Topic: Environmental Themes

  365 Penguins

by Jean-Luc Fromental

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Global Warming

The life of a family becomes gradually "penguinized" when every day, beginning on the first of January, a mysterious package arrives with a new penguin. As the penguins increase in number, the family attempts to find humorous new solutions to deal with the increasing population of birds that need to be fed, organized and housed. Over the months, the comedy continues as penguins play piano, watch TV, swim in the backyard pool and take over the house. 365 days and penguins later, on New Year’s Eve, the doorbell rings and Uncle Victor, an ecologist who has been sending the penguin packages, explains he needs to protect the birds whose Antarctic habitat is gradually melting due to global warming. Although to the relief of the family, he leaves the house with a truck full of penguins, another mysterious, yet different, parcel soon arrives. This hilarious story with zany illustrations to explore is a fun adventure in math and counting that also conveys an environmental message to young readers.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  Aani and the Tree Huggers

by Jeannine Atkins

HARDCOVER
Flora : Trees & Forests
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Based upon real events that took place during the 1970's in Northern India, this picture book is exquisitely illustrated using traditional Indian art techniques to portray the rural life of an Indian village and the determination of the Indian women to save their forest.

"Aani and the Tree Huggers takes place in a village in India that practices the sustainable cutting of a few trees every year to build houses; they get what they need from the forest without depleting it. One day men come to cut down the forest, ordered to do so by a man in the city who is not connected to the village or community. The village women wrap their arms around the trees refusing to allow the men to cut them. Facing this resistance, the men leave and the trees are saved." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Winter 1997-1998) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 5th

  Acting for Nature

by Sneed B. Collard III and Action for Nature

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Extinction & Conservation
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

Written by Sneed Collard III and Action for Nature, a USA environmental education organization based in San Francisco, "Acting for Nature" provides engrossing and inspirational accounts of young people from eleven countries who chose to take action to improve the environmental conditions in their communities. Spanning the globe, the real life stories of boys and girls in familiar and far-off places transcend all political and geographical boundaries -- Judith and Miriam in Spain organizing "The Great Green March" to stop pollution of the Ebro River in Spain, Vincent from Kenya working in the impoverished slums of Nairobi to plant trees and set up recycling centers, Tom from New Zealand rescuing the native penguins from urban sprawl and Aika, the twelve year old Japanese girl, creating her book, Secrets of the Earth to teach other children about our planet. Their stories as well as those of other dedicated children serve as an inspiration for people of all ages to work globally to improve the conditions of their communities and the environment.

Visit: www.actionfornature.org

      Grades: 5th & up

  Adelina's Whales

by Richard Sobol

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This is a beautiful photo-essay by Richard Sobol about a 10 year old girl living in the remote fishing village of La Laguna in Baja, Mexico near a lagoon that is a gray whale nursery. Every year Adelina Mayoral eagerly awaits the arrival of her special friends, the gray whales that travel from their northern feeding grounds, as far away as Alaska and Russia, across the Pacific to this protected lagoon to give birth and raise their calves until the spring when they once again head north. The text and stunning photography, that show the close encounters and rapport of humans and whales, also offer an insight into Adelina’s daily life and the world of these unique mammals. In the "Foreword" Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. describes his visit to Laguna San Ignacio and how Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) succeeded in 1997 in saving this pristine lagoon from industrial development and keeping this area as a gray whale nursery.

For more information, visit: www.savebiogems.org/baja/

      Grades: 2nd to 5th

  Adventures in the Amazon Rain Forest

by Susan E. Goodman

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Through the perspective of a group of 7th and 8th graders from Michigan, "Adventures in the Amazon Rain Forest" takes readers into the Peruvian Amazon where the students explore the vast diversity of the rain forest and its inhabitants as well as learn the "basics" of living in this exotic environment. Color photographs capture the students during their field trip as they venture through the Amazon on canoes, climb to the canopy to contrast life forms to those of the forest floor, and discover uses of the wealth of resources such as medicinal plants. They interact with Peruvian schoolchildren through sports and music as well as learn the skills of trading with members of one native Amazonian tribe, the Yagua. While discovering the importance of saving the rainforests, they also are exposed to the complexity of preserving this endangered ecosystem in light of the economic pressures on local people to sustain themselves.

The hardback version is called "Bats, Bugs, and Biodiversity: Adventures in the Amazonian Rain Forest."

        Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Almost Gone: The World’s Rarest Animals

by Steve Jenkins

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Written and illustrated by Caldecott winner Steve Jenkins, Almost Gone: The World’s Rarest Animals examines twenty-one endangered animals found throughout the world, poignantly highlighting the critically low numbers that remain. Jenkins depicts these rare animals through beautiful cut and torn paper collage artwork. The informative text describes the physical, behavioral and feeding traits, their natural habitats and reasons behind the endangered status of these animals. Readers can learn that the Abington Island Tortoises of the Galapagos Islands were overhunted in the 1800’s to the extent of possibly only one tortoise remaining in the world. Jenkins also includes examples of animals that are now extinct as well as several species that through various efforts have made a comeback to healthier numbers. Describing the extinction of species, Jenkins writes that, although the consequences of the extinction of a species are not fully understood because of the complexity of the web of connections amongst living things, "we do know that something unique has been lost and can never be replaced."

The endangered animals described in this book include: monkey-eating eagle and dwarf water buffalo (Philippines); crested shelduck and baiji or Yangtze River dolphin (China); blue iguana (Grand Cayman Island); northern hairy-nosed wombat, eastern barred bandicoot, giant stick insect and waterfall or torrent frog (Australia); California condor (Southwestern U.S.); addax (Sahara Desert); hispid hare or Assam rabbit (India and Nepal); Miami blue butterfly (Florida, U.S.); Javan rhinoceros (Vietnam and Indonesia); golden lion tamarin (Brazil); Bactrian camel (Mongolia and China); coelacanth (Indian Ocean); Iriomote cat (Japan); Abington Island tortoise (Galapagos Islands); and, northern right whale (Atlantic Ocean). The extinct animals that are cited are: moa, (New Zealand), Stellar sea cow (Bering Strait), Tasmanian wolf (Australia), and Guam flying fox (Mariana Islands). Lastly, the recovering species include: gharial or Indian crocodile (Northern India), whooping crane (North America), and Alpine ibex (Europe).

See also: Alexandra Wright's Will We Miss Them? Endangered Species, and
David McLimans' Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  An American Safari

by Jim Brandenburg

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Brandenburg’s dramatic and lyrical photo-essay of North American prairies highlights his stunning imagery of its wildlife, wildflowers, grasses and landscape and sends a message to save the unique ecosystem of endangered native grasslands that once covered nearly a quarter of North America less than two centuries ago. Brandenburg conveys a personal perspective to his experience of the prairies during his boyhood in southern Minnesota, exploring the landscape that inspired him towards a future career as a wildlife photographer. His reflections include insights into the life of prairie dogs and their elaborate "towns", the near extinction of bison, the interdependence of species that make the grasslands their home, the regional types of three different prairies, and the ecological importance of this unique, endangered North American treasure.

See also: Sneed B. Collard's The Prairie Builders

        Grades: 3rd to 6th

  And Then There Was One

by Margaret Facklam

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

In this interesting, informative and well-written survey, Facklam unveils the mysteries of extinction describing the reasons for the disappearance of some species as part of the natural evolutionary process and contrasting the recent increasing rate of extinction due to human intervention, ignorance and carelessness. Citing examples of the disappearance of species due to natural causes, such as earthquakes, volcanoes and, in the case of dinosaurs, possibly an asteroid collision, the author also describes natural selection and adaptations through which other species have survived for millions of years. To demonstrate the impact humans have had on the environment, Facklam examines the role in more recent extinctions of habitat destruction, excessive hunting and trapping, poaching, introduction of non-native species, pollution, DDT and other hazardous waste. In the final chapter, "And Now the Good News", the author ends the book on a positive note describing efforts through legislation and recovery programs to preserve endangered and threatened species from extinction.

Recommended in Nature's Course (November/December 1994) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Animals Like Us

by Andrea Mills and David Attenborough

HARDCOVER
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

The ARKive website was created to serve as a virtual "Noah’s Ark" of information about animals and plants throughout the world that are in danger of extinction. Launched by David Attenborough and based in England, this project was conceived to educate the public about the urgent need to protect and conserve endangered species and their habitats.

Designed to accompany the ARKive website, Animals Like Us features several of these endangered animals, organized by the five habitats of forest, desert, ocean, grassland and mountain. Spectacular color photography of each endangered species – close-ups and images of the animals in their respective habitats – as well as fascinating information about feeding habits, behavior, physical traits, maps of habitation and the problems of survival, provide a comprehensive look at these amazing creatures. Links to related websites are also included to explore habitats as well as internet sites of organizations working to save the world’s endangered species.

Introducing each section by habitat, the book describes the ways they are being destroyed and then examines some of the endangered animals that live there:
Forest: orangutan, kakapo, Verreaux’s sifaka, koala and tiger;
Desert: African elephant, Bactrian camel, Arabian oryx, Gila monster and Indian wild ass;
Ocean: humpback whale, sea otter, marine iguana, West Indian manatee and green turtle;
Grassland: cheetah, black rhinoceros, hyacinth macaw, Grevy’s zebra and giant anteater; and lastly,
Mountain: panda, Ethiopian wolf, mountain gorilla, snow leopard and spectacled bear.

Visit the ARKive website to find a wealth of information in the digital library of animals and plants listed as endangered by the World Conservation Union, including audio and video "portraits" through films and photographs at: www.arkive.org

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Antonio's Rain Forest

by Anna Lewington

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Venturing deep into the Amazon Rain Forest of western Brazil to the Alto Jurua Extractive Reserve, "Antonio's Rain Forest" presents the life of a local family working as rubber tappers, or seringueiros, and their role in protecting the endangered rain forest. Through the first person narrative of eight-year old Antonio, readers explore the daily life of his family, the local inhabitants and the environment of the rain forest. Complemented by vivid photographs, the narrative also follows Antonio with his relatives along the forest trail where they collect the sap from wild rubber trees and later prepare the latex. Regional maps and insets describe the history of rubber use over the years, the modifications of natural rubber such as vulcanization and the repercussions of the expansion of rubber manufacture abroad. This book also touches upon the social and economic factors that have influenced the survival of the seringueiros -- the formation of a government protected "extractive reserve" and the organization of a cooperative by local workers, both serving to protect the people from exploitation and also helping to preserve the endangered rainforests.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Baby Whale's Journey

by Jonathan London

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Poetic text and expansive illustrations capture the life of a baby sperm whale from its first breath as it is born off the Pacific coast of Mexico, then as it journeys at the side of its mother through the sea where they feed, communicate with other members of the pod and encounter orcas and giant squids. An afterword supplements information about this magnificent endangered species and the Reader's Guide provides parents and educators ideas for discussions and activities expanding the knowledge of these mammals.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Bag in the Wind

by Ted Kooser

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Recycling & Composting
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

Through lyrical text and expansive illustrations of landscapes and townscapes, follow the journey of a plastic bag, "a perfectly good bag," blown out of a landfill, traveling on the wind and water over many settings into a nearby town, where in its various encounters it is reused by people who by chance find the yellow grocery bag. Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Nebraskan Ted Kooser has created a unique picture book about a plastic bag, a beautiful, thought-provoking and poetic approach to the environmental issue of waste. A note at the end of the book by Kooser discusses the environmental impact of plastic bags.

Printed on paper containing 100% post-consumer waste.

To learn more about recycling plastic, visit:
PlasticBagRecycling.org and SimpleSteps.org

      Grades: 2nd & up

  Brother Eagle, Sister Sky

by Chief Seattle

HARDCOVER
Multicultural
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"A message from a Native American chief who explains how the earth and all the creatures who dwell upon it are sacred. His words, together with Jeffers's images, convey how all aspects of the natural environment are interconnected, and how Native American people approach nature with an attitude of humility and respect. Spirited pictures depict the contrast between a reciprocal relationship with the land and the current state of environmental crisis." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

Recommended in Nature's Course (November/December 1996) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Can We Save Them?

by David Dobson

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This book provides information about eleven species of endangered North American animals presented with descriptions of their physical characteristics, habitats, behavior and the causes for their endangered status. At the end of each double-page description and colorful illustration of the endangered species the author provides hope for its future and includes suggestions to promote its recovery. Species of endangered wildflowers are also discussed with mention of the importance of plants as sources of food and valuable medicines. The author concludes the book calling upon readers to help conserve endangered species and prevent their extinction.

Endangered species, primarily animals, discussed in the book include: Florida panthers, Oahu tree snails, gray bats, American burying beetles, peregrine falcons, eastern indigo snakes, cui-ui (fish species), Peary caribou, a variety of wildflowers, eastern timber wolves, Kirtland's warblers and Puerto Rican parrots. An annotated map of North America showing the distribution of the endangered species follows the text.

See also: Alexandra Wright's Will We Miss Them? Endangered Species, and
David McLimans' Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet

        Grades: 1st to 5th

  Come Back, Salmon

by Molly Cone

PAPERBACK
Animals : Fish
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

The engrossing, true story of the relentless determination of the school children at Jackson Elementary in Everett, Washington to reclaim the polluted stream of Pigeon Creek as a salmon spawning ground is presented through interviews and full-color photographs of the children and teachers working at their project. Supplementary scientific information about the life cycle of salmon is included in panels beside the main text.

Reviewed in Nature's Course (September/October 1993) published by CCEL.

        Grades: 2nd to 6th

  Common Ground

by Molly Bang

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Extinction & Conservation
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

A parable depicting the consequences of the overgrazing of a village field by sheep serves as the basis for analogies to the overuse and depletion of our planet’s natural resources – the seas, forests, water, air and fossil fuels. Though the primitive style paintings and text are simple and direct, the profound message of author and illustrator Molly Bang’s picture book inspires reflection about the eventual consequences of short-sighted actions and the responsible stewardship of the water, earth and air that we share and which sustain our lives on our “common ground,” the Earth.

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Compost Critters

by Bianca Lavies

HARDCOVER
Animals : Spineless Creatures
Environmental Themes  : Recycling & Composting

"What are the organisms that turn the food scraps, grass clippings and leaves that you put into your compost pile into dirt? Bianca Lavies shows us these strange looking creatures magnified many times and her marvelous text explains how they do their jobs. . . . The photographs in this book will amaze and captivate children. Here are the critters that specialize in turning yukky garbage waste into rich soil: bacteria and fungi, earthworms, springtails, nematodes, sow bugs, millipedes, mites and snails -- bigger than life." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (November/December 1998) published by CCEL.

