10 Children’s Books to Read On Earth Day

Earth Day is a wonderful way to learn about and practice three Jewish values: tikkun olam, or repairing the world, bal taschit, not wasting needlessly, and shomrei adamah, which basically means being a caretaker of the Earth. Check out the stories below to learn more about these values and to inspire your little conservationist.

10 Things I Can do to Help My World by Melanie Walsh

Recommended for ages 3 to 4

Taking care of the world may feel like a very big job, but even very little people can help. From turning off lights to using both sides of a piece of paper, this book offers easy reminders for all of us to help protect our planet.

26 Big Things Small Hands Can Do by Coleen Paratore

Recommended for ages 2 to 4

As you go through the alphabet, don’t forget the ABCs of mitzvot. Performing good deeds is something even the littlest among us can do.

The Forever Garden by Laurel Snyder

Recommended for ages 5 to 7

Honey takes care of her garden every day--even though she's going to be moving away soon. Laurel, her neighbor next door, knows she's going to miss her. But Honey explains to her that friendship, like her garden, has a way of growing--despite time and distance.

Good Night, laila tov by Laurel Snyder

Recommended for ages 2 to 3

A family car trip turns into an exploration of the natural wonders of the seashore, woods, and fields. In gratitude and to make the world a better place, the parents plant trees. As the day progresses, the family adventure is marked by the recurring refrain: "good night, laila tov.”

Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg

Recommended for ages 8 and up

What would happen if we never stopped to care for our planet? Walter has a dream -- or maybe it’s a nightmare!

Netta and Her Plant by Ellie Gelman

Recommended for ages 4 to 5

The plant that Netta received on Tu B’Shevat is growing -- and so is Netta. In fact, soon it will be time for the plant -- and Netta -- to do new things. Growing bigger is intimidating, but it’s also wonderful.

Pearl Moscowitz’s Last Stand by Arthur Levine

Recommended for ages 7 to 8

Pearl loved her street. She loved the people on her street, and she loved the trees on her street -- planted there by her mother years before. So when the city wants to cut them down, it’s time for Pearl to take a stand.

Take Care by Madelyn Rosenberg

Recommended for ages 6 months to 2 years

Whether we pick up a piece of litter or offer a kind word to someone who’s hurt, every one of us can help care for our planet and its inhabitants, every day.

Thank You, Trees by Gail Langer Karwoski & Marilyn E. Gootman

Recommended for ages 6 months to 2 years

This book demonstrates for children how we can all “give back” by caring for trees.

Tikkun Olam Ted by Vivian Newman

Recommended for ages 2 to 3

How can very young children participate in activities that make the world a better place? Little Ted shows us specific ways of participating in tikkun olam (repairing the world).

Want to learn more? Check out these links for more videos, book ideas, and activities:

What’s Jewish About Recycling?
Green Thumb Training
Activities to Learn About Rain and Water