It's no secret that I think books are the best way to teach a child, well, just about anything. Whether it's manners, feminism, diversity, or even the environment — you guessed it — there's a children's book for that. The best part about children's books is that they so often have ways of teaching children subtly. Books that present themselves as one thing, and then wind up having a moral to the story between the lines. With Earth Day right around the corner, it's the perfect time to pick out a few children's books you had no idea were about the environment and add them to your favorite kid's shelf.
Starting children early on the important issues is so, so important. By integrating lessons about the environment, littering, recycling, and taking care of mother earth, you can be sure that your child will carry these themes through to every day life. What's more important to teach a child than teaching them to care for the world around them? Not much. By teaching your child to care for the world around them, you'll help them understand that everything they do plays a part in sustaining the beauty of the environment around them. That they too, play their part in keeping the earth a lovely place to live and learn.
1. 'The Giving Tree' by Shel Silverstein
As a child, you were taught that The Giving Tree was a story about friendship and love, and what it means to give and take. Sure, it's great to teach your children about love and friendship and generosity through the tale of the boy and the tree, but it's also paramount to teach your children that all trees are giving too much to society these days.
2. 'Just A Dream' by Chris Van Allsburg
Just A Dream follows Walter, a litterbug. He doesn't appreciate trees, or grass, or flowers, or anything to do with the great outdoors. Until one night, he takes an enormous journey that shows him what could happen to Earth if he, and people like him, don't clean up their act. Will Walter take this to heart, or will he insist that it was all in his head?
3. 'Here Comes The Garbage Barge' by Jonah Winter
4. 'Miss Rumphius' by Barbara Cooney
Alice Rumphius longed to travel the world and do something to make the world a more beautiful place. When you read her story, children will be delighted to find out that Miss Rumphius is based on a true story, and that you can find her countless lupines along the coast of Maine to this day.
5. 'The Wump World' by Bill Peet
6. 'The Cloud Spinner' by Michael Catchpool
A young boy has the ability to weave magnificent cloth from the clouds in the sky, and when the King of the land finds out — he demands things be made from the clouds day and night. The Cloud Spinner weaves the tale of the natural beauty in this world, and how important it is to preserve it.