See also:
Mary Appelhof's Worms Eat Our Garbage: Classroom Activities for a Better Environment
Wendy Pfeffer's Wiggling Worms at Work
Tim Magner's Earl The Earthworm Digs for His Life

      Grades: 2nd to 6th

  Compost!: Growing Gardens From Your Garbage

by Linda Glaser

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Recycling & Composting

"Linda Glaser's young narrator accompanies us on a circular journey -- food to garbage to compost to garden to food -- explaining in a simple, lively style the magical process of decomposition. Readers learn about the amazing things which take place over time in the compost bin where layers of grass clippings, leaves, and kitchen scraps are tossed and turned." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (November/December 1998) published by CCEL.

See also:
Mary Appelhof's Worms Eat Our Garbage: Classroom Activities for a Better Environment
Wendy Pfeffer's Wiggling Worms at Work
Tim Magner's Earl The Earthworm Digs for His Life

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Condor's Egg

by Jonathan London

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This dramatic picture book with panoramic and close-up watercolor views of California condors portrays the flight, nesting and hatching of these birds, an endangered species. The flight of a condor above the mountains and valleys leads to a cliffside cave where its mate guards a single egg. Through the long night of a thunderous storm, while rocks fall from above, the two birds care for the egg. With the sunlit beginning of the day, the birth of a new condor takes place. Following the story, "More About Condors" provides a historical and factual perspective about the condor, the rarest and largest North American bird, the causes of its endangered status and a listing of organizations that provide information about condors and their recovery program.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  A Cool Drink of Water

by Barbara Kerley

PAPERBACK
Water & Its Cycle
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

Published by the National Geographic Society, A Cool Drink of Water, circles the globe through stunning photography, catching breathtaking imagery of people and animals collecting and drinking water. From solitary hikers pausing to drink in the mountains and canyons of Western North America to an old farmer in the Irish countryside drawing fresh water from a well for himself and his cows, from the stately black figures of women carrying stacks of brass water pots in India to children in Nepal filling a jug of water with rainwater dripping from a roof -- the images resonate the unifying, common need of all of life for this vital resource. Though the text is minimal, focusing readers instead on the stunning visual imagery, a map and the captioned spread of thumbnail copies of the photos in the back of the book explain how various cultures use and conserve water. "A Note on Water Conservation" emphasizes the limited amount of fresh, clean water available to life and the importance of protecting the water supply so as to ensure "that now and in the future everyone, everywhere can always enjoy a cool drink of water."

        Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Cool Woods: A Trip Around the World's Boreal Forest

by Jane Drake & Ann Love

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Cool Woods circles around the globe exploring the boreal forests of the subarctic world from the wetlands and mountains of Canada to Alaska, across the Siberian Taiga and over to the forests of Northern Scandinavia and Scotland. Detailed realistic paintings and black and white drawings complement the descriptions of habitat, wildlife, indigenous peoples, myths and folklore of the boreal as well as the environmental threats posed to the largest remaining forest in the world.

      Grades: 5th to 8th

  The Day the Trash Came Out to Play

by David M. Beadle

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Recycling & Composting

The Day the Trash Came Out to Play is a captivating tale for Earth Day and everyday, a fun-filled picture book that imparts an important environmental message to young readers to practice the four "R's" for minimizing litter -- rethink, reduce, reuse and recycle. In the tidy town of Sutter Nash, a boy carelessly tosses a candy wrapper in the street. This single, irresponsible act sets off a cascade of events which escalate as the trash spills onto the streets and throughout the town -- a litter problem of immense proportions! Through colorful artwork and simple, rhythmic verse, this humorous tale conveys the importance of personal responsibility and environmental stewardship. Moreover, tying in with the theme, the book is printed on recycled, chlorine and acid-free paper.

See also:
Loreen Leedy's The Great Trash Bash,
Stuart J. Murphy's Earth Day -- Hooray!, and
Nuria Roca's, The Three R's: Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Dear Children of the Earth

by Schim Schimmel

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Extinction & Conservation

"In this beautiful letter, Mother Earth asks the world's children to appreciate, love and help her. . . . The poetry of the text and the exquisite illustrations will emotionally move children and adults alike to take a stand and save the natural places that remain." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Winter 1997-1998) published by CCEL.

See also: Schim Schimmel's The Family of Earth

      Grades: Kindergarten to 5th

  Dinosaurs Go Green!: A Guide to Protecting Our Planet!

by Laurie Krasny Brown & Marc Brown

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Pollution & Sustainability
Environmental Themes  : Recycling & Composting

Colorful, cartoon-like dinosaur characters introduce young children to the basic environmental problems and offer everyday suggestions to help save their planet by reducing, reusing and recycling. The book presents children advice to conserve natural resources, to find uses for old household items, to recycle garbage, to compost household waste and to become involved in neighborhood projects. Printed on recycled paper, this is informative primer offers many practical suggestions and useful projects to inspire children to help the planet.

      Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  The Down-To-Earth Guide to Global Warming

by Laurie David and Cambria Gordon

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Global Warming

Humorous, informative, engrossing and positive, The-Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming explains the basic concepts of global warming to children, describing its effects on the planet -- from the "weird, wacky weather" to its impact on plant and animal life -- and presents ways to protect the environment. This is a great resource to educate and empower kids. Loaded with interesting facts, at times from a humorous bent, as well as numerous photographs and illustrations, this comprehensive guide offers concrete solutions to inform and encourage kids to take action in their everyday lives at their homes, schools and communities to Stop Global Warming.

To learn more about global warming visit:
StopGlobalWarming.org

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Dr. Art's Guide to Planet Earth

by Art Sussman

PAPERBACK
The Living Planet
Environmental Themes 

Dr. Art’s Guide to Planet Earth: For Earthlings Ages 12 to 120, is an engaging, informative insight into the workings of the Earth, the interconnections of the physical and life systems, and the effects of human activity upon the balance of nature. Focusing on major concepts of the Earth’s systems – cycles of matter, flows of energy and the web of life -- ideas are clearly presented, supplemented by a wealth of graphics. Knowledge of the systems principles is used to understand the environmental issues facing the planet, serving as a basis of guidance to what people can do to support rather than disrupt the earth’s operating system by applying these concepts globally as well as locally. This is an excellent, well-presented book for older children and adults providing a concise overview of the concept that "Earth is Whole" and how the interconnected physical features and living organisms of the planet interrelate. Dr. Sussman’s referenced website is available for further exploration of the major concepts of systems thinking and includes animations and activities, suitable both for home and school.

Printed on recycled paper using soy-based inks.

Visit Dr. Art's website: www.planetguide.net

      Grades: 7th & up

  The Dragon and the Unicorn

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Extinction & Conservation

Children will be enthralled by this enchanting tale which takes place in a fantastic, beautifully illustrated medieval setting about a unicorn and dragon who befriend a king's daughter and plead that their forest be conserved.

"Lynne Cherry's inspiring use of the mythical dragon and unicorn, symbols of antiquity, help give young readers a perspective of the age of these old-growth forests. . . . When reading this magical book, the reader can't help but notice the author's use of borders to enhance and enrich the story. These intricate and detailed paintings provide portraits of the many creatures and plants that rely on the forests for their sustenance. . . . The Dragon and the Unicorn is in the grandest tradition of fairy and folklore." Excerpt of review in Nature's Course (March/April 1996) published by CCEL.

        Grades: 1st to 5th

  Earth Book For Kids

by Linda Schwartz

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Pollution & Sustainability
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Earth Book for Kids is a comprehensive activity book for children that introduces basic environmental concepts and includes numerous creative ideas to help heal the Earth. From making their own paper and creating a trash sculpture to comparing phosphate levels in detergents, testing the effects of an oil spill, measuring the acidity of rainwater and charting the use of water at home, kids can gain a deeper understanding of the range of environmental issues as well as find creative suggestions to save their planet. Accompanied by charts and black and white illustrations, the informative text includes sections on: Energy, Resources and Recycling; Air, Land and Water; Plant and Animal Habitats; and, More Ways to Make Every Day Earth Day.

See also:
The Earthworks Group's The New 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth

      Grades: 3rd & up

  Earth Day

by Linda Lowery

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Extinction & Conservation
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

Introduced with a foreword by Gaylord Nelson, this book briefly traces the reasons for the founding of Earth Day in 1970 and its celebration twenty years later. Former Senator Gaylord Nelson's concern about pollution and the joint efforts of Denis Hayes to draw public and government attention to environmental problems led to the formation of Earth Day 1970. Following a period of legislative reform, the establishment of the EPA and increased citizen involvement, the widespread global environmental deterioration that pervaded the Earth twenty years later sparked the celebration of Earth Day 1990 in over 140 countries. This book places the meaning of Earth Day in a basic, historical context and also provides children suggestions of ways for them to improve the environment in "How You Can Make Every Day An EARTH DAY".

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Earth Day Birthday

by Pattie Schnetzler

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes 

Based upon the verse and music of "Twelve Days of Christmas," Earth Day Birthday, a stunning picture book for young children, celebrates animals, the environment and Earth Day. Twelve types of North American animals – a bald eagle, grizzly bears, panthers, salmon, fawns, owls, whales, cranes, turtles, bison, seals and wolves – are vividly portrayed in close-up, realistic paintings within their scenic natural habitats, each species on large double-page spreads. A scene portraying a family cleaning up the litter of their picnic, set in a panoramic landscape with an eagle soaring overhead, ties in with the ending of the verse that on Earth Day, "as every day should be, we care for creatures as our family". Music and lyrics are included at the end of the book along with the background to Earth Day as well as brief suggestions for activities to celebrate the holiday.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Earth Matters: An Encyclopedia of Ecology

by David de Rothschild

HARDCOVER
The Living Earth
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

From the deserts to the oceans, from the polar regions to the jungles, Earth Matters is a visual exploration of the wonders of our fragile planet, an encyclopedia of ecology with spectacular color photography and a wealth of information about the biosphere. Starting with the “Big Bang” of the universe through the evolution of life in unique conditions on the "Goldilocks planet", readers can delve into the eight biomes or major life zones of the planet – polar regions, temperate forest, deserts, grasslands, tropical forest, mountains, freshwater and oceans. While investigating the ecosystems and the amazing biodiversity of these regions through photos, maps, charts and diagrams, at the same time, the fragility of the biosphere is emphasized by showing the human impacts of the overexploitation of resources, desertification, pollution and climate change. This is a celebration of the wonders of the unique Earth ecosystem that also points to practical ways of making a difference in our daily lives since "how we live in our small patch of the planet affects everything, everywhere."

This is a DK book "Made with Care"

See also:
Laurie David’s and Cambria Gordon’s, Down-To-Earth Guide to Global Warming
Marybeth Lorbiecki’s, Planet Patrol


In the Foreword to Earth Matters, David de Rothschild mentions his plans to publicize the problems facing the planet in the Plastiki Adventure when he sails in a boat made entirely out of recycled plastic bottles via the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Read more about the expedition in National Geographic's Adventure : Voyage of the Plastiki

To learn more about the East Garbage Patch of the Pacific Ocean, see:
Loree Griffin Burns’s, Tracking Trash


      Grades: 4th & up

  Earth-Friendly Holidays

by George Pfiffner

PAPERBACK
Field Guides & Activity Books
Environmental Themes  : Recycling & Composting

This year-round activity book provides ideas for making holiday gifts and decorations from reusable objects. Halloween Bird Masks and Skull Garlands, Kwanzaa Place Mats, Hanukkah Dreidels, Thanksgiving Leaf Garlands, Mother's Day Balloon Vases and Fabric Cards, Father's Day Bookmarks, Earth Day Soda Bottle Greenhouses, Christmas Photo Frames and Sugar Tree Ornaments, Valentine Carrot Necklaces, Easter Eggshell Centerpieces and Passover Matzo Covers -- these are a sampling of the 29 imaginative holiday projects that can be made out of already used materials. Detailed, step-by-step instructions with illustrations as well as a categorization of level of difficulty are provided for the fun-filled activities, all with a theme of being "earth-friendly".

      Grades: 3rd & up

  Earthsong

by Sally Rogers

HARDCOVER
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Based upon the author's song "Over in the Endangered Meadow" which was inspired by the traditional song "Over in the Meadow", this picture counting book introduces young children to eleven endangered animals throughout the world -- from the howling wolf pups in the Arctic tundra and the blowing, spouting right whale calf in the North Atlantic to the panda cubs chewing bamboo in China and the pouncing Bengal tiger cubs of the Bangladeshi jungles. Each page is resplendent with vibrant paintings of ocean, forest, jungle or desert landscapes that show the endangered animals in their habitats. "Notes on the Animals" which follows the text presents a brief write-up about each animal explaining the causes of their endangered status.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  EcoArt

by Laurie Carlson

PAPERBACK
Field Guides & Activity Books
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

Using nature’s bounty and treasures from trash, kids can create EcoArt from natural and recycled materials while also learning to value nature and the environment. These earth-friendly art and craft projects are designed for children 3 to 9 years old. Each activity complemented by simple black-and-white drawings is identified as to the approximate degree of difficulty involved. Besides activities for making recycled paper, homemade art and craft supplies, there are growing projects (forest terrarium in a soda bottle), numerous decorative items to craft (pomanders, twig animals, shell butterfly magnets), worlds to build (castles, play houses) as well as games to design (bean bag toss, boomerang).

      Grades: Preschool to 5th

  Ecology Crafts for Kids

by Bobbe Needham

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes
Field Guides & Activity Books 

In Needham’s comprehensive activity book, photographs of children are found on many pages showing them creating ecological crafts or being involved in a variety of activities to help the planet. The eco-friendly projects, using reused, recycled or natural materials, also include information to prepare natural clay and make a sawdust kiln, to set up backyard habitats to attract birds and small animals as well as ideas for Earth-friendly parties and for Earth Day celebrations, based on examples of what kids across the US have done to get involved. Detailed instructions are given for 50 creative projects -- how to use old eggshells to make mosaics, rocks to paint as toy houses, beach glass to create jewelry, twigs to construct a picture frame, barks to make miniature canoes and baskets, old newspapers to construct papier-mâché piñatas and paper bags to create flower pots. Kids can also learn about endangered species and habitats, read about the life of John Muir and the Sierra Club, find listings of environmental organizations and be inspired by stories of children getting actively involved to help the planet -- planting trees in their community or turning "trash" into treasures that are sold to adopt endangered species and habitats.

