of natural resources brought about revolution in North America. Changes your perspective of our woods." - Julia EhrhardtNonfiction; History9781439193587
american chestnut bookcoverAmerican Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree by Susan Freinkel"It is because of Tyler's Chestnut nursery that I became curious to learn more about the American chestnut - what a fascinating story and history about this tree!" - Laura GuertinNonfiction; History9780520259942
animal vegetable miracle book coverAnimal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver"Eating local and eating together as a family can do so much to make the world better." - Deirdre Chalmers

"In this book, Barbara Kingsolver chronicles her move and first year from Arizona to a farm in rural Virginia. Her goal is to feed herself and her family and the book weaves tales of her life and tales of her growing together in a wonderful way." - Kathryn Ombam
Nonfiction; Memoir9780062653055
bayshore summer bookcoverBayshore Summer: Finding Eden in a Most Unlikely Place by Pete Dunne"It's a book about the beautiful places in Southern New Jersey." - Nancy Bastien Nonfiction9780547195636
beak of the finch bookcoverThe Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner"I love the way it makes Darwin’s theory tangible for the rest of us!" - Eric ChapmanNonfiction; Science9780679733379
beast of never bookcoverBeast of Never, Cat of God by Bob Butz"A favorite; a compelling read." - Chris LawlerNonfiction9781592284467
beautiful swimmers bookcoverBeautiful Swimmers by William Warner"Great one for anyone interested in tackling Climate change in their communities! This books is an easy read and talks about the 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming, based on meticulous research by leading scientists and policymakers around the world." - Bess TroutNonfiction9780316923354
bee nature's tiny miracle bookcoverBee: Nature's Tiny Miracle by Britta Teckentrup"A great book for introducing why bees are important to young kids. The artwork is gorgeous and my kids love the "peek-through" feature." - Jennifer TuliszewskiChildren's; Nonfiction9781848693166
birds art life bookcoverBirds Art Life: A Year of Observation by Kyo Maclear"The title and sketches of birds caught my eye first and then I was immediately drawn into the narrative about grief and loss and the search for something to throw oneself into that brings relief from the unknown and uncontrolable in life. The author learns about a musician who has become an avid urban bird watcher and asks him if she can go along on his walks. She discovers beauty exists in the most decayed and broken places if you learn where and how to see it. It's so lovely that I read it as slowly as possible to savor it until I read it again." - Sandra ChurchNonfiction; Memoir9781501154201
blueberries for sal bookcoverBlueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey"Caldecot Honor; about my beloved Maine, the hillside, meadows and wildlife, and of course blueberries!" - Sandy LutzChildren's; Picture Books9780140501698
braiding sweetgrass bookcoverBraiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer"Robin Wall Kimmerer is a Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. She is a botanist and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Believing that plants and animals are our oldest teachers, Robin shows how the factual, objective approach of science can be enriched by the ancient knowledge of the indigenous people. She writes passionately and beautifully and takes the reader on a journey with her stories that capture the reverence between Native Americans and the earth - a treat for everyone who cares about the environment." - Cindy Murray

"It so eloquently tells the story of the intersection of the environment and culture, our modern capitalistic society and the brave individuals who work to protect our natural resources." - Pam Flory
bringing nature home bookcoverBringing Nature Home : How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants by Dougas W. Tallamy"This book changed the way I view nature, and my relationship with it. I learned how natural habitats of native species are becoming rare, and my lawn is part of the problem. This book inspired me to plant 7 trees, 17 shrubs, and many more planned for next season! The book is brutally honest, yet hopeful, with concrete actions anyone with a yard can take." - Jessica Kipp

"It shows how important it is to plant the areas around our homes with native species that support a pollinator population and manage the watershed." - Lisa Craft

"Birds, bees, and insects are in severe decline due to habitat loss and human intervention to the natural environment, but we can change that and restore the damage done by using the principles discussed in this book." - Michael Morell
brother eagle sister sky bookcoverBrother eagle, sister sky: a message from Chief Seattle by Chief Seattle"About caring for and preserving our environment." - Sandy LutzChildren's; Picture Books; History9780142301326
brother gardeners bookcoverBrother Gardeners: A Generation of Gentlemen Naturalists and the Birth of an Obsession  by Andrea Wulf"A wonderful blend of plants and history. Well written." - Julia Ehrhardt

