FEATURED: Earth Day

  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

  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

  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

  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

  Be A Friend To Trees

by Patricia Lauber

PAPERBACK
Flora : Trees & Forests

Be A Friend To Trees is a lucid and informative introduction with colored, labeled illustrations for young readers to trees, their structure, and the role of photosynthesis as well as our dependence upon trees. Lauber points out the importance of trees, not only as a natural resource for paper and wood items, but also as conservers of soil and as a fundamental source of oxygen, food and shelter for animals. Children are provided suggestions how to be a friend to trees by recycling, conserving and planting trees.

      Grades: 1st to 3rd

  Berry Smudges and Leaf Prints: Finding and Making Colors from Nature

by Ellen B. Senisi

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Senisi introduces this book as "a celebration of the colors of the natural world and a guide to homemade coloring." Using natural colors made from plants and fruits found in yards, parks, gardens and grocery stores, children can make natural dyes (under adult supervision) for a variety of projects that include creating potato and leaf prints, flower pressing to make bookmarks and sun catchers, nature weaving, tie-dying, collage making, charcoal drawing and eggshell-picture making. Beautiful, color-filled photographs of nature introduce a color and images of children creating their craft complement the different projects. Specific colors are discussed in nature and, besides pointing out its significance in the plant and animal world, the author also mentions a color's traditional symbolism. By using colors derived from nature, Senisi encourages readers to look more closely at and draw inspiration from the world of nature. A brief history of the use of color appends the book as well as a basic introduction to color theory that includes explanations to common questions as "Why is the sky blue?" and "Why are apples red?".

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  The Butterfly's Treasure

by Schim Schimmel

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Various Classes

In a milkweed patch before summer's end, an old, wise butterfly passes along the wisdom he has learned to a young caterpillar -- his discovery of a "treasure beyond belief." Old Monarch recounts his wondrous year-long journey of discovery around the globe and his encounters with some of the most amazing animals of our planet. As he travels past brown bears, seals and polar bears of the Northern forests and Arctic, then passes the majestic great cats, elephants and gorillas of Africa and the rare snow leopards of the Himalayas, and encounters the penguins of the Antarctic and the dolphins of the Pacific, the secret of this priceless treasure breathtakingly unfolds revealing its fascinating gems. The engaging story and Schimmel’s stunning, beautiful artwork instill a sense of wonder and respect for the intimate connection of all living beings and the unique treasure in this universe -- our magnificent planet.

See also, other books by Schim Schimmel:
Dear Children of the Earth
The Family of Earth
Children of the Earth... Remember

      Grades: Preschool & up

  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

  Caribou Journey

by Debbie S. Miller

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Mammals

Every spring caribou migrate North to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska where tens of thousands of calves are born. The author, who has lived in northern Alaska and has many times observed the migration of caribou, eloquently presents the life cycle of these magnificent animals who travel back and forth through Canada's Yukon Territory and northeast Alaska, almost three thousand miles each year in search of food. The story focuses on a mother caribou and her young, their searches for food through the snows of winter, the mother's protection of the young against wolves and eagles, and the yearly migration patterns of the herd. This engrossing story, resplendent with double-page illustrations, interweaves fascinating information about these mammals, their adaptations for life and travel in the rugged climate of the tundra, the bonding of mothers and their young, the autumnal encounter of males fighting for mates, and the crossing of rivers by the herd along their journey. The "Author's Note" provides information specifically about the Porcupine Herd of caribou, one of the largest migratory herds of North America that is described in this story, as well as mention of the importance of preserving the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge of Alaska.

        Grades: 1st to 4th

  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

  The Complete Backyard Nature Activity Book

by Robin Michal Koontz

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Through thirty-one, fun-filled activities and projects, "The Complete Backyard Nature Activity Book" shows children how to create a "naturescape," a place for wild creatures to find food, water and shelter, either in a suburban backyard or in urban settings of rooftops and apartment balconies. While emphasizing the importance that wildlife needs to remain "wild", the author has created an activity book with factual information and illustrated activities through which children can learn about nature as they invite wildlife into their local environment. For those who do not have space to create a naturescape, the author suggests extending projects to community involvement as well as making gifts out of some of the activities. Projects, many of which use recycled materials, include the creation of native flowering gardens, the building of feeders, planter boxes, bird baths, bat houses, birdhouses and ponds -- all with the focus of working with nature to sustain native wildlife.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  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 Curious Garden

by Peter Brown

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Flora  : Gardening

During a walk in his neighborhood of a grey, dismal city, a boy discovers an abandoned railway where a few wildflowers and plants are struggling to survive. Liam cares for the plants that gradually spread to new places. Over time new gardeners join the boy in creating lush gardens, transforming the dreary urban landscape into one abounding with life and beauty.