      Grades: 4th to 7th

  Endangered Planet

by David Burnie

HARDCOVER
The Living Planet
Environmental Themes 

Examining the state of the Earth’s biosphere, Endangered Planet of the Kingfisher Knowledge series introduces children to the recent human impact on the planet. The first of three sections "Fragile Earth " describes the unique conditions of our planet that enabled the evolution of life over time, the specialization of life for survival in particular habitats and the changes caused by natural factors. "Planet under Pressure" examines the impact brought about by growing human populations and industrialization – the destruction of habitat and loss of biodiversity, the production of waste, the pollution of water and air, the consumption of energy resources and the changes to climate. Citing examples of eco-friendly initiatives, the last of three sections, "Sustainable World," explores possible solutions to the conservation of resources, habitat and biodiversity. Captioned color photos, diagrams and maps as well as listings of websites and a glossary together combine with the informative text into a comprehensive introduction to the issues and challenges of sustaining the Earth’s biosphere.

        Grades: 4th to 8th

  The Environment

by Rosie Harlow and Sally Morgan

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes
Field Guides & Activity Books 

This book provides an excellent introduction for children to environmental science and to human impact on the planet, offering practical suggestions how to make the world a cleaner and safer place. Comprised of four abridged sections, each of which was first published as a separate book of the Young Discoverers Series, The Environment includes: energy and power, nature in danger, pollution and waste, and garbage and recycling. Illustrations, photographs as well as step-by-step activities broaden the understanding of important environmental issues. Several of the activities include creating smog in a glass jar, brewing tea with solar power, making a worm farm, testing rainwater for pollution, observing food chains, making a highway habitat mobile, making a plant holder out of a reused plastic bottle, recreating the greenhouse effect and cleaning up an oil spill.

For readers wanting specialized information and hands-on activities, the individual books of the Young Discoverers Series by Rosie Harlow and Sally Morgan are:
Energy and Power,
Nature in Danger,
Pollution and Waste, and
Garbage and Recycling

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  An Environmental Guide from A to Z

by Tim Magner

HARDCOVER
The Living Earth
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

From the Amazon Rainforest and Greenhouse Gases, through Habitats and Plankton, to the Rethink and Redesign Revolution and Zoo, An Environmental Guide from A to Z is a comprehensive alphabetical introduction to a wide range of topics about our biosphere. Magner not only delves into the workings of our planet by exploring the role of nature’s cycles, habitats, water, trees, worms, insects and mountains such as Kilimanjaro, but also includes individuals who have made important contributions to saving our planet – Jacques Cousteau, who drew attention to the wonders of the underwater world, John Muir, the founder of the Sierra Club, Paolo Lugari, who restored the South American wasteland of Gaviotas, Charles Darwin, who challenged ideas as to how nature evolved, Vo Quy, who restored tree habitats for birds after the wars in Vietnam, and, Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia, whose company is designed to minimize any impacts on nature. The concepts of Reducing and Recycling are expanded upon in the Rethink & Redesign Revolution that uses innovative ideas to make "things without creating pollution and landfill waste". Readers can also learn about the role of the sun and solar energy, the benefits of xeriscaping, native species, composting, urban farming and locally grown food as well as vegetarianism. Each topic is set against delicate watercolor illustrations adorned with floating leaves containing relevant questions. This is a wonderfully engaging book for kids to explore the interconnections and workings of nature as well as learn about ways to protect the Earth.

Printed on a mix of post-consumer waste recycled paper and FSC certified paper.

For younger children, see Tim Magner's N is For Nature: An Environmental Alphabet Book

      Grades: 3rd to 8th

  The Environmental Movement

by Laurence Pringle

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes

Tracing the evolution of the environmental movement from its roots in the seventeenth-century town meetings of New England, through the developments towards conservation and preservation at the turn of the twentieth century, to the focus on global issues at the end of the century, Pringle describes the significant historical events and major issues, the key figures – politicians, writers, thinkers, scientist and ordinary people --, the role of legislation and the differences of ideological approach. The majority of the book focuses on the last thirty years of the twentieth century, examining both the accomplishments and setbacks, the political agendas and legislation as well as the role of grassroot and national environmental organizations. Since the book was published in 2000, the last of the seven chapters, "Toward the Future" which discusses some of the trends and challenges that lie ahead for the environmental movement moving into the twenty-first century, does not encompass the most recent, very significant developments of U.S. environmental policy. However, this book provides a comprehensive overview of the history of the environmental movement up to 2000, supplemented by black-and-white photographs and illustrations, a listing of environmental groups and agencies, and suggestions for further reading of books that include decades-old classics that influenced environmental thought.

      Grades: 5th & up

  Everglades

by Jean Craighead George

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Prosaic text and stunning paintings show us five children in a dugout canoe in the Florida Everglades as a Seminole storyteller tells the story of the Everglades. He tells how it was formed over millions of years and of the creatures and plants that have lived there for centuries. . . . The storyteller also tells the human history of the Everglades -- of the first people, the Calusas, of the Spanish conquistadors, and the Seminoles -- of the hunters, the engineers, the farmers and developers." Excerpt of review in Nature's Course (January/February 1996) published by CCEL.



See also:
Trish Marx's Everglades Forever: Restoring America's Great Wetland
Jane Yolen's Welcome to the River of Grass
Madeleine Dunphy's Here Is the Wetland

        Grades: 1st to 4th

  The Extinct Alphabet Book

by Jerry Pallotta

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Twenty-six animals that once inhabited the Earth are presented by an informative text and bold illustrations. Excluding the more popular dinosaurs, Pallotta has instead chosen some unusual, extraordinary creatures, such as the five-eyed Opabinia, that will captivate readers of all ages. Fossilization and the mention of the causes of more recent extinctions are included.

Recommended in Nature's Course (November/December 1994) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  The Eyes of Gray Wolf

by Jonathan London

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Having lost his mate to a man's steel trap, Gray Wolf ventures through a snowy, moonlit landscape where scents, sights and sounds lead him to the trail of a snowshoe hare and eventually to a pack of wolves where he finds a new mate.

"The poetic prose written for lower elementary audience and magnificent drawings vividly depict the great beauty of the wolf. At the end of the book, the author lists many preservation groups and shows a map of the wolf's range in North America in the 1700's versus its range today." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (January/February 1999) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 5th

  Falcons Nest on Skyscrapers

by Priscilla Belz Jenkins

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

The conservation story of the comeback of peregrine falcons is recounted centering on Scarlett and her mate, Beauregard, whose nest on a Baltimore skyscraper contained the first wild peregrine eggs laid in the eastern United States in thirty years after the near extinction of these birds due to DDT. Simple, direct prose also describes the tremendous flight maneuvers of these birds of prey, their hunting skills as well as the work of the ornithologists at The Hawk Barn in saving the peregrine falcon.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  Farewell to Shady Glade

by Bill Peet

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Extinction & Conservation

The rumbling bulldozers which cut down the surrounding landscape of Shady Glade force a raccoon with his friends -- a skunk, possums, frogs and rabbits -- to leave their peaceful home and undertake an adventurous train ride in pursuit of a new tranquil existence. Peet's animated illustrations of the animal friends as they deliberate their fate and pursue their travels will delight readers of all ages.

Recommended in Nature's Course (Winter 1997-1998) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Fernando's Gift

by Douglas Keister

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Presented in a bilingual format of English and Spanish text alongside numerous color photos, Fernando’s Gift explores the daily life of a family living in the tropical rain forest of central Costa Rica. Fernando Vanegas lives with his family in a tin-roofed house deep in an old-growth rain forest where at night the sound of the rain on the roof sings him to sleep. Everyday he experiences the treasures of the rain forest -- he can pick bananas from the trees, search for parrots and squirrel monkeys, listen to howler monkeys, fish for trout, swim in the nearby river and with his school friend Carmina climb trees. After Fernando and Carmina discover that someone has cut down Carmina’s favorite tree, a cristobal, Fernando’s father, who works to preserve the rain forest, explains that not all people value the treasures of the forest. Together the children plant another cristobal tree in a safe, secret spot near a waterfall to watch it grow tall and strong.

See also: Sneed B. Collard III's, The Forest in the Clouds, that presents the unique fauna and flora of a cloud forest in the mountains of Costa Rica.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Flute's Journey

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Open this book and follow Flute the wood thrush from the day he emerges from his turquoise egg until he becomes a mature adult bird. Travel south with Flute across North America, to High Island in Texas, then across the Gulf of Mexico to the Yucatan Peninsula and his winter home in Costa Rica. Then follow him back to Maryland in the spring. Guided by Ms. Cherry's skillful text and lush, detailed paintings, youngsters will experience first hand a wood thrush's life -- what foods they eat, how they defend their territory, how they raise their young, their miraculous migration, and the hazards they face, such as hawks, cats, toxic chemicals and habitat loss." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (January/February 1997) published by CCEL.


See also:
Melissa Stewart's A Place for Birds
Nancy Carol Willis' Red Knot: A Shorebird's Incredible Journey
Carol Lerner's On the Wing: American Birds in Migration
Mary Lyn Ray's Welcome, Brown Bird

To learn more, visit:
The Smithsonian National Zoo's Migratory Bird Center
Journey North's Global Study of Wildlife Migration and Seasonal Change

To learn about how kids helped save Belt Woods, visit Lynne Cherry's website.

      Grades: 1st to 5th

  Fun With Recycling

by Marion Elliott

HARDCOVER
Field Guides & Activity Books
Environmental Themes  : Recycling & Composting

Instead of throwing away plastic, paper and cardboard, kids can make them into creative toys, fun games, decorative jewelry and colorful decorations. An explanation of techniques and templates are provided in the beginning of the book. Each activity includes step-by-step instructions complemented by color photos as well as larger color images of the completed projects. Among the variety of toys, puppets, games, musical instruments, jewelry and decorations that can be made, projects include: junk robots, wild west ranch, clothespin cowboys, space station, tanker truck, tin-can stilts, indoor snowstorm, paper-plate animal masks, pull-along snake, snake sock, pop-up or glove puppets, pinball table, button clacker, rhythm sticks, tambourine, drum, guitar, nail chimes, squeezy bottle dog book-ends, nature or cardboard frames, papier-mâché bowl, appliquéd scarf, patchwork pencil case, squeezy bottle bracelets, foil-bead pendant, rolled-paper beads, Christmas decorations, nature box, and straw or pine cone mobiles.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Gaia Girls: Enter the Earth

by Lee Welles

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

Gaia Girls: Enter the Earth, winner of the 2006 National Outdoor Book Award, is the first fantasy novel of a seven-book series that will follow the adventures of four girls in different regions of the world who take on supernatural powers to help heal the Earth. Author Lee Welles was inspired by British scientist James Lovelock’s Gaia theory to create a novel depicting the Earth as a living superorganism. Gaia, the living organism of the Earth, is personified by an otter who approaches Elizabeth Angier, a ten-year old girl living on her organic family farm, to take on the threat of the takeover of her rural community by an industrialized hog farm. Elizabeth is endowed with "the power over soil, rock and mountain top" and is able to communicate with trees and respond to life forms in the soil as she takes on the struggle to protect her sustainable farm and community. Readers, both young and old, will be enthralled to read about the adventures of this heroine and can look forward to following the stories of the other three girls as they take on their elemental powers of water, air or fire to stop destructive practices, help humanity and heal the planet.

In keeping with the environmental principles of the theme, the book was printed by Daisyworld Press on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Each chapter begins with a beautiful, realistic black-and-white drawing by Ann Hameister of the local flora and fauna of Upstate New York, the setting of the earth novel. The illustrations also contain hidden codes to solve puzzles.

See also: The second book of the series Gaia Girls: Way of Water.

For information about the Gaia Girls book series, visit http://www.gaiagirls.com

        Grades: 3rd & up

  Garden of the Spirit Bear

by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

The Great Bear Rainforest, an area of temperate rain forest located in the Canadian Pacific Northwest, provides the habitat for a unique type of black bear found exclusively in this region known as the Kermode or Spirit Bear. This old-growth forest is also home to other rare and endangered species. Writer and scientist, Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, explores the delicate ecosystem of this old-growth forest, its flora and fauna from the canopy to the forest floor, the unique traits of the Kermode, the importance of the old trees of this region, the key role of salmon as well as the Native peoples' relationship to the Spirit Bear. Hinshaw also points out the negative effects of the clear-cutting of forests and threats posed by logging to the remaining old-growth forests. Stunning, detailed watercolors by Deborah Milton illustrate the beauty of this fragile ecosystem, the magnificent and vanishing habitat of the Spirit Bear.

For more information, visit: Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Pacific Wild

      Grades: 3rd to 5th

  Global Warming

by Laurence Pringle

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Global Warming
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

Global Warming: The Threat of Earth's Changing Climate provides a well-illustrated introduction to the controversial issue of global warming for young readers. Science writer Pringle presents the causes of global warming as well as the repercussions to our planet from a climactic, ecologic and economic stance. The author examines topics including the greenhouse effect, the carbon cycle, the use of fossil fuels, the effects of deforestation and the repercussions of warming temperatures on the global scale. Color photographs, maps, diagrams, a glossary and a listing of sources for further reading supplement the text.

      Grades: 3rd to 8th

  Gone Forever!

by Sandra and William Markle

HARDCOVER
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

As an alphabet of extinct animals, this engrossing and thought-provoking book describes the complex issue of the extinction of various species -- extinction due to natural causes, but primarily in relation to human intervention and factors. This picture book includes descriptions of the behavior and habitat of extinct species once found in various regions of the world, most of which disappeared just during the last few centuries.

Vivid detailed illustrations and lively informative text describe extinct species of every letter of the alphabet: auroch, Atlas Bear, cisco, dodo bird, elephant bird, Palestinian painted frog, great auk, heath hen, Portuguese ibex, Arizona jaguar, Norfolk Island kaka, Barbary lion, moa, Oahu Nukupu'u, Syrian onager, passenger pigeon, quagga, Captain Maclear's rat, Steller's sea cow, Rodriguez greater tortoise, Utah Lake sculpin, Gull Island vole, Tasmanian wolf, xerces blue butterfly, Cuban yellow bat and Burchell's zebra.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  The Great Kapok Tree

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Flora : Trees & Forests
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"The animals who inhabit a certain rainforest tree beg a man with an ax to leave their tree standing. They take turns explaining how the tree provides for some aspect of their respective livelihoods. Eventually, the man begins to notice the beauty of the rainforest and its creatures, so he is persuaded to spare the tree. Brilliant watercolors depict the rainforest landscape and the animals who are affected by its desecration." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

Reviewed in Nature's Course (November/December 1993 & Winter 1997-1998 issues) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Here Comes the Garbage Barge!

by Jonah Winter

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Recycling & Composting
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

Take a hilarious trip with a barge full of 3,168 tons of rotting, stinking garbage that can’t find a place to dump its load. Based on a true event in 1987, this fictionalized account follows the Garbage Barge from Islip, New York, where the dumping of garbage in local landfills was outlawed, on its 162 day journey in its wanderings down South to North Carolina, past New Orleans, down to Mexico and Belize, back to Texas and Florida, until, hauling a load that "looked the saddest – and smelled the smelliest – of all", the barge returns to New York where its waste is finally incinerated. The innovative artwork by Chris Sickels of expressive polymer characters set in scenes made of found, reused items creates a hilarious bent to the absurdity of the scenario. A floating buoy carrying a sign emphasizes the environmental moral of the story – "Don’t Make So Much Garbage!!!"

