Camping in the garden, riding bikes through the woods, climbing trees, collecting bugs and butterflies, picking wildflowers, running through piles of autumn leaves, cooking over a campfire and telling ghost stories under the stars ... somewhere the pleasures of a free-range childhood have been lost. And with the indoor habits of today's children come other problems - epidemic obesity, attention-deficit disorder, isolation and childhood depression.
This urgent book, which has inspired the influential international movement Leave No Child Inside, has not only highlighted the problem and provoked debate; it also offers practical advice on how to help children to enjoy the natural world - starting in our parks and gardens, homes and schools. This is a clarion call, brilliantly written, compelling and irresistibly persuasive - a book that will change minds and lives.
Richard Louv, winner of the 2008 Audobon Medal, is chairman of the Children and Nature Network (www.childrenandnature.org) and honorary co-chair of the National Forum on Children and Nature. He is the author of seven other books and has written for newspapers and magazines including the New York Times and the Washington Post.