Apparently I am a little obsessed with books this week. I do love books. I can still think of some books from my childhood and remember what I felt, what I imagined, and what I took from them… and I can’t imagine children not having this same opportunity.
We got several books from the library this week for Earth Day. Some we have read before, some were new to us, and not all are too overwhelmingly environmental, but we all enjoyed them and I want to share them with you.
When talking about books and Earth Day, this is one book that should be on every list. If you only check out one of these books, choose this one. It is a great read, kids love it, and the message of our responsibility to other living things and to conserve resources so everyone can enjoy them is timeless. Best for preschool and up.
This is a lovely little story based on a Yiddish song. It follows a man named Joseph who has an overcoat that he loves. When it gets old and worn, he makes it into a coat. When that gets old and worn, he makes it into a scarf. It goes on until he has nothing left. Except he does have something, his story to tell. The message is that you can always make something out of nothing (and you can always reuse what you do have!). While the youngest children may not get the moral of the story, all will enjoy it.
My kids are really drawn to both of these books. We were actually gifted one and borrowed the other from the library for the first time this week. I like Children of the Earth… Remember just a little more if I had to choose. Both encourage children to protect and care for the earth and her animals. There is definitely a new age feeling here so keep an open mind. All my kids love them. I think they are good for children under 8.
For children who love water and are enamored by it’s creatures, this book about the life of Jacques Cousteau is for them. The book provides a simple biography about the man who would become the world’s ambassador of the oceans. From how he fell in love with the ocean to his inventions that helped him further explore the sea’s mysteries to to some of the treasures he found, and finally to how he began educating people about the ocean and the need to protect it. The pictures were fascinating to my two youngest, but my oldest was much more into the story. I think it’s best appreciated by 5 and up.
The vibrant and incredibly detailed illustrations are what make this book. Each page is a close look at one intricate section of the quilt that provides the photographic illustrations for this sweet rhyming poem. It lightly explores the changing of the seasons and the wonders of nature. I think this one is best for preschool age on up.
This is a beautifully simple book that celebrates the life cycle of one red apple from tree, to the local farm stand, and all the way to growing a new tree with a ripe red apple ready for picking. I love how it thanks the earth for giving us the apple. I love how it thanks the birds, wind, sun, and bees. I love how it celebrates the simplicity of a farmer growing apples, selling them locally, and a child growing a new apple tree from the core of her delicious red apple. Of course my kids already always want to plant their seeds, but there are worse things to want to do! The book does have one fold-out page that might be trouble for some little ones, but I think all ages can appreciate this book, gently.
This a story about a man sent into the rain forest to cut down a great Kapok tree. He falls asleep underneath the tree and while he sleeps, the animals that depend on the tree hiss, buzz, squawk, growl, whisper, and speak into his ear about the consequences of cutting down the tree and the interconnectedness of all living things. When he wakes, he leaves his ax and walks out of the forest. This is a great introduction to the importance of conservation and protection of whole ecosystems. Best for preschool age and up.
Now this list is far from complete, so if please share your favorites too!