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Books to Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day is this Friday, April 22, and picture book read-alouds are a great way to celebrate with preschool and elementary-aged children. Here are four recently published titles worth sharing with the kids in your life.

Cover image of Our Planet: There's No Place Like Earth

Our Planet: There's No Place Like Earth!

by Stacy McAnulty

illustrated by David Litchfield

Henry Holt and Company, 2022

The latest title in her charming Our Universe series, Our Planet relies on Earth's narration to explain why it is the perfect planet for us Earthlings, the ways in which we are putting its climate in the fast lane, and how we can help. McAnulty hits the sweet spot of introducing a serious problem to kids while still focusing on how small actions can really make a difference, and Litchfield's colorful illustrations add emotional oomph. I read this to my entire elementary school this past week at an early Earth Day assembly. When I finished, a first grader shouted out, "I NEED that book!" I think that speaks for itself.


Cover image of How to Say Hello to a Worm

How to Say Hello to a Worm: A First Guide to Outside

by Kari Percival

Rise x Penguin Workshop, 2022

Spring is the time when many of us yearn to be outside with our hands in the soil, digging, planting, and tending a garden. How to Say Hello to a Worm invites preschool kids to join the fun in everything from making mud and planting peas to gently greeting worms, ladybugs, and bees. Colorful woodcut illustrations add to wonder and excitement of experiencing nature firsthand. If you share this with kids, be ready to go play in the dirt and maybe start a garden of your own!


Cover image of Hello, Puddle!

Hello, Puddle!

by Anita Sanchez

illustrated by Luisa Uribe

Clarion Books, 2022

Kids love to splash in puddles, but have they (or you) ever stopped to consider how many different living things depend on them? This lovely, lyrical book explores the many different creatures who live in and/or use puddles throughout the year. Colorful, cheerful illustrations invite children to stop and explore each spread, while the entire book is itself an invitation to get outside and find a puddle to observe. A great and surprising addition to the early-elementary-grades study of habitats.


Cover image of Mushroom Rain

Mushroom Rain

by Laura K. Zimmerman

illustrated by Jamie Green

Sleeping Bear Press, 2022

I absolutely love when a nonfiction picture book teaches me something new, and Mushroom Rain immediately became a new favorite for doing just that. This unique, lyrical look at the world of mushrooms includes their astounding variety, their ability to seemingly pop up out of nowhere, their hidden underground mycelium network, and, in a new-to-me-fact, their ability to help create rain. Gorgeous end pages and illustrations accompany the poetic text and truly bring it to life, and the back matter includes interesting information and a fun activity. After reading the copy from the library, I immediately bought this for my classroom.

Have you read any great nature-related books lately? What will you share for Earth Day this Friday?

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