my local library with my daughter I noticed the book "Salamander Dream" by Hope Larson. I brought it home and read it that evening. Surreal in both images and message, the book mixes both reality and fantasy. It depicts how as we move through our childhood our view of how we see the magic of nature changes. It also affirms how we can return from time to time to renew or at least peer again at that mystery. I understand the use of a salamander as a representation of this magic (hey, I am in my mid-30's and blogging about salamanders). As a young child, I often sat in the arms of a large oak tree in the summer of Southern Maryland. One summer day my older brother brought a large bucket filled from a spring and pulled from the brown mud a large blood-red gilled salamander. That event not only increased my already well used imagination, as I never imagined that creatures so fantastic really existed, but forever after filled me with wonder about the magic within nature. [On a side note, while rare, the salamander was probably a larval Tiger Salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum. It could have been a Mudpuppy, Necturus maculosus, but they are now considered extirpated or extinct in Maryland.] Needless to say, I'd recommend this book both for the great artwork as well as the message. The book is available at amazon.com and if order it through this link you'll be supporting the TSMP and this blog.
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