Earth Day Books

Earth Day is coming up on April 22! Here’s a great list of new books to encourage awareness, action, and discussion with young readers.

A World of Plants
By Martin Jenkins
Illustrated by James Brown
64 Pages | Ages 7-10 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536215328 | Candlewick
Covering more than twenty-five subjects, from photosynthesis and permaculture to the hidden world of Victorian plant hunters, this stylish illustrated guide is packed with scientific insight into the critical role plants play in the drama of life on Earth. Did you know that some plants steal while others defend themselves against attack? That the largest cacti can reach sixty-six feet tall and weigh more than a car? That there are meat-eating plants the size of footballs? Readers young and old will marvel at the wondrous diversity and adaptability of plants, from trees and tropical species to those that have evolved to master extreme conditions. A brisk narrative bursting with facts – all carefully organized with maps and charts in richly patterned vintage-style illustrations – make for a vivid guide to all that grows . . . and a beautiful gift book for anyone interested in the environment.

How to Change Everything: The Young Human’s Guide to Protecting the Planet and Each Other
By Naomi Klein and Rebecca Stefoff
336 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735270060 | Puffin Canada
Temperatures are rising all over the world, leading to wildfires, droughts, animal extinctions, and ferocious storms – climate change is real. But how did we get to this state, and what can we do next? What if we could work to protect the planet, while also taking action to make life fairer and more equal for the people who live on it? We can – if we’re willing to change everything. In her first book written for young readers, internationally acclaimed, bestselling author and social activist Naomi Klein, with Rebecca Steffof, lays out the facts and challenges of climate change and the movement for climate justice. Using examples of change and protest from around the world, including profiles of young activists from a wide range of backgrounds, Klein shows that young people are not just part of the climate change movement, they are leading the way. How to Change Everything will provide readers with clear information about how our planet is changing, but also, more importantly, with inspiration, ideas, and tools for action. Because young people can help build a better future. Young people can help decide what happens next. Young people can help change everything.

If You Take Away the Otter
By Susannah Buhrman-Deever
Illustrated by Matthew Trueman
32 Pages | Ages 5-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763689346 | Candlewick
On the Pacific Coast of North America, sea otters play, dive, and hunt for sea urchins, crabs, abalone, and fish in the lush kelp forests beneath the waves. But there was a time when people hunted the otters almost to extinction. Without sea otters to eat them, an army of hungry sea urchins grew and destroyed entire kelp forests. Fish and other animals that depended on the kelp were lost, too. But when people protected the sea otters with new laws, their numbers began to recover, and so did the kelp forests. Susannah Buhrman-Deever offers a beautifully written account of a trophic cascade, which happens when the removal of a single element affects an entire habitat. Asides that dig deeper are woven throughout Matthew Trueman’s dynamic illustrations, starring a raft of charismatic sea otters. Back matter includes more information about sea otters and kelp forests, including their importance and current status, the effects of the international fur trade on indigenous peoples, and a list of books and websites for readers who wish to continue to explore.

Kids Fight Plastic: How to Be a #2minutesuperhero
By Martin Dorey
Illustrated by Tim Wesson
128 Pages | Ages 7-10 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536212778 | Candlewick
Every kid can be a superhero, fighting plastic waste at home, at school, and in their community. This engaging guide is chockfull of facts, vibrant art, graphics, and #2minutesuperhero missions – practical ways to take action now. Some ideas may spring to mind right away, such as picking up trash. Others are surprising, such as learning to cook with fresh ingredients or mending clothes. Readers will learn not only how to combat plastic waste head-on, but how to advocate for a cleaner world, beginning at home. Anti-plastic campaigner Martin Dorey brings both extensive experience and boundless enthusiasm to this essential book for young people who want to create a better world.

Maxine and the Greatest Garden Ever
By Ruth Spiro
Illustrated by Holly Hatam
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780399186301 | Dial BFYR
After sketching and plotting and planting, Maxine and Leo know they’ve made The Greatest Garden Ever! But they’re not the only ones who think so. Soon, all sorts of animals make their way in, munching on carrots and knocking over pots. When Leo and Maxine can’t agree on a way to deter these unwelcome critters, it looks like there’s more on the line than saving their garden – they just might need to save their friendship too.

My Nana’s Garden
By Dawn Casey
Illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536217117 | Templar
A lyrical, stunningly illustrated book about love, loss, and the healing power of nature.  A little girl visits her grandmother in summer and winter, and together they explore the wonders of her garden. Until, one day, Nana isn’t there anymore. But as winter gives way to spring, the girl learns that life goes on, and so does the memory of those we love.

Rocket Says Clean Up!
By Nathan Bryon
Illustrated by Dapo Adeola
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593118993 | Random House BFYR
Rocket, is off to the islands to visit her grandparents. Her family loves nothing better than to beach comb and surf together . . . but the beach is clogged with trash! When she finds a turtle tangled in a net, Rocket decides that something must be done! Like a mini Greta Thunberg, our young activist’s enthusiasm brings everyone together . . . to clean up the beach and prevent plastics from spoiling nature.

