Earth Day Resource Center

Celebrate Earth Day (April 22) with these books! Keep reading to discover an entire collection of books that will inspire your young readers to become environmentally conscious.


Oceans of Possibilities

Are you participating in the Oceans of Possibilities Collaborative Summer Library Program? Add these books to your shelves today!

View our full collection of environmental books here →

Book Round-up: Talking to Kids About Current Events: Ukraine

Not sure how to talk to kids about what’s happening in world events? We’ve rounded up some books that provide an accessible way to talk to kids about lessons we can learn from history, and also included some books to use as resources for media literacy. Plus, see below to find journal entry prompts to help your kids process their emotions.

A Note:

Because talking about current events–especially those involving war–can be a triggering experience for people at any age, it can be a good idea to allow kids to process what they’ve already seen and heard before starting any new conversations. By creating a space for kids to journal, they can start digesting their own emotions and responses. Keep in mind that some children have experienced the effects of war and may feel a personal connection to the Eastern European population closely impacted by Putin’s actions. To provide you with some talking points, we’ve found a list of sources that can help educators talk about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with students.


Sources for Talking to Children About the Attack on Ukraine

Teachers can offer a safe space for students to talk about the war in Ukraine and help them take action – with entry-level talking points for kids at varying ages

Talking to Kids About the War in Ukraine – from San Diego County Office of Education, many resources for talking to children of all ages and includes social-emotional resources

Hear what teens have to say about the war in Ukraine – teen posts from the New York Times forum


Journal Entry Prompts for Processing Current Events:

Prompt 1 for early education: Think about the news events that you’ve watched or heard adults talk about this week. What was the news? Do you think it is important? How do you feel about this news?

Prompt 2 for middle graders: Think about the news events that have happened this week. Choose the one event that you think is important, and write a paragraph journal entry about it. What happened? Why do you think it is important? How do you feel about what you’ve heard?

Prompt 3 for high schoolers: Think about the current events that have happened in the world this past week. Choose a specific event that you think is important, and write a multi-paragraph journal entry about it. What happened? Why is it important? Do you feel personally impacted by this? How can you empathize with those affected by the event?


Click the tabs below to view more books in each age category.

Find a list of recommended books here →

STORYTIME: Katherine Applegate reads her new middle grade novel Willodeen

Willodeen by Katherine Applegate
Ages 8-12

From #1 New York Times bestseller Katherine Applegate, a singular middle-grade novel about a girl who risks everything to help a handmade creature who comes to life.

The earth is old and we are not, and that is all you must remember . . .

Eleven-year-old Willodeen adores creatures of all kinds, but her favorites are the most unlovable beasts in the land: strange beasts known as “screechers.” The villagers of Perchance call them pests, even monsters, but Willodeen believes the animals serve a vital role in the complicated web of nature.

Lately, though, nature has seemed angry indeed. Perchance has been cursed with fires and mudslides, droughts and fevers, and even the annual migration of hummingbears, a source of local pride and income, has dwindled. For as long as anyone can remember, the tiny animals have overwintered in shimmering bubble nests perched atop blue willow trees, drawing tourists from far and wide. This year, however, not a single hummingbear has returned to Perchance, and no one knows why.

When a handmade birthday gift brings unexpected magic to Willodeen and her new friend, Connor, she’s determined to speak up for the animals she loves, and perhaps even uncover the answer to the mystery of the missing hummingbears.

A timely and timeless tale about our fragile earth, and one girl’s fierce determination to make a difference.


Praise for Willodeen:

“Employing flawlessly simple, candid prose that belies deeper messages, Newbery Medalist Applegate again considers the complex relationship between humans and the natural world. … Fiercely protective Willodeen is easy to champion, and her belief that “nature knows more than we do” is a message worth sharing.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

Applegate’s gentle yet honest tale mixes magic with very real environmental messaging, both warning of human-caused harm and pointing to nature’s resilience and interconnectedness… Applegate empowers her young characters by not only granting them courage but also ensuring they earn the respect of their elders.”—Booklist, starred review

“An endearing fable that illuminates the importance of recognizing that all living things serve a purpose in our beautifully complex world and are worthy of care and dignity.” —BookPage


Watch more author storytimes here!

Storytime: Author Emmy Kastner reads Nerdy Babies: Weather

Nerdy Babies is a picture book series that will ignite curiosity in even the youngest readers and encourage them to ask questions and explore the world around them. With bright colorful art and easy-to-read text, the Nerdy Babies series encourages the youngest readers to explore the natural world around them from the depths of the ocean to the farthest reaches of space!

In Emmy Kastner’s newest picture book, Nerdy Babies: Weather follow our intrepid babies into the eye of the storm. Experience sunshine, wind, rain, and other weather patterns. Plus, learn about how we predict the weather in this simple text written in question and answer format. Watch Emmy read from the book below:

Download the Nerdy Babies Activity Kit here, for more STEM-filled fun!

Watch more author storytimes here.