Making reading an adventure and not a “task/ chore/requirement” during the summer months is a great way to help increase the desire to read and keep them interested as well. Sit down together and pick out your summer reading or make a family trip to the library.
When my now-adult kids were young, reading while in the car traveling was an absolutely life-saver. When we traveled as a family, I always made sure suitcases and carry-ons were full of great reading material. My kids went through stages as far as what types of books they liked to read, but any title that was nature-based or had to do with loving Mother Earth was always a winner.
Here are some great Green and Environmental Kidlit Books for the Young Conservationists in your Life.
We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom
This beautiful book is the Winner of the 2021 Caldecott Medal and also a #1 New York Times Bestseller. Championing the importance of protecting water from pollution, We Are Water Protectors speaks from the perspective of a young Native American girl teaching readers what she has learned about the importance of water from her people and her culture—that it is medicine; it is alive; it has a memory; it gives life to plants, animals, and humans alike. Inspired by Standing Rock, the antagonist in the book is “the black snake” or oil pipeline. The author and illustrator notes at the back of the book are lengthy, but give additional context and engender an additional appreciation for the work and its cause. The message that mankind is stewards of the Earth and responsible for those who cannot speak for themselves is told through lovely poetic text with beautiful connections to water throughout (e.g. “tears like waterfalls”), but where this book truly shines is its exquisite watercolor illustrations, with repeated use of water elements in the subject matter as well as the media. What could have become a run of the mill book with an agenda to be hammered home becomes a work of art under the hands of Goade, with tableaus that absolutely enchant—the little girl’s hair cascades from her head in swirls of streams, lily pads, fish, and otters are particularly poignant and mesmerizing.
This gorgeous picture book retells the story of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg—the Swedish teenager who has led a global movement to raise awareness about the world’s climate crisis—using allegory to make this important topic accessible to young children. Greta is a little girl who lives in a beautiful forest threatened by Giants. When the Giants first 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… A section at the back explains that, in reality, the fight against the “giants” isn’t over and explains how you can help Greta in her fight.
What a Waste: Trash, Recycling, and Protecting our Planet by Jess French
Get Involved – Make A Difference! Almost everything we do creates waste, from litter and leftovers to factory gases and old gadgets. Find out where it goes, how it affects our planet and what we can do to reduce the problem. From how to make your home more energy and water efficient, to which items can be recycled and tips for grocery shopping, this book is packed full of ideas on how you can get involved to make our planet a better place to live.
This environment book for children has a wealth of ideas for becoming a planet-defending hero:
– Discover shocking facts about the waste we produce and where it goes
– Learn where about our Earth’s limited resources and how to take some pressure off
– Your trash is another man’s treasure
– Small changes to take your home from wasteful to a super resource-efficient
– Dive into saving our oceans and super recycling
– And much, much more
Capturing Cow Farts and Burps by Erin Twamley
How many cows live on Earth? There are nearly one and a half BILLION cows on our planet. And those cows have gas! A few gassy cows would not be a problem, but their burps and farts release methane. Too much of this gas causes problems for our planet. So, scientists, engineers, and farmers are working to make cows less gassy. From using lasers to feeding cows curry (What kind of curry do you think a cow likes — red, green, or yellow?), this book shares the science behind caring for our environment.
Tree Beings by Raymond Huber
With a foreword by the world-renowned anthropologist Jane Goodall, Tree Beings is an adventure through the secret world of trees. Challenging the perception that trees are just ‘silent statues’, this beautifully illustrated children\’s book focuses on four big ideas:
- Trees give life to the planet.
- Trees can help save us from climate change.
- Trees are like beings.
- Trees need our help and protection.
Along the way, you\’ll meet some of the scientists and explorers who helped uncover the mysteries of the world\’s oldest living things. You’ll encounter the eccentric professor who traveled the world for seventy years telling people how trees can save us, and you’ll learn about the 9-year-old-boy who has a plan to plant a trillion trees to save the planet!