See also:
Loree Griffin Burns' Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion
Ted Kooser's Bag in the Wind
Don Madden's The Wartville Wizard
Ellie Bethel's Michael Recycle

      Grades: Kindergarten & Up

  Home

by Jeannie Baker

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

In this wordless visual story of Jeannie Baker's exquisite collages, over the course of time as a child grows to a young adult, the view from her window also changes as people gradually reclaim their neighborhood. From a bleak urban setting filled with graffiti, billboards, decrepit buildings and fences, the view evolves into a beautiful, living city landscape filled with people, local native plants and animals. Australian artist Baker remarks in her endnote "But the choice is ours to make – having simply a place to live or, by understanding the land and caring for it, belonging to a living home."

See also: Jeannie Baker's Window, another wordless picture book of the artist's collages, which follows the scene through a boy's window as a natural landscape is replaced by urban development.

      Grades: Kindergarten & Up

  Horseshoe Crabs and Shorebirds

by Victoria Crenson

HARDCOVER
Animals : Spineless Creatures
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

For many years, hundreds of thousands of horseshoe crabs have made a journey each spring, crawling from the depths of Delaware Bay to the sandy shores to lay their eggs. The millions of green, pearly eggs on the beaches, fed upon by scavengers, are an especially important source of nourishment for starving migrating shorebirds traveling thousands of miles north from the tip of South America to their nesting grounds in the Arctic. This picture book explores an intricate food web as well as the life cycle of creatures that have been on the Earth even before the dinosaurs and whose eggs play a unique, key role in the survival of migrating shorebirds.

See also:
Ruth Horowitz's Crab Moon
Nancy Carol Willis' Red Knot: A Shorebird's Incredible Journey

To learn more about efforts to save horseshoe crabs and shorebirds, visit:

ERDG's Horseshoe Crab Conservation Network
Delaware Audubon's Horseshoe Crab Sanctuary

        Grades: 2nd to 4th

  How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate

by Lynne Cherry and Gary Braasch

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Global Warming

Here is the science behind the headlines: evidence from flowers, butterflies, birds, frogs, trees, glaciers and much more, gathered by scientists from all over the world, sometimes with assistance from young "citizen scientists;" also presenting what can be done to learn about climate change and to take action to make a difference. (Dawn Publications)


See also:
Carol Manor's A Teacher's Guide to How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate , a resource for parents and educators to help explore global warming through engaging lessons and classroom activities. (Dawn Publications)
Kathleen Simpson's Extreme Weather: Science Tackles Global Warming and Climate Change , from the National Geographic Investigates Science series.

        Grades: 5th to 8th

  The Hunter

by Paul Geraghty

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Discovering a young elephant by the side of its dead mother, Jamina sees something of the sorrow a hunter can cause. As she tries to help the baby elephant, we travel with her. From the details of a yellow and black dragonfly perched on a wet fern to the expanses of African plains silhouetted against orange sky, these dramatic illustrations focus on the small details as well as the great open spaces where large elephant herds once roamed. The Hunter helps us to see each elephant as an individual and, hence, better empathize with its plight." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (November/December 1994) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming

by Al Gore

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Global Warming
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

Adapted for the generation of the 21st century, this book is based upon Al Gore’s noted documentary film that convincingly presents the crisis of Global Warming. Citing numerous examples of the dramatic planetary changes, Gore explains the climate crisis, its causes and the consequences to all of life on our planet for our not taking action to put a stop to Global Warming. Striking photographs from around the world include images of droughts, storms, and the rapid melting of mountain glaciers and polar ice caps; graphs depict the drastic increase of carbon dioxide concentrations since the industrial era and the enormous increases in temperature during the past fifty years; maps and diagrams portray regions of melting of polar ice as well as areas of coastlines that will be affected by rising sea levels. Through this knowledge of the human-caused planetary changes and the hopeful fact that by our choices each of us can become part of the solution, Gore calls upon young readers to make the 21st century "a time of renewal by seizing the opportunities that are bound up in this crisis" to preserve the health of our beautiful planet for generations to come.

Printed on chlorine-free paper -- 30% postconsumer waste; virgin fibers grown under a certified forestry management system.

To learn more visit ClimateCrisis.net

See also:
Teaching About Climate Change: Cool Schools Tackle Global Warming , a resource for parents and educators for teaching fundamental concepts of Global Warming that provides tools to raise awareness and take action in the classroom and community setting. ( New Society Publishers )

        Grades: 5th to 8th

  Isabel's House of Butterflies

by Tony Johnston

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Eight year old Isabel lives in Michoacan, a mountainous area of Mexico where 300 square miles form a natural sanctuary for monarch butterflies. Every autumn thousands and thousands of monarch butterflies migrating from the North flock to winter in the oyamel tree outside of Isabel’s window in La Casa de las mariposas -- The House of Butterflies. Isabel and her family, the neighbors and tourists marvel at the miracle of migration and the beauty of these fluttering visitors as the sky becomes orange with wings and the dusty paths change transform into orange rivers. Over the years, Isabel’s family has managed to find subsistence, but a continuing drought over the summer and autumn brings a meager harvest of corn and beans. Due to logging, many of the oyamel trees of the surrounding area are already disappearing from the forests. To Isabel’s dismay her father reluctantly considers chopping their tree to support the family. With hope and determination Isabel manages to find a solution to save and share the beauty of La Casa de las mariposas. The framed, colorful, textured paintings of this Sierra Club picture book depicting the daily life of the family, the wondrous beauty of the overwintering monarchs and the surrounding natural landscape offer a brief glimpse into the life of a young girl in rural Mexico and the complex issues of poverty, sustainability and conservation.

See also:

Kathryn Lasky’s Monarchs
Laurence Pringle's An Extraordinary Life: The Story of a Monarch Butterfly
Bruce Coville's The Prince of Butterflies
Connie Muther’s My Monarch Journal -- an outstanding guide to raising monarchs that also includes a section for parents and teachers.

For more information, visit:
Journey North – a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change, including monarch butterflies.
Monarch Watch of the University of Kansas
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
Monarch Lab for monarchs in the classroom.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  It's Earth Day

by Mercer Mayer

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Recycling & Composting
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

After learning at school about Earth Day and how the changing climate is affecting polar bears, Little Critter looks for ways to stop the ice from melting. Readers can follow Little Critter at home and at school as he discovers ways to recycle and save energy and water and finds out why he should plant trees. Searching for ways to help the polar bears, he even attempts to make a "Climate Control Machine" to cool down the Earth.

Printed on recycled content.

See also: Jen Green's
Why Should I Protect Nature?
Why Should I Recycle?
Why Should I Save Energy?
Why Should I Save Water?

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  John Muir (People Who Have Helped the World Series)

by Sally Tolan

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes 

Published in 1990, John Muir: Naturalist, Writer and Guardian of the North American Wilderness is an excellent biography for older children about the founder of the Sierra Club who, as an early proponent of wilderness preservation, was influential in establishing America's national park system. Numerous photographs as well as quotes about and by Muir that are interspersed alongside the informative text together provide a comprehensive insight into the life, ideas and legacy of one of America’s most renown preservationists.

        Grades: 5th & up

  John Muir: America's Naturalist

by Thomas Locker

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes 

In the foreword to this picture book by Thomas Locker, Dr. Wayburn of the Sierra Club writes, "This book brings John Muir to all readers, both the young and the young at heart. " Focusing primarily, both in imagery and text, on the Yosemite years, this introductory biography provides a brief overview of the life of the American naturalist who, through his preservation work and influential writings, "changed the way many people think about the natural world". Locker’s landscapes reflect the beauty of the world Muir fought to protect, whereas the selection of quotes from his writings acquaint readers with Muir's views about Nature.

      Grades: 2nd to 5th

  Journey Through the Northern Rain Forest

by Karen Pandell

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Through the eyes of a bald eagle, the reader explores the disappearing world of the North American coastal temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. Stunning photographs show the rich diversity of life that abounds in the few remaining areas of this pristine cathedral-like habitat and the intricate interdependence of the web of life in this ecosystem -- the hanging gardens of moss and lichens, the spawning salmon in its streams, and the diverse flora and fauna that abound in the old-growth trees and snags as well as in the moss carpet of the forest floor. Rainfall and weather patterns as well as natural water management are also clearly explained as they relate to this unique ecosystem. Small insets to the photographs present the bald eagle's perspective of the illustrated scenarios, pointing out the interrelatedness of life to this habitat. Dedicating this book to the preservation of the vanishing rainforests, Pandell also describes the ravages inflicted on this intricate habitat as a result of clear-cut logging.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Just a Dream

by Chris Van Allsburg

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Pollution & Sustainability

"A young boy, fascinated with technology, can't find the time to be concerned about the fate of the environment until he has a dream that carries him off to the future of environmental neglect. Illustrations grimly depict the scenes of environmental destruction that he encounters in his dream. Upon waking, he is inspired to rearrange his priorities and learn how to be ecologically conscious. He learns how to properly sort the garbage for recycling and proudly boasts his best birthday present of the year -- a tree to plant in the garden." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

      Grades: Preschool & Up

  The Last Polar Bears

by Harry Horse

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes  : Global Warming

Through a series of extra-ordinary letters to the grandchild, Grandfather narrates his expedition to the North Pole in search of the last polar bears. Having seen a polar bear in a zoo without any icebergs to float upon, but unable to smuggle it out under his coat, he decides to see the bears in their natural habitat. Equipped with his bag of golf clubs, Grandfather and his talking dog, Roo, set out to the North Pole across sea and land and in their hilarious adventures encounter rambunctious wolves, rabbits, sheep (according to Roo), frozen seagulls, walrus, playful penguins (in the Arctic) and an eccentric snow poet/sculptor. The ice caps are melting and Grandfather is determined to find the last polar bears in this amusing, yet poignant, story.

        Grades: 4th & up

  Likeable Recyclables

by Linda Schwartz

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Recycling & Composting
Field Guides & Activity Books 

"Likeable Recyclables" offers children an endless array of fun-filled ways to take trash and turn it into treasures. Bags, bottles, boxes, cans, cartons and cups can be made into a variety of toys, games and art objects such as kachina dolls, castles, maracas, periscopes, animal figures, rockets, totem poles, vehicles, walkie-talkies and dollhouses. This book provides creative projects that also teach children to reuse and recycle.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  The Little House

by Virginia Lee Burton

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Pollution & Sustainability

The little house that watched the yearly change of seasons in the surrounding countryside eventually sees the effects of urban sprawl as roads and skyscrapers replace the trees and stars.

A Caldecott Medal winner (1943). Reviewed in Nature's Course (March/April 1995 & Winter 1997-1998 issues) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  The Lorax

by Dr. Seuss

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Extinction & Conservation

"The Once-ler is not well versed in sustainable industry, for he chops down all of the Truffala Tress to make garments call Thneeds which everyone needs. But the Lorax tries with all his might to convince the Once-ler that his methods aren't right. As the trees become thinner and soon disappear, the creatures take leave; but the Lorax stays near until the last tree is gone. Then he leaves in defeat. Just the Once-ler remains, though the landscape is beat. He'll tell you his tale, he may give you a seed, if you promise to give it whatever it needs. Then perhaps one day the land will be mended, along with the creatures the Once-ler offended. This is a timeless ecological classic!" From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

"The Lorax is a classic about greed, need and the destruction of a unique environment." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Winter 1997-1998) published by Also, reviewed in Nature's Course in the March/April 1995 issue. CCEL.

      Grades: 2nd to 3rd

  The Man Who Planted Trees

by Jean Giono

HARDCOVER
Flora : Trees & Forests
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This poetic, moving tale set in southern France describes a man who daily planted acorns in a desolate area of Provence and over time transformed the land into a magnificent oak forest. Taking place before and after the two world wars, this sublime tale of reforestation, complemented by beautiful woodcut engravings, will inspire both children and adults.

Recommended in Nature's Course (March/April 1993) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 6th and up

  Michael Recycle

by Ellie Bethel

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Recycling & Composting

Donned in a green cape and colander hat, super-hero Michael Recycle flies to the aid of Abberdoo-Rimey where all the garbage has made the town hazy and smelly and the people have become too lazy to clean up. After the green-caped crusader calls the people to action, telling them to recycle before the trash "reaches up to the moon", the quirky townsfolk come together and transform their town into a Green community. The fast-moving, rhyming prose with vivid, zany illustrations as well as Michael Recycle’s “Go Green Tips” can inspire environmental awareness in a fun-filled way for kids learning about recycling and conservation.

See also:
Nancy Elizabeth Wallace's Recycle Every Day!
Alison Inches' The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling

      Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Monarchs

by Kathryn Lasky

PAPERBACK
Animals : Spineless Creatures
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"On the leaf of a milkweed plant in Maine, a monarch butterfly lays a miniscule egg. Soon a caterpillar hatches, and before long a new butterfly flutters in the breeze. Within its lifetime this tiny monarch will fly more than two thousand miles on a mysterious migration south. On the way it will join millions of other migrating monarchs. At the end of their journey these monarchs will be greeted by people whose lives have been changed by their beauty and mystery. Every year in Pacific Grove, California, the townspeople hold a parade to welcome the butterflies after their arduous flight. And in a small village in Michoacan, Mexico, where millions of wintering butterflies hang from trees, the villagers are replacing logging with tourism to preserve the monarch's fragile habitat. Photographs by Christopher Knight offer a unique view of the life cycle of this fascinating butterfly and into the lives of people touches by its magic." Review in Nature's Course (November/December 1995) published by CCEL.

See also:

Tony Johnston’s Isabel's House of Butterflies
Laurence Pringle's An Extraordinary Life: The Story of a Monarch Butterfly
Bruce Coville's The Prince of Butterflies
Connie Muther’s My Monarch Journal -- an outstanding guide to raising monarchs that also includes a section for parents and teachers.

For more information, visit:
Journey North – a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change, including monarch butterflies.
Monarch Watch of the University of Kansas
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
Monarch Lab for monarchs in the classroom.

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Mother Earth

by Nancy Luenn

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes 

A message of respect for the planet is lyrically evoked through simple text and soft watercolor illustrations depicting the abundance, beauty and life of "Mother Earth", but also calling us "to use her gifts well and give back what we can."

