Books to Raise Eco-Conscious Kids


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The earth is our greatest resource. We all want to raise children that respect it and will protect it. These are some of our favorite nature-loving stories to help you raise Eco-Conscious Kids.

Books to Raise Eco-Conscious Kids

How Robin Saved Spring
By Debbie Ouellet, illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli

This imaginative tale with its beautiful illustrations poignantly describes the struggle that occurs when the Earth changes from the quiet cold of winter to the vibrancy of spring. How Robin Saved Spring tells the story of two sisters named Lady Winter and Sister Spring who live in a cottage in the woods. Lady Winter does not want Sister Spring to wake up from her nap so she conspires to keep her sister asleep forever. A young robin overhears Lady Winter’s plot and calls to the other woodland creatures to help wake Sister Spring. One by one they try in vain to wake her and they each pay a price for their bravery… bear must hibernate through the winter, skunk gets a white stripe so he can’t hide in the dark, maple tree cries sweet tears of sap, and so on.

Robin decides to take matters into his own hands (or wing as they may be) and, with the help of the sun’s morning light, he finally wakes Sister Spring who then goes about the business of waking skunk and bear, drying maple trees tears and bringing spring to the Earth. This is the perfect story to describe this time of year when it feels like winter seemingly wants to hold on forever, and provides hope for the inevitable arrival of spring. While the illustrations grabbed my attention, the story has become a favorite in our house. We like it so much that we are going to return our library copy and purchase one of our own.

Hug Time!
Written and Illustrated by Patrick McDonnell

“There once was a kitten so filled with love he wanted to give the whole world a hug.”

With that begins the tale of Jules, a big-hearted little stray cat. Jules travels all over the world hugging animals here and there. While not a direct tale of the environment it does introduce children to different animals and the threat of diminishing habitats. Jules has to sit and wait very still for a tiger because there are so few left in the wild. When he travels to the North Pole to find a polar bear he sees what the world would be like with nobody there.

I am a huge fan of Patrick McDonnell and his beautiful watercolor and pencil drawings. They are so simple and still so beautiful. I also really appreciate the simple message of loving the Earth and animals without hitting children (and adults) over the head with heavy facts or politically charged statements. We are looking forward to reading his newest book, Me…Jane, about Jane Goodall as soon as we can!

Our Nest
By Reeve Lindbergh, illustrated by Jill McElmurry

This rhyming story tells us about different types of nests beginning with animals and their homes and moving all the way out to space which makes a nest for the stars and planets. All the while, you can see how all things are connected as part of a larger creation before closing the story with the comforting image of a young boy snuggling safe and warm in the “nest” of his mother’s arms. This whimsical story provides both factual information and a sense of our relationship with the world around us.

What are your favorite nature-inspired stories? Leave us your recommendations and which library you visit, in the comments!

Find more book suggestions on our Bookshelf!

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Books to Raise Eco-Conscious Kids
About Melissa Haak 626 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

1 Comment

  1. We are currently enjoying “A Tree is Nice” by Janet May Udry, illustrated by Marc Simont. We stumbled on this Caldecott winning picture book at a used book store. In time for Arbor Day, this book sings simple praises for trees (“Trees are nice. They make up the woods”) throughout the year (“we pile the leaves with out rakes and have bonfires.”) and weather (“They keep the roof from blowing off the house sometimes”). Each simple praise is accompanied by a large color picture or small black and white drawings. The book ends with the planting of trees, the pride that comes from one’s own tree, and how planting one tree will encourage others to do the same.

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