Dr. Seuss’ Lorax may “speak for the trees,” but there are plenty of other environmental issues with authors and literary characters on their side, as well.
The world’s top authors and illustrators who emphasize environmental stewardship in books for children and young adults recently gathered at Salisbury University during the Newton Marasco Foundation’s Green Earth Book Awards ceremony, held in connection with SU’s annual Children’s Literature Festival. The authors and illustrators, including 2008 winners Jean Davies Okimoto, Jeremiah Trammell, O.R. Melling, Laurie David and Cambria Gordon, signed books for SU students, faculty and local children during a festive environmental community fair leading up to the awards presentation.
Authors and illustrators received their awards before a full house which included keynote speaker Phillip Hoose, author of the acclaimed children’s book Hey, Little Ant. Award winners receive $2,500 plus $500 for the environmental organization of their choice. This year’s recipients included Polar Bears International, Ireland’s Golden Eagle Reintroduction Project and stopglobalwarming.org.
“Through our partnership with SU and the Children’s Literature Festival, we are able to publicly showcase and honor the writers and illustrators whose books have earned the national Green Earth Book Award for their promotion of environmental awareness and stewardship for young people,” said Dr. Laura Marasco of SU’s Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies and Newton Marasco’s board of directors. “The respect and care for the earth are responsibilities for all of us on this planet.”
Since 2005, the Newton Marasco Foundation has honored nine “Green Earth” books, awarding $22,500 to 29 authors and contributing $4,500 to environmental charities in the authors’ names.