In celebration of Earth Day, we’ve selected five of our favorite children’s books that teach kids about the people, landscapes, plants, and animals that make our shared planet so special.
Nature is not only healthy, but it’s also healing for people of all ages. Countless studies have shown how spending time in nature benefits our mental health and wellbeing. “When we spend time in nature—a stroll through a park or sitting near a body of water—frontal lobe activity decreases and our brain’s alpha waves (associated with a calm, but alert state) increase.” (Green Child Magazine).
Whether on Earth Day, or any day, here are some great children’s books that help build a love and appreciation of planet Earth. To practice reusing and sharing materials, we recommend checking these books out from your local library! Happy reading, and Happy Earth Day.
My Friend Earth written by P
Celebrate Earth Day with this valentine to our wonderful planet from the Newbery Award-winning author of Sarah, Plain and Tall. Our friend Earth does so many wonderful things! She tends to animals large and small. She pours down summer rain and autumn leaves. She sprinkles whisper-white snow and protects the tiny seeds waiting for spring. Readers of all ages will pore over the pages of this spectacular book. The interactive format and kid-friendly art will engage both toddlers and young readers.
You Can Change the World by Lucy Bell
You Can Change the World empowers kids to make changes in their lives and communities with the powerful message that anyone can make a difference in the world. This colorfully illustrated book is packed with information, ideas, and activities for everyday sustainability—like mending clothes, composting, and avoiding single-use plastics. Interspersed throughout are features on children around the globe who are making a difference, such as Greta Thunberg or Solli Raphael, reminding kids that ordinary people can spark extraordinary change.
Spending time outdoors isn’t just enjoyable—it’s also necessary. Many researchers agree that kids who play outside are happier, better at paying attention and less anxious than kids who spend more time indoors. —The Child Mind Institute
We Planted a Tree by Diane Muldrow
A simple poem that packs a powerful punch reminds kids of all ages that trees have to offer: clean air, shelter for animals, fruit to eat, and so much more. Combined with whimsical illustrations, this must-read will leave you eager to get planting.
Wilderness written by
This captivating book brings the natural world into sharp focus. Beautifully colored and intricately detailed illustrations depict wide-ranging locations across the globe, including Senegal’s Niokolo-Koba National Park, Sinharaja Forest Reserve in Sri Lanka, Daintree National Park in Australia, the Mexican desert, and China’s bamboo forests. The animals that live in these remote places, cleverly hidden in the trees, plants, and flowers, create a marvelous challenge for young readers to find and identify. Each spread contains more than twenty different species including birds, snakes, frogs, iguanas, leopards, tigers, gorillas, pandas, and wolves. Young readers will find much to discover, explore, and learn in this absorbing celebration of our planet and the amazing creatures we share it with.
Wonder Walkers by
When two curious kids embark on a “wonder walk,” they let their imaginations soar as they look at the world in a whole new light. They have thought-provoking questions for everything they see: Is the sun the world’s light bulb? Is dirt the world’s skin? Are rivers the earth’s veins? Is the wind the world breathing? I wonder . . . Young readers will wonder too, as they ponder these gorgeous pages and make all kinds of new connections.