Sissy Goes Tiny by Rebecca Flansburg and BA Norrgard
Winner of a Second Place award in the Purple Dragonfly Awards Best Green/Environment Books for Kids, this beautiful hardcover diverse picture book is just as much about sustainable living, honoring Mother Eather, and minimalism as it is about Living Tiny. This diverse hardcover book continues to help families everywhere reimagine what a simpler lifestyle would look like while reinforcing the belief that home is indeed the place where love and family dwell no matter what the zip code.
Written to open minds and create curiosity about minimalism, tiny house living, downsizing, and repurposing, Sissy Goes Tiny is about a family that chooses to live Tiny and do More with Less. The text and vibrant illustrations are filled with “gentle lessons” that we all need to ponder about why “stuff” dominates our lives when “experiences” create lasting memories that only take up space in our brains and hearts.
Go HERE to view Sissy Goes Tiny book summary, meet the authors (one of which lives in an under-100-square-foot tiny house!), and secure your copy of this timely book.
Don\’t Let Them Disappear by Chelsea Clinton & illustrated by Gianna Marino
From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, She Persisted, comes a beautiful book about the animals who share our planet–and what we can do to help them survive. Did you know that blue whales are the largest animals in the world? Or that sea otters wash their paws after every meal? The world is filled with millions of animal species, and all of them are unique and special. Many are on the path to extinction. In this book, Chelsea Clinton introduces young readers to a selection of endangered animals, sharing what makes them special, and also what threatens them. Taking readers through the course of a day, Don’t Let Them Disappear talks about rhinos, tigers, whales, pandas and more, and provides helpful tips on what we all can do to help prevent these animals from disappearing from our world entirely. With warm and engaging art by Gianna Marino, this book is the perfect read for animal lovers and anyone who cares about our planet.
Finding Wild by Megan Wagner Lloyd
A lovely, lyrical picture book with gorgeous illustrations that explores the ways the wild makes itself known to us and how much closer it is than we think.
There are so many places that wild can exist, if only you know where to look! Can you find it? Two kids set off on an adventure away from their urban homes and discover all the beauty of the natural world. From the bark on the trees to the sudden storm that moves across the sky to fire and flowers, and snowflakes and fresh fruit. As the children make their way through the woods and back to the paved and noisy streets, they discover that wild exists not just off in some distant place, but right in their own backyard.
Operation Redwood by S.Terrell French
“Sibley Carter is a moron and a world-class jerk,” reads Julian Carter-Li in an angry e-mail message meant for his greedy, high-powered uncle. The fateful message sets him on the course to stop an environmental crime! His uncle’s company plans to cut down some of the oldest California redwood trees, and it’s up to Julian and a ragtag group of friends to figure out a way to stop them. This thrilling, thoughtful debut novel shows the power of determined individuals, no matter what their age, to stand up to wrongdoing.
Flush by Carl Hiaasen
You know it’s going to be a rough summer when you spend Father’s Day visiting your dad in the local lockup. Noah’s dad is sure that the owner of the Coral Queen casino boat is flushing raw sewage into the harbor-which has made taking a dip at the local beach like swimming in a toilet. He can’t prove it though, and so he decides that sinking the boat will make an effective statement. Right. The boat is pumped out and back in business within days and Noah’s dad is stuck in the clink.
Now Noah is determined to succeed where his dad failed. He will prove that the Coral Queen is dumping illegally . . . somehow. His allies may not add up to much-his sister Abbey, an unreformed childhood biter; Lice Peeking, a greedy sot with poor hygiene; Shelly, a bartender and a woman scorned; and a mysterious pirate-but Noah’s got a plan to flush this crook out into the open. A plan that should sink the crooked little casino, once and for all.
All in a Day by Cynthia Rylant & Nikki McClure
This sweet little book shines a light on all of the endless possibilities each day holds. The opportunities and chances that won’t come again. While doing this, it kindly delivers the message about the stewardship of our planet. It’s just a wonderful read!
And please feel free to print off, share, and Pin to Pinterest our gorgeous Book Jumper Tree poster.
What are your favorite “green reads” for kids?