Books for Earth Day

Here are some of our favorite books for Earth Day.  These books are filled with positive Earth Day messages, beautiful illustrations and heroes your kids can look up to.  We’d love to know what your favorite Earth Day books are, please comment below.

The Wump World by Bill Peet is a fun read for kids with a powerful message about how important it is to care for our planet.  The book reminds my family of both the Lorax by Dr. Seuss and the Disney movie WALL-E.  I would recommend this book to children ages 4 and up.

The Lorax is my FAVORITE Dr. Seuss book and one of my top 10 FAVORITE children’s books (I also love the original movie from the 70s).  The story has an important environmental message told in a child friendly way.  I LOVE the characters in this book and the illustrations are so much fun.  This book is wonderful for ages 3+.

Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg (author of the Polar Express) is the story of Walter.  Walter is a litterbug and would rather watch TV than do his part to save the planet.  After a dream of what the future will look like, he beings to change his tune.  This book is great for children ages 4 and up.

The Wartville Wizard by Don Madden is another one of our favorite stories for Earth Day.  It delivers a powerful message with humor and in a kid friendly manner.  It is the story about a man who spends his whole life cleaning up after the messy people in his town.  One day he is tired of cleaning up their trash and is granted a power over trash.  What happens next is comical and your kids will love it. I recommend this book to ages 3 and up.

As I have said before, we are HUGE Brad Meltzer fans in our house.  We love the Ordinary People series and we have read almost all of them.  I am Jane Goodall is a kid friendly biography of scientist and environmental activist Jane Goodall.  Jane did not follow a straight and narrow path to becoming a scientist.  She followed her passion and love of animals and learned so much about the importance of patience and perseverance in her work with chimpanzees.  I recommend this book to children ages 5+.

Compost Stew by Mary McKenna is a simple and fun way to introduce kids to the concept of composting.  It is an alphabet book of all of the items that can be composted and how it is done.  The illustrations are so much fun and done with collage.  I recommend this book to ages 2 and up.

 The Little Gardener by Jan Gerardi is a board book meant for little hands.  It has flaps to lift and discover pictures hidden below.  In this book small children will learn all they need to start a garden.  It is the perfect Earth Day book for small children ages 0-5.

The Earth Book by Todd Parr is a great book to share with young children (ages 2-6).  This book gives simple suggestions of things that kids can do to help protect our earth.  From the publisher: “With his signature blend of playfulness and sensitiviy, Todd Parr explores the important, timely subject of environmental protection and conservation in this eco-friendly picture book. Featuing a circular die-cut Earth on the cover, and printed entirely with recycled materials and nontoxic soy inks, this book includes lots of easy, smart ideas on how we can all work together to make the Earth feel good – from planting a tree and using both sides of the paper, to saving energy and reusing old things in new ways. Best of all, the book includes an interior gatefold with a poster with tips/reminders on how kids can “go green” everyday. Equally whimsical and heartfelt, this sweet homage to our beautiful planet is sure to inspire readers of all ages to do their part in keeping the Earth happy and healthy.”

From the publisher: “Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption―a bold and lyrical picture book written by Carole Lindstrom and vibrantly illustrated by Michaela Goade. When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth
And poison her people’s water, one young water protector
Takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource.”

From the publisher: “Why is there so much plastic in the world? How does it help us? What’s the problem and how can we solve it? These are just some of the 60+ questions answered in this timely and topical book. The facts are presented in a friendly and quirky way, helping kids to understand this global predicament and inspiring them to be part of the solution.”

Thank You, Earth by April Pulley Sayre is a beautiful book of photographs.  This book is a love letter to the earth and is filled with gratitude and beauty.  In the back they have resources for how you can take action to help our planet.  I’d recommend this book to ages 2 and up.

We LOVE Gail Gibbons books in this house.  She always packs a lot of good science into these short, kid friendly books.  In this book she shares the reasons why we should recycle and how to go about doing it. I would recommend this book for children ages 5 and up.

This book is the children’s biography of one of my heroes.  Rachel Carson wrote a book in the early 60’s, called Silent Spring.  This book alerted the world to the harmful effects of DDT and other pesticides that they were using and started an environmental movement.  This book is the story of her life and how she came to write that important book .  I would recommend this book for ages 6 and up.

Because of an Acorn by Lola and Adam Schaefer is a simple story that explains the connection between all living things.  So many living things depend upon that one little acorn.  The illustrations are beautiful and in the back there are tips on how your family can help save forests.  If you get the scholastic book orders, this book can be found in there for much cheaper.  This story would be wonderful for ages 2 and up.

 One Plastic Bag by Miranda Paul  is the true story of a woman named Isatou Ceesay who took on the growing problem of trash in her village in Gambia.  The trash littering the streets was killing goats (who ate plastic bags), caused malaria outbreaks and created a terrible smell.  Isatou decided she could no longer ignore this problem and gathered a group of women to recycle the trash and turn it into treasure. I love the beautiful illustrations in this book and the powerful message is one that all people over age 3 should hear.  You can learn how to make your own plastic bag purse by clicking HERE.

The Bee Book by Charlotte Milner is filled with facts and information about bees.  You will learn the different species of bees, how they make honey and why they are so important.  My daughter is so afraid of bees (as are many people) and this book shares how important bees are to our planet and what the world would look like without them.  This book is jam packed with information but I think younger kids would still benefit from the pictures and if a simplified version of the text.  I would recommend this book to ages 3 and up.

The Tree Lady by H Joseph Hopkins tells the true story of Katherine Olivia Sessions and her love of nature and trees.  Katherine grew up in the late 1800s and was the first woman to graduate form the University of California with a degree in science!  Taking a job in San Diego, she could not believe the barren landscape.   She followed her heart and dreams and led a movement that transformed the city into the lush place it is today.  This book would be great for ages 5 and up.

If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams is a wonderful visual for just how fragile the web of life is.  Sharks misunderstood and often create a lot of fear for humans.  This fear has caused many species to become endangered.  This story shows what life would be like without sharks and how it would affect all creatures on earth (including humans).  I would recommend this book for ages 3 and up.

 The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind picture book by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer is the true story of 14 year old William Kamkwamba and his effort to help his village during a terrible drought.  William spent all of his free time trying to figure out how to bring electricity to his village and using junk scraps, built a windmill.  This book would be great for ages 6 and up.

This is the original book written by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer.  This book would be great for middle school and above. If you have Netflix, they created a heartfelt family movie (TV-PG) based on this story.