The Earth Book – A Playful Take on Kids Environmental Activism

posted by Rainforest Action Network

Getting on The New York Times Best Sellers list is an achievement that can quickly bring an author or topic into widespread awareness. Luckily for environmental stewardship, The Earth Book is helping out. Featured on our first edition Rainforest Safe Summer Reading List, Todd Parr’s The Earth Book has also spent time on The New York Times List of Best Selling Children’s Books. The Earth Book has brought morals of environmental education and collective responsibility to the forefront of the children’s book industry.

In this eco-focused addition to his long series of lively, easy-to-understand children’s stories, Todd Parr uses bright illustrations and simple ideas to show young readers how important it is to be friendly to the environment. Parr’s playfully-drawn kids share the many reasons why they love the earth and what they do to help protect it: “I remember to turn off the lights and shut the refrigerator to save energy because I love the polar bears and I want the snowmen to stay cool.” The honest statements that Parr makes through the eyes of his colorful kids makes helping the planet seem exciting and important. “The earnest message springs off the page,” says Publishers Weekly.

In a way, Parr’s approach to the complex subjects of our changing climate and activism is simple without being simplistic. His relevant messages can transcend audiences of all ages and types through the poignant nature of The Earth Book children’s easy conservation commitments. Using literature to stress the importance of environmental stewardship is just one strategy within a larger movement but a useful one at that. As an environmental education tactic, children’s books can help instill important eco-friendly morals in kids at a young age and may even inspire them to become activists around environmental issues themselves.

With an increasing breadth of environmental advocacy in today’s books, it is ever-pressing that the publishing industry set an example by making sustainable printing a norm. As a sign of encouragement, Hachette Book Group chose to print The Earth Book on recycled paper with non-toxic soy inks. Having an environmentally-themed children’s book on the New York Times Best Sellers list that actually practices what it preaches is a bold statement which certainly gives us hope for the environmental stewardship potential of the publishing industry and also helps to strengthen the future generation of environmental activists.