        Grades: 1st to 3rd

  My Life with the Chimpanzees

by Jane Goodall

PAPERBACK
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This book is a fascinating autobiographical account by the famous ethologist, a scientist who studies animal behavior, of her childhood fascination with animals that developed later into her renown research of chimpanzees. In engrossing, lucid and direct prose, Goodall describes her association with anthropologist Louis Leakey, the events leading to her journey to Africa, her encounters in the forests of Tanzania with African wildlife and her field observations of chimpanzees in Gombe National Park, noting their behavior, social structure, intelligence and close link to the human species. Expressing her views on a wide range of environmental and conservation issues, Goodall addresses the book directly to young people hopefully encouraging and challenging them to make this a better world for both human and non-human animals.

For more information, visit www.janegoodall.org

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Nature's Green Umbrella: Tropical Rain Forests

by Gail Gibbons

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This lucid, factual introduction for young children to the rain forest ecosystem includes labeled illustrations of the flora and fauna of the various layers as well as a discussion of the importance of the preservation of these habitats.

        Grades: 2nd & Up

  The New 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth

by The EarthWorks Group and Sophie Javna

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Recycling & Composting
Field Guides & Activity Books 

This is the revised edition of the EarthWorks Group's 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth that was originally published in 1990. John Javna and his daughter Sophie have updated this popular book for the internet savvy youth and have compiled a valuable source that provides a wealth of information for kids to deal with their carbon footprint. The book provides tons of facts, hundreds of internet links to environmental web sites, eco-experiments, quizzes and numerous activities for the home and school to help save the Earth.

Printed on recycled paper with soy inks.

To learn more, visit the EarthWorks Group's website: 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do To Save The Earth

      Grades: 3rd & up

  The North Pole Was Here: Puzzles and Perils at the Top of the World

by Andrew Revkin

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Global Warming

Recounting his three day visit to the North Pole in the company of scientists who are studying the changing climate of the region, New York Times science reporter, Andrew Revkin takes readers on a fascinating exploration of the Arctic interweaving his personal experiences and observations with the history, ancient lore, mythology and the current focus of scientific research of the Arctic’s changing climate. Amidst the author's personal observations of survival in the harsh icy climate, readers can learn about the perils faced by some of the earliest explorers since the sixteenth century as they ventured across a cap of constantly shifting, drifting ice in search of the North Pole.

In recent years, although temperatures have increased over the planet, the Arctic region in particular is “exhibiting some of the most dramatic shifts in climate seen anywhere on earth”. Revkin examines the current scientific findings of climatologists and oceanographers of their research in the Arctic which holds hidden pieces of the puzzle of past climatic and atmospheric conditions, some of which are recorded in the depths of glaciers or beneath the underwater seabed. The scientists with whom Revkin traveled are monitoring the interaction between the atmosphere, the floating ice and the sea to understand why, with the global warming trend, climatic conditions have recently been changing more dramatically in the North Pole than in the rest of the planet. According to some scientists, the rapid increase of temperature in the Arctic causing the melting of the ice cap could set off a strong cascade of further global warming. The author, pondering the idea of a planet later in this century where in the summer the Arctic Ocean might become mainly open blue water and there would be only one icy pole in the South, writes: "It would be a signal visible far into space that the earth has – to a significant extent – become what one species chooses to make it." In increasing the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, the impact of humans is no longer simply local, but global, even to the farthest reaches of the poles. Revkin notes, "Most experts also agree that if prompt actions are not taken to cut the rising flow of heat-trapping gases linked to warming, the odds will only mount that earth’s climate could shift in truly profound ways later in this century."

This compelling and thought-provoking book is a fascinating read both for older children and adults to learn first hand what it is like to experience the Arctic, to imagine what explorers of old seeking the North Pole must have undergone and to consider what the profound implications of global warming might mean for the future of the planet. Excerpts from The New York Times articles on related topics are also included to supplement the chapters as well as color photographs of Revkin’s trip and of other scientific and exploratory expeditions, period photos, maps and scientific illustrations.

See also:
Laurence Pringle's Global Warming,
Anne Rockwell's Why Are the Ice Caps Melting?
Jonathan Grupper's Destination: Polar Regions

For further information visit:
Arctic Climate Impact Assessment -- scientific reports reviewing the changing conditions around the North Pole.
Polar Trec -- an educational research project of Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating in the Arctic and Antarctic, and
International Polar Year 2007-2009 -- a major international science initiative in the Polar Regions.

        Grades: 6th and up

  On the Brink of Extinction: The California Condor

by Caroline Arnold

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"This information-packed text tells the dramatic story of the struggle to save one endangered species. Because of habitat loss, shooting, and poisoning by DDT, California Condor populations dwindled, despite everything scientists could learn or do to help birds in the wild. Captive breeding seemed to be the last hope. Color photographs reveal the fascinating but difficult steps required to raise an adult bird from one small, vulnerable egg. The ultimate message is hopeful, with pictures of soaring condors making clear the ultimate goal: reestablishing the birds in the wild." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (November/December 1994) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Once a Wolf

by Stephen R. Swinburne

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

" 'Hatred of wolves goes far back in history. As soon as people began raising livestock, wolves became the enemy and the symbol of savagery. In 5,000 B.C., the earliest farmers of Asia killed wolves to protect cattle, sheep and other domestic animals. Aesop, a slave living in Greece around 600 B.C. wrote many stories that painted the wolf as a cunning and greedy beast.' So begins this amazingly comprehensive, thoroughly researched, and compelling book for older elementary children. It is beautifully illustrated with photographs by Jim Brandenburg, one of the world's finest wildlife photographers. ... Brandenburg sets up camp near the wolves until they go about their lives virtually ignoring him and providing us with remarkable and candid views of a wolf's everyday life." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Winter 1999) published by CCEL.

Swinburne eloquently presents the wolf of legend and the wolf of fact, tracing the myths that have almost destroyed a species and describing the studies and efforts raised since the 1930's to save the wolf from extinction. Numerous images -- photographs as well as illustrations, some from archives of history -- complement the text bringing to light the preponderant attitudes of humans worldwide towards the wolf as a "beast of waste and desolation" and contrasting the more recent work of conservationists and scientists who have studied the important role of the wolf in the web of life as well as who strive to restore this mammal to its habitat. As part of the "Scientist in the Field" Series, this book also affords an informative perspective for children of the research and field study of scientists involved in restoring the wolf to Yellowstone Park.

        Grades: 5th to 8th

  One Less Fish

by Kim Michelle Toft & Allan Sheather

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Counting down from 12 to 0 in rhymed couplets, children learn about the fascinating varieties of tropical fish found in Australia's Great Barrier Reef as well as the threats posed to their continued existence. Although the Great Barrier Reef has been protected by law, this book was written as a cautionary tale to show the dangers posed to the fragile ecosystem of coral reefs that are unprotected -- where fish disappear, one by one. Accompanying paragraphs to the couplets describe in greater detail for older readers various threats to the survival of a coral reef, such as oil spills, pesticides & overfishing. Toft's vibrant illustrations, executed in ink and dyes on silk, mirror the beauty, color and diversity of the reef habitat The text is followed by detailed information about the various species of fish illustrated as well as a glossary.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  One Well: The Story of Water on Earth

by Rochelle Strauss

HARDCOVER
Water & Its Cycle
Environmental Themes 

Portraying the water of the Earth as coming from one global source that is the One Well, this vividly illustrated book provides a wealth of information about the importance of water to life as well as the necessity of conserving and protecting this precious resource. Rochelle Strauss, author of Tree of Life, points out that the amount of water on Earth is constant, that the water that existed at the beginning of the Earth is the same as now, and "because it is all connected, how we treat the water in the well will affect every species on the planet, including us, now and for years to come."

This fascinating book examines a wide array of topics on water, including: the water cycle, the importance of water in sustaining all life and how plants and animals also play a role in the water cycle; the integral role of water in habitats; the dependence of life on freshwater which comprises 3% of the water on Earth and of which only 1% is accessible; the rapidly increasing, unsustainable demand by growing populations, industry and agriculture for this resource; the uneven distribution of water throughout different parts of the world; and, the increasing pollution of the One Well. Numerous sidebars offer further information such as the fact that humans are 70% water, that one-third of the human population has access to only one-tenth of the world’s freshwater supply, and that 1.8 million tonnes of garbage are dumped into the Earth’s water everyday.

To protect the Earth’s One Well, Strauss encourages children to become "Well Aware" -- to learn more about the Well, to educate others, to use less water and to protect this resource through actions at home and the community. "Notes to Parents, Guardians and Teachers" includes a discussion of issues besides overconsumption that threaten Earth’s One Well including habitat destruction, global warming and climate change. While encouraging stewardship and responsibility in children to become Well Aware, adults will also "foster a sense of compassion and understanding for the needs of people around the world, as well as other species and habitats."

For more information visit: World Water Day 2007

See also:
Rochell Strauss' Tree of Life,
Barbara Kerley's A Cool Drink of Water,
Meredith Hooper's The Drop in My Drink,
Eleonore Schmid's The Water's Journey, and
Mark Rauzon and Cynthia Overbeck Bix's Water, Water Everywhere

      Grades: 3rd & up

  Our Big Home

by Linda Glaser

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes 

Linda Glaser and illustrator Elisa Kleven created this "Earth poem" with the hope "that their vision of Earth as the shared home of all peoples and animals and plants will offer the world's children a deeper understanding of humankind's responsibility to care for our planet." The lyrical verse and delicate drawings of water, sun, soil, air and sky show children their co-existence with other living beings and their role as caretakers of this unique and beautiful planet.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Our Choice: How We Can Solve the Climate Crisis

by Al Gore

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Global Warming
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

As a follow-up to Inconvenient Truth that explained the concept of global warming and climate change, Nobel Prize winner Al Gore’s Our Choice describes how viable solutions using the science and technology that already exists can solve the climate crisis. This is an action plan, crossing disciplines, politics and national boundaries, to create a cooperative, collective will and wisdom globally. Besides the different forms of alternative energy that are available, the role of forests, soil and population are examined. Complemented by numerous photographs, maps and charts, this "Young Readers Edition" lucidly explains the crisis, its solutions and how acting together we can save our planet.

        Grades: 3rd to 8th

  Our Ocean Home

by Robert Lyn Nelson

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Honu, a green sea turtle, takes children into the brilliant underwater world of the oceans to present the wondrous diversity and fragility of sea life and to emphasize the importance of conserving the oceans of the world. Nelson’s vivid artwork details the wonders and beauty of the ocean habitat around the globe.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  A Place for Birds

by Melissa Stewart

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

A Place for birds is more than just an introduction to birds – it examines a variety of environmental issues that have affected bird populations and describes ways people have joined together to help birds. Twelve different species of North American birds are pictured in vivid, colorful, double-page paintings, depicted in natural habitats, rural landscapes and cityscapes. Maps have also been included to show the range of each species. The author Stewart notes, " sometimes people do things that make it hard for birds to live and grow. " Common murres were harmed by oil spills and the bald eagle by pesticides; populations of the spotted owl have declined due to logging of the old-growth forests; and, native habitats of the crested honeycreepers of Hawaii were destroyed by pigs and goats that escaped from farms. Every year many songbirds, including Northern cardinals, are harmed by cats. People of different ages and backgrounds have joined together to protect birds: by providing nesting boxes for the Eastern bluebird, by protecting grasslands of an air reserve base for nesting grasshopper sparrows, by fencing off the beach nesting sites of piping plovers, by dimming the lights of buildings in Chicago during the hermit thrush migration and by restoring native habitat for the Kirtland’s Warbler. Children in a Florida elementary school spent five years to raise money to purchase twenty acres of scrubland habitat for the Florida Scrub Jay. Since animals rely on birds as a food source and plants depend on birds to spread their seeds, people can help nature by planting gardens that protect birds.

See also:
Melissa Stewart's A Place for Butterflies

To learn about creating a wildlife habitat, visit: The National Wildlife Federation

To learn more about birds, see also:
Pete Salmansohn and Stephen W. Kress' Saving Birds: Heroes Around the World
Mel Boring's Birds, Nests & Eggs
Roger Tory Peterson's Peterson First Guide to Birds of North America

      Grades: 2nd to 5th

  Planet Patrol

by Marybeth Lorbiecki

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Introducing the basic concepts of ecology as well as current major environmental issues, Planet Patrol is a positive kids’ action guide to take care of the Earth. Readers can find out how to get involved in protecting the planet "from overuse and abuse" through lots of interesting facts and numerous action tips -- air testing, water mapping, soil examination, local species observation, household water flow charting, composting and everyday energy conservation. Along with explanations of issues, real-life examples are cited of kids involved in direct action -- through the United States, Canada and as far away as Kenya, Egypt and Indonesia -- who worked with teachers, parents, group leaders and scientists, participating in research and projects to restore habitats, save species and make this a cleaner planet.

In the first two sections, "Wildlife Watch" and "Eco Challenges", readers can learn about animals, plants, habitats and sustainable farming as well as the threats to the Earth from pollution, climate change and deforestation. The third section of the book, "Daily Defense," gives pointers how to take direct action to protect the planet through conservation, recycling and responsible choices in shopping. Numerous photos and cartoon drawings are interspersed amongst the informative text in magazine format of this inspiring and fascinating action guide for children to care for the Earth.

        Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai

by Claire A. Nivola

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This is an inspiring picture-book biography of a remarkable woman, Wangari Maathai, who is the founder of the Green Belt Movement and 2004 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. In her native Kenya and throughout the world she has taught many people to plant trees and care for the Earth. The lyrical prose and watercolor illustrations follow Maathai from her childhood when she observed the bountiful landscape of Kenya, through her college years in Kansas where she studied biology, to her return to a transformed homeland where she found the people malnourished and the land cleared of trees, ruined by commercial farming and threatened by desertification. Maathai's relentless courage and determination led to the planting of millions of tress, the restoration and renewal of the land and its people as well as the flourishing of small farms in her native Kenya.

Printed on Recycled Paper.

To learn more, visit: The Green Belt Movement

Join Wangari Maathai in Plant for the Planet Campaign to plant at least one billion trees worldwide each year.

See also:
Jeanette Winter's Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa to learn more about Wangari Maathai and the African women who helped her plant trees.

      Grades: 1st to 4th

  The Polar Bears Are Hungry

by Carol Carrick

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Global Warming

This is an endearing story of a mother polar bear struggling to care for her cubs in the Arctic. As temperatures rise, the task of finding food, primarily seals, to feed herself and her cubs becomes a difficult task. As a result, the mother bear and her two cubs end up scavenging in areas where humans live to find food. In the "Author's Note", Carrick examines the importance of hunting specifically on ice in order for polar bears to catch seals and mentions the affects of global warming in shortening the ice hunting season, thereby leaving mother polar bears in a weakened condition to feed their cubs.

For more information about polar bears, visit World Wildlife Fund's Polar Bear Tracker.

