Heal the Earth with These Inspiring Picture Books

A growing list of picture books to inspire the next generatio of environmental advocates.

Inspire kids to become environmental advocates.

This list is designed to give your child critical tools to protect the environment. We've included some fiction and many nonfiction titles that offer practical tips and inspiring tales of earth-friendly acts of kindness.


Talk about the issue.

  • Engage your children in problem solving: What good things are we already doing in our day to help the earth? What simple changes can our family make to take even better care of our planet?

  • Ask questions that prompt conversations about environmental ethics: "Why should we walk instead of drive to the park?"

  • Acknowledge tough choices ("It's hard to know how far to turn down the thermostat in the winter."), and make a point to discuss your environmental values.

  • Explain that simple decisions can have an impact, like coloring on both sides of  the page, turning off the water when you brush your teeth, or turning out lights when you leave a room. 

Make time to discuss the books you read and the service projects you do together. By talking intentionally and openly about complicated ideas, you are giving your child the opportunity to strengthen their compassion, problem-solving, and empathy muscles.
— Sarah Aadland, Doing Good Together
Print DGT’s reflection guide when you volunteer to  heal the earth.  Also,  click here  for our complete list of reflection guides.

Print DGT’s reflection guide when you volunteer to heal the earth. Also, click here for our complete list of reflection guides.

Our Featured Title

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul
How much mess can one plastic bag create? Find out in this compelling story, and follow Ceesay in her creative effort to clean up.


More DGT Favorites

365 Ways to Live Green for Kids: Saving the Environment at Home, School, or at Play–Every Day! by Sheri Amsel
Simple ideas for how kids can protect the earth.

The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle:  A Story About Recycling by Allison Inches
Ever wonder what happens when you recycle a plastic bottle? Follow its journey from your recycling bin to its new life as you learn about the importance of recycling.

The Berenstein Bears Go Green by Jan Berenstain and Mike Berenstain
When the Berenstain family discovers that the town dump is overflowing, they must find a way to fix the problem before it's too late.

 The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
When drought struck fourteen-year-old William Kamkwamba's Malawi village, everyone struggled. Failing crops mean there wasn't enough money to attend school, so William spent his time in the library where he discovered and became an expert in the power of wind. This true story of a boy who brought electricity to his village is as exciting and inspiring as any fiction picture book.

Colonel Trash Truck by Kathleen Crawley
The colonel is on a mission to protect the beauty of the earth by cleaning up litter — and convincing others to do the same.

The Greening Book by Ellen Sabin
Through activities and exercises, The Greening Book teaches children that they can make a difference in the future of our planet.

Heal The Earth: A White Feather Flier Adventure by Julian Lennon
This clever book ignites imagination and invites little readers on a journey to heal the earth. Best for readers ages 5 and under.

Here Comes the Garbage Barge by Jonah Winter
This hilarious story is sure to inspire your whole family to be mindful of your environmental impact.

Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg
What's so important about taking care of the earth anyway? Walter discovers in the answer in a captivating vision of the future. The illustrations alone will inspire your whole family, and the ending will inspire a discussion about what your family can do to create a brighter future.

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
The Lorax, who speaks for the trees, warns the Once-ler that there are lasting consequences of cutting down trees. In case you've missed it, this book is also an exceptional animated film.

The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge by Joanna Cole
The beloved Ms. Frizzle not only explains climate change with both humor and science, but empowers kids to help solve the crisis. In true Magic School Bus fashion, this book captivates children while delivering a critical message.

The Michael Recycle series by Ellie Bethel
Recycling is a superpower! This endearingly entertaining series features Michael encouraging people to recycle and get creative in various situations.

The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge by Joanna Cole
The beloved Ms. Frizzle not only explains climate change with both humor and science, but empowers kids to help solve the crisis. In true Magic School Bus fashion, this book captivates children while delivering a critical message.

The Michael Recycle series by Ellie Bethel
Recycling is a superpower! This endearingly entertaining series features Michael encouraging people to recycle and get creative in various situations.

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Not for Me Please: I Choose to Act Green by Maria Godsey
This clever, rhyming tale introduces early elementary students to different ways they can “act green.” Join Luke as he role models how children can use the phrase “not for me” to step up and take action on behalf of the environment. Full of relatable examples and lively illustrations, this book is a fun way to reinvigorate your conservation habits.

The Problem of the Hot World by Pam Bonsper
Five forest friends band together to teach an important lesson about global warming. Realizing that there are serious problems in their surroundings, these critters take a journey to figure out what’s causing them. Best for readers ages 5 and under.

The Tantrum that Saved the World by Megan Herbert and Michael E. Mann

This title isn’t currently available on Amazon but is available at  World Saving Books.

This title isn’t currently available on Amazon but is available at World Saving Books.

This unique book is told in two parts. First, it tells the story of a little girl who inherits a big problem she didn’t ask for, gets really frustrated, and then channels all of her energy into action. Then, it takes care to explain the science of climate change in non-threatening, non-terrifying language for kids. It even includes an action plan families can follow after they read the book.

Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World by Laurie Lawlor
A pioneer in the field of environmentalism, this picture book tells of how Rachel Carson overcame opposition from family and friends to become the author of the famed book, Silent Spring, which linked the effects of humans to the changes in the environment.

Snowy White World to Save by Stephanie Lisa Tara
Mama Polar Bear and her cubs are facing down the real impact of climate change.

What Happens to Our Trash? by D. J. Ward
Discover what happens to garbage and recycling once it’s disposed of.

Why Should I Series:
Why Should I Protect Nature?
Why Should I Recycle?
Why Should I Save Water?
Why Should I Save Energy?

All by Jen Green and Mike Gordon. The four-book Why Should I? series by Jen Green answers children’s questions about the environment and demonstrates the importance of protecting nature.

Wangari’s Trees of Peace by Jeanette Winter
The story of Wangari Maathai, the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner who planted over 30 million trees in Kenya and helped reshape her country’s approach to nature.

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Disclaimer:  Doing Good Together™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.