33 More must read Books on Sustainability for kids

This is the second part of a list of Sustainability Reading provided by Fremantle Library, that every child should read by the time they get to high school! This is a compilation of resources for children (primarily for ages 3-10) on various environmental concepts such as pollution, water, energy, food, sustainability, ecology, culture, and history.

26) The Magic Beach by Alison Lester

Imagine a beach where you can swim, surf, splash through the waves, make sandcastles, hunt for treasures, explore rock-pools, fish from the jetty, and build a bonfire under the stars. Imagine a beach where the adventure begins…

27) The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge by Joanna Cole

Trust the bestselling science series of all time to get down to the facts on global warming, so kids can understand the crisis –and how they can help solve it.  Like it or not, global warming is a hot topic that will affect the younger generation more than anyone. So why not turn to the teacher kids love most, Ms. Frizzle! Only the Friz can boil all the hoopla down to the scientific facts in a fun and informative way.  With trademark simplicity and wit, Joanna Cole explains why the earth is getting warmer, and Bruce Degen’s bright, action-filled illustrations make the science easy to understand and fun to learn. This team brings a new, improved understanding to climate change, engaging kids and empowering all. Teachers will cheer!

28) The Mangrove Tree: Planting Trees to Feed Families by Susan L. Roth

For a long time, the people of Hargigo, a village in the tiny African country of Eritrea, were living without enough food for themselves and their animals. Then along came a scientist, Dr Gordon Sato, who helped to change their lives for the better. And it all started by planting some special mangrove trees. This fascinating story of environmental innovation is a celebration of creativity, hard work and the ability of one man to make a positive difference in the lives of many.

29) Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell

In his characteristic heartwarming and minimalistic style, Patrick McDonnell tells the story of a young Jane Goodall and her special childhood toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. As the young Jane observes the natural world around her with wonder, she dreams of ‘a life living with and helping all animals,’ until one day she finds that her dream has come true. One of the world’s most inspiring women, Dr. Jane Goodall is a renowned humanitarian, conservationist, animal activist, environmentalist, and United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 1977 she founded the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), a global non-profit organisation that empowers people to make a difference for all living things. With anecdotes taken directly from Jane Goodall’s autobiography, McDonnell makes this very true story accessible for the very young – and young at heart.

30) Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien

Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma.

31) My Place by Nadia Wheatley

Discover, or rediscover, a ‘time machine’ which takes the reader back into the past. It depicts the history of one particular piece of land in Sydney from 1788 to 1988 through the stories of the various children who have lived there.

32) Oil Spill! By Melvin A. Berger

Did you know that an oil spill occurs somewhere in the world almost every day of the year? Berger and Mirocha focus on one of the worst spills in history– the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill–to explain in simple terms and with bold, full-colour illustrations why oils spills happen, how experts clean up after them, and what effect spilled oil has on ocean plants and wildlife.

33) Our Island by Alison Lester, Elizabeth Honey, Children of Gununa

“Our island lies beneath a big blue sky, surrounded by the turquoise sea. Turtles glide through the clear saltwater, and dugongs graze on banks of seagrass.” In this lyrical celebration of place, the children of Mornington Island explore their home in words and pictures. This is a collaboration with much- loved children’s picture-book creators authors Alison Lester and Elizabeth Honey. All royalties from Our Island and one dollar from the sale of each copy will be donated to Mornington Island State School to fund art projects in the community.

34) Playground by Nadia Wheatley

We use the bush as our school and as our playground, says one of the many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people whose voices combine in this anthology of true stories about childhood, compiled from a wide range of memoirs and oral histories.  Alongside reminiscences of getting bush tucker, going fishing and taking part in ceremony, there are descriptions of playing games, building cubbies and having fun. The warmth of home, the love of family and the strength of community shine through every story. Freedom goes hand in hand with responsibility, while respect and sharing are constant themes.

