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Books that Inspire Us to Love the Earth

Local book experts and librarians share their favorite books for Earth Day.

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Heal the Earth

by Julian Lennon with Bart Davis; illustrated by Smiljana Coh
(Sky Pony Press, April 3, 2018)

The second book in Lennon’s trilogy about helping the earth, readers can jump aboard the White Feather Flier to cultivate green spaces in cities, help the rain forest, and dive below the ocean, alongside a new poem written by Lennon. A portion of book sale proceeds support the environmental and humanitarian efforts of the White Feather Foundation, founded by Lennon to promote education, health, conservation, and the protection of indigenous culture.

The Curious Garden

by Peter Brown
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009)

Called “an ecological fable” by The New York Times, this book features a boy named Liam who discovers a struggling garden in the city. “This book is especially relevant for urban families,” says Amy Forrester, children’s librarian at the Denver Public Library. “It follows one boy as he transforms his drab, industrial city into a lush, green oasis.”

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Here We Are

by Oliver Jeffers
(Philomel Books, 2017)

Jeffers was inspired to create this book after the birth of his son. “I … realized, firsthand, the massive responsibility of explaining our complex world to a completely blank slate,” Jeffers says. In Here We Are, Jeffers takes the reader on a tour of planet Earth through a series of simple notes about space, land, sea, people, and animals. In the end, he tells readers about the planet, “make sure you look after it, as it’s all we’ve got.”

It all Starts With a Seed…How Food Grows

by Emily Bone; illustrated by Sally Elford
(Usborne Publishing, 2017)

This book begins by showing step-by-step numbered illustrations of how a seed grows and how bees pollinate plants. Next comes detailed descriptions and illustrations of a wide variety of fruit, root, and stem foods; and the story of how flour and chocolate are made. Website links featuring video clips and activities on how food grows are provided in the back, alongside an index.

Song of the Wild

by Nicola Davies; illustrated by Petr Horácek
(Candlewick, 2017)

Through a collection of poems, Davies, a trained zoologist, shares her observations about wildlife from around the world. “Song of the Wild brings together lush illustration and simple poetry to form a young readers’ first science lessons around animals,” says Abbey Paxton, book manager at BookBar. “Broken down into big and small, colors and shapes, animal homes, animal babies, and animals in action, children and parents can enjoy this book as reference and reverie. Children will undoubtedly find and return to their favorite pages over and over again making this a book that truly earns its place on the shelf for years.”

We Planted a Tree

by Diane Muldrow; illustrated by Bob Staake
(Dragonfly Books, 2016)

Two different families in two very different parts of the world plant trees—one in a small Brooklyn backyard and the other on the African savannah. Then the book shows more trees growing in other places across the world, while the children in the families grow, too. It shows the connection between people and trees, and also trees’ importance across multiple cultures.

More books to help your family celebrate Earth Day and think about the environment:

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