This Earth Day, we've teamed up with our friends at Little Feminist for a guest blog post. Read on to learn more about intersectional environmentalism and how to approach this topic through storytime.
At Little Feminist (we’re the feminist, anti-racist monthly children’s book club), we believe that we can’t change the world unless our feminism is inclusive of all races, genders, and abilities. And we believe the same to be true of environmentalism: if we don’t include all people in the fight against climate change then we simply won’t get the job done.
Knowing how to fight climate change within our own families, homes, and communities is overwhelming. Amidst this overwhelm, we want you to know integrating intersectional environmentalism – the recognition that injustices against marginalized peoples and the environment are interconnected – into your family’s daily life can start with storytime.
In a study of 3,000+ diverse books, only 16 showcased Black kids exploring nature, which is why we curated the best books about nature featuring Black, Indigenous, and Kids of Color for you. You can fight for the climate every time you open a book – show your readers that all people are part of the planet with our top children’s book picks!
Raven Squawk, Orca Squeak by Roy Henry Vickers (Author, Illustrator), Robert Budd (Author)
- Best for ages 0-3
It’s much too hard to find great, inclusive board books, let alone board books by Indigenous creators. So when we found this title we quite literally squawked and squeaked with joy!
A bright and bold tribute to Indigenous art and heritage, Raven Squawk, Orca Squeak is a reminder to stop and take notice of the environment around us. As you read this with your kiddo(s), have fun with your voice - read fast and slow, loud and quiet!
Bird House by Blanca Gómez (Author, Illustrator)
- Best for ages 2-5
As we all dream of a more equitable world, many of us often desire to build a foundation of freedom and community within our own homes. Sometimes we thrive for lofty visions, and sometimes we create those foundations with simple things. We love how Bird House teaches these concepts using the metaphor of an injured animal.
As we witness Abuela and her little feminist nurture and ultimately set free their bird friend, it reminds us to be advocates for liberation – not just for animals, but also for land and people.
Invite an elder to read this book with you! Enjoy this simple, yet poignant story as you cuddle your loved ones, knowing at some point we must all let each other fly.
10 Ways to Hear Snow by Cathy Camper (Author), Kenard Pak (Illustrator)
- Best for ages 3-7
As parents, we often ask ourselves: How do we raise children who grow in their empathy? Ten Ways to Hear Snow shows kids and adults alike how the act of listening deepens empathy for those around us.
Author Cathy Camper draws on her experiences with her Lebanese aunties in her portrayal of the powerful connection Lina has with her Sitti (grandmother). We love the way Lina imagines what the snow sounds like to her grandmother, who is losing her eyesight. This profound message of care is such an inspiration for our little ones, as well as for ourselves!
Thunder and the Noise Storms by Jeffrey Ansloos (Author), Shezza Ansloos (Author), Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley (Illustrator)
- Best for ages 4-8
Thunder and the Noise Storms is about the healing power of the nature around us. This gorgeous book, written by the members of the Cree and Anishinaabe nations, helps explain noise sensitivity to children and families and taps into Indigenous wisdom about connecting with self and earth.
By beginning conversations about neurodiverse needs and differences, this book will help your family practice calming exercises and provide ways to help peers or family who also may become emotionally dysregulated.
Seeds of Change: Wangari's Gift to the World by Jen Cullerton Johnson (Author), Sonia Lynn Sadler (Illustrator)
- Best for ages 6-10
Seeds of Change tells the life story of the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Wangari Maathai. Through her life’s work, she consistently demonstrated perseverance and dedication.
Illustrator Sonia Lynn Sadler’s rich colors depict the beauty of Kenyan land and the vibrant clothing of the Kikuyu people.
As your little feminist pursues interests and passions that touch their heart, this is the perfect book to come back to over and over. It reminds us that every powerful movement starts as a small seed within each of us.
Aquicorn Cove by K. O'Neill (Author, Illustrator)
- Best for ages 7-13
Graphic novels are always fast favorites among our book club members, and this title is no exception!
In Aquicorn Cove, we love how the protagonist Mae learns how to be gentle when dealing with loss. With a focus on sustainability and environmentalism, this is an inspiring graphic novel for all who grow into both caring humans and citizens.