"Combines botany and history in a fascinating way." - Michael Brooks

"The importance of plants and their ties to global exploration." - Tee Jay Boudreau
Nonfiction; Biography; History9780307454751
call of the wild bookcoverThe Call of the Wild by Jack London"The interaction between natural elements, human nature and animals is captured in its raw form and intrigues me!" - Ben CarrClassic; Fiction; Children's; Young Adult9780439227148
control of nature bookcoverThe Control of Nature by John McPhee"This author is a master at sharing science through storytelling - this book is one of my favorites that takes us on the journey of the complex collisions between humans and the physical environment." - Laura GuertinNonfiction9780374522599
coyote's guide bookcoverCoyote's Guide to Connecting with Nature by Jon Young, Ellen Haas, and Evan McGowan"It helped me to deepen my connection with nature and taught me how to help others to do the same." - Florence MoyerNonfiction; Education9781579940256
drawdown bookcoverDrawdown: the Most Comprehensive Plan ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming by Paul Hawken"Great one for anyone interested in tackling Climate change in their communities! This books is an easy read and talks about the 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming, based on meticulous research by leading scientists and policymakers around the world." - Shweta AryaNonfiction9780143130444
encounters with the archdruid bookcoverEncounters with the Archdruid by John McPhee"I first read this book in 1991, and I come back to it every few years. By recounting a series of encounters between environmentalist David Brower and opponents in mining, real estate development, and government, McPhee gets at the central questions around preservation of our country's natural lands. The book was published in 1971, but the issues haven't really changed, and it's interesting to reflect on what progress has - or hasn't - been made in the meantime. And McPhee's prose is a joy to read!" - Heather SaundersNonfiction9780374514310
field guide to your own back yard bookcoverField Guide to Your Own Back Yard by John Hanson Mitchell"All-time classic from a personal/local perspective." - George AmbroseNonfiction9781581572131
flight behavior bookcoverFlight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver"The author weaves a fictional story around the amazing migration of monarch butterflies and their conservation. She raises interesting points about conservation." - Susie O'DonnellFiction; Contemporary; Adult9780062124272
flowers are calling bookcoverFlowers Are Calling by Rita Gray"A beautifully illustrated book with lyrical prose that introduces a variety of pollinators and plants to kids." - Jennifer TuliszewskiChildren's; Nonfiction; Picture Books9780544340121
frederick bookcoverFrederick by Leo Lionni"Caldecott Honor; lovely story about the human spirit." - Sandy LutzChildren's; Picture Books;9780399555527
gift from the sea bookcoverA Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindburgh"A Gift from the Sea is a gift for the soul." - Deirdre ChalmersClassic; Nonfiction; Memoir9780679732419
giving tree bookcoverGiving Tree by Shel Silverstein"The tree's selflessness for the benefit of the boy moves me." - Ben Carr

"Combines nature and caring." - Sandy Lutz
Children's; Fiction9780060256654
goodness of rain bookcoverGoodness of Rain: Developing an Ecological Identity in Young Children by Ann Pelo"Author, Ann Pelo, spends a year with a child, Dylan, from her first birthday to her second. Her commitment during the year was that each day would be spent outside, no matter the weather. Her hope was that they would each become intimate with the patch of earth where they lived to cultivate an ecological identity. The book is beautifully written, with rich description showing Dylan the details of the natural world around her and reminding us all how we can offer children a strong sense of place in their upbringing and in doing so, instill a reverent relationship with nature." - Cindy MurrayNonfiction; Education9780942702552
grandma gatewood's walk bookcoverGrandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story Of The Woman Who Saved The Appalachian Trail by Ben Montgomery"It's a wonderful story of a remarkable woman who brought needed attention to the Appalachian Trail." - Mary Anne EvesNonfiction; Biography; History9781613734995
grandpa tree bookcoverThe Grandpa Tree by Mike Donahue"Another great book when workin gon a tree unit with kids." - Anne DempseyNonfiction; Children's9780911797428
have you heard the nesting bird bookcoverHave You Heard the Nesting Bird by Rita Gray"This is a great book to introduce birds and their calls to young children. My kids love imitating the bird calls an of course, being surprised as to why the nesting bird is quiet." - Jennifer TuliszewskiNonfiction; Children's; Picture Books9780544930858
hidden life of trees bookcoverThe Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben"I love trees! Trees have always been around us, and we know they're important, but it fascinates me that we still have so much to learn about them. This book is written in an accessible way, combining scientific information with the joy that nature inspires." - Heather Saunders

