My friend Abbie has started a new endeavor with her young children: to teach them in a hands-on way about nature and the environment around them. She asked me be to be a guest blogger for her blog Greening Sam and Avery. At first I was a little nervous, what could I contribute? Other than recycling regularly, using reusable bags, and doing a garden in the summer, we don't do nature activities very often. Then she said she wanted people to write about an interest of theirs but somehow relate it to "being green". Okay, I could do that!
While at the library with my kiddos last week, I picked up a couple picture books that I thought would fit into the environmental theme of her blog. Since Abbie's daughters are in the two and under age group, I wanted to find at least one book that might appeal to a very young audience.
The Earth and I jumped out at me both for the title and the author. I LOVED Frank Asch's Popcorn when I was a kid. LOVED it! And I have to say I really enjoyed this book as well. There are very few words, the pictures mostly say it all, which makes it great for a younger audience. It depicts one child's friendship with the earth: listening to the earth, helping her grow, playing in the backyard together. The book also shows the earth being sad (polluted) and how we can help clean the mess up to make her happy again. The pictures are really great and colorful. He also wrote the companion book Water which looks to be just as colorful and interesting.
For the girly girls out there (this would include my girls!), Fancy Nancy: Explorer Extraordinare is the perfect guide to investigating nature. Nancy and her best friend Bree start a new club. Nancy writes on the first page of the book, "Bonjour, everybody! Welcome to our club! Bree and I love to go exploring in the wild. We collect leaves, watch birds and butterflies, and inspect insects. If you're like us, then you can be an Explorer Extraordinaire too." The pages that follow show the club rules (Nobody in the club thinks bugs are gross. No touching; just looking. We never catch butterflies because they are fragile.), talk about various bugs, their life cycles, birds and trees. Photographs depict different types of insects, birds and leaves. My favorite part of the book are the little activity ideas sprinkled throughout. They tell you how to make a cookie-cutter bird feeder, a pine cone bird feeder, a lavish leaf crown, and more.
The last two books, I actually haven't read, but wanted to include them because they are on the less girly side of things. I've seen them around and have been meaning to take a look at them. Ellie Bethel has written two pictures books starring Michael Recycle; Michael Recycle and Michael Recycle Meets Litterbug Doug. He's a superhero whose power is to teach people to recycle. In the second book, the green caped crusader must teach Doug to be less lazy and clean up after himself.
These are just a few of the books that fall into the category of the environment or promoting being green. If you're interested in finding more books, here is a link to what I found when I searched "environment" in children's fiction books on the Barnes and Noble website. There are so many fun books to take a look at!
Source disclosure: I borrowed these books from the library.