Encourage your son or daughter to be a good steward of the earth beginning at story time. We’ve rounded up five award-winning picture books that put environmental heroes in the spotlight. Which of these environmental children’s picture books is on your list to read next?
‘The Watcher’ by Jeanette Winter
This book, named Best Book of the Year by the Boston Globe, Kirkus Reviews and Booklist, introduces young readers to renowned researcher and primatologist Jane Goodall. Your little one will follow along on Goodall’s journey from her childhood in England to the wilds of Africa. Armed only with binoculars, an open mind and a big heart, Goodall observed the world of chimpanzees – launching a 55-year study that brought her into the family fold of her animal subjects. Globally recognized as the topmost expert on chimpanzees, Goodall and her story will inspire in your little one a natural curiosity and kindness towards animals.
‘Life in the Ocean’ by Claire A. Nivola
What child wouldn’t be fascinated by a life spent swimming with whales or walking along the ocean floor? “Life in the Ocean” tells the story of renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle. From her early days exploring the Gulf of Mexico as a little girl, to her adventures in the deep blue sea as an adult, this book employs stunning illustrations to tell this remarkable woman’s life story – and her work advocating for the preservation of our waterways. This book, recognized as one of the Best Kids Books of 2012 by the Washington Post, promises to spark a love of the ocean and its inhabitants in your little one.
“What child wouldn’t be fascinated by a life spent swimming with whales?”
‘The Camping Trip that Changed America’ by Barb Rosenstock
Beautifully illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein, a Caldecott medalist, this book follows former President Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir on a trip that would change the nation as we know it. Your little reader will join in on this 1903 camping trip to Yosemite, where Roosevelt and Muir ultimately brainstormed plans for our national parks.
‘The Tree Lady’ by H. Joseph Hopkins
Your child will never look at a tree the same way again after reading the story of environmental activist Kate Sessions. In the early 20th century, Sessions migrated from the lush and green San Francisco to a dry and desert-like San Diego. Through her hard work and passion, Session brought life – quite literally – to her new city, following her dream to develop San Diego into the verdant and leafy place it is today.
‘Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World’ by Laurie Lawlor
This book tells the story of writer, marine biologist and ecological activist Rachel Carson, whose research and work helped to inspire people all over the globe to protect the world we’re living in. Flip the pages with your kids and you’ll teach them the importance of living a green lifestyle – as well as how powerful words, like those in Carson’s book – can be in sparking a worldwide movement.