"I am completely in love with trees and have been spending time hiking and just being from my earliest memories. I've always found such peace there that it was intriging to read about the communication going on between trees ,how they share nutrients and warn each other of danger. The canopy of trees along coasts allow us to live farther away from oceans and rivers by creating clouds which fall as rain and even beyond as clouds are carried by wind. Without trees we would be in a hot dry desert. This book is an ode to trees and reveals their secrets and their monumental place in our lives and the lives of all living things." - Sandra Church
a hole is to dig bookcoverA Hole is to Dig by Ruth Krauss"Delightful old book (1952) with nature intertwined throughout." - Sandy LutzChildren's; Picture Books9780064432054
humane gardener bookcoverThe Humane Gardener by Nancy Lawson"The Humane Gardener offers many great tips on how to bring nature to your yard. Douglas Tallamy's Bringing Nature Home taught me what to do, and this book taught me how to do. I learned the harm of raking leaves, the benefit of dead trees, and so many ways in which our actions can affect local wildlife, for good or for bad." - Jessica KippNonfiction; Education9781616895549
Illumination in the Flatwoods bookcoverIllumination in the Flatwoods: A Season Living Among the Wild Turkey by Joe Hutto"Author understands the ways of this very illusive bird: like the author's illustrations." - James FawcettNonfiction; Memoir9781493036967
in search of swampland bookcoverIn Search of Swampland by Ralph Tiner"The best book on this valuable nature resource." - George AmbroseNonfiction; Reference9780813536811
Invention of Nature bookcoverInvention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World by Andrea Wulf"This is a fascinating story of a forgotten German naturalist who explored In North and South America leaving his name on mountains, counties and ocean currents today." - David CharlltonNonfiction; Biography; History9780345806291
joyful noise bookcoverJoyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman"John Newberry Medal; two voice poems that 'celebrate the insect world'" - Sandy LutzChildren's; Poetry9780064460934
julie of the wolves bookcoverJulie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George"I read this book in the 3rd grade and it was what made me realize that I wanted a job where I could work outside in nature, every day!" - Bess TroutClassics; Young Adult; Children's9780064400589
last child in the woods bookcoverLast Child in the Woods by Richard Louv"It crystalized the need to connect kids to nature." - George Ambrose

"This book makes such a powerful statement about the lack of connectedness and physical contact today's youth have with their physical environment, with impacts ranging from history to health." - Laura Guertin

