Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Earth and Our Environment - 4.08.2020

Wednesdays I join Alyson Beecher from kidlitfrenzy and other
#kidlit bloggers to share wonderful nonfiction picture books.
The intention of today's blog post is to give professionals that work in the
education field new nonfiction reading material and ideas to use 
with students to promote a love of reading nonfiction materials.

Two weeks from now - April 22nd - is Earth Day.  Here is a list of books you might use with students.... or hold on to this list for next year, when Earth Day is a bit more normal of a celebration!

Earth Hour by Nanette Heffernan
Earth Hour: A Lights-Our Event for Our Planet
written by Nanette Heffernan
illustrated by Bao Luu
Although Earth Hour happens in March, usually around the spring equinox, this is definitely a book you'll want to share to celebrate ways to help the Earth!  For one hour, 8:30-9:30pm, lights are turned off.  It starts in one place and travels around the world according to the different time zones.  Famous locations go dark - the Sydney Opera House, Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge - and the message in the book is you can do this too.  For one hour, do something to help preserve the energy on Earth.

Kids Who Are Saving the Planet by Laurie Calkhoven
Kids Who Are Saving the Planet
written by Laurie Calkhoven
illustrated by Monique Dong
This short chapter book introduces readers to five young kids who saw a problem and did something about it.  These kids took their ideas and ended up doing something really big about it, but it goes to show readers you can start somewhere and see how it grows.

The Mess That We Made by Michelle Lord
The Mess That We Made
written by Michelle Lord
illustrated by Julia Blattman
Thanks to my friend, Kristen Picone, who brought this book to my attention!
Written in a "The house that Jack built" format, there are direct causes and effects that young readers can see that are making big problems for our oceans.  The story shows ways to reverse the things that are being done, and how it will help the environment and the ocean.  The backmatter goes back to individual pages and talks in more detail about ways we can help.
The real power of this book is in the illustrations.  So much to notice that will get kids really wanting to help out!

My Green Day by Melanie Walsh
My Green Day: 10 Green Things I Can Do Today
by Melanie Walsh
This narrative story follows a child and the things the child does throughout the day with the family to be more "green".  Many of the ideas are things that kids can talk to their caregivers about to make a change in their own home.  Ideas range from a compost pile to bringing your own bags to the grocery store.  Readers could easily pick out an idea or two to write about and try at home.

Solar Story by Allan Drummond
Solar Story: How One Community Lives Alongside the World's Biggest Solar Plant
by Allan Drummond
You may be familiar with Drummond's other stories that champion positive changes places have done for the environment.  This book focuses on solar energy and the big idea of sustainability.  Instead of just defining what it is, the fictional kids in the story look for examples of it.  
Drummond found the largest solar plant in the world and it may surprise you where it is located - in Morocco's Sahara Desert!  Readers will see both illustrations and photographs of this solar field and see how it is making a difference.

Green Machine by Rebecca Donnelly
Green Machine: The Slightly Gross Truth About Turning Your Food Scraps into Green Energy
written by Rebecca Donnelly
illustrated by Christophe Jacques
This rhyming text has readers learning about using food waste and turning it into energy.  It's a quick look at collecting food waste - into trucks that look very similar to garbage trucks - and then bringing them to a food processing plant so the food can be broken down into biogas which turns into energy!
After reading this I'm wondering if there are any local places that are doing this already!

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom
We Are Water Protectors
written by Carole Lindstrom
illustrated by Michaela Goade
If this book is not already in your hands, make sure you change that today.  If this book is not on your radar, change that immediately.
It has a very powerful message and talks about being a steward of the Earth - we must look after Mother Earth, in particular, the water on our Earth.  Water runs through all creatures and is important to all living things.  Yet not everyone is taking care of this resource.
While the story refers to the black snake - oil pipelines - the author's note talks about an Anishinaabe prophecy that talks about the natural path - if we take care and respect all things, then everything will continue to bloom and grow.  On this path, there is no black snake.
The illustrations are beautiful and I bet this book will be on a lot of Mock Caldecott lists this fall.

Oil by Jonah Winter
by Jonah Winter and Jeanette Winter
This is such a powerful book.  I read it in the exhibit hall at NCTE and it has stuck with me.  The Winters take us through, in both words and illustrations, what the land looked like before the Exxon Valdez oil spill happened.  We see the wildlife and how the pipeline went through Native land.  And then we see the results of the oil spill.  Great book to talk about the result of human decisions on our Earth.

And a fiction book to complement your unit:

Alba and the Ocean Cleanup by Lara Hawthorne
Alba and the Ocean Cleanup
by Lara Hawthorne
In this story we meet Alba the fish, who enjoys finding treasures in the sea for her birthday, until one year, the ocean was so full of trash, she couldn't find anything worth collecting.  Alba has to travel far and eventually she finds a pearl!  But the pearl is inside a plastic bottle and Alba finds herself stuck in the bottle.  Luckily a young girl saves Alba and recognizes something must be done about the trash that is polluting the ocean.

* Looking to find one of the books in this post?  Click on the book title and you will be taken to an online link for Brain Lair Books.  The books will stay on the link for approx. three weeks before making room for new reads.  Please support independent bookstores.*

1 comment:

  1. I have a couple of these but haven't shared them yet, like 'My Green Day'. We do have 'compost' green carts in Denver, but they use the waste to turn into compost which one can pick up at certain areas for the garden, or purchase if you want it bagged. It has reduced my trash to almost nothing when combined with re-cycle. Thanks for all the books, Michele, many new to me!