Climate change is the biggest existential threat we face today and a burden that future generations will have to carry. As younger generations are already experiencing increasingly worsening effects of global warming, with some reports projecting that children will experience three times as many climate disaster than their grandparents, it is key that we educate them about the causes and solutions as well as ways in which we can help change and protect the planet. Whether they will be inspired to become climate activists or simply become more climate and environmentally conscious, these are our selection of great climate change books for kids.
Climate Change Books for Kids
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss (1971)
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” The classic Dr. Seuss story a fantastic introduction for children to learn about sustainability and environmental protection. The beloved yet important book talks about taking the Earth and its natural resources for granted through the eyes of Once-ler and the Lorax. The Lorax is a small creature who speaks on behalf of the trees and warns Once-ler not to make ‘thneeds’, a knitted object that resembles a sweater, with the Truffula trees. Throughout this story, readers explore the concepts of greed, deforestation and other unsustainable practices that are currently driving rapid climate change. The Lorax teaches kids to treat our planet with kindness and to stand up and speak up for others through climate advocacy. The books is also printed on recycled paper, offering parents a bonus opportunity to introduce the topic of recycling.
The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge by Joanna Cole (2010)
Ms. Frizzle and the Magic School Bus is well-loved and celebrated book series that have taken generations of children on exciting and educational trips to outer space, under the sea, different time periods and even inside the human body. On this particular adventure, Ms Frizzle’s class travels all around the world to witness the greatest impacts of climate change – the melting ice glaciers in the Arctic to rising sea levels over the ocean. This comic-style book explains the concepts of global warming , greenhouse gases and effect (which at one point, the students in the book transformed into UV rays) in simply yet effective illustration and description. The story then moves on towards renewable energies and other green solutions to climate change, encouraging young readers to take climate action.
Our House is on Fire: Greta Thunberg’s Call to Save the Planet by Jeannette Winter (2019)
The title of this picture book is inspired by young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg’s iconic speech at the World Economic Forum in 2019, who was calling for on all global leader to act urgently in response to the climate crisis. Through simple yet moving illustrations by Jeanette Winter, explore how Greta learned about the climate change crisis, what she has done to take action and how she tells the world that children, like her, can help change the world.
What is Climate Change? by Gail Herman (2018)
What is Climate Change? Is an informative and easy-to-understand book by Gail Herman. The author looks at this topic not just as an environmental issue, but also from a social and political perspective. Herman breaks down what climate change is and shows both sides of the debate, whether it is actually caused by humans or just the Earth’s natural process, so young readers can form a well-rounded idea of the issue. Learn about the different roles that humans and the environment play in the climate crisis and what the future could look like if we were all more conscious of our actions.
A Hot Planet Needs Cool Kids: Understanding Climate Change and What You Can Do About It by Julie Hall (2007)
This book is an empowering and inspirational message to kids around the world as it shares an important message about how they can get involved in the fight against global warming. A Hot Planet Needs Cool Kids contains fascinating scientific facts, hands-on activities and guides for young readers, families and schools to get involved in the green or sustainable initiatives within their communities. Author Julie Hall firmly believes in raising awareness of global warming among young people, instead of protecting or hiding them from the truth, to ensure that they have the opportunity to make appropriate lifestyle changes.
Under the Weather by Tony Bradman (2012)
One of the top climate change books for kids is Under the Weather, a collection of short stories aimed at older children and pre-teens that showcase the various effects of climate change, from rising sea levels to changes in animal behaviour and habits. These stories act both as a warning and inspiration in regards to show how climate change has affected people around the world and our collective response to it. Covering wide ranging cities and countries, the book illustrations the impacts spanning from Siberia and Canada, to Australia and UK, to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Though there are no illustrations, the book is packed with British humour that help make discussions on climate change digestible.
A Planet Full of Plastic by Neal Layton (2019)
In this storybook about plastic pollution, Neal Layton creatively explains where plastic comes from and why it can be dangerous for animals and humans. This guide shows how dependent humans are on plastic but at the same time it shares inspiring ways to recycle and replace plastic with better materials. A Planet Full of Plastic reminds us that our world is drowning in plastic but it also offers us hope by teaching us many ways in which we can make a change.
What a Waste: Trash, Recycling, and Protecting our Planet by Jess French (2019)
This lively educational book for young audiences explores everything to do with waste, from trash and leftover food to factory gases and old electronics. Readers can learn about how our actions affect the planet and become more conscious about waste management. The best part is that the book teaches kids what people around the world are doing to keep our beautiful planet clean and it also gives ideas as to how to get involved with recycling.
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