Books for budding eco-warriors just in time for Earth Day
April 22 marks the 51st Earth Day—and this year a primary focus is bringing the demand for climate education to governments participating in the UN climate summit, COP26, which takes place in November.
The goal of Earthday.org’s Climate Literacy Campaign is to ensure climate and environmental literacy is given the same importance as any core subject such as mathematics, science or history.
We think this sounds like a win-win for human and non-human animals as well as the planet! We support having what is taught in the classroom reinforced by real world experience, whether it be learning how to install solar panels on a school roof or restoring a degraded forest.
We also know that affecting change can start right at home. That’s why we love these new books—all available on amazon.com—that you can read with little ones to teach them about the importance of protecting the environment and all of the wildlife we share the planet with. Read about them below:
The Story of Climate Change : A first book about how we can help save our planet
By Catherine Barr and Steve Williams, illustrated by Amy Husband and Mike Love
Hardcover, 40 pages, $19.99
The Story of Climate Change introduces kids ages 6 and up to one of the most important issues facing our world today and tells them what they can do to help save the planet.
Combining history with science, the book charts the changes in our Earth’s climate, from the beginnings of the planet and its atmosphere, to the Industrial revolution and the dawn of machinery. Kids will learn about the causes of climate change, such as cattle and sheep farming, and pollution, and the effects that climate change has on humans and wildlife across the world.
The book also provokes discussion on deforestation, migration, food chains, renewable energy and activism. Kids will feel empowered by the practical ways they can help combat climate change—from using renewable energy to swapping meat for vegetables in their diet.
We sure do love the last illustration of the book, which shows a backyard BBQ where plant-based burgers are being served and someone is reading a vegan cookbook, while a neighbor is busy planting rows of trees.
And make no mistake, there is plenty for adults to learn in this book too. We also love that the author’s website catherinebarrbooks.me provides resources for teaching to go along with the book.
Baby Loves Earth : An ABC of Our Planet
By Jennifer Eckford and illustrated by Teresa Bellon
Board Book, 30 pages, $12.99 USD
C is for conservation, T is for Toxin-free, and V is for vegetarian in this charming ABC board book designed to teach babies-3-year-olds to love the planet with eco-friendly words as they say their ABCs. Recommended for budding eco-warriors. Our one criticism is the word free-range, which as adults we know is meaningless. But we see it as a teachable moment to talk about being adopting a vegan lifestyle and how it is the best way to prevent the unspeakable misery that comes from turning animals into consumer goods.
If you have an inquisitive child—some of the words might require some explaining and perhaps googling. K is for kapok had us stumped. Come to find out, kapok trees are native to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. They are one of the largest trees in the world, but what really sets them apart is their big seed pods filled with a fluffy fiber. Kapok fibers are harvested from the seeds of the tree and can be used in pillows because they are super light and airy and give you a high end down-like feel without having to kill birds birds or mow down the forest. Kapok is also used to fill mattresses.
ABC for Me: ABC Earth-Friendly Me
By Christiane Engel
Board Book, 36 pages, $16.99 USD
Looking for things your 3 to 6 year old can do to help take care of the Earth? Well this offers 26 of them by pairing aspects of eco-friendly living with each letter of the alphabet.
The book doesn’t waste any time starting with A is for Action, B is for bees and C is for composting. It also introduces words/concepts like pollination with bees and vermicomposting with composting and provides a glossary in the back to create a deeper awareness of the impact kids can have on the environment. After the alphabet there also a list of very specific things kids can start doing to make every day feel like Earth Day such as plant a tree, plant a garden and share or swap old toys or clothes.