The recent years have been INCREDIBLE for new EARTH DAY books! I am super excited to share some of my favorites with you!

Many of these books are about TREES, so this list is also perfect for Arbor Day!

Great books for Earth Day & Arbor Day

Picture book cover- THE MESS THAT WE MADE by Michelle Lord & Julia Blattman. Picture of kids in a boat looking down into a sea full of animals and liter.

THE MESS THAT WE MADE by Michelle Lord & Julia Blattman is a book showing the mess that we have made as a society and what we can do to make things better. It is a cumulative tale with beautiful artwork.

THE CURIOUS GARDEN by Peter Brown is a delightful tale about a little boy who finds a garden and decides to take care of it. Over time, this garden spreads to brighten the whole dark, gray city.

THE TREE BOOK with a picture of a tree and other nature elements in small circles on the green cover.

THE TREE BOOK by Hannah Alice has SEE-THROUGH pages. Enough said, right? I have always been a big fan of the see-through pages that layer when stacked on top of each other. THE TREE BOOK divides the layers into flowers and leaves, fruit and seeds, insects, animal homes, fall colors, roots, and trunk and bark. So much to learn…and did I mention it has see-through pages?

Picture book, CARING FOR EARTH, with a picture of a girl and an older lady in a garden with other things going on around them.

ULTIMATE SPOTLIGHT CARING FOR EARTH by Sandra Laboucarie, Sarah Reynard, & Julie Mercier is another winner in the Ultimate Spotlight series. If you are not familiar, these books are packed with vocabulary and snippets of information presented in an interactive format with pop-ups, flaps, pull tabs, and more. I really like this non-fiction series.

Picture book, COOL GREEN AMAZING REMARKABLE TREES with a picture of a grandpa and his grandson looking up in a forest.

COOL GREEN: Amazing, Remarkable Trees by Lulu Delacre highlights AMAZING trees around the world. I have studied a lot of the amazing trees in the USA for a manuscript I wrote a while back, but I loved learning about the international trees I am less familiar with. Trees really are cool, amazing, and remarkable. Great book.

Picture Book cover- WE ARE WATER PROTECTORS by Carole Lindstrom & Michaela Goade. The cover illustration is an indigeous lady holding a feather in water.

WE ARE WATER PROTECTORS by Carole Lindstrom & Michaela Goade is a Caldecott Medal-winning book (super gorgeous) about the importance of water and a call to protect it.

Cover to the picture book THE LORAX by Dr. Seuss. There is a little orange harry critter on a stump of a whimsical tree.

THE LORAX by Dr. Seuss. No self-respecting Earth Day book list is complete without including this classic tale of taking care of the Earth and our resources. If you were to ask my girls, they would recommend also watching the movie so you can catch the song, “How Bad Can I Be?” Hahaha.

Picture book with a little boy, trees and forest animals on the cover. Title reads, "The Boy Who Grew A Forest" The True Story of Jadav Payeng by Sophia Gholz and Kayla Harren

THE BOY WHO GREW A FOREST by Sophia Gholz & Kayla Harren is one of my all-time favorite picture book biographies. Jadav Payeng made a huge difference on his home island by merely starting to plant bamboo trees. It is an inspirational story and very well written.

Picture book cover- THE TREE LADY: The Ture Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever by H. Joseph Hopkins & Jill McElmurry. Illustration is a lady laying on her back in the middle of a grove of trees.

THE TREE LADy: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever by H. Joseph Hopkins & Jill McElmurry. Okay, I have to share one more biography that I LOVE. Have you heard of Kate Sessions? When she arrived in San Diego it was a desert landscape. With lots of research and effort, Kate transforms the city into the beautiful place we know today.

Picture book ONE WORLD with two children, an earth, and lots of animals

ONE WORLD by Nicola Davies & Jenni Desmond is designed and intended for Earth Day. The events in the story all happen within 12 chimes of a clock bell, but also cover amazing animals all in different time zones all over the world! This book is awe-inspiring and compelling to inspire change in our behaviors to protect these amazing animals. It is a lovely book.

Picture Book Cover with three kids picking up trash along a beach. The title is THE BIG BEACH CLEANUP by Charlotte Offsay & Katie Rewse

THE BIG BEACH CLEANUP by Charlotte Offsay & Katie Rewse is about a young girl who is excited to enter a sandcastle-building contest. But the contest ends up being canceled because there is too much litter on the beach. The girl and her mom work together to organize a beach cleanup project. This is an empowering story of working together to make a difference.

Picture book EMPEROR OF THE ICE  with lots of emperor penguins on the cover.

EMPEROR OF THE ICE: How a Changing Climate Affects a Penguin Colony by Nicola Davies & Catherine Rayner is one of the most compelling non-fiction books I have come across. This story teaches the incredible task two Emperor penguins face to have a baby and keep it alive for its first year. This book also teaches how global warming is making life even harder for these penguins and other animals and people around the world and what we can do to help.

PRINTABLE Earth Day Facts for Kids (from ispyfabulous.com)

Fun Arbor Day Facts (from easyscienceforkids.com)

Fast Facts: –

  • The day is called ‘Tree Loving Day’ in Korea and ‘The Greening Week’ in Japan.
  • The date of this celebration can vary in different countries depending on their climate and planting season.
  • Although Nebraska is not a naturally tree friendly spot the state really needs trees as it is a treeless prairie.
  • America’s national tree is the oak tree. In 2004, the National Arbor Day hosted a vote on its website for a national tree.
  • Planting trees is not the only way to celebrate the day. Donations can be made to save rainforests and you can participate in a recycling program as well.
  • Some states including Alaska and Hawaii celebrate Arbor Day on a different day.
  • Julius Sterling Morton’s home is known as Arbor Lodge. It makes his love for trees more evident.
  • This family home looked like the White House and is a state park. Its 65 acres area has more than 250 different types of shrubs and trees.
  • Arbor Day was celebrated in South Africa in 1983 for the very first time.
  • In 1999, the celebration of this day has been extended to National Arbor Week from September 1 to September 7.
  • Arbor week is also celebrated in Ontario, Canada.

Jamie Bills

Here are a couple of other nature-inspired book lists you might enjoy:

An Alligator and a crocodile holding books with the words Alligator & Crocodile Picture Books on graphic
Shark and books. Text says "Books about Sharks"