This beautiful picture book was inspired by High Line, an elevated railway in Manhattan that had been abandoned since 1980.

Printed on recycled paper.

See also:
Gordon Morrison's Nature in the Neighborhood
Martin Brennan's I Saw It in the Garden

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  The Day the Earth Was Silent

by Michael McGuffee

PAPERBACK
Multicultural

Dedicated to Christa McAuliffe, this inspiring story for young children exemplifies the importance of dedication to an idea, the strength of cooperation and the fruits of pursuing one's vision. A class of schoolchildren create a flag of the Earth set against the vast blackness of space. Despite disheartening reactions to their idea of sharing their flag with all the Earth, the classmates are determined to challenge obstacles and to pursue their dream to display their flag as a symbol, not of different nations, but of the Earth; not of what they are, but of what they may become. Full-page illustrations of this picture book artfully complement the simple yet pointed text that repeats the challenge of the question, "Why not try?"

        Grades: 3rd to 5th

  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

  Each Living Thing

by Joanne Ryder

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Various Classes

Celebrating the creatures of this earth, this picture book of double-page spreads and brief, poetic text echoes a message of awareness, caution and caring for all living beings on this earth. Whether it be a spider, alligator, bee, jellyfish, bear, snake or toad, each living thing has its own special place on earth.

      Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  The Earth and I

by Frank Asch

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature

"This pleasant book with its cheerful illustrations recounts the reciprocal friendship between a child and the earth. They talk and sing to each other, take long walks together, and help each other grow. When the earth is sad, the child is sad, but when the earth is happy, so is the child. Showing how the earth is both playground and companion, this book introduces the earth as every child's friend." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

"The Earth and I is a perfect first book for young children for it describes the relationship between a child and the earth in simple text." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (September/October 1995) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  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

  Eco-Fun

by David Suzuki

PAPERBACK
The Living Earth
Field Guides & Activity Books 

In the forward to his book, scientist David Suzuki writes, "This book contains activities that will help you see and experience the world in a different way, bring you into contact with nature, and remind you that you are a child of the Earth." Through a variety of fun-filled and intriguing eco-related activities, he encourages readers to get to know their world by working with air, water, soil, energy, plants and animals. The projects, experiments and games help understand the various elements, their role and interconnection as well as show how they are being damaged by recent human activity. This collection includes projects to create miniature forest ecosystems, make recycled paper and a veggie chili, measure air pollution and create a solar water heater, build wormeries and worm composters and make "green" household cleaners.

Visit: www.davidsuzuki.org

      Grades: 4th to 8th

  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

  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

  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

  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 Nature

by Mel Boring, Diane L. Burns and Leslie Dendy

HARDCOVER
Field Guides & Activity Books
Animals  : Various Classes

As an informative and educational "Take-Along Guide" for young naturalists, this illustrated handbook comprises 6 sections, each of which is also published separately: Caterpillars, Bugs and Butterflies; Snakes, Salamanders and Lizards; Frogs, Toads and Turtles; Rabbits, Squirrels and Chipmunks; Tracks, Scats and Signs; and, Trees, Leaves and Bark. The animals of the first four sections are each illustrated in color and described by What it Looks Like, What it Eats and Where to Find It. The section of tracks, scats and signs, organized by forest, field and pond, examines the clues to identifying animals found each habitat. Young naturalists can also identify trees using detailed illustrations and descriptions of leaves, bark and seeds. A variety of activities are also included such as making "stained glass" animals, turtle and rabbit paperweights, frog puzzles, a leaf mobile, squirrel nut-balls and pinecone snackbars for birds, chipmunk swimming pools and a rabbit refuge. This books provides children hours of discovery and fun in nature.

