My inspiration for living green is simple:
It's really all about the kids. I want them to be healthy and I want to feel good about the things that I give them and the products I expose them to. It's becoming evident to me, though, that ultimately, it's going to be their choice. Right now I give them everything they have, and everything they eat comes from me. Someday, though, they will have a choice. That's why I want teach them from an early age about why I do what I do. From recycling, to composting and from conserving energy to eating organic, just doing it eventually won't make sense. I want them to know why it's important to treat their earth and their bodies responsibly. That's why I'm starting to introduce great quality literature that promotes the values that are so important.
1. The Berenstain Bears Don't Pollute (Anymore) This book is great for those families who are thinking about the importance of "Going Green" but aren't quite convinced. It is a story of the Bear Family making small steps to help their community. Papa is the last to be convinced, but finally he agrees to plant a new tree for every one that he cuts down. We read this book last night at bedtime, and my daughter was enthralled.
2. The Lorax. by Dr. Seuss This one is a classic, and the message is clear. Dr. Seuss does what only Dr. Seuss can by combining rhyming, easy phonics, and a great message. Although it shows the urgency of the environmental problems, I like that in the end it offers hope despite the destruction caused by the people's carelessness towards the earth. We have already caused so much damage, but it is important for our kids to never give up hope.
3. The Giving Tree Shel Silverstein sends a message not only about protecting our natural resources but also to treasure our loved ones. The lyrical quality of the writing is great, but don't read this one if you aren't prepared with a tissue. When I drive through the logged areas of the once thick forest near my parents' cabin, I think of this book.
4. The Honeybee Man This is one of my daughter's favorites. It is a realistic fiction telling about a man who has a rooftop hive of bees in New York City. He hopes that the bees will find many different plants throughout the city to bring a wonderful flavor to the honey he harvests. I especially like this book because it encourages children to be in awe and wonder of bees rather than seeing them as "bad." My husband even suggested that we start keeping bees after reading this book.
5. My First Green Book: A Life-Size Guide to Caring for Our Environment Here is a hands-on book in all its glory. The huge photos and step by step experiments are an eye catcher for any kid. This book is extremely informative, and it even has great tips and information for adults interested in going green. We were moving during Earth Day, but this book details several eye opening experiments that I would like to try now. Every day is Earth Day- right?
What are your favorite "going green" or environmentally themed children's books?
Tags: berenstain bears, my first green book, going green, picture books, children's books, science activities, save the earth, planting trees, don't pollute