8 Picture Books to Inspire Kids to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

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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!

8 Picture Books to Inspire Kids to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
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!
Amazon Bookshop


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”).
Amazon Bookshop

8 Picture Books to Inspire Kids to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
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.
Amazon Bookshop


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.
Amazon Bookshop


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.
Amazon Bookshop


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.
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8 Picture Books to Inspire Kids to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
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!
Amazon Bookshop


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.
Amazon Bookshop

About Kim Howard

Kim Howard
Kim Howard is a mom to three kids. She has a Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies and is a former teacher. Check out her debut picture book Grace and Box and learn more about her at www.kimhowardbooks.com.

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!

8 Picture Books to Inspire Kids to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

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  • WELCOME

    Hi! I’m Melissa Taylor, mom, writer, & former elementary teacher & literacy trainer. I love sharing good books & fun learning resources.

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