Here is a few of our favorite environmental books for toddlers and children to read.
1. Peppa Pig: Recycling Fun
Peppa and George help Mummy Pig tidy up and find out where glass, plastic and food waste should be sorted in this fun Peppa Pig tale. This Read It Yourself book is a great way to help teach children that recycling (and tidying up!) should be a part of daily life, while also helping little readers learn to read on their own. Why not follow Mummy and Daddy Pig’s example and take the kids on a trip to the recycling centre, just like Peppa?
2. The Trouble With Dragons by Debi Gliori
Award winning author and illustrator Debi Gliori has used the tools of her trade to tackle an issue close to her heart: ecological problems. In writing The Trouble With Dragons, Gliori’s aim was to stimulate conversation about conservation and help little ones to start thinking green. In this poignant tale, the planet is populated by careless, selfish wasteful dragons, who care nothing for pollution, chop down the trees and eat up all the food. It’s only once they realise that they are devastating the world they were born into, and that they themselves face an existence without wildlife, that they actually start to think twice about what they’re doing.
3. One World by Michael Foreman
One World is a gentle story by the award-winning Michael Foreman, following a brother and sister as they play by a rock pool on a beach. They take out creatures and plants from the natural pool to create a little world in their bucket. But when they look back and see there is nothing left in the rock pool but a slick of oil, they realise how their actions impact upon everything else. This is a gorgeously illustrated lesson about pollution and the fragility of our interconnected world.
4. Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers About Plastic by Katie Daynes
Why is there so much plastic in the world? How does it help us? What’s the problem and how can we solve it? These are just some of the 60+ questions answered in this timely and topical book. The facts are presented in a friendly and quirky way, helping kids to understand this global predicament and inspiring them to be part of the solution.
5. Charlie and Lola: Look After Your Planet by Lauren Child
Lola is clearing out some of her old things because she does not want her bedroom to ever get as messy and pongy as Marv’s older brother Marty’s bedroom – yuk! Charlie persuades Lola that instead of throwing her things away, she should recycle them. ‘Recycle it? What is that?’ asks Lola. With a bit of help from Charlie, Lola learns all about recycling and how it is extremely very important to look after our planet. Soon she has found an extra-specially fun way to do more recycling – and gets lots of her classmates to join in too!
6. Topsy and Tim: Go Green by Jean and Gareth Adamson
Twintastic Topsy and Tim are upset and worried when they find out about pollution and the amount of rubbish produced, so their mum helps by showing them how they can make a difference by recycling. This book is a wonderful aide to begin to talk to kids about the environment, with this well-loved pair who can help guide children through their first experiences.
7. The Seedling That Didn’t Want to Grow by Britta Teckentrup
This story about a reluctant seedling packs a powerful message about the benefits of being different. It’s early spring and below the earth’s surface seeds are just starting to sprout. One by one they stretch through the dirt and towards the sun, extending their shoots and leaves and growing tall. All except for one seedling, who isn’t quite ready. Each page of this gentle but powerfully evocative book demonstrates how some of us are different. As most of the seeds transform into strong flowers, they block out the sun from the one left behind. But the little seedling persists, twisting and turning until, with the help of bird and insect friends, it finds its own place to grow and blossom. In the end, this little seed turns into a flower that’s just as beautiful and healthy as all the others.
8. How to Save the Planet by Emily Bunny
Children will love this book, full of bright and beautiful illustrations to accompany the educational rhymes on each page. Inside you can learn about some of the best and easiest ways you can make a difference to the planet and reduce the amount of plastic thrown away.
9. Superfrog and the Big Stink by Michael Foreman
Superfrog is back on another urgent mission – rubbish from the big, grey city is polluting his pond! Once again it is up to everyone’s favourite Superhero to save the day!
‘Michael Foreman is deservedly in the first rank of children’s illustrators with his mastery of brilliant watercolours.’ Sunday Times
10. My Green Day by Melanie Walsh
An optimistic and encouraging picture book with simple and sunny illustrations that compliment the sage advice contained within. Children of all ages can benefit from Walsh’s ten suggested activities for green living and the tone never strays into feeling overly prescriptive or patronising.
11. The Incredible Ecosystems of Planet Earth Rachel Ignotofsky
Through exquisite illustrations, maps and infographics, bestselling author Rachel Ignotofsky explains how our planet works, from its incredible ecosystems and the plants and animals that live there to the importance of biodiversity, weather cycles and more. Including information on the dangers of climate change and ideas for how to protect Planet Earth, this utterly charming guide is the perfect gift for all nature-loving readers on the planet we call home.
12. Dear Greenpeace by Simon James
Emily has a whale living in her garden pond, so she writes letters to Greenpeace for information about him. Each reply from Greenpeace is helpful, yet insistent that there can’t possibly be a whale in her garden. Meanwhile, Emily’s relationship with her whale ‘Arthur’ grows. She salts the water for him and feeds him cornflakes and breadcrumbs. When Greenpeace say whales are migratory, Arthur returns to travelling the oceans. Fortunately, Emily gets to meet him again when she visits the seaside. A simple, warm hearted and humorous book with charming illustrations. The correspondence could spark ideas for letter writing in the classroom setting.