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The Environment: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about the environment?

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

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, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about the environment, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Lorax to popular sellers like The Death Cure to some of our favorite hidden gems like Joseph Had a Little Overcoat.

We hope this list of kids books about the environment 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.

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Top 10 Books About The Environment

#1
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Every Color of Light: A Book about the Sky
Written by Hiroshi Osada & illustrated by Ryoji Arai
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Gentle and lyrical, Every Color of Light is a bedtime story told by the elements.

Every Color of Light opens on a lush, green forest in the rain. Illustrated by the masterful Ryoji Arai, the calm is shattered when the wind picks up and lightning cuts the sky. Yet out of this turbulence, the day blooms bright, the flowers open, and raindrops roll and drip down to the forest floor. The sun sets. The moon rises, and in a pool of water we see its reflection. We go to sleep with the forest, sinking into the pool, into the calm reflection of the moon. Harmonizing our human experience to the natural world, Arai invites the reader to hold imaginative space for our oneness with the natural world.

Ryôji Arai was born in Yamagata, Japan, in 1956. He has an illustrative style all of his own: bold, mischievous, and unpredictable. Arai studied art at Nippon University. His art is at once genuine and truly poetic, encouraging children to paint and to tell their own stories. He took the Japanese picture-book world by storm in the 1990s. Since then, he has one multiple awards, including the international Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2005.

David Boyd is Assistant Professor of Japanese at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His translations have appeared in Monkey Business International, Granta, and Words Without Borders, among other publications.

#2
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The Nature Girls
Written & illustrated by Aki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Aki’s The Nature Girls is a picture book starring an adorable troupe of girls exploring different biomes—the ocean, the desert, the tundra, the grasslands, the forest—and meeting all the cute animals that inhabit them.

#3
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Mario and the Hole in the Sky
Written by Elizabeth Rusch & illustrated by Teresa Martinez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

The true story of how Mexican-American scientist Mario Molina helped solve the ozone crisis of the 1980s and went on to become a Nobel laureate and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His inspiring story gives hope in the fight against global warming. Full color.

#4
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Touch the Brightest Star
Written & illustrated by Christie Matheson
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This interactive bedtime story proves nighttime isn’t scary at all. The gentle journey from sunset to sunrise shows even the youngest children the magic of the nighttime sky—and lets them make magic happen! A companion to the popular and acclaimed Tap the Magic Tree. This board book edition is the perfect size for little hands.

#5
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Greta and the Giants: inspired by Greta Thunberg's stand to save the world
Written by Zoe Tucker & illustrated by Zoe Persico
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

This inspiring picture book retells the story of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg—the Swedish teenager who has led a global movement to raise awareness about the world’s climate crisis—using allegory to make this important topic accessible to young children. Greta is a little girl who lives in a beautiful forest threatened by Giants. When the Giants first came to the forest, they chopped down trees to make houses. Then they chopped down more trees and made even bigger homes. The houses grew into towns and the towns grew into cities, until now there is hardly any forest left. Greta knows she has to help the animals who live in the forest, but how? Luckily, Greta has an idea… A section at the back explains that, in reality, the fight against the “giants” isn’t over and explains how you can help Greta in her fight. This book has been printed sustainably in the US on 100% recycled paper. By buying a copy of this book, you are making a donation of 3% of the cover price to 350.org.

#6
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How to Grow a Friend
Written & illustrated by Sara Gillingham
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A lovely metaphor teaches valuable lessons in how to treat others and make friendships blossom! Making a friend takes patience, care, and room to bloom—just like growing a flower. Soon your little gardeners will have their very own green thumbs for this most important of life skills.

#7
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Summer Song
Written by Kevin Henkes & illustrated by Laura Dronzek
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

From Caldecott Medalist and Newbery Honor author Kevin Henkes and acclaimed painter Laura Dronzek, the bestselling and award-winning creators of Winter Is Here, When Spring Comes, and In the Middle of Fall, this picture book about summer celebrates the sights, sounds, and smells of the season.

Bees buzz, birds sing, and children roll in the grass and feel the heat of the summer sun. With striking verbal imagery, repetition, and alliteration, Kevin Henkes introduces basic concepts of language and the summer season. Laura Dronzek's glowing paintings beautifully illustrate the wonders of summer.

This is an engaging seasonal companion to the bestselling When Spring Comes, In the Middle of Fall, and Winter Is Here, Ideal for introducing the season, for story time, and for bedtime reading.

#8
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111 Trees: How One Village Celebrates the Birth of Every Girl
Written by Rina Singh & illustrated by Marianne Ferrer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In a small village in India, a boy grows up to make a huge difference in his community by planting trees to celebrate the birth of every girl. Based on a true story, this book celebrates environmental sustainability, community activism and ecofeminism.

This is the story of Sundar Paliwal, who is from a small Indian village ruled by ancient customs. As he grows to be a man, Sundar suffers much heartbreak and decides it is time for change to come to his village. Sundar is determined to live in a place where girls are valued as much as boys and where the land is not devastated by irresponsible mining. Sundar’s plan? To celebrate the birth of every girl with the planting of 111 trees. Though many villagers resist at first, Sundar slowly gains their support. And today, there are over a quarter of a million trees in his village, providing food, water and opportunities for women to earn a living. His efforts have turned a once barren and deforested landscape into a fertile and prosperous one where girls can thrive.

Based on true events in the life of Sundar Paliwal, and written in collaboration with him, Rina Singh’s uplifting story shows how one person can make a difference in a community. Beautiful illustrations by Marianne Ferrer sensitively bring the evolution of the village to life. With strong links to the science curriculum, this book offers lessons on environmental awareness, sustainability and stewardship, as well as the concept of ecofeminism. It also explores ideas of social development, community and culture, and the character education traits of responsibility and cooperation. A thoroughly researched author’s note with photographs and more information about the village of Piplantri is included.

#9
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Ada's Violin
Written by Susan Hood & illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
Thoughts from The Fun Uncle
I love this book! It has something for everyone- invention, music, and more. It is a deep book that talks about poverty and the struggles of growing up in a lower-income area. However, Ada is an amazing example of someone who doesn't let life happen to her, but does what she needs to create the life she wants. I would read this story even without my little one, as it is just a story that reaches the heart and helps us all take a deeper look into our lives.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A town built on a landfill. A community in need of hope. A girl with a dream. A man with a vision. An ingenious idea.

#10
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What Grew in Larry's Garden
Written by Laura Alary & illustrated by Kass Reich
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Grace thinks Larry’s garden is one of the wonders of the world. In his tiny backyard next door to hers, Larry grows the most extraordinary vegetables. Grace loves helping him - watering and weeding, planting and pruning, hoeing and harvesting. And whenever there’s a problem - like bugs burrowing into the carrots or slugs chewing the lettuce - Grace and Larry solve it together. Grace soon learns that Larry has big plans for the vegetables in his special garden. And when that garden faces its biggest problem yet, Grace follows Larry’s example to find the perfect solution.

Inspired by a real person, author Laura Alary has written a heartwarming story about how amazing things can grow when you tend your garden with kindness. In this case, Larry, a teacher, is helping to grow community. He has his students grow tomato plants that they then give away to their neighbors with personal notes. It offers a powerful lesson on the influence of generosity, while encouraging young children to become community activists in their own neighborhoods. This uplifting story fosters an appreciation for neighborhood and community at a time when that sentiment seems to be eroding. The book also contains an environmental message about harvesting your own vegetables and, with Kass Reich’s colorful illustrations, works beautifully for a life science exploration of growth and changes in plants. There are character education connections to caring, cooperation, empathy, kindness, perseverance and teamwork.

Table of Contents
Scroll to books about The Environment and...

Books About The Environment and Girls And Women

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The Nature Girls
Written & illustrated by Aki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Aki’s The Nature Girls is a picture book starring an adorable troupe of girls exploring different biomes—the ocean, the desert, the tundra, the grasslands, the forest—and meeting all the cute animals that inhabit them.

Add to list
Greta and the Giants: inspired by Greta Thunberg's stand to save the world
Written by Zoe Tucker & illustrated by Zoe Persico
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

This inspiring picture book retells the story of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg—the Swedish teenager who has led a global movement to raise awareness about the world’s climate crisis—using allegory to make this important topic accessible to young children. Greta is a little girl who lives in a beautiful forest threatened by Giants. When the Giants first came to the forest, they chopped down trees to make houses. Then they chopped down more trees and made even bigger homes. The houses grew into towns and the towns grew into cities, until now there is hardly any forest left. Greta knows she has to help the animals who live in the forest, but how? Luckily, Greta has an idea… A section at the back explains that, in reality, the fight against the “giants” isn’t over and explains how you can help Greta in her fight. This book has been printed sustainably in the US on 100% recycled paper. By buying a copy of this book, you are making a donation of 3% of the cover price to 350.org.

Add to list
111 Trees: How One Village Celebrates the Birth of Every Girl
Written by Rina Singh & illustrated by Marianne Ferrer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In a small village in India, a boy grows up to make a huge difference in his community by planting trees to celebrate the birth of every girl. Based on a true story, this book celebrates environmental sustainability, community activism and ecofeminism.

This is the story of Sundar Paliwal, who is from a small Indian village ruled by ancient customs. As he grows to be a man, Sundar suffers much heartbreak and decides it is time for change to come to his village. Sundar is determined to live in a place where girls are valued as much as boys and where the land is not devastated by irresponsible mining. Sundar’s plan? To celebrate the birth of every girl with the planting of 111 trees. Though many villagers resist at first, Sundar slowly gains their support. And today, there are over a quarter of a million trees in his village, providing food, water and opportunities for women to earn a living. His efforts have turned a once barren and deforested landscape into a fertile and prosperous one where girls can thrive.

Based on true events in the life of Sundar Paliwal, and written in collaboration with him, Rina Singh’s uplifting story shows how one person can make a difference in a community. Beautiful illustrations by Marianne Ferrer sensitively bring the evolution of the village to life. With strong links to the science curriculum, this book offers lessons on environmental awareness, sustainability and stewardship, as well as the concept of ecofeminism. It also explores ideas of social development, community and culture, and the character education traits of responsibility and cooperation. A thoroughly researched author’s note with photographs and more information about the village of Piplantri is included.

Honorable Mentions
Saving the Countryside: The Story of Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit book
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Wangari's Trees of Peace book
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Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace book
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Dr. Wangari Maathai Plants a Forest book
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  1. Saving the Countryside: The Story of Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit - “An exceptionally accurate portrait of Beatrix Potter told with humor and surprise. Beautifully done.” Linda Lear, author of Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature Through she’s universally known as the creator of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter did so much more. This is the true story about how she helped save the English countryside! Growing up in London, Beatrix Potter felt the restraints of Victorian times. Girls didn’t go to school and weren’t expected to work. But she longed to do something important, something that truly mattered. As Beatrix spent her summers in the country and found inspiration in nature, it was through this passion that her creativity flourished. There, she crafted The Tale of Peter Rabbit. She would eventually move to the countryside full-time, but developers sought to change the land. To save it, Beatrix used the money from the success of her books and bought acres and acres of land and farms to prevent the development of the countryside that both she and Peter Rabbit so cherished. Because of her efforts, it’s been preserved just as she left it. This beautiful picture book shines a light on Beatrix Potter’s lesser-known history and her desire to do something for the greater good.

