Robert McClung's Nature Stories

Against later thinking that animals should never be even slightly personified, McClung's creatures do have both names and personalities. These appealing characters invite children's attention and interest while exposing them to some very accurate science writing.

If you want your children to have compassion for wildlife and ethical dominion thinking without a hint of animal worship or "people are always bad for nature" thinking, then stick to McClung's early, best-written books. Most of these can be identified by the words, "The Story of...." in the subtitles.

Some people like his "Last of the...." series too, but they are probably too harsh for some children. And I think that vivid descriptions of the torture and death of animals may not actually be the best way to elicit sympathy for God's creatures.

Among his older books, whether it's Redbird, the cardinal or Bufo, the toad, kids will find delightful and worthwhile reading. Some of his books were published in two editions; the earlier editions are generally written a bit better and are illustrated with lovely shaded pencil drawings.

The "How They Live" series is also nicely done.


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