These varied, informative books for young readers provide introductions to the Earth’s environment, its history, and its inhabitants, while offering guidance on how to live sustainably for a better and enduring future.

A Turtle’s View of the Ocean Blue

Catherine Barr, illus. by Brendan Kearney. Laurence King, Apr.

Ages 6–up

A follow-up to A Cat’s Guide to the Night Sky, this book introduces young readers to the wildlife and natural phenomena that appear within the oceans as well as the challenges our world currently faces, and what we can do to help.

A World of Plants

Martin Jenkins, illus. by James Brown. Candlewick, Mar.

Ages 7–10

In this illustrated guide to botanical history and biodiversity, Jenkins highlights the critical impact that plants have on all life on Earth.

Birds: Explore Their Extraordinary World

Miranda Krestovnikoff, illus. by Angela Harding. Bloomsbury, Apr.

Ages 6–9

Readers can get an in-depth look at the incredible world of avian creatures in this linocut-illustrated picture book.

Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species

Anna Brett, illus. by Nick Hayes. Laurence King, Feb.

Ages 7–11

Part of the nonfiction series Words That Changed the World, this book offers an accessible guide for children to learn about one of the world’s most influential scientists and his (r)evolutionary theory.

City of Water

Andrea Curtis. illus. by Katy Dockrill. Groundwood, May

Ages 8–12

This illustrated account of a valuable natural resource encourages readers to think about water as a finite entity and to take action to prevent our cities and watersheds from becoming more polluted.

Climate Action: What Happened and What We Can Do

Seymour Simon. HarperCollins, Feb.

Ages 6–10

Meet the young activists who are using their voices and minds to fight climate change in this introduction not only to the dramatic effects of the climate crisis, but to the solutions as well.

Cougar Crossings

Meeg Pincus, Alexander Vidal. Beach Lane, Feb.

Ages 3–8

This picture book relating the true story of P-22, the wild cougar living in Los Angeles, highlights the man-made problems and threats that face wild animals and how people can help protect them.

Curious About Insects and Curious About Fish

Cathryn Sill, illus. by John Sill. Peachtree, Aug.

Ages 2–6

These early board book primers in the Discovering Nature series introduce young children to the identifiable characteristics of insects and fish.

DKfindout! Garbage

DK, July

Ages 7–11

This timely addition to the DKfindout! series focuses on key global concerns, including space waste, the problem of plastic, and fast fashion, and looks at what is being done worldwide to help manage waste better.


Emily Kate Moon. Dial, Feb.

Ages 4–8

With humor and fun facts, Drop takes readers on an adventure through the water cycle.

Earth’s Incredible Oceans

Jess French, illus. Claire McElfatrick. DK, Apr.

Ages 7–9

Ocean expert French, with help from illustrator McElfatrick, embarks on an underwater journey, showing what plants and animals live in our oceans, and how we can help preserve them.

Earth Squad: 50 People Who Are Saving the Planet

Alexandra Zissu, illus. by Nhung Lê. Running Press, Mar.

Ages 8–12

This illustrated anthology profiles people across the globe who have dedicated their lives to making our world a better place. Includes practical eco-tips for readers.

Find Out About: Saving Our Planet

Mandy Archer. Rodale Kids, Mar.

Ages up to 3

Curious preschoolers can find out more about key environmental issues and ways to go green with this lift-the-flap book.

Forest Magic: A Guidebook for Little Woodland Explorers

Sarah Grindler. Nimbus, May

Ages 4–8

This illustrated, interactive nature guide for young readers looks at the different natural flora in a forest, teaching children to use all their senses as well as their imagination.

Fourteen Monkeys

Melissa Stewart, illus. by Steve Jenkins. Beach Lane, July

Ages 3–8

Through a close-up on a tropical rainforest where 14 species of monkeys live together, readers are given a detailed look at animal behavior and how a delicate and special ecosystem exists in harmony.

Go Go Apple: My First Recycling Book and Go Go Tin Can: My First Recycling Book

Illus. by Steven Wood. Sunbird, Aug.

Ages up to 3

This timely nonfiction board book series addresses what happens when everyday items are recycled. Readers can follow the transformation and discover that these items are not just trash after all.


Gail Gibbons. Holiday House, May

Ages 4–8

This new and updated edition contains the latest facts on how these primates live and adapt to their environment, how they raise their young, and their physical characteristics.

Hello Earth!

Joyce Sidman, illus. by Miren Asiain Lora. Eerdmans, Feb.

Ages 5–9

Through poetry and illustrations, Sidman and Lora explore the wonders of the natural world, including the beauty of Earth’s ecosystems, creatures, and powerhouse plants. Extensive scientific material fosters further learning about how the Earth works.

