April 22nd is Earth Day. Here are 10 Canadian children’s books that celebrate nature and will spark needed conversations about conservation, climate and social justice, and instill a love and respect for the natural world. Thanks to CTV Your Morning for giving me the space to talk about kids’ books!
Watch the full segment on CTV Your Morning here
- We Adopted a Baby Lamb (Tundra Books) is an adorable pet story with a twist. Instead of a puppy or a kitten, author-illustrator Lori-Joy Smith’s family brings home a baby lamb. Squee-inducing illustrations accompany this true story, and photos of the real-life Albert are included in the back.
- Many families are going for walks these days, and The Secret Fawn (Tundra Books) is a both an ode to a walk in the woods and a celebration of the small things in life. A beautiful afternoon in the woods comes to life with Elly MacKay’s amazing cut paper art and Kallie George’s tender story.
- 111 Trees (KidsCanPress) is based on the true story of Sundar Paliwal, an man who wanted to change the environmental degradation of his Indian village and also honour the women and girls in his community. He came up with a plan to plant 111 trees for every girl born in the village. This inspiring true story demonstrates the power of one person to make ecological and societal change.
- It’s a Mitig! (Douglas & McIntyre Kids) This charming book takes kids on a walk through the woods, introducing them to Ojibwe words for nature. The rhyming text is accompanied by bright, fun illustrations and a pronunciation guide is include in the back. Listen to author Bridget George pronounce some of the words in the book here.
- City of Water (Groundwood Books) is a comprehensive look at water systems past and present. Kids learn about groundwater, treatment facilities, and the effects of extreme weather on water supply.
- Wild Outside: Around the World with Survivor Man (Annick) Canadian filmmaker, musician and author Les Stroud has been credited with creating the survival TV genre. This book is a collection of some of his survival experiences from around the world, including encounters with wild animals, foraging for food, and dealing with extreme weather. Stroud also includes survival tips and tricks and offers activities kids can do from the comfort of their own homes.
- Design Like Nature (Orca) introduces the concept of biomimicry with plenty of fascinating examples of how scientists have turned to nature for ideas on design and innovation. Kids will be fascinated by the connections between bullet trains and Kingfishers, burrs and Velcro, and will look at the world in a whole new way.
- How to Change Everything: The Young Human’s Guide to Protecting the Planet and Each Other (Puffin) This is internationally-acclaimed Canadian activist Naomi Klein’s first book for kids. It includes an explanation of the science behind climate change, a history of how we got to where we are now, and profiles of youth activists from around the world. A frank, accessible and ultimately hopeful primer on climate change for kids.
- The Beekeepers: How Humans Changed The World of Bumble Bees (Scholastic Canada) explores the relationship between bees and humans throughout history and explains why change is urgently needed. The author studied bumblebees at the University of Ottawa and her passion shines through on every page.
- Rescue at Lake Wild (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is an engaging wildlife mystery about three best friends who rescue abandoned beaver kits and decide to solve the local environmental crisis that is leading to beavers being killed in their town.