To help protect the polar ice caps, visit NRDC's BioGems Polar Bears on Thin Ice to find a Kid's Polar Action Guide.

See also: Nicola Davie's, Ice Bear: In the Steps of the Polar Bear,
Jonathan Grupper's Destination: Polar Regions,
Jonathan London's, Ice Bear and Little Fox, and
Jane Yolen's, Welcome to the Ice House.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  The Prairie Builders

by Sneed B. Collard III

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

The Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa is the site of a project begun in 1992 to rebuild the native tallgrass prairie, the regional ecosystem that once was the dominant natural habitat for an abundance of plant and animal species in the Midwest stretching from Ohio to North Dakota and Minnesota to Texas. The author notes, "Grasses up to twelve feet tall fed elk, deer, pronghorn, and between 30 and 75 million bison, or buffalo." By collecting native seeds, using controlled burn to stimulate growth of new prairie plants and reintroducing native species of buffalo, elk as well as the elusive Regal Fritillary butterfly, a dedicated group of scientists and volunteers worked over several years to reestablish a destroyed regional ecosystem and gradually witnessed its rebirth as the site of the largest national prairie reconstruction. Collard chronicles their efforts providing an insightful overview complemented by color photographs into the complexities of the process in bringing back the tallgrass prairie that had almost completely vanished from the North American landscape.

For more information, visit Friends of the Prairie Learning Center, Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge at: www.tallgrass.org

See also: Jim Brandenburg's An American Safari
Dorothy Hinshaw Patent's, Fire: Friend or Foe, and
Sneed Collard III's Butterfly Count

        Grades: 4th to 8th

  Prince William

by Gloria Rand

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Pollution & Sustainability

"A young girl ventures to the beach in the aftermath of the Alaskan oil spill and finds a young seal pup on the shore, coated with oil. She and her mother rush the pup to a rescue center in the town's gym. They monitor his progress, and accompany the doctor when he goes to set the rehabilitated seal free. Bright and vibrant illustrations chronicle the young girl's relationship to Prince William the seal, and record the devastating effects of this environmental catastrophe." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

"Although fictional, this story has its base in fact and it personalizes the great suffering experienced by wildlife as a result of such spills as the Exxon Valdez in Alaska which have destroyed many animals and the habitats and food necessary for their survival." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (September/October 1994) published by CCEL.

See also:
Sally Grindley's Peter's Place,
Jacqueline Briggs Martin's Washing the Willow Tree Loon, and
Melvin Berger's Oil Spill!

      Grades: 1st to 3rd

  Professor Angelicus Visits the Big Blue Ball

by L.B.B. Ward

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

This engrossing adventure novel takes readers on a magical journey of the imagination while presenting important social and environmental issues. Two children and a dog try to help Professor Angelicus search for pure water to fuel his spaceship so that he could return to his home planet. However, they must travel far and wide on the globe to find the clean water and along the way encounter a variety of fascinating characters. During their travels the children also learn about the delicate balance of the world and the intricate web of life as well as a variety of environmental issues -- air and water pollution, acid rain, deforestation, poaching, extinction and ozone depletion. This voyage of discovery through skies, cities, towns, rainforests and seas will spark the imagination of readers while inspiring hope, compassion and sharing as well as the necessity of protecting our planet, "the Big Blue Ball".

      Grades: 3rd & up

  Rachel Carson: Preserving a Sense of Wonder

by Joseph Bruchac & Thomas Locker

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes 

Carson’s lifelong sense of wonder for the natural world unfolds in this lyrical picture book biography by Joseph Bruchac that follows her early fascination of nature as it develops through her life into her writings about the mysteries of the ocean and later into the call for the preservation of the intricate web of life in her book, Silent Spring. The brief, lyrical text is complemented on each facing page by Locker’s luminous, expansive landscapes and seascapes as well as close-ups of wildlife, evoking the sense of wonder of the natural world that Carson valued and sought to preserve. A selection of quotes from Carson’s writings about nature is found in the "Endnotes".

      Grades: 2nd to 5th

  Rachel Carson: Voice for the Earth

by Ginger Wadsworth

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes 

Wadsworth’s illuminating biography, spanning Carson’s life from her childhood in rural Pennsylvania through her studies and professional career in writing and marine biology, to her popular publications about the sea, and to her final battle with cancer at the time of the controversial publication of Silent Spring, provides a comprehensive insight for older children into the life, personality and work of this eminent environmentalist. Excerpts from her correspondence, lectures and best-selling publications as well as numerous black-and-white photographs offer a deeper understanding of Carson’s early sense of wonder of the natural world, her poetic writing that brought the beauty and mystery of the ocean world to the public, her profound concern of environmental issues, and the historical significance of the publication of Silent Spring.

      Grades: 5th to 9th

  Rachel: The Story of Rachel Carson

by Amy Ehrlich

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes 

Highlighting twelve episodes in Carson’s life, Ehrlich’s picture book biography sketches the life of the influential writer and scientist, offering glimpses of Carson’s love of the woods, sea and writing, her concern to preserve the intricate web of life and the influence of her writings, in particular Silent Spring. Minor’s exquisite full-page watercolor and gouache illustrations add depth to the portrait, complementing the lucid prose through vivid settings, primarily of seascapes of the New England coast.

        Grades: 3rd to 5th

  Reading the Earth

by David R. Brower

HARDCOVER
The Living Earth
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Written by the late David Brower, this "Story of Wildness" takes children on a voyage through time -- from the Earth's origins through its amazing physical and biological transformations up to the recent appearance of humans. Narrating the story to three children, Brower notes the tremendous impact humans have made on the planet in recent history, but also instills the sense of wonder of the amazing design of life itself. He calls on the children to understand and help preserve the "wildness" of the Earth that sustains all life. The full-page illustrations show the four characters on their engrossing voyage through time and place, whereas "More About the Earth's Wildness" that follows the story offers deeper insight into related topics for older readers.

      Grades: Preschool & up

  Recycle!: A Handbook for Kids

by Gail Gibbons

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Recycling & Composting

The process of recycling for glass, cans, paper, plastic and polystyrene is explained to children from start to finish along with facts about the use of natural resources, the benefits of recycling and the effects of non-biodegradable products such as polystyrene on the environment. The bright colorful drawings as well as the lucid text provides a basic, informative handbook for children about recycling.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Recycled Crafts Box

by Laura Martin

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Recycling & Composting
Field Guides and Activity Books 

Old sneakers, gift wrap, blue jeans, plastic bottles, grocery bags, metal cans, socks, yogurt cups -- items that often end up in landfills can be transformed into all kinds of new and imaginative creations. Besides describing 40 earth-friendly projects and activities using recycled materials, this activity book also provides an insight into the background, manufacture and recycling of paper, plastic, metal and fabric as well as suggesting ways to cut back on trash and to recycle. A "Trash Timeline" starting in the early 1800’s follows the invention of disposable products that have made life more convenient, but have also significantly increased the amount of trash generated. Sidebars mention artists that have used recycled materials to create works of art. Color photos, diagrams and step-by-step instructions are included for a variety of projects that include: "Boot-iful Shoe Garden" made from an old sneaker or shoe; "Fancy Foil Fish" mobile assembled out of aluminum pie pans; "Rag Coasters and Bowls" created out of old clothing and fabric; "Buzz the Bottle Bug," a plastic bottle critter; "Paper Bead Bangles" that are made from used gift wrap or old magazines; "Dancing Tin Can Man" created from cans and aluminum pie plates; and, "Shoe Box Treasure Chest" that is decorated with old trinkets, used gift wrap, scraps of colored paper and old greeting cards. This is a great resource to create treasures out of trash that are "fun, funny, exciting, and even beautiful," while also learning how to protect the planet.

See also: Bobbe Needham's Ecology Crafts For Kids
Laura Martin's other activity book, Nature's Art Box: From t-shirts to twig baskets, 65 cool projects for crafty kids to make with natural materials you can find anywhere

      Grades: 1st to 7th

  Red Knot

by Nancy Carol Willis

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Follow the amazing annual migration of a red knot shorebird as it makes a 20,000 mile round-trip voyage from Tierra del Fuego, at the tip of South America, past the Brazilian Amazon to the Arctic tundra where it nests and raises its young. During the hemisphere-long journey, this bird stops at several shores to replenish its energy by feeding on mussels, worms and clams alongside other shorebirds. The timing of its arrival in Delaware Bay coincides with the annual spawning of horseshoe crabs whose eggs are a valuable source of food to these migratory birds. Besides information about the banding of birds, other sandpipers and shorebird species, a glossary, chronological presentation and range map, this illustrated picture book also includes information about the importance of Delaware Bay to the survival of this species as well as the conservation efforts to protect the plummeting numbers of the red knot. As a result of the effects of food shortages, loss of habitat, predation and bad weather, the red knot population has fallen from 100,000 in 1994 to 13,500 in 2005.

See also:
Victoria Crenson's Horseshoe Crabs and Shorebirds: The Story of a Food Web

To learn more about red knots, visit:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds

To learn more about the efforts to save red knots, horseshoe crabs and other shorebirds, visit:
BirdLife International
American Bird Conservacy
Endangered Species Coalition
ShorebirdWorld
The Shorebird Project
ERDG's Horseshoe Crab Conservation Network
Friends of the Red Knot

        Grades: 1st to 4th

  Red Wolf Country

by Jonathan London

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"She-Wolf has a secret. She and her mate are on the move, traveling through wetlands and snow covered forests. The earth stands still to listen to their song as they howl beneath the moonlit sky. They hunt together preying upon rabbits or swamp crabs. They are in search of a den. As they near a farmhouse a farmer shoots at them and they lunge into a cold icy river to escape. Struggling to survive, they search for higher and more distant lands far from humans. In spring their pups are born and we are left hoping that humans will allow them to live in their world.

Jonathan London magnificently captures the spirit of these great creatures while Daniel San Souci's illustrations reflect the true beauty of the endangered red wolf. In 1987, red wolves were released into wilderness areas. Now over one hundred inhabit the lands of 'Red Wolf Country': Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Bull Island, Horn Island, St. Vincent Island and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Roland Smith, the former red wolf species coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service writes in an afterword an informative history about the red wolf." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Winter 1999) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Rising Sun

by Tricia Garwood & Frank Hajcak

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

The experiential and spiritual journey of a Native American youth is presented in this picture book through evocative lyrical prose and beautiful paper cut-out illustrations that bring children the message of their connection with the rest of nature. Rising Sun leaves his home to pursue a quest for wisdom and to understand what one must know to live a worthy life. His journey unfolds the beauty of the world and instills in him a love of nature and the knowledge of the importance of protecting the chain of life to which all belong. Having learned these valuable lessons, he returns to teach his wisdom and understanding to his people. This eloquent book will appeal not only to preschoolers but also through its poetic and fundamental message to readers of all ages. (Printed in USA on recycled paper.)

      Grades: Preschool & up

  A River Ran Wild : An Environmental History

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Extinction & Conservation

"The Native American Indians settle on the Nashua River, named for its crystal clear water. Years later, the European settlers begin the industrialization that eventually renders the river polluted, until the committed efforts of a few individuals restore the river to a healthy state. Large, detailed illustrations serve as a beautiful companion to this compelling story. Smaller pictures surrounding the text of each page offer images of people, places, objects, and events associated with each period of the river's history." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

"A River Ran Wild is an environmental history of the Nashua River (in North-Central Massachusetts) from the time that the first human beings settled there to the present. It explores the history of ideas, of culture, of technology and of human action." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (September/October 1993) published by CCEL.

        Grades: 1st to 5th

  Salmon Creek

by Annette LeBox & Karen Reczuch

HARDCOVER
Animals : Fish
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Lyrical text and full-page illustrations follow the life cycle of Sumi, a Coho salmon, in this moving picture book. The voyage takes readers from Sumi's birth in a creek of the Pacific Northwest and her trip down a river to her new home in the ocean which she inhabits until her determined journey several years later back to her birthplace where she spawns and dies. "Home is the scent of cedar and creek. Home is the journey's end." -- words she heard at the beginning of her life which she sings later to her own eggs. Factual life cycle follows the text and a description of the environmental threats facing Pacific salmon.

        Grades: 1st & up

  A Salmon for Simon

by Betty Waterton & Ann Blades

PAPERBACK
Animals : Fish
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Simon, a Pacific Northwest Native American boy, had been fishing all summer for salmon and had no luck catching a "Sukai". When an eagle accidentally drops a salmon into a clam hole pool, Simon discovers that instead he wants to try to save the big beautiful fish find its way back to the open sea. This is a simple touching story, richly illustrated, with a conservation theme for young children.

        Grades: Pre-School to 2nd

  Santa Claus Is Green!: How to Have an Eco-Friendly Christmas

by Alison Inches

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Recycling & Composting
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

The day after Christmas, having received a letter from a boy about the wasteful practices during Christmas, Santa decides to give a gift to the Earth. During the year the whole North Pole is transformed as Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves all work to make the presents and their practices more eco-friendly. As he gets ready to deliver his gifts, Santa even dons a bright green suit. This enchanting, humorous booklet, printed on 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper, provides many ideas to make the festive holiday season of decorations, gifts and treats more sustainable -- a holiday gift to the Earth.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Save the Earth Maze Book

by Roger Moreau

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Pollution & Sustainability
Field Guide & Activity Books 

The text and illustrations of twenty-one challenging mazes present issues of wildlife conservation and environmental protection. Each of three sections -- oceans & streams, wildlife, and pollution -- presents varied topics of environmental problems which are explored in different scenarios of mazes where one is challenged to save a dolphin entangled in nets, protect elephants & rhinos being hunted by poachers or stop pollution by industrial waste. This activity book provides a stimulating experience for children to learn about environmental issues as they tackle the mazes.

      Grades: 3rd to 5th

  Saving Birds: Heroes Around the World

by Pete Salmansohn and Stephen W. Kress

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Efforts to save six different species of birds threatened with extinction were undertaken by people throughout the world -- scientists, entertainers, farmers, indigenous peoples and children -- in cloud forests, islands, wetlands, cities and jungles. Salmansohn and Kress of the Audubon Society take readers around the globe to witness the work of these heroes: to China, where winter wetland feeding grounds for black-necked cranes are restored by the joint endeavors of impoverished villagers and farmers working with a nature refuge; to Israel, where children provide nesting boxes for lesser kestrels; to New Zealand, where scientists save one of the rarest songbirds, the black robin, from the brink of extinction; to Mexico, where entertainers educate and inspire local peoples to save the quetzal that is of cultural significance; to Malaysia where feathers for Sarawak native costumes using the rhinoceros hornbill are replaced by turkey feathers; and, to California, where common murres, of which a colony was killed by an oil spill, are aided by decoys to establish a new breeding colony on the cliffs of Devil’s Slide Rock. The photographic accounts examine the various causes of the decline of the birds – habitat destruction, deforestation, oil spills, chemicals poaching and hunting. The strategies described to save a species can at times involve creative approaches such as puppet shows, may require enduring patience over years of work to obtain successful results, and may also pose dangers such as risky maneuvers on and around steep cliffs. The dedication and hard work of these caring individuals throughout the world can serve as an inspiration to readers to help protect threatened bird species around the globe.

