A picture of five books to teach kids about the environment against a light green background with nature illustrations

Image: Rebecca Hendin/Penguin

Princess Olivia Investigates: The Wrong Weather by Lucy Hawking & Zoe Persico (2022)

Lucy Hawking is back with a brand-new series that follows Princess Olivia of Alez on her mission to help reverse climate change. Olivia and her family have lost their home after the Kingdom of Alez decided it didn’t want a royal family anymore. Olivia is delighted! Now she can finally quit her boring princess lessons and learn all about the weather, space, volcanoes, and the ocean. But Olivia gets a shock when she discovers how extreme the climate on Earth has become. Peppered throughout with fascinating climate facts from real scientists, Princess Olivia Investigates: The Wrong Weather is the perfect book for future environmental scientists.

Recommended reading age: 6-10 years old

The Green Planet by Leisa Stewart-Sharpe & Kim Smith (2022)

To coincide with the new BBC series presented by David Attenborough, The Green Planet will take you into the hidden and often overlooked world of plants. Most of us will know that plants help produce oxygen so we can breathe, but they also talk to each other, trick animals into working for them, and battle for the best spot in the sun. This illustrated guide will change the way you see plants forever as well as show you how we can all become plant protectors and help our green planet continue to flourish.

Recommended reading age: 7+ years old

How You Can Save the Planet by Hendrikus van Hensbergen (2021)

Do you often wonder what exactly you can do to help the world? Or are you a climate change champion looking to up your game? Then this is the book for you! How You Can Save the Planet is filled with easy step-by-step actions, such as building a green wall or organising cycling groups, as well as uplifting stories of other children taking action to heal the world. Let’s save planet Earth!

Recommended reading age: 9-12 years old

Stuff by Maddie Moate & Paul Boston (2021)

Stuff. The world is filled with it. But have you ever wondered where it all comes from? And what happens to all that stuff once we no longer need it? CBBC presenter Maddie Moate has put this mind-blowing compendium of facts and eco-stories that detail exactly what happens to all the stuff we use and how we can reuse it. Did you know that you can make plastic packaging out of seaweed? And that elephant poo can be turned into paper? This book will help teach everyone to be more conscious of what we use every day and how it can affect the environment.

Recommended reading age: 7-9 years old

Blue Planet II by Leisa Stewart-Sharpe & Emily Dove (2020)

Did you know the ocean covers up to 71% of planet Earth? And despite being home to the greatest diversity of life on Earth, it is our least explored habitat. Based on the hit documentary series Blue Planet II, Leisa Stewart-Sharpe will take you on a deep dive into the world beneath the waves. You’ll explore coral reefs and kelp forest seas, learn about the creatures that live in the hadal zone, and discover how climate change is impacting our beautiful blue planet.

Recommended reading age: 7+ years old

The Greatest Show on Earth by Mini Grey (2022)

With the help of the insect troupe from the Shoebox Theatre, The Greatest Show on Earth explores the history of our planet, the different environments it has swung between, and how everything came into being 4.6 billion years ago. From the Triassic period where a hothouse effect occurred due to excessive greenhouse gas emissions to the ice age that saw the Earth freeze over, this is a fun introduction for little readers into how the environment impact life on Earth.

Recommended reading age: 7+ years old

Climate Rebels by Ben Lerwill (2020)

With climate change accelerating in recent years, it’s been all hands on deck to try and do more. And we’ve seen impressive actions from some very inspiring humans! In Climate Rebels you'll learn about environmental movement Greenpeace who’s non-violent protests have led to many laws being improved, broadcaster Sir David Attenborough’s continuous championing of the natural world, as well as many more hopeful stories about the efforts of known and lesser-known heroes. No change is too small!

Recommended reading age: 8-11 years old

Clean Up! by Nathan Bryon & Dapo Adeola (2020)

Rocket is off on holiday with her family to visit her grandparents in the Caribbean. She can’t wait to play on the beach, swim in the sea and see some dolphins! But once she arrives, Rocket discovers there is a serious plastic pollution problem and the local sea life is in danger. There’s only one thing for it, Rocket is going to have to save the day. This empowering picture book shows how it’s possible for us to all make a difference, no matter our age.

Recommended reading age: 2-5 years old

The Extraordinary Life of Greta Thunberg by Devika Jina & Petra Braun (2020)

In August 2018, Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg staged a solo protest that ended up launching a global strike. Since then she has continued to call attention to climate change and call out those who try to silence her. As well as inspiring a legion of young activists, Greta has also become an advocate for those with autism, citing it as her superpower! We can’t wait to see what she achieves in the future.

Recommended reading age: 7-12 years old

The Bear in the Stars by Alexis Snell (2020)

The Bear in the Stars is a modern fable about the impacts of climate change on animals. The Queen of Beasts – a great, white bear – rules over a beautiful, snowy kingdom. But over the years, the ice that once covered the land has begun to melt away, and one by one the other animals move on. Eventually, the bear herself has to leave to find not only food and friends but a new home. On her journey through a world that is growing ever hotter, the bear finds that the hearts of others are cold. But then a small act of kindness marks a new beginning.

Recommended reading age: 7-11 years old

Charlie and Lola: Look After Your Planet by Lauren Child (2011)

Charlie and Lola – the much-loved duo from former Children’s Laureate Lauren Child – take on the issue of recycling. This time it’s Lola who is clearing up her bedroom. Big brother Charlie explains that ‘if we don't use things again, in the end, we will just run out of everything’. He’s so persuasive that Lola goes on a mission to inspire the whole class. A great read for little activists, with some ‘green promises’ inside to get them started.

Recommended reading age: 3-5 years old

Will Jellyfish Rule the World? by Leo Hickman (2009)

Plagues of jellyfish are not unusual, they usually occur every 10 years. However, due to climate change, waves of these alien-looking creatures are on the uprise making it dangerous for frequent beachgoers to head into the sea. In Will Jellyfish Rule the World, Leo Hickman breaks down the causes and effects of occurrences, such as jellyfish plagues, and how we can make some small everyday changes to help the environment and slow down global warming. This is the perfect handbook for all eco-warriors.

Recommended reading age: 9-12 years old

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