  2. Wangari's Trees of Peace - A paperback picture book based on the true story of Wangari Maathai, an environmental and political activist in Kenya and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. 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 . . . This true story of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is a shining example of how one woman’s passion, vision, and determination inspired great change. Includes an author’s note.

  3. Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace - As a young girl in Kenya, Wangari was taught to respect nature. She grew up loving the land, plants, and animals that surrounded her—from the giant mugumo trees her people, the Kikuyu, revered to the tiny tadpoles that swam in the river. Although most Kenyan girls were not educated, Wangari, curious and hardworking, was allowed to go to school. There, her mind sprouted like a seed. She excelled at science and went on to study in the United States. After returning home, Wangari blazed a trail across Kenya, using her knowledge and compassion to promote the rights of her countrywomen and to help save the land, one tree at a time.

  4. Dr. Wangari Maathai Plants a Forest - From the world of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls comes a historical novel based on the life of Dr. Wangari Maathai, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist and environmentalist from Kenya. Wangari lives in the lush, green, land of rural Kenya where the soil is perfect for planting, the trees tower into the sky, and the streams are full of mysterious creatures. All day, she plays beneath her favorite fig tree, and at night she gathers around the fire with her family to listen to her mother’s stories. Then Wangari grows up and goes away to school, and things start changing at home. Farmers chop down the trees. Landslides bury the stream. The soil becomes overworked and dry, and nothing will grow. People go hungry. After all her studies, Dr. Wangari Maathai realizes there is a simple solution to these problems: plant a forest full of trees.

Books About The Environment and Recycling And Green Living

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What Grew in Larry's Garden
Written by Laura Alary & illustrated by Kass Reich
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Grace thinks Larry’s garden is one of the wonders of the world. In his tiny backyard next door to hers, Larry grows the most extraordinary vegetables. Grace loves helping him - watering and weeding, planting and pruning, hoeing and harvesting. And whenever there’s a problem - like bugs burrowing into the carrots or slugs chewing the lettuce - Grace and Larry solve it together. Grace soon learns that Larry has big plans for the vegetables in his special garden. And when that garden faces its biggest problem yet, Grace follows Larry’s example to find the perfect solution.

Inspired by a real person, author Laura Alary has written a heartwarming story about how amazing things can grow when you tend your garden with kindness. In this case, Larry, a teacher, is helping to grow community. He has his students grow tomato plants that they then give away to their neighbors with personal notes. It offers a powerful lesson on the influence of generosity, while encouraging young children to become community activists in their own neighborhoods. This uplifting story fosters an appreciation for neighborhood and community at a time when that sentiment seems to be eroding. The book also contains an environmental message about harvesting your own vegetables and, with Kass Reich’s colorful illustrations, works beautifully for a life science exploration of growth and changes in plants. There are character education connections to caring, cooperation, empathy, kindness, perseverance and teamwork.

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Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt
Written by Kate Messner & illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In this exuberant and lyrical follow-up to the award-winning Over and Under the Snow, discover the wonders that lie hidden between stalks, under the shade of leaves . . . and down in the dirt. Explore the hidden world and many lives of a garden through the course of a year! Up in the garden, the world is full of green—leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit. But down in the dirt exists a busy world—earthworms dig, snakes hunt, skunks burrow—populated by all the animals that make a garden their home.

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Don't Throw That Away!
Written by Lara Bergen & illustrated by Betsy Snyder
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

You can keep that trash and reuse it in all kinds of wonderful ways! Do you see that old jar? Don’t throw that away! You can turn it into…a new vase! Follow an eco-conscious super hero as he teaches kids how to recycle and reuse common household items! The six large flaps throughout show that oridinary trash is really a treasure. From turning old clothes into fun costumes or an old box into a brand new car, kids will learn that saving the environment is super cool!

Honorable Mentions
I Can Save the Earth! book
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Thank You, Earth book
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Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood book
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Aaalligator! book
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  1. I Can Save the Earth! - A new “green” series!: Little Green Books will educate children on what they can do to be more eco-friendly. The books in this line will be made from recycled materials, and the storylines will cover subjects such as improving the environment, learning about endangered animals, recycling, and much more. Meet Max the Little Monster. He is a cute, furry green monster who is an environmental nightmare. Among other things, he leaves on all the lights, keeps his computer plugged in, blasts the TV, hoards his old toys and uses so much toilet paper it clogs the toilet until finally, his excessive ways cause a power outage. With no TV to watch, computer to play on, video games to play with, Max finds there is a whole big world outside that he can make a difference in the environment. Kids can follow Max the Little Green Monster’s journey to environmental awareness and learn tips on how they can become little green monsters themselves. A kid-friendly glossary of terms is included in the back of the book. This 8x8 paperback is perfect bound and will be printed on 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper with soy-ink. The paper is FSC certified.

  2. Thank You, Earth - Acclaimed children’s book author and photographer April Pulley Sayre’s love letter to Earth is a stunning exploration of the beauty and complexity of the world around us. Remarkable photographs and a rich, layered text introduce concepts of science, nature, geography, biology, poetry, and community. April Pulley Sayre, award-winning photographer and acclaimed author of more than sixty-five books, introduces concepts of science, nature, and language arts through stunning photographs and a poetic text structured as a simple thank-you note. Touching on subjects from life cycles to weather, colors, shapes, and patterns, this is an ideal resource for science and language art curriculums and a terrific book for bedtime sharing. Thank You, Earth is a great choice for Earth Day celebrations, as well as family and group read-alouds. Includes backmatter with kid-friendly ideas for conservation projects information about the photographs, and additional resources.

  3. Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood - “An inspiring picture book for youngsters with meaningful ties to the environment, sustainability, and community engagement.” —Booklist
    “Hartland’s gouache illustrations wobble endearingly, colorfully capturing the children’s triumph, and the kinetic energy and colorful vibrancy of the city neighborhood.” —Publishers Weekly
    Discover the incredible true story of Harlem Grown, a lush garden in New York City that grew out of an abandoned lot and now feeds a neighborhood. Once
    In a big city called New York
    In a bustling neighborhood
    There was an empty lot.
    Nevaeh called it the haunted garden.
    Harlem Grown tells the inspiring true story of how one man made a big difference in a neighborhood. After seeing how restless they were and their lack of healthy food options, Tony Hillery invited students from an underfunded school to turn a vacant lot into a beautiful and functional farm. By getting their hands dirty, these kids turned an abandoned space into something beautiful and useful while learning about healthy, sustainable eating and collaboration. Five years later, the kids and their parents, with the support of the Harlem Grown staff, grow hundreds of pounds of fruits and vegetables a year. All of it is given to the kids and their families. The incredible story is vividly brought to life with Jessie Hartland’s “charmingly busy art” (Booklist) that readers will pore over in search of new details as they revisit this poignant and uplifting tale over and over again. Harlem Grown is an independent, not-for-profit organization. The author’s share of the proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to Harlem Grown.

  4. Aaalligator! - When a hungry alligator moves to their town, the residents want him out . . . until they get to know him (and learn what he’s actually hungry for!). A timely tale about empathy, acceptance and a community’s response to injustice.

    Though he’s scared at first, a boy who encounters an alligator in the woods soon realizes that all the alligator wants is companionship —- and leftovers —- and the two become good friends. But the mayor of the boy’s town simply won’t allow it. He even makes an official proclamation, ?NO ALLIGATORS! Blah, blah, blah.? The townspeople agree with the mayor. At first. But once they see how kind and helpful the alligator is (and how nice it is to have someone to eat all their leftovers!), they decide the alligator should be allowed to stay. They help the alligator avoid the mayor, for a while. But it’s becoming harder to find a place for him to hide. Can they all come together and find a way to keep the alligator in their town?

    Judith Henderson’s funny, whimsical and heartwarming picture book tale offers a playful way to engage children with issues of injustice and civil disobedience. In this timely story, a boy and then an entire community move beyond their fear of the ?other? and respond with acceptance; then they movingly take it a step further to make change. It highlights the positive character education attributes of empathy, kindness, caring and courage. Andrea Stegmaier’s illustrations include loads of charming details that are not in the text, making them a perfect complement to the story’s warm and quirky style. This is a terrific book for lessons on communities and social justice.

Books About The Environment and Weather

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Every Color of Light: A Book about the Sky
Written by Hiroshi Osada & illustrated by Ryoji Arai
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Gentle and lyrical, Every Color of Light is a bedtime story told by the elements.

Every Color of Light opens on a lush, green forest in the rain. Illustrated by the masterful Ryoji Arai, the calm is shattered when the wind picks up and lightning cuts the sky. Yet out of this turbulence, the day blooms bright, the flowers open, and raindrops roll and drip down to the forest floor. The sun sets. The moon rises, and in a pool of water we see its reflection. We go to sleep with the forest, sinking into the pool, into the calm reflection of the moon. Harmonizing our human experience to the natural world, Arai invites the reader to hold imaginative space for our oneness with the natural world.

Ryôji Arai was born in Yamagata, Japan, in 1956. He has an illustrative style all of his own: bold, mischievous, and unpredictable. Arai studied art at Nippon University. His art is at once genuine and truly poetic, encouraging children to paint and to tell their own stories. He took the Japanese picture-book world by storm in the 1990s. Since then, he has one multiple awards, including the international Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2005.

David Boyd is Assistant Professor of Japanese at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His translations have appeared in Monkey Business International, Granta, and Words Without Borders, among other publications.

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The Little Green Hen
Written & illustrated by Alison Murray
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A timely retelling plays off “The Little Red Hen” with an environmental slant. On top of a hill, inside an old and very fruitful apple tree, lives Little Green Hen. She prunes the tree’s branches, rids it of pests, and sows its seeds so that more trees will grow. But soon the work proves too much, and Little Green Hen seeks some help. Dog (who loves sticks), Sparrow (who loves bugs), and Squirrel (who loves burying things) are glad to pitch in. But Peacock, Fox, and Cat have far more important things to do — until the storms roll in, the rain comes down, and the waters rise. . . . With contemporary flair, Alison Murray offers another engaging adaptation of a traditional children’s tale.

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This Beautiful Day
Written by Richard Jackson & illustrated by Suzy Lee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Undaunted by the rainy weather, three children take their happiness outside and seem to chase the clouds away as they jump, skip, and dance together.

Honorable Mentions
The Boy and the Wild Blue Girl book
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The Earth Gives More book
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Picture the Sky book
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A Day So Gray book
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  1. The Boy and the Wild Blue Girl - Inspired by the work of wind pioneer Poul la Cour, The Boy and the Wild Blue Girl is the imagined story of the invention of wind turbines, featuring themes perfect for Earth Day. Everyone thought the wild blue girl was a nuisance. Everyone, that is, but Poul. This is a clever and inspiring story of how curiosity and observation can bring about change in the world.

  2. The Earth Gives More - From leaves falling and becoming fertilizer to raindrops bringing plants to life in the spring, the cycle of every season has something to enjoy. While delighting in all nature offers, we need to remember to respect and treasure the world around us. This sweet rhyming story follows the change in seasons and illustrates how we can all be stewards of the Earth.

