Nourish flourishing minds with these Earth Day picks for kids

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Photo by Terri Schlichenmeyer
Photo by Terri Schlichenmeyer

2022 various publishers
$17.99—$18.99

How would you like to be someone that the Earth can count on, in a pinch? In Earth Friend Forever by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Toten and illustrated by Mike Orodan (Little, Brown, $17.99), the creators of the science podcast "Brains On!" will show you how to be the buddy the planet needs most.

Like every good friendship, there's some give and take when you're pals with the Earth. You pick up litter; the planet gives you the ingredients for pizza. Nice trade, huh? Yep, but now there's an emergency and it's serious business. With this cute book, kids ages 4 to 7 will learn to be good stewards of the Earth, and they'll be spurred to take action in ways that are do-able for even the youngest.

Also from the creators of "Brains On!," there's Road Trip Earth by the same authors (Little, Brown, $18.99). Part adventure, part science, this book takes young readers around the planet and inside it, in bite-sized segments that teach them about the environment but also touch upon geology and geography, as well as climatology and light chemistry. But you shouldn't for a minute think that this book is stuffy or unapproachable.

Imagine, for instance, a match-up between two large, famous bodies of water. Who would win? Learn, for example, what lives beneath your feet. Visit a cave, drop in on the desert, check out some "bizarre" creatures that live in weird places, learn about snow and rocks, and then take a trip to outer space and see what's up there. For science-minded kids, ages 9 to 14, or for young environmentalists who crave a bit of literary adventure, this book could be irresistible.

Young environmental warriors can be serious about their work, though, and if your child is one who's laser-focused on the environment, you'll want Be the Change: Rob Greenfield's Call to Kids: Making a Difference in a Messed-Up World by Rob Greenfield and Antonia Banyard (Greystone Kids, $18.95, to be released April 19). Filled with jaw-dropping pictures; real statistics; solid, adult-caliber information; and ideas for being green, this book is perfect for kids 10 and up, especially if they're keen on making their lives and your home as zero-waste as possible.

If your child wants more information, or if these books don't quite fit what you're looking for, be sure to ask your favorite librarian or bookseller for help. They can instantly put their fingers on books that will help your kid help make this world a better place.