The eighty Elders – both past and present – who have contributed their words or artwork to this book include many prominent community leaders, educators and artists. Their life-stories span the twentieth century.  Just as important are the contemporary stories told by twenty secondary school students. Although some of these young people now make their home in the city, their connection to the traditional country remains the source of learning. As we listen to these stories that come from the country and from inside the heart, we find the wisdom that could help us care for each other and for the land where we all now live.

35) Possum Magic by Mem Fox

Grandma Poss uses her best bush magic to make Hush invisible. But when Hush longs to be able to see herself again, the two possums must make their way across Australia to find the magic food that will make Hush visible once more.

36) Python by Christopher Cheng

Follow the deadly python as she slithers in search of a meal in this riveting nature story that is not for the faint of heart.
Python stirs and slithers out from her shelter, smelling the air with her forked tongue. It’s time to molt her dull scales and reveal the glistening snake underneath. Gliding along a tree, she stops and watches very, very closely as a bird drops onto a branch — and escapes the razor-sharp teeth just in time. But Python is hungry, so she slides on to stalk new prey. Combining informative facts, expressive illustrations, and a lyrical, mesmerizing narrative, here is a book to captivate anyone fascinated by this iconic creature.

37) The Rabbits by John Marsden & Shaun Tan

Uses rabbits, a species introduced to Australia, to represent an allegory of the arrival of Europeans in Australia and the widespread environmental destruction caused by man throughout the continent.

38) Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World by Laurie Lawlor

“Once you are aware of the wonder and beauty of earth, you will want to learn about it,” wrote Rachel Carson, the pioneering environmentalist. Rachel found many adventurous ways to study nature. She went diving to investigate coral reefs and tracked alligators through the Florida Everglades on a rumbling “glades buggy.” However, one of the bravest things she did was to write and publish Silent Spring, a book pointing out the dangerous effects of chemicals on the living world. Powerful men tried to stop publication of the book, but Rachel and her publishers persisted, and Silent Spring went on to become the book that woke people up to the harmful impact humans were having on our planet.

39) The Rainbow Serpent by Dick Roughsey

There are innumerable names and stories associated with the Rainbow Serpent, all of which communicate the significance of this being within Aboriginal traditions. Dreamtime stories tell how the Rainbow Serpent came from beneath the ground and created huge ridges, mountains and gorges as it pushed upward. The name also reflects the snake-like meandering of water across a landscape and the colour spectrum sometimes caused by sunlight hitting the water. Paintings of the Rainbow Serpent first appeared in Arnhem Land rock art more than 6000 years ago, and perhaps as early as 8000 years before the present, as the seas rose after the last Ice Age. Today the Rainbow Serpent is associated with ceremonies about fertility and abundance, as well as the organisation of the community and the keeping of peace.

40) Storm Boy by Colin Thiele

Storm Boy and his father live alone in a humpy among the sandhills between the Southern Ocean and the Coorong – a lonely, narrow waterway that runs parallel to a long stretch of the South Australian coast. Among the teeming birdlife of the Coorong, Storm Boy finds an injured young pelican whose life he saves. From then on, Storm boy and Mr Percival the pelican become inseparable friends and spend their days exploring the wave-beaten shore and the drifting sandhills.

Mr Percival learns to help Storm Boy’s father with his fishing and warn the other birdlife whenever poachers are coming, but his part in rescuing a shipwrecked crew leads to great changes in Storm Boy’s life.

41) The Story of Rosy Dock by Jeannie Baker

An introduction to environmental awareness describes how a single rosy dock garden in Australia was spread throughout the country on the wind, threatening the native plants and animals in the southern, central, and western regions.

42) That’s Not a Daffodil! by Elizabeth Honey

When Tom’s neighbour gives him a brown bulb, Tom can’t believe it will flower. ‘That’s not a daffodil!’ says Tom. ‘Well,’ says the old gardener. ‘Let’s plant it and see.’ Elizabeth Honey has created a playful story that little children will enjoy again and again – about an inventive boy, a kindly gardener, a growing friendship and the promise of a bulb.

