2022-2023 have been INCREDIBLE years 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, WHAT DO YOU SEE WHEN YOU LOOK AT A TREE with a little girl looking up at a large tree.

WHAT DO YOU SEE WHEN YOU LOOK AT A TREE? by Emma Carlisle is a celebration of trees that invites the reader to slow down and take time to look and learn from trees. The illustrations are beautiful and I appreciated the backmatter about how trees speak to each other and support each other.

Picture book, MY FIRST POP-UP ENDANGERED ANIMALS. With two penguins on the cover.

MY FIRST POP-UP ENDANGERED ANIMALS by Owen Davey is a stylish, minimalistic pop-up featuring animals from around the world who are endangered. There are one to two fun facts about each animal included on each page.

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 WATER HOW WE CAN PROTECT OUR FRESHWATER with some kids getting water in what looks like an African country.

A WALK THROUGH THE RAIN FOREST by Martin Jenkins & Vicky White is packed with great information about water- the first water on earth, the limited supply of fresh water, the water cycle, the importance of water, and how we can do our part to use water wisely and protect this limited resource. Super comprehensive. I love the list of facts provided on each page. This book would be great in classrooms and libraries and for use in facilitating a discussion about conservative water usage.

Picture book, A WALK THROUGH THE RAINFOREST, with a big tropical, colorful bird on a black and white photo-type illustration of a rainforest in Malaysia.

A WALK THROUGH THE RAIN FOREST by Martin Jenkins & Vicky White is immersive with lovely storytelling. The book takes you on a journey into the heart of a rainforest in Malaysia where you meet bugs, animals, and trees. You learn about the life cycle of new tropical rainforest trees and the importance of preserving these rainforests for the trees, animals, and bugs who live there.

Picture book, THE TREE AND THE RIVER, with a tree next to a river in a landscape setting with hills in the background and deer nearby.

THE TREE AND THE RIVER by Aaron Becker is a thought-provoking wordless book about the rise and fall of a civilization and a tree that is there to witness it all. This book invites readers to consider the relationship between nature and humans. Probably best suited for older children.

Picture book ECO GIRL with a little girl holding a young plant on a green cover.

ECO GIRL by Ken Wilson-Max is about a little girl named Eve who loves baobab trees. She tries to be patient like a tree and stretch like a tree. When Eve visits her grandma, she learns of a beautiful family tradition and receives her own tree to nourish. I like that this book highlighted the baobab tree, it is such a neat tree (and important in Africa). I learned a lot in the backmatter.

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 ONE TINY TREEFROG with a little red-eyed tree frog on the cover with a lot of large, wet green leaves.

ONE TINY TREE FROG: A Countdown to Survival by Tony Piedra & Mackenzie Joy is the perfect Earth Day COUNTING book. Taking place in Costa Rica, this story starts with 10 red-eyed treefrogs and counts down to the one who survives. A little bit of a sad thought, but true to nature. The illustrations in this book are beautiful and it is fun to see the developmental stages of egg through frog as the story moves along.

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"