25 of the Greatest Earth Day Books for 2nd Grade
Earth Day is one of the more obscure holidays that has started garnering more and more attention over the years. So that’s why I put together this list of the best Earth Day books for 2nd grade. I wanted you to have a curated list of familiar books (as well as new books) to add to your classroom library or home collection.
You will find a variety of fiction and nonfiction titles that include stories with simple rhyming prose to more robust text, and even a mix of ink illustrations to photographs. Find everything you could want and more!!
1. This Class Can Save the Planet
Written as a letter from one class to another, this unique book is the perfect conversation starter full of tips and suggestions for how to take care of the Earth.
In fact, it even has several hands-on ideas that will intrigue your readers including how to make paint from dry erase markers and how to make glue from supplies in the kitchen. Your kids will genuinely love this great book!
2. We are Water Protectors
A young water protector decides to take a stand against a poisonous black snake threatening to destroy the most precious resource of her people…the water.
This beautiful book, written by Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade, winner of the 2021 Caldecott Medal, and inspired by the indigenous people of North America, is one of the best Earth Day books for 2nd grade.
3. I Am Earth: An Earth Day Book for Kids
Come along and learn about the natural world with Planet Earth! Designed to teach about earth science (and perfect for young readers), this wonderful book contains many facts and suggestions that help kids learn how to care for the Earth.
Students will be mesmerized by the bright illustrations and challenged by the simple ways they can make a difference each and every day they live on this amazing planet.
4. My Friend Earth
Earth does so many amazing things from keeping us warm in the winter and cool in the summer to protecting the seeds and small animals during the winter and spring.
This gorgeous story features curved edges, die cut pages, and cut outs that make it even more interactive for young children and older children alike. Written by Newberry award-winning author Patricia Maclachlan, this will be one of your favorite Earth Day books for 2nd grade.
5. The Earth Book
Written by Todd Parr, this book is full of bold illustrations designed to keep the interest of kids!
The book talks about content like environmental protection and conservation in a way that is both understandable and accessible to 1st grade, 2nd grade, and even 3rd grade students. In his signature style, Parr helps kids unpack different ways they can make a positive impact.
6. We are All Connected
Each person is unique and special in his/her own way, but we are all part of the human race, and therefore, we deserve to be treated with respect.
This simple story does a perfect job of reminding us of this extremely important topic and that we should take care of each other as well as the planet we call home. With vibrant images and short text, readers of every ability will enjoy this lovely picture book.
7. Earth Day, Every Day
There are lots of different ways to make an impact on Earth Day from planting tress to picking up trash. But how can we make Earth Day…every day?
Join a young girl named Trina as she forms an Earth Day club with her friends and discovers different ways to help the Earth on Earth Day and each and every day of her life!
8. Zonia’s Rain Forest
Zonia lives in the Amazon rainforest and every day she sees the lush, green beauty of the trees and visits her animal friends. But one day, the rainforest calls to her and she knows something is wrong.
Can Zonia figure out how to help the rainforest? Written by Juana Martinex-Neal, this beautiful story is one you need in your Earth Day collection.
9. The Earth Gives More
Each and every season the Earth gives. From falling leaves that become fertilizer to rain that provides moisture to the ground and budding plants in the spring, the Earth is always providing for us. Come along and enjoy the natural beauty of the Earth in this charming rhyming book that your elementary school students will adore.
10. Hello, World! Planet Earth
This beautiful board book is perfect for young kids. It is a great introduction to the Earth and what makes it the most unique planet in our solar system.
Discover facts about countries, oceans, habitats, continents, landforms, and more within the pages of this good book. If you are looking for a book with simple text and lots of information, this is the one for you! You and your kids will love it!
11. One Earth
If you are looking for a way to incorporate math into your Earth Day readings, this is the perfect book.
Eileen Spinelli does an awesome job of weaving math into a lyrical rhyming book full of great ways to recycle and take care of the Earth. With bold illustrations by David Catrow, this book is the perfect opportunity to start the conversation about ways you can make a difference.
12. What a Waste: Trash, Recycling, and Protecting our Planet
In this unique book about recycling, students can see the bad things that are happening to our planet as a result of pollution while also learning about the good things that we are doing to protect our most vital natural resources.
Ideal for older students, this book will be an excellent guide for them understand how to make their homes more energy efficient, where all of our trash goes, what to buy at the grocery store, and how to make the world a better place for all of us.
13. Our Planet! There’s No Place Like Earth
Home to nearly eight billion people and all of the plants and animals in the solar system, Earth is absolutely amazing!
