I am passionate about teaching my children the importance of taking good care of our planet. My girls appreciate the beauty of our world and are learning to “reduce, reuse, recycle” as much as possible.
In honor of upcoming Earth Day, here is a list of some of our favorite books about notable environmentalists, as well as a few of our favorite inspiring fictional tales. They can all be found by following the links below. If you have a child who is interested in the environment, watch for related classes from GHF Online.
Non-fiction for the precocious reader and above
Compost Stew, An A-Z Recipe for the Earth, by Mary McKenna Siddals
Do you know how to make Compost Stew? This alphabet book will guide you from A-Z and teach you how to give our earth a tasty rotten treat.
Me, Jane, by Patrick McDonnell
This beautifully illustrated story captures Jane Goodall’s fascination with nature as a child. The author relates her curiosity with tales of playful antics and original art from her childhood. Her harmony with nature is evident, and the book makes our family want to go play outside.
Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau, by Jennifer Berne
Jennifer Berne’s book details Jacques Cousteau’s brilliant and creative mind starting from the time he was a boy. This book will inspire engineering, aspiring film-making, inventing and environmentalist hearts, not to mention make you want to add some of his remarkable documentaries to your watch-list.
Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World, by Laurie Lawlor
I stumbled across this book at our local library and knew that it was a keeper. This story guides the reader through Carson’s life from childhood up to her death shortly before the publication of Silent Spring. She inspires us not to take our world for granted.
Heroes of the Environment: True Stories of People Who are Helping to Protect Our Planet, by Harriet Rohmer
Heroes of the Environment explores the stories of 12 people who have done unique work to protect our environment. This book will inspire adults and children, as it showcases that just one person can make a difference, even at a young age.
How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate, by Lynne Cherry & Gary Braasch
This is an extremely informative book about global warming. The authors guide us through the steps of research and prediction with stunning pictures and scientific data. The third section of the book encourages people of all ages to make a difference and offers many examples of how to do so. The resource guide is comprehensive and would be a helpful guide to homeschoolers or classroom teachers planning environmental units.
Girls Who Looked Under Rocks: The Lives of Six Pioneering Naturalists, by Jeannine Atkins
This empowering book portrays the lives of six women whose interest in nature changed the world. Breaking into fields that were traditionally just for men, these ladies brought about change for women, science, and the environment
Please Don’t Paint Our Planet Pink: A Story for Children and Their Adults, by Gregg Kleiner
What if we could see carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? This book takes a humorous approach to a serious subject. Wilbur and his imagination learn about climate change, and what we can do to keep our planet cool.
River of Dreams: The Story of the Hudson River, by Hudson Talbott
Hudson Talbott offers an account of the Hudson River’s economic and cultural impact, its environmental decline and its ongoing rebirth. Those with a personal connection to the Hudson will find this book particularly engaging. You’ll find an abundant amount of history along with an important focus on the environment.
Climate Change, Simon Basher
No resource list is complete without Basher. As usual, Simon Basher has put together a comprehensive book full of facts about climate change. The characters make us laugh while the subject encourages us to think and act responsibly.
Judy Moody Saves the World, by Megan McDonald
Judy is a force to be reckoned with as usual, and this time, she is looking out for the environment. Judy takes on improving her family’s recycling habits, protecting endangered species and saving the rainforest, and her enthusiasm inspires her whole class. Judy Moody books are some of our family’s favorite read-alouds, and this book sparked a closer look at our own recycling habits.
Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney
Miss Rumphius is a wonderful story about the real Miss Rumphius, a.k.a. the Lupine Lady, who scattered lupine seeds everywhere she went along the coast of Maine. She wanted to travel, live by the sea, but most of all make the world more beautiful. The illustrations are gorgeous and the topic lends itself to many conversations about how we will leave the world more beautiful than we found it.
The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss’ classic book on the environment is a must have in an Earth Day collection. His words sum up the most important concept of taking care of our world: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
(Do you know of a must-have book that isn’t mentioned? Email me here to have it added to the GHF Store and help others on their learning adventures!)
When she is not stuck in a book, Nicole Linn homeschools two of her three children, and blogs about gifted children and adults at Through a Stronger Lens. She is also Online Merchandise Manager for GHF.