How to Be a Global Citizen

DK, June

Ages 10–up

From tricky topics such as fake news and the climate crisis to compelling stories of young leaders sparking change, this book explains how to make a difference at every level—at home, locally, nationally, and globally.

How to Change Everything

Naomi Klein, adapted by Rebecca Stefoff. Atheneum, Feb.

Ages 10–up

From the bestselling author of This Changes Everything and On Fire, this young readers’ guide to understanding and battling climate change articulates the many ways in which people can make a difference in our planet’s future.

If Bees Disappeared

Lily Williams. Roaring Brook, Mar.

Ages 4–8

The fourth book in the author’s nonfiction series spotlighting animals that need our help imagines what would happen if bees disappeared completely from our world.

I Have the Right to Save My Planet

Alain Serres, illus. by Aurélia Fronty. Groundwood, Apr.

Ages 4–7

From the author-illustrator duo behind I Have the Right to Be a Child comes this picture book about a child’s right to advocate for their environment and what it means to be a child who dreams of a beautiful future for the planet.

Jane & Me

Jaye Garnett, illus. by various. Cottage Door, Feb.

Ages 2–4

Young readers can learn about animals and the environment and begin to understand how everything is connected in Garnett’s Jane & Me books, marking a new partnership between Cottage Door and the Jane Goodall Institute.

Lady Bird Johnson, That’s Who!: The Story of a Cleaner and Greener America

Tracy Nelson Maurer, illus. by Ginnie Hsu. Holt, Feb.

Ages 4–8

This picture book biography of Lady Bird Johnson focuses on her environmentalist passion and legacy as First Lady.

The Leaf Detective: How Margaret Lowman Uncovered Secrets in the Rainforest

Heather Lang, illus. by Jana Christy. Calkins Creek, Feb.

Ages 7–10

This picture book biography tells the story of Meg Lowman, a groundbreaking female scientist known as a “real life Lorax," who was determined to investigate the world of the rainforest treetops.

Let’s Go to the Garden! With Dr. Seuss’s Lorax

Todd Tarpley. Random House, Feb.

Ages up to 3

The Lorax shares his love of animals and plants and the need to “speak for the trees” in this rhyming lift-the-flap board book about the role that gardens play in helping the Earth.

Little Dandelion Seeds the World

Julia Richardson, illus. by Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell. Sleeping Bear, Mar.

Ages 6–7

Follow a flutter of dandelion seeds around the world and learn how they travel in this book filled with STEM concepts.

Little Naturalists: Beatrix Potter Wrote Stories

Kate Coombs, illus. by Seth Lucas. Gibbs-Smith, Mar.

Ages up to 3

Coombs and Lucas introduce readers to Beatrix Potter, an inspiring children’s author and artist who displayed her love of animals and flora in her artwork and encouraged little naturalists to be kind and adventurous in following their dreams and caring for plants and animals.

Little Naturalists: George Washington Carver Loved Plants

Kate Coombs, illus. by Seth Lucas. Gibbs-Smith, Aug.

Ages up to 3

Tells the life of Carver, who overcame family hardships and racial adversity to become a renowned agricultural scientist and educator, best known for his work with peanuts.

Little Naturalists: Wangari Maathai Planted Trees

Kate Coombs, illus. by Seth Lucas. Gibbs-Smith, Aug.

Ages up to 3

The latest in the series spotlights Kenyan environmentalist, women’s rights activist, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai (19402011), who fought the government and began the Green Belt Movement to plant trees, conserve forest land, and bring democracy to her country.

Look What I Found in the Woods

Moira Butterfield, illus. by Jesus Verona. Nosy Crow, Apr.

Ages 5–8

This illustrated guide to the outdoors features facts about the plants, creatures, and other natural treasures of the forest.

Mars! Earthlings Welcome

Stacy McAnulty, illus. by Stevie Lewis. Holt, Feb.

Ages 4–8

A light-hearted nonfiction picture book about the red planet. Back matter includes additional facts and figures about Mars and its role in our universe.

Marshes & Swamps

Gail Gibbons. Holiday House, May

Ages 4–8

This updated edition explores the basics of wetland formation, the differences between salt and freshwater ecosystems, and what types of plants and trees flourish in each.

Meltdown: Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Disaster in Fukushima

Deirdre Langeland. Roaring Brook, Feb.

Ages 10–14

This harrowing narrative of the 2011 Fukushima power plant disaster includes accessible materials explaining the science behind the catastrophe, and photographs capturing the real-life horror that people experienced.

Ocean Soup: A Recipe for You, Me, and a Cleaner Sea

Meeg Pincus. Sleeping Bear, Mar.

Ages 7–8

Pincus brings ecological issues to the surface and encourages readers to become active participants in keeping their own communities clean in this illustrated rhyming story.

Oh, The Lavas That Flow!: All About Volcanoes

Todd Tarpley, illus. by Aristides Ruiz and Joe Mathieu. Random House, Mar.

Ages 5–8

The Cat in the Hat travels the Earth—and beyond—to introduce beginning readers to the science and history of volcanoes, for fans of the hit PBS show The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!

Old Enough to Save the Planet

Loll Kirby, illus. by Adelina Lirius. Magic Cat, Feb.

Ages 8–12

In this look at young climate change activists, readers will discover the many elements contributing to climate change as well as what is being done by activists around the world in the fight for our planet.

Once Upon Another Time
Charles Ghigna and Matt Forrest Esenwine, illus. by Andrés F. Landazábal. Beaming, Mar.

Ages 4–8

Ghigna and Esenwone take readers through an exploration of the world as it was before humans made their mark. Sweeping landscapes and up-close details of the natural world invite readers of all ages to appreciate, explore, and protect our planet.

Our World Out of Balance: Understanding Climate Change and What We Can Do

Andrea Minoglio, illus. by Laura Fanelli. Blue Dot Kids, Apr.

Ages 8–12

This illustrated nonfiction guide, filled with tips on “How You Can Help,” citizen scientist activities, and engaging big ideas, details how humans have thrown the planet off-balance and ways we can work together to be part of the solution to create a healthier world.

Outside, You Notice

Erin Alladin, illus. by Andrea Blinick. Pajama, Apr.

Ages 5–8

This inclusive nonfiction book describes a child’s sensory experience of various kinds of outdoor spaces.

Palm Trees at the North Pole: The Hot Truth About Climate Change

Marc Ter Horst, illus. by Wendy Panders, trans. by Laura Watkinson. Greystone Kids, Mar.

Ages 7–12

Presents information about climate change—from farting cows to roaring cars, and everything in between—within nearly 200 accessible and humor-filled pages.

Planting Peace: The Story of Wangari Maathai

Gwendolyn Hooks, illus. by Margaux Carpentier. Crocodile, May

Ages 7–up

A look at Nobel Peace Prize-winner Maathai, a Kenyan women’s rights activist and one of the first environmental conservationists, who inspired thousands across Africa to plant 30 million trees in 30 years.

Reuse This Book!

Illus. by Emma Morris. HMH, Mar.

Ages 4–7

This interactive picture book serves as an immersive introduction to environmentalism. Children will learn daily ways to save the planet and to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Rhinos in Nebraska: The Amazing Discovery of the Ashfall Fossil Beds

Alison Pearce Stevens, illus. by Matt Huynh. Holt, July

Ages 8–12

This first book to be published about the Ashfall Fossil Beds offers a narrative account of this groundbreaking discovery of 200 fossils.

Rock by Rock

Jennifer Bradbury, illus. by Sam Boughton. Atheneum, Feb.

Ages 4–8

Bradbury and Boughton tell the true story of artist Nek Chand and how his secret art project—hidden away in a jungle—became one of India’s most treasured wonders, second only to the Taj Mahal.

Saving Animals: A Young Activist’s Guide

Catherine Kelaher. Ashland Creek, May

Ages 13–up

Kelaher’s for teens guide highlights animal activism while also addressing issues such as environmental justice and climate change.

Secrets of the Sea: The Story of Jeanne Power, Revolutionary Marine Scientist

Evan Griffith, illus. by Joanie Stone. Clarion, Mar.

Ages 6–9

This illustrated biography of marine biologist Power examines her revolutionary life and conservationist legacy. Backmatter includes resources for marine conservation efforts and details on the creatures Power studied.

Seeing Stars: The Secret Life of Starfish

Denise Adams. Nimbus, Apr.

Ages 4–8

Readers can explore the secret underwater life of starfish and learn how to humanely handle starfish in this book, done in the same style as The Secret Life of Squirrels.

Sobre los anfibios: Una guía para niños and Sobre los reptiles: Una guía para niños

Cathryn Sill, illus. by John Sill. Peachtree, Feb.

Ages 3–7

These Spanish-language beginner’s guides to amphibians and reptiles include realistic illustrations and informative backmatter that emphasize the diversity of these animals and the importance of protecting their environments.

The Beekeepers

Dana L. Church. Scholastic Press, Mar.

Ages 8–12

Church dives deep into the world of this everyday insect—and the science behind its uncertain future—in this accessible overview of bumblebees.

The Earth: One-of-a-Kind Planet

Laura Perdew, illus. by Shululu. Nomad, Mar.