43) Three Green Rats: An Eco Tale by Linda Mason Hunter

“There’s trouble in dirty ol’ Tintown. Nature has vamoosed and mean Mrs. Misrington is getting richer by the minute. She loves the racket of cars zoomin’, taxis tootin’, trucks roarin’, and the smell of smokestacks smokin’ because they all mean that business is boomin’. Now Mrs. M has gotten it into her behived head to cut down the last patch of trees in town to make way for her crowning glory a big-box store right at the end of Broken Bottle Lane.  But something is brewing and it’s not just the compost. Can three recycling rats stop Mrs. Misrington and lead Tintown back to a saner, cleaner life before the whole place goes up in smoke?”

44) The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle

In autumn, a strong wind blows flower seeds high in the air and carries them far across the land. One by one, many of the seeds are lost — burned by the sun, fallen into the ocean, eaten by a bird. But some survive the long winter and, come spring, sprout into plants, facing new dangers — trampled by playing children, picked as a gift for a friend. Soon only the tiniest seed remains, growing into a giant flower and, when autumn returns, sending its own seeds into the wind to start the process over again.

45) The Tomorrow Book by Jackie French

A timely picture book about a young prince who is determined to rule over a country where the future is filled with environmental hope – and practical solutions, such as common usage of solar and wind power. Lively, fun and positive, this book serves to give young people information about their world and shows them that a lot of environmental solutions are simple and relatively easy to put in place.

46) Two Summers by John Heffernan

Rick is coming to visit the farm again. But will he recognise the farm? Will he have as much fun as last time? Same friend. Same farm. Totally different landscape. A book about the great cycles of nature that rule our lives, from award-winning author John Heffernan and talented new illustrator Freya Blackwood.

47) Uno’s Garden by Graeme Base

When Uno arrives in the forest one beautiful day, there are many fascinating and extraordinary animals there to greet him. And one entirely unexceptional Snortlepig.
Uno loves the forest so much, he decides to live there. But, in time, a little village grows up around his house. Then a town, then a city . . . and soon Uno realises that the animals and plants have begun to disappear . . .

From the creator of the international bestsellers Animalia, The Waterhole and Jungle Drums, here is an illuminating blend of storybook, puzzle book and numbers book – a moving and timely tale about how we all unknowingly affect the environment around us, just by being there, and how we can always learn from our mistakes and find ways of doing things better.

48) Varmints by Helen Ward

Once, the only sounds to be heard were the buzzing of bees in the grass, the murmuring of moles in the earth, and the song of birds in the sky. These warmed the hearts of those who cared to listen – until the others came to fill the sky with a cacophony of noise. With dramatically lit artwork and a spare, intriguing text, Varmints tells of a pastoral world in need of protection and of the souls who love it enough to ensure its regeneration.

49) Water Dance by Thomas Locker

“Some people say that I am one thing. / Others say that I am many.” In this poetic soliloquy, water proclaims its many manifestations as it courses through its never-ending cycle: “In white-silver veils I rise” as mist; “I float,” “I drift” as clouds; “I rise up as gleaming power-filled towers” as a thunderhead; “I am still and deep” as a lake. Locker’s (Where the River Begins) traditional landscapes and seascapes illuminate natural splendours with the same serenity and awe found in his previous books; once again, his painterly style makes no concessions to children. A supplement by Candace Christiansen adds scientific explanations of the water cycle and its relationship to wind, weather and atmospheric phenomena. While the rather dense appendix can help adults and older children to understand the changes portrayed, hard information about the hydrologic cycle strikes a discordant note after the simple, poetic text and the landscapes questing after the sublime.

50) The Water Hole by Graeme Base

In the tradition of his best-selling alphabet book, Animalia, author and illustrator Graeme Base takes young readers on an exhilarating journey of discovery with an ingenious fusion of counting book, puzzle book, storybook, and art book. From the plains of Africa and the jungles of the Amazon to the woodlands of North America and the deserts of outback Australia, the animals come together to drink from the water hole. But their water supply is diminishing. What’s going on? Each sumptuous landscape illustration conceals hidden animal pictures for readers to find as they count the animals that visit the water hole and try to solve the mystery: will the animals come back or is their water source gone forever?

