Children face the reality of a life-long experience of a planet in crisis. They need to be more aware of environmental issues than their parents and grandparents. With Earth Day coming up, let’s look at a collection of great children’s books about the planet, our climate, and the sustainable lives our children can lead.
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by Jennifer Eckford and illustrated by Teresa Bellon
E is for Elephant, T is for Tree, W is for Warming, and X is for eXtinct in this beautiful ABC book designed to teach very young children about the Earth and how it is changing.
Reading age: baby-3 years
by Christiane Engel
Pairing aspects of eco-friendly living with each letter of the alphabet, this book teaches young children their ABCs while encouraging them to be aware of the impact they have on the environment. The engaging illustrations, fun rhyming text, and simple concepts introduce children to an eco-friendly lifestyle and ways they can help care for the Earth.
Reading age: 3-6 years
By Zoë Tucker and illustrated by Zoe Persico
Using allegory to make this topic accessible to young children, this picture book tells the story of Greta Thunberg’s efforts to raise awareness about the world’s climate crisis. Greta is a little girl who lives in a beautiful forest threatened by Giants. When the Giants came to the forest, they chopped down trees to make houses. Then they chopped down more trees and made even bigger homes. The houses grew into towns and the towns grew into cities until now there is hardly any forest left. Greta knows she has to help the animals who live in the forest, but how? Luckily, Greta has an idea …
Reading age: 4-7 years
by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Beatrice Cerocchi
This edition of the best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series reveals the amazing life of Jane Goodall, the world’s leading expert on chimpanzees. When Jane was little, her father gave her a toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. This inspired her lifelong love of animals, and she went to study them in the wild as soon as she could. Jane lived with chimpanzees in their natural habitat and became famous for her pioneering approach to research. She now educates the public on animal rights.
Reading age: 4-7 years
by Catherine Barr and Steve Williams, illustrated by Amy Husband and Mike Love
With vibrant illustrations and fact-packed text, this book charts the changes in our Earth’s climate, from the beginnings of the planet and its atmosphere to the Industrial Revolution and the dawn of machinery. Young readers will learn about the causes of climate change, the effects that it has on humans and animals across the world, and practical ways we can work together to solve it.
Reading age: 5-8 years
by Jonathan Litton, and illustrated by Paulina Morgan
This book is a simple first introduction to the environment — the air, soil, water, plants, and animals. How do we as humans slot into the natural world around us and how do our actions affect the environment? What on Earth can we do about it? The book contains three different types of pages: Explore, Investigate, and Create. This structure provides a child-led and hands-on way for children to learn about the world around them. The Create pages offer fun crafts and activities that give children a chance to play and have fun while learning.
Reading age: 6-12 years
by Jess French and illustrated by Alexander Mostov
This book offers young readers everything they need to know about deforestation and the ways we can tackle it. From scientists and conservationists helping to protect forest creatures to tech inventions like robot tree-planters, this book helps children aged 8 and up to discover the incredible solutions to deforestation that are being worked on around the world right now.
Reading age: 8-10 years
Feature image courtesy of Prawny on Pixabay. This article was originally published on April 14, 2021.