Our House is Round

Happy Earth Day! Non-Fiction Books for Kids

Earth Day Books for Kids

In honor of Earth Day and early birds getting worms, I am giving away these fine, newly published non fiction books for kids to the first 5 people who leave a comment. To win, just leave a comment with the book you want to win. I have also been collecting ideas for Earth Day on Pinterest.

Earth Friendly Buildings, Bridges and More: The Eco Journal of Corry Lapoint by Etta Kaner, illustrated by Stephen MacEachern

This non-fiction picture book is a clever concept. Bridges, domes, tunnels and buildings with an earth friendly design are described from the perspective of a 12-year-old on an international road trip. Think Postcards from Buster but for a slightly older audience. Budding architects and engineers will really like this book! Introducing Corry Lapont: 12-year-old and aspiring “green” engineer. This dynamic title takes the form of Corry’s scrapbook. It’s a dazzling collection of postcards, brochures and other memorabilia documenting Corry’s research into green design. Kid-friendly language explains the engineering behind some of the planet’s most cutting edge towers, bridges, tunnels, domes, dams, dikes, locks and levees. These structures include the Vizcaya Bridge in Spain, where gondolas transport cars over the Nervion River, and the Channel tunnel, where trains speed between England and France in just 35 minutes. Readers will explore the environmental impact of structures, such as the pros and cons of dam construction and how rainwater can be used to cool buildings. Complex concepts are clarified with simple activities, as well as colorful drawings, fun facts and the occasional wisecrack from Corry’s kid brother, Riley.

Get Outside: The Kids Guide to Fun in the Great Outdoors by Jane Drake and Anne Love, illustrated by Heather Collins With games, ideas for exploration and activities for all four seasons, this book will keep your kids busy and happy year around. If you want to plan your own summer camp for your children, try these ideas: vegetable garden, make a scarecrow, make your own weed spray, composting, summer bird feeder, bird calls, spud, hoop and arrow,  beach games, make your own swing, crocodile, sand sculptures, treasure hunt and more! Phew! It tired me out already! Armed with Get Outside, a kid will never say, “I’m bored!” again. This book is a key to the world of fun beyond the front door. Activities are divided into four categories (Nature Lover, Outdoor Fun and Games, Cozy Inside and Look to the Sky), where readers will find instructions for making things like sundials, bird feeders and kites, as well as rules for games such as 500 Up, Spud and Shinny. Accompanying these descriptions are fun facts and scientific, historic and cultural context. The passage on playing jacks, for example, includes a sidebar about a similar game played by the ancient Greeks. Children in Northern climes will love learning to play traditional First Nations winter games and be thrilled to find out how to create a backyard ice rink. It’s a wealth of fun and fascination that will captivate any young person — who won’t mind ditching the video game for the great outdoors.

The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea by Helaine Becker, illustrated by Willow Dawson  This is a hands-on book of fun experiments, exploration and games for kids to help them relate scientific ideas to the ocean around them.  This would be the perfect book to hand to your kids if you have a summer vacation home near the beach. Based on the idea that knowledge is power, The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea shows how the ocean works and why this immense ecosystem needs our protection. Experiments using everyday materials help explain scientific concepts, such as why the ocean is salty, how temperature affects water density and why fish don’t get waterlogged. A focus on pollution and other ecological hazards raises awareness. Young scientists will gain a hands-on understanding of how “booms” clean oil spills and how a garbage patch roughly twice the size of Texas came to exist in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Newsy sidebars bring readers up to date on efforts to combat environmental hazards — such as the use of oysters to help squelch pollution in urban waterways. An ideal tool for classroom use or the perfect way to spend a rainy day, The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea is an essential part of any science library.

Star Seeker: A Journey to Outer Space by Theresa Heine and Victor Tavares This picture book for young kids ages 4 and up  is a rhyming adventure poem that takes the reader on a journey through the solar system. I love the how the constellations are pointed out and drawn to emulate the animals they are named for. Ride into the night sky with this unique blend of adventure, science and mythology. Readers will uncover the mysteries of the solar system while riding on the bridle of Pegasus and swimming across Jupiter’s seas.

