SubTopic: Recycling & Composting

  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

  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 Stew

by Mary McKenna Siddals

HARDCOVER
Flora : Recycling & Composting
Flora  : Gardening

From Apple cores and Laundry lint to Teabags and Zinnia heads, this A to Z guide to composting shows young "environmental chefs" the many items from their homes and gardens that can be placed in a compost "pot" to stew over time into a delicious treat for Mother Earth. The vibrant collages, depicting multicultural kids finding and putting together items for the stew, are created with recycled and found materials to further the environmental message. A "Chef's Note" about what ingredients not to include in the compost complements the recipe. This rhyming picture book is an upbeat introduction to composting as an important step for caring for the Earth.

To learn more, visit Composting For Kids.

See also:
Robin Koontz's Composting: Nature's Recyclers, and
Linda Glaser's Compost!: Growing Gardens From Your Garbage

For older children, see also:
Linda Glaser's Garbage Helps Our Garden Grow: A Compost Story, and
Bianca Lavies' Compost Critters

      Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  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

  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

  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

  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

  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

  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

  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

  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

  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

  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

  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

  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

  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

  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