See also:
More Fun with Nature. Chapters include "Berries, Nuts and Seeds", "Birds, Nests and Eggs", "Rocks, Fossils and Arrowheads", "Seashells, Crabs and Sea Stars", and "Wildflowers, Blooms and Blossoms".

See also, published separately:
Mel Boring's Caterpillars, Bugs and Butterflies
Diane Burns' Snakes, Salamanders and Lizards
Diane Burns' Frogs, Toads and Turtles
Mel Boring's Rabbits, Squirrels and Chipmunks
Leslie Dendy's Tracks, Scats and Signs
Diane Burns' Trees, Leaves and Bark
Diane Burns' Wildflowers, Blooms & Blossoms
Diane Burns' Berries, Nuts, And Seeds
Mel Boring's Birds, Nests & Eggs
Christiane Kunp Tibbitts' Seashells, Crabs & Sea Stars
Mel Boring's Flamingos, Loons & Pelicans
Laura Evert 's Planets, Moons and Stars
Laura Evert 's Rocks, Fossils and Arrowheads

        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

  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

  Girls Who Looked Under Rocks

by Jeannine Atkins

PAPERBACK
Naturalists & Their Work

Girls Who Looked under Rocks portrays the curiosity, determination and enthusiasm of six women, who as girls "didn’t run from spiders or snakes, but crouched down to take a closer look, " and, who later grew up to become award-winning scientists, artists and writers. Going back as far as the seventeenth century, Atkin’s selection of six interesting biographies includes: Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), who traveled to South America to study and paint the interrelationship of insects and plants; Anna Comstock (1854-1930), an entomologist, who was the first female professor at Cornell and helped start a movement of nature study in schools; Frances Hamerstrom (1907-1998), one of the first field biologists who studied prairie wildlife of the Midwest; Mirian Rothschild (1908- ), an entomologist, renown for her research on fleas as well as butterfly gardens; Rachel Carson (1907-1964), writer and scientist whose best-selling book Silent Spring described the importance of maintaining the delicate balance of nature; and, Jane Goodall (1934- ), world-renown chimpanzee expert who is also committed to helping people consider other lives with compassion. The fascinating profiles of these dedicated, pioneering women can be a source of inspiration, especially for girls, to follow their lead.

(Miriam Rothschild died on January 20, 2005 at the age of 96.)

See also:
Evelyn Gallardo's Among the Orangutans: The Birute Galdikas Story
Jane Goodall's My Life with the Chimpanzees
Tom Mathews' Light Shining Through the Mist: A Photobiography of Dian Fossey
Amy Ehrlich's Rachel: The Story of Rachel Carson
Kathryn Lasky's She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!, an amusing picture book about Harriet Hemenway and Minna Hall who, during the 1890’s in reaction to the latest women's fashion of adorning hats with whole dead birds, started the Massachusetts Audubon Society to protect birds.

      Grades: 4th to 10th

  Giving Thanks

by Jonathan London

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature

During a walk in a woodland, a father explains to his son how he believes that the things of nature are a gift. In return we should give something back by giving thanks. As they explore the landscape, the father gives thanks to the earth and sky, the fox and deer, the frogs and crickets, the quail, rabbits and hawks, the mushrooms and trees, and Grandfather Sun and Grandmother Moon. At the end of the hike as the boy looks up to the moonlit sky he gives thanks to the stars. The text and beautiful oil paintings of this picture book celebrate the beauty of the natural world for which the boy and father show their gratitude.

See also: Chief Jake Swamp's Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message


        Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message

by Chief Jake Swamp

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

"This book is strong and simple. The text is the traditional Iroquois prayer of Thanksgiving. . . . Part of the living tradition of Native Americans today, it gives thanks for the food we eat, the beauty in the world and everything that sustains us and gives us pleasure. The illustrations by Erwin Printup, a member of the Cayaga tribe of upstate New York, are clean edged, colorful and full of symbolic strength." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (November/December 1996) published by CCEL.

See also: Jonathan London's, Giving Thanks

        Grades: Preschool & Up

  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

  Grow it Again

by Elizabeth MacLeod

PAPERBACK
Flora : Gardening
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Seeds, plant and root tops, bulbs and tubers of vegetables and fruits that are often discarded from the kitchen can be grown again to create beautiful gardens of unusual flowering or leafy plants. Detailed, illustrated instructions are provided for the planting, growing and care of the plants. Besides recipes (carrot-pineapple muffins, sesame seed bars, baked apples, fruit salad and guacamole) that use fruits or vegetables, parts of which can later be planted, this creative activity books provides ideas for craft projects, including decorating pots and making milk/juice carton planters, seed necklaces and pressed flowers.