  3. Picture the Sky - The sky can often tell different stories: in the clouds having a parade, in the stars blanketing the night, and in our imagination. Every hour, every day, in every season, the sky is different. In this companion to Picture a Tree, award-winning creator Barbara Reid offers a lyrical story using plasticine relief illustrations to explore the wondrous and ever-changing sky.

  4. A Day So Gray - Once you start to notice, colors and reasons for gratitude are everywhere, and that changes everything! Celebrate the hues and comforts of a cozy winter day as a discontented girl at first notices only dull grays and browns in a snowy landscape but is coaxed by her friend to look more closely. Soon she finds orange berries, blue water, purple shadows, and more. Warm friendship and a fresh way of seeing things transform a snow-covered landscape from bleak to beautiful!

Want to see books about weather?

Books About The Environment and Family

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Welcome to Your World
Written by Smriti Prasadam-Halls & illustrated by Jaime Kim
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Traverse the animal kingdom for a gorgeous celebration of the joys of a new baby — and the pleasure of introducing that baby to the wide world — in the perfect gift for new parents.

Welcome, little baby,
round your mama curled.
Welcome, little baby.
Welcome to your world.

With lyrical language and stunning illustrations, Welcome to Your World takes readers from ice-capped mountains to the depths of the sea. Tender scenes between animals and their babies encourage families to join in the loving bond that connects them to one another and to the wonders of our planet. This beautiful book is ideal for sharing with new babies, new parents, and children just venturing out in the world, as best-selling author Smriti Prasadam-Halls and acclaimed illustrator Jaime Kim provide both a celebration of nature and a gentle reminder to protect it.

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All in a Day
Written by Cynthia Rylant & illustrated by Nikki McClure
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

When the sun rises on a new day, it lights a world of possibilities.

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Once Upon a Memory
Written by Nina Laden & illustrated by Renata Liwska
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Does a feather remember it once was a bird? Does a book remember it once was a word? When a feather drifts through a child’s window, a magical journey begins. As the boy follows the feather, he is swept away to a world filled with adorable animals, where fantasy and reality come together in surprising and playful ways. From the cake that once was grain to the ocean that once was rain, whimsical “before” and “after” scenes offer readers a peek at the world as seen through the eyes of a curious child, ultimately asking the question, “What will you remember?” Nina Laden’s poetic and cleverly woven text is perfectly paired with bestselling artist Renata Liwska’s captivating illustrations. Together they create a story that will keep readers enchanted long after the journey has ended.

Honorable Mentions
On the Internet book
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When My Dad Went to the Jungle book
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Under My Tree book
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The Night Is for Darkness book
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  1. On the Internet - On the Internet: Our First Talk About Online Safety introduces children to the basics of online safety in a story-based, conversational style. Using real-world examples set within the context of a child who is using the Internet for the first time and watching an older sibling interact with social media, Dr. Roberts takes readers through several common scenarios around parental supervision, online bullying and anonymity. She also includes examples of people who use the Internet to make the world a better place. On the Internet addresses common safety concerns in a child-centered way and offers easy-to-understand rationales as to why it’s important to maintain boundaries online just as in real life. The World Around Us series introduces children to complex cultural, social and environmental issues that they may encounter outside their homes, in an accessible way. Sidebars offer further reading for older children or care providers who have bigger questions. For younger children just starting to make these observations, the simple question-and-answer format of the main text will provide a foundation of knowledge on the subject matter.

  2. When My Dad Went to the Jungle - A young boy shares exciting facts and stories about the peoples, plants, and animals who inhabit the Amazon rainforest. In this original, uplifting book from one of Argentina’s most acclaimed children’s writers, a young boy records his dad’s stories of the Amazonian jungle in his journal. As he does, he can’t help but compare his own life. When you visit the rainforest, you should ask the Sápara peoples for permission and be respectful, just like when you visit your neighbor in the city. Smoked fish is delicious in the rainforest—but hard to make in your bedroom. The rainforest is like a great big house for plants, animals, and spirits, but it’s disappearing, little by little. Filling his journal with imaginative drawings and words, the boy decides what he would do if he visited the rainforest: Invite the spirits for donuts and hot cocoa! Inspired by the author’s volunteer efforts to assist the Sápara peoples in protecting an endangered bird, _When My Dad Went to the Jungle _portrays a young boy exploring big ideas about the natural world. As he journals, the young boy realizes that, even though life for the Sápara peoples is very different from his own, a little bit of the rainforest lives inside of all of us. If we let it grow, then we will always respect the lands we walk, gather, and play on.

  3. Under My Tree - A modern take on Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree that celebrates the friendship between a curious child and her favorite tree. When Susanne leaves her city home to visit her grandmother, she finds a very special tree of her own in the forest. Each time she returns to the tree, she observes something unique about it—from the sheltering protection of its branches to the scratchy surface of its bark. This is a wonderful introduction to trees for young children that gently cultivates an appreciation for nature. Interwoven in the fiction text are unique facts about trees and simple activities that encourage readers to touch, smell, and observe the world that is all around them. Printed on FSC-certified paper with vegetable-based inks.

  4. The Night Is for Darkness - A gorgeous bedtime book that is also a tribute to the beauty of the natural world, from popular picture book creators Jonathan Stutzman and Joseph Kuefler. Perfect for fans of The Night Gardener. The night is for darkness . . . and for surprising moonlit discoveries. This lyrical story celebrates the wondrous beauty of the natural world and the intimate family moments we share each night. The Night Is for Darkness is a story full of warmth and love—an ideal sendoff into the land of dreams.

Books About The Environment and Trees

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Tap the Magic Tree
Written & illustrated by Christie Matheson
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The acclaimed interactive picture book about the changing seasons. “Like Hervé Tullet’s Press Here, Matheson’s Tap the Magic Tree proves you don’t need apps for interactivity,” praised the New York Times.

Every book needs you to turn the pages. But not every book needs you to tap it, shake it, jiggle it, or even blow it a kiss

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The Night Gardener
Written & illustrated by Terry Fan and Eric Fan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Everyone on Grimloch Lane enjoys the trees and shrubs clipped into animal masterpieces after dark by the Night Gardener, but William, a lonely boy, spots the artist, follows him, and helps with his special work.

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The Lorax
Written & illustrated by Dr. Seuss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Celebrate nature with Dr. Seuss and the Lorax in this classic picture book about protecting the environment!

I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.

Dr. Seuss’s beloved story teaches kids to speak up and stand up for those who can’t. With a recycling-friendly “Go Green” message, The Lorax allows young readers to experience the beauty of the Truffula Trees and the danger of taking our earth for granted, all in a story that is timely, playful, and hopeful. The book’s final pages teach us that just one small seed, or one small child, can make a difference.

Printed on recycled paper, this book is the perfect gift for Earth Day and for any child—or child at heart—who is interested in recycling, advocacy, and the environment, or just loves nature and playing outside.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

“Pretty much all the stuff you need to know is in Dr. Seuss.” –President Barack Obama

Honorable Mentions
We Planted a Tree book
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The Lumberjack's Beard book
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With My Tree book
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This Tree Counts! book
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  1. We Planted a Tree - Simple text reveals the benefits of planting a single tree, both to those who see it grow and to the world as a whole.

  2. The Lumberjack's Beard - Every day, Jim Hickory the lumberjack heads into the forest with his trusty axe and chops down trees. Unfortunately, all sorts of creatures lose their homes in the process, so Jim gives them a home in his beard - until one day it all just gets too much. Time for Jim to come up with a better solution! A story with a green message.

  3. With My Tree - One little girl has a very special friend, the tall ancient tree in her backyard. Through the seasons, she grows along with the tree, playing in its branches and basking in its shade. She can swing and have a picnic, draw the tree and play hide and go seek. Through her time with her tree, the girl learns to appreciate the natural world as something to be savored and protected and acknowledges her place within it. The Growing Hearts series celebrates the milestones of a toddler’s emotional development, from conquering fears and expressing feelings to welcoming a new sibling.

  4. This Tree Counts! - If you listen closely, the lone tree behind Oak Lane School has a story to tell. It starts with one owl, two spiders, and goes all the way up to ten earthworms using the tree as their home! So what does this tree need? Learn about the importance of trees and count from one to ten in this tale about going green.

Books About The Environment and Gardening

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How to Grow a Friend
Written & illustrated by Sara Gillingham
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A lovely metaphor teaches valuable lessons in how to treat others and make friendships blossom! Making a friend takes patience, care, and room to bloom—just like growing a flower. Soon your little gardeners will have their very own green thumbs for this most important of life skills.

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The Curious Garden
Written & illustrated by Peter Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

One boy’s quest for a greener world… one garden at a time. While out exploring one day, a little boy named Liam discovers a struggling garden and decides to take care of it. As time passes, the garden spreads throughout the dark, gray city, transforming it into a lush, green world. This is an enchanting tale with environmental themes and breathtaking illustrations that become more vibrant as the garden blooms. Red-headed Liam can also be spotted on every page, adding a clever seek-and-find element to this captivating picture book.

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The Year of the Garden
Written by Andrea Cheng & illustrated by Patrice Barton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

In this prequel to The Year of the Book, join Anna in a year of discovery, new beginnings, friendships, and growth.

Honorable Mentions
Florette book
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Pete Moss and the Super Strong Spinach book
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Bloomers Island: The Great Garden Party book
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And Then the Seed Grew book
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  1. Florette - A 2018 New York Times and New York Public Library Best Illustrated Picture Book When Mae’s family moves to a new home, she wishes she could bring her garden with her. She’ll miss the apple trees, the daffodils, and chasing butterflies in the wavy grass. But there’s no room for a garden in the city. Or is there? Mae’s story, gorgeously illustrated in watercolor, is a celebration of friendship, resilience in the face of change, and the magic of the natural world.

  2. Pete Moss and the Super Strong Spinach - Follow Pete Moss in this magical, beautifully illustrated story as he attends boarding school on Bloomers Island to learn about gardening and growing his own vegetables. When Professor Sage announces the Very Very Veggie Challenge, Pete immediately knows what he needs to grow spinach. It’s the one vegetable that can make him stronger. But does Pete have the patience to grow his spinach plants to win the contest? With the help of headmaster Professor Sage and his fellow Bloomers, Pete learns all about spinach, working hard toward his goals, and that good things take time to happen! The Bloomers series brings to life the world of gardening and healthy-eating to young children in new and exciting ways.

  3. Bloomers Island: The Great Garden Party - The popular Bloomers Island! gardening kits and online world blossom in a playful, beautifully illustrated new book aimed at getting kids to love everything about nature. Join the Bloomers on a whimsical adventure as they attend a magical boarding school on Bloomers Island. As Pete Moss, Rosey Posey, Big Red, Violet, and their friends prepare for the Great Garden Party, they learn about gardening, healthy eating, and caring for the environment. The treehouse school is held by the arms of Mr. Banyan, a tree about to celebrate his 200th birthday. His birthday party is filled with fun games that teach the curious students that gardening is not at all boring or hard—that it’s actually really fun!

