Earth day is only a few weeks away, which means it’s time to start thinking about how you can help your child honor Mother Earth on April 22. As a worldwide celebration of the environment, Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to educate your little one on all things green. From gardening, to making a birdfeeder, to visiting a park, there are so many enjoyable, low-cost activities that you and your can child can do to mark this special occasion. After a day full of fun, eco-friendly activities, what better way to top it all off than by sitting down with an environmentally conscious children’s book? While the list of eco-friendly children’s books is nearly endless, in this blog post we offer 10 of our favorite titles to help inspire children to love the planet we call home.
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by Dr. Seuss
Where else could we start but with childhood favorite Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax? First published in 1971, The Lorax follows the plight of its titular character as he fights to save the forest he loves. At once a passionate diatribe against environmental destruction and a whimsical journey through a faraway land, The Lorax is sure to help your child learn to “speak for the trees.”
The Earth Book
by Todd Parr
In The Earth Book, beloved children’s writer Todd Parr explores environmental protection and conservation through brightly colored pictures and fun text. Appropriate for children in kindergarten through fourth grade, The Earth Book is printed entirely with recycled materials and nontoxic soy inks, so you can rest assured that it practices what it preaches.
by Kevin Henkes
Written and illustrated by Caldecott-medalist Kevin Henke, My Garden is an imaginative picture book about a young girl who dreams of a magical garden where anything she plants — from chocolate rabbits, to jelly beans, to seashells — can grow. While lacking in the factual information that other books on this list offer, My Garden can nonetheless sow seeds of enthusiasm in young readers.
by Doreen Cronin and David Small
“Once upon a time, in a beautiful glass kingdom, there lived an unusual fairy named Bloom.” So begins this fairy tale for the modern era, in which mud fairy Bloom and a young girl named Genevive work together to make a big impact on their community. Surprisingly subversive, with a multitude of different layers, this children’s book is an environmentally friendly tale about discovering your potential.
Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth
by McKenna Siddals and Ashley Wolff (illustrator)
There’s nothing like an alphabet book to engage little readers, and Compost Stew does not fail to deliver. Presenting a simple rhyming recipe for home composting, this book teaches children which items can and can’t be composted and how to build your own compost pile. The perfect accompaniment to a day of collecting compost with your child, Compost Stew has the potential to make a real impact on the world.
Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our Planet
by April Pulley Sayre
As its name suggests, Thank You, Earth is a stunning celebration of our magical, magnificent planet. Featuring breathtaking photography and factually rich text, this book introduces young readers to concepts such as science, geography, biology, poetry, community, and much, much more. An excellent choice for children ages 4 to 6, Thank You, Earth is a must-have for any Earth Day celebration.
The Great Kapok Tree
by Lynne Cherry
The Great Kapok Tree takes readers into the rainforest of Brazil to explore environmental destruction and its discontents. In this story, a man sets out into the Amazon to chop down a great kapok tree, overlooked by the eyes of the many creatures who call the forest home. Lush watercolor drawings and world maps help make this book the perfect tool for teaching kids about the importance of saving the rainforest.
The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever
by H. Joseph Hopkins and Jill McElmurry (illustrator)
Those looking for an inspiring true story should turn to Tree Lady. This beautifully illustrated children’s book tells the tale of activist Kate Sessions, who helped transform San Diego from a dry desert into the leafy city that it is today. Part biography, part environmental history, Tree Lady will help inspire your child to follow in the footsteps on a fellow Californian.
The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps
by Jeanette Winter
Another inspiring tale of a female pioneer, The Watcher introduces children to animal activist Jane Gooddall and her efforts to save chimpanzees in the forests of Gombe, Tanzania. Young animal lovers will love this moving portrait of a fascinating woman and the creatures she devoted her life to.
We Planted a Tree
by Diane Muldrow and Bob Staake (illustrator)
In this joyous picture book for preschoolers, Diane Muldrow and award-winning illustrator Bob Staake team together to tell the story of two different families, one from the United States and one from Kenya, planting a tree in their backyard. By conveying the message that trees all around the world help enrich the environment, We Planted a Tree presents a clear ecological message that is perfect for Earth Day.
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