5 Children's Books About the Environment to Read This Earth Day

Already know The Lorax by heart? Snag a few of these new children's books about nature, wildlife, and taking care of our planet for your home library so you have a few fresh stories to read come April 22.

compilation of five environment books
Photo: Peter Ardito
01 of 05


Treasure book cover
Orca Book Publishers

Written by Mireille Messier, illustrated by Irene Luxbacher

In this celebration of the natural world, sisters set out on a treasure hunt in a forest, looking for items that are shiny, mysterious, and precious. They have fun climbing trees and splashing alongside fish as they search. Just when they're about to head home, they turn a corner and are awestruck by a rainbow. "Some treasures are too big for pockets," the girls realize.

02 of 05

Little Turtle and the Changing Sea

Little Turtle and the Changing Sea book cover
Tiger Tales

Written by Becky Davies, illustrated by Jennie Poh

When a sea turtle encounters pollution, she doesn't know what it is. But kids will recognize the plastic bag, the water bottle, and the net that eventually entraps her. She's freed by scuba divers who are cleaning up trash. The back pages explain how litter enters the ocean, how long it takes for a plastic bag to decompose (ten to 20 years), and what kids can do to help keep the water clean.

03 of 05

Only a Tree Knows How to Be a Tree

Only a Tree Knows How to Be a Tree book cover

Written and illustrated by Mary Murphy

This uplifting story honors the diversity of all living things. "Every comet, flower, cat, and beetle, every cloud, frog, stone, and duck ... is different," Murphy writes. "Every tree is different. And they are all the only ones who know how to be them." Murphy also reminds kids that they have their own special role in the world.

04 of 05

A Wild Child's Guide to Endangered Animals

A rare find: a kids’ book for all ages
A rare find: a kids’ book for all ages. Chronicle Books

Written and illustrated by Millie Marotta

What do the little dodo bird, the giant anteater, and the wandering albatross have in common? They're among the 43 animals at risk of extinction that are highlighted in this exquisitely designed book. Kids will find out, for instance, that fishing nets threaten yellow-eyed penguins and that the climate crisis makes it more difficult for snowy owls to find food.

05 of 05

Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood

Harlem Grown book cover
Simon & Schuster / Paula Wiseman Books

Written by Tony Hillery, illustrated by Jessie Hartland

In this nonfiction book, a New York City school turns an abandoned lot across the street into an urban farm that helps feed the community. Even toddlers will be able to grasp the story thanks to the concise text and the illustrations that show students clearing away trash to make space for growing fruits and veggies.

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