"This is a life changing book for me! It made me notice how nature deficitient our kids have become and we have a responsibility to rewild our children and show them the wonders of the natural world!" - Shweta
Nonfiction; Education9781565126053
lens on outdoor learning bookcoverLens on Outdoor Learning by Wendy Banning and Ginny Sullivan"This is a book for both parents and teachers, illustrating how many of the skills they set out to teach formally, and help children develop, occur naturally in the outdoor environment.The stories and photographs that fill the book were culled from hours of observing children engaging with the outdoor world in diverse settings through all four seasons. A convincing case is made for re-centering our early learning in the natural world." - Cindy MurrayNonfiction; Education9781605540245
lentil underground bookcoverLentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America by Liz Carlisle"Liz Carlisle shares the story of a small group of Montana farmers who want to escape the agribusiness machine of using harmful fertilizers to grow subsidized crops and start to heal their soil and make a living while doing it. Liz follows this small coop of farmers for many years to tell the birth and growth of "Timeless Seeds", the coop that thrives today, 30 years later." - Pam FloryNonfiction9781592409563
the lorax bookcoverThe Lorax by Dr Seuss"This book's message is perfect for the Great Nature Reads and also to celebrate Tyler's 75th Anniversary. Part of our mission is to create and inspire stewards of the natural world because 'unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.' A wonderful message for young and old which I'm sure has inspired, and will continue to inspire, many light bulb moments about environmental issues that we face. Family and friends often call me the Lorax because I 'speak for the trees' but I wouldn't have it any other way. A must-read!" - Amy MawbyChildren's; Fiction9780394823379
the man who planted trees bookcoverMan Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono"This lyrically written tale makes clear the extraordinary value of trees and of the impact that a passionately determined person can have. The story is accessible to children 8 and up yet deeply inspiring to adults." - Christine Du Bois-BuxbaumClassics; Fiction9781933392813
memory of old jack bookcoverThe Memory of Old Jack by Wendell Berry"For its soul and compassion." - John EwingFiction; Literature9781582430430
memory of old jack bookcoverMerry Hall by Beverley Nichols"One of the funniest books about horticulture ever written. If you like gardening and Jeeves & Wooster, you will enjoy. Merry Hall is perfectly absurd British humor." - Pete BrownNonfiction; Biography9781604694680
midnight farm bookcoverThe Midnight Farm by Reeve Lindbergh"Vision of nature and humanity in harmony." - Sandy LutzChildren's; Poetry; Picture Books9780140556681
mr. willowby's christmas tressMr. Willowby's Christmas Tree by Robert Barry"This darling book always reminds us of the sequoia at Tyler!" - Deirdre ChalmersChildren's; Picture Books9780440407263
my side of the mountainMy Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead GeorgeThis story of a boy who learns to be self-sufficent in the mountains sparked my lifelong love of Nature. - Kim SheridanFiction; Young Adult; Children's9780141312422
Natural History of North American Trees bookcoverA Natural History of North American Trees by Donald Culross Peattie"Well written with enough lore and science mixed together." - Julia EhrhardtNonfiction; History9781595341662
Night Tree bookcoverNight Tree by Eve Bunting"A family decorates an outside tree to feed the birds, etc., at Christmas time." - Deirdre ChalmersFiction; Children's; Picture Books9780152001216
Of Wolves and Men bookcoverOf Wolves and Men by Barry Lopez "Powerful and moving natural and cultural history of wolves in the landscape and mythology of Europe and North America. Published in 1978, a finalist for the National Book Award it changed the way we understand and wrote about animals. (Lopez's later book, Arctic Dreams won the National Book Award in 1986. This is also a great "literature read")." - Jim FlandreauNonfiction9780684163222
Overstory  bookcoverOverstory by Richard Powers"In history and in life we are all connected through the existence of the trees in our lives." - Carol Savery

"One of the best books I've ever read, this riveting story is an homage to trees. The backstories of several characters, each one bonded to a tree from childhood, come together as roots to the mission of saving Redwoods from the timber industry. Not only will you learn many new things about trees (chestnut is deeply featured) but you will never ever see trees the same way again." - Katie Cubeta

"Described by Barbara Kingsolver as "Moby Dick" for the 21st Century, this is an astonishing book about trees and our relationship to the natural world. A must read!" - Miriam Schaefer
Fiction; Literature; Contemporary9780393356687
owl moon bookcoverOwl Moon by Jane Yolen"Caldecott Medal, about 'companionship . . as well as humankind's close relationship to the natural world.'" - Sandy LutzFiction; Children's; Picture Books9780399214578
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek bookcoverPilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard"A classic that reads like poetry, which opened my mind to nature writing and documentation." - Chris Lawler

"A brilliant, magical experience that gave me a new way of seeing the natural world." - Jim Flandreau

"Wonderful narrative of her year exploring nature in her own neighborhood in Virginia. I has stuck with me for years." - Joyce DeYoung
Nonfiction; Memoir; Classics9780061233326
Prodigal Summer bookcoverProdigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver"The author has a master's degree in ecology and evolutionary biology and her training is evident in her writing. This work of fiction weaves together several stories with southern Appalachian forests and farms as the backdrop." - Claire BallantyneFiction; Contemporary9780060959036
Ravens in Winte book coverRavens in Winter by Bernd Heinrich"Journey with a researcher as he discovers the secrets of raven behavior." - Susie O'DonnellNonfiction9781476794563
Sand County Almanac bookcoverSand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold"I loved Leopold's close observations of nature and down to earth style of writing. I think of his essay on firewood every time we clean up a fallen tree!" - Bess TroutNonfiction; Classics; Philosophy9780195059281
Secret Life of Plants bookcoverThe Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird"It explains how plants respond to each other, us and even read or minds. It's changed my whole thing about plants and my place in the world!" - Jason BachmanNonfiction9780060915872
Sense of Wonder bookcoverSense of Wonder by Rachel Carson"Author, Rachel Carson, delights in sharing the wonders of the natural world with her nephew, Roger. Exploring the coast and the woods of Maine, she and Roger play and experience the sights, sounds, smells and feel of all they encountered. Carson's sharing was based on having fun together, rather than on teaching. Carson's message is that “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder...he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in. Through narrative and photography, Carson charts this journey with Roger." - Cindy Murray

