Tree Whisperers

April 3, 2017

earth day is 365 days of the year


April 22 marks Earth Day 2017. What will you be doing?

I have committed to participate in The Canadian Ecology Centre’s second annual Earth Day Book Talk and I can’t wait! I will have the distinct pleasure of introducing the following authors &/or illustrators to a Northern Ontario audience.

Let’s start with Diana Beresford-Kroeger.



Diana Beresford-Kroeger is the author of The Global Forest–an international bestseller and a classic upon publication, beloved by readers around the world–gives us her tips and advice for achieving better health and peace of mind, with frugality, simplicity and pleasure not far behind.

In The Sweetness of a Simple Life, Diana Beresford-Kroeger mixes science with storytelling, wonderment, magic, myth and plenty of common sense. Orphaned at an early age, Diana was raised by elderly relatives in Ireland in the Druidic tradition, taught the overlap between the arts and sciences, and the triad of body, mind and spirit. After pursuing a PhD in medical biochemistry, Beresford-Kroeger set out on a quest to preserve the world’s forests. In this warm and wise collection of essays, she gives us a guide for living simply and well: which foods to eat and which to avoid; how to clean our homes and look after pets; how we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from illness; and why we need to appreciate nature. She provides an easy dose of healing, practical wisdom, blending modern medicine with aboriginal traditions. This inspiring, accessible book emphasizes back to basics, with the touchstone not an exotic religion or meditation practice, but the natural world around us.



In this moving memoir, Alexandra Risen digs into a garden and into the past and finds secrets, beauty, and acceptance.

Alex’s father dies just as she and her husband buy a nondescript house set atop an acre of wilderness that extends into a natural gorge in the middle of the city. Choked with weeds and crumbling antique structures, the abandoned garden turned wild jungle stirs cherished memories of Alex’s childhood: when her home life became unbearable, she would escape to the forest. In her new home, Alex can feel the power of the majestic trees that nurtured her in her youth. She begins to beat back the bushes to unveil the garden’s mysteries. At the same time, her mother has a stroke and develops dementia and Alex discovers an envelope of yellowed documents while sorting through her father’s junk pile. The papers hold clues to her Ukrainian-born parents’ mysterious past. She reluctantly musters the courage to uncover their secrets, while discovering the plants hidden in the garden — from primroses and maple syrup–producing sugar maples to her mother’s favorite, lily of the valley. As every passionate gardener knows, to spend time with the soil is the opposite of escapism — it is to embrace our own circle of life and hold it close.


short stories

In the Anishnaabe language and worldview, stones are alive, infused with life force or spirit. Although many of the stories are about loss, under that surface they are alive, celebrating the beauty and preciousness of life. — Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm

In The Stone Collection there are 14 unique stories where Kateri takes on complex and dangerous emotions, exploring the gamut of modern Anishinaabe experience. Through unforgettable characters, these stories—about love and lust, suicide and survival, illness and wholeness—illuminate the strange workings of the human heart.

[Akiwenzie-Damm’s] luminescent prose in this book dances “like jingle dress dancers,” and is somehow still compressed to shining perfection. –Publishers Weekly, A Starred Review


art and words

The Canadian Backwoods Colouring Book brings the lush beauty of Canada’s wildlife and landscape to life in a colouring book along with excerpts from the country’s greatest writers and poets like Lucy Maud Montgomery, Stephen Leacock, Nellie McClung to name a few.

Beginning in January, this book will take you through each month and season, exploring the wildlife and landscapes that define Canada.


earth day every day

Be good to yourself and the earth.

created by robertson mcclure