So many of us remember a childhood book that first ignited our imagination about or love of the natural world. In that spirit, for our Eco-Books for Kids series, we bring you some fun book ideas, broken up by subject and age, that inspire children to love nature and take action to save it.
This is post five in our seven-part series. While reading the posts, you may come across some books listed more than once. That’s because we saw them as fitting under several topics and we wanted the posts to be easily searchable.
If there is a book you think should have made this list, please tell us! We’d love to hear from you. Thanks for reading!
Ages 4 and Under
The Earth and I, Frank Ash. Another great and inspiring read for youngsters about one boy’s relationship with the Earth.
Ages 4 to 8
The Great Kapok Tree, by Lynne Cherry. The Great Kapok Tree is a classic, award-winning novel about all the creatures that live in and depend on this tropical tree. It’s an enduringly great read.
The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss. This classic Dr. Seuss book inspires children to take action with great rhymes and illustrations.
Planet Earth Gets Well, by Madeline Kaplan. In this book, planet Earth gets sick, with melting ice caps and other ailments. But Mother Earth comes to the rescue with tips on how children can save energy and make other changes to make the earth feel better.
Me….Jane, by Patrick McDonnell. Jane Goodall is best known as an animal activist, conservationist, and environmentalist. This heartwarming and inspirational book tells the story of Jane as a young girl and how she started to think about her surroundings.
Ages 8 to 12
E is for the Environment: Stories to Help Children Care for Their World — At Home, at School and at Play, by Ian James Corlett. This book begins with the African proverb, “If many little people do many little things, they can change the face of the earth.” It goes on to tell inspiring stories about saving the earth.
Heroes of the Environment: True Stories of People Who Are Helping to Protect our Planet, by Harriet Rohm. Twelve inspiring stories of people doing incredible things to save the planet, from ending mountaintop removal in one town to bringing solar power to another community.
Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya, by Donna Napoli. Donna Napoli is a masterful children’s book author, and here she tells the inspiring true story of a Kenyan woman who inspired many women and men to plant trees in Kenya, helping to save the country from drought.
Salmon Forest, by David Suzuki. The well-respected environmentalist David Suzuki weaves a lovely tale of a girl that follows her Dad, a biologist, to “the Salmon Forest”: a river chock full of salmon, deep in the forest.
She’s Wearing a Dead Bird on her Head, by Kathryn Laski. This romping, well-illustrated book tells the true story of how a few women were able to save tropical birds that were being shot for their feathers. It’s also the story of how the Audubon Society was founded.