  4. And Then the Seed Grew - In an ordinary garden full of flowers and plants, little Jack and Mr. Gnome live above the ground, while Yvonne the mole, the Field Mouse family, Paulie the earthworm and Colette the ant live below the ground. Everybody is happy in the garden. Until one day, a new seed arrives, which soon sprouts into a plant. As the plant begins to grow (and grow, and grow), its stalk and leaves get in the way of those aboveground, and its roots disrupt the homes and passageways of those underground. Before long, the plant has gotten so large, it has become a huge problem for the garden’s residents. So, the friends decided they must chop it down. Unless … wait! What’s that growing on the plant? In this multilayered (and multilevel!) picture book, international award-winning author-illustrator Marianne Dubuc humorously explores the concept of change as the characters resist but eventually accept the new addition, an excellent example of a growth mindset. The story also highlights the interconnectivity of living things and, thus, the concept of community. Animal habitats and the growth cycle of plants - from seed to fruit-bearing - are presented here with easy-to-understand, child-friendly visuals. The winsome illustrations are full of clever details, offering peeks into the animals’ fantastical homes, promising something new to discover with every look, and encouraging visual literacy.

Books About The Environment and Climate Change

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Mario and the Hole in the Sky
Written by Elizabeth Rusch & illustrated by Teresa Martinez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

The true story of how Mexican-American scientist Mario Molina helped solve the ozone crisis of the 1980s and went on to become a Nobel laureate and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His inspiring story gives hope in the fight against global warming. Full color.

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Rare and Blue: Finding Nature's Treasures
Written by Constance Van Hoven & illustrated by Alan Marks
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A variety of rare blue species—from the blue lobster to the blue black bear—are rare and unique for a reason.

Travel across Earth to discover eight species that are blue in color and are either naturally rare, threatened, or endangered. Panoramic illustrations and a playful main text prompt a search for the blue species at hand, while the page-turn and informative sidebars zoom in to reveal a closer look at the species. There’s a lot to uncover about the Karner blue butterfly, blue black bear, blue whale, Quitobacquito pupfish, Cerulean warbler, blue lobster, Eastern Indigo snake, and big bluestem grass. A surprise ending celebrates that planet Earth is the rarest and bluest and must be protected for the sake of all.

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Spring After Spring
Written & illustrated by Stephanie Roth Sisson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the creator of “Star Stuff”comes a picture book biography of Rachel Carson, tracing her journey as scientist and writer, courageously speaking truth to an often hostile world through her book, and ultimately paving the way for the modern environmental movement. Full color.

Honorable Mentions
If Polar Bears Disappeared book
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The Magic School Bus And The Climate Challenge book
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Boy, Were We Wrong about the Weather! book
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  1. If Polar Bears Disappeared - What would happen if polar bears disappeared from the planet? Find out in this gorgeous, accessible nonfiction picture book that imagines the consequences of a world without polar bears.

  2. The Magic School Bus And The Climate Challenge - Trust the bestselling science series of all time to get down to the facts on global warming, so kids can understand the crisis - and how they can help solve it. Like it or not, global warming is a hot topic, and it will affect the younger generation the most. So why not turn to the teacher kids like the most, Ms. Frizzle! Only the Friz can boil all the hoopla down to the scientific facts in a fun and informative way. With trademark simplicity and wit, Joanna Cole explains why the earth is getting warmer, and Bruce Degen’s bright, action-filled illustrations make the science easy to understand and fun to learn. This team brings a new, improved understanding to climate change, engaging kids and empowering all. Teachers will cheer!

  3. Boy, Were We Wrong about the Weather! - Examines what is known about weather -storms, predictions, climate, and other characteristics- and how different the facts are from what scientist, from ancient Summerians to the recent past, believed to be true.

Books About The Environment and Earth Day

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My Friend Earth
Written by Patricia MacLachlan & illustrated by Francesca Sanna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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. Its enticing die-cut pages encourage exploration as its poetic text celebrates everything Earth does for us, all the while reminding us to be a good friend in return.

• Interactive format and kid-friendly art will engage both toddlers and young readers. • A celebration of the natural world and rallying cry for positive action for Planet Earth • Great opportunities to share life science concepts and amazing facts about the environment with children

This beautiful and innovative ode to our natural world will appeal to readers of Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth, The Poet’s Dog, and Thank You, Earth.

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The Girl Who Spoke to the Moon: A Story about Friendship and Loving Our Earth
Written by Land Wilson & illustrated by Sue Cornelison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A sweet story that will inspire children to protect the Earth and encourage others to do the same. When Sofia dreams of visiting the Moon one night, she discovers people are hurting the Earth! With the Moon as her guide, Sofia learns how we can work together to make Earth feel better. With rhyming text and beautiful illustrations, this sweet, environmentally friendly story is a gentle lesson and clear reminder of the importance of caring for our planet. Previously published as Sofia’s Dream, this updated edition includes bonus back matter about pollution and the simple steps we can take to protect the Earth!

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The Dumpster Diver
Written by Janet S. Wong & illustrated by David Roberts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Once a month—every week in the summer—Steve the electrician dons special gear and, with the help of youngsters who live in his building, dives into a dumpster seeking useful objects that they can transform into imaginative new ones.

Honorable Mentions
I Love the Earth book
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The Great Kapok Tree book
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Katie Saves the Earth book
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  1. I Love the Earth - With his signature blend of playfulness and sensitivity, bestselling author Todd Parr explores the important, timely subject of environmental protection and conservation in this board book. This adaptation of The Earth Book includes child friendly reasons to love our planet—from appreciating a beautiful tree to taking care of animals all around the world. Equally whimsical and heartfelt, this sweet homage to our beautiful planet is sure to inspire readers of all ages to do their part in keeping the Earth happy and healthy.

  2. The Great Kapok Tree - The many different animals that live in a great kapok tree in the Brazilian rainforest try to convince a man with an ax of the importance of not cutting down their home.

  3. Katie Saves the Earth - With Earth Day coming up, Katie decides to have a yard sale with her friends and recycle her old toys.

Want to see books about Earth Day?

Books About The Environment and Bugs And Insects

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The Leaf Men
Written & illustrated by William Joyce
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When an old woman gets sick and her garden begins to die, the doodle bugs call on the Leaf Men to make things right again.

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Slide-N-Seek Earth
Written & illustrated by David Miles
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Explore a new and exciting way to learn about what’s happening underground with this interactive Slide-N-Seek book. With a turn of the wheel, you’ll see colorful images transform before your very eyes. But don’t stop there, look closer and you’ll discover hidden images throughout every page. Kids will love this fun and educational format while learning about fascinating objects along the way.

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The Honeybee
Written by Kirsten Hall & illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Buzz from flower to flower with a sweet honeybee in this timely, clever, and breathtakingly gorgeous picture book from critically acclaimed author Kirsten Hall and award-winning illustrator Isabelle Arsenault. Bzzz… What’s that? Do you hear it? You’re near it. It’s closer, it’s coming, it’s buzzing, it’s humming… A BEE! With zooming, vibrant verse by Kirsten Hall and buzzy, beautiful illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault, this celebration of the critically important honeybee is a honey-sweet treasure of a picture book.

Honorable Mentions
Kaia and the Bees book
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Bee and Me book
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Look Who's There book
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Give Bees a Chance book
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  1. Kaia and the Bees - The author of Those Shoes and an award-winning illustrator team up for the story of a girl who tries to overcome her fear of bees to see how amazing they are. Kaia is the brave type. Like hottest-hot-pepper brave. But there is one thing that scares her: BEES! And right now, thousands of bees live on her roof because Kaia’s dad is a beekeeper. Her dad says that the world needs bees and that’s why they are beekeepers. But only he goes on the roof, not Kaia — unless she can find a way to be the brave girl she always says she is. Against a sunny city setting, author Maribeth Boelts and illustrator Angela Dominguez depict Kaia’s small courageous steps — and her tiny insect neighbors — with great empathy and charm. Buzzing with storytime potential, Kaia and the Bees is an honest and relatable tale about bravery and compassion, as well as the importance of bees to our world.

  2. Bee and Me - The mystery of the dwindling population of honeybees throughout the world has been a growing concern in recent years. This story brings the critical importance of bees to light for young children through the innovative process of Ani-Motion.

  3. Look Who's There - Children will discover nature’s creatures hidden in graphic environments.

  4. Give Bees a Chance - From the author-illustrator of Children’s Choice Book Award Winner I’m Trying to Love Spiders: a plea to please give bees a chance! Not sure whether to high-five bees or run away from them? Well, maybe you shouldn’t high-five them, but you definitely don’t have to run away from them. Give Bees a Chance is for anyone who doesn’t quite appreciate how extra special and important bees are to the world, and even to humankind! Besides making yummy honey, they help plants grow fruits and vegetables. And most bees wouldn’t hurt a fly (unless it was in self-defense!). Bethany Barton’s interactive cartoon-style illustrations and hilarious narrator mean this book is full of facts and fun. With bees officially on the endangered animals list, it’s more important now than ever to get on board with our flying, honey-making friends!

Books About The Environment and Feelings And Emotions

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The Pout-Pout Fish Cleans Up the Ocean
Written by Deborah Diesen & illustrated by Dan Hanna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Mr. Fish and his friends have noticed something strange in their ocean—a big, big MESS! How did it get there? What can they do about it? The closer they look, the more they see where the mess came from . . . and they’ll have to work together to get rid of it. This newest jacketed hardcover in the New York Times–bestselling Pout-Pout Fish series will teach little guppies how to take responsibility for their actions and for the environment.

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Southwest Sunrise
Written by Nikki Grimes & illustrated by Wendell Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

From Children’s Literature Legacy Award winner Nikki Grimes and highly-acclaimed illustrator Wendell Minor comes a stunning picture book about the beauty of the natural world and finding a new place to call home.

The beauty of the natural world is just waiting to be discovered . . .

When Jayden touches down in New Mexico, he’s uncertain how this place could ever be home. But if he takes a walk outside, he just might find something glorious.

Flowers in bright shades . . .
Birds and lizards and turtles, all with a story to tell . . .
Red rock pillars towering in the distance . . .
Turquoise sky as far as the eye can see . . .

Perhaps this place could be home after all.

Gorgeously poetic and visually stunning, this story from acclaimed creators Nikki Grimes and Wendell Minor celebrates the beauty of the Southwest as a young boy sees it for the very first time.

Acclaim for One Last Word
A Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Winner
A New York Times Editor’s Choice

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The Happiest Tree: A Story of Growing Up
Written & illustrated by Hyeon-Ju Lee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

In this simple and profound picture book, growing up is seen and experienced through the perspective of a gingko tree.

Over the years, the gingko tree that resides outside an apartment building has seen many things. When it was ten, sounds of the Rose Piano Class filled the ground floor and whistled through its young branches. At fourteen, a growth spurt year, it met Mr. Artist on the second floor whose muse was the tree itself.

As the years continue on, the tree encounters many people in the apartment building making memories. Some are happy, some are sad—they’re all part of growing up. All part of who we will be in the future.

This wonderfully emotional story of life and growing up will pull at the heartstrings of readers.