Stand Up! Speak Up! A Story Inspired by the Climate Change Revolution
By Andrew Joyner
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593301586 | Schwartz & Wade
Celebrate young climate change activists in this charming story about an empowered girl who shows up, listens up, and ultimately, speaks up to inspire her community to take action against climate change. After attending a climate march, a young activist is motivated to make an effort and do her part to help the planet . . . by organizing volunteers to work to make green changes in their community, from cleaning a lake, to planting trees, to making composting bins, to hosting a clothing swap, and more! Here is an uplifting picture book that is an important reminder that no change is too small – and no person is too young – to make a difference.

Taking on the Plastics Crisis
By Hannah Testa
Illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky
64 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593223338 | Penguin Workshop
Youth activist Hannah Testa, founder of Hannah4Change, shares how she led a grassroots political campaign to successfully pass state legislation limiting single-use plastics and how she influenced global businesses to adopt more sustainable practices. Through her personal journey, readers can learn how they, too, can follow in Hannah’s footsteps and lower their carbon footprint by simply refusing single-use plastics.

This Book is Not Garbage: 50 Ways to Ditch Plastic, Reduce Trash, and Save the World!
By Isabel Thomas
Illustrated by Alex Paterson
208 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593308677 | Random House BFYR
Our planet is in peril and needs your help! If you want to learn to reduce waste and save the Earth, here are practical tips and projects that make a difference! Do you worry about the world’s waste? The bad news is, humans throw away too much trash. But the good news is, there are lots of easy ways you can get involved and make a difference! From ditching straws and banning glitter to hosting a plastic-free birthday party, helping to save the planet is not as difficult as you think. So, take control of your future! Become an eco-warrior instead of an eco-worrier and do your part to save the world from GARBAGE!

This Book Will (Help) Cool the Climate: 50 Ways to Cut Pollution and Protect Our Planet!
By Isabel Thomas
Illustrated by Alex Paterson
192 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593308707 | Random House BFYR
Our planet is heating up, and it needs your help! If you want to learn to reduce your carbon footprint and cool the Earth, here are practical tips and projects that make a difference! Are you concerned about climate change? The bad news is, global warming is a real problem that won’t go away on its own. But the good news is, there are lots of easy ways you can get involved and make a difference! From swapping your stuff to assigning your school some eco-homework, helping to save the planet is within your reach. Arm yourself with info about our changing world, become an eco-hero and take control of your future. It’s time to do your part to cool the climate!

What is Climate Change?
By Gail Herman
Illustrated by John Hinderliter
112 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9781524786151 | Penguin Workshop
The earth is definitely getting warmer. There’s no argument about that, but who or what is the cause? And why has climate change become a political issue? Are humans at fault? Is this just a natural development? While the vast majority of scientists who study the environment agree that humans play a large part in climate change, there is a counterargument. Author Gail Herman presents both sides of the debate in this fact-based, fair-minded, and well-researched book that looks at the subject from many perspectives, including scientific, social, and political.

Who is Greta Thunberg?
By Jill Leonard
Illustrated by Manuel Gutierrez
56 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9780593225677 | Penguin Workshop
When she was just fifteen years old, Greta Thunberg knew she wanted to change the world. With a hand-painted sign that read “School strike for the climate” in Swedish, Greta sat alone on the steps of the Swedish parliament to call for stronger action on climate change. Her one-person strike would soon spark a worldwide movement. This exciting story details the defining moments in Greta’s childhood that led up to her now-famous strike and all the monumental ones that have fueled her revolution since, including being named Time’s Most Influential Person of the Year in 2019.

Zee Grows a Tree
By Elizabeth Rusch
Illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
32 Pages | Ages 5-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763697549 | Candlewick
On the morning little Zee Cooper is born, a Douglas-fir seedling emerges from the nursery bed at her family’s Christmas tree farm. As Zee and the tree grow up together, they experience many of the same milestones. When Zee starts preschool, her tree is ready to start life outside the nursery. As Zee outgrows all her clothes, her tree grows taller, too. When Zee gets a whole new look for kindergarten, her tree gets a spiffy transformation as well. And as the years go on, Zee takes loving care of her tree, watering it through heat waves and protecting it from winter winds. Combining interesting details about how trees are grown and cared for on a farm with the sweet story of a friendship between a girl and her special tree, Zee Grows a Tree offers a blend of fiction and nonfiction that will draw the interest of young nature lovers everywhere. In the back of the book, readers will find an index, bibliography, and an author’s note suggesting some ways to enjoy a holiday tree without cutting one down.

Zonia’s Rain Forest
By Juana Martinez-Neal
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536208450 | Candlewick
Zonia’s home is the Amazon rain forest, where it is always green and full of life. Every morning, the rain forest calls to Zonia, and every morning, she answers. She visits the sloth family, greets the giant anteater, and runs with the speedy jaguar. But one morning, the rain forest calls to her in a troubled voice. How will Zonia answer? Acclaimed author-illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal explores the wonders of the rain forest with Zonia, an Asháninka girl, in her joyful outdoor adventures. The engaging text emphasizes Zonia’s empowering bond with her home, while the illustrations – created on paper made from banana bark – burst with luxuriant greens and delicate details. Illuminating back matter includes a translation of the story in Asháninka, information on the Asháninka community, and resources on the Amazon rain forest and its wildlife.

Leave a Reply