When this Idler was first starting to read full novels, an old second hand book caught our eye. It had a map in the front, and we all know how cool a book with a map is going to be.
Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson was first published in 1944 and is still in print today.
This beautifully illustrated book taught me a lot about living in harmony with animals and our environment, and without me knowing it at the time, the importance of living sustainably. Nearly forty years later this is still a favourite read.
This review from Goodreads sums it up so well:
This book did not win literary acclaim in its own time because it is a gentle-spirited, lovely, book about animals and their families. It won because it hints at the deeper perspective of the landscape in which these animals live.
The human presence on the landscape--fore-fronted in the story by a home sale, and a new human family renovating and moving into a home that has long been left empty in the center of a community of small, wild animals--is considered through the deeper span of history, as the animals retain dim memories of a landscape unpopulated by Europeans (the story is set in ~1944 "current day" Connecticut, USA), and then traversed by troops marching off to the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and leaving farmsteads abandoned.
That is not the major theme of the book, but it's in there, and, ultimately, it makes the book a lot more of a read than simply the tale of brave-hearted Little Georgie and his cranky, yet noble, old Uncle Analdas.
And yes we do have copies in stock at Idlers Den :)