The best children’s books about the environment

Books about the environment

by Hannah Carroll |
Updated on

In the current environmental crisis, we find ourselves in it is more important than ever to teach our children about the importance of taking care of our environment. You may feel your child is a little too young, but as we have seen in Greta Thunberg, anyone can make a difference, regardless of age. Adding some books about the environment to your little one's bookshelf will help them to learn about the importance of taking care of our planet.

As a parent, it can be hard to tackle difficult subject matters. But children's books are a fantastic way to open up conversations. When you are reading to your child, it is great to find a quiet space where questions can naturally arise. We recommend diversifying your child's book self by including some LGBTQIA+ children's books as well as books that teach your child about diversity.

Research shows exposing your child to world problems and actively being involved in creating a better world has significant benefits for young people's mental health. They are also more likely to make better decisions as they grow into adults. However, it is important to approach all issues in an age-appropriate way.

If you’re wanting to teach your tots more about the planet and the small ways that they can make a difference, we’ve rounded up some fun, informative and educational books for your and your little one to read together.

What can children do to be my environmentally friendly:

Although your child may be a little too young to completely understand pollution, waste disposal and climate change there are plenty of little changes they can make to help save our planet. Here are a few things you and your little one can do:

  • Turn off the water whilst you are brushing your teeth

  • Shut doors to prevent the heating or air conditioning from escaping

  • Plant something in your garden or communal space

  • Avoid using disposable nappies and opt for reusable and eco nappies

  • Buy sustainable toys

  • Try to fix or make toys from things you would usually throw away

Best books about the environment 2023:

Best book for children aged 6+

World In Danger: Tomorrow could be a very different day by Frankie Morland and Zoe Barnish
Price: $11.98

Written by eight-year-old environmentalist, Frankie Morland, this book is all about why you're never too young to try and make a difference. In the book, Frankie shares lots of useful information for young children as well as helpful tips to do your bit.

Review: "A thought-provoking song and book. Makes one realise how young children are becoming so aware of what is happening to our precious planet and what must be done to keep it safe for future generations. "

Most colourful book

What A Waste: Rubbish, Recycling, and Protecting our Planet by Jess French

Rrp: $17.80

Price: $15.90

Do your tots constantly put their litter in the wrong bin? This book will teach your children all about the importance of disposing of our waste a responsible way.

Review: "My daughter is five and loves it. It lays out the information in an easy-to-understand way."

Best story about animal endangerment

Donu0026#039;t Let Them Disappear by Chelsea Clinton

Rrp: $17.99

Price: $13.83

Introduce your children to the world's endangered species and help them learn about what makes each animal so special and why it's so important for us to help them.

Review: "Fantastic book that really brings the impact of climate change and its threat to beloved wildlife across for children without being scary and too complex to understand. My five-year-old enjoyed it and made for many fruitful discussions in our home about what we can do to help animals and the environment."

Best book with flaps

10 Things I Can Do to Help My World by Melanie Walsh
Price: $16.99

From turning the tap off when we brush our teeth to making sure we use both sides of the paper when drawing, this colourful book will help your little one learn how they can do their bit every day.

Review: "I have recently used this book with my class for eco-week. It is great. It is simple, but effective in teaching people what they can do to help the world. I also thought the artwork and the cut-out pages were lovely."

Amazon's Teachers pick

Greta and the Giants: inspired by Greta Thunbergu0026#039;s stand to save the world by Zoe Tucker
Price: $13.87

Inspired by the amazing Greta Thunberg, this book helps youngsters learn all about Greta and her fight against the climate crisis.

Review: "This book is beautifully presented and written for little ones to connect to the subject. Our little girl cares about the world and said she wanted all children to have a copy. My only slight comment is we made sure we read this together when we had a little time for the questions and thoughts that came from it. Our little girl was unclear about the "Giants" in the story until this was explained but would highly recommend it."

Best book about children from different countries

The Water Princess by Georgie Badiel

Rrp: $18.99

Price: $12.99
Alternative retailers
Target$12.99View offer

This book will help your child learn all about the importance of clean drinking water and why some children aren't lucky enough to have access to it

Review: "This is a wonderfully written book that touched the hearts and imagination of my Year 3 pupils. It led to a deeper understanding of the value of clean water and of how different the lives of children in other countries can be from theirs. The beautiful illustrations add depth to a lovely story that is positive despite the hardships that it depicts. As a class book, it offered a huge range of activities but the children loved to read it as a story to simply be enjoyed too. A really lovely book and a much-read addition to our class library."

Best book for younger children

We Planted A Tree by Diane Muldrow

Rrp: $8.99

Price: $6.79
Alternative retailers
Target$6.79View offer

This poetic picture book tells the story of two young families from two very different parts of the world planting a tree and their stories that follow.

Review: "This is a simple but powerful book that will leave lasting images in the young minds I think. There is not much to read and it's not the words but rather the concept and the pictures that strike. One of our fav night time read/discuss the type of books with my three and five-year-olds."

Best picture book

Bee and Me by Alison Jay
Price: $14.17

This wordless picture book follows the beautiful story of a little girl and her bee friend and introduces children to the importance of bees in our ecosystem.

Review: " This is not a written story! However the illustrations are next level beautiful and we found the pictures spoke a thousand words that the writing if it was there wouldn't have shown. We "read" the pictures and told our own imaginings and depictions of it. It was moving and the story told was so beautiful, so much so, it brought a little tear to my adult eyes when reading with my daughters (we love bees, we love nature!) Highly recommend! It contains such a powerful and important message, one that can be understood by all."

Best story about war

The Last Garden
Price: $16.54

Packed with gorgeous illustrations, this tender story is inspired by true events in Syria and war gardens around the world and throughout history. Gently touching on issues of conflict and migration, it is a story of hope that truly deserves a place on your child's bookshelf.

Review: "This is such a beautiful book! A sensitive story about a girl who grows a garden in a war zone. When things get too much, everyone has to leave but when they return they find the wild garden has been growing in its own way. A lovely story about hope. The artwork is just wonderful too - my six and four-year-olds spent ages looking through it and found the story so beautiful and moving."

The Little Miss Waste Less story features a line-up of familiar Mr. Men Little Miss characters as they learn how to reduce their plastic waste by refilling and reusing.  We love that this free story can be read online or downloaded via pdf.

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