Looking for Earth day books for preschool and up? You’re in the right place!
Here are some wonderful books to encourage young children to care for the environment! I hope you find some new favorites to read to your students.
Earth Day books for preschool through grade 2
Celebrate Earth Day, by Amy Hayes
If you want a super simple, engaging nonfiction book about Earth Day, I can’t recommend this one enough. It’s absolutely perfect for toddlers and young preschoolers – for early readers, too! This is my first experience with Bookworms books from Cavendish Square, and I’m hooked. I just reserved a stack from the library.
Recycling is Fun, by Charles Ghigna
This is a simple rhyming book that introduces recycling to young preschoolers. It was a little too basic for my Five, but my Three enjoyed it.
10 Things I Can Do to Help My World, by Melanie Walsh
I think that one challenge of teaching about Earth Day is helping kids know practical ways they can take care of the earth. Sure, they can pick up roadside garbage, plant trees, and recycle, but what can they do without anyone else’s help? This book is the perfect answer. From turning off the water while brushing their teeth, to using both sides of the paper while drawing, kids will enjoy learning simple ways they can care for the environment.
Earth Day, Birthday! by Maureen Wright
This is a cute book with a so-so storyline. As all the animals work at cleaning up the forest for Earth Day, Monkey keeps insisting, “It’s not Earth Day! It’s my birthday!” The animals refuse to believe him until the end, when Monkey’s mother brings out a cake. In the end, the animals celebrate Earth Day and Monkey’s special day. We weren’t particularly enthralled, but your child might enjoy it.
My Caribbean Dream, by Sharon R. Burow & Bridget K. Weber
This is a brand-new book we recently purchased at the bookstore. It’s a wonderful introduction to conservation as it relates to life on a Caribbean island. While the book doesn’t address Earth Day, it does inspire children to appreciate the beauty of nature. We enjoyed the rhymes, but we were absolutely taken in by the colorful full page paintings.
The Wartville Wizard, by Don Madden
This was my Five’s favorite book in this stack. It’s an older book (1986) about a cranky old man who spends his days cleaning up the litter left by his fellow townspeople. One day he receives “the power over trash,” which gives him the ability to send the garbage right back where it came from! When the townspeople find their garbage stuck to them, they learn a valuable lesson. The pictures are fantastic, and the storytelling is wonderful. Do be aware that the book talks about cigar butts and beer cans.
Where Does the Garbage Go? by Paul Showers
Paul Showers is a fantastic author who writes nonfiction for young kids. My preschooler was fascinated with this book and requested it over and over again. He and his siblings learned a lot from it. The other day, when driving near the place where the city brings our garbage, my husband said, “There’s the dump!” But my kids corrected him. “Actually, Daddy, that’s a landfill.” A favorite part of this book are the pages that illustrate the process by which paper and aluminum are recycled.
The Berenstain Bears Go Green, by Jan & Mike Berenstain
In general I avoid most Berenstain Bear books because they are just too wordy for this mom. But I didn’t mind this one. When the Bear family notices that the town dump needs a major clean up, they join other concerned citizens for a massive cleanup. The book ends with some simple tips for taking care of the earth.
Why Should I Recycle? by Jen Green
This is a simple, engaging book which teaches kids the basics of recycling and why it’s important. It may get a little long for young listeners.
Earth Day, by Clara Cella
If you haven’t looked at Pebble Plus books yet, you’ll need to grab this one. The series does a fantastic job at simplifying big ideas and concepts. I love the giant, full page photographs and the simple text.
Earth Day, by David E. Marx
Rookie Read-About is another of my favorite nonfiction series for young children. The book goes into more detail than the Pebble Plus book, but it’s still excellent for young listeners.
Fancy Nancy Earth Day is Every Day, by Jane O’Connor
I would recommend reading this book after some of the others. In a way, it’s a book that teaches kids what not to do as they care for the environment. Nancy is so enthusiastic to “go green” that she turns off her sister’s nightlight and switches off her mom’s computer when she steps away from it. Talk to your kids about balance after you read this book. 😉
The Tree Lady, by H. Joseph Hopkins
This is a beautiful picture book biography of Kate Sessions, the woman who transformed dry San Diego into a beautiful, tree-covered city. I loved this inspiring story!
