Sunday, April 19, 2009

Earth Day: children's book reviews

Earth Day is April 22. Here are a few children's book suggestions. None are suitable for the age of our little guy (17 months), but they'd be perfect for slightly older kids. For younger readers, like my guy, note the books I link to at the end of the post (Carrot Seed and Birds), as well as a really cool stuffed toy.  You can also find two other Earth day book reviews (including a board book) by clicking on the highlighted text.

The Little House (Hardcover), by Virginia Lee Burton. Originally published in 1942, the Little House tells a timely story about a little house in the country that experiences the development of the land around her, as skyscrapers rise on either side of her, elevated trains and a subway appear, and she gradually becomes old and shabby. In the end, she is given a second chance at country life.


"Pretty soon there were trolley cars going back and forth in front of the Little House. They went back and forth all day and part of the night. Everyone seemed to be very busy and everyone seemed to be in a hurry."

Bookworm's interest at 17 months: He's too young for this one. I thought he might enjoy the photos, since we've been house hunting, and he likes to point at houses and make an "H" sound, but he wasn't really interested in anything beyond the cover. It's really meant for older kids.

It's Earth Day! (Little Critter) (Paperback), by Mercer Mayer. This cute tale follows Little Critter as he tries to come up with various ways to "stop the ice from melting" after watching a movie about climate change. He sets out on a mission to help by shutting lights to save energy, shutting the water while he brushes his teeth, recycling, donating to charity, planting trees at a park, making signs to educate others, and even attempting the construction of a Climate Control Machine."


"Today we learned all about Earth Day. It is a special day. It is when we celebrate our planet. / We watched a movie about the Earth's climate. Climate is how hot or cold it usually is outside. The Earth is getting hotter and the ice at the North Pole is melting! That's where the polar bears live. Yikes! I have to help slow down the melting."

Bookworm's interest at 17 months: He's way too young for this.

Our Earth (Paperback), by Anne Rockwell. Basic earth science concepts pair with fun, colorful illustrations in Rockwell's "Our Earth." Readers learn about the North Pole, volcanos, coral reefs, dinosaurs, glaciers, rainforests, canyons, etc. all in short snippets. The overriding message of the book is that "[o]ur big, round earth is very beautiful. / It is my home and yours."


"Our earth was shaped by water, fire, ice, and living things. It is always changing -- much too slowly for us to see."

Bookworm's interest at 17 months: He's too young, although we flipped through the pages together.

I am also quite partial lately to the Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss and Kevin Henkes' Birds. I have just barely resisted buying them so far, but my resolve is breaking down. You can read our reviews of the Carrot Seed and Birds here.

For additional nature-inspired book suggestions, check out this wonderful post on 10 Reasons Why Kids Need a Garden on I.N.K. (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids).

For something non-bookish, I love this stuffed globe (photo and link below) and have bought many of them as gifts for kids. (There are also Mars and Moon versions). It's such a great learning tool, because all of the states, countries, etc. are accurately labeled. Our extended family is a bit spread out around the world now, and I love the idea of teaching children where all of their relatives are. It also pairs nicely with Earth Day.

Did you also post about Earth Day on your blog, with book reviews, crafts, or general musings? Comment and leave us a link!


Letters,Numbers and Books said...

i gotta post my earth books that i loved i was soo sick this weekend! we have little critters book too!

Suzanne said...

Love your blog! Even without children I am entertained and enjoy reading your posts! I have nominated you for a Premio Dardos award! Here is the link:

Infant Bibliophile said...

thanks for the award!
I realized I forgot one of our books, the lorax. I'll try to edit later to add it.

Valerie said...

Thanks for the Earth Day books. I was looking for something like this to do with my daughter, and she would probably love all of these! Now I'm off to my library's website to see if I can put any of them on hold. We'll be doing lots of nature crafts here, and probably spending a day picking up trash at the local playground. Oh, and on Thursday, we'll be on NBC for "green week" to talk about fun things kids can do with stuff you already have on hand. We are really looking forward to it! Happy Earth Day!!