See also:
Elizabeth Scholl's Organic Gardening for Kids
Laurie Carlson's Green Thumbs: A Kid's Activity Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Gardening
Lois Ehlert's Growing Vegetable Soup
Rosalind Creasy's Blue Potatoes, Orange Tomatoes

      Grades: Activities for Preschool & up

  Henry David's House

by Thoreau; edited by Steven Schnur

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Experience of Nature 

An inspiring selection of excerpts from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden enhanced by full-page impressionistic paintings together create the world of Thoreau during his stay at Walden Pond and depict the beauty of the natural setting at the pond. Thoreau’s own words – descriptions of the building of the cabin, the sparse selection of furnishings in his abode, his observations of nature in the rustic surroundings as the seasons cycle throughout a year -- highlight his belief in the inherent value of living life simply in harmony with nature. The "Editor’s Note" following the text provides supplementary information about Thoreau’s writing of Walden and the extent of the influence of his ideas.

        Grades: 3rd & up

  Henry Works

by D.B. Johnson

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Experience of Nature 

Henry Works is the fourth children’s picture book by DB Johnson inspired by the life and writings of Henry David Thoreau that centers on the adventures of Henry the bear, modeled after Thoreau and the writings in Walden. In the morning mist Henry sets out from his cabin "walking to work" and en route to his destination as he passes through woods, fields and the town of Concord, he tends to nature and helps out his friends – delivering a letter to his friend Emerson, planting strawberries in Hawthorne's garden, watering wildflowers, marking paths, placing crossing stones in a stream and relocating pesky woodchucks. By the end of the day he has reached his destination -- back at his cabin where he begins his work of writing Walden.

The four books by author and artist Johnson are each based upon a passage of Thoreau’s writing which the author includes at the end of each book along with relevant biographical information about Thoreau. The exquisite artwork of colored pencil and paint comprised of geometric shapes and skewed perspectives picture the amusing adventures of Henry the bear, dressed in a farm hat and overcoat. The first of the books, Henry Hikes to Fitchburg (ISBN: 0395968674) contrasts two different methods of traveling to exemplify contrasting approaches to life. The veneration of the simple lifestyle is also portrayed in Johnson’s third book, Henry Builds a Cabin (ISBN: 0618132015) which depicts the frugality and simplicity of Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond. Thoreau’s philosophy of civil disobedience and his opposition to slavery are introduced in Henry Climbs a Mountain (ISBN: 0618269029). All four of Johnson’s books provide an engrossing introduction for young readers into the life and ideas of one of America’s greatest 19th century figures.

      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

  High as a Hawk

by T.A. Barron

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature

In 1905 eight-year old Harriet Peters became the youngest person to climb to the 14,000-foot summit of Longs Peak in Colorado. Accompanying her as the trail guide was Enos Mills, whose efforts led to the creation of the Rocky Mountain National Park ten years later. Inspired by the historic ascent of these two figures, T.A. Barron has created a moving, lyrical account of this ascent, narrated from the first-person perspective of the girl, that portrays both her determination and courage in the face of the challenges faced by the climbers as they braved the elements and traversed the steep slopes. Reaching the summit was not only a physical struggle, but an inner challenge to finally realize the dream of her mother whom she had recently lost. The beauty of the poetic prose is reflected in the exquisite realism of the paintings by Ted Lewin portraying the landscape, natural elements of the mountain and the animals that they discover during this historic ascent. The author’s endnote recounts the inspiration to his writing of the book and includes the historical context of the characters.

T.A. Barron has authored award-winning novels read by children and adults, including The Ancient One, the international bestselling series The Lost Years of Merlin, and his new trilogy, The Great Tree of Avalon.

