Top Ten Tuesday – Books to Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day is April 22nd but it’s never too early to start sharing some inspiring Earth Day read-alouds in your class! My Top Ten post this week features some BRAND NEW titles (many just released last month) and a few of my older favorites for encouraging all students to be “Earth Mindful” and the to help raise awareness of the importance of protecting the environment. We can ALL make a difference!

This Is The Planet Where I Live – K.L. Going

This gorgeous new release celebrates the inter-connectedness of our planet. Written in a cumulative style that begs to be read aloud! As the text repeats, I can see younger students joining in the reading. The illustrations are bright and colorful and offers SO many possibilities for art, poetry, and science extensions. Also a great anchor book for visualizing! (Beach Lane Books, March 2023)

The Day The River Caught Fire – Barry Wittenstein

What I love about picture books is how much I learn from them! This new book will help you and your students discover how a 1969 fire in one of the most polluted rivers in America sparked the national Earth Day movement. I had never heard of the fire on the Cuyahoga River, so I thought this book did a nice job of explaining the lead up to the fire, what caused so much pollution in the river, and how people were inspired to make change. (Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books – March 28, 2023)

Black Beach: A Community, an Oil Spill, and the Origin of Earth Day- Shaunna & John Stith

A second option for a new book that depicts the origin of Earth Day. I like that the book showed how everyone tried to help with the cleanup and that the children then took to environmental activism. Excellent two page timeline laying out over a period of four years how Earth Day started included. (Little Bee Books, Feb. 2023)

One Earth – Eileen Spinelli

I love Eileen Spinelli and I love this Earth Day counting book – perfect for early primary students AND available in French! Readers count wonderful things in nature they see 1-10, and then count back down looking at ways they can reduce, reuse, recycle and take care of the one Earth. I appreciated the cleverness and the fact that the book goes beyond the normal “turn off a light or recycle’ to look at a wider variety of ways to reduce waste. Would make a great read for Earth Day for younger students! (WorthyKids – 2020)

If You Come to Earth – Sophie Blackall

If you could write a letter about Earth to someone who lives on another planet, what would you tell them? That is the premise of Sophie Blackall’s book, which is one of my favorites to share in preparation for Earth Day. A young child named Quinn writes a letter to a perspective alien, telling all about Earth, its place in the universe, the parts of it that make it Earth, living and non-living things – but most importantly interconnectedness. (Check out my OLLI lesson I developed and shared during Covid using this book!) Moving, gorgeous and tender! Available in French. (Scholastic, 2020)

Be A Good Ancestor – Leona Prince & Gabrielle Prince

SO much to love about this book! It is a beautiful poetic call, through the lens of Indigenous beliefs, about generations and nature. The book is a reminder to us all of the interconnectedness & circle of life we all live, as well as the the impact of the ancestors that came before us. Gorgeous illustrations! (Orca Book Publishers, May 2022)

The Earth Gives More – Sue Fliess

Rhyming text takes readers through the seasons in a neighborhood, focusing on what nature is doing during different seasons and what people can be doing to take care of the Earth. It’s a simple celebration of all the Earth gives us and a gentle plea to do “help the Earth thrive and grow.” (Albert Whitman Company, 2019)

Sea Change – Joel Harper

A beautiful wordless picture book about a little girl who discovers litter during a visit to the beach. So she collects some of the trash to take home, turns it into an art project, and shares the story with her class. As a result, her class goes to the beach for a clean up, turns what they find into an art project, and shares it with a larger audience. The movement continues to build with more people participating in beach clean ups. I love how this book shows kids how it is possible for them to promote climate change and inspire others. (Freedom Three Publishing, 2015)

The Planet We Call Home – Aimee Isaac

This new book was included in the #GearPicks Pack book subscription this spring! It’s a lyrical ode to Planet Earth – told in the cumulative style of “This Is the House that Jack Built.” An inspirational environmental message told in gently, rhythmic language and STUNNING illustrations. A perfect addition to your Earth Day collection! (Philomel Books, March 2023)

For more information about the GearPicks Pack book subscription service or get your name on the information email list, please contact Elizabeth Graves at

One World – Nicola Davies

I’m a huge fan of Nicola Davies so always excited to see a new book by her! This nonfiction book is written as a dream-like journey across the world as seen through the eyes of two young girls. They observe life as it happens in just one minute of time – a glimpse of biodiversity combined with an urgent message about climate change. The message is clear: while the world may feel like it’s ours, we share it with many other living things and our actions have impact.  Fascinating, beautiful, imaginative, and inspires lots of curiosity. (Candlewick Press, March 2023)

Dear Earth – Isabel Otter

Young Tessa decides to write a love letter to the Earth. She first describes the wonders of the oceans, savannahs, mountains, deserts and forests, then promises to take care of all its beauties and wonders. I love that this small act of writing a letter shows that this young child is starting to think of her role as a caregiver and activist. A great book to inspire your students to write their own letters to the Earth! (Caterpillar Books, March 2020)

Count On Us Climate – Activists From One To A Billon – Gabi Snyder

A wonderful beginning book for climate activists shows how one small person can make a big change! This book gives a sense of agency and urgency to the fight for our climate and includes numbers, the alphabet, and a lot of information about the environment. Includes extensive back matter and a day by day guide of how to help like “meat-free Monday” and “tidy-up Tuesday”. (Barefoot Books, Sept. 2022)

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have found a few new titles to share with your students leading up to Earth Day!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Karin Farquhar

    Hi Adriene,

    Could you do another middle school chapter book post before the end of the year? I am particularly looking for chapter books featuring wildlife or nature (to fit with themes my students are interested in). Thank you for your posts -I save them all for future use!

    Growing and learning together,

    Karin Farquhar

    The Nature Collective Cowichan Valley Open Learning – The Grove [cid:137ba274-10e5-4650-9fe6-70728d9e1f9e] I acknowledge that for thousands of years the Hul’q’umi’num speaking people have walked gently on the unceded territories where I now live, work, and play. I seek a new relationship with the first peoples here, one based in honour and respect, and I thank them for their hospitality. ________________________________

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