4 years & up
Various: see each post!
Summary: Oh, Earth Day. I went really hard this year, and I regret nothing. I wanted to specifically share this roundup today because it’s crucial that we share these resources with the younger generation, and do our best to be stewards of the land we occupy.
Climate Change and How We’ll Fix It
By Alice Harman & Andrés Lozano; Published by Sterling Kids
This is a great upper elementary and MG book with bright graphics and a text style that speaks directly to the reader, which I find very engaging. It opens by saying that the reader has probably heard a lot about climate change already, which is an excellent way to demonstrate the trust that the author has in the reader that they’re starting from an informed place.
Broken down into three parts: “what we know”, “the problems”, and “the solutions”, there is also an introduction, glossary, and index. I like the problems section a lot. It’s written with a lot of speech bubbles and convincing scenarios with suggested pages of solutions. This makes it easy for readers to refute these statements that are heard in everyday life. This book is an excellent informational resource and a great way to learn about all of the intricacies of the climate change problem on a global scale.
The Big Beach Cleanup
By Charlotte Offsay & Katie Rewse; Published by Albert Whitman
Cora has been looking forward to the sandcastle competition at the end of the summer for a long time, but on the day of the competition she finds out it’s been cancelled because of litter (and an impending rainstorm). Although Cora and her mom spend the day picking up trash, by the time they return the next day it’s as if the pair hadn’t done anything at all!
Cora initially feels discouraged, but her mom helps her reframe and they plan ways to get their community involved in the cleanup. People are slow to come around (that pesky diffusion of responsibility) but eventually the beach is clean enough to hold the competition once again!
This story has a lot of good tips for readers on how to keep their community clean and be more sustainable in everyday life without being overbearing or preachy. It empowers people to take responsibility into their own hands, even if the majority of pollution and litter isn’t from individuals, but instead from large corporations.
Ocean Soup: A recipe for You, Me, and a Cleaner Sea
By Meeg Pincus & Lucy Semple; Published by Sleeping Bear Press
You might remember when I did the cover reveal for this book, and it’s here now in all of its hardcover glory! Ocean Soup works well with The Big Beach Cleanup because of how it addresses the same issue from different sides, one is the litter on the beach that’s washed ashore and the other is the litter in the ocean and how it impacts the environment before it washes ashore.
Ocean Soup focuses on the microplastics that are now found in our seas due to a variety of single-use plastics used in everyday life and synthetic fabrics being worn often. Some of these plastics are really helpful, like in hospitals and medical procedures, but some are unnecessary, like single use grocery bags. When plastics end up in the ocean, they’re eventually broken down and that’s how we get microplastics in the water…and in everything that lives in the water!
I appreciate how this book says the first step is to go to large corporations to stop unnecessary plastic production. Next, individual habits can impact sales of single-use plastics because more reusable and sustainable options are being utilized. Author Meeg Pincus talks about how over the years she’s noticed more and more plastics on the beach where she walks, and was inspired to write this book. This book is what I would call an “important bummer”; it doesn’t sugarcoat how dire things are getting, but it does give many many solutions for readers to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle and gives awesome scientific information about microplastics and their serious threat to the environment.
By Alli Brydon & EG Keller; Published by Sourcebooks Kids
Walter is a lobster on a mission. His mission is to win the annual garden competition, but his neighbor Milton is the reigning champion. What does this have to do with Earth Day or climate justice, you might ask? One day, trash starts showing up in their gardens. Even though they each blame the other one, it’s soon clear that something…or someone…else is to blame.
In the back of the book is an immense amount of additional information about the ocean, lobsters like Milton and Walter, and the issue of litter that’s impacting wildlife. There is also a humorous section with a glossary of Boston accents and slang (I say “wicked” a wicked lot…) with a list of references. Although the plot isn’t directly about the issue of pollution, it plays a large part in the garden competition preparations. The book takes another look at climate change by showing the impact on animals, who don’t know what’s happening and how the pollution is ending up in their literal backyards.
The Story of Climate Change: A first book about how we can help save our planet
By Catherine Barr, Steve Williams, Amy Husband, & Mike Love; Published by Quarto Kids
I love the way that this book starts off with the creation of the earth itself, and gives a history of humanity before climate change became an increasing threat. The context is helpful, as well as drives the point home that we are solely responsible for creating this environmental crisis.
The book reads much more like a story than some of the other books in this roundup, which is why they work together so well. Although this book is denser than a typical picture book, it can be enjoyed by a wide range of readers. There is a glossary in the back, and pages are helpfully labeled with a timeline in the corner. The Story of Climate Change covers a huge amount of information, but it’s not overwhelming or vague. It offers clear historical information and information for current readers and how they can help with the fight for climate justice across the globe.