11 children’s books to read on earth day (and every day!)

Portrait of young mother telling a story to her little son lying on yellow fallen tree leaves at autumn park

Whether you’re looking for a book to read to your children this Earth Day or simply want some diverse children’s books to add to your collection, these books cover a wide range of environmental topics, from recycling to sustainability, climate change to renewable energy.

(And they are all books that my kids and I’ve enjoyed reading together!)

You can either purchase the books directly from Bookshop.org using the links below or through your local independent bookstore, or borrow them from your local library.

For your convenience the links below are affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba & Bryan Mealer

Based on the true story of author William Kamkwamba when he was 14-years-old, Williams learns how to build a windmill in drought-stricken area of Malawi where he grew up and bring electricity to his village.

The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge by by Joanna Cole

Join Ms. Frizzle and her class on a journey to learn about climate change and actions kids can take to help solve this crisis.

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom

This is a visually and lyrically beautiful book about the North American Indigenous-led movement to protector our water sources. It’s a great way to start a conversation about one of our most important natural resources.

The Water Princess by Susan Verde

This story is about a little girl in Burkina Faso who must journey every day with her mother to bring home water. While The Water Princess is explicitly about protecting water, it does give a deeper appreciation of water and its accessibility.

Iqbal and His Ingenious Idea: How a Science Project Helps One Family and the Planet by Elizabeth Suneby

Iqbal enters a science fair where the theme is about sustainability. He decides to build his own solar-powered cookstoves that is better for his family’s health than the open-flame oven they must otherwise cook on. Kids learn about solar energy, pollution, and even how to make their own DIY oven with a pizza box.

The Earth Book by Todd Parr

I always appreciate the simple but clear messages of Todd Parr’s books. This one outlines easy ways kids (and adults) can help take care of the Earth.

Energy Island: How One Community Harnessed the Wind and Changed Their World by Allan Drummond

Learn how the ordinary citizens of a small Danish island became almost completely energy independent by switching to wind energy. There are some handy sidebars great for adults and older children to also learn about fossil fuels, climate change, and renewable energy.

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul

Based on a true story, this book tells how a group of woman transformed their village in Gambia by recycling plastic bags that were polluting and harming their community and turning them into purses to sell.

Don’t Waste Your Food by Deborah Chancellor

Learn about the environmental impact of wasting our food and ways we can reduce it at home, from composting to meal planning.

Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood

Another inspiring children’s book based on a true story about a children’s orchestra in Paraguay. The children create instruments made from recycled materials in the landfill on which their town resides.

Why Should I Protect Nature? by Jen Green

This books addresses what it means to treat nature well — and, conversely, ways to not treat nature well. There’s also several other books in the “Why should I..” series, including “Why Should I Save Water?”, “Why Should I Save Energy”, and “Why Should I Recycle”?

For the full list of children’s books about sustainability recommended in this post as well as a few more not listed, check out my list on Bookshop.org.

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