Don’t you think it’s perfect that Earth Day arrives in the spring with fragrant flowers trees and verdant buds? The new growth reminds us to celebrate nature and living things.
So, in the spirit of that celebration, here are beautiful new books that are perfect for Earth Day, April 22.
Celebrate Earth Day With New Picture Books
1. Step Gently Out, by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder
The tiny insects become magnified in Lieder’s gorgeous close-up photography – an ant dangling off a small green stem, the geometric, transluscent wings of a dragonfly, and a bee suspended mid-flight. The poetic verse whispers love for the simpleness of nature. A beautiful book you’ll want to own.
Step gently out,
a single blade
2. Uncover & Discover Who’s Like Me? by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Marc Boutavant
A colorful, interactive animal book whose questions describe the animal’s characteristics. The pigeon asks “Who’s Like Me? Who has feathers and a beak? Is it . . .” and the reader opens animal patterned flaps to find if it’s the tortoise, ostrich, marlin or bat. Turn the page and you learn that it’s the ostrich who has feathers and a beak and more facts that make the two birds the same.
3. Citizen Scientists by Loree Griffin Burns, photography by Ellen Harasimowicz
Kids will engage in this book’s magazine-style layout and photographs. The idea is that kids can be scientists through observation of nature and hands-on ideas like tallying woodpeckers and looking for ladybugs in the grass. Lots of great information!
4. The Family Tree by David McPhail
The pioneer family clear land for a house, leaving one big tree. Years pass and generations grow. But when highway workers want to chop down the big tree, it’s up to the great-great-great grandson and his forest animals to guard the tree. I’m a McPhail fan anyway and this is a great story about protecting the environment with lovely earth-toned illustrations.
5. And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
The illustrations (from illustrator of A Sick Day for Amos McGee) perfectly capture this story of patience and transformation. A young boy and his dog watch the dull landscape and hopefully plant a seed. Slowly the pair watch and wait as the brown changes to a very possible sort of brown to a brown with a greenish hum “that you can only hear if you put your ear to the ground and close your eyes.” And then, finally, it’s green – spring. (Makes you just want to sigh with zen-like bliss doesn’t it?)
6. Molly’s Organic Farm by Carol L. Malnor and Trina L. Hunner illustrated by Trina L. Hunner
Molly, a homeless cat, discovers an organic farm where she explores a compost pile and finds helpful bugs, shady sunflowers, and silky corn stalks. She watches the farm’s market day and community pumpkin patch. The true story of Molly shows kids more about life on a farm and where our food comes from.
More Favorite Love the Earth (Day) Books
The Earth Book by Todd Parr
Yucky Worms by Vivian French, illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg
If Rocks Could Sing by Leslie McGuirk
Seeds of Change: Wangari’s Gift to the World by Jen Cullerton Johnson, illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler
Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor, illustrated by Peter Parnall
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
Stella, Fairy of the Forest by Marie-Louise Gay
Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan A. Shea, illustrated by Tom Slaughter
I Can Save the Earth by Alison Inches, illustrated by Viviana Garofoli
Guyku by Bob Raczka, illustrated by Peter H. Reynold
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Lanie by Jane Kurtz
What books are your favorites?