Barbara Cooney, Dyan Sheldon

Children’s Books with Eco Themes

Since I’m doing a zero waste week, I wanted to find some great children’s books which would fit with that theme. Ultimately, while we all need to do our part, I think it’s so important that children understand these issues – and books are a fantastic way of supporting that learning.

The Whales' Song

Author: Dyan Sheldon | Publisher: Red Fox

I came across The Whales’ Song on a list of books for children with environmental stewardship themes – and was instantly transported back to childhood! I remember reading this book over and over again, and just absolutely adoring it. I’d forgotten all about it until now, and it really brought back some old memories.

The Whales’ Song is hauntingly beautiful, the story deeply poignant, and I remember feeling very affected by it. Even re-reading it as an adult, it still gave me all the feels! And the illustrations, by Gary Blythe, are just magical. An absolute classic, I highly recommend it.

The Whales' Song First Page

Miss Rumphius

Author: Barbara Cooney | Publisher: Puffin

I hadn’t read Miss Rumphius before, but, since it was top of every list of children’s books with environmental themes – I thought I better give it a go. The audiobook was free with an Audible trial, and, while audiobooks aren’t usually my thing, I had been wanting to go into them and… you know… free!

Let’s just say, I hope other audiobooks have less irritating narration… It was actually distracting how annoying her voice was. And when she did the voices for the character… Cringy!

Luckily, this is a book for small children so it’s short. I didn’t have to put up with the annoying voice for long. I genuinely think this is one that needed the illustrations, because they’re beautiful and they really do help the reader (even a cynical and jaded adult) connect with the story.

I might have picked the wrong format, but I really liked the story. It was sweet. I loved the character of Miss Rumphius and the underlying message was very positive.


Other children’s books I came across which take on the environmental stewardship theme, and which I loved:



5 thoughts on “Children’s Books with Eco Themes”

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