Playing by the book

Reviews of kids' books and the crazy, fun stuff they inspire us to do

I’m looking for a book about… green issues / sustainability / recycling

Posted on | January 14, 2013 | 25 Comments

Welcome to “I’m looking for a book about….”, the topic-themed monthly carnival of children’s literature.

Every month I’ll be encouraging anyone who likes to review books for children (of any age) to leave links to their reviews of books that match the given month’s theme. The idea is that over time, this carnival will become a resource for parents, teachers, carers, librarians looking for books by subject.

Old reviews, new reviews, and reviews for any age are welcome. You may also submit multiple reviews, as long as they are all relevant to this month’s theme.

This month’s theme is…

**Green Issues, including sustainability, recycling and climate change**

Below you’ll find links to reviews of books for all ages of kids with a green theme. If, however, you are looking for green-themed activities to go with the books below you should check out this month’s Red Ted Art Get Crafty post featuring lots of recycling activities. Thanks, Maggy, for once more collaborating!

First up is Jeff from NC Teacher Stuff with a review of Energy Island. written and illustrated by Allan Drummond, a non fiction book about a Danish island which is 100% self sufficient in renewable energy. Jeff writes, “Energy Island is an inspiring true tale of what individuals and communities can accomplish when they are determined to reach a goal. This book is a great vehicle for introducing the terms renewable and nonrenewable energy.


Anastasia Suen introduces us to Waiting for Ice, written by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Alan Marks
. It’s about an orphaned polar bear struggling not just because she’s lost her mother, but also because the ice polar bears rely on for hunting is shrinking.


Library Mice brings us a review of Look After Your Planet (Charlie and Lola) by Lauren Child. “This is a great little book packed full of information about recycling disguised into a fun story. The book includes a sticker tree counter chart to keep track of your recycling.


A second offering from Library Mice is a favourite of mine, Christopher Nibble by Charlotte Middleton (you can read my review here). Melanie comments, “The book is also a great tool to explain sustainability, a concept which is not usually particularly child-friendly. This is one book which will have countless uses in an infant school setting; it is so satisfying to find a book which carries so many positive messages, and has plenty of dotted bits of humour as well.


Over at Perogies and Gyoza there is a review of Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea by Helaine Becker, illustrated by: Willow Dawson. “This book is presented as an environmental and science experiment book for older elementary school kids, but a few of the experiments are appropriate even for my kindergarteners.


The Carbon Diaries 2015 and 2017 by Saci Lloyd are reviewed over on Did you ever stop to think & forget to start again? “Whilst 2015 had its strengths, I think exploring the transition from this world to the next weakened it. 2017, with its ferocious unstinting presentation of the new world order, is a powerful book. And it’s one that feels somehow much more terrifying and acute than its predecessor.


Rosalind and ReadItDaddy in the comments both recommended The Lost Stars by Hannah Cumming and so Library Mice returned with her review. “The Lost Stars illustrates the effects of light pollution in cities and offers a fairly harsh criticism of our hectic lives which leaves little or no space for appreciating the simplest of things: the world around us.


Ali at Fantastic Reads has a review of Leopard Adventure by Anthony McGowan, about a summer spent by a 12 year old girl on an adventure-filled conservation trip to rescue a rare Amur leopard and her cubs from a threatening forest fire in Russia. “Highly recommended for readers 9+


For a selection of book apps about green issues you should head on over to Capptivated Kids where WWF Together by World Wildlife Fund gets a special commendation. “This is the first app I have downloaded in 2013 which truly has the Wow factor. It is an absolutely beautiful app, which includes amazing photos, videos and interesting facts about a number of endangered species.


Several more books have been recommended by readers in the comments below – do take a look at what has been suggested.

Next month's themed carnival is dedicated to books about bullying, and will take place on February 11.

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25 Responses to “I’m looking for a book about… green issues / sustainability / recycling”

  1. Red Ted Art's Blog » Blog Archive Recycled Crafts from Around The Web » Red Ted Art's Blog
    January 14th, 2013 @ 1:52 am

    […] if being greener is something that is on your mind for 2013, do pop over for some inspirational Green Kid#’s Books Ideas and read on for some recycled craft […]

  2. Pen and Ink Susan
    January 14th, 2013 @ 7:04 am

    Go to Authors for Earth Day
    They have a lot of information.
    Pen and Ink Susan recently posted..The Kidlit Writer’s Alphabet

  3. Library Mice
    January 14th, 2013 @ 11:12 am

    I have not reviewed it so can’t add a link but Toby Alone is a great book about preserving the environment!
    Library Mice recently posted..I Am So Strong

  4. Sylvia Liu
    January 14th, 2013 @ 1:58 pm

    Thanks for these links. Glad to have found this blog through the Mother Reader challenge.
    Sylvia Liu recently posted..Infographic: Books I Read in 2012

  5. Rosalind
    January 14th, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

    I”ve not reviewed it, but ‘The Lost Stars’ by Hannah Cumming (published by Child’s Play) is a lovely pre-school book that makes you stop and think about our use of energy.
    Rosalind recently posted..Super snowy reads!

