Numerous studies show us that reading to children stimulates their imaginations, expands vocabulary, develops analytical and logical thinking, strengthens the parent-child bond, increases attention span, and creates a love of reading.
But we don’t need a study telling us knowledge is power. We know this every time we snuggle up with our children to read a book and they turn to us and ask, WHY?
Our children will inherit this planet, with all its troubles, and all its beauty. Providing them with age-appropriate information about their world gives them a powerful edge for their future.
Here are 3 children’s books we recently reviewed:
SPARKY’S ELECTRIFYING TALE is a new book by Janelle London and Matthew Metz. It provides children sound climate science and information about electric vehicles to help them fight for a clean, healthy planet.
EARTH SQUAD: 50 People Who Are Saving the Planet, is a bright new addition to the growing library of books about inspiring environmentalists, written by Moms Clean Air Force writer Alexandra Zissu.
SEA LIONS IN THE PARKING LOT, by Lenora Todaro, examines what wildlife was up to during the absence of humans in urban locations, and how connecting children to nature will help them understand climate change.
Vanessa says, “Rachel Carson’s life is an inspirational story of what determination and facts can accomplish.” SPRING AFTER SPRING: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement, by Stephanie Roth, explores how teaching science and the natural world to children is an incredible way to begin to understand the importance of protecting their future from the worst impacts of climate change.
She also recommends SEEDS OF CHANGE by Jen Cullerton Johnson. The book follows the trailblazing life of Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to receive a Nobel Peace Prize. Her journey, from a small Kenyan village and her mother’s teachings about the importance of the Mugumo trees to Wangari’s work planting over 51 million trees across Kenya, represents a beautiful example of how a woman scientist and activist created change.
Elizabeth recommends A KID’S GUIDE TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND GLOBAL WARMING by Jack Roberts and Michael Owens. She likes this book because it “breaks down climate change in 4 chapters for kids ages 7–13. The book includes a fun quiz, easy-to-follow graphs, topics about climate change, and a quote from President Obama. Here’s one of my favorite quotes under ‘Fight Global Warming: 7 Things You Can Do’ that encourages kids to ‘spread the word’ about climate change:
“Talk with your family and friends about global warming and why it’s important. Write a letter to the people in the US government and encourage them to work to help reduce global warming… Talk with your teachers about the idea of hosting a Green Planet Day at your school. Brainstorm with your class about global warming activities, posters, experiments, and even YouTube videos you can create for your Green Planet Day.”
Here’s a suggestion from me from 10 ANTI-RACIST RESOURCES FOR PARENTS, which includes children’s books and resources to help parents talk to their children about racism and environmental justice: 31 children’s books that support conversations about race, racism, and resistance, with more here from the New York Times.
One more from Moms Clean Air Force director Dominique Browning: Every Breath We Take is the only book that teaches young children about air. Designed to be read aloud to young children—or used as the basis of lesson plans for older children. This charming book is full of gorgeous photo illustrations, featuring children from around the world.