The best children’s books about the environment

We've selected the best kids books about the environment to help children learn about pollution, climate change and the importance of looking after the natural world.

14/01/2021
3 minutes to read

With fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg campaigning for changes in environmental policy and the disastrous effects of climate change regularly hitting the headlines, little ones are likely to have more questions and worries about the environment and our impact on it than ever before. Children’s books with an environmental message will help to answer their questions, teach them about nature and protecting our precious planet, and show them that we can all make a difference.  Here’s a selection of the best children’s books about the environment. 

Children’s books about the environment for babies and toddlers

Busy Grow

by Campbell Books

Book cover for 9781529052268

Green-fingered toddlers will love pushing, pulling and sliding the tabs to make the flowers bloom in Busy Grow. This colourful board book has gentle rhyming text and bright, colourful illustrations to spark little ones’ interest in discovering how things grow.

Busy Recycle

by Campbell Books

Book cover for 9781529051261

Help to clean up the Earth by pushing, pulling and sliding the tabs in Busy Recycle. Children will love helping to recycle waste, reusing materials to make a rocket and seeing the recycling truck do its work. This is one of the best children’s books about the environment for starting to educate little ones about the importance of recycling. 

Eco Warriors

by Nila Aye

Book cover for 9781529036046

Push, pull and slides the tabs to discover the environmental heroes who are changing our world for the better. Full of fun facts and bright illustrations, this board book will teach toddlers all about Greta Thunberg, David Attenborough and more. 

The Nature Girls

by AKI Delphine Mach

Book cover for 9781529004847

Full of rhymes, stunning illustrations and fun nature facts, this is an adorable picture book from author and illustrator Aki.  The Nature Girls are packing their bags and going on an adventure, exploring natural habitats around the world. There’s so much to discover, from swimming in the sea to exploring the desert, and they’re ready for anything nature throws at them!

Children’s books about the environment for ages 3 – 5

Tidy

by Emily Gravett

Book cover for 9781447273998

Little ones will love this funny rhyming woodland tale about the perils of being too tidy. Pete the badger likes everything to be neat and tidy at all times, but what starts as the collecting of one fallen leaf escalates and ends with the complete destruction of the forest. Will Pete realise the error of his ways and set things right?

Too Much Stuff

by Emily Gravett

Book cover for 9781509857333

This funny woodland story with an environmental message is a perfect picture book for young eco-warriors. Meg and Ash are a pair of magpies who are building a nest for their eggs. They start by using the usual building materials – mud, sticks and grass – but they are soon convinced that they don’t have enough stuff. They add more things – from cuckoo clocks to mops and socks, a pram and even a car – to their ever-growing pile, until the inevitable happens and there’s a big crash! 

Watership Down

by Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Book cover for 9781509881635

Set in the beautiful English countryside of the Berkshire Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of adventure, courage and survival follows a band of very special rabbits fleeing the destruction of their home by a developer. Led by a stout-hearted pair of brothers, they leave the safety of Sandleford Warren in search of a safe haven and a mysterious promised land, skirting danger at every turn.


Children’s books about the environment for ages 6 – 8

Be the Change

by Liz Brownlee

Book cover for 9781529018943

From National Poetry Day Ambassadors Liz Brownlee, Matt Goodfellow and Roger Stevens comes an incredible anthology of poetry identifying ways we can Be the Change.

These positive and upbeat poems will explore sustainability and the positive efforts being made to protect the planet and are perfect for starting conversations about looking after each other and our environment.

In this video, Liz Brownlee, Matt Goodfellow and Roger Stevens perform a selection of poems from Be the Change, and share some practical tips for helping our environment. 

Song of the Dolphin Boy

by Elizabeth Laird

Book cover for 9781509828234

For children aged 6 -8 years

Finn has always been different, and in the tiny fishing village of Stromhead he sticks out like a sore thumb. Always told to keep away from the water, he's felt that something was missing until one day he dives in and finds that, swimming with the dolphins, he feels completely at home. 
But his new friends are in danger of being injured by the rubbish that floats out into the water - and now a supermarket is going to release thousands of balloons that could drift out to sea and cause even more damage. Desperate to help the dolphins, Finn goes to the Lighthouse Crew, a group of kids who have always left Finn out. Will they be able to set aside their differences to save the dolphins? And what will Finn discover about his past along the way?

Planet Earth

by Daniel Gilpin

Book cover for 9780753437360

For children aged 6 - 8 years

Planet Earth is an exciting journey around the planet we call home, finding out about all its wonders from volcanic eruptions and mighty oceans to plants and animals, towns and cities.

Each bright, vibrant Explorers title features a series of beautiful, child-friendly, story-based scenes - easy to read but with a wealth of detail and plenty to look for - partnered by photographic spreads giving more in-depth information.

Children’s books about the environment for ages 9 – 12

Beauty and the Bin

by Joanne O'Connell

Book cover for 9781529032581

Laurie loves her family and helping them to make the world a better place, one home-made bath bomb at a time. But sometimes she just wants to be a normal kid. So when her school hosts a competition to find the next ‘business with a difference’ she teams up with the most popular girl at school to sell her home-made beauty products. Can Laurie find success without losing her true self? This children’s book with an environmental message is a fresh and funny debut about friends, family, school and being a young eco-warrior. 

Plastic Sucks! 

by Dougie Poynter

Book cover for 9781529019377

How can we all help save the planet? Dougie Poynter, musician and environmental activist, is here to show kids how they can help in the mission to cut-out single-use plastic. Full of top tips and infographics, Plastic Sucks! explains the history of plastic, draws on the experience of key campaigners and eco-entrepreneurs and includes easy steps we can all take to make small changes and become champions for the planet.