Friday, April 22 is the Vancouver Writers Fest’s annual fundraiser and it is also Earth Day. So, in the spirit of giving, we recommend some books that celebrate giving back to the Earth and taking care of our blue planet.

Be the Change by Rob Greenfield and Antonia Banyard

Zero-waste activist and humanitarian, Rob Greenfield talks to people through his popular YouTube channel every week about leading a more sustainable and eco-friendly life. He’s walked around New York City dressed in his own garbage, cycled across the U.S. on a bamboo bike (three times), and survived one year on food he foraged or grew himself. In his book Be the Change: Rob Greenfield’s Call to Kids—Making a Difference in a Messed-Up World, Greenfield brings attention to important topics like food and water waste; our dependency on fossil fuels; our piles of stuff (and the energy required to produce it); and our disconnection from community and the wider world. Backed by solid information and a ton of great ideas, Greenfield shows kids that no one is too young to make a difference, and no action is too small to make a start. Grades 3-7

My Friend Earth by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Francesca Sanna

An ‘A Mighty Girl 2020 Book of the Year,’ My Friend Earth features a little girl joyfully expressing her love for our wonderful planet. In this book, the little girl discovers the amazing things our Earth does for us: she tends to animals large and small; she pours down summer rain and autumn leaves. She sprinkles whisper-white snow and protects the tiny seeds waiting for spring. The girl revels in everything the Earth offers us and as such, this is a perfect book to celebrate Earth Day. Its enticing die-cut pages encourage exploration as its poetic text celebrates the Earth, all the while reminding us to be a good friend in return. With its interactive format and kid-friendly art, the book aims to engage both toddlers and young readers. As much as the book is a celebration of the natural world and rallying cry for positive action, it is also a great opportunity to share life science concepts and amazing facts about the environment with children. Grades Preschool-1

Skygazing: Explore the Sky in the Day and Night by Anna Claybourne and Kerry Hyndman

Skygazing is the perfect book to nurture the curiosity of young minds for nature and the outdoors. When we look up at the sky, we often wonder what is out there. This book reveals the mystery; it is made up of two sides – one dedicated to the day and the other, the night – that include incredible cross-curricular information, fun activities, and beautiful illustrated scenes to enjoy. Kids can discover why the sky is blue; they can learn about early experiments in flight, and how helicopters stay aloft. After learning about these things, they can flip the book to read all about the night sky, like how to read the stars, spot the night’s flying creatures, and see the colors of the aurora borealis. Presented in full colour, with gorgeous illustrations and simple language, this is a great book to inculcate a love for the natural world – particularly, astronomy – in growing children. Grades 3-7