Calling all Early Climate Optimists! Our ECO Bookworms book club invites parents, caregivers and educators to start conversations about climate change and the environment with their little ones.
Knowing how to talk about climate change with children can be difficult. We all want to nurture the next generation and encourage a sense of hope and personal power.
Reading stories about climate change and our changing planet is a great place to start.
Learn more about why we started the book club. And check back the second Tuesday of each month for a new featured book.
Our July ECO Bookworms pick is, “One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia” written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon. Published by Millbrook Picture Books, One Plastic Bag is a great read to inspire your early climate activist to take action on problems in their community.
Follow along with the inspiring story of Isatou Ceesay, who finds a creative solution to plastic waste in her community. This book, based on real people and events, is sure to inspire your early climate optimist to take action in their community. This book is for ages 5-9 years.
- In the book, Isatou saw hundreds of plastic bags. They made her village look messy. How would that make you feel?
- How do you think that they got there and have you seen plastic bags or water bottles in your neighborhood?
- When you go shopping, what kind of bags do you use? If you use a plastic bag, what do you do with it when you are done?
Our June ECO Bookworms book is “Greta and the Giants” by Zoë Tucker and Zoe Persico! Published by Frances Lincoln, “Greta and the Giants” is a great way to celebrate this month’s themes of activism and advocacy.
In this fictional tale,Greta lives in a beautiful forest threatened by Giants. When the Giants come to the forest, they chop down trees to make homes, which grow into towns and cities until hardly any forest is left. Luckily, Greta has an idea! Vivid illustrations and a motivating message dominate this tale.
"Greta and the Giants" was inspired by real life climate activist, Greta Thunberg, who has inspired millions to join in advocating for climate action. Aimed at children aged 4-8, this book is the perfect way to show early climate optimists that no one is too small to stand up for an issue they believe in.
- Who do you think the Giants represent in this story?
- How did a crowd of people make a bigger difference than just one person?
- Why was saving the forest important to Greta?
Our May ECO Bookworms book club selection is “The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest” by Lynne Cherry! Published by HMH Books for Young Readers, “The Great Kapok Tree” tells the story of a man who exhausts himself trying to cut down a kapok tree within the forest.
While he sleeps, the forest’s residents whisper in his ear about the importance of trees and how they all must support one another... and their persuasion works! This book’s message of conservation is backed by each character’s accurate and scientific explanation of why their environment matters and can be applied to all habitats.
Aimed at readers aged 4-8, we hope this book will help introduce your early climate optimist to new perspectives and remember all the animals that are affected by climate change on National Endangered Species Day.
- Why does chopping down just one tree make such a large difference?
- What are ways that the rainforests of the Amazon are similar to a forest or other habitat near you?
- What does “conservation” mean to you? How can you talk to your own trees or plants at home?
Our April ECO Bookworms book club selection is "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss! Published by Random House, "The Lorax" is the perfect read to help early climate optimists celebrate Earth Day and National Arbor Day - both happening this month!
"The Lorax's" message is even more urgent today than when first published in 1971. It is a call to industry and consumers alike to conserve Earth's precious and finite natural resources. Help plant the seed of an idea in your early climate optimist, readers 4-8 years old, to help share a healthier, greener future.
1. Are there any ways that you can "speak for the trees" or other environmental issues that matter to you?
2. Do you think the Once-ler needed to chop down the entire Truffula tree in order to make the Thneed? What are some other ways businesses can support the environment?
3. How do trees help our health and protect us?
4. What would you have done with the Truffula seed given by the Once-ler?
Our March ECO Bookworms book is “The Earth Gives More” written by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Christiane Engel. Published by Albert Whitman & Company, "The Earth Gives More" is a great read as we transition into spring.
While each season gives us something to delight in, we can give back to the planet all year long. This sweet rhyming story is sure to inspire you and your early climate optimist to be stewards of the Earth, our home. The book is for ages 5-7 years.
- What joys does the Earth give you throughout the seasons?
- How do the characters in the book give back to the Earth?
- What are some other things you can do at home or in your neighborhood to help our Earth thrive and grow?
Our February ECO Bookworms book is "The Pout-Pout Fish Cleans Up the Ocean" by Deborah Diesen, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux!
Through this book, we celebrate our February theme of friendship. When Mr. Fish discovers a big, big mess invading his pristine ocean home, he and his friends come together to find out what caused it and what they must do to clean it up. The book is for ages 3-6 years.
- How did you feel when you saw the big, big mess in the ocean?
- Have you seen litter in your community? How does litter affect plants and animals and you?
- What can you do to help your community stay beautiful?
BONUS: How can you work together with your friends?
Books can convey big and scary subjects like climate change in ways that inspire young people to act with optimism. Our stories focus on solutions to help young readers feel empowered, rather than overwhelmed.
Our selected books target readers 8 years old and younger, but we encourage everyone to follow along and read. Let’s empower our young climate optimists by equipping ourselves with the right tools to start a conversation. Check with your local library or bookstore to find a copy of each month’s book.
We are excited to be on this book club journey with the APHA community and friends. Tell us about your favorite environmental or climate change children’s book.