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Litter, Trash And Garbage: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about litter, trash and garbage?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to litter, trash and garbage. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about litter, trash and garbage.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about litter, trash and garbage, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Here Comes the Garbage Barge! to popular sellers like I Stink! to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Dump Man’s Treasures.

We hope this list of kids books about litter, trash and garbage can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

The Dump Man's Treasures
Written by Lynn Plourde & illustrated by Mary Beth Owens
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

As people continually throw their books away, the dump man restores and re-circulates them, which only pleases the children, but one day when the dump does not open, only the children know where to possibly find the dump man.

Here Comes the Garbage Barge!
Written by Jonah Winter & illustrated by Red Nose Studio
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When a little town on Long Island is inundated with garbage, its citizens become more environmentally aware, while a garbage barge travels the North American coast in search of a dumping location.

What a Waste
Written & illustrated by Jess French
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Everything you need to know about what we’re doing to our environment, good and bad, from pollution and litter to renewable energy and plastic recycling. This environmental book will teach young ecologists about how our actions affect planet Earth. Discover shocking facts about the waste we produce and where it goes. Did you know that every single plastic toothbrush ever made still exists? Or that there’s a floating mass of garbage twice the size of Texas drifting around the Pacific Ocean? It’s not all bad news though. As well as explaining where we’re going wrong, What a Waste shows what we’re doing right! Discover plans already in motion to save our seas, how countries are implementing schemes that are having a positive impact, and how your waste can be turned into something useful. Every small change helps our planet!

Trashy Town Board Book
Written by Andrea Zimmerman & illustrated by David Clemesha and Dan Yaccarino
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

An ALA Notable Children’s Book! Now in a sturdy board book, this edition is perfect for fans of things that GO! Dump it in, smash it down, drive around the Trashy Town! Meet Mr. Gilly. He cleans up Trashy Town. There’s trash at the pizza parlor, trash at the school, and trash at every house. It’s a big job, but Mr. Gilly does it with a big truck, a big smile, and loads of style. David Clemesha and Andrea Zimmerman have created a rhythmic, repeatable refrain that will have children clamoring for repeat readings, and internationally acclaimed illustrator Dan Yaccarino’s dynamic art puts the zip in Mr. Gilly’s stride and adds style and charm to trash collection.

The tin forest
Written by Helen Ward & illustrated by Wayne Anderson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

An old man’s persistent dreams transform a garbage dump into a forest full of life.

  • Ms. Hannah Is Bananas! - With more than 11 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading! In the fourth book of the original My Weird School series, art teacher Ms. Hannah shows A.J. and the gang that art is everywhere! She wears dresses made out of potholders and collects garbage instead of throwing it out. And even makes A.J. draw a picture with smelly, tattletale Andrea! Perfect for reluctant readers and word lovers alike, Dan Gutman’s insanely popular My Weird School series has something for everyone. Don’t miss any more hilarious adventures from A.J. and the gang.

  • I Stink! - For fans of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site and Steam Train, Dream Train comes a noisy addition to the hilarious read-aloud series from Kate and Jim McMullan, the popular creators of I’m Bad! and I’m Dirty! Now a streaming animated series! “Know what I do at night while you’re asleep? Eat your trash, that’s what!” With ten wide tires, one really big appetite, and an even bigger smell, this garbage truck’s got it all. His job? Eating your garbage and loving every stinky second of it! And you thought nighttime was just for sleeping.

  • Super Manny Cleans Up - Every weekend, Manny and Gertie put on their capes to defeat earth-threatening dangers. WE ARE MIGHTY! WE ARE AWESOME! WE ARE TOUGH! WE ARE SMART! Stampeding dinosaurs, ferocious lions, and snapping, snarling veggie monsters are no match for this Super Duo. But when Manny and Gertie come face-to-face with swarms of litter bugs in the city park, will they be able to call on their superhero smarts to stand up for their planet?

  • The Friendship Lie - Cora Davis’s life is garbage. Literally. Her professor parents study what happens to trash after it gets thrown away, and Cora knows exactly how it feels—to be thrown away. Between her mom and dad separating and a fallout with her best friend, fifth grade for Cora has been a year of feeling like being tossed into the dumpster. But Cora has learned a couple of things from her parents’ trash-tracking studies: Things don’t always go where they’re supposed to, and sometimes the things you thought you got rid of come back. And occasionally, one person’s trash is another’s treasure, which Cora and Sybella learn when they come across a diary detailing best-friendship problems. Told in two intertwining points of view, comes a warm, wry story of friendship, growing up, and being true to yourself. Written by Rebecca Donnelly, author of How to Stage a Catastrophe (an Indies Introduce and Indie Next List honoree), The Friendship Lie will speak to any reader who has struggled with what to hold on to and what to throw away.

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