Books about our precious planet and how we can all help take care of it should be read year round...BUT we all know these books receive extra attention when we celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd. There are so many great titles out there to check out! They aren't dry, they aren't preachy, they aren't boring; I promise. Let one (or more) of these books become your little one's new favorite. And if it inspires them to Go Green...even better!
We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers By Lauren Child
Lauren Child's much-loved characters Charlie and Lola appear in this adorable picture book about recycling. Lola is on a cleaning campaign and wants to throw all her old toys in the garbage. Her older brother Charlie convinces her to recycle them instead. That's when she discovers there is a recycling contest going on and the prize is winning your very own tree to plant. With the help of her classmates Lola manages to collect 100 things to recycle!
Clarice Bean, What Planet Are You From? By Lauren Child
Clarice is creative and fun, just like this book. The collage illustrations are unique and brightly colored. The text runs all around the page in typical Lauren Child style. In this story Clarice needs to come up with a school project about the environment and ends up staging a sit-in with her family in a neighborhood tree which is threatened to be cut down.
Love Your World: How to Take Care of the Plants, the Animals and the Planet By Dawn Sirett
Ages 3-6 - PreK-K
Photographs of real children are enhanced with colorful graphics. These kids, called The Green Team, are doing things like recycling, composting and planting a garden. My favorite part is where they show ideas on how to make a mini snail garden in your backyard! This smaller sized book is perfect for little hands to hold.
10 Things I Can Do to Help My World By Melanie Walsh
Ages 2-6 PreK-K
This die-cut flap book starts with phrases like I can, I try, I always and ends with planet-saving tips like planting seeds, turning off the water when brushing teeth and using both sides of the paper when drawing. Such simple tips make this book easy to comprehend.
The Earth Book By Todd Parr
Ages 3-7 Grades PreK-2
Todd Parr's bold and bright illustrations show children that even small steps can add up to making a BIG difference. Some of the tips in this book are silly like putting your underwear in the freezer to wear on a hot day (instead of turning on the AC). Some are more abstract like saving leftovers to not be wasteful with food. I think the benefit of these suggestions is the conversations they will ignite. Besides I can't read a Todd Parr book to my library classes without garnering plenty of smiles and giggles.
Ants in Your Pants, Worms in Your Plants! (Gilbert Goes Green) By Diane deGroat
The Gilbert books by Diane deGroat are wonderful for my first and second graders because they are about a group of students with unique personalities just like my students. Gilbert always deals with real-life elementary school dilemmas and most of the books revolve around a particular holiday. This particular title is about Gilbert's concern with deciding on an Earth Day project for Mrs. Byrd's class. He becomes inspired while having a picnic outside to plant a tree. He reasons that this will mean his favorite picnic spot can be in the shade. True to form there's always a happy ending!