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Great Read Alouds: Earth-friendly picture books


With Earth Day on April 22, this is the perfect time to read to your children about our world. There are plenty of sources of information out there about climate change and protecting our environment for older readers. The facts seem grim and the needed changes daunting, but for young children it is best to start simply and keep things positive. Here are some beautiful picture books that introduce Earth and all its wonders, planting seeds of appreciation for our planet.


Book 1

Love, The Earth written by Frances Stickley & illustrated by Tim Hopgood

illustration earth smiling at childThis book is a letter from Earth welcoming young humans to the world and promising to take care of them. There is beauty in the sound of the poetic text read aloud as well as the book’s sentiment. The extra-large pages are filled with vibrant art that invites discussion. This book would make an excellent baby gift and can touch hearts of all ages and stages.


Book 2

One Earth written by Eileen Spinelli & illustrated by Rogéria Coelho

illustrated cover kids looking at the sky by a lakeCount to ten and back down again with lyrical text that celebrates just a few of the wonderful things about Earth. The warm colors, stylized art and playful font are pleasing to the eyes. The illustrations contain gentle suggestions for taking care of our planet as well.


Book 3

This is the Planet Where I Live written by K. L. Going & illustrated by Debra Frasier

illustration of earth with flowers, people and animalsThe large, slick pages of this book are filled with bold, engaging collage-style art. Connections are made between Earth’s living and nonliving things in the form of a cumulative story (think The House That Jack Built). Kids will delight in the repetition and the reading of those last few pages. Will you be able to make it through them without running out of breath?


Book 4

The World and Everything In It by Kevin Henkes

illustrated plants and animalsThis is a gentle and heartwarming book. With minimal yet meaningful words and charming pictures, it highlights little and big things in our world in a soothing, loving manner. Lingering on each page to identify and discuss the precious items featured in the illustrations is a wonderful opportunity to develop your child’s language skills.


Book 5

The Earth Gives More written by Sue Fliess & illustrated by Christiane Engel

illusrated kids playing in puddles and woman planting seedsThe Earth Gives More encourages children to enjoy nature, take care of the Earth, and experience outdoor adventure through different seasons and weather conditions. The rhythm and rhyme of the text and cheerful illustrations contribute to its positive enthusiasm.


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