Ages 5–8

Narrated by the character of the Universe, this book explores Earth’s origins, the start of life, biodiversity, and ways in which the planet needs human help to get healthy again.

The Elephants Come Home: A True Story of Seven Elephants, Two People, and One Extraordinary Friendship

Kim Tomsic, illus. by Hadley Hooper. Chronicle, May

Ages 3–5

Tomsic tells the story of a real friendship between two people and one of the world's most beloved endangered animals, serving as a resource on animal habitats and biomes, conservation, and the threat of extinction.

The Great Stink

Colleen Paeff, illus. by Nancy Carpenter. S&S/McElderry, Aug.

Ages 7–up

In this true story about London’s's pollution problem, readers learn of the engineering marvel that helped fix it. Backmatter offers insight into contemporary pollution and ways that kids can help.

The Last Straw: Kids vs. Plastics

Susan Hood. HarperCollins, Feb.

Ages 4–8

Hood investigates the growing plastic problem and presents a few of the young activists who are standing up and speaking out for change in this collection of poems.

The Rainforest Book

Charlotte Milner. DK, Feb.

Ages 5–9

Milner’s picture book features the plants and animals of the rainforest and offers suggestions for how we can protect them.

There’s a Rang-Tan in my Bedroom

James Sellick, illus. by Frann Preston-Gannon. Crocodile, Apr.

Ages 3–8

Based on the viral Greenpeace short film, this book tells of a girl who finds a lost orangutan displaced by deforestation. Facts on orangutans, deforestation, and conservation are included.

The Truth About Parrots

Maxwell Eaton III. Roaring Brook, May

Ages 4–8

Humor mixed with hard facts fill this guide to parrots. An additional spread focuses on environmental implications.

The Wisdom of Trees: How Trees Work Together to Form a Natural Kingdom

Lita Judge. Roaring Brook, Mar.

Ages 5–8

Judge provides an exploration of the hidden communities that trees create to strengthen themselves and others, featuring illustrations, poems, and scientific information.

This Book Is Not Garbage: 50 Ways to Ditch Plastic, Reduce Trash, and Save the World!

Isabel Thomas, illus. by Alex Paterson. Random House, Feb.

Ages 8–12

Readers can learn 50 ways to reduce their carbon footprint and cool the Earth with practical tips and projects that make a difference.

This Book Will (Help) Cool the Climate: 50 Ways to Cut Pollution and Protect Our Planet!

Isabel Thomas, illus. by Alex Paterson. Random House, Feb.

Ages 8–12

With practical tips and projects, readers can become eco-heroes by learning easy ways to make a difference and that saving their planet is within their reach.

This Little Environmentalist

Joan Holub, illus. by Daniel Roode. Little Simon, Feb.

Ages 3–5

Highlighting 10 memorable environmentalists who paved the way, including recycling scientist Miranda Wang, Goodwill founder Edgar Helms, and teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, this discovery primer aims to appeal to parents and kids alike.

This Very Tree: A Story of 9/11, Resilience, and Regrowth

Sean Rubin. Holt, May

Ages 3–7

This commemorative picture book about 9/11, told from the perspective of the burned and broken “Survivor Tree,” offers a new angle and approach to the depiction of the attack.

Treemendous: Diary of a Not Yet Mighty Oak

Bridget Heos, illus. by Mike Ciccotello. Crown, Mar.

Ages 4–7

This picture book illustrates the life of a tiny acorn growing up to be a tall oak tree. Backmatter includes educational material and resources.

Walking for Water: How One Boy Stood Up for Gender Equality

Susan Hughes, illus. by Nicole Miles. Kids Can, June

Ages 7–10

Children can learn about education and gender inequity as well as the lack of clean water plaguing parts of the world in this picture book based on the true story of a Malawian boy. Information about education and water availability in Malawi and a glossary of Chichewa words are included.

Water Cycles

DK, July

Ages 7–11

Take a closer look at the life cycle of water, including how it supports all life forms, how humans harness its power, and why we need to conserve it.

What’s Inside a Flower? And Other Questions About Science & Nature

Rachel Ignotofsky. Crown, Feb.

Ages 4–7

Budding backyard scientists can start exploring their world with this introduction to flowers, kicking off a nonfiction picture book series.

What’s the Weather?

Judith Ralston. DK, Jan.

Ages 6–9

Eco-focused facts and illustrations show how weather forms, the ways in which it changes over time, and how we can use its power.

Wild World Handbook: Habitats

Andrea Debbink. Quirk, May

Ages 8–12

The first of two illustrated guides to the natural world, this book educates on environmental stewardship and diverse habitats and aims to empower the next generation of young climate activists and nature lovers to protect the world’s habitats.