Bug Off! Creepy, Crawly Poems by Jane Yolen, photographs by Jason Stemple This is the perfect way to lure young naturalists into the world of poetry. My first grade son looked warily at the book, but the bug photographs drew him in. He didn’t  want to go to bed that night until we finished the book! In Bug Off! readers meet thirteen bugs in playful, humorous poems and startling, intimate photographs. Nonfiction prose paragraphs broaden the perspective: Children will learn how bees make honey, that many butterflies can taste food with their feet, that lovebugs can fly higher than the Empire State Building, and much more. The subjects will be familiar to kids—a fly, praying mantis, honeybee, butterfly, daddy longlegs, lovebug, dragonfly, tick, ladybug, spider, grasshopper, ants, and a swarm of bugs—but the poems, photographs, and nonfiction passages present them in eye-opening new ways. Includes an author’s note that encourages readers to write their own bug poems.


Congrats to Jill who won the new addition to this post, the picture book Our House is Round, plus a CD of harp music by the author and harpist Yolanda Kondonassis.

Our House Is Round: A Kid’s Book About Why Protecting Our Earth Matters by Yolanda Kondonassis

Called “the perfect children’s introduction to environmental issues” by Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, Our House Is Round gently guides young readers through a smartly narrated conversation illuminating the concept of global connection and environmental cause and effect. This book teaches the “whys” behind earth conservation in a colorful, positive way that encourages maturity, responsibility, and problem-solving discussion. Author Yolanda Kondonassis encourages children to answer questions about their planet and discusses the issues of global warming, recycling, energy conservation, planting trees, and more. This book is a must for every school and family library.

I really like how this book explains in terms of what a kid can understand that what comes around goes around. Our earth is round so things like pollution don’t go away even if we just move away to avoid it. It’s not so much as a wakeup call but just a clear explanation of the consequences of pollution that we must all face whether or not we caused it. Kids get that. I get that. And the answer is something we all can and should do daily: recycle!



Congrats to:

Jenni who won Star Seeker

MrDHill who won Bug Off!

Margie who won Earth Friendly Buildings, Bridges and More

Rachel who won The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea

Ann who won  Get Outside: The Kids Guide to Fun in the Great Outdoors! 

They were the first 5 to leave a comment. I know I didn’t say that but sometimes the early bird gets the worm. Also, it just worked out so everyone got a book that they wanted.

To view any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

Follow PragmaticMom’s board Best Non-Fiction for Kids on Pinterest.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Jenni

    Wow! What a great way to start a Earth Day! It is a hard choice, but I know my son would love Star Seeker.

  2. MrDHill

    Good morning! Happy Earth Day! My school library would love a copy of Bug Off! We just finished a week of environmental activities!

  3. Happy Earth Day to you and thanks for this opportunity to get some new books for our library media center.

  4. Rachel

    The big green book of the big blue sea sounds great, and I’d love to read it to and do it with my kids.
    However, I do not live in the U.S. …. is this is open internationally?

    • To Rachel,
      Congrats! yo won The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea! I will check to see if I can manage the shipping internationally. If not, is there a U.S. address I can send to?

  5. Ann

    They all look awesome!!! If I must pick, my first choice is The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea and second choice would be Get Outside: The Kids Guide to Fun in the Great Outdoors! Hope I’m one of the 5!
    Ann recently posted…It’s so boring around here!My Profile

  6. What a thoughtful offer! We review books for children on our site and love your book reviews here! It looks like I missed your earth day offer but I work with young kids doing active and collaborative play and will be looking into your Get Outside book – looks great!

  7. Cool beans! Hard to choose because they all look awesome! I think I (or we) would like The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea. I will be homeschooling my youngest two this Fall and that would be an awesome addition to their science curriculum that I could teach comfortably!

  8. Zoe

    Very happy to read a bit more about The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea which someone also recommended at the round up today.
    Zoe recently posted…I’m looking for a book about… green issues / sustainability / recyclingMy Profile

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge