Rhody Reads: Six Books with Nature Themes Perfect for Fall

September 2022

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September is the perfect time to get back to nature as we forgo the summer heat for autumn’s cool, fresh air. This month’s Rhody Reads highlights a half-dozen books that capture the feeling of the great outdoors even if you’re enjoying the view from the comfort of your favorite armchair and sipping a pumpkin spice latte. These selections might even motivate you to get outside, especially if you plan to visit your favorite local bookstore. 

Marc Parnell’s Birds of Rhode Island (The Birding Pro’s Field Guides) is the first state field guide for Little Rhody in over 120 years. Interest in bird-watching has increased dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic and Parnell’s book provides tips and tricks to finding the rarest species in the hottest spots. There’s even a bird feeding guide so you can attract particular feathered friends to your own backyard or garden. Let the birding begin! 

If the weather doesn’t permit you to get outside, then create nature indoors with The Wind in the Willows Felt Friends: Beginner-Friendly Sewing Patterns to Bring Kenneth Grahame’s Classic to Life by PVD fiber artist, author, and sewing instructor Cynthia Treen. Get crafting making felt animals, including clothing, accessories, and furniture, following user-friendly patterns and instructions. Then recreate favorite moments or take off on all-new adventures with Ratty, Mole, Badger, and Mr. Toad. 

When Oakland Forest in Portsmouth was slated to be clear-cut to make way for condominiums, arborist Matthew Largess stepped up to defend the woods. In Treehugger, Jamestown novelist Shamus Flaherty tells the story of a man responding to his calling to be the “voice of the forest” and his mission to save the trees while battling demons from his own past and present. If you believe that small actions can have a huge impact, this tale is a story for you. 

The magic of the changing foliage from summer to fall is captured in author/illustrator Gabriel M. Patrick’s The Autumn Fairies. As characters Henry and Maria travel through the woods after school one day, they discover a special secret that not all eyes can see. Join them in exploring the beautiful color and light that illustrates their journey through the fantastical woods on a mystical fall day.

The changing environment has had a devastating impact on the lives of many, including Betty and Benny, the main characters in Bee-Cause We Care: About Honey Bees. Author Laura Strauss teaches young people about the importance of these insects to the ecosystem as well as the dangers of pesticides in a fun, rhyming tale. This joyfully drawn book will have readers buzzing like a beehive while learning about how people and bees can live together in peace and harmony. 

As Roger Williams Park Zoo celebrates its 150-year anniversary, Arcadia Publishing has released a new history book by Leigh Picard and Susan Ring. Picard is the current manager of interpretation and graphics at the zoo, a position once held by Ring,  also the award-winning author of over 100 books. Part of the publisher’s Images of America series, Roger Williams Park Zoo details the lions, tigers, and bears that call the park their home, greeting countless guests from all over the world. 

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