The past few years have brought a non-fiction renaissance to readers everywhere, and environmental topics are hot! To celebrate EARTH DAY, we decided to share a few of our favorite books in this category. Four of these books are marketed toward a preK-5 audience, but we guarantee you’ll learn something from each of them.
HERE WE ARE by Oliver Jeffers
We’re kicking the list off with this bestseller because it explains environmental science in kid-friendly terms. Jeffers is a fine artist turned kid-lit guru, so his images draw in readers of all ages. All of the concepts are tied together with a common theme: connect to your environment and inspire compassion for nature.
THE WATER PROTECTORS by Carle Lindstrom and Michaela Goade
Inspired by an indigenous movement that has sparked change throughout the country, this award-winning book communicates an important message. It combines the lyrical language of Native American mythology with science and modern messaging, and it serves as a call of action for all of us.
ONE PLASTIC BAG by Miranda Paul and Elizabeth Zunon
You’ll never look at plastic shopping bags in the same way after reading this book! It’s based on a true story about one African woman, Isatou Ceesay, who noticed how badly plastic bags were polluting her community. She sets out to clean up and recycle them, sparking change in people everywhere. Whenever you can, decline a bag or go in with a reusable one.
THE TREE LADY by H Joseph Hopkins and Jill McElmerry
Learn how one teacher, Kate Sessions, helped turn San Diego from a dry desert to a green, leafy oasis known for nature. It’s full of illustrations that will make you want to plant something green. Even if you just add one helpful pollinator plant to your window sill garden, it is a start.
THE PHOTO ARK by Joel Sartore
This is a National Geographic book of love put together by one man who set out to photograph every animal BEFORE IT GOES EXTINCT! Kids and adults alike will spend hours thumbing through the exquisite pictures. Many have short captions that make them even more endearing. If you set this book on a coffee table, everyone who comes into your house will pick it up.