"Great overview of sharing nature w/kids." - George Ambrose
Nonfiction; Biology9780062655356
Sophie's Squash bookcoverSophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller"This is a children's book that my children absolutely love. The little protagonist Sophie gets a squash at a farmer's market and falls in love. The themes are a parent's dream: pretend play, empathy, and growing things." - Kathryn OmbamFiction; Children's; Picture Books9780307978967
Spring After Spring bookcoverSpring After Spring by Stéphanie Roth Sisson"Wonderful picture book bio of Rachel Carson and the environmental movement." - Anne DempseyNonfiction; Biography; Children's9781626728196
Time of Wonder bookcoverTime of Wonder by Robert McCloskey"Caldecott Medal, set in Maine, about "the sea, the shore and the quiet forests beyond"; prepping for a hurricane and the clean-up after." - Sandy LutzFiction; Children's; Picture Books9780140502015
A Tree is Nice bookcoverA Tree is Nice by Janice May Udry"This Caldecott Medal winner for ages 4 to 8, originally written in 1956, draws a child into a realization of the beautiful and fun wonder of trees. Enough said." - Cindy Murray

"Caldecott Medal, 'poetic simplicity and beauty.'" - Sandy Lutz
Nonfiction; Children's; Picture Books9780064431477
The Tree Lady bookcoverThe Tree Lady by H. Joseph Hopkins"One of my favorite books to read to my classes for children." - Anne DempseyNonfiction; Children's; Picture Books9781442414020
unbowed bookcoverUnbowed: a Memoir by Wangari Maathai"'Unbowed' details Wangari Maathai's establishment of the Green Belt Movement to help restore indigenous forests across Africa and assisting rural women by paying them to plant trees in their villages. In the end, this book communicates a message of hope and optimism for humans and our environment." - Laura GuertinNonfiction; Biography9780307275202
Uno's Garden bookcoverUno's Garden by Graeme Base"A counting book with fantastic illustrations and a profound message about living lightly on the earth and the consequences of disappearing wildlife if we don't. It ends with a hopeful message for the future." - Susie O'DonnellFiction; Children's; Picture Books9780810954731
walden bookcoverWalden by Henry David Thoreau"Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads." - Deirdre ChalmersNonfiction; Classics; Literature; Philosophy9781479111312
Walk in the Woods bookcoverA Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonLove the way the story is told, with both humor and reverence of the White Mountains. For me, it brings back memories of my youth, camping and hiking with my family. - Cindy NewmanNonfiction; Memoir; Travel9780767902526
Watership Down bookcoverWatership Down by Richard Adams"This exciting fictional story about the secret lives of rabbits depicts the importance of perseverance, resilience, and leadership." - Mary Ellen MalessaFiction; Young Adult; Fantasy; Classics9780743277709
Weeds bookcoverWeeds: How Vagabond Plants Gatecrashed Civilisation and Changed the Way We Think About Nature by Richard Mabey"Awoke to the joy of nature even, and especially, amidst weeds." - Joanne MontowskiNonfiction; History9780062065469
The Wild Places bookcoverThe Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane "A tour de force of brilliant prose, revealing the wild places (like Tyler Arboretum) where we can still find sanctuary despite ever encroaching development. Highlights the remaining gems in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales." - Jim FlandreauNonfiction; Memoir9780143113935
Wildflowers of Pennsylvania bookcoverWildflowers of Pennsylvania by Mary Jo Haywood and Phyllis Testal Monk"The best guide on PA wildflowers." - George AmbroseNonfiction; Reference9780971061408
The Wind in the Willows bookcoverThe Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame"A childhood favorite. Life and character lessons still pertinent." - Susan K PowellFiction; Children's; Classics9781514664599
Witch Hazels bookcoverWitch Hazels by Chris Lane"Best plant ever." - Chris LawlerNonfiction; Reference9780881926781
The Wolves are Back bookcoverThe Wolves are Back by Jean Craighead George"This book explains in a simple way how living things are dependent on one another to keep a balance ecosystem. By removing one species (in this case wolves from Yellowstone National Park), many other species are affected." - Louisa RomaineNonfiction; Children's; Picture Books9780525479475