Image copyright: Andrew Crowley 2015
In August, we asked volunteers to review Zion Lights’ new book, The Ultimate Guide to Green Parenting. We had so many requests that we sent out 20 copies to be reviewed! The reviews are in and they were fabulous. We found it so hard to choose from such excellent entries. However, following conversations with Zion Lights herself, we decided that the winner is... *drum roll please*
…Kate Limburn of Baby Routes! Congratulations!
Kate’s review was particularly thorough and impartial, and was both amusing and extremely well-written.
“Before you read this review I should be clear. I have never considered myself a 'green' person. Sure, I am a firm believer in reconnecting kids and adults alike with the natural environment, I do my best to help conserve wildlife and the natural spaces I love and before I sat down to start typing you would have found me dunking one of my 18 month old's particularly grim reusable nappies down the loo. Don't worry – I've washed my hands thoroughly.”
She empathised with all busy parents, and was grateful for the simple and concise explanation of the debates around some of the most common worries in parenthood; such as infant feeding, vaccinations, consumer choices and parenting styles. Kate is very complimentary of Zion’s writing style throughout:
“Fortunately the author writes in with a warm yet factual writing style. Her decision to offer the reader a series of well-informed choices rather than a strict parenting prescription is refreshing.”
The only worry that Kate seemed to express is around the term ‘green’, and the issues this may pose for the audience of the book:
“I would argue that a title that didn't instantly pigeon hole it to a topic on which people already have strong preconceptions, the book would have the potential to reach an even wider audience of parents. Parents who are simply looking for the very best way to nurture loving, happy, well-balanced children with an appreciation of the natural wonders and challenges our world holds. Parents who may well find that living sustainably is merely a happy by-product of the kind of lifestyle and child-raising goals they are already seeking to achieve.”
Nonetheless, Kate insists that The Ultimate Guide to Green Parenting is a worthy read, whether you are an existing convert to the green side or not:
“It is written in a way that you can dip in and out of at ease, offers practical, non-judgemental advice and accepts that there are many different levels of being green, with the reassurance that even the tiniest change you may make to a more sustainable lifestyle are very much worthwhile. If you are a new parent (whatever your environmental persuasions), an old-hand or merely someone curious about how we can live in a way that is sustainable for the future of our planet, The Ultimate Green Guide to Parenting is a must-read.”
“As a veteran of parenting manuals, I admit to having been apprehensive that this new one would be turn out to be just as preachy and formulaic as those currently to be found propping up one end of my daughter's cot. The period of transition that goes with becoming a parent always makes me think of those awkward teenage years – a time when everything whirls by on a chaotic roller-coaster of unfamiliarity. Parenting manuals, much like that band you went crazy over at 15, are a type of identity peg to hang your parenting cap on to as you begin to explore your old world through new eyes.”
Kate's review was as thought-provoking as it was full of praise, and that's why we felt she was the worthy winner of a signed copy of The Ultimate Guide to Green Parenting! Take a look at Kate’s own website, Baby Routes, where she talks about her walks around the UK and beyond, whilst hoping to inspire other families to follow in her footsteps- quite literally! Kate founded Baby Routes in 2012 after the birth of her first daughter, and she has been determined to combine parenthood with her love of the outdoors ever since.
Read Kate's winning review in full here.
Our wonderful runner-up
Our runner-up also deserves a mention for her similarly great, detailed and balanced review… congratulations Louise Baker! As a busy mother of two, Louise told us that she enjoyed the simplicity of Zion’s Guide to Green Parenting, and also said that she would aim to make some changes to her lifestyle to make it just that little bit greener!
Besides Kate and Louise we had a number of amazing entries. Big thanks go to Miriam Rowan, Becky Collins and Belinda Harris-Reid for their awesome reviews, we hope you enjoyed taking part!
[Image credits: Andrew Crowley]