The Runaway Dandelion; Adventures In SustainAbility by Jill Regensberg
A once idyllic meadow, home to animals, birds, insects, wildflowers and ancient appletrees is clear cut by a bulldozer to make way for new construction. Miraculously, there is one survivor...a lonely little dandelion. When her golden petals turn to white fluff, she takes flight in search of a new home. We get a bird's eye view of her journey over many big houses and manicured green lawns. When she spots a lush green meadow, surrounded by wetlands, we follow her down to earth, and cheer as she puts down new roots. We meet all the inhabitants of this small Family Farm and observe their daily life. What's special about this farm is that each of their activities contribute to a sustainable lifestyle, and consequently lead to a brighter and more promising future. A contemporary fable that is as informative as it is timely. Young readers, as well as parents and teachers, can explore many earth friendly techniques including organic gardening, solar and wind power, water harvesting, alternative heating, growing medicinal herbs, and cultivating gourmet mushrooms on logs. There is a Glossary, and suggestions for family friendly cooking-with-dandelion recipes. A comprehensive resource list of follow up links encourages readers to further explore these Permaculture techniques.
The Runaway Dandelion is a 48 page children's book that is full of permaculture goodness for young kids up to age ten or so. As the reader follows the journey of the dandelion, they are introduced to many permaculture practices, including natural swimming pools, wild harvesting, beekeeping, soil biology and food preservation. I was very happy to find that this book has a glossary for many of the terms used in the story, as well as a resource list of useful websites. As a children's book, I think it's great that it includes useful knowledge and skills along with the story. Also included in the book, is a page dedicated to cooking with dandelion flowers and greens. The illustrations bring the story to life on every page so even very young children that aren't reading yet can enjoy it. My kids have been reading this book for the past couple of weeks and they really like it. I received this book just as the dandelions in our yard were beginning to flower so it's been a good motivator for the kids to experiment with dandelions. I even started my own batch of dandelion and ginger vinegar that will probably be ready sometime in the fall. I would like to see more books like this one because it's entertaining, educational and it focuses on what we can do to improve our lives with nature.