Top Must have Environmental Books for Children

Being an elementary teacher and a mom with a great love of literacy and the environment, I am consistently searching for environmental books for children that will stretch their critical thinking and reflective skills. Here are two of my must-reads to foster children’s innate love of nature and living things.

Eco-Savvy families take note…environmental books for children are great conversation starters to discuss environmental activism!

1. Hug Time by Patrick McDonnell

This text starts by posing the question, ” Hug the whole world, will that make it better?”

A simple story of a kitten who wants to hug the world and goes on a journey to spread love. The kitten reaches out to animals, many of which are not typically known to children, and embraces them all. The story also ends by calling for a hug, so it’s a nice way to get an extra snuggle in!

Environmental Book for Children

Form: Board Book (picture book available too)  Best for:  Baby and up. My son really began to understand the bigger ideas in this text just after he turned 3.

Big Ideas of the Text: 

Acceptance, Caring for those in our home and community, Everybody needs love & everyone counts whether or not we know them, Taking action

Questions to ask your toddler or preschooler: 

Why did the kitten feel like he had to make the whole world better? What might be wrong with the world? Who might you like to hug?

2. If You Find a Rock by Peggy Christian

Accompanied by stunning photographs, this story poetically highlights children’s adventures outdoors and natural curiosity and imagination by sharing all the ways in which they connect to a rock. The magic moment of the story is found near the end when the author describes the best rock, which is a memory rock.

Truth: So sweet it made me a bit teary.


Form: Soft cover picture book Best for: Kindergarten through grades 3 (although can be enjoyed by younger and older children)

Big Ideas of the Text:

Imagination, Outdoor Exploration and connection to Natural Objects, Individuality, Story-telling, Memories

Questions to ask your Early Primary or Primary Student:

What have you used a rock for? Do you have a special rock? How might you choose the perfect memory rock?

Do you have a favourite environmental book that your children (or you) adore that promotes an appreciate of the environment and all living things? Share it with us here!



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Honest information to help you live green and love cloth diapering from a Canadian, urban, green mom.

Family Eco-Educator