Honorable Mentions
Gorilla Dawn book
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The Troublemaker book
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The Last Leopard book
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  1. Gorilla Dawn - “It is time, Imara. Imara left the shadows and stepped into the pool of moonlight, listening to the demon as he paced inside her mind. It is time, Imara. The men are waiting for you. They are waiting for your power to protect them. She knelt down and poured the contents of her water bottle into the ashes of last night’s fire, stirring with her fingers, working the mixture into a gritty paste. All around her, the forest was dark and still, wrapped in silence. Nothing moved. High above in the canopy, a pale mist clung to the leaves. Thin tendrils of vapor hung in the air, as if the trees were holding their breath, waiting for the dawn. The Black Mamba and his men were folded into the deep moon-shadows. Only the cold light catching the metal of their rifles told they were not of this place. Come on, Imara, hissed the demon. They’re watching you. Imara’s hands hovered over the ash paste and trembled. Stupid girl. Don’t show your fear. You know what they’ll do if they see your fear. Imara breathed in deeply, filling her lungs with the cool night air. She tried to block her mind from the purpose of her task. She hummed softly, trying to ignore the demon and scooped the ash paste into her hand. Hurry, Imara. They want to see their spirit child.”

  2. The Troublemaker - Bored and restless on a summer day, a little boy steals his sister’s bunny and sends it on an adventure. He is well satisfied with the results—until his own stuffed animal disappears. Could it be that he is not the only troublemaker around . . . ? A case of sibling rivalry is neatly resolved with the “assistance” of a hilarious raccoon in Lauren Castillo’s warm, simple text and gorgeous classic illustrations.

  3. The Last Leopard - Follow the moving journey of a lone leopard in his search to find other leopards. Along his journey, he meets other creatures, constantly questioning whether he is the last leopard in the world. His wish is, in part, granted when he finally sees another leopard—but not in the way one would expect. This bittersweet tale of loneliness and extinction, along with its beautiful illustrations of the grasslands, is bound to touch readers profoundly.

Books About The Environment and Outdoor Activities

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All Aboard! Pacific Northwest
Written by Kevin Meyers and Haily Meyers & illustrated by Haily Meyers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Every part of the world can be mapped out for adventure, and brilliant babies love the sophistication of traveling by train. In the latest title of this popular board book series, babies and parents climb aboard to explore the Pacific Northwest and its fun activities, from shopping, to hiking, to skiing, and more! Ride along from Oregon to Washington to British Columbia to discover cities like Portland, Vancouver, and Seattle and sights like Mt. Rainier and Haystack Rock. All aboard for a sensational experience in travel! Haily and Kevin Meyers are the husband and wife team behind the dazzling baby product line, Lucy Darling (lucydarling.com). Haily’s design work can be seen on their unique monthly sticker designs, nursery art prints, baby memory books, and multiple baby products. Their work has been featured in Pregnancy and Newborn magazine, Red Tricycle, Babiekins Magazine, Cool Mom Picks, KIWI magazine, Mollie Makes magazine, Fresh Style magazine, Mom Trends, HGTV Canada, and specialty baby shops worldwide. They live in Arizona.

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Boil Line
Written by M.J. McIsaac
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Camp Clearwater is home to best friends Nate, Owen and Mercy. They practically grew up on the Starling River. But the summer they turn sixteen an incident forces the camp to close its doors. Mike Elliot, the river guide who taught the teens everything they know, is lost to the rapids. A tragic accident, everyone agrees. Except for Nate. Mike was the best kayaker he’d ever met. The smartest. The safest. He respected and loved the river, and as far as Nate is concerned, the river loved Mike back. If his instructor was pulled under by the Starling, then Nate is sure foul play was involved. To find the truth, Nate must face his greatest fears as he retraces Mike’s final run through the Black Hole, the most treacherous waters on the Starling.

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The Not-So Great Outdoors
Written & illustrated by Madeline Kloepper
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A reluctant camper discovers that the (not-so) great outdoors can be just as exciting as screens and skyscrapers in this playful picture book celebration of the pleasures of unplugging and embracing nature. What’s so great about the “great outdoors”? A grumpy urban kid begrudgingly accompanies her family on a summer camping trip, missing all the sublime sights right under her nose as she longs for the lights and stimulation of the city. But as she explores forests, lakes and mountains, and encounters bears, beavers and caribou, she slowly comes to realize that the simpler things are just as sparkly, that the sky is its own majestic light show, and the symphony is all around. The Not-So Great Outdoors is a humorous and richly imagined reminder of the beauty and magic that can be found away from the city and our screens.

Honorable Mentions
Seeking an Aurora book
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Camp Rex book
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The Camping Trip That Changed America book
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Our Great Big Backyard book
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  1. Seeking an Aurora - In the quiet of the night, a child's father bundles them up and shows them the majesty of an aurora. This book is perfect for those who love Owl Moon.A father wakes his child from sleep to beckon, "Come--we're off to find an Aurora." Through the silent frost, across fields, and up hills they climb...And then they wait. Together they share an unforgettable moment and the majestic splendor of the northern and southern lights. This moving and lyrical story is paired with scientific information about the awe-inspiring northern and southern lights to further inspire readers to seek their own natural wonders. Printed on FSC-certified paper with vegetable-based inks.

  2. Camp Rex - What could be more fun than a camping trip with a good friend? When that friend is T. Rex! It’s important to set a few wilderness safety guidelines first. . . like making sure he stays on the trail. And does not disturb the local wildlife. And knows how to build a safe campfire. But sometimes dinosaurs have a different way of doing things, and that’s why it’s best to be prepared . . . for anything! Following in the extremely large and funny footsteps of Tea Rex, Camp Rex is for anyone who loves to roast a marshmallow or two around the campfire . . . or the whole bag at once!

  3. The Camping Trip That Changed America - Caldecott medalist Mordicai Gerstein captures the majestic redwoods of Yosemite in this little-known but important story from our nation’s history. In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt joined naturalist John Muir on a trip to Yosemite. Camping by themselves in the uncharted woods, the two men saw sights and held discussions that would ultimately lead to the establishment of our National Parks.

  4. Our Great Big Backyard - To help commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the National Park Service, #1 New York Times bestselling authors former First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna Bush Hager have created an exuberant picture book tribute to our national parks and the importance and fun of connecting with nature. Our Great Big Backyard follows Jane, whose plans of spending the summer playing video games with her friends are dashed when her parents announce that her family is going on a road trip to national parks around the country. Yet somewhere between the Everglades and Big Bend National Park, things begin to change. Jane starts paying attention to the magnificent sights and spends less time looking at her screen. The stunning views open up her imagination as she and her brother see everything that nature has to offer. And the more Jane discovers, the more she realizes how much there is to love about the outdoors—whether she’s in a national park across the country or right in her own backyard.

Books About The Environment and Values And Virtues

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Heal the Earth
Written by Julian Lennon and Bart Davis & illustrated by Smiljana Coh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Take a journey to help the Earth in the second book of the New York Times bestselling trilogy by Julian Lennon! 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! The Flier’s mission is to transport readers around the world, to engage them in helping to save the environment, and to teach one and all to love our planet. Just press a button printed on the page, and point the plane up in the air to fly, or down to land it! An inspiring, lyrical story, rooted in Lennon’s life and work, Heal the Earth is filled with beautiful illustrations that bring the faraway world closer to young children. The book includes words to a new, special poem written by Julian Lennon, specifically for Heal the Earth. A portion of the proceeds from book sales will go to support the environmental and humanitarian efforts of the White Feather Foundation, the global environmental and humanitarian organization that Lennon founded to promote education, health, conservation, and the protection of indigenous culture.

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The World's Poorest President Speaks Out
Written by Yoshimi Kusaba & illustrated by Gaku Nakafawa
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“A poor person is not someone who has little, but one who needs infinitely more, and more, and more.” Thus spoke José Mujica, then the President of Uruguay, before the United Nations in 2012. Paraphrasing the wisdom of the great thinker Seneca, he asked the world to question the dogma of consumption that has driven us into environmental and economic crisis. Often referred to as the worlds “poorest” president, in part because of his practice of donating 90% of his $12,000 monthly salary to charity, José Mujica lived his words and proved that one need not have money to be rich. In The World’s Poorest President Speaks Out, José Mujica’s famous speech comes to life as he asks us to remember our neighbors, our children, and the Earth.

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Evie and the Strawberry Balloon Ride
Written & illustrated by Stefanie Dahle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Evie is a determined, ingenious and bright little Strawberry Fairy who lives in an old teapot. Join Evie and her friends, the flower fairies and creatures of Wildberry Acres, on their magical adventures in this second book in the Evie the Strawberry Fairy series.

Evie is determined to win first prize at the Strawberry Fair with her amazing hot-air balloon! But on the way to the competition the creatures of Wildberry Acres need her help. What is most important to Evie: winning or helping others?

Through Evie’s adventures young readers will learn about the natural world - how plants grow and how all living things are connected. This is a story about creativity, putting others first and helping out. Stefanie Dahle’s illustrations are charming, detailed and full of character and fun.

Honorable Mentions
Thank You, Bees book
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Listen book
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  1. Thank You, Bees - This gentle message of gratitude and connection, enhanced by beautifully simple collage illustrations, makes for a charming gift. Sun gives us light. Thank you, sun. Clouds bring the rain that makes puddles to splash in. Sheep give us wool for our sweaters and hats. The honey that sweetens our bread comes from bees (thank you, bees). With spare, repetitive text and bright, torn-paper collage artwork, this picture book gives even the youngest readers a subtle sense of how everyday things are related — and inspires an appreciation for life’s simple gifts.

  2. Listen - A lyrical, inspiring picture book that promotes empathy from the creators of the New York Times bestseller Come With Me. Listen with your heart. It is your ears your eyes your nose your mouth your hands— Author Holly M. McGhee and illustrator Pascal Lemaître ask you, me, and all of us to inspire empathy by exploring what it means to be connected to everything, including the natural world. Simple and tender, Listen teaches us to engage our senses, to taste, see, and feel in order to engage with the world around us.

Books About The Environment and Flowers

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Plant the Tiny Seed
Written & illustrated by Christie Matheson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

There is magic in every tiny seed. The seeds that come in little paper packets and those that fall from flowers and plants. In every garden and every flowerpot, magic can grow. With a little sunlight, a little water, and a little help from birds and worms and bees, a tiny seed sprouts, a plant grows, and a beautiful f lower blooms. There is magic in every tiny seed. And in this book, you become the magician. How? Press the seed into the ground, wiggle your fingers to add water, clap to bring the sun. And then . . .turn the page. What can grow from one tiny seed? Press, tap, wiggle, and jiggle to start the magic! Press the seed—don’t be shy! Wiggle your fingers to add some water. Clap your hands to bring the sun. Wow! A beautiful flower!

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The Flower
Written by John Light & illustrated by Lisa Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Brigg lives in a small, grey room in a large, grey city. When he finds a book in the library labelled ‘Do Not Read’, he cannot resist taking it home. In it, he comes upon pictures of bright, vibrant objects called flowers. He cannot find flowers anywhere in the city, but stumbles instead on a packet of seeds. This sets off a chain of events which bring about unexpected results, continuing to grow and bloom even after we have turned the last page. John Light’s enigmatic story is told with utter simplicity, but resonates long after we finish reading this book. His increasingly optimistic vision is hauntingly captured by Lisa Evans’s beautiful and whimsical illustrations.

