What better time to set Earth Day (April 22) and Arbor Day (April 26) than in the spring? We have many excellent materials that will explain environmental issues to children in age-appropriate ways. These are my favorites:
I owned the original 50 Simple Things book when I was a kid; I'm pleased that it's been updated, while retaining its realistic and nonthreatening approach. Activities are based on water conservation, recycling, energy conservation, and more. Each activity is packed with facts, simple actions, and resources for further information.
The importance of water and water conservation are important yet easy to grasp concepts for children. Through mesmerizing photographs (as exemplified by National Geographic) and simple text, A Cool Drink of Water strikingly depicts the various ways water is collected, stored, and drank around the world.
We have a good number of excellent tree-related books, but I can't think of any better way to illustrate the importance of trees than A Tree is Nice, winner of the Caldecott Medal. Alternating between color and black-and-white illustrations, A Tree is Nice is a powerful and attractive depiction of the beauty and necessity of trees (and a fine read aloud).
Gail Gibbons is a master of appealing and noteworthy nonfiction books for the early elementary set. Tell Me, Tree: All About Trees for Kids is an inviting look at the diversity of tree life, from basic information about roots to identification of common trees.
At the beginning of April, I blogged about money-related books for the ALSC blog (Association for Library Services to Children), in honor of Financial Literacy Month. Check out my picks here.