There are many wonderful books written about the outdoors. Whether a book takes the form of a “how-to”, follows a long and interesting story, or provides history of a beloved past time, there is sure to be a genre to fits everyone’s needs. To me, there is always a need for collections of short stories and essays about the outdoors. It’s a simple way of sharing ideas, swapping fish tales, and making points. These are the types of books I’ve been looking for more frequently, as I find they fit into the time I have available for reading, and they tend to bring up more emotions than a book focusing on a single subject.
When I saw Teeg Stouffer, founder of Recycled Fish (an awesome stewardship organization you should know about), was giving away a copy of Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies – Growing up with Nature, I immediately put my name in for a chance to win it. Luck proved to be on my side and the book arrived in my mailbox a short while later. To be honest, I asked Teeg to sign the book for Darrell, because I planned to give it to Darrell for his birthday, which I did, but I happened to read the book before he had a chance!
Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies is a collection of short stories and essays by Robert Montgomery and a host of other authors (including Teeg). While the stories cover a range of topics, they all have something to with nature. Most of the stories boil down to life lessons learned thanks to interaction with nature, and why that connection is so vitally important.
This book sat on my nightstand for a few days and I looked forward to going to bed each night so I could read a few more stories and let my mind drift through my wonderful memories that have their place in the outdoors.
Some of the stories are lessons on how to introduce others to the joy of the outdoors. They provide interesting insight into the variety of ways you can pique someone’s interest and hopefully start them on their path of enjoying nature. The story, The Ichtymammalia Question, really stands out for me in this context. I won’t ruin the fun of discovering it for yourself, but I will ask, do you know how to classify a mermaid?
Other essays discuss the need for conservation (not preservation), and discuss how we value the natural world, and if it’s possible to put a price on it. What Is a Trout Stream Worth? will get you thinking about the problems we face in trying to promote the values of the natural, and some of the discussion points that can be brought up.
Robert Montgomery has a knack for inserting humour into an otherwise somber tale, sharing the sad moments from a life outdoors, and how they were turned into valuable life lessons. He also shares the fun and joyful moments, the observations that make long-lasting memories and cause people to smile at their remembrance.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the outdoors, and anyone who is looking for a reason to spend more time outdoors. Read some of the stories to a child and give them a reason to go outside. Use it as a tool to teach respect for the natural world. Leave it around the house and hope that someone else will decided to pick it up and get hooked on one of the stories. Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies deserves a place on your bookshelf.
Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies is published by NorLightsPress. You can buy a copy of the book here.
Disclaimer – This review is my opinion and I received this book for free as part of a contest. I have no association with NorLightsPress or Robert Montgomery and was not reimbursed or paid for this review.