  6. ReadItDaddy
    January 14th, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

    A second nomination for “The Lost Stars” by Hannah Cumming. Such a beautiful book and such a strong message too. Also love “The Flower” by John Light and Lisa Evans. One of our top ten books of 2012.
    ReadItDaddy recently posted..#readitmummiesanddaddies2013 – A picture paints a thousand words

  7. Jen
    January 14th, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

    Thanks for hosting, I am keeping my eye on this topic as my son seems to be more and more interested in environmental issues lately!

    My submission, The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea, has lots of different experiment ideas. Lots of fun for all ages (including me!)
    Jen recently posted..BIG

  8. Lee Wind
    January 14th, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

    love the theme-focus of the carnival! Though I can’t think of a single LGBTQ kid or teen title that covers green issues as well. Wish I did…

  9. Library Mice
    January 14th, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

    Oh I reviewed the Lost Stars, I forgot about that. Will add it now.
    Library Mice recently posted..I Am So Strong

  10. Anabel Marsh
    January 14th, 2013 @ 4:29 pm

    This booklist from the University of Strathclyde might be of interest:
    Anabel Marsh recently posted..Anne Shirley: my continuing obsession

  11. Catherine
    January 14th, 2013 @ 6:17 pm

    I don’t have a review but how about The Trouble with Dragons by Debi Gliori?
    Catherine recently posted..Have You Seen the Crocodile? by Colin West

  12. choxbox
    January 14th, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

    George Saves the World by Lunchtime is a lovely one :)

  13. Helen
    January 14th, 2013 @ 8:26 pm

    Wendell’s Workshop by Chris Riddell is the only book my son has ever asked to reserve at the library, and the only one we have checked out 3 times. Great book about not throwing out things which can be used again. Also great if you love inventors and robots. I’ve also linked up a couple of book apps this month – the WWF app in particular is a must have!
    Helen recently posted..I’m looking for an app about… green issues

  14. Anne-Marie
    January 14th, 2013 @ 9:05 pm

    The Trouble with Dragons by Debi Gliori definitely belongs, I’ll try to review it when I find our copy! Also Dinosaurs and all that rubbish by Michael Foreman.
    Anne-Marie recently posted..Little Wizard by Kazuno Kohara

  15. Chad Pio
    January 14th, 2013 @ 10:50 pm

    My fellow Mascot Books author, Suzie Hearl Canale, has a wonderful series of green-themed books called “The Beantown Tales”. Definitely worth a look.

  16. Susan Stephenson
    January 15th, 2013 @ 7:40 am

    Each time I see those Charlie and Lola characters, i find them more appealing. Great theme, Zoe!
    Susan Stephenson recently posted..Coming Soon: International Book Giving Day

  17. PragmaticMom
    January 15th, 2013 @ 1:32 pm

    What a lovely list of green books for kids! And so nice to see Maggie here! This comment challenge is so much fun to meet new bloggers! My kids loved Charlie and Lola and we haven’t read this one yet!
    PragmaticMom recently posted..Arthur Dove Abstract Art Project for Kids

  18. BooKa Uhu
    January 15th, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

    Sorry, didn’t get a chance to review yesterday but if yo like:

    The Journey Home by Frann Preston-Gannon

    BTW, brilliant idea for a post! I may have to print some of these out for work.

  19. Myra from GatheringBooks
    January 16th, 2013 @ 7:54 am

    Hi Zoe dearest, I’m late for the party I know. I just added my review of Turtle Bay which I think is perfect for your caring for the environment theme. It’s actually a review of four books, but the first one would be perfect about what you have in mind here. :) Will try to find a book about bullying for your next theme. :)
    Myra from GatheringBooks recently posted..Jan/Jun 2012 AWB Reviews

  20. Comment Challenge 2013: A Running Update |
    January 16th, 2013 @ 8:00 am

    […] I’m Looking for a Book about… green issues/sustainability/recycling by Zoe from Playing By the Book […]

  21. Neal Layton
    January 17th, 2013 @ 9:35 am

    Hi all,
    Two of our family’s favourite picture books with environmental themes are;
    ‘The trouble with dragons ‘by debi Gliori and
    ‘Oi get off our train!’ by John Burningham.
    What a great idea this is…!

  22. MotherReader
    January 17th, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

    What a fantastic round-up of titles! I’ll certainly be looking for some of these at my library!
    MotherReader recently posted..Comment Challenge Check-In

  23. Barbara Kennard
    July 31st, 2013 @ 12:51 pm

    I’m looking for some reading material on sustainability for middle school kids- ages 11-13. Could be nonfiction or fiction. I’m working on a project based learning experience with a team of teachers at my school. Our goal is to inspire our students to develop their own sustainability project that will help them feel they can make a difference.

  24. Sunday round-up of news from the world of children’s literature | Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again?
    September 15th, 2013 @ 10:03 am

    […] after more books in this area, have a look at Playing By The Book’s blog carnival on books about green issues, and my reviews of Saci Lloyd’s climate-dystopias ‘The Carbon Diaries 2015′ and […]

  25. Research into Sustainability? Sustainable Foods? Sustainable Designs? | GDES3004 CHILDREN'S BOOK DESIGN - RACHEL HAYES
    June 29th, 2014 @ 9:21 pm

    […] I then had a look into how sustainability is presented in existing children’s books –… […]

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