Amazing Books That Inspire Environmental Responsibility
More and more it seems like the younger generation will have to live with the consequences of questionable environmental decisions. Though things are changing, it is not happening quickly enough.
Greta Thunberg is a 15-year-old Swedish activist. She gave a powerful speech to the UN about the inaction on climate change. She ended the speech by saying “We have not come here to beg world leaders to care. You have ignored us in the past and you will ignore us again. We have run out of excuses and we are running out of time. We have come here to let you know that change is coming whether you like it or not. The real power belongs to the people.” Powerful stuff!!
As educators and parents, it is our responsibility to help children understand the need for change and the consequences of inaction. While the future of the planet is very political it doesn’t have to be with children.
These picture books focus on different aspects of saving the planet including deforestation, plastic reduction and saving habitats. Other themes include respect, responsibility, open-mindedness and empathy.
Get Children Involved in the Environment
If you want to inspire children further why not try some of these activities and model positive environmental actions.
- Get children involved in recycling, reducing and reusing items where possible.
- Involve children in outdoor activities and appreciate nature, plants, animals and insects. You could get involved in cleaning up your local environment – beaches, parks, etc.
- Do you have a garden or even a window sill? Try some gardening or growing your own food.
- Develop an understanding of how precious water is. Encourage children turn the tap off when they are cleaning their teeth, etc.
- Recycling old clothes and toys. See more details here how you can encourage children to donate their old items.
- Save electricity by turn off lights or plugs when not needed.
If you are interested in the environment and nature-themed books, take a look at our “Outdoor” lists. Here you can find more picture book recommendations, lesson plans and resources for Kindergarten, Elementary, EYFS, KS1 and KS2 children.
Don’t wait for Earth Day, read books about the environment at any time!
Books That Inspire Environmental Responsibility
“As a young girl growing up in Kenya, Wangari was surrounded by trees. But years later when she returns home, she is shocked to see whole forests being cut down, and she knows that soon all the trees will be destroyed. So Wangari decides to do something—and starts by planting nine seedlings in her own backyard. And as they grow, so do her plans . . .” HMH Books for Young Readers
“Have you ever seen a wetland fairy? This luxuriously paced tale of the wetlands’ most secretive inhabitants weaves rich fantasy with fun wetlands facts. Meet Jack and Mini, and listen as they give you a tour of their wetlands home. Whether swimming with the smolts, attending frog pond sing-alongs, or watching the Pickleweed Parade, there is fun to be had in every corner of the wetlands. So find yourself a spot to sit, and if you are very, very lucky, you might just see the magic for yourself.” Roundtree Press
“Discover the true story of how environmentalist Farmer Tantoh is transforming the landscape in his home country of Cameroon. When Tantoh Nforba was a child, his fellow students mocked him for his interest in gardening. Today he’s an environmental hero, bringing clean water and bountiful gardens to the central African nation of Cameroon. Authors Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul share Farmer Tantoh’s inspiring story.” Millbrook Press
“Ada Ríos grew up in Cateura, a small town in Paraguay built on a landfill. She dreamed of playing the violin, but with little money for anything but the bare essentials, it was never an option…until a music teacher named Favio Chávez arrived. He wanted to give the children of Cateura something special, so he made them instruments out of materials found in the trash. It was a crazy idea, but one that would leave Ada—and her town—forever changed. Now, the Recycled Orchestra plays venues around the world, spreading their message of hope and innovation.” Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
“Plastic bags are cheap and easy to use. But what happens when a bag breaks or is no longer needed? In Njau, Gambia, people simply dropped the bags and went on their way. One plastic bag became two. Then ten. Then a hundred. The bags accumulated in ugly heaps alongside roads. Water pooled in them, bringing mosquitoes and disease. Some bags were burned, leaving behind a terrible smell. Some were buried, but they strangled gardens. They killed livestock that tried to eat them. Something had to change. Isatou Ceesay was that change. She found a way to recycle the bags and transform her community. This inspirational true story shows how one person’s actions really can make a difference in our world.” Scholastic
“Jump aboard the White Feather Flier, a magical plane that can go wherever you want. This time, Lennon’s interactive book immerses children in a fun and unique journey where they can:
Bring medicine to people in need!
Dive below the ocean to bleached coral reefs!
Visit the city to cultivate green spaces!
Help the rain forest return and give its animals a home!
Explore the planet, meet new people, and help make the world a better place!” Sky Pony
“Todd Parr explores the important, timely subject of environmental protection and conservation in this eco-friendly picture book. Featuring a circular die-cut Earth on the cover, and printed entirely with recycled materials and nontoxic soy inks, this book includes lots of easy, smart ideas on how we can all work together to make the Earth feel good – from planting a tree and using both sides of the paper, to saving energy and reusing old things in new ways.” Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
“Katherine Olivia Sessions never thought she’d live in a place without trees. After all, Kate grew up among the towering pines and redwoods of Northern California. But after becoming the first woman to graduate from the University of California with a degree in science, she took a job as a teacher far south in the dry desert town of San Diego. Where there were almost no trees. Kate decided that San Diego needed trees more than anything else. So this trailblazing young woman singlehandedly started a massive movement that transformed the town into the green, garden-filled oasis it is today. Now, more than 100 years after Kate first arrived in San Diego, her gorgeous gardens and parks can be found all over the city.” Beach Lane Books
“In the middle of a dark, lonely wasteland filled with old scrap metal lives an old man. Every night he dreams of a lively forest, full of sunshine, plants, birds, and animals. Every morning he wakes to gloom and bad weather. Then one day, he comes up with an idea to change things. But can an idea turn rain into sunshine? Can a dream make plants grow?” Puffin Books
“A little girl befriends a bee that takes her on a journey of discovery, revealing an action that every child can take to aid in conservation. In a wordless story told through enchanting illustrations, Bee & Me tells a tale of friendship and offers an introduction to the ecology of the natural world.” Candlewick
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Amazing Books That Inspire Environmental Responsibility Amazing Books That Inspire Environmental Responsibility Amazing Books That Inspire Environmental Responsibility Amazing Books That Inspire Environmental Responsibility Amazing Books That Inspire Environmental Responsibility Amazing Books That Inspire Environmental Responsibility