6 Fantastic Books That Will Teach Your Kids About Environmental Issues
*Contains Amazon Affiliate Links and a Gifted Product
Teaching our children about environmental issues is crucial in order for us to be able to continue making a difference in the world. They are the most probably going to be the changemakers after all of this damage that previous generations have made and by highlighting the current problems we are dealing with, they will have a greater understanding about why and how they can look after our planet. But how do you go about teaching them in a simple, safe, yet effective way? One of the ways we have been exploring this as a family is by reading books on environmental topics which are aimed at children and we have found 6 fantastic ones that are perfect for a variety of age groups.
I Can Save The Earth!
by Alison Inches
I can save the Earth is a story about a little monster, called Max, who makes big changes in his life and learns how to reduce, reuse and recycle. Max is a naughty monster who leaves a mess everywhere he goes, who never turns off lights, who wastes water and refuses to give away his old toys. When a blackout happens, he ventures outside to see what is going on and discovers the wonders of the world. He sees the insects, the flowers, the animals and all the other beautiful things our planet has and realises he needs to change for the better. We follow Max as he begins to save electricity, reduce his waste, recycle it, pick up litter and trades his toys for others. At the back of the book, there is a list of words that may be new to your child, with explanations about what they are and mean.
This book was a huge hit with both of my children (currently 2 and 6 years). William (2) loved the pictures and seeing the monster doing things and Jake (6) could fully understand the message the book holds and he could read a lot of it too.
Dinosaurs And All That Rubbish
by Michael Foreman
This book has a story that is really thought-provoking for children and it sparked a really good conversation up with Jake whilst we were reading it and afterwards too. He even chose to draw his own comic strip of this one because he was so drawn in by it. The story follows a man who lives on Earth and is surrounded by all of its beauty… Yet he wants more. He looks up at the sky and can see a star. Thinking it must be far better over there he decides to build a rocket to get there, destroying the Earth’s beauty in doing so. He gets to the star only to discover that there isn’t anything there. He looks out to space and can see another star that looks amazing and decides to venture there.
During his time away, dinosaurs have reappeared after being hidden away for hundreds of years under the ground. On their return, they are shocked to find their Earth has been made a stinky, dirty mess and they set about making this right. When the man finally sets back down on Earth he declares that he has finally found his paradise. He is completely unaware that his paradise was where he had been living all along! The dinosaurs tell him this isn’t his, it is everybody’s and that they all have to take care of it.
Greta and The Giants
by Zoe Tucker and Zoe Persico
This well-known book is based on real-life environmental activist Greta Thunberg. Greta lives in a beautiful forest with stunning flowers, wildlife and trees but giants come and begin to destroy all of this. They chop down trees to make homes, they chop down more to make bigger homes. They create towns and cities full of pollution and they threaten the lives of the animals. Greta decides to take action and she stands with a sign that reads stop! The giants don’t notice her at first and continue what they are doing.
Another person joins Greta in her protest and holds a sign saying listen. More people start to join her and the giants can no longer miss the message. Once they are made aware of the damage they have caused, they begin to change their ways. The end of the book has a short piece about Greta and also about what your children can do to help the environment.
What a Waste
by Jess French
This incredibly in-depth book takes a look at how wasteful we humans are, the damage we are causing across the world and how we can make a change to our lifestyles to help. With 64 topics, this book covers everything you will ever need to know about reducing waste and will provide hours and hours of reading time. I would even say that it is ideal for adults too. As soon as this arrived I was immediately drawn in and was shocked by some of the facts. With great graphics, photos, fun fonts and detailed information What a Waste will teach your whole family so much about a lot of the problems our disposable lifestyles are bringing to our planet.
This book is also perfect for coming up with home learning topics. You could easily choose one page a week to base discussions around, to do activities on, to talk about and research on. There is just so much to learn from it.
See Inside: Recycling and Rubbish
by Alex Frith
This bumper book is jam-packed full of facts and information about how our rubbish is processed, where it goes, how we recycle and what the outcomes are. Each page has multiple flaps to lift in order to discover more about a certain topic and it will keep your children occupied for hours! It is most definitely one that will provide plenty of interesting learning as well as providing fun. We’ve only had this book a week and we’ve not even scratched the surface with it yet.
