Celebrate Earth Day with Young Kids!

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“If a child is to keep his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.” -Rachel Carson

Celebrate Earth Day by getting outside, learning about plants, animals and the environment, and by sharing some good books with the young children in your life.  Here are some titles that encourage environmental protection, a love of nature, and an appreciation of wild animals and plants. Enjoy!

Picture Books

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
In this classic environmental tale, the Once-ler describes the results of the local pollution problem.

The Earth and I by Frank Asch
A child explains how he and the Earth dance and sing together and take turns listening to each other.

Sun is My Favorite Star by Frank Asch
Celebrates a child’s love of the sun and the wondrous ways in which it helps the earth and the life upon it.

The Other Way to Listen by Byrd Baylor
If you have the time, you might just be able to hear wildflower seeds burst open or a cactus bloom in the dark. You just have to listen.

The Secret Place by Eve Bunting
A young boy finds a patch of wilderness in the city.

Emeraldalicious by Victoria Kann
Recycling magic turns a garbage-filled park into a “greentastic” garden.

Little Lions by Jim Arnosky (see other titles by this author)
On a rocky ledge, two baby mountain lions play and purr and meow under the protection of their mother.

The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry
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.

In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming (and others)
Enjoy seeing the tiny creatures who live in the grass through a toddler’s point of view.

Miss Maple’s Seeds by Eliza Wheeler
Miss Maple gathers lost seeds and takes care of them until they are ready to be released out into the world.

It’s Earth Day Little Critter by Mercer Mayer
Join Little Critter as he celebrates Earth Day.

Easy Non-fiction for Young Children

Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World by Laurie Lawlor
Retells the story of Rachel Carson, a pioneering environmentalist who wrote and published “Silent Spring,” the revolutionary book pointing out the dangerous effects of chemicals on the living world.

The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps by Jeanette Winter
This book traces the life and career of Jane Goodall as a watcher of English fauna to her adult work as scholar of animal behavior in Africa.

Cactus Hotel by Brenda Guiberson
Describes the life cycle of the giant saguaro cactus, with an emphasis on its role as a home for other desert dwellers.

Rainforest by Helen Cowcher (and others)
From the tapirs roaming its cool floor to the Blue Morpho butterflies fluttering in its canopy, the rain forest is a peaceful place until man’s machines endanger its existence.

(Book descriptions from WCCLS Catalog).

Online Resources

Be a Nature Detective –ideas for young children from No Time for Flashcards Blog

50 Simple Outdoor Activities from No Time for Flashcards Blog

Going Green at Home: Get Your Child Involved from NAEYC for Families

-Jenny F.


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