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Naturally Educational » 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Ecology, Featured, Spring, Volunteering » Earth Day Books for Kids

Earth Day Books for Kids

Many of our crafts involve re-purposed /  recycled materials and now that we are in full spring swing we are closely connected with the new growth going on outdoors.  We also enjoy picture books that address Earth Day directly or environmentalism in a more general way.  Here are a few of our favorites:

The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss, is the classic children’s story of the damage one person’s greed (the entrepreneurial Oncler) can do to the environment. Dr. Seuss attacks consumerism and rampant, unchecked industrialization with his usual quirky wit. Everything is interconnected and the Oncler’s unsustainable development quickly comes back to haunt him. Even in the desolate and destroyed landscape, though, there is hope in the form of a young boy who comes to hear the tale. The message he receives from the Oncler is clear and empowering for young readers: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” You may have to wait until more fidgety children have the attention span to enjoy the story but it is bound to be a treasured favorite in your household. (Ages 4-8)

Fancy Nancy: Every Day Is Earth Day, by Jane O’Connor, shows how a green lifestyle can be fun and fabulous for young children. With her classmates, Nancy develops a list of rhyming “Green Rules” that encourage saving energy and conserving resources. When Nancy’s enthusiasm transforms into overzealous preaching, her incredibly patient parents guide her in finding a balance between saving the planet and being considerate of others. There’s plenty of fancy fun in the illustrations and enough good ideas to launch any junior eco-warrior. As with most of the books, Nancy’s winsome intelligence and her parents’ supportive involvement show a very functional, and very human, family learning together. (Ages 3-8)

The Earth and I, by Frank Asch, is a lyrical and loving tribute to one boy’s relationship with the earth. Together they dance and grow. The simple text makes this a beautiful read for even the youngest children and any child of the 70s will be eager to share the ethereal watercolor dreamscape with their own little ones. (Ages 0-8)

I Can Save the Earth!: One Little Monster Learns to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, by Allison Inches, is a funny tale about a little monster who learns how to curb his wasteful habits. Kids will love the amusing illustrations and relate to both Max’s mischief and his journey to greener behavior. (Ages 2-6)

Earth Day–Hooray! (MathStart 3), by Stuart J. Murphy, manages to teach about civic pride, recycling, and place value in one clever and enjoyable book. A group of students cleans a park and then decides to collect the discarded cans to purchase flowers for the park’s entrance. The can-do characters are great role-models, although the one naysayer in the group seemed a bit gratuitous and annoying. And my 4.5 year old daughter really understood the idea of place value looking at the illustrations of piled-up bags of 10, 100, and 1,000 cans. (Ages 5-8)

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Candace Lindemann, Yale, BA, Harvard Graduate School of Education, EdM, is an educational consultant and published writer. She enjoys new learning experiences with her children, ages 6 and 4 and 1.5.

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Ecology, Featured, Spring, Volunteering · Tags: ,

2 Responses to "Earth Day Books for Kids"

  1. Time to pull out the Earth Day books – thanks for the reminder! We loved the Fancy Nancy one last year – she’s always a hit with the girls :) And, thanks for the inspiration for the Easter bonnets, we had so much fun making them.

  2. [...] Read books about environmentalism and the planet. When we explore a concept, we turn to quality picture books. Reading these stories weaves the [...]

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