See also:
Pete Salmansohn and Stephen W. Kress' Project Puffin: How We Brought Puffins Back to Egg Rock
Pete Salmansohn and Stephen W. Kress' Giving Back to the Earth: A Teacher's Guide to Project Puffin and Other Seabird Studies Around the World
Linda Kenyon's Rainforest Bird Rescue
Pamela Hickman's Birds of Prey Rescue
Melissa Stewart's A Place for Birds
Bruce McMillan's A Beach for the Birds about Least Terns in Maine

To learn more about birds, visit:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds and Bird Sleuth
The National Audubon Society
The Audubon Seabird Restoration Program
BirdLife International

To learn more about the following birds, visit these websites:
Black Robins -- New Zealand's Department of Conservation
Cranes -- International Crane Foundation
Common Murres -- Common Murre Restoration Project
Hornbills -- San Diego Zoo's Animal Bytes
Lesser Kestrels -- Arkive
Quetzals -- El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, Encyclopedia of Life, and Arkive

      Grades: 4th to 8th

  Sawgrass Poems: A View of the Everglades

by Frank Asch

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Through evocative poetry and photographs, Sawgrass Poems captures the magic and mystery of one of the most unique ecosystems in the United States -- an immense wetland wilderness where plants and animals of the temperate zone and the tropics mingle. . . . In the appendix, a note about each photo provides additional information which makes this book an excellent teaching tool. But the book is also inspirational." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (January/February 1996) published by CCEL.

Twenty evocative poems about the flora, fauna and physical conditions of the Everglades include: "Alligator Hotel", "If I Had a Vulture", "Some Rivers", "Water Moccasin", "Old Man Mangrove", "A Panther's Life", "My Little Mosquito", "Hey You, Manatee!", " Who Cuts the Sawgrass", "Hurricane Song" and "Stillness".

See also:
Trish Marx's Everglades Forever: Restoring America's Great Wetland
Jane Yolen's Welcome to the River of Grass
Madeleine Dunphy's Here Is the Wetland

      Grades: Kindergarten and up

  The Sea, the Storm, and the Mangrove Tangle

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Following the development of a mangrove tangle from a sprouting seed into a spreading mangrove island as it gradually grows into a nesting place for birds and a nursery for fish and shellfish, this is a story about the community of life in the Caribbean Sea that depends upon a mangrove tangle for food and shelter. The beautiful artwork and engaging narrative depict the diversity and interdependence of life found in these habitats -- pelicans, herons, shrimp, crabs, lizards, seahorses, dolphins, sea turtles and manatees. In the "Author’s Note", Cherry describes the importance of mangroves not only as barriers for coastal areas from storms, but also as filters that clean out run off pollutants in the water. Many of these important mangrove habitats have been cleared in recent years to create commercial developments and shrimp farms. Maps on the endpapers show the location of these threatened ecosystems and include bordering illustrations of the numerous species of these unique and endangered communities.

For more information visit:
Mangrove Action Project, a project of Earth Island Institute.
The Mangrove Bio-complexity Project of the Smithsonian Environment Research Center.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  The Shaman's Apprentice

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Flora : Trees & Forests
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

When the faith of the indigenous people in the shaman's wisdom is destroyed, Kamanya, a Tirio Indian boy of the Amazon rain forest, continues to emulate Nahtahla, the medicine man to whom he serves as an apprentice to learn the secrets of the healing properties of native plants. The arrival of a foreign researcher, who explains the native source of quinine to cure malaria, restores the local people's faith in the traditional shaman's wisdom.

"The story is based upon real events and people in the Amazon rain forest and is lovingly told from Kamanya's point of view. His sense of gratitude, dismay and finally pride for the knowledge of his people shine through in the quietly circumspect prose of Cherry and Plotkin. Cherry's rich, deep paintings bring the lushness of the Suriname rain forest to life. The endpapers are a wonderful learning tool -- illustrations of indigenous plants, their Tirio and English names and their uses." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Spring 1998) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 1st to 5th

  Snowy White World to Save

by Stephanie Lisa Tara

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Global Warming
Animals  : Mammals

This large format picture book with beautiful watercolor illustrations offers young children a glimpse at the Arctic world of the polar bear and the impact of global warming. The short verses vividly depict how a mother bear with her two cubs thrive in this pristine, icy world and hunt for food; but as the ice floes melt, they are forced to seek food from piles of garbage. The book concludes with an upbeat note that kids can take action to save this "snowy white world" of the polar bear, listing a number of simple everyday actions to help stop global warming as well as websites to learn more about this important issue.

See also: Carol Carrick's, Polar Bears Are Hungry

To learn more about global warming and polar bears visit:
ClimateCrisis.net
Polar Bear SOS
NRDC's website on Global Warming
StopGlobalWarming.org
World Wildlife Fund's Polar Bear Tracker, and
BioGems website Polar Bears on Thin Ice to find a Kid's Polar Action Guide.

      Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Someday a Tree

by Eve Bunting

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Over the years Alice has developed a strong affection for the oak tree near the highway at the edge of her family's farm. So when the tree becomes sick, Alice is devastated. Many people are engaged in efforts to save the tree, but nothing helps -- until Alice remembers the jar of acorns on her windowsill. Even though the tree cannot be saved, Alice realizes that she can plant an acorn, and maybe, someday, there will again be a healthy tree growing there. The soft, sensitive illustrations provide a delightful companion to this moving story." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Song for the Ancient Forest

by Nancy Luenn

HARDCOVER
Flora : Trees & Forests
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Written in the style of Native American legends, Luenn's fictional narrative conveys the importance of preserving the ancient old growth forests. When Raven the Trickster sings his song warning of the destruction of these forests to the people who live there, he is not believed by the Native Americans and later not understood by the settlers. As more trees are felled and the forests disappear, Raven watches till one day his song is finally heard by a young girl who then conveys the importance of the conservation of these forests to her father, a logger. The lyrical oil paintings capture the beauty and mood of ancient old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest as well as illustrate scenes of the human inhabitants in this region and the effects of logging.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Swan Song: Poems of Extinction

by J. Patrick Lewis

HARDCOVER
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Through poetry Lewis pays homage to 22 species that have gone extinct due to human intervention over the last 400 years. These tributes are complemented by black and white wood engravings and endnotes that further elucidate the causes of the species’ extinction.

The animals cited in these "few small epitaphs in verse to mark their passing" include: Aurochs, Dodo, Chatham Island Swan, Elephant Bird, Steller’s Sea Cow, Blue Buck, Rodriguez Greater Saddleback Tortoise, Painted Vulture, Great Auk, Eastern Elk or Wapiti, Quagga, Laughing Owl, Arizona Jaguar, Passenger Pigeon, Carolina Parakeet, Barbary Lion, Badlands (Audubon’s) Bighorn Sheep, Tasmanian Pouched Wolf, Hawaiian O-O, Bali Tiger, Deepwater Cisco, Miss Waldron’s Red Colobus Monkey.

To learn more about biodiversity visit:
Conservation International
The Convention on Biological Diversity

To learn more about endangered species visit:
Defenders of Wildlife's Kids' Planet
World Wildlife Fund’s Endangered Species

See also: Sandra and William Markle's Gone Forever!,
Margaret Facklam's And Then There Was One,
Alexandra Wright's Will We Miss Them? Endangered Species,
David McLimans' Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet
David Dobson's Can We Save Them?
Steve Jenkins' Almost Gone: The World’s Rarest Animals
Melvin and Gilda Berger's Where Have All the Pandas Gone?


      Grades: 5th to 8th

  Swift as the Wind: The Cheetah

by Barbara Juster Esbensen

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Swift as the Wind offers children a glimpse of life on the African savannah and the family life of the cheetah and some reasons it is endangered today. . . . This beautifully illustrated book presents facts in a straight-forward way that children can understand. It describes the relationship between predator and prey and stresses the role of each in the survival of the species. The author offers her readers a role in the preservation of habitat and species on the African savannah. She explains how scientists can help 'these unique and spectacular animals outrun the shadows of extinction that may be closing in on them'." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Fall 1998) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 1st to 4th

  The Symphony of Whales

by Steve Schuch

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Inspired by an actual event of the rescue of whales in the 1980's by the inhabitants of the Chukchi Peninsula of northeast Siberia, the lyrical prose and dreamlike oil paintings of this book evoke the bleak arctic setting of this powerful story and the ephemeral musical bond between humans and cetaceans. Focusing on Glashka and her unique gift to hear the sound of a whale that leads to the discovery of thousands of stranded belugas in an inlet, the book describes Glashka's sense of her responsibility and the compassion, determination and courage of the aboriginal people in working together to save the trapped whales and lead them back to the ocean.

      Grades: 1st to 5th

  Taking Care of the Earth: Kids in Action

by Laurence Pringle

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Extinction & Conservation

"Laurence Pringle has written a book with inspirational stories about real kids and real schools that have done remarkable work. In the chapter Wild Places and Wildlife, Pringle writes about how Deep Springs Elementary School students raised money to help buy a section of wildland in a special area called the Thompson Creek Glades. Reading this book (for fifth grade and up) is an excellent first step in launching your own drive to save a piece of land in your community." Review from Nature's Course (Winter 1997-1998) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 5th & up

  There's Still Time

by Mark Galan and Bruce Babbitt

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Extinction & Conservation

Introduced with an inspiring foreword by Bruce Babbitt, this stunning photo-essay describes the successes of the Endangered Species Act. Galan presents eighteen species, primarily birds and mammals, describing the causes of the near extinction of each species and its recent comeback due, in large part, to the recovery efforts brought about by the Endangered Species Act. Detailed, full-color photographs accompany the inset information about each species of plant or animal, that include: buffalo (American bison), bald eagle, California condor, red wolf, brown pelican, whooping crane, alligator, Peregrine falcon, MacFarlane's four-o-clock, Loch Lomond coyote thistle, snail darter, greenback cutthroat trout, Aleutian Canada goose, gray wolf, Louisiana pearlshell mussel, small whorled pogonia, black-footed ferret and the gray whale. The author ends the book noting that despite the recovery successes there are still many species that remain on the brink of extinction and, moreover, numerous species which still await discovery before they too are lost to extinction.

      Grades: 3rd and up

  This Is My Planet: The Kids' Guide to Global Warming

by Jan Thornhill

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Global Warming
The Living Earth 

Thornhill takes a comprehensive look at the issues of global warming in this upbeat, positive book for kids. Beginning with an investigation into how our planet works, its natural cycles, the distinction of climate and weather, the greenhouse gases and their effect, and the methods used by scientists to study climate changes, the author then examines polar, ocean and land environments as well as human societies to explain the basics of global warming and its effects upon life throughout the planet. This informative, factual book supplemented by numerous photos and a vibrant, colorful layout clearly explains the basic workings of the planet as well as the fascinating interconnections of the world that maintain a delicate balance supporting life, showing how humans fit in. Citing the impacts of global warming and how "as a species, we humans are responsible for producing far more than our share of greenhouse gases", Thornhill also describes several innovations of human ingenuity to control greenhouse gases as well as simple solutions – "small things that can add up until they’re big things" -- that provide readers ways of living more sustainably to preserve the delicate balances and the web of life of our amazing planet.

See also:
Robyn C. Friend's and Judith L. Cohen's A Clean Sky

        Grades: 3rd to 7th

  3 Pandas Planting

by Megan Halsey

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

This picture book not only serves as a counting book from twelve to one but also provides an engaging tool for teaching young children about saving our planet. Brightly colored double-page spreads of a variety of animals, which have been endangered or threatened -- crocodiles, otters, turtles, condors, chimps, bears, leopards rhinos, pandas, whales, tigers and elephants -- are accompanied by a simple description of the activity in which the group of animals is engaged. Twelve crocodiles carpool, nine turtles take home cans from a beach, six bears recycle newspapers, three pandas plant trees and one elephant enjoys a walk in nature. The simple descriptive sentence accompanying each double-page illustration can serve as a basis for discussions of the images while a detailed description of the activity of each group of animals is provided in "Do You Want to Know More?" following the text.

      Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion

by Loree Griffin Burns

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

Tracking Trash unfolds like a mystery setting readers on a path of discovery to learn about the ocean and its currents, the scientific work of oceanographers and beachcombers, and the impact of trash on marine life and why we need to protect the ocean ecosystem. During the 1990’s flotsam and jetsam – floating trash that falls or is thrown from ships at sea – provided oceanographer Dr. Curt Ebbesmeyer the tools for studying the movement of ocean surface currents. Sneakers, bathtub toys, LEGO pieces, hockey gloves and computer monitors washed up on shores, thousands of miles away from where they initially were dumped into the ocean. Studying the paths of floating garbage also revealed the "East Garbage Patch" of the Pacific Ocean -- an area the size of Alaska found in a gyre that is a convergence zone formed by the confluence of currents, where plastics that are not pulled underwater by the currents continue to float and amass -- containing 3 million tons of garbage. Besides discovering how flotsam and jetsam has provided information for oceanographers about surface currents, readers will also learn how floating trash ends up destroying marine life and habitats. "Ghost-nets," lost or discarded fishing nets, entangle and kill 100,000 ocean wildlife yearly and destroy corals that have been formed over hundreds of years; nurdles, tiny plastic particles of degraded bits of larger plastic pieces, end up in the digestive tracts of marine life. Along with its color photos, maps, diagrams, informative sidebars, glossary and website/book listings, Tracking Trash offers kids an intriguing, informative investigation of oceans as well as an understanding of the long-lasting, devastating impact of trash on marine ecosystems.

To learn more visit:
Dr. Curt Ebbesmeyer’s website Beachcombers’ and Oceanographers’ International Association
Algalita Marine Research Foundation



      Grades: 5th & up

  The Tree

by Dana Lyons

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Exquisite paintings by Danioth bring to life the moving words of Lyons’ song, a call to preserve our fragile environment presented from the perspective of an 800 year old Douglas fir. After years of witnessing the melting of glaciers, the call of wolves, the return of salmon and the flight of owls, the tree hears the coming of bulldozers and ponders what will provide shelter and preserve the soil if it is to be no more. As a message of hope, smiling people come to encircle and protect this splendid giant whose beauty is mirrored through the artwork of the book. Closer examination of the illustrations reveal threatened species that depend upon the Pacific Rain Forrest. Forewords by Julia Hill Butterfly and Pete Seeger, as well as endnotes with information about the Pacific Rain Forest, underline the importance of preserving old growth forests. (This picture book was printed on recycled paper.)

      Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Under the Ice

by Kathy Conlan

PAPERBACK
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

Marine biologist Kathy Conlan takes readers into the icy depths of the seas under Antarctica to explore the unique environment and creatures who inhabit the region. In this impressive photo-essay that includes biographical, historical and geographical information, Conlan describes her ongoing research on the impact of human pollution on marine life and provides an insight into the rigors and intricacies of her work as a scientist. First-person accounts are also given of her 3-month journey to Antarctica, daily life at the research base of McMurdo Station, several harrowing experiences diving under 6 feet of ice, her fascinating close encounters underwater and over ice with Weddell seals, Adelies and Emperor penguins, her explorations of neon blue ice caves and her trip to the South Pole -- all complemented by stunning color photography. Through Conlan’s fascinating account readers can learn about the importance of her research and the unique biodiversity of the remote continent of Antarctica, "that magnificent, frozen world full of fragile beauty."

See also: Mary Cerullo's, Life Under Ice

        Grades: 4th to 8th

  Uno's Garden

by Graeme Base

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes 

Uno arrives in an extraordinary forest inhabited by a fantastic assortment of plants and animals, including Leaping Lumpybums, Feathered Frinklepods, Playful Puddlebuts, Sneaky Snagglebites, Timid Tumbletops, Grazing Gondolopes as well as the ordinary, yet elusive, Snortlepig. Over time as more people discover the wonders of the forest, a village grows in the area, gradually expanding into a town. As a sprawling city develops, the forest and almost all of its fantastic creatures disappear, replaced by endless buildings and pollution. Graeme Base’s humorous number and puzzle storybook, replete with imaginative imagery, conveys a cautionary, yet hopeful message to readers as Uno’s descendents change their habits to live sustainably in balance with nature.

See also:
Lynne Cherry's The Dragon and the Unicorn, and
Laurence Anholt's The Forgotten Forest

      Grades: 2nd & up

  A Walk in the Rainforest

by Kristin Joy Pratt

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

The biodiversity and interdependence of the exotic animals and vegetation of the rainforest are presented in a concise alphabet format through the travels of the ant, XYZ. Each page abounds in color and facts about the lifestyle and habitat of a plant or animal. The threat of extinction and conservation themes are also discussed.

See also the accompanying book A Teacher's Guide to a Walk in the Rainforest

        Grades: Preschool to 7th

  A Walk Through a Rain Forest: Life in the Ituri Forest of Zaire

by David Jenike & Mark Jenike

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Since "A Walk Through a Rain Forest: Life in the Ituri Forest of Zaire" was written in 1994, Zaire has become the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has the largest surface of tropical forests in the world, containing more than half of Africa's tropical forests. This book takes readers deep into the Ituri Rain Forest to explore this unique ecosystem and present the life styles of two groups of indigenous people, the Lese farmers and the Efe foragers, who have lived together in this rain forest for thousands of years. Traveling with a young Lese boy and his grandparents from their small village to an outlying fishing camp, readers explore the habitat and the daily life of these indigenous people sharing the forest's resources, as well as the rich diversity of flora and fauna of the Ituri Forest. Numerous insets with color photographs describe the fascinating wildlife of this region, including bongos, okapis, pottos and duikers. Contrasting the traditional life styles of the indigenous peoples with more recent factors threatening the rainforest ecosystem, such as overhunting, poaching and the demand for bush meat, the author notes the importance of protecting the unique and vast diversity of the African rain forest.

        Grades: 3rd to 6th

  The Water Hole

by Graeme Base

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This amusing puzzle and counting book carrying an ecological theme artfully depicts the diversity of animals of different habitats from around the world -- each group looking onto a water hole that grows smaller and smaller at each successive image. As more and more animals at each habitat crowd around the dwindling water hole, one-by-one the frogs disappear . . . until the rainstorm when all the animals are reunited around the plentiful water hole. Graeme Base, who both wrote and illustrated the book, was inspired by a safari in Kenya and Tanzania to create a book about the cycle of seasons on the African plains, which was eventually expanded to include other habitats and their wildlife -- rhinos, tigers, toucans, snow leopards, moose, catfish, pandas, ladybugs, tortoises and kangaroos -- from India, South America, the Himalayas, North America, China, Europe, the Galapagos and Australia.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Water, Water Everywhere

by Mark J. Rauzon and Cynthia Overbeck Bix

PAPERBACK
Water & Its Cycle
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

Water, Water Everywhere, published by the Sierra Club, celebrates water as the most precious resource of life as well as the astounding beauty that water brings to the Earth. Beautiful, vivid photographs and concise, poetic text explore the various forms of water in its continuous, never-ending cycle, its importance in sustaining life and shaping the Earth as well as the need for all people to conserve and protect this limited, vital resource. The stunning photography shows water as an integral part of nature as well as images of children splashing, playing and walking in this wondrous, vital element which "brings color and life to earth".

        Grades: Kindergarten to 2nd

  We Planted a Tree

by Diane Muldrow

HARDCOVER
Flora : Trees & Forests
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Two families at different parts of the globe plant one tree and in so doing "helped heal the earth". As the children and trees grow, more families plant trees to make the Earth healthier. As time passes and the trees grow, fruits and sap are made; the air becomes cleaner and the soil is healthier so crops may be planted; birds and other animals appear to live with the trees. Staake’s evocative artwork depicts scenes where trees grow around the globe -- the backyards of New York City, the plains of Africa, the woods of New England, the streets of Paris and the gardens of Japan. This lyrical book notes the words of Wangari Maathai of the Green Belt Movement, "When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and seeds of hope."

To learn more about tree planting programs, visit:
Wangari Maathai's The Green Belt Movement
UNEP's Billion Tree Campaign
The Arbor Day Foundation

See also:
Vera Rosenberry's The Growing-up Tree
Claire A. Nivola's Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai
Jeanette Winter's Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa
Donna Jo Napoli's Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Whale Rescue

by Erich Hoyt

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Whale Rescue explores the plight of many species of whales around the world that over nine centuries have been hunted to near extinction and provides an insight into the work of conservationists worldwide dedicated to protecting the remaining whales. The book includes numerous photos of close-ups of whales as well as historical images of commercial whaling. Besides the threats from commercial whaling, the remaining populations of these magnificent animals, some of which were 90% decimated through hunting, now also face declining numbers from pollution, overfishing and entanglements in fishing equipment. Author Erich Hoyt, who is a researcher with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, also offers an insight into the traits and behaviors of different whale species – migrations, songs, social structures and reproduction -- besides describing the efforts of scientists, conservationists and several governments to save these spectacular mammals from an uncertain future.

        Grades: 4th to 8th

  When the Wolves Return

by Ron Hirschi

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Imagine a world where the wolves have returned. This book is a plea to the younger generation to help bring them back. It describes why the wolves disappeared and what the world would look like if their song once again filled the night. Now, because of a change in attitudes, the sound of the wolf is returning to the land." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (January/February 1999) published by CCEL.

Mangelsen's magnificent photographs complement the text which lucidly, yet poetically places in perspective the role of the wolf in maintaining the delicate balance of nature. Beautiful photographic images of bears, elk, moose, geese, owls, caribou, hares, fox and coyotes -- the hunters and the hunted -- show the creatures that share the wolf's wild habitat. Citing Iroquois and Pacific Northwest Coast Indian legends and attitudes toward their world, the author describes how the Native Americans lived in harmony with the earth, in particular with the wolves.

      Grades: 4th and up

  Where Does the Garbage Go?

by Paul Showers

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Recycling & Composting

This book uses the lessons of a classroom to present children with former methods of waste disposal, the use of city dumps and ocean dumping, which are contrasted to the current use of landfills and recycling programs. The clear text and labeled watercolor illustrations explain how waste is managed in landfills and incinerators and how recycling methods convert newspapers, aluminum, glass and plastic into new paper, new cans and rolls of foil, new glass bottles and jars, and new plastic flowerpots and benches. The teacher's lesson, however, points out the importance of reusing old things and cutting back on waste. This book provides a basic, interesting and clear introduction for young children on the subjects of recycling, waste disposal and waste reduction.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Where Have All the Pandas Gone?

by Melvin and Gilda Berger

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Children can learn about endangered species throughout the world, explore the reasons why different animals have become endangered, primarily due to habitat loss, overhunting and pollution, and find out about ways people have attempted to save endangered species. Presented in a question and answer format, this informative book, illustrated showing each of the animals in their respective habitats, describes endangered land animals (pandas, mountain gorillas, golden lion tamarins, Indian tigers, rhinoceroses and Arabian oryx), birds that have neared extinction (bald eagles, California condors, brown pelicans, whooping cranes, Everglade snail kites, Seychelles warblers and piping plovers) as well as endangered water animals (whales, manatees, sea otters, sea turtles, alligators and crocodiles). The success story of the comeback of the peregrine falcon from near extinction is examined and several suggestions are offered how readers can help save endangered animals.

      Grades: 2nd to 4th

  Where Once There Was a Wood

by Denise Fleming

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

A wood, meadow and creek were once home for a variety of animals and plants that were displaced by development. The lyrical, rhythmic verse of this one-sentence story, picturing the various inhabitants of the landscape in vivid, beautiful settings created by colorful, handmade paper illustrations, brings the basic ecological message of habitat loss to young readers. "Welcoming Wildlife to Your Backyard Habitat" following the story offers older children and adults information and resources for creating wildlife habitats in one's community, making note of the basic needs of space, shelter, water and food of wild creatures. This four-page section also includes listings of trees and shrubs to provide food and shelter, flowers to attract butterflies and hummingbirds as well as books and organizations to obtain more information about creating wildlife habitats.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 5th

  Who Eats What?: Food Chains and Food Webs

by Patricia Lauber

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Interrelationships in food webs and the role of green plants as the basic source of energy in food chains are lucidly explained to young readers along with clearly labeled ink-and-watercolor drawings of life both on land and in the sea. The repercussions of the near extinction of Western sea otters is explained to show the interdependence of living creatures and the impact of human actions on ecosystems. Children are encouraged to explore the intricacies of food webs and their own ecological link by creating drawings based on their diets and direct observations of the world.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  Why Are the Ice Caps Melting?

by Anne Rockwell

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Global Warming

The greenhouse effect, issues of climate change and global warming are lucidly introduced to younger children in Rockwell's book along with constructive actions to counteract global warming.

See also:
Laurence Pringle's Global Warming, and
Sally Morgan's Changing Climate

For further information about GLOBAL WARMING, visit :
Environmental Protection Agency -- a Kids’ Site on Climate Change
Climate Change Education -- an education resource center for students and teachers
StopGlobalWarming.Org -- tips for taking action in the classroom and school.

To help protect the polar ice caps, visit NRDC's BioGems Polar Bears on Thin Ice to find a Kid's Polar Action Guide.

        Grades: 1st to 4th

  Winston of Churchill: One Bear's Battle Against Global Warming

by Jean Davies Okimoto

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Global Warming
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

Winston of Churchill is a delightful, humorous picture book to engage children in the serious topic of global warming. The stately polar bear, based upon the historical English figure, inspires his fellow bears to convince the tourists visiting Churchill, Manitoba, the polar bear capital of the world, to save their Arctic home. "Ice is nice!" exclaim the bears when Winston elucidates the impact of climate change. As buggies filled with people from all over the world search the tundra for bears, far in the distance the tourists are greeted by the sight of white bears marching with signs: "Brrrr is Best, " "Freeze Please, " "Cool It! " During this adventure Winston also learns that he himself needs to follow through, even in small actions, to help out – to stop polluting the air with his cigar. "We must all do our part, no matter how small."

Printed on 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper.

To learn about global warming, see:
Loree Griffin Burns’, Why Are the Ice Caps Melting?

For more information about polar bears, visit World Wildlife Fund's Polar Bear Tracker.

To help protect the polar ice caps, visit NRDC's BioGems Polar Bears on Thin Ice to find a Kid's Polar Action Guide.

See also:
Amanda Lumry & Laura Hurwitz's, Polar Bear Puzzle,
Carol Carrick's, Polar Bears Are Hungry,
Jonathan London's, Ice Bear and Little Fox, and
Jane Yolen's, Welcome to the Ice House

      Grades: 1st to 3rd

  The Wolves

by Brian J. Heinz

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Dramatically illustrated with ephemeral paintings, this book realistically and powerfully portrays a clan of wolves as they search for food during the cold of winter. Although the wolves track and hunt down an elderly, sick elk, the portrayal is not graphically violent gore, but realistically direct in showing the struggle for survival and in providing a better understanding of pack behavior and the role of the alpha leader, Pahtoo, around whom this text centers. The preface by the author provides a brief historical perspective and explains the threat of extinction faced by these mammals.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  Wonderful Worms

by Linda Glaser

PAPERBACK
Animals : Spineless Creatures
Environmental Themes  : Recycling & Composting

Cross-section illustrations of a garden and the underground burrows of worms complement a simple, engrossing text which introduces children to the world of earthworms and their importance in enriching the soil. A facts section at the end of the book provides interesting supplementary information about the life cycle, physical characteristics and behavior of these creatures.

See also:
Wendy Pfeffer's Wiggling Worms at Work
Tim Magner's Earl The Earthworm Digs for His Life

Recommended in Nature's Course (November/December 1998) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  The Wump World

by Bill Peet

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Pollution & Sustainability

The peaceful, bucolic existence of the Wumps is shattered by the invasion of the Pollutians from Pollutus. While the Wumps seek shelter underground from the invaders, the Pollutians transform their planet into a polluted, devastated world. As quickly as they had come, the Pollutians suddenly leave to wreak havoc elsewhere. This environmental classic with Peet's animated illustrations will captivate readers of all ages.

Reviewed in Nature's Course (Winter 1997-1998) published by CCEL.

        Grades: 3rd to 5th

  You Are the Earth

by David Suzuki & Kathy Vanderlinden

HARDCOVER
The Living Earth
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

Suzuki wrote "You Are the Earth" to show children that we require the four physical elements -- air, water, soil, and the sun's energy -- to survive, and that we must protect this precious basis of all life. Through fascinating presentations of factual information and ancient myths, the author unfolds the wonders of our connections to the Earth and the interrelationship of all living beings in space and time -- the molecular continuum that pervades our planet and the intricate balance that sustains all life. Citing examples of what children throughout the world have done to improve social and environmental conditions, Suzuki calls upon all children to become involved in protecting the Earth since they are the Earth.

Visit: www.davidsuzuki.org

        Grades: 3rd & up