The boys love lifting the flaps and finding out more about bin lorries and the recycling machines and I can see this being referred back to for the rest of the year. I have even learnt so much from it! It has really fun graphics and cartoons, easy to turn thick pages (perfect for smaller hands), a pull-out page in the middle as well as flaps that you have to really hunt for sometimes, making it a great interactive book for all ages. My friend Jenni has just started up with Usborne books and they have a really fab range of books on environmental issues and topics which you can check out here.
Questions And Answers About Plastic
by Kate Daynes
This is another lift the flap book from Usborne books but this time it is all about plastic. Plastic has become a real talking point over the last couple of years and one of the ways that most of us begin on our eco-living journeys is to look at how we can reduce our household plastic. In the same way as the book above, this one has great graphics and information as well as the fun flaps to lift. Facts such as how much plastic is produced in one year will most probably shock you (300 million tons if you were wondering!)
How many plastic bottles are bought each minute? 1 million can you believe? It also looks at whether all plastics are bad, why it was invented in the first place, why we can’t burn it, how long it lasts and what solutions are available to us. Both my boys love this book and I think it is another that the whole family can use, learn from and enjoy.
These 6 books cover every aspect of environmental issues and all make it easy for children to understand, read and learn from. I feel as though these could be used in so many different ways from reading together to making plans for the household, creating learning activities, starting up important conversations and sharing these with school friends.
Oh and don’t ever be put off by the stated ages on books, even a 2-year-old can enjoy the pictures to begin with and as they grow, they will start to read the books too. Starting your child’s love of books from an early stage will ensure that they will naturally refer to them throughout their childhood.
*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. The Usborne recycling and rubbish was gifted. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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14 thoughts on “6 Fantastic Books That Will Teach Your Kids About Environmental Issues”
Such cute books! The illustrations in the dinosaur book are adorable, books like this are such a lovely idea to teach kids about important issues like these xo
These are great recommendations thanks Emma. I’ve been waiting for this blog.
I think it would be good for me to read these books too. I’m not kidding. I learned English, including reading children’s books, because they contain words that we, foreigners, are not used to, they contain expressions that are common for natives, etc.
I have such hope for the next generation. I hope that they will be more mindful of environmental issues and it will become the ‘norm’. I love that there are books to introduce the subject!
My daughter is learning all about the environment and pollution in our home school. I’ll have to look at getting her one of these.
Great recommendation Emma, look forward to reading some of them xx
Thank you for sharing these suggestions! It can be a minefield trying to hunt out great book ideas sometimes x
What a selection! My little boy is only 18 months, but there are some titles here that I’ll be adding to the book shelf. They’re never too young to start and all that jazz!
What a fantastic collection of books, my daughter loves to read! I will definitely buy them
Excellent! Some great ones to add to the wishlist. Thanks Emma!
I’ve just had a baby and these tips are really helpful to get me started on bedtime stories! Thank you
A perfect way to teach them about this, often they don’t take in what we say as they think we’re just saying stuff to be annoying!!!! But a book a is a great way
Do you not think promoting buying books off amazon is a bit hypocritical when they have a huge carbon footprint ? Buying from independent and supporting small businesses seems like the eco thing to do…
Hi Thanks for your comment. I personally don’t see it as hypocritical as I have readers from all over the world and Amazon is a well known online shop which delivers all over the world. What I am doing is providing a place that is available to all who read this blog, that is accessible to all and one that can provide every book which will come in one delivery (I hope!) I also wrote this during lockdown when all shops were shut and Amazon was one of the main places that could provide all your needs. If I mentioned local shops to me or my area (Hampshire, UK) it wouldn’t be as helpful to everybody who came to this blog. I am also not saying that you necessarily have to shop with Amazon, it is just an option I provide along with Usborne in this particular blog post. I find that it can be very beneficial to give my readers a link to click so that they can see the full details, read reviews, check the price and compare that with other shops in their own area. I hope that helps.