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Earth Day and Arbor Day, the annual celebrations honoring our planet and trees, are fast approaching. Celebrated on the 22nd of April and the last Friday in April (the 27th this year) respectively, these days offer an opportunity for us to shine the spotlight on the wonders of the natural world and encourage everyone, both young and old, to connect with the great outdoors and live a more green life. Share the picture books below with the loved ones in your life, outside if at all possible, and then spend time appreciating all of the beauties of our Earth.
Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our Planet by April Pulley Sayre
A poetic thank you note set against stunning photographs that capture the many beauties and wonders of our planet, this book pays homage to all that the Earth has to offer us and concludes with heartfelt words that will resonate with readers of all ages: “Thank you for beginnings, for endings, for lifetimes. Thank you for being our home.” An appendix in the back of the book offers activities and ideas for ways in which readers can show their appreciation for the Earth.
All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon
This book may not seem like an obvious pick for Earth Day, but the moving text and breathtaking illustrations show the wonders and beauty to be found all around us. It is a poetic celebration of the little things and a reminder to appreciate all the world.
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
While taking a walk on a drizzly day through his very gray and dreary city, Liam comes upon a tiny, struggling patch of plant life up on the old railway. He decides to tend to the little patch and become its gardener. Although Liam does not know how to be a gardener, he does his best and slowly learns all that he can about taking care of plants. Inspired by New York City’s High Line, Liam’s story shows us that anyone can be a gardener and take care of a little patch of Earth.
Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth by Mary McKenna Siddals
Have you ever wanted to start a compost pile for your garden? Have you ever wondered what can be put into a compost pile? This book is a rhyme-filled introduction to all the things that can be composted, from apple cores to zinnia heads!
Michael Recycle by Ellie Bethel
Reminiscent of Dr. Seuss’s Lorax, Michael Recycle is a superhero who travels from town to town teaching the citizens how to be green and recycle. The illustrations are bright and cartoon-like and the text has a nice rhyming flow that adds to the enjoyment of reading this book aloud. At the end of the book you will find “Michael Recycle’s Go Green Tips,” which features an array of simple things you and your family can do to live a greener life.
*Extended activity: Using recyclable items and/or natural materials you collect while outside exploring, help your little one think outside of the box and make something new with the various things you have saved/found. It could be a simple piece of art or a new useful tool, the possibilities are endless!
Earth Day: An Alphabet Book by Gary Kowalski
Learning to appreciate all of the wonders of our Earth is as simple as learning the ABCs with this picture book. As readers move through the alphabet they will see animals and plants represented by each letter and gain an appreciation for our world.
It's Earth Day! (Little Critter) by Mercer Mayer
Little Critter is on a mission to reduce, reuse and recycle in order to do his part to help save our Earth.
Fancy Nancy: Every Day is Earth Day by Jane O'Connor
What does it mean to 'be green?' As Nancy explains, it means taking care of our planet and in this story Fancy Nancy learns the rules for being green. She also does all she can to make sure her family is living the green life. But does she take her newfound passion a bit too far...? This particular title is an I Can Read Level 1 book perfect for those just learning to read on their own.
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
No Earth Day book list would ever be complete without The Lorax. A timeless classic, written long before the Green Movement began, this story perfectly shows the consequences of our actions, but offers a message of hope that things can change, if we just care.
*Extended Activity: After reading the book together, snuggle up , watch the film and then make your own truffula trees likes these from Art Projects for Kids. You could even make your own truffula tree forest with these life-size ones from Mrs. Lodge’s Library!
“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
We are mom Sandra and daughters Amanda and Kate, all with backgrounds in literacy and education, who want to share our philosophy of taking the basics of life; books, simple toys that encourage play, imagination and creativity, and using cooking and baking to teach math and real life skills to raise happy, inquisitive children. Join us in exploring the old and the new and sifting through the myriad of research to consider what is best for our children.