The best books to teach kids about the environment

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

2 minutes to read

Earth Day is celebrated on 22 April each year, and this year marks fifty years since the first Earth Day. With fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg campaigning for changes in environmental policy and the movement against single-use plastics gathering momentum, little ones are likely to have more questions about the environment and our impact on it than ever before. We’ve put together a selection of books that 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.

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. 

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.

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!

I Wonder Why There's a Hole in the Sky 

Book cover for 9780753432815

For children aged 5- 7 years

Everything that children need to know about the environment, plus a bit more! I Wonder Why There's a Hole in the Sky answers children's questions about the world around them in a natural, amusing and imaginative way.

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.

Watership Down

by Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Book cover for 9781509881642

For children aged 5 - 9 years

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.