Earth Day 2020

Earth Day is coming up next week! If you’re looking to celebrate our beautiful planet, here’s a handy book list to get you started.

Ages 2-5

Seeds
By Carme Lemniscates
40 Pages | Ages 2-5
ISBN 9781536208443 | Candlewick

Some seeds are whisked away by the wind, while others are carried by creatures to their destinations. Once seeds find their spot, they go through breathtaking transformations, multiplying in number and size and thriving in even the most unseemly places. We humans plant seeds, too, and with care we can cultivate and nurture something wonderful, whether by sowing a seed in the earth or by choosing our own seeds of kindness to spread around. With gorgeous, welcoming illustrations, the creator of Trees and Birds presents another ode to the beauty around and within us.

Ages 3-7

In My Garden
By Charlotte Zolotow
Illustrated by Philip C. Stead
40 Pages | Ages 3-6
ISBN 9780823443208 | Neal Porter Books

A young girl and her older companion watch birds, fly a kite, plant flowers, and play in the snow, watching flowers bloom and leaves fall as the year passes.
This quiet story celebrates the simple joys found close to home, and the importance of sharing those experiences with the ones you love. A perfect story time pick for any season, In My Garden explores the natural marvels of the world around us and encourages young readers to think about what they love best throughout the year.

The Farmer
By Ximo Abadia
40 Pages | Ages 3-6
ISBN 9780823441587 | Holiday House

Paul mows. Paul rakes. Paul sows. Paul draws water. And soon Paul has beautiful plants and flowers growing all around him. But one day, the water dries up. The sun beats down. Paul despairs. But thanks to his animal friends, and a bit of rain, help is on the way . . .
Filled with vivid illustrations of Paul’s hard work, the brilliant blooms that begin to grow, and the scorching sun that threatens to ruin his crops, The Farmer is a gentle story emphasizing the importance of perseverance– and the value of good friends.

Only a Tree Knows How to Be a Tree
By Mary Murphy
32 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN 9781536214703 | Tundra Books

Trees have leaves that turn sunshine into food. Amazing! Birds build nests, sing songs, hatch eggs, and fly. Dogs are our friends and can move their ears to tell us how they feel, while fish live in water, flashing like jewels. As for people, every person on Earth is different, each with their own thoughts and feelings. With a simple narrative and joyful, welcoming illustrations celebrating a world full of remarkable creatures, Mary Murphy reminds little ones that we are all unique, and that we are the only ones who know how to be us.

The Not-So Great OutdoorsThe Not-So Great Outdoors
By Madeline Kloepper
40 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN 9780735264175 | Tundra Books

What’s so great about the “great outdoors”? A grumpy urban kid begrudgingly accompanies her family on a summer camping trip, missing all the sublime sights right under her nose as she longs for the lights and stimulation of the city. But as she explores forests, lakes and mountains, and encounters bears, beavers and caribou, she slowly comes to realize that the simpler things are just as sparkly, that the sky is its own majestic light show, and the symphony is all around. The Not-So Great Outdoors is a humorous and richly imagined reminder of the beauty and magic that can be found away from the city and our screens.

Now Not YetNow? Not Yet!
By Gina Perry
32 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN 9781101919521 | Tundra Books

Peanut says let’s swim. Moe says time to hike
Peanut says let’s swim now. Moe says time to eat a snack
Peanut says NOW! Moe says NOT YET!
Can these two friends come together in time to save their camping trip?

EncounterEncounter
By Brittany Luby
Illustrated by Michaela Goade
40 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN 9780735265813 | Tundra Books

Based on an actual journal entry by French explorer Jacques Cartier from his first expedition to North America in July 1534, this story imagines the first encounter between a European sailor and a Stadaconan fisher. As the two navigate their differences (language, dress, food) with curiosity, the natural world around them notes their similarities. The seagull observes their like shadows, the mosquito notes their equally appealing blood, the mouse enjoys the crumbs both people leave behind. This story explores how encounters can create community and celebrates varying perspectives and the natural world.

Red Sky at NightRed Sky at Night
By Elly Mackay
40 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN 9781101917831 | Tundra Books

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. And, the next morning, when the dew is on the grass, no rain will come to pass. These are the perfect conditions for a grandfather to take his grandchildren out on a fishing trip. Especially since, as the saying goes, when the wind is from the West, then the fishes bite the best. The family takes a boat out on the lake, fishing and swimming and eventually camping out on a nearby island, taking full advantage of the gorgeous weather. But the next day . . . red sky in the morning, sailors take warning! The family ventures back home just in time to avoid a rainstorm. But not to worry — the more rain, the more rest. Fair weather’s not always best.

