Great Books to Read with Your Kids to Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day (April 22) is the perfect time to talk to your kids about conservation and what everyone can do to help take good care of our beloved planet. Luckily, there are many wonderful books to help your kids grow up to be a friend of trees.

Here are a few of my favorites to read with kids young and old to remember why we should try to make every day Earth Day. For very young readers, Lois Elhert’s Growing Vegetable Soup is a beautiful introduction to the life-cycle of plants and the joys of tending a garden.

Also enchanting for small children is The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss. My children were absolutely mesmerized by this sweet, simple tale of a boy and his determined quest to see his carrot seed grow.

For early readers, Just Grace Goes Green by Charise Mericle Harper teaches important conservation lessons while still delivering the fun drawings and quick-moving story-lines that make the Just Grace series a favorite with elementary school kids.

[editor’s addition–added by Nicole] A new book from Kids Can Press called Up We Grow by Deborah Hodge was a winner in our Kindergartener’s class this month. This book highlights the importance of small, local farms. The book chronicles the four seasons. Watch as the farmers plow, plant, compost, mulch, harvest and market fruits and vegetables, and care for animals. While our kids grew their own vegetables in class, this was great supplemental reading.

And for everybody, nothing is a more convincing tale of environmentalism then The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. This classic 1971 book delivers a powerful message about why being good to the earth is good for us all.  I recommend reading it to your kids, your neighborhood kids, or even just a few of the local trees.

the lorax dr seuss

Anna Sandler is a contributor to She also writes a personal blog at about life in scenic New Jersey with three kids under the age of eight.

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  • What a lovely array of great children’s books that are perfect for Earth Day 2011…or any day! Thank you for a wonderful post!
    I’m a former kindergarten and Head Start teacher from NYC…now I live in the beautiful Colorado Rockies…and I’m passionate about picture books for young children. My new book for parents of preschoolers pinpoints books like those you mention…in fact, The Carrot Seed is one of the 100 books I feel every young child should hear.

    • Thanks, Vivian! I love that you also think The Carrot Seed is a true classic – hard to believe it is over 60 years since it was first published. Truly timeless.

  • Can’t wait to read Up We Grow with my kids, especially the part about composting, we are just starting one up here!

  • The Carrot Seed! Gotta go out and get that one NOW. Thanks for the reminder.