Catherine Emmett - author of King of the Swamp (available here) - has picked out her top five recommended children's books about caring for the environment.
The Green Giant
You've met the Iron Giant, the Big Friendly Giant and the Selfish Giant. Now meet the Green Giant! A young girl, Bea, and her dog, Iris, are staying with her grandad in the country. Bea is bored, but Iris's adventures lead them to the small and rusty old greenhouse next door. Inside the greenhouse, Bea finds... a giant. A giant made entirely of plants and greenery. Bea is scared, but the giant reassures her and explains that he has escaped from the grey city. Bea and the giant become friends, and together they try and find a way to make the grey city a greener place. This is a lovely picture book and Katie has recently released a follow on, ‘The Blue Giant’, which addresses issues of plastic waste in the oceans.
Perfect for Year R,1,2 / Age 3-6
King of the Swamp
Catherine Emmett & Ben Mantle
I’m going to have to include ‘King of the Swamp’ here as McDarkly would be so upset if he wasn’t included and he holds such a special place in my heart!
McDarkly lives quietly all on his own, growing orchids in his dank, stinky swamp, until one day his peace is disturbed by the arrogant king who wants to turn the swamp into a roller-skate park! McDarkly has ten days to prove that the swamp isn't damp and dark, but an enchanted world. Can he do it, or will he risk losing his home forever? A unique story about finding beauty in unexpected places.
Perfect for Year R,1,2 / Age 3-6
Milton the Megastar
Emma Read’s ‘Milton’ series really is just fab! My kids loved the first in the series, ‘Milton The Mighty’, and are really excited to read the second one! The first book introduced us to Milton, a very small spider with very big plans to protect his species. In this second book, Milton and his friends fly to Hawaii! There Milton encounters an endangered spider species and an unscrupulous ‘golf-course-building billionaire’ who is intent on building his golf course- whatever the environmental cost…
Perfect for Years 2-5 / Age 7-10
One of the Guardian’s ‘Books of the Year’ for 2019, Nicola’s award-winning debut introduces us to Sorrel Fallowfield, who is so good at being good that teachers come to her when they need help remembering the school rules. But one day Sorrel discovers a faded packet of Surprising Seeds buried under a tree in her backyard…
Now she’s hearing voices, seeing things, experiencing an almost unstoppable urge to plant the seeds in some very unusual places…. and all that’s before flowers start growing out of her head…
BLOOM is for everyone who has ever felt like they didn’t fit in, and for anyone who has ever wanted a little more colour and wildness in their lives!
Perfect for Years 4-7 / Age 9-12
Where the World Turns Wild
Nicola Penfold has created an amazing dystopian world, where nature has been banished from the city, following the outbreak of a deadly man-made disease many years earlier. While most people seem content to live caged in the city, Juniper and her little brother Bear have always known about their resistance to the disease, and dream of escaping into the wild. To the one place humans have survived outside of cities. To where their mother is. Nicola’s debut is a brilliant and thought-provoking ecological adventure!
Perfect for Years 6-8 / Age 9-12