Natsumi’s Song of Summer
By Robert Paul Weston
Illustrated by Misa Saburi
40 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN 9780735265417 | Tundra Books

Two young cousins who are separated by language, continent and culture meet for the first time when Jill’s family travels from America to Japan to stay with Natsumi’s family during the summer holidays. Natsumi’s nervousness about meeting her cousin from across the sea quickly disappears when she discovers that her cousin is a lot like her: they both love summertime’s hot sandy beaches, cool refreshing watermelon, festivals and fireworks. Then Jill asks Natsumi about the strange buzzing sound that comes from the nearby trees, and Natsumi is nervous once again. What if Jill is frightened of Natsumi’s cherished cicadas, the insects that sing the music of summertime?

Ages 4-8

Grandma’s Gardens
By Hillary and Chelsea Clinton
Illustrated by Carme Lemniscates
40 Pages | Ages 4-8
ISBN 9780593115350 | Philomel Books

Grandma Dorothy shared her love of gardens with her daughter, Hillary, and her granddaughter, Chelsea. She taught them that gardens are magical places to learn, exciting spaces for discovery, quiet spots to spend time with family and beautiful areas to share stories and celebrate special occasions. But most of all, she taught them that in her gardens, her love grew and blossomed.

Don’t Let Them Disappear!
By Chelsea Clinton
Illustrated by Gianna Marino
40 Pages | Ages 4-8
ISBN 9780525514329 | Philomel Books

In this book, Chelsea Clinton introduces young readers to a selection of endangered animals, sharing what makes them special, and also what threatens them. Taking readers through the course of a day, Don’t Let Them Disappear talks about rhinos, tigers, whales, pandas and more, and provides helpful tips on what we all can do to help prevent these animals from disappearing from our world entirely.

The Stars Just Up the Street
By Sue Soltis
Illustrated by Christine Davenier
40 Pages | Ages 4-8
ISBN 9780763698348 | Candlewick

Mabel loves stars. She counts five from her window and thirty-seven from her backyard. But her grandfather tells her that, as a child, he could see thousands. Could it be true? Mabel climbs a hill looking for more stars — only to discover that the glow from the nearby town makes them hard to see. What would it take for her neighbors to turn off their lights, just for one night, so that everyone could see the starlit sky? Sue Soltis’s tale of a young activist and Christine Davenier’s luminous illustrations will leave readers curious about the dark-sky movement — and the wonder that is waiting for them just up the street.

Hike
By Pete Oswald
40 Pages | Ages 4-8
ISBN 9781536201574 | Candlewick

In the cool and quiet early light of morning, a father and child wake up. Today they’re going on a hike. Follow the duo into the mountains as they witness the magic of the wilderness, overcome challenges, and play a small role in the survival of the forest. By the time they return home, they feel alive — and closer than ever — as they document their hike and take their place in family history. In detail-rich panels and textured panoramas, Pete Oswald perfectly paces this nearly wordless adventure, allowing readers to pause for subtle wonders and marvel at the views. A touching tribute to the bond between father and child, with resonant themes for Earth Day, Hike is a breath of fresh air.

The Bug Girl
By Sophia Spencer and Margaret McNamara
Illustrated by KERASCOET
44 Pages | Ages 4-8
ISBN 9780735267527 | Tundra Books

Sophia Spencer has loved bugs ever since a butterfly landed on her shoulder–and wouldn’t leave!–at a butterfly conservancy when she was only two-and-a-half years old. In preschool and kindergarten, Sophia was thrilled to share what she knew about grasshoppers (her very favorite insects), as well as ants and fireflies . . . but by first grade, not everyone shared her enthusiasm. Some students bullied her, and Sophia stopped talking about bugs altogether. When Sophia’s mother wrote to an entomological society looking for a bug scientist to be a pen pal for her daughter, she and Sophie were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response–letters, photos and videos came flooding in. Using the hashtag BugsR4Girls, scientists tweeted hundreds of times to tell Sophia to keep up her interest in bugs–and it worked!