      Grades: Preschool to 4th

  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

  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

  If the World Were a Village

by David J. Smith

HARDCOVER
Multicultural

To help children grasp a better understanding of the world’s large population and the diversity of peoples that span our planet, the author simplified the expanse of billions of humans to comprise instead simply a village of 100 people. The village is described in terms of the distribution of nationalities, languages, ages, religions, literacy and access to schooling as well as its food supply, clean air and water, and the distribution of wealth. By learning about the world’s peoples, the author hopes to encourage a passion in children about their world and to foster “world-mindedness” – “the sense that our planet is actually a village, and we share this small, precious village with our neighbors”.

      Grades: 2nd to 6th

  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

  John Muir: My Life with Nature

by Joseph Cornell

PAPERBACK
Naturalists & Their Work
Experience of Nature 

In his introduction to this unique "autobiography" of John Muir, Joseph Cornell writes: "To stay true to the spirit of Muir as clearly and fully as possible, I have told his story as if he were alive, using his own words and colorful expressions as often as possible." Although Cornell simplified some words to make this introductory biography more accessible to young readers, the selection of Muir’s quotes, complemented by black and white photos and illustrations, convey the enthusiastic spirit, adventures and ideas of this renown preservationist that can be also appreciated by adults. Cornell, a leading nature educator who is author of Sharing Nature with Children, also includes a selection of thoughtful and engaging activities for children to experience life and the natural world, inspired by Muir’s perspective.

      Grades: 3rd & up

  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

  Kids' Easy-to-Create Wildlife Habitats

by Emily Stetson

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Whether they live in small spaces in cities, suburbs or out in the country, children everywhere can create a welcoming place for wildlife and through small efforts protect the natural environments around them. This illustrated book offers plenty of useful information -- suggestions how to counter habitat loss in ones community, activities designed so as not to attract pest or problem wildlife as well as descriptions about common wild animals and their typical habitats.

See also:
Judy Press' Animal Habitats!

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

      Grades: 2nd to 5th

  The Kid's Multicultural Art Book

by Alexandra M. Terzian

PAPERBACK
Multicultural
Field Guides & Activity Books 

The experience of creating ethnic arts and crafts is a means, according to the author Terzian, of understanding and appreciating the traditions of other cultures throughout the world. The roots, rhythms, designs and traditions of Native American, Hispanic, African and Asian cultures are explored in this activity book through the craft making projects and background information of the culture. Although some of the crafts are quite intricate and might require adult supervision, they are adapted to make use of basic materials -- yarn, cardboard, paints, glue, construction paper and poster board, pie plates, markers, egg cartons. Some projects make use of salt dough and papier mache for which recipes are provided. Ethnic crafts include: Egyptian Paper Beads, African Animal Nose Masks, Chinese Good Luck Dragon & Egg Painting, Peacocks of India, Aztec Sun God and Codex, Inuit Finger Masks, Guatemalan Plate Designs and Native American Northwest Coast Totem Poles.

        Grades: 1st & 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

  Lulie the Iceberg

by Takamado No Miya Hisako

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature

The voyage of Lulie the Iceberg as it breaks off of the Greenland Ice Sheet and travels to the South Pole provides the setting for many fascinating encounters and discoveries. This surreal adventure will take children through a journey witnessing the changing of species from the northern polar regions to the tropics and into the southern polar regions, through the "joy of discovering friendships and the breathtaking beauty of the planet we live on". The "Glossary" supplements information about the Earth's polar regions and the various species illustrated and mentioned in the text.

      Grades: Preschool 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

  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 Father's House

by Kathi Appelt

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Experience of Nature 

This is an illustrated spiritual poem of thanksgiving to the "Father" for all the many "mansions", the various habitats with the animals that comprise this beautiful blue planet that is our home. The lyrical verses and stylized artwork evoke a sense of wonder of the beauty and diversity of the natural world -- the Ocean "with its salted silver spray", the Tundra, the Woodland halls, the Prairie, the Rain Forest "with its attic where treetops catch the clouds", the misty Marsh, the Desert and the Mountains with "their porches wrapped in snow".

      Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Nature's Art Box

by Laura Martin

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Nature provides a wealth of materials to create beautiful crafts using twigs, mosses, vines, cones, clay, stones, sand, shells, gourds, pods, husks, seeds, flowers and leaves. Encouraging readers to harvest the gifts of the Earth responsibly, Martin’s Nature’s Art Box includes detailed instructions, supplemented by illustrations, for 65 projects made with natural materials that can be found almost anywhere. Information is also provided for making homemade inks, dyes, paints, clay, glue and paste, some of which might require adult supervision. The "Nature Skills" section details the decorative uses and times for the harvesting of flowers, nuts, herbs, vegetables, mosses and trees. Using the gifts of nature and one’s imagination, children can create beautiful, natural crafts such as dolls, toy houses, rattles, pottery, necklaces, figurines, Navajo style sand paintings, Zen gardens, greeting cards, nature journals, candles, window or tree ornaments, wall hangings, sachets, African designs, dried flower bouquets, woodland creatures, fairies and headbands as well as make decorations for T-shirts, handbags and boxes. According to Martin, "we can work hand in hand with nature and use the gifts she has given us to create things that are touched with her beauty."

See also: Bobbe Needham's Ecology Crafts For Kids
Laura Martin's other activity book, Recycled Crafts Box: Sock puppets, carboard castles, bottle bugs and 37 more earth-friendly porjects & activities you can create

      Grades: 4th to 8th

  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

  One Earth, One Spirit

by Compiled by Tessa Strickland

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

Compiled especially for children with stunning photographs of youth from all over the world, this collection of prayers from Eastern and Western faiths and cultures celebrates our sacred bond with the Earth and the unifying connection of all life. A deep reverence for the Earth is expressed in these lyrical verses which originate from Native American, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Sikh, Taoist and Hindu cultures. "Notes on the Prayers" is included for adults to help young readers better understand the universality of spiritual experience and the origin of each selection.

      Grades: 3rd & up

  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

  Organic Gardening for Kids

by Elizabeth Scholl

HARDCOVER
Flora : Gardening
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Organic Gardening for Kids offers a wealth of information for young gardeners to create gardens to grow food and ornamentals without the use of harmful chemicals. Kids will learn what kind of plants can be grown based on soil and sun requirements, why to use compost to enrich the soil, and how to deal with pests and weeds. There are instructions to design and maintain all types of gardens -- perennial, vegetable, herb, butterfly and water -- as well as terrariums and container gardens. Craft projects include the building of a worm composter and a rain gauge.

To learn more about organic gardening, visit:
Rodale's Organic Gardening and Gardening with Kids
Lilly Dunn's Organic Gardening For Kids

Learn also about the Victory Garden Initiative to grow food.

See also:
Catherine Paladino's One Good Apple: Growing Our Food for the Sake of the Earth
Laurie Carlson's Green Thumbs: A Kid's Activity Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Gardening
Lois Ehlert's Growing Vegetable Soup

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  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

  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

  Play Lightly on the Earth

by Jacqueline Horsfall

PAPERBACK
The Living Earth
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Written with a deep understanding of children and a love of nature, Jacqueline Horsfall's "Play Lightly on the Earth" provides a wealth of creative and intriguing nature activities to inspire children, ages 3 to 9, about the natural world. The book is divided into sections to "play lightly" -- in the plant world, among the trees, on the Earth, in the wildlife world, among the birds, in the human world, in the sky and all together as one world. Children can learn about seed dispersal and root systems, the value of dead trees as habitats and the layers comprising the Earth's crust. They are encouraged to observe and imitate patterns of animal movements, learn about the use of their own senses, explore patterns in the night sky and seek relationships within plant and animal life of specific environments. Each activity clearly outlines materials needed for each project, instructions for the activity as well as questions (and hints) to promote discussions with children. This book provides a valuable resource for parents and educators to instill the sense of wonder of nature that Rachel Carson encouraged adults to reveal to their children.

See also:
Joseph Cornell's Sharing Nature With Children

      Grades: Activities for Preschool 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

  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

  Redwoods

by Jason Chin

HARDCOVER
Flora : Trees & Forests
Habitats & Ecosystems 

As he reads a book on a subway, a boy’s imagination transports him into a forest of western coast redwoods where he explores the wonders of these magnificent giants, some of the oldest trees in the world. This visually imaginative book, beautifully illustrated, factually describes the amazing structure and growth of these trees from the forest floor to the canopy as well as their important role in the ecosystem as a habitat for many other plants and animals, including endangered species, such as the northern spotted owl, the red tree vole and the marbled murrelet -- all live only in old growth forests. This experiential book is a treasure of information for children about the uniqueness and importance of redwood trees.

