Summer vacation from school is approaching! It’s time for library summer reading challenges and lazy days of reading with kids in the shade. It’s also a great time to help your kids connect with the beauty of nature and learn how our planet works. These eco-themed books focus on kindness to the environment and learning about the natural world – perfect for summer reading. Our list includes books at different reading levels for summer bookworms of different ages.
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Books for Young Children
Sky’s Quest for EcoHappiness
By Sandi Schwartz and Julie Neustadter illustrated by Emily Hercock
Sky’s Search for EcoHappiness is a fascinating picture book about a little girl who doesn’t feel very happy but isn’t sure why. Takes walks, finds lots of friends to spend time outside, and learns the value of time in nature.
Above and Below the Pool
Kate Messner illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
This book introduces young readers to the interesting life of underwater ponds. Over and Under the Pond combines an easy-to-understand story with quiet, captivating illustrations that reflect the beauty of aquatic life.
The Big Book of Flowers
by Yuval Zommer
Part of a series of beautiful picture books about nature for children, The Big Book of Blooms teaches children about flowers and plants from around the world and their relationship to the surrounding ecosystems.
From Seed to Plant
by Gail Gibbons
From Seed to Plant 30 years old but still invaluable to young children. Its simple words and striking pictures help children understand how a seed grows into a plant or tree. The book introduces scientific information about flowers, seeds and soil in a way that young children can understand.
Books for Primary School Children
The Young Naturalists’ Pop Up Handbook: Insects
by Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda
This pop-up book for older children is part of the Young Naturalist’s Handbook series. Intricate details and interesting facts about insects accompany huge pop-ups and animated pieces to showcase the diversity and beauty of insects.
The Magic and Mystery of Trees
Jen Green, drawing by Claire McElfatrick
Unlock the mystery of the canopy to children with the Magic and Mystery of Trees. Through both photographs and gorgeous illustrations, the book teaches children about the many trees in the world, how they grow, how they communicate with each other, and how they interact with the world around them.
Zero Waste Kids
by Rob Greenfield
Zero Waste Kids is an activity book that the whole family can use to reduce waste. Children feel responsible as they conduct their own waste inspections, learn about composting, and learn how to reuse discarded items.
Can You Hear The Trees Talking?
by Peter Wohlleben
Can You Hear The Trees Talking? It is an adorable children’s version of the best-selling adult book The Secret Life of Trees. This picture book introduces children to how trees in the forest interact through stories, quizzes, activities, and pictures.
Old Enough to Save the Planet
Loll Kirby illustrated by Adelina Lirius
A picture book that encourages young people to change the world, Old Enough to Save the Planet, highlights 12 children in different countries fighting for the planet. Each story is accompanied by beautiful illustrations and incentives for ordinary kids to make a difference.
Books for Middle and High School Children
Wonderful Works of Planet Earth
by Rachel Ignotofsky
A picture book for middle and high school students, its attractive images help students understand how the science of ecology works. The Wonderful Works of Planet Earth ends with information on climate change and leaves readers with a sense of hope.
365 Days of Art in Nature
by Lorna Scobie
365 Days of Art in Nature is a challenge to make nature art in one book every day for a year. Summer break would be the perfect time to start such a daily habit that will make its way into the school year to help reduce the stress of studying.
Rocks and Minerals: Get the Dirt in Geology
Chris Eboch illustrated by Alexis Cornell
This book explores the geological issues of plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, and erosion. Rocks and Minerals also helps students connect with other STEM subjects and possible future careers.
These are just a few of the many books that help young people guide environmental awareness. While there are many options for eco-themed reading, parents and children are sure to find a book with a topic they will enjoy together.