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The Digger and the Flower
Written & illustrated by Joseph Kuefler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the acclaimed author/artist of Beyond the Pond and Rulers of the Playground comes a breathtaking new book with a powerful message about the environment, perfect for fans of Peter Brown’s The Curious Garden and Kadir Nelson’s If You Plant a Seed. Each day, the big trucks go to work. They scoop and hoist and push. But when Digger discovers something growing in the rubble, he sets in motion a series of events that will change him, and the city, forever. “This story contains bold graphic illustrations and a wonderful message about the environment,” proclaims Brightly.com in their article “18 Must-Read Picture Books of 2018.”

Honorable Mentions
The Hidden Rainbow book
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Lola Plants a Garden book
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Grow, Candace, Grow book
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  1. The Hidden Rainbow - Illustrations and simple, rhyming text invite the reader to uncover the rainbow of colors hidden in a garden, which helps flowers bloom and bees find food. Includes facts about bees and their importance.

  2. Lola Plants a Garden - How does your garden grow? Book-loving Lola is inspired by a collection of garden poems that she reads with her mommy. She wants to plant her own garden of beautiful flowers, so she and Mommy go to the library to check out books about gardening. They choose their flowers and buy their seeds. They dig and plant. And then they wait. Lola finds it hard to wait for her flowers to grow, but she spends the time creating her own flower book. Soon she has a garden full of sunflowers and invites all of her friends for cakes and punch and a story amongst the flowers. Lola is a beloved character that continues to shine for young readers. Her curiosity and love of books is infectious. Parents and children love sharing Lola’s stories. Rosalind Beardshaw’s beautiful illustrations highlight Lola’s close-knit family and how they use stories and books to interact with their world. Lola’s brightly colored and growing garden is the perfect surrounding for this bright little girl.

  3. Grow, Candace, Grow - In Grow, Candace, Grow, written by New York Times bestselling author and star of the hit Netflix series Fuller House Candace Cameron Bure, little Candace convinces her teacher that her class should plant a garden to celebrate spring. She’s so excited as the big day approaches, and soon Candace is dirty from head-to-toe planting flowers with her friends (and her hamster, Harry). When the work is complete, Candace is “underwhelmed” by the puny plantings and wants to know when the flowers are going to bloom. “It takes a little patience,” her teacher explains, but Candace is not particularly fond of waiting. As she comically attempts to speed up the growing process, the garden falters and Candace discovers patience really was the best plan after all. Following the success of Candace Center Stage, the second book in this bestselling series, written by Candace Cameron Bure and illustrated by Christine Battuz, includes an adorable cover adorned with embossing and glitter.

Want to see books about flowers?

Books About The Environment and Bears

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The Moon Keeper
Written & illustrated by Zosienka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Fall in love with this moving and magical picture book about a sweet, conscientious polar bear, the moon, and the special connection they share.

Illustrated with a classic feel and told with a refreshing voice, The Moon Keeper is a perfect bedtime story with gentle messages about friendship, impermanence, and nature that will appeal to fans of Kitten’s First Full Moon, Rabbit Moon, and Little Bear.

Emile, a very responsible polar bear, has a new job as moon keeper. He spends his evenings making sure the moon has everything it needs to shine its light over the night creatures.

Night after night he keeps watch over the moon—clearing away the clouds and telling the fruit bats to move along when they play too close.

Emile finds the moon nice to talk to in the stillness of the night. But what happens when the moon starts to change and slowly disappears? In a lovely and touching series of small investigations, consultations with neighbors, and a fair amount of worry, he learns that in life, things come and go—and it’s okay.

Zosienka’s debut as author-illustrator is the rare moon-themed picture book that shows the phases of the moon through brilliant childlike storytelling.

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The Great Paper Caper
Written & illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

From the illustrator of the #1 smash hit The Day the Crayons Quit comes a whodunnit just right for the youngest of readers (not to mention instructions for how to build the perfect paper airplane!)

The animals? homes are disappearing. Tree by tree, the forest is being cut down. Clues! There must be clues. For instance, look–there is a mysterious bear carrying an ax! But what would a bear want with so many trees? Perhaps the discarded paper airplanes littering the forest floor have a story to tell?

Oliver Jeffers’ quirky, childlike humor and lovable illustrations are in full effect in this funny whodunit featuring a winning cast of animals and a message about the importance of conservation and recycling.

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Red Knit Cap Girl to the Rescue
Written & illustrated by Naoko Stoop
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-7

‘I hope it’s not too far away,’ says Red Knit Cap Girl. ‘Follow the light of the Moon,’ calls Owl. In this heartwarming follow-up to Naoko Stoop’s debut Red Knit Cap Girl, Red Knit Cap Girl meets a lost Polar Bear Cub. Determined to help him find his way home, to an Arctic land of ice and snow, Red Knit Cap Girl, White Bunny, and Polar Bear Cub set off on an unforgettable voyage. Gorgeously illustrated on wood grain, Red Knit Cap Girl’s curiosity, imagination, and joy will captivate the hearts of readers young and old. Simple prose and luminous pictures will remind readers that even small actions - such as recycling - can help to solve big world problems, in this inspiring story that celebrates friendship, bravery, and the importance of home.

Honorable Mentions
The Journey Home book
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Sea Bear book
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Polar Bear's Story book
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  1. The Journey Home - A beautifully illustrated story, now available in hardcover, from a star in children’s books with a powerful message of conservation and protection of animal welfare. When a solitary Polar Bear realizes there is no food for him in the Arctic, and that all the ice is melting, he decides to go for a swim to find some. Along the way, he finds a boat and sails across the ocean to the city, where he meets other endangered animals who all climb into the boat with him: an Orangutan who is surrounded by tree stumps, an Elephant who is trying to out-run a poacher, and a Panda without a home. Together, they cross the seas in search of a place they can all call home. They finally come to a beautiful island and meet a Dodo, who explains that they cannot return home until the trees are replanted, the ice stops melting, and the poachers stop hunting for tusks. What will tomorrow bring? The Journey Home is a lyrical, thoughtful tale with real heart and a strong environmental message.

  2. Sea Bear - Lindsay Moore’s remarkable and beautifully illustrated picture book follows a lone polar bear as she makes her way across sea ice in the Arctic. Sea Bear is a deeply moving and informative story about perseverance, family, nature, and climate change that will resonate with readers of all ages. A solitary polar bear travels across the sea ice in pursuit of food. As the ice melts and food becomes scarce, she is forced to swim for days. Finally, storm-tossed and exhausted, she finds shelter on land, where she gives birth to cubs and waits for the sea to freeze again. Informed by the author’s background in marine science, Sea Bear is a vivid and moving page-turner with a vital message about our changing planet. This is a gorgeously illustrated book, with the perfect marriage of scientific fact and poetry, that shows the reality of climate change and how it poses a threat to animals of the Arctic. Perfect for family and classroom sharing. Includes extensive backmatter about Arctic animals, climate change, and sea ice.

  3. Polar Bear's Story - In the frigid Arctic, a polar bear is born, with thick white fur to protect her from the cold. This engaging nonfiction picture book accompanies her as she plays, learns to hunt, grows up, and goes off on her own. Through beautiful art and a poetic, fact-filled story, younger children will learn about how these beautiful animals live, and the challenges they face because of climate change.

Want to see books about bears?

Books About The Environment and Animal Homes

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Mama Dug a Little Den
Written by Jennifer Ward & illustrated by Steven Jenkins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

There are so many different kinds of dens that mother animals make for their babies, from desert burrows to snow caves to elaborate underground tunnels. Jennifer Ward introduces young readers to all sorts of animals and the cozy burrows they call home in this bouncy, rhyming picture book, illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Steve Jenkins.

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You Are Home
Written & illustrated by Evan Turk
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Award-winning author and illustrator Evan Turk showcases the beauty and importance of the National Parks in this gorgeous picture book that takes readers on an amazing tour across the United States. Beneath the soaring doorways of stone, and peaks that pierce the ceiling of clouds, from every river, star, and stone comes the eternal refrain: you are home. In simple, soaring language and breathtaking art, acclaimed author-illustrator Evan Turk has created a stirring ode to nature and nation. From the rugged coast of Maine to the fiery volcanoes of Hawaii, You Are Home reminds us that every animal, plant, and person helps make this land a brilliant, beautiful sanctuary of life.

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A Stone Sat Still
Written & illustrated by Brendan Wenzel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In this moving companion to the Caldecott Honor–winning They All Saw a Cat, Brendan Wenzel tells the story of a seemingly ordinary stone. But it isn’t just a stone—to the animals that use it, it’s a resting place, a kitchen, a safe haven…even an entire world. With stunning illustrations in cut paper, pencil, collage, and paint, and soothing rhythms that invite reading aloud, A Stone Sat Still is a gorgeous exploration of perspective, perception, sensory experience, color, size, function, and time, with an underlying environmental message that is timely and poignant. Once again Wenzel shows himself to be a master of the picture book form.

Honorable Mentions
Little Tigers book
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Amy on Park Patrol book
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Rainforest book
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How Many Trees? book
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  1. Little Tigers - Journey with a family of tigers as they search for a new home in the jungle. As hunters approach their home in the jungle, Mother Tiger and her cubs, Puli and Sera, must venture to find a new home away from danger. Together, they explore different homes, but the ones they find aren’t suited for tigers. Some are too wet, some are too dry, and some are just downright unwelcoming. But with their mother’s help, they may be able to find one that’s just right. With gentle text and stunning monochromatic illustrations, Jo Weaver reveals the wonder of nature, the excitement of discovery, and the strength of familial bonds.

  2. Amy on Park Patrol - Learning that a nearby park is about to be turned into a shopping center, Amy races against time to save the recreation center and the animal friends who live there.

  3. Rainforest - Exotic and beautiful creatures of the rainforest, selected for the extraordinary noises they make. Delicate, colourful and distinctive, Julia Groves’ illustrations introduce us to the animals that live in this precious and endangered habitat.

  4. How Many Trees? - How many trees make a forest? Each animals thinks they know the answer, but they just can’t agree. Could a tiny, quiet voice have the answer? Simple yet humorous, this charming story is told in Barroux’s inimitable style and features a host of woodland creatures who children will love. The story encourages children’s to ask questions about nature and the environment and is a great way to open up discussion on a range of topics.

Books About The Environment and Marine Life

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Stella Diaz Never Gives Up
Written & illustrated by Angela Dominguez
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

From award-winning author Angela Dominguez, comes the novel Stella Diaz Never Gives Up, a novel about a shy Mexican-American girl who becomes an environmental activist and makes a difference in her community. Stella gets a big surprise when her mom plans a trip to visit their family in Mexico! Stella loves marine animals, and she can’t wait to see the ocean for the first time . . . until she arrives and learns that the sea and its life forms are in danger due to pollution. Stella wants to save the ocean, but she knows she can’t do it alone. It’s going to take a lot of work and help from old and new friends to make a difference, but Stella Díaz never gives up! This is the second middle-grade novel from award-winning picture book author and illustrator Angela Dominguez. Based on the author’s experiences growing up Mexican-American, this infectiously charming character comes to life through relatable story-telling including simple Spanish vocabulary and adorable black-and-white art throughout.

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Turtle Tug to the Rescue
Written & illustrated by Michael Slack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Turtle Tug is on the lookout! This chugging, tugging turtle powers through gusty winds and treacherous tides, combing the seas to protect his friends from a dangerous storm. From panicking puffins to entangled sperm whales, Turtle Tug is out to rescue all his sea-dwelling friends. He’s a turtle tugboat on a mission to make the world a safer place.

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The Mess That We Made
Written by Michelle Lord & illustrated by Julia Blattman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

The Mess That We Made explores the environmental impact of trash and plastic on the ocean and marine life, and it inspires kids to do their part to combat pollution. Simple, rhythmic wording builds to a crescendo (“This is the mess that we made. These are the fish that swim in the mess that we made.”) and the vibrant digital artwork captures the disaster that is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Children can imagine themselves as one of the four multi-ethnic occupants of the little boat surrounded by swirling plastic in the middle of the ocean, witnessing the cycle of destruction and the harm it causes to plants, animals, and humans. The first half of the book portrays the growing magnitude of the issue, and the second half rallies children and adults to make the necessary changes to save our oceans, before it is too late. Facts about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, ocean pollution, and how kids can help are included in the back matter.

Honorable Mentions
A Whale of a Time: A Bindi Irwin Adventure book
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Coral book
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Storm Whale book
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Song of the Dolphin Boy book
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  1. A Whale of a Time: A Bindi Irwin Adventure - A fast-paced adventure series featuring the Jungle Girl herself! The stories are inspired and co-created by Bindi Irwin, daughter of the iconic wildlife expert Steve Irwin. The series features the characters of Bindi, her brother Robert, mother Terri, and the Australia Zoo. Bindi takes a pair of troublesome twins on a thrilling whale-watching trip. It’s going great until one of the twins spots a bright flare in the sky. They race to the scene and find a crashed boat! Can Bindi help stop the boat from spilling oil and save the nearby sea creatures from danger?

  2. Coral - Caldecott Honor author-illustrator Molly Idle offers a stunningly illustrated environmental tale featuring three very different mermaid friends who learn to coexist, in a companion to her acclaimed story Pearl. Coral, Filly, and Manta live on a sunlit reef teeming with sea life. When Coral comes upon an empty hollow at the heart of the reef and tries to keep it as her very own, Filly and Manta are banished. All that grows in the wake of her anger is regret, and Coral must find a way to turn the tide…but she can’t do it alone. Caldecott Honor-winning author and artist Molly Idle has brilliantly illustrated a tale both timeless and timely, about the power of collaboration and the profound importance of caring for our environment…and one another.

  3. Storm Whale - A captivating and beautifully illustrated story about three sisters who nd a stranded whale on the beach. Bleak was the day and the wind whipped down when I and my sisters walked to town . . . With a powerful, poetic text, wonderful to read aloud, and illustrations full of life and movement, this picture book about three sisters finding a stranded whale celebrates the majesty and vulnerability of nature and our place in it.

  4. Song of the Dolphin Boy - Finn has always been different and in the tiny Scottish fishing village of Stromhead, he sticks out like a sore thumb. One day he dives into the sea and finds that, swimming with the dolphins, feels completely like home. But his new friends are in danger of being injured by the rubbish that floats out into the water and now a supermarket is going to release thousands of balloons that could drift out to sea and cause even more damage. Desperate to help the dolphins, Finn goes to the Lighthouse Crew, a group of kids who have always left Finn out. Will they be able to set aside their differences to save the dolphins? And what will Finn discover about his past along the way?

Books About The Environment and Environmental Science And Ecosystems

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Baby Loves Green Energy!
Written by Ruth Spiro & illustrated by Irene Chan
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Big, brainy science for the littlest listeners.

Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book explores the climate of our planet and the need to protect it for all babies. Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby’s sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two as well!

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Moth
Written by Isabel Thomas & illustrated by Daniel Egneus
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Powerful and visually spectacular, Moth is the remarkable evolution story that captures the struggle of animal survival against the background of an evolving human world in a unique and atmospheric introduction to Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection. “This is a story of light and dark…” Against a lush backdrop of lichen-covered trees, the peppered moth lies hidden. Until the world begins to change… Along come people with their magnificent machines which stain the land with soot. In a beautiful landscape changed by humans how will one little moth survive? A clever picture book text about the extraordinary way in which animals have evolved, intertwined with the complication of human intervention. This remarkable retelling of the story of the peppered moth is the perfect introduction to natural selection and evolution for children.

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Our House Is on Fire: Greta Thunberg's Call to Save the Planet
Written & illustrated by Jeanette Winter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Learn the story of TIME PERSON OF THE YEAR Greta Thunberg, the sixteen-year-old climate activist who has sparked a worldwide student movent and is demanding action from world leaders who refuse to address climate change—from acclaimed picture book creator Jeanette Winter.

I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic…I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.

When she was fifteen years old, Greta Thunberg’s teacher explained to her class that our climate is changing—the earth is getting warmer, the polar ice caps are melting, and life on earth is threatened. Greta was devastated. What could she do? If the grown-ups weren’t doing enough to save the planet, Greta would have to demand change herself.

So she went on strike, skipping school every Friday to sit outside of the Swedish Parliament building with a sign that read “School Strike for Climate.” At first, Greta was the only one. But gradually, more and more students joined her, until her lone protest had sparked a worldwide student movement for action on climate change.

Now, a year later, Greta is speaking to audiences of world leaders at important meetings like the United Nations Climate Conference and the World Economic Forum. She is leading the conversation on climate change and sparking worldwide conversation on how to save our planet. Greta is showing everyone that even the smallest person can make a big difference, and this picture book informs and inspires young readers who are beginning to learn about the world around them.

Honorable Mentions
Drawn from Nature book
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Touch the Earth book
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What Will Grow? book
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A Whale's World book
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  1. Drawn from Nature - An intricately crafted journey through four seasons of flora and fauna Helen Ahpornsiri’s intricate artwork transforms leaves, petals, and seeds into bounding hares, swooping swallows, and blossoming trees. Using nothing but pressed plants, this journey through the seasons captures the wonder and magic of the natural world between the pages of a book. This standout title with beautiful nonfiction text will take readers through an extraordinary year in the wild.

  2. Touch the Earth - A New York Times bestseller that TODAY calls “beautiful” and “stunning!” This interactive book immerses children in a fun and unique journey. Jump aboard the White Feather Flier, a magical plane that can go wherever you want! Just press a button printed on the page, and point the plane up in the air to fly, or down to land it! Fly to the top of a mountain! Send clean water to thirsty people! Dive deep into the ocean (the Flier turns into a submarine!) to pick up pollution and bring back the fish! Explore the planet, meet new people, and help make the world a better place! The Flier’s mission is to transport readers around the world, to engage them in helping to save the environment, and to teach one and all to love our planet. An inspiring, lyrical story, rooted in Lennon’s life and work, Touch the Earth is filled with beautiful illustrations that bring the faraway world closer to young children. The book includes words to a special poem written by Julian Lennon, specifically for Touch the Earth . This is the first book in a planned trilogy. A portion of the proceeds from book sales will go to support the environmental and humanitarian efforts of the White Feather Foundation, the global environmental and humanitarian organization that Lennon founded to promote education, health, conservation, and the protection of indigenous culture.

  3. What Will Grow? - From the team behind the gorgeous What Will Hatch? comes a companion book all about seeds and the plants that grow from them—and featuring four pull-out gatefolds. “An enchanting vision” - Publishers Weekly, starred review.

  4. A Whale's World - A Whale’s World follows a pod of spy-hopping orcas as they explore the ecosystems of the Great Bear Sea while hunting for their next meal. Past rocky shores and through kelp forests,they observe foraging wolves, hungry grizzly bears, curious black bears, graceful fin whales, splashing porpoises,slippery seals and other members of the Pacific coastal food web.The book gives readers a fun introduction to the many ways that marine and land animals interact with their environments and with each other.

Books About The Environment and The World

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Most of the Better Natural Things in the World
Written by Dave Eggers & illustrated by Angel Chang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A tiger carries a dining room chair on her back. But why? Where is she going? With just one word per page, in lush, color-rich landscapes, we learn about the features that make up our world: an archipelago, a dune, an isthmus, a lagoon. Across them all, the tiger roams. This enigmatic investigation of our world’s most beautiful places from bestselling author Dave Eggers is beautifully illustrated by debut artist Angel Chang.

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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!

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Judy Moody Saves the World!
Written by Megan McDonald & illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

The mercurial Judy returns - and she’s in a mood to take on the world! Judy Moody did not set out to save the world. She set out to win a contest. A Band-Aid contest. It all started with the Crazy-Strip contest - and the dream that she, Judy Moody, might one day see her very own adhesive-bandage design covering the scraped knees of thousands. But when her “Heal the World” motif merits only an honorable mention, Judy Moody realizes it’s time to set her sights on something bigger. Class 3T is studying the environment, and Judy is amazed to learn about the destruction of the rain forest, the endangered species (not) in her own backyard, and her own family’s crummy recycling habits. Now she’s in a mood to whip the planet into shape - or her name isn’t Judy Monarch Moody!

Honorable Mentions
How Things Grow book
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Exploding Ants book
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  1. How Things Grow - A brand-new title in this bestselling series from Eric Carle! A tadpole becomes a frog, an acorn becomes an oak tree, and a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. By lifting the big, sturdy flaps, young readers will discover the world around them and how things grow through Eric Carle’s bright, beautiful images. A perfect companion title for Eric Carle’s ABC, Opposites, and All Around Us.

  2. Exploding Ants - A wasp lays its eggs under a caterpillar’s skin so that its young can eat the caterpillar’s guts as they grow. A young head louse makes its home on a human hair and feasts on human blood. Frogs use their eyeballs to help swallow their food. From small worms that live in a dog’s nose mucus to exploding ants to regurgitating mother gulls, this book tells of the unusual ways animals find food, shelter, and safety in the natural world. If animals all ate the same things and lived in the same places, it would be impossible for all of them to survive. So they specialize. Some animals eat the bits that others leave behind, such as skin and mucus. They find all kinds of unusual places to shelter, including the cracks and holes in another creature’s skin or its internal organs. They use their own bodies to protect themselves from predators by imitating unsavory items such as bird droppings and even by blowing up. These habits that may seem disgusting to us are wonderful adaptations that make it possible for a great variety of creatures to live and thrive on Earth. Read about them and marvel at the amazing ways animals adapt to the natural world.

Books About The Environment and Water

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Ocean! Waves for All
Written by Stacy McAnulty & illustrated by David Litchfield
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From writer Stacy McAnulty and illustrator David Litchfield, Ocean! Waves for All is a light-hearted nonfiction picture book about the formation and history of the ocean, told from the perspective of the ocean itself.

Dude. Ocean is incredible. Atlantic, Pacific, Artic, Indian, Southern―it’s all excellent Ocean! Not part of any nation, his waves are for all. And under those waves, man, he holds so many secrets. With characteristic humor and charm, Stacy McAnulty channels the voice of Ocean in this next “autobiography” in the Our Universe series. Rich with kid-friendly facts and beautifully brought to life by David Litchfield, this is an equally charming and irresistible companion to Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years; Sun! One in a Billion; and Moon! Earth’s Best Friend.

