Please welcome author Chitra Soundar today with her list of 10 environmental picture books. We are also giving away 3 copies of her newest book, You’re Snug with Me. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.
You’re Snug With Me by Chitra Soundar, illustrated by Poonam Mistry
At the start of winter, two bear cubs are born, deep in their den in the frozen north. “Mama, what lies beyond here?” they ask. “Above us is a land of ice and snow.” “What lies beyond the ice and snow?” they ask. “The ocean, full of ice from long ago.” And as they learn the secrets of the earth and their place in it, Mama Bear whispers, “You’re snug with me.” [picture book, ages 4 and up]
The previous collaboration by these creators, You’re Safe With Me, received starred reviews from Booklist and Shelf Awareness and was a Junior Library Guild Selection. From the Booklist review: “Simultaneously culturally specific and universal, Soundar’s eloquent narrative flows seamlessly through Mistry’s breathtaking illustrations.”
The planet is getting hotter. Across the world where it’s hard to look, changes are happening because of the everyday things we do. A light not switched off, a plastic straw from our drinks and throwing away without repairing things – all our actions have consequences. Even before global warming was a colloquial term, in Chennai, where we grew up, we used to sort plastic and paper and sell them to the “old paper man”. We were always told off for keeping the light on after we left the room or opening the tap in the kitchen with more gush than we needed to. I love reading and writing stories about looking after our environment because it’s a lot more urgent now for our children to learn about it.
10 Environmental Picture Books
Here are my favorite ones in no particular order.
1. The Promise by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Laura Carlin
Can a story of a thief be the story of the environment? For me, this is a story of not just rejuvenating the grey city with trees, but also changing hearts with a promise. And I’m sure this book will start discussions too. [picture book, ages 5 and up]
2. The Cloud Spinner by Michael Catchpool, illustrated by Alison Jay
This is a magical modern fairy tale of spinning clouds into clothes, but subtly telling us about the scarce resources on Earth. One of my favorite books. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
3. Charlie and Lola: Look After Your Planet by Lauren Child
I like this book because it has real actionable things and information about recycling and a funny plot hidden under all that stuff to be recycled. Charlie and Lola are also big on TV now, so it’s easy for children to pick up this book and read. [picture book, ages 6 and up]
4. One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon
It’s a biography, a lesson in recycling and in the effects of plastic in our environment – all wrapped up in a beautiful story. I’m going to be recommending this for a long time. [picture book, ages 5 and up]
5. Bee and Me by Alison Jay
In this book, Alison Jay brings the plight of bees closer to young readers and shows us why it’s important to look after the bees too. For a city girl like me, this book taught me a lot about why even having a balcony garden is important. [picture book, ages 5 and up]
6. The Trouble with Dragons by Debi Gliori
It’s an almost subtle book about dragons heating up our world, chopping down our trees, and making our planet almost extinct. Would we like the dragons in this story to live alone in this world when nothing else exists? I love all of Debi Gliori’s books – this one is a definite departure from the usual family setting. A new favorite environment book for me. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
7. Panda Bear Panda Bear What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr, illustrated by Eric Carle
This for younger children and introduces a lot of unfamiliar animals. For me, this is a different book to Polar Bear Polar Bear What do you Hear? Because in this book, the message is that it’s better for animals to be wild and free. A subtle pre-school picture about nature and the wild. [picture book, ages 1 and up]
8. Dear Greenpeace by Simon James
A beautiful epistolary book where Emily writes to Greenpeace (and they write back) about a whale in her pond. We learn about whales and their behavior while retaining the wonderment of children to believe in the fantastic. [picture book, ages 5 and up]
9. What If?: A book About Recycling by Mick Manning
Using a bottle as an example, the author explains what happens in the process of recycling. This is a non-fiction book for curious five and six-year-olds who learn to put their plastic into recycling bins and wonder what happens when the truck comes to pick them up. [picture book, ages 5 and up]
10. Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish by Michael Foreman
Dinosaurs, an astronaut, and a space expedition – what’s not to like about this story? Dinosaurs bring a smoldering planet to life teaching the man who had big factories the value of nature. This Earth is our paradise – let’s protect it. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
You’re Snug With Me 3 Book GIVEAWAY!
We are also giving away 3 copies of her newest book, You’re Snug with Me. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter. We can only ship to U.S. addresses.
Chitra Soundar is an Indian-born British writer and storyteller. She is inspired by the rich epics and folktales of India, its diverse culture, and its natural beauty. She has over 30 books in print worldwide.
Poonam Mistry is a UK-based illustrator of Indian heritage. Her work is heavily influenced by nature, folklore, and traditional Indian art. With a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration, she produces artwork for clients around the world.
Pragmatic Mom, Diverse Environmental Reading List, 10/1
Let’s Talk Picture Books, Interview with Chitra and Poonam, 10/2
YA and Kids Book Central, Chitra Soundar Guest Post, 10/3
Randomly Reading, Poonam Mistry Guest Post, 10/4
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.