22 Multicultural Children’s Books for Earth Day

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Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day


22nd of April is Earth Day! Now in its 46th year, the Earth Day movement continues to inspire people everywhere to take action towards saving our beautiful planet.

Some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges remain global warming, air and water pollution, deforestation, overpopulation, waste disposal and the depletion of our natural resources.

If we want to create a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable planet, we must teach our children environmental awareness and green habits from an early age, so they can “be the change”.

2016’s Earth Day theme is “Trees for the Earth”. One of the movement’s major goals is to plant 7.8 billion trees by 2020 – one tree for every person on the planet.

Why not plant a tree with your children at home or start a class project planting trees at school?


22 Multicultural Children’s Books for Earth Day


Recycling Is Fun
by Charles Ghigna
Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: Recycling is Fun

With cute illustrations and simple rhyming text, Recycling Is Fun is a great first Earth Day book for the littlest ones that teaches them how recycling is part of looking after our Earth. An adorable bunch of diverse children have fun while putting paper, plastic, glass and tin in their proper bins. ~ Diverse – Toddlers


This Is Our World
by Emily Sollinger

Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: This Is Our World

Made from 70% recyclable material, This Is Our World takes children on a fun interactive journey teaching them how to take care of the earth. From gardening to recycling to collecting litter on the beach and creating spaces for birds and other garden visitors, little ones learn how to develop green habits. The bright and cheerful illustrations include a double-sided puzzle piece on each page that can be put together to two different puzzles at the end. ~ Diverse – Preschool

Little Helpers
by IKids
Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: Little Helpers

“I may be just one little person / but what I do affects the world in a big way.” With colourful illustrations, Little Helpers inspires preschool children to love and respect nature and practice earth-friendly habits. Made from recycled materials and printed with eco-friendly inks, this sweet board book delivers a great environmental message in an age-appropriate way. ~ Diverse – Preschool

We Planted a Tree
by Diane Muldrow
Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: We Planted A Tree

“We planted a tree and it grew up, / While it reached for the sky and the sun.” Two young families in two very different parts of the world (New York City and an African village) plant a tree and watch it flourish. At the same time trees all over the world help clean the air, enrich the soil, and give fruit and shade. With simple poetic text and colourful digital illustrations, this is my favourite multicultural children’s book for Earth Day for preschoolers. ~ African – Preschool

Recycling Day
by Edward Miller

Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: Recycling Day

On Recycling Day a group of volunteers clean up a trash-filled vacant lot and transform it into a community garden. As they  sort plastic, glass, paper, and metal, little readers learn how each material can be recycled, including electronics, fabrics, books, and toys. With encouraging text, fun illustrations, informative diagrams and “Going Green” suggestions, Recycling Day is a great book for creating awareness about consumption, waste and recycling. ~ Diverse – Preschool

Call Me Tree / Llamame arbol
by Maya Christina Gonzalez
Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: Call Me Tree

“I dream/I am reaching/Dreaming and reaching/Reaching and dreaming.” Call Me Tree follows a diverse bunch of children as they experience what it would feel like to be a tree – from seed to growing roots and branches that reach out into the world. With lyrical text and engaging watercolour illustrations, this picture book teaches children about connecting with themselves and nature. Many of the children are depicted in variations of the yoga tree pose. ~ Diverse – Preschool

All the World
by Liz Garton Scanlon
Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: All The World

“All the world is here. / It is there. / It is everywhere. /All the world is right where you are. /Now.” All The World follows the activities of a multiracial family (black dad, white mom) and their circle of friends from morning to night. From finding shells on the beach to the admiring the sunset sky, this gentle picture book shows loving family interactions and teaches appreciation for the smaller and bigger wonders of our planet. I just love the warm and cosy feel of this book! ~ Diverse – Preschool

Wangari’s Trees of Peace
by Jeanette Winter
Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: Wangari's Trees of Peace

Wangari’s Trees of Peace tells the inspiring story of Kenyan environmentalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai. When Wangari returns home from studying in the US, she is shocked to see whole forests being cut down. She starts planting trees and soon inspires great change. The simple language and colourful illustrations make this a good introduction to environmentalism for preschoolers, although it also addresses the difficult subjects of violence and imprisonment. ~ African – Preschool

More books about inspiring female role models:

26 Multicultural Picture Books about Inspiring Women & Girls

32 Multicultural Picture Books About Strong Female Role Models

The EARTH Book
by Todd Parr
Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: The Earth Book

“I take care of the earth because I know I can do little things every day to make a BIG difference…”. With Todd Parr’s signature mix of playfulness and sensitivity, The Earth Book gives children easy ideas how to look after our planet – from recycling to saving energy, from using both sides of the paper to planting a tree. Printed with recycled materials and nontoxic soy inks, the book also includes a poster with “going green” tips. ~ Diverse – Preschool

The Great Kapok Tree
by Lynne Cherry
Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: The Great Kapok Tree

In the Brazilian rain forest, a man exhausts himself trying to chop down a giant kapok tree. While he sleeps, the different inhabitants of the forest whisper in his ear, telling him about the importance of trees and how “all living things depend on one another”. The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest is a mythlike story with a gentle environmental message, complemented by lush, detailed watercolour illustrations. ~ Diverse – Preschool

Elementary School

One Plastic Bag
by Miranda Paul
Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: One Plastic Bag

One Plastic Bag tells the inspiring story of Isatou Ceesay, the “Queen of Plastic Recycling of The Gambia”. Concerned about the amounts of plastic bags that were littering her village, Isatou started collecting them and crocheting them into purses. Her project became known internationally and brought environmental change as well as economic empowerment to the women in her community. ~ African – Elementary School

For a more in-depth review and plastic bag recycling ideas go to: Earth Day Book Review: One Plastic Bag

A River Ran Wild
by Lynne Cherry
Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: A River Ran Wild

A River Ran Wild traces the ecological evolution of New England’s Nashua River in this story of restoration and renewal. Respected by generations of Native Americans, polluted in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, the river was restored through the combined efforts of modern-day descendants of the Nashua Indians and European settlers. The beautiful illustrations have intricately detailed borders that depict various historical artifacts. ~ Diverse – Elementary School

Just Like Me, Climbing a Tree
by Durga Yael Bernhard
Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: Just Like Me, Climbing A Tree

Children everywhere love climbing trees! Just Like Me. Climbing A Tree takes readers on a trip around the world exploring how children climb the most amazing trees, from the Weeping Fig in Cambodia to the Montezuma Cypress in Mexico and Baobabs in Africa. Some children see birds and insects, some swing like a monkey, some pick the ripe fruits. Includes educational notes about each of the twelve trees. ~ Diverse – Elementary School

Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya
by Donna Jo Napoli
Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: Mama Miti

Many wonderful children’s books have been written about Wangari Maathai but this gorgeous book is my absolute favourite! Nelson’s stunning oil paintings collaged with the textures and colours of Africa beautifully complement the artful prose in which Wangari’s story is told. Known as “Mama Miti”, Wangari founded the Green Belt Movement, an African grassroots organization that has planted more than 30 million trees throughout Kenya. ~ African – Elementary School

More books about Wangari Maathai for Elementary School children:

Seeds of Change: Wangari’s Gift to the World

Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees

A Cool Drink of Water
by Barbara Kerley
Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: A Cool Drink of Water

“Everyone, everywhere enjoys a nice, cool drink of water.” With minimal text, A Cool Drink Of Water teaches children that water is basic to human life all over the globe. Stunning National Gepgrahic photos show how people in various cultures use and conserve. This beautiful book doesn’t address water pollution, it is purely a celebration of the world’s most vital resource. ~ Diverse – Elementary School

Trash Talk
by Michelle Mulder
Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: Trash Talk

With our landfills overflowing, waste disposal is one of today’s biggest environmental challenges. Trash Talk provides a history of garbage – from Minoan trash pits to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – and shows some innovative ways waste is dealt with. With an upbeat tone and vibrant photographs, the book encourages children to think of creative solutions. Includes references to other resources, including movies and websites. ~ Diverse – Elementary School, Diverse – Middle School

Keepers of the Earth
by Michael J. Caduto
Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: Keepers of the Earth

Keepers of the Earth is a fantastic resource about Native American culture. Twenty-five legends from twenty different cultures inspire children to connect with nature and care for the earth. Divided into sections of specific topics, this sensitive and thorough book includes inexpensive environmental indoor and outdoor activities. ~ Diverse – Elementary School

One Well
by Rochelle Strauss
Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: One Well

All living things on Earth depend on water. Life would be impossible without it. But the water in our Earth’s well is threatened by our growing population and increased demands. What can we do to protect it? One Well tells the eye-opening story of water on Earth and teaches children how to protect our water. ~ Diverse – Elementary School, Diverse – Middle School

Tree of Life
by Rochelle Strauss
Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: Tree of Life

From the author of One Well comes this wonderful introduction to biodiversity and natural history. With beautiful illustrations and detailed text, Tree of Life explains how all living things are classified into five kingdoms. Includes learning activities. ~ Diverse – Elementary School, Diverse – Middle School

Be a Friend to Trees
by Patricia Lauber
Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: Be a Friend To Trees

Why should you be a friend to trees? Not only because “they’re nice to look at, nice to have around”, but because they are a valuable natural resource. Be A Friend To Trees explains how products are made from trees, how they are homes to a variety of animals, how they provide food for animals and people, and how they clean the air. ~ Diverse – Elementary School

by Joanne Ryder
Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: Earth Dance

“Wiggle your shoulders/ and mountains tremble and quake./ Shake your hair and feel windswept grasses tickle your face.” Earthdance is a dynamic celebratory poem that invites children to become not just part of the earth, but Earth itself. With the most amazing stylized illustrations, the book delivers an environmental message in a playful and inspiring way. ~ Diverse – Elementary School

Earth Book for Kids: Activities to Help Heal the Environment
by Linda Schwartz
Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day: Earth Book for Kids

An older book but still a gem! Earth Book For Kids is a reference book full of ideas for projects and experiments that encourage children to love and care for the environment. It covers a wide range of topics, from acid rain to pesticides, from endangered wildlife to water conservation, from pollution to recycling. For each topic there are a number of activities that help children understanding these concepts. ~ Diverse – Elementary School


*You can buy any of the books on this site from Amazon USA, CAN or UK by clicking on the book titles or  images*

More books for Earth Day:

Multicultural Children's Books: Growing Your Own Food

Multicultural Disney Toys Multicultural Games & Puzzles Multicultural Barbie Dolls
Multicultural Dolls & Puppets Multicultural Play Figures Multicultural Arts & Crafts
Multicultural Children's Clothes

4 Responses

  1. Pam
    | Reply

    Super! This will be so useful!

  2. Julie Yeros
    | Reply

    This is a wonderful list! Thank you for sharing!

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