If you're looking for books to celebrate Earth and teach about protecting the earth, you have come to the right place. I'm obsessed with children's books! I have a collection that won't fit on the shelves in my house, and I'm always eager to share a favorite children's book with a friend-- child or adult. I've already promised that any learning activities I post will be high quality, and this promise extends to literature. Here's my list of Earth Day favorites, which can be used all year 'round to celebrate our planet.
Here We Are
By Oliver Jeffers
Take a tour of our complex planet Earth in this new (Nov 2017) book. It introduces the land, water, and living things with short text and more detailed illustrations. Somehow, the sweet and simple story conveys the beauty and magnitude of our world. Perfect to read to a new inhabitant (baby) or an older child, the message teaches us that although we have our differences, we all inhabit this planet together.
The Great Kapok Tree
By Lynne Cherry
Taking place in the rainforests of Brazil, a man aims to chop down a giant kapok tree but falls asleep at the foot of the tree. He enters a dream-like state in which the captivating rainforest animals appear to him, begging him not to chop down the tree. This enthralling book keeps children of all ages engaged as it introduces the concept of deforestation and teaches interdependency among species.
Wangari's Trees of Peace
By Jeanette Winter
This is the inspiring true story of Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Wangari returns to her native land of Kenya to find that the trees of her childhood have been destroyed. She takes it upon herself to reforest her country, one tree at a time, and she inspires other to join her. Facing resistance from authorities, she perseveres to save the green of her country.
By Dr. Seuss
This timeless book features vibrant drawings and sing-song rhyming text, but don't let it fool you; it shares a deep message about protecting the earth and being mindful about natural resources. It's chock full of memorable quotes, such as "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing's going to get better--it's not," and "I speak for the trees!" Read it with your child, and the story will stick with you both for years to come.
National Geographic Kids: Human Footprint
By Ellen Kirk
If you want to visualize the resources you'll use over the course of your lifetime, this photo-filled book will do just the trick. The images convey information in a dramatic way-- for example, 28,433 rubber duckies all lined up in a park represent the number of showers you will take in your lifetime! This book offers tons of food for thought regarding our impact on Earth.
One Plastic Bag
By Miranda Paul
The Gambia's Isatou Ceesay saw the effects of people simply dropping plastic bags as litter: heaps of trash surrounded her, diseases spread, toxic smoke filled the air when folks burned the bags, animals ate them and became sick. She solved this problem in a creative and entrepreneurial way. This true story shows how one observant, clever, and persistent person can make a real impact on her environment and community.
What are your favorite children's books that celebrate protecting the earth? Share them in the comments below!