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How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature Hardcover – March 24, 2015

4.4 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Scott Sampson is one of the leaders of the emerging new nature movement, which places great focus on human health and well-being, particularly for children. In How to Raise a Wild Child, he combines an elegant testimony to the power of the natural world with practical tips for anyone who cares for children. In a time when the connection between humans and the rest of nature is most vulnerable, Scott offers parents and teachers a book of encouragement and knowledge, and to children, the priceless gift of wonder." 
—Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle
 
 
“We all know by now that nature is good for kids, but crossing the threshold into the natural world can seem daunting and overwhelming. Don’t despair, because Scott Sampson has provided us with an instruction manual on how to help our children fall in love with nature. With wisdom, intellect, and empathy, he provides us with a bounty of simple yet profound ways we can enter this natural world, oftentimes starting in our very own backyards. And if we can take the first step of simply going outside with them, he will help us with the rest.”
—Lili Taylor, actor, mom, and board member of the American Birding Association


"Scott Sampson makes a powerful case that connecting people with nature is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Becoming a nature mentor to the kids in our lives is critical not just for the health of youngsters, but also for the places we love and live in. In the end, saving nature—indeed navigating a sustainable path into the future—demands that we find paths to help kids connect and fall in love with nature. With How to Raise a Wild Child, Sampson offers us a map to help us on this journey. And the best part is that we're going to have a lot of fun along the way!" 
—Dr. M. Sanjayan, host of PBS’ Earth: A New Wild and senior scientist and executive vice president at Conservation International

Book Description

9780544279322
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (March 24, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0544279328
  • ISBN-13: 978-0544279322
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By JK VINE VOICE on January 24, 2015
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Scott Sampson's passion for nature is so refreshing! Even if you are the most ardent outdoorsmen, within the first 30 pages, you will be itching to get outside instead of continuing to read this book. Mr. Sampson has a profound philosophy about nature and it's importance in our lives that goes far beyond understanding our world. He really captures the essence of what the world outside gives us; observation skills, patience, curiosity, enlightenment, compassion - all things that make us better people.

This book is ideal for parents and teachers in today's world where we are all competing with the seductive lure of YouTube, video games and social media and getting kids outside to experience the natural world has become a bit like dragging a boat anchor. Mr. Sampson brings many disciplines to the experience; history, ancient cultures, botany, art, and more. And lest you think this is a book geared towards young children, Mr. Sampson spends nearly a good chunk of his book addressing the needs of pre-teen, adolescents and teenagers and how to spark the interest in the natural world within them.

I also loved the last portion of the book where Mr. Sampson provides insight into how we can shape policy, from the local level to the national level, about making nature more accessible and integrated into our lives, especially that our youth. He demonstrates throughout the book how anyone, even folks living in urban areas, can get outside and take part in the natural world. Brimming with positives examples from small scale activities you can do as a family to activities that can be done as a neighborhood or community, Mr. Sampson really lays the world at our feet.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've never - or least rarely have - been tempted to write TL:DR as a review, as I have been with this book. Doctor Scott of Dinosaur Train endeared himself to me when my kids were younger, and I'd no more diss him than my beloved Bill Nye, or Neil deGrasse Tyson.

But the thing is, your fairly typical *involved* PBS parent, the parent who watches NOVA with the kids and is aware of the dangers of protecting their kids too *much* from dirt and germs, who avidly follows the current stories about Free Range Kids vs. prevailing cultural mores, who is already cognizant that each and every human living on earth is a teeming ecosystem under his or her self...already knows a lot of what Dr. Samson has to say. It's all come across our RMS feeds and it's queued for weekend family filmfest of Netflix and Amazon documentaries.

I did find the author's anecdotes about his daughter, Jade, both charming and affecting, insofar as I can relate. I've had too few of those moments myself, really, as a parent, at least as compared to my own California childhood. Part of that equation is the simple sad truth that not every part of the country has a population and government that is equally invested in preserving natural spaces - even urban natural spaces - in keeping parks funded, in fostering conservation, and in giving families reasonable, convenient access to such spaces, even if things like a disability potentially stand in the way.

But in the main, the author did an awful lot of preaching to the choir, and explications of matters that have come to reasonable prominence in recent years as pertains to his topic.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature proposes the following important thought for the reader's consideration: Many children today are "over-scheduled, overprotected, and over-screened--living under effective `house arrest'." What have these three things created? Obese children, children with ADD, children with weakened immunity systems, children with allergies, to name only a few problems.

Author Scott D. Sampson provides a vast number of outdoors activities that will hopefully get kids back outdoors and keep them there for life. There are specific suggestions for all three age groups, too--early childhood, middle childhood and adolescence. Some of the activities are hands-on ones, some are storytelling adventures, and some involve simply sitting quietly while listening and observing nature. Nature is everywhere, not just out in the wilderness.

In addition, Dr. Sampson includes many studies backing up his fears about what happens to kids who spend so little time outdoors. But the book does not read like a textbook, and the author does not sound like he's on a soapbox. He obviously wrote the book because he dearly loves nature, and loves teaching kids about it by being a "co-adventurer", not an expert who is going to immediately answer their every question. Children need to explore and find the answer to questions on their own, too. The author definitely does not want to see all outdoor adventures turned into more "play dates" or rigidly planned activities.

My only complaint about Dr.
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