It's Earth Day, so I'm publishing this a day early and am going to share some of the books we read for Earth Day this year. First, I went to this list of 30 Great Books That Teach Kids to Be Green. Then I tried to find some of them at our local library. I found and borrowed three to read with C and M. I really enjoyed all of these, but I have to admit the kids were not nearly as enthusiastic about them. They were all a bit too long for M's attention span, and I think I bit above her understanding.
The Great Kapok Tree by Susan K. Mitchell is a story of a man who goes into the rain forest to chop down a huge kapok tree. He chops a few times with his ax and then lies down to rest. As he sleeps, each of the rain forest creatures ~ from the boa constrictor and the sloth, to a tree frog and a little boy ~ whispers in his ear about how important the tree is. In the end, the man wakes and decides not to cut down the tree. It's a wonderful message, and would actually be a great book to introduce each of the creatures of the rain forest. There are several animals mentioned, and you can learn a little about them by the way they use the tree. The endpapers of the book feature a map of the world showing where all the rain forests are, and pictures of tons of animals that live in the rain forest, including some that aren't mentioned in the book.
Why Are the Ice Caps Melting? The Dangers of Global Warming by Anne Rockwell is a book that obviously focuses on global warming. This is the one real nonfiction book in our group. It talks about global warming, carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect in a way that relatively young kids can understand (to a point). I will say it's interesting that there are a few pages that say some people don't believe we are causing global warming, and that the earth is just changing the same way it has in the past. But then it goes on to say that even if this is true, we should still do all we can to try to stop the increase in greenhouse gases. It gives lots of different ways we can help, and then at the end, it provides more information about global warming, and some activities to do to keep track of the things we do that produce greenhouse gases.
The last book we got is The Curious Garden by Peter Brown. This is a very cute book about a boy who lives in a city where there are no gardens or plants. It actually seems pretty dingy. When he finds a few little plants growing near an abandoned railway track, he decides to water them and take care of them. The garden grows and grows, all across the city, creating a beautiful green environment to replace the gray, dirty world from the beginning of the book. I think this was probably M's favorite.
What have you been reading with your children this week? Hop on over to Mouse Grows Mouse Learns to share!