We're finishing up Earth Week here and how very appropriate, but to include some earth-concious picture books for this week's Picture Book Saturday. Enjoy!
Oh how I love Curious George books. I am, of course, very partial to the original titles written and illustrated by Margret and H.A. Rey, but they ones written recently are all still pretty great. I just like the annoying monkey.
Curious George Plants a Tree is written by Monica Perez and illustrated in the style of H.A. Rey by Anna Grossnickle Hines. We get all of our usual mischief out of George, as he learns how to be "green" through recycling and proceeds to walk along his street, collecting his neighbors belongings to bring to the recycling drive. Items such as the recently delivered newpapers sitting on lawns, a box of important files that hadn't quite made their way into the moving truck, and paper cups from a lemonade stand all made their way into George's wagon, until he had a crowd of angry people following him to the recycling drive.
The last page of the book has 20 tips for living green that families can perform together and the book itself is printed on mixed resources, meaning from well-managed forests, controlled sources, and recycled wood or fiber. Awesome huh?
A great choice for any Curious George collection or green living collection!
Curious George Plants a Tree
H.A. Rey (Monica Perez)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
A Tree for Emmy, written by Mary Ann Rodman and illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss, is another sweet story about loving the environment, though in a bit subtler manner than Curious George. We meet Emmy, a little girl with a huge imagination that just loves playing under and on her grandmother's mimosa tree. When it comes time for Emmy's birthday, she can think of nothing more she wants as a gift than her very own mimosa tree! Her parents eagerly agree and set off for the greenhouse to buy one.
Unfortunately, the family learns that mimosa trees only grow wild and are not sold in stores, leaving Emmy incredibly disappointed. Luckily, Gramma comes up with a pretty great solution!
The idea of truly loving nature really comes across in this title. I loved when Emmy mentioned how pretty wild clovers and dandelions were and that she wasn't interested in anything that didn't grow wild. Very sweet! The illustrations were great too!
A Tree for Emmy
Mary Ann Rodman
Big Earth, Little Me, writen by Thom Wiley and illustrated by Kate Endle has quickly become one of my favorites to share with little kids. It is a wonderful resource for beginning to teach little ones about helping to save the earth, without getting too complex on the subject, and combining fun aspects like lift-the-flaps, to keep things interesting.
The reader gets a tip on each page as to how he or she can help with certain eco-friendly jobs, such as "I can turn off the water" and "I can use both sides of the paper." There is also a sturdy lift-the-flap on almost every page, engaging even the youngest of readers. Simple concepts make a wonderful, fun book that is SO important in today's world.
The book is beautifully illustrated with bright, bold colors, and everything is printed with soy ink, making it very earth friendly. Though only available in paperback, the pages are sturdy and not easy to rip. The lift-the-flaps will hold up well.
I loved this one and highly recommend it as a purchase for ALL families with little children. It's only around 6 dollars, so a great investment on a great subject!
Big Earth, Little Me
Finally, one that is not necessarily about doing eco-friendly tasks, but rather just using a garden to help teach children their opposites.
A Garden of Opposites is written and illustrated by Nancy Davis and is presented in such a simple, yet bold and impacting manner. Each page spread has a set of opposites (in/out, slow/fast, big/little), all using items from the garden. The last page spread has a fold-out page, encouraging the reader to find more opposites.
Done in beautiful bright, bold illustrations with super-simple text, this title would be a great choice when moving slowly from board books to picture books. Made with very sturdy material, it's not quite the board book, but a nice transition to picture books.
A great choice for home or library shelves!
A Garden of Opposites
Schwartz & Wade Books
To learn more about any of these titles, or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon.