OK, call me a crank, a malcontent, a hypercritical reviewer with a small, crabbed heart. But despite all its earnestness, despite its heartfelt message, which an environmentalist and concerned parent like me should embrace — in brief, that nature is good for children — Richard Louv’s plea to reengage our children with nature left me strangely uninspired. As with all good ideas, it is one worth repeating, but I would have been happier reading Emerson, I think, for the lesson.
Louv, a columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune, has written a number of books about child rearing. His latest, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder — coming out in paperback this spring — is a cri de coeur, a passionate polemic against the disaffection and disconnection from nature that characterizes our current generation of plugged-in kids. “I like to play indoors better ’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are,” says one fourth-grader in the book. It’s a statement guara... Read more