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An ever increasing topic in primary schools; children are more aware than ever about environmental sustainability. From recycling initiatives to Greta Thunburg’s calls to action, children know more about saving our planet than any other previous generation.

With this increased awareness comes many positives – children may feel passionate about taking action and may be more conscious of their decisions regarding recycling or plastic usage for example. However, these topics can also be very emotive. This is particularly true if children feel they cannot alter our course or have negative perceptions of climate activism. This is a great opportunity to talk about determination, resilience, cooperation, patience and understanding. It is important that we help our children to process emotions related to topics that may challenge them, supporting them to channel emotions in to something positive.

Many of the activities people might engage with to help protect our planet can also have a positive impact on our own wellbeing and mental health. For example, growing your own fruit and veg is a particularly mindful and peaceful pass-time. Helping children to see the individual benefits of environmental sustainability on our lives, as well as supporting them to act positively for a common goal is a great way to indirectly teach children skills and qualities for better long-term wellbeing.

Here are some books that we love that focus on protecting our planet. You can also get further recommendations in our post about Energy Saving Week, just click here.

7 books about the environment

Little Turtle and the Sea by Becky Davies and Jennie Poh

Age range: EYFS

A splendid book for younger readers that introduces the topic of the environment in a sensitive way. It takes children on a journey of the life cycle of a young turtle, who falls in love with the sea. We see the little turtle battle plastic bags and a fisherman’s net before being rescued by conservationists. The book has helpful tips at the end about what we can do to support marine life.

Planet Rescue by Patrick George

Age range: EYFS

A fun and interactive picture book that allows the reader to explore different ways we might protect our planet. It uses clever see-through pages to swap cars for bikes and so on. A great choice for reading together and an easy way to introduce some ideas that we can all try to do ourselves.

Errol’s Garden by Gillian Hibbs

Age range: EYFS and KS1

A wonderful story of a young boy who loves gardening and who is determined to create a beautiful space for growing near his home. It is a wonderful story that brings together not just themes of environmentalism, but also community, passion and kindness. We love the mix of diverse characters in this book too.

Maybe You Might by Imogen Foxell and Anna Cunha

Age range: KS1

If you are looking for a story to inspire individual action, then this is the book for you. It tells the tale of a young girl who plants a single seed in a dried up riverbed. Before long, with some help and determination, plants begin to grow and she restores the area to its former brilliance.

Dear Greenpeace by Simon James

Age range: KS1

Follow Emily as she uses all her determination and enthusiasm to make sure that the whale in her pond is happy. She will stop at nothing to help him, eventually setting him free so he can live more comfortably. A modern classic that will delight all ages.

Aubrey and the Terrible Ladybirds by Horatio Clare

Age range: KS2

Fans of bugs and creepy crawlies will delight at this fascinating adventure story about Aubrey, who is shrunk to the size of a ladybird to discover the truth about his local wildlife. The tale sees Aubrey discover that pesticides are harming the plants and animals near his home. However, where the true success of this story lies is in it’s exploration of kindness and compassion to our planet and to each other. A strong message and a wonderfully written book that will stick in your mind.

Earth Heroes: Twenty Inspiring Stories of People Saving Our World Lily Dyu and Amy Blackwell

Age range: KS2

A beautifully illustrated collection of stories about some of the people who are leading the way to protect our planet. Read about Bittu Sahgal, Yin Yuzhen, David Attenbrough and many more!


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