It's World Book Day. What better way to celebrate than with some inspiration of books to enjoy with your little one...all with a green theme.
1) Listen, Listen by Phillis Gershator and Alison Jay.
There is no overt environmental message; instead you’ll discover beautiful illustrations that perfectly depict the passing of the seasons alongside brilliantly chosen words and sounds that convey quite how amazing our natural environment is.
2) Tidy by Emily Gravett.
Pete the badger is a tidiness freak, whose habits start to destroy his forest. Emily Gravett’s other books include The Odd Egg and Orange Pear Apple Bear - this simple and gently humorous story is in the same vein as her other much-loved stories for younger children.
3) Hello, Hello by Brendan Wenzel.
With simple rhymes and almost one hundred animals to discover, these colourful, collage style images depict a host of animals - all of which are under threat.
4) When the Bees Buzzed Off by Lula Bell and Stephen Bennett.
A lift-the-flap book that is full of information which parents probably don’t know either! The bees have disappeared, so the garden insects go looking for them. A great tale about the importance of bees that is suitable for ages 3-103.
5) Where’s the Elephant? by Barroux.
A story without words, this is a jungle hide and seek book...but as the jungle begins to disappear, the elephant, parrot and snake become harder to spot. Barroux has a unique style and ‘Where’s the starfish’ and ‘Welcome’ are also compelling environmental reads that grow with your little one.
6) Compost Stew by Mary McKenna Siddals.
Composting is one of the most important things that households can do to reduce their environmental impact - and composting with kids is great fun, as well as a brilliant way of developing their awareness of how nature works. From apple cores to zinnia heads, this is the ultimate children’s A-Z of what you can compost - all delivered in simple rhymes and collage illustrations.
7) Mad About Minibeasts! by Giles Andreae and David Wojtowycz.
It’s easy to get upset about orang-utans and pandas - but our often-forgotten, misunderstood minibeasts are vital to our ecosystem and under serious threat. They’re also fascinating and accessible for little people. There’s no greater way of instilling environmental appreciation in our children than developing their love and awareness of the everyday nature that’s around them, and this exciting, fast-paced book of rhymes adds excitement to any garden discoveries your little one makes. Commotion in the Ocean by the same author and illustrator is also a lovely introduction to sea life.
8) See Inside Recycling and Rubbish by Alex Frith.
There is no ‘away’ - something that plenty of adults forget. By teaching our little ones about rubbish and recycling, they can appreciate from an early age that things don’t disappear when we’re finished with them. Aimed at older children, this Usborne book from the ‘See inside’ series also appeals to younger children thanks to its detailed illustrations and lift-the-flap format.
9) Big Bear Hug by Nicholas Oldland.
A strong environmental message combined with an excuse for lots of cuddles...what’s not to love. This is a gently funny book with simple illustrations that evoke the beauty of Canada’s wilderness. A bear who hugs everyone meets a human with an axe and has to find a way to protect the forest, this is a book about affection as well as the environment.
10) The Big Green Book by Fred Pearce and Ian Winton.
Aimed at older children (5-7 years) but with lots of tabs to pull, pop-ups and flaps to lift, this book will grow with your little one. It’s full of facts about everything from cotton growing to soil erosion, and is written by award-winning environmental journalist and author Fred Pearce.
-Looking for something for older children? Why not try: The Lorax by Dr Seuss (4+)... The Last Wolf by Mini Grey (5-7yrs)...The Animals of Farthing Wood by Colin Dann... or Curious Garden by Peter Brown.