To learn more about redwood conservation, visit: Save the Redwoods League

See also:
Dana Lyons' The Tree
Kathy Baron's The Tree of Time: A Story of a Special Sequoia
Carol Reed-Jones' The Tree in the Ancient Forest
Linda Vieira's The Ever-Living Tree: The Life and Times of a Coast Redwood

      Grades: Preschool to 4th

  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

  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

  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

  Squirrel and John Muir

by Emily Arnold McCully

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature

Caldecott medalist, author and illustrator, McCully, has envisioned the fictional encounter of two historical figures in the beautiful setting of Yosemite, illustrated by stunning watercolor artwork. During the late 1860’s, six-year old Floy Hutchings, nicknamed "Squirrel" for her feisty personality, meets John Muir when he finds work at her father’s tourist hotel in Yosemite Valley. During his free time Muir explores the valley and mountains, studying the rocks and boulders to support his theory of the glacier formation of Yosemite. "Squirrel" trails him, curiously observing his patience, enthusiasm and determination. The inquisitive girl looks on as he builds a cabin over a stream, examines wildflowers and climbs a tree to experience a storm. As a friendship develops between the two, Muir becomes Floy’s guide, revealing the beauty and mysteries of the animals, plants and geology that surround her in Yosemite. The "Author’s Note" of this picture book expands on the historical context of the two characters, noting the significance of Muir’s later preservation work of the natural treasure as well as the short life of Floy in Yosemite.

      Grades: Kindergarten 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

  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

  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

  Tree of Life

by Rochelle Strauss

HARDCOVER
The Living Earth
Animals  : Various Classes

Tree of Life is an informative, scientific overview of the incredible diversity and interrelationship of life on Earth. The branches of the five Kingdoms of classification of life are each described on two-page spreads that also include captioned images on leaves of the tree, each leaf a symbol of the members of the respective Kingdom. The Animal Kingdom is examined in more detail, branching further into the Vertebrate classification of fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. The text then focuses on one specific leaf of the Tree of Life -- the leaf of humans -- showing the relationship to, as well as the tremendous impact of our species on, the Tree of Life Strauss concludes with information for becoming guardians of the Tree of Life, by learning "to live our lives within the Tree – as 1 leaf among 1,750,000". The afterword to parents and teachers adds depth to the scientific concepts and provides suggestions on fostering a biodiversity ethic with children.

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  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

  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

  When the Wolves Returned: Restoring Nature's Balance in Yellowstone

by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Habitats & Ecosystems 

Patent’s concise, informative and engaging text, describing how the reintroduction of wolves restored the balance in the Yellowstone ecosystem, is complemented by historical and recent full-color photography of the wolves and Yellowstone, its majestic geological wonders and native wildlife. Yellowstone was established in 1872 as a national park to preserve its geologic wonders of geysers, canyons, boiling hot pools, and mud pots "for the benefit and enjoyment of the people". To preserve the big game animals, hunters were paid to kill wolves and by 1926 not a single wolf was left in the lower 48 states. With the wolves gone, the elk and coyote populations in Yellowstone flourished. As time passed, however, the elk ate the young shoots and bark of trees that had provided food and nesting sites for songbirds as well as wood for beavers to build lodges and dams which had created ponds used by dragonflies, ducks and moose. Coyotes, now Yellowstone’s top predator, killed elk calves and newborn pronghorn fawns and ate animals that other smaller predators, such as foxes, hawks, owls and badgers, needed to survive. With the disappearance of wolves the balance of the complex ecosystem had been upset. Over time scientists began to realize the important, essential role played by wolves as a keystone species in an ecosystem where wolves had lived along with other animals for thousands of years. After an absence of almost seventy years, in 1995 several packs of wolves captured in Canada were introduced back into Yellowstone. Gradually nature’s balance in Yellowstone has been restored – "Returning the wolf is helping to make Yellowstone whole again. "

See also:
Jean Craighead George's The Wolves Are Back
Stephen Swinburne's Once A Wolf: How Wildlife Biologists Fought to Bring Back the Gray Wolf
Janni Howker's Walk with a Wolf /a>

To learn more about wolves, visit:
NRDC's
Save BioGems
Yellowstone National Park.com
Yellowstone Wolves.org

      Grades: 2nd & 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

  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

  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