51) Welcome Home by Christina Booth

Welcome Home is the story of a young boy and a whale as she swims into the river harbour seeking safety and a resolution to the violent past relationship between whales and man. This prosaic journey, accompanied by soft sketchy watercolour images, reveals how the past can impact our future. Can the boy make amends for the past? Can the whale forgive and return to what was once her ancestors’ home? Whaling is a horrific image to portray in any literature yet this story offers its history and consequences to children in a  gentle, safe way. This story does not avoid the facts but ends with hope and reconciliation, using history to show the consequences of our choices and actions.

52) Welcome to Country by Aunty Joy Murphy & Lisa Kennedy

Welcome to the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri People. We are part of this land and the land is part of us. This is where we come from. Wominjeka Wurundjeri balluk yearmenn koondee bik. Welcome to Country.

Aunty Joy Wandin Murphy is a most respected senior Wurundjeri elder of the Kulin alliance. This is a very accessible welcome that introduces and gives meaning and explanation within the text to the customs and symbols of Indigenous Australia.  Aboriginal communities across Australia have boundaries that are defined by mountain ranges and waterways. Traditionally, to cross these boundaries or enter community country you needed permission from the neighbouring community. When this permission was granted the ceremony now called Welcome to Country took place. Each community had its own way of welcoming to country, and they still do today.

53) Where Does the Garbage Go? by Paul Showers

Follow that garbage truck! …to the landfill to see how trash keeps piling up…to the incinerator to see how trash can be turned into energy … to the recycling centre to see how a soda bottle can be turned into a flowerpot. Filled with graphs, charts, and diagrams, Where Does the Garbage Go? explains how we deal with the problem of too much trash and provides ideas for easy ways to be a part of the solution.

54) Where the Forest Meets the Sea by Jeannie Baker

My father says there has been a forest here for over a hundred million years,” Jeannie Baker’s young protagonist tells us, and we follow him on a visit to this tropical rain forest in North Queensland, Australia. We walk with him among the ancient trees as he pretends it is a time long ago, when extinct and rare animals lived in the forest and aboriginal children played there. But for how much longer will the forest still be there, he wonders?

55) Window by Jeannie Baker

“The effect human beings have on the landscape around them is the theme of Baker’s most recent tour de force…The artist’s multimedia collage constructions are, as ever, fascinating in their realistic detail and powerfully convey the dramatic message…” Horn Book

56) The World That We Want by Kim Michelle Toft

Lyrical text and striking illustrations weave together the air, rain forest, mangrove, beach, tide pool, reef, atoll, and ocean to show how these habitats are all interconnected. An in-depth look at these environments and the animals that live in them is offered along with notes about dangers that threaten their survival.

57) The Wump World by Bill Peet

The Pollutians invade the Wump World and turn the green meadows into a concrete jungle. Annotation The Wump World is an unspoiled place until huge monsters bring hordes of tiny creatures from the planet Pollutus. Editorial Reviews The Wumps lead a bucolic life on their own planet. One day they are invaded by the Pollutians, who it seems have overdeveloped and destroyed their own world. The Wumps flee in terror, as brigades of bulldozers and armies of machines are unloaded from the spaceships. Eventually, the Pollutians outgrow the Wump’s world and quickly depart for yet another. The Wumps are horror-stricken by the mess. Yet amid all the destruction, the Wumps find a patch of green and begin to rebuild.

58) You and Me, Murrawee by Kerri Hashmi

‘We walk this same brown earth – you and me, Murrawee…’ In this lyrical, beautifully observed picture book, we see through the eyes of a young girl camping on the river with her family, life as it would have been two hundred years ago.

With thanks the the Fremantle W.A Library

Part 1: 25 Must read books on Sustainability for kids