Written by Stacy McAnulty and illustrated by David Litchfield, this story is told from the perspective of Mother Earth herself and full of kid-friendly facts and humor. Trust me when I tell you your kids will love this unique twist on an information text.
14. Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth
Kids of all ages are bombarded with conversations about climate change and the environment. But in this engaging alphabet book, they can see first-hand how lots of little things add up to a perfect compost stew. From apple cores to zinnia heads, discover what items are safe to add to a compost pile and which things need to be avoided. Another excellent and intriguing title to add to your collection.
15. How to Help the Earth – By the Lorax
One of Dr. Seuss’ most beloved characters, the Lorax, takes readers on a journey through understanding how to help the Earth!
Full of the whimsical illustrations and silly rhyming text characteristic of Dr. Seuss, this book is a great way to share some of the powerful messages about being mindful of the world we live in. If your kids are fans of Dr. Seuss, then this will easily become on of their favorite books.
16. The Tree Lady
Kate Sessions grew up in Northern California where towering trees were abundant. After becoming the first woman to graduate from the University of California with a degree in science she took a job in San Diego, where there were no trees. So Kate made it her mission to change that! This inspiring true story will remind kids that they can make a difference…even as only one person.
17. The Curious Garden
In this understated story written by Peter Brown, the main character, Liam, finds a struggling garden. He decides to tend to the garden in order to bring it back to life.
Little does he know the impact this garden will have on the dark grey, lifeless city where he lives. If you can only get one of the Earth Day books for 2nd grade that I am sharing, make sure this is the one because you (and your kids) will love it!
18. Thank You, Earth
Written by award-winning photographer and author April Pulley Sayre, this love letter to our planet is truly beautiful. It touches on topics like life cycle, weather, colors, patterns, and shapes making it one of the best Earth Day picture books for kids. From vibrant images to flowing words and layered text, this nonfiction book is an excellent title to include in your library collection.
19. Michael Recycle
The green-caped superhero you never knew you needed in your life! Michael Recycle comes to the town of Abberdoo-Rimey to save the people from their garbage-dumping and wasteful ways. He uses his special abilities to teach the townspeople about the power of recycling. Kids will love the funny story and will discover tips for how to be an environmental superhero in their own town.
20. Anywhere Farm
Most people think of farms as sprawling acreage full of crops, animals, tractors, and farmers. But did you know you can actually plant a farm anywhere?
You can use a simple thing like a bucket or a pan to start your first farm! Kids will love the rhyming text and the ideas author Phyllis Root shares throughout the story. All you need is a seed and a little creativity to start your very own farm right where you live.
21. Miss Fox’s Class Goes Green
After Miss Fox arrives to school riding her bicycle, her class (and the entire school) is captivated by how they can make a positive impact on the world.
Each student tries something different and inspires others to do the similar things including taking shorter showers, bringing a cloth bag to the grocery store, and turning off lights as they leave a room. Another excellent title by Eileen Spinelli in this list of Earth Day books for 2nd grade that encourages kids to take one small step and make a difference.
22. One Plastic Bag
Isatou Ceesay was tired of the plastic bags that were polluting her community in Njau, Gambia. They caught water and bred mosquitos, strangled out gardens, and killed livestock that tried to eat them. So she found a way to recycle the bags and transform her community. This inspiring true story is an excellent reminder that one person can make a difference.
23. I Can Save the Earth
Max is a cute, furry green monster who is a disaster for the environment! He leaves the lights on, keeps his computer plugged in all the time, blasts the tv, and uses so much toilet paper it actually clogs the commode. This behavior continues until one day his excessive ways cause a power outage. Join Max as he discovers ways he can make a positive impact and reduce, reuse, and recycle to make the Earth a better place.
24. Biscuit’s Earth Day Celebration
Biscuit is a well-known and beloved character who has been on many adventures with the little girl.
But today, he is on a journey to take care of the world by cleaning up, planting seeds, and many other things. This book is an excellent introduction to some of the basic concepts of Earth Day and a wonderful way to celebrate this special day with even your youngest readers.
25. Earth Ninja
Another engaging title in the Ninja Life Hacks series, Earth Ninja and Lazy Ninja are playing at the beach when they discover a turtle in distress on the shore. The turtle has plastic wrapped around his neck from ocean pollution.
Earth Ninja then takes time to teach Lazy Ninja about the importance of the 3 R’s (reducing, reusing, and recycling), and how doing these three things can have a huge impact.
These Earth Day books for 2nd grade are ideal as a springboard for discussions on April 22, but they are also excellent additions to your general classroom library or personal collection of children’s books.
With tons of insightful information and easy to implement action steps, these stories will become some of your kids’ favorite books year round. Remember to check your local library, eBay, or Amazon for these titles as well as many others.