Did You Hug Your Planet Today?: Children's Books About Our Beautiful Planet
Though Earth Day is officially celebrated on April 22 each year, it is important for children to learn ways in which they can be environmentally conscious everyday. Activities like gardening, cooking, and crafts offer numerous opportunities to teach kids of all ages to respect and appreciate the planet's resources. These books, toys, and audio selections offer suggestions to get them started ...Hugg-a-Planet: Earth
Ages: 9 months & Up
Hugg-a-Planet is a colorful stuffed globe covered in a soft but sturdy fabric that is patterned with a map of the earth. Children can play with it like a ball, study it like a map, and hug it like a friend. Its message - love our earth - was an early one in the spate of ecological toys. Learn and Play the Recycle Way: Homemade Toys That Teach
Ages: 2 - 8 yrs.
Redleaf Press, $18.95
We are all acquainted with the educational value of play. This well-organized paperback helps parents to recycle common household materials into toys and games that will stimulate their children’s developmental and learning processes without taxing their budgets or the planet’s resources. Diary of a Worm
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Doreen Cronin Illustrator: Harry Bliss
HarperCollins Children's Books / Joanna Cotler, $15.99 (Hard Cover)
Doreen Cronin turns her attention to a young worm making his way in (or under) the world. Among the lessons learned: The earth gives us everything we need, and in turn, worms care for the earth. Children will like the inherent yuck factor in a book about worms, and will appreciate the comic asides in many of the illustrations. Heart of The World by Sarah Pirtle
Ages: 5 - 11 yrs.
A Gentle Wind, $14.95 (CD)
The well-crafted lyrics in these pretty folk-style melodies are about whale-watching, sharks, the lives of salmon, and how water cycles from clouds to earth and back again to the phases of the moon, the function of cells, DNA and quarks. It's storytelling wonder in Pirtle's educational melodies Close to the Sun: Songs of the Earth and Beyond for Children
Ages: 6 - 12 yrs.
Performed By: Peggy Eyres
Quercus Music, $15.98 (CD) $10.98 (Cassette)
Folk singer Peggy Eyres succeeds in making educational songs lyrically polished and musical as she sings about the fascinating characteristics of such fauna as sand skunks, T-Rex, geese and geckos ("Animalia" ) and of the usefulness of such flora as cotton, trees, oranges and carrots ("Plant Presents"). Other well-crafted, wells-sung songs are about the weather, good health habits, and mountain climbing. Hey Kids! You're Cooking Now! A Global Awareness Cooking Adventure
Ages: 7 - 14 yrs.
Author: Dianne Pratt Illustrator: Janet Winter
Harvest Hill Press, $19.95 (Hard Cover)
This colorfully illustrated hardback gives parents and children a connection in the kitchen, as they whip up treats like Bananarama Bread and Cha-Cha Chili and ponder recipe-related ecological factoids. Later sections include recipes for non-food items like homemade glue and tie-dyed socks, using environmentally responsible ingredients. Don't Know Much About Planet Earth
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Author: Kenneth Davis Illustrator: Tom Bloom
HarperCollins Childrens Books, $19.95 (Hard Cover)
In this latest addition to the Don't Know Much About series, Davis takes on the topic of geography. In ten short chapters, readers travel the seven continents and learn a bit about cartography, deserts, rain forests and more. Typical of the series' format, this selection offers quick explanations and anecdotes about the nature of geography or the earth sciences. Encyclopedia of Planet Earth
Ages: 9 & Up
Author: Anna Claybourne Illustrator: G. Dougherty Illustrator: Rebecca Treays
EDC Publishing/Usborne Books, $21.95 (Hard Cover)
Less an encyclopedia and more a "textual movie" of Planet Earth’s physical geography, this reference guide strikes the right balance of information for the age group: excellent illustrations and photographs, exciting layouts and low use of jargon. The text also presents a balanced view of environmental issues such as global warming.
Ages: 12 & Up
Author: Michael Scott
Oxford University Press, $16.95 (Paperback)
Each volume in this series contains clear explanations of current scientific theories; there is in every one a generous use of graphics and color photographs.
Reprinted with the permission of the Parents' Choice Foundation. © Copyright 2012 Parents' Choice Foundation. All rights reserved.
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