I was asked to create a list of books for David Luke Schoolwear to pop on their blog for World Book Day. The brief was books about sustainability, the planet and above all good adventures for 4-10 year olds
Books for 4 year olds
Big Book of Belonging by Yuval Zommer published by Thames and Hudson It is for all children who like to climb trees, run barefoot, splash in paddles, search for bugs, sing with the birds, taste snowflakes and count the stars. By placing children right at the heart of the natural world, the book celebrates their connection with planet Earth and reveals the often surprising similarities between humans, animals and plants. We love Yuval Zommer’s books they are always positive and packed with beautiful illustrations and quirky natural history facts.
Little People Big Dreams -David Attenborough published by Francis Lincoln Publishers Discover the life of David Attenborough, the inspiring broadcaster and conservationist through the bestselling Little People, BIG DREAMS book. David grew up in Leicester on the campus of a university, where his father was a professor. As a child, he spent hours in the science library, collating his own specimens and creating a mini animal museum. This is a great book to inspire your children to be interested in the natural world.
Best books for 5 year olds
Grow by Rizanino Reyes and illustrated by Sara Boccacini Meadows published by Magic Cat In this stunning book you will discover 15 plants with life-changing powers and then learn how to grow them. Meet each plant’s surprising relations (did you know the tasty tomato is a cousin of deadly nightshade?) discover their history (bromeliads defended themselves against the dinosaurs!). Then you can follow the step-by-step instructions to grow and care for each plant, whether you have a big back garden or a sunny windowsill. Written by horticulturalist Riz Reyes and fully illustrated throughout, the perfect introduction to growing plants for families everywhere.
The Last Tree by Emily Howarth Booth published by Harper Collins This wonderful tale is about community, our relationship with the environment and nature. A group of friends were seeking a place to call home. The desert was too hot, the valley was too wet and the mountain was too windy. Then they found the forest. It was perfect. But the friends soon wanted to build shelters. The shelters became houses, then the houses got bigger. As they cut down the trees, the forest becomes thinner, until there is just one last tree standing. It is down to the children to find a solution. This story will inspire your children.
Best books for 6 year olds
Agents of the Wild series by Jennifer Bell & illustrated by Alice Lickens. Enter the world of Agnes & Attie this is a fun series packed with wildlife & conservation themes. When 8- year-old Agnes is signed up for SPEARS (the Society for the Protection of Endangered and Awesomely Rare Species), she has no idea of the adventures that lie ahead with her elephant-shrew mentor Attie (short of course for “Attenborough”). Operation Honeyhunt sends them to the Brazilian rainforest, on a mission to save an endangered, dance-loving bee named Elton.
The start of a great reading adventure, One World – 24 Hours On Planet Earth by Nicola Davies & illustrated by Jenni Desmond Keep an eye out for this book due to be released at the start of April. It has been heralded as an amazing tour of Planet Earth and a call to action As the clock strikes midnight, a little girl and her sister visit animals of every shape and size, all around the world – discovering that, in some places, creatures have just started their day, where in others they’re already busy hunting for food. Turning the popular concept of time-zones on its head and combining it with a powerful climate message.
Best books for 7 year olds
I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast: A Celebration of Plants Around the World by Michael Holland & Illustrated by Phillip Giordano Published by Flying Eye Books Enter the truly incredible world of plants to learn about the green machines of the natural world. This book celebrates the plants in your life, from minty toothpaste to the floral names in your classroom. This comprehensive guide covers everything from the parts of a plant through to conservation, and also has some really great DIY projects for young gardeners and their families.
By Ash Oak and Thorn by Melissa Harrison and published by Chicken House. This is a perfect read for Spring time – a breathtaking tale of the rich, wild world and all its wonder Three tiny, ancient beings – Moss, Burnet and Cumulus, once revered as Guardians of the Wild World – wake from winter hibernation in their beloved ash tree home. They are forced to set off on an adventure to find more of their kind, a journey which takes them first into the deep countryside and then the heart of a city. Helped along the way by birds and animals, the trio search for a way to survive and thrive in a precious yet disappearing world …and the great news is if they enjoy this adventure they can move straight on to By Rowan and You.
Best books for 8 year olds
The Last Bear by Hannah Gold & illustrated by Levi Pinfold published by Harper Collins This is a truly breathtaking adventure. There are no polar bears left on Bear Island. At least, that’s what April’s father tells her when his scientific research takes them to this remote Arctic outpost for six months. But one endless summer night, April meets one. He is starving, lonely and a long way from home. Determined to save him, April begins the most important journey of her life… and keep a look out for Hannah’s next book The Lost Whale due out at the end of March.
This book is not Rubbish:50 Ways to Ditch Plastic, Reduce Rubbish and Save the World by Isabel Thomas & Illustrated by Alex Paterson This book is essential reading. Discover how YOU can ditch plastic, reduce rubbish and become an eco-warrior, not an eco-worrier, with 50 practical tips to really make a difference! Our planet is in peril and it needs your help! But the good news is that there are loads of easy ways that you can make a difference and this book is full of top tips for kids and families.
Best books for 9 year olds
Twitch by MG Leonard published by Walker Books This brilliant mystery adventure celebrates friendship, bravery and the incredible world of birds. Twitch has three pet chickens, four pigeons, swallows nesting in his bedroom, a passion for birdwatching but finds making friends difficult. On the first day of the summer holidays, he arrives at his secret hide to find police everywhere: a convicted robber has broken out of prison and is hiding in Aves Wood. Can a young birdwatcher outwit an escaped convict?
Escape Room by Christopher Edge published by Nosy Crow When twelve-year-old Ami arrives at The Escape, she thinks it’s just a game – the ultimate escape room with puzzles and challenges to beat before time runs out. Meeting her teammates, Adjoa, Ibrahim, Oscar and Min, Ami learns from the Host that they have been chosen to save the world and they must work together to find the Answer. But as he locks them inside the first room, they quickly realise this is no ordinary game. From a cavernous library of dust to an ancient Mayan tomb, the perils of The Escape seem endless. Can Ami and her friends find the Answer and save the world before it’s too late?
Best books for 10 year olds
A Good Day for Climbing Trees by Jaco Jacobs, translated by Kobus Geldenhuys published by Oneworld Two unlikely heroes inspire a whole town by fighting to save a tree. Marnus is tired of feeling invisible as the middle brother. There’s a knock at the door and a girl called Leila turns up on their doorstep one morning with a petition and within minutes he’s drawn into her campaign to save a tree in the local park and finds himself actually camped out in its branches in defiance of the man from the water board, and his own mum. Their joint protest introduces them to a host of eccentric characters. A really lovely story about the importance of standing up for what you believe in and accepting who you are.
Island by Nicky Singer Urban teenager Cameron arrives on an uninhabited arctic island with his scientist mother who seems more interested in her research than him. He is left to explore this alien tundra landscape and its otherworldly inhabitants. Cameron is prepared for ice and storms and (stripped of his smart technology) possibly boredom. But he is not prepared for 24 hour daylight and erupting graves. At first Cameron believes the explanations that his research scientist mother provides. But – as the island reveals itself to him – he begins to see (and hear) things which push him towards a very different reality. One of them is Inuluk, an Inuit girl. The other is a large white bear.