Teach your child to look after the environment with these books for kids that talk about climate change, reducing plastic and more
Climate-related disasters have been in the headlines a lot this year and you may have had a hard time trying to explain the scary news to kids. So it’s no wonder that many of us want our kids to understand how to better look after the Earth. But if your child is a little too young to understand Greta Thundberg’s inspiring speeches, then hit up some Earth-friendly books that will inspire young readers to care for the environment. Colourful and easy to read, these books will help introduce your child to concepts such as climate change, environmental conservation, recycling, carbon footprints and much more.
10 Kids Books That Teach About Caring For The Environment
Captain Green and the Tree Machine
By Evelyn Bookless, Illustrated by Danny Deeptown
Deforestation is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to environmental conservation, and Captain Green is back to tackle it once more. In this epic adventure, our hero is hard at work creating a gadget that will help him save three endangered Southeast Asian animals, but only time will tell if his efforts are a success.
Why kids will love it: The book tackles a serious subject in a fun and engaging way, and features colourful illustrations.
Why parents will love it: There’s plenty in the book to empower both children and adults alike. There are also important facts about deforestation on the back along with a list of ways for children to help.
Available at: Books Kinokuniya Singapore, GoGuru ($13.86) and Book Depository ($13.70)
Just a Little Mynah
By Evelyn Sue Wong, Illustrated by Dhanendra Poedjono
Friendship, courage, self-esteem and environmental conversation lie at the heart of this eco-friendly book. It shares the story of Little Mynah who goes on an adventure with the children in her neighbourhood and discovers various birds along the way.
Why kids will love it: The birds are bold and colourful, and they will find themselves rooting for the little mynah as she works to save her best friend.
Why parents will love it: The book is the first in a series by local Singaporean author Evelyn Sue Wong, and uses simple words in English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil.
Available at: Epigram Books ($14.90), Books Kinokuniya ($15.94)
Not For Me, Please! I Choose to Act Green
By Maria Godsey, Illustrated by Christoph J Kellner
This lovely kid’s book follows Luke on his journey to protect the earth from plastic trash that ends up in the sea and hurts marine life and animals. Using his phrase, ‘Not for me, please!’ Luke shows kids that they have the power to be the change and help protect the environment.
Why kids will love it: The pictures are really engaging and visual. The story explains clearly what happens to your plastic trash when you throw it away and it ends in the sea.
Why parents will love it: This book introduces the concept of Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse to kids in an easy to understand way that will have them on board with the message and ready to help the Earth!
Available at: Amazon.sg (from $13.75)
Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace
By Jen Cullerton Johnson, Illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler
Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai is one of Kenya’s most beloved eco-activists, and this beautifully illustrated picture book celebrates her tree-planting initiatives, which have boosted environmental conservation efforts, and her work in women’s rights.
Why kids will love it: Seeds of Change teaches little ones about the importance of giving back to your own community, how eco-activism can result in good change and how hard work pays off in the end.
Why parents will love it: Most books about Maathai focus on her political career, but Seeds of Change shines a light on the science behind tree-planting. The book is inspiring for young girls looking for a eco-role model.
Available at: Amazon.sg ($29.46) Books Kinokuniya ($30.67), Book Depository ($29.47)
World Without Fish
By Mark Kurlansky, Illustrated by Frank Stockton
Can the world survive without fish? That’s the question posed in this captivating read. It takes children through an underwater world devoid of marine life, asking them to imagine the ecological disasters that would result from extinction on such a grand scale.
Why kids will love it: Aspiring scientists will adore looking for answers to the complex questions that are posed within the text.
Why parents will love it: It’s an easy and interesting read for struggling readers. It also introduces children to several scientific concepts about real-life problems in the ocean.
Available at: Amazon.sg (from $15.70), Books Kinokuniya ($22.98) and Book Depository ($19.95)
The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rainforest
By Lynn Cherry
The Amazon Rainforest made the headlines last year when it was ravaged by devastating fires. This eco-friendly book offers your mini-me a glimpse into its complex ecosystem through the eyes of a man who has come to chop down the great Kapok tree.
Why kids will love it: The stories of the forest are told through the eyes of several of the forest’s inhabitants and are brought to life with vivid watercolour pictures.
Why parents will love it: The Great Kapok Tree is filled with rich vocabulary, which is perfect if your mini-me is looking to expand theirs.
Available at: Amazon.sg (from $21.12), Books Kinokuniya ($13.82) and Book Depository (from $13.59)
One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of Gambia
By Miranda Paul, Illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon
When the people of Niau, Gambia begin discarding plastic bags they no longer need, Isatou Ceesay decides to turn them into beautiful purses. Not only does this book discuss the benefits of upcycling and the woes posed by the common plastic bag, it also details how Isatou’s actions transform the economic fate of her community.
Why kids will love it: The text is easy to read aloud and uses repeated phrases that makes children want to chant right long.
Why parents will love it: One Plastic Bag integrates plenty of Gambian culture and language into the text, giving children a glimpse into a different cultural perspective.
Available at: Amazon.sg ($35.71), Books Kinokuniya ($30.73) and Book Depository ($26.06)
Why kids will love it: Striking illustrations aside, the book offers small steps within to help them develop their own green thumbs.
Why parents will love it: There are plenty of messages and points within the book for parents and children to have open conversations about the world’s environmental issues.
Available at: Amazon.sg ($30.55), Books Kinokuniya ($29.19) and Book Depository ($25.97)
Heal the Earth
By Julian Lennon and Bart Davis, Illustrated by Smiljana Coh
Magic rules the day onboard the special White Feather Flier. This cool plane flies children around the world, allowing them to help the hungry, restore damaged coral reefs, save rainforests and so much more.
Why kids will love it: They can tilt the book backwards or forwards to make the plane dive and press a little button when they encounter pollution – it’s an exciting way to show little ones how they can make a difference.
Why parents will love it: This inclusive read is suitable for children with special needs and learning difficulties, too!
Available at: Amazon.sg (from $13.45), Books Kinokuniya ($16.91) and Book Depository ($26.32)
The Extraordinary Life of Greta Thunberg
By Devika Jina, Illustrated by Petra Braun
Not only is Greta Thunberg known for her fiery speeches aimed at the world’s political leaders, she’s also the bright mind behind the global School Strike for Climate movement – one that has seen thousands of young people around the world skip school on Fridays to protest climate change and demand meaningful action from their governments. This brilliant read chronicles Greta Thunberg’s rise from Swedish schoolgirl to one of the world’s most controversial eco-activists.
Why kids will love it: It shows children that age doesn’t matter when you’re interested in the environment and saving the planet.
Why parents will love it: Living up to its message, the book is made from eco-friendly materials and is one of the 16 books in the Extraordinary Lives series – all of which are worth investing in.
Available at: Amazon.sg, Books Kinokuniya ($14.98) and Book Depository ($11.99)
Lead image from Pexels
Book covers courtesy of Evelyn Bookless, Lee and Low Books, Scholastic, Epigram Books, Workman Publishing, Peterbrownstudio.com, Simon & Schuster and Penguin Books