Three Picture Books for Earth Day


Happy Earth Day! For billions of years, Earth has offered us a home with incredible bodies of water, fields full of trees, wondrous living creatures, and so much more. Earth Day gives us a chance to celebrate everything that this planet has gifted us, but more importantly, we use this day to bring awareness to the ways we can treat our home with more care. There are so many ways we can protect our planet: recycling, conservation, planting more trees, and educating our youth. Protecting our planet isn’t just for adults; children can be and should be included in these conversations as well. We’ve compiled a short list of picture books that encourage young people to make a change, even if it’s as simple as appreciating the world around them. Here are three picture books in honor of Earth Day!

Old Enough to Save the Planet written by Loll Kirby and illustrated by Adelina Lirius  

“I’m inspired enough to eat locally-grown food…We’re dedicated enough to save water…”

Old Enough to Save the Planet tells a series of real-life stories about children who have gone out of their way to save our planet. From planting trees in their community to educating other students about water conservation, children across the world have helped our planet in creative and kindhearted ways. This picture book utilizes non-fictional storytelling to inspire young readers and relay the message that they’re never too young to go out and aid the planet. In addition to this, the book weaves in educational facts about protecting our planet by exploring why it’s effective to eat locally grown food and why buying single-use plastics can be harmful. For each real-life story, Loll Kirby includes educational writing that explains how the different tasks these children complete can help our planet. This picture book is thoughtfully written to educate its readers while also encouraging them to conserve the Earth.

The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth written by Chris Burkard and illustrated by David McClellan

“Happiness was all around him.”

The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth tells the story of a young boy that speaks to our planet, leading him to embark on a journey towards finding happiness. He travels thousands of miles across many different landscapes, but he can’t seem to find joy anywhere. The boy eventually gives up, but the Earth tells him to make the journey once more. He follows the Earth’s advice, but this time, he slows down and truly takes in his surroundings—and he finds contentment. This picture book focuses on the ways in which children can appreciate the beauty of Earth through its beautiful landscapes. The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth also teaches young people to be grateful for Earth’s natural resources. While this picture book doesn’t offer specific ways that children can save the planet, it does encourage them to treasure Earth’s beauty, leading them to embrace the idea that our planet should be valued and protected. This is a wonderful picture book that encourages young readers to appreciate the Earth a little more, something that we should all do. 

Our Green City written by Tanya Lloyd Kyi and illustrated by Colleen Larmour 

“Truck driver, shopkeeper, urban planner, engineer. Lots of people work together to keep a green city.”

Our Green City is a picture book that features a walk-through exploration of a fictional sustainable city. Each page leads the reader through different areas of this city and lends its attention to the simple ways this town helps the Earth. For example, the book highlights how residents choose to bike around to reduce polluting the air and how buildings can utilize solar panels for natural energy. The green city also has a ton of gardens, ensuring that beautiful plants are grown alongside food for the neighborhoods. This book does a wonderful job highlighting how cities and the people in them can help our planet in big ways. This story emphasizes a strong sense of community, highlighting the ways that people come together when they share a common goal of protecting the Earth. Our Green City is beautifully written and full of stunning illustrations that show readers what the Earth could look like if we showed it more care. Moreover, the book asks the reader questions like “What would you plant in a garden?” or “What games would you play at a neighborhood block party?” These questions include young readers into important conversations about the planet and community, giving them a chance to participate in nurturing the Earth. This is a delightful picture book that allows the reader to appreciate our world while learning about ways that they can help to protect it.

Danielle Francesconi, Pine Reads Review Writer & Social Media Intern