written by Kim Howard, Ph.D., author, teacher, and parent
Picture Books to Inspire Kids to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
Use this unique list of character-driven, child-centered picture books to help inspire your kids to find new ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle in your own home!
Don’t Throw That Away!: A Lift-the-Flap Book about Recycling and Reusing by Lara Bergen, illustrated by Betsy Snyder
In Don’t Throw That Away!, a little superhero encourages kids to take a second look at the things around them that might seem like trash. As a bonus, the book itself is made out of 100% recyclable material!
Grace and Box by Kim Howard, illustrated by Megan Lotter
Grace and Box is a bright and imaginative book about a little girl and all the adventures she goes on with her refrigerator box friend. Your kids might feel inspired to make some recyclable box friends of their own (and might help you use some of those boxes that you’ve been saving “just in case”).
Rainbow Weaver: Tejedora del Arcoiris by Linda Elovitz Marshall, illustrated by Elisa Chavarri
A bilingual book with vibrant illustrations, Rainbow Weaver: Tejedora del Arcoiris tells the story of a girl who wants to follow in the footsteps of the Mayan women in her village by weaving on backstrap looms. When there isn’t any extra material for her to practice with, she comes up with a plan that not only provides her with material to weave, but also fixes a problem in her village.
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
The Most Magnificent Thing is a story about repurposing found objects to make a new creation. This story is a great way to teach about resiliency and the creativity that can come when kids make magnificent new things for themselves.
I Had a Favorite Dress by Boni Ashburn, illustrated by Julia Denos
I Had a Favorite Dress is an upbeat story about the way special mementos in our life can be recycled and remembered. After reading, your kids might find creative ways to repurpose some of their own special things.
Made by Maxine by Ruth Spiro, illustrated by Holly Hatam
Made by Maxine tells the story of a young inventor who uses problem-solving and recycled materials to come up with a way to allow her fish to join her on her school’s pet parade.
Anywhere Artist by Nikki Slade Robinson
In Anywhere Artist, a little girl uses found and natural things to make her artistic creations, showing kids how anyone can be an artist and anything can be art!
Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood, illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
Ada’s Violin tells the true story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay. The story follows Ada, a little girl whose dream of playing the violin is realized when a music teacher has the idea to make the children of one small town instruments from materials found in the trash.
About Kim Howard
Note from Melissa: Thank you so much, Kim, for this incredible round-up of books! I love your imaginative picture book, Grace and Box, not just for the topic of reusing but also for imaginative play!