The Little Island by Margaret Wise Brown (of Goodnight Moon fame) is another great book for Earth Day. The same, and always changing, the little island discusses with a visiting kitten how it is both itself and part of the wider world. We see the seasons change on the island. We see how the weather changes the island’s appearance. We see animals come and go. We learn, along with the kitten, that “all land is one land under the sea.” The illustrations are of seagulls and fish, lobsters and spiders, seals and kingfishers, butterflies and wild strawberries, owls and bats and a pear tree all on and around the island, and the text feels like poetry — good poetry.
Earth Day books
When we read If You Spent a Day with Thoreau at Walden Pond, we imagine wading in the pond with Thoreau, sitting on a carpet of pine needles together, walking through forest trails together, watching ant wars, and chasing a fox. We imagine drinking cold, clean Walden pond water, and picking and eating huckleberries together.
I like the idea of reading books for Earth Day that celebrate nature and that remind us how wonderful it feels to be in it, rather than urgent or scary books about what we need to do, especially for small children. I think the deepest, most sustainable action comes not out of fear or guilt, but out of love. I think love is the place to start, especially with children.