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We Are Water Protectors
Written by Carole Lindstrom & illustrated by Michaela Goade
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, Carole Lindstrom’s bold and lyrical picture book We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguarding the Earth’s water from harm and corruption.

Water is the first medicine. It affects and connects us all . . .

When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth And poison her people’s water, one young water protector Takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource.

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The Ocean in Your Bathtub
Written by Seth Fishman & illustrated by Isabel Greenberg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“The Earth’s five oceans and its water cycle connect all of us in important and unexpected ways”—

Honorable Mentions
A Dolphin's Wish book
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Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters! book
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Splish Splash! book
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Lily's Water Woes book
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  1. A Dolphin's Wish - Dive under the sea with a family of dolphins and discover the dangers of plastic pollution. Every year, huge amounts of plastic end up in our oceans. Luckily, there’s something we can do to change that! Follow along as Daddy Dolphin and his son show readers what we’re doing wrong, then be inspired to take action and make a difference! Featuring charming rhymes, bold illustrations, and educational back matter, this beautiful ocean tale offers readers a peek into life under the sea and is perfect for anyone who cares about our planet.

  2. Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters! - You may have seen the cute pictures of penguins wearing sweaters—but did you know why they were wearing them? Debut author Marikka Tamura answers this question in this colorful, kid-friendly book that is told simply and charmingly. Penguins love the sea. Happy in the dark blue water. But what is this? One day something is floating in the water. Dark. Gooey. Oily . . . When the penguins become coated in an oil spill, many Big Boots arrive. The humans want to help the cold, greasy penguins, so they knit sweaters to keep them warm. The Big Boots mean well, but . . . penguins don’t wear sweaters! So after a good, soapy scrub, the penguins dive back into the deep blue sea, happily dressed only in their own penguin feathers.

  3. Splish Splash! - Dragonflies zip zip zip and frogs croakity croak while bare feet splish splash in this board book all about the sounds of the river. Each spread features a touch and feel element that creates the sound described in the text. With beautiful illustrations, interesting textures and fun sounds, this highly interactive format is certain to tickle the senses.

  4. Lily's Water Woes - The second installment of the Wild Fairies series, Lily’s Water Woes, follows wild fairy (and mermaid) Lily, who is feeling left out. While her fairy friends get to travel to beautiful beaches and lush forests, Lily is always stuck at home, unable to be away from the water for very long. Her froggy pal, Splash, tries his best to cheer her up, but Lily still wishes she could stay out late and play like the other fairies. Wanting to help their friend, the fairies come together to build an awesome surprise for Lily that just might make it easier for her to travel beyond her small pond. The Wild Fairies series features a group of magical fairy friends who love playing and learning in the beautiful and bountiful forest they call home. With their reliable sidekick critters alongside, Daisy, Thistle, Heather, Celosia, Poppy, Dahlia, Indigo, and Lily care for the natural world around them using their unique and diverse set of special skills. Infused with ecology, botany, and magic, the wild fairies’ whimsical adventures will inspire in kids a sense of wonder and curiosity for nature, as well as inform them about the wildflowers and critters behind the fairies through young-reader friendly nonfiction pages in the back of each book.

Want to see books about water?

Books About The Environment and First Concepts

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Colin Collects Colors
Written by Jess McGeachin
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Colin is on a quest; he’s off to collect colors from all over the world to brighten up his dull, gray city!

Colin’s world is dull and gray, but he’s on a special quest! He is off to collect colors from all over the world, from the white arctic to the indigo sea to the red outback. Join Colin as he finds all the colors he needs to brighten up his world!

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My Ocean Is Blue
Written by Darren Lebeuf & illustrated by Ashley Barron
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

“This is my ocean,” the young girl begins as she heads over the dunes with her mother. Then, as they pass the whole day at the seaside, she lyrically describes her ocean in simple, sensory detail. It’s both “slimy” and “sandy,” “sparkly” and “dull.” It has wonderful sounds, as it “splashes and crashes and echoes and squawks.” And it contains so many colors, from “rusted orange” to “runaway red,” “faded white” to “polished green.” Though “mostly it’s blue.” Nothing the girl experiences escapes her careful observation and appreciation. And at day’s end, she can’t wait for her next trip to the beach.

Author Darren Lebeuf, an award-winning photographer, uses spare text and a rhythmic style to create an evocative read-aloud. The vivid adjectives, both concrete and abstract, will inspire children to try to capture in words what they notice not only at the ocean, but in any natural setting. The bright, richly colored cut-paper collage illustrations by Ashley Barron add a captivating visual texture and depth to the story. The portrayal of a girl with a physical disability enjoying and actively participating in a day at the beach encourages all children to do the same in their own lives, while also offering a character education lesson in adaptability. This book has strong curriculum ties to primary nature units and life science lessons on oceans and the seaside, and it offers a perfect focus for nature-based education and outdoor classrooms.

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Abracadabra, It's Spring!
Written by Anne Sibley O'Brien & illustrated by Susan Gal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Sun shines on a patch of snow. Hocus pocus! Where did it go? Winter turns to spring in this lyrical book that celebrates the magic of nature and the changing seasons. Eleven gatefolds open to re-create the excitement and surprise of spring’s arrival, revealing what happens when snow melts, trees bud, flowers bloom, birds arrive, and eggs and cocoons hatch. Finally, it’s warm enough to pack away winter clothes and go out and play!

Honorable Mentions
Free the Lines book
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Neon Leon book
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  1. Free the Lines - A little sailing boat casts out his line to catch a fish in a busy, healthy ocean. But when a big, smoking trawler casts its mighty net, will any of the fish escape? Does the little sailing boat make the right choice? What do you think? This striking and artistic wordless picture book explores an environmental theme through simple linework, patterns and strong contrasts. A great way to spark conversations between parents and children about conservation and environmental issues.

  2. Neon Leon - Everyone knows that chameleons are the best at fitting in. But Leon is an exception. Leon is neon! In fact, he’s so bright that he keeps all the other chameleons awake at night. Poor Leon is lonely, so he goes off in search of somewhere he won’t be a nuisance. In this delightful interactive book filled with vibrant neon artwork, children can help Leon on his journey by counting his steps, sending him to sleep, and giving him lots of reassurance when he’s feeling down. But will he ever find a place where he can fit in?

Books About The Environment and Forest Animals

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We Will Live in This Forest Again
Written by Gianna Marino
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

When a thriving forest is swallowed by wildfire the animals brace themselves, then look to new beginnings.

At first, they didn’t notice the spark flying above the dry treetops. But then the smoke blew from the north, and the flames began to grow…

Author/illustrator Gianna Marino uses lush watercolors to explore the bitter-sweet cycle of burning and rebirth in the forest. Readers follow a lone deer as it sees its only home scorched by flame.

A Northern California resident herself, Gianna witnessed the 2017 Sonoma wildfire firsthand when it came within inches of destroying her property. Her personal experience is palpably reflected through her portrayal of dignified animal silhouettes and stark, ashen landscapes in the wake of the fire. The book closes with an essay describing her encounter with the wildfire.

We Will Live in This Forest Again is a great book for fans of Don’t Let Them Disappear, also illustrated by Gianna and written by Chelsea Clinton. Parents and children with a soft spot for the fragile ecology of the forest will connect immediately with this book, and gain appreciation for what it takes to protect the natural world.

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Leaves
Written by Janet Lawler & illustrated by Lindsay Dale-Scott
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Readers of all ages will enjoy the timeless wonder of autumn leaves in this amazing new pop-up book from paper engineer Yoojin Kim―her first―teamed with award-winning author Janet Lawler and artist Lindsay Dale-Scott. This book, which can be considered a seasonal companion with Jumping Jack Press’ all-time best seller and award winning, Snowflakes, includes amazing pop-ups, educational information, and delightful interactive elements that offer change and surprise on every page in this lyrical look at Autumn.

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Deep in the Forest
Written by Joseph Jacquet & illustrated by Lucie Brunellière
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

“Deep in the forest, early in the morning, the animals slowly wake except the panda, who is sleeping in. The monkey stretches, the red ant hides, the black bear yawns, and the gazelle smiles. But where is the okapi? Can you find it?” Over 50 animals including the okapi hide on the pages of this beautiful board book. The gorgeous forest scenes take readers from morning to night, from high in the trees to deep underground. “Deep in the Forest” is as much a visual treat as it is an introduction to exotic animals. “

Honorable Mentions
The Forever Tree book
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Eco-Wolf and the Three Pigs book
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  1. The Forever Tree - A fresh twist on Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree based on a real tree in Wisconsin that became something more, this is a timeless story about loss and renewal at home and in nature. “This is a true story about a Tree that grew from something more than water and sunshine. It grew from love.” The animals and humans always knew their tree was special. The trunk was the best place to host championship bingo tournaments, and the branches were perfect for swinging in the shade! But when the tree gets sick, neighbors new and old will have to join forces if they have any chance of saving their treetop home. A touching tale based on the true story of one special tree, and the community that brought it back to life.

  2. Eco-Wolf and the Three Pigs - In this modern twist on the classic story of “The Three Little Pigs,” Eco-Wolf and his woodland warriors save the forest and valley from three polluting pigs.

Books About The Environment and Imagination

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Dandylion Summer
Written & illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this sweet, character-driven picture book, two sisters wish upon a dandelion for a summer filled with adventure—and their wish comes true! When two sisters make a wish upon a dandelion, their wish brings them a new friend—a dandy lion—to play with all summer long. Together, the girls and the lion go on adventures and explore. And when the seasons change and their lion friend must say goodbye, the girls will miss their friend—until fall arrives!

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A River
Written & illustrated by Marc Martin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

There’s a river outside my window. Where will it take me? So begins the imaginary journey of a child inspired by the view outside her bedroom window: a vast river winding through a towering city. A small boat with a single white sail floats down the river and takes her from factories to farmlands, freeways to forests, out to the stormy and teeming depths of the ocean, and finally back to the comforts—and inspirations—of home. This lush, immersive book by award-winning picture book creator Marc Martin will delight readers of all ages by taking them on a transcendent and aspirational journey through an imaginative landscape.

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The Seashore Book
Written by Charlotte Zolotow & illustrated by Wendell Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A summer classic by two masters, reissued and redesigned for contemporary audiences.

Wendell Minor’s elegant artwork and Charlotte Zolotow’s simple, evocative prose brings a day at the beach vividly to life as a boy and his mother imagine what it would be like to spend a day at the seashore.

Honorable Mentions
Super Manny Cleans Up book
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The Snowbear book
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Anywhere Artist book
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  1. 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?

  2. The Snowbear - Snow comes in the night, and Iggy and Martina make a snowbear. But then a sledge ridge takes them deep into the woods. How will they get back home again? The Snowbear is a spellbinding story about the magic of snow and the power of a child’s imagination. With a simple text and beautiful illlustrations, it will be read again and again. Themes of friendship, loyalty, and bravery make it a great choice for story time, as a bedtime read or on car trips. Children will love the crisp, wintry setting brought to life by Claire Alexander’s art.

  3. Anywhere Artist - Anyone can make art anywhere, anytime, with anything! Follow a young artist as she moves through a number of natural environments, creating gorgeous artworks along the way from natural materials. Stunning hand-crafted illustrations with handlettered text. An ideal springboard for your own creations!

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