Wangari’s Trees of Peace, by Jeanette Winter
Here’s another book about an amazing woman who made a difference. Wangari was an environmentalist from Kenya who became the first woman from East Africa to earn a PH.D. When she saw the deforestation of her country, Wangari enlisted local women to help her plant more trees. By 2004, 30 million trees had been planted! This treasure of a book tells her story in a simple, child-friendly way.
One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia, by Miranda Paul
This is the true story of a Gambian woman who was troubled by the plastic garbage bags littering her community. Not only did the bags make an ugly mess, but they also caused illness and death among people and livestock. Isatou and other women cleaned the plastic bags and recycled them into plastic purses. Such a great book!
Gabby & Grandma Go Green, by Monica Wellington
We enjoyed this cheerful story about Gabby’s visit to her grandma’s house. Together they sew reusable cloth bags, buy local produce at the farmer’s market, and take out the recycling. This one was a favorite of my Three.
The Curious Garden, by Peter Brown
This is a magical story that my kids couldn’t put down. Liam is a curious boy living in a drab, gray city. One day, he finds a few dying plants growing through an old railroad track. Liam waters and prunes the plants until they grow into a lush garden that overtakes the entire city. By the end of the book, greenery covers the rooftops and pops up in the most unexpected places. We noticed something new every time we read the book.
Recycle! by Gail Gibbons.
Like all of Gail Gibbons’ books, this nonfiction children’s book is packed with information. Also like many of her books, it may be too wordy for young listeners. It’s worth a try, though. If your listeners squirm midway through, finish by talking about the pictures instead. This really is an interesting, informative book.
Compost Stew, by Mary McKenna Siddals
I had no idea how many things belong in a compost bin, but I know now after this delightful story of compost stew from A-Z. We love the collage illustrations and the book’s simple message about caring for the earth.
Earth Day, by Mir Tamim Ansary
I love this book. It offers a simple explanation of what causes pollution, gives the history of Earth Day, and shows children how we can care for the earth. Highly recommended!
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Little ones were on spring break and now heading back to school. I must say most of the learning materials i got from here had kept them occupied and they enjoyed every bit of it.
Thank you very much Anna?.
What a great list! We have read the Fancy Nancy book, but I really wish I had seen your advice and read other books first. I downloaded an Earth Day ebook on Kindle today (free at least for now!) which was at a good level for my 5yo. It gives some environmentally-friendly ideas that are easy enough for young kids to understand. We have other books by the same author, Ella May Woodman.
Thanks for passing that along, Annie!
Anna you have given us so much wonderful resources you’re so wonderful. I enjoy your emails and posts and new ways of teaching, you think of so many fantastic ideas. This booklist is great thank you x
Thank you, Maryam!
Hi Anna, I have a 2-year-old kid. This is a nice collection of books and I am bookmarking it for future reference. Thanks a lot for sharing it with us.
I’m so glad this list is useful for you, Mahesh!
Thank you so much for your book lists. I have checked out so many of your book suggestions at my library for my 4 and 2 year old. This Earth Day list is fantastic! I’ve also enjoyed your dinosaur book list and several other of your book lists. You have a great taste in children’s literature and I find it so helpful to get the books you suggest because I know they’ll be good choices. I so appreciate the time you put into choosing good books and your mini review of each book REALLY helps. I appreciate when you make notes such as the book being too simple for your 5 year old but perfect for your 3 year old. Kids change so fast! Those notes make it easy to choose the right books for my kids ages. Thank you!
Thank you, Danielle – this is wonderful to hear! Putting together book lists is a big job, so I very much appreciate the feedback!
Mary McKenna Siddals
I’m delighted to discover my COMPOST STEW in this great green Earth Day roundup, and thank you so much, Anna, for shining such an enthusiastic spotlight on my book!
It’s such an honor to you have comment here, Mary! Thank you for your beautiful book!