The FogThe Fog
By Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Kenard Pak
48 Pages | Ages 4-8
ISBN 9781770494923 | Tundra Books

Warble is a small yellow warbler who lives on the beautiful island of Icyland, where he pursues his hobby of human watching. But on a warm day, a deep fog rolls in and obscures his view. The rest of the birds don’t seem to notice the fog or the other changes Warble observes on the island. The more the fog is ignored, the more it spreads. When a Red-hooded Spectacled Female (Juvenile) appears, Warble discovers that he’s not the only one who notices the fog. Will they be able to find others who can see it too? And is the fog here to stay?

The Golden GlowThe Golden Glow
By Benjamin Flouw
48 Pages | Ages 4-8
ISBN 9780735264120 | Tundra Books

Fox loves nature. There’s nothing he enjoys more than reading about and picking flowers. One evening, he comes across a rare specimen in his old botany book — the golden glow, a plant from the Wellhidden family, found only in the mountains . . . a plant that has yet to be described. Fascinated, Fox decides to set off on a quest in search of the mysterious golden glow. He packs his knapsack, a map, a compass, a flashlight, a sleeping bag and other items for his hike. Along the way, Fox observes many different kinds of trees and plants. He also encounters woodland friends who help him make it to the summit of the mountain. But when Fox eventually stumbles upon the object of his quest, he makes a surprising decision.

Frankenstink!
By Ron Lightburn
32 Pages | Ages 4-8
ISBN 9781770496965 | Tundra Books

With vibrant and zany art, this is a book about “garbage” that transforms and mutates into a grotesque, greedy monster devouring everything in its path. Frankenstink! is sure to be a hit with kids who do not like to clean up. Is the monster who feeds on “a mountainous salad of plastic and goo, fast-food leftovers and Styrofoam stew,” real, a dream, or a warning of what is to come if we don’t compost and recycle?

Ages 6-9

Purrmaids #6: Quest for Clean Water
By Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
96 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN 9780525646372 | Random House Books for Young Readers

Ms. Harbor has a fun new project for the purrmaids: a scavenger hunt! The purrmaids must search Kittentail Cove to find items around the ocean. Some are rare, like a special piece of coral. And some are too plentiful–like plastic human garbage. When Coral, Shelly, and Angel visit their mermicorn friend, Sirena, they discover that Sirena’s younger brother is caught in plastic soda rings. It’s up to the purrmaids to help their friend and clean up the ocean!

The Bat
By Elise Gravel
32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN 9780735266483 | Tundra Books

The Bat covers habitat (bats live everywhere except Antarctica!), species (there are over 1,200 kinds of bats), echolocation, hibernation (bats hibernate just like bears!), conservation (don’t disturb a sleeping bat!) and much more. Although silly and off-the-wall, The Bat contains factual information that will both amuse and teach at the same time.

The Cockroach
By Elise Gravel
32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN 9780735266421 | Tundra Books

The Cockroach covers lifestyle (cockroaches prefer the dark and only come out during the day when their colonies get big enough), anatomy (cockroaches have wings but rarely fly), habitat (they prefer heat to cold), life cycle (a female can give birth to up to 350 babies during her lifetime) and much more. Although silly and off-the-wall, The Cockroach contains factual information that will both amuse and teach at the same time.

Ages 7-10

Megabat Is a FraidybatMegabat Is a Fraidybat
By Anna Humphrey
Illustrated by Kass Reich
192 Pages | Ages 7-10
ISBN 9780735266025 | Tundra Books

Daniel is not so sure about going to camp. There will be bugs. And uncomfortable beds. And leeches! Megabat can’t WAIT to go to camp! There will be so much smooshfruit, and he loves a good sing-along.
Daniel starts to think camp isn’t so bad. He’s made friends, and his bed isn’t THAT uncomfortable. Megabat has made a new friend too. But his new friend wants him to go flying to spooky caves. And her mom is very toothy.

Who Needs a Desert?
By Karen Patkau
32 Pages | Ages 7-10
ISBN 9781770493865 | Tundra Books

Karen Patkau takes readers on an amazing voyage of discovery to find out
• How deserts are formed
• Where deserts are found
• How plants and animals adapt to the severe environment
• What wildlife thrives there
• Which plants bloom under the blazing sun
• How desert plants and animals get energy and food
• What happens in the rainy seasons
• Why desert land becomes barren
• Why we need deserts

Check out our Get Out and Read Activity Kit for some fun activities you can do at home!

Window Wednesday

#WindowWednesday: We are incredibly fortunate to have stores create window features of our books. We want to highlight their amazing work here on our blog for you to see (and perhaps you’ll discover a new local bookstore).

Type Junction
2887 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6P 1Y9
Photography: Vikki VanSickle