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Best environmental books for kids

Best environmental books for kids
Empower your child to make a difference with our pick of the best children's books about the environment. From plastic pollution to climate change and the work of activists and campaigners, we highlight the best reads for young eco-warriors.

Our Planet: The official children’s companion to the Netflix documentary series by Matt Whyman

(£20, HarperCollins Children's Books)

A gorgeous visual celebration of our natural world, a book to get lost in and pore over. With a foreword by Sir David Attenborough and sections about our frozen worlds, our jungles, our seas and coasts, our deserts and grasslands, our fresh water environments and our forests, your child will learn plenty of facts about the planet we call home alongside the awe-inspiring photography and the conservation message.

Greta and the Giants by Zoë Tucker

(£6.99, Frances Lincoln)

Climate emergency activist Greta Thunberg is celebrated in this inspiring picture book, which retells her story for young children. Greta is a girl who lives in a beautiful forest threatened by Giants. The Giants chop down trees to build houses, cities and towns and the forest is disappearing forever. Greta vows to help the animals who live in the forest – but will anyone join her in her fight? 

A Planet Full of Plastic: and how you can help by Neal Layton

(£6.99, Wren & Rook)

Where does plastic come from? Why doesn't it biodegrade? Why is it dangerous for humands and animals? Most importantly, is there anything we can do to change a world that's drowning in single-use plastic? Neal Layton's wonderful, trademark collage-style illustrations bring the enviornmental message to life and explain all the technical details in simple, accessible language. A wonderful handbook for children who want to make sure plastic doesn't stick around forever in the future.

The Incredible Ecosystems of Planet Earth by Rachel Ignotofsky

(£12.99, Wren & Rook)

A beautifully illustrated reference book to introduce children (and adults!) to ecosystems large and small, from reefs, deserts and rainforests to just one drop of water. Through detailed illustrations, maps and infographics, best-selling author Rachel Ignotofsky explains how everything on our planet is connected, from complex ecosystems and weather cycles to the biodiverse plants and animals. There's information on the dangers of climate change and ideas for how to protect our planet, too.

Guardians of the Planet: How to be an Eco-Hero by Clive Gifford and Jonathan Woodward

(£12.99, Buster Books)

Arm your child with all the information they need to become a guardian of the planet. With tips and facts at their fingertips and a choice of creative activities to get stuck into, they can learn how to become keepers of the coasts, friends of the forests, home heroes and more! The suggestions are practical and (appropriately) down to earth: from reusing clothes and composting food to reducing water waste and giving wildlife a helping hand, it'll be easy for young eco-heroes to start making a difference.

There's a Rang-Tan in My Bedroom by James Sellick

(£12.99, Hachette)

A picture book with a big message about deforestation, the plight of orangutans and what each of us can do to help. A little girl discovers a cheeky orangutan in her bedroom and can't understand why it keeps shouting OOO! at her shampoo and her chocolate. When Rang-tan explains that humans are destroying the rainforest and the orangutans' home to grow palm oil to put in products, the girl knows what she has to do: help save the orangutans!

Earth Heroes: Twenty Inspiring Stories of People Saving Our World by Lily Dyu

(£9.99, Nosy Crow)

We all know Greta Thunberg's story – but have you heard about some of the other amazing individuals from all around the globe who are making a difference to the future of our planet? From Mohammed Rezwan, the architect behind Bangladesh's pioneering floating school scheme, to Isatou Ceesay, a Gambian innovator turning waste into wealth for her community, and Australians Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski, creators of the Seabin, this biographical collections shows that everyone can play a part in making change happen.

This Book Will (Help) Cool the Climate: 50 Ways to Cut Pollution, Speak Up and Protect Our Planet by Isabel Thomas

(£6.99, Wren & Rook)

The science behind climate change and its causes is thoroughly explained in this engaging, accessible guide for kids, complete with myth-busting information and climate-change-denial counter arguments. We know our planet is in peril – but what can we do about it? With pratical, timely tips, readers can find out how to navigate life in the 21st century in the greenest way possible. A one-stop read to help transform eco-worried kids into eco-activists.

Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers About Plastic by Katie Daynes

(£9.99, Usborne)

Even young children can be informed about why there is so much plastic in the world, what it's used for, why it's a problem and how we can act to make things better. More than 60 plastic and pollution questions are answered in this lift-the-flap board book, suitable for ages 5+. Quirky illustrations and the interactive format will help kids understand this global predicament and inspire them to be part of the solution.

Somebody Swallowed Stanley by Sarah Roberts

(£6.99, Scholastic)

Everybody has a taste for Stanley, but he is no ordinary jellyfish. Stanley has two handles instead of tentacles. Stanley has stripes and he doesn't glow like other jellyfish. Stanley is no jellyfish – he's a plastic bag, and he shouldn't be in the sea! A simple story which will resonate with young children and introduce them to the message that our efforts to reduce, reuse, recycle and pick up plastic makes a life-or-death difference to ocean life.

You Can Save The Planet: 101 Ways You Can Make a Difference by J. A. Wines and Clive Gifford

(£6.99, Buster Books)

This book is a call to action for kids everywhere – because, in the words of Greta Thunberg, "no one is too small to make a difference." The book introduces and explains why climate change, pollution and deforestation must be addressed now, and includes 101 smart, practical and fun things children can do to make their homes, schools and neighbourhoods more environmentally friendly – starting today.

The Plastic Problem: 60 Small Ways to Reduce Waste and Help Save the Earth

(£6.99, Lonely Planet Kids)

Packed with practical, easy-to-action tips to help kids (and adults!) tackle plastic pollution, this handbook will inspire families to make a big difference with plastic reduction. From using non-plastic alternatives made of bambook, metal and compostable materials to putting pressure on wasteful companies, this inspiring handbook will help YOU start your journey to a low- or no-plastic life.

Can we really help the Polar Bears?

(£9.99, Usborne)

Aimed at KS1 children, this non-fiction picture book explains the facts about global warming and climate change in a clear, engaging way through the story of a family of polar bears who visit Warmland to ask for help. Hopeful and empowering, this is a title to inspire younger kids and offers an age-appropriate guide to tackling the climate crisis.

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