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Reading can help us learn the environment
Karen Bell
Keep Liberty Beautiful Executive Director Karen Bell.

Reading is something I like to do with my grandson Bryce, and let him read to me. During the wintertime is an excellent opportunity for reading because he stays in more and has a couple of school breaks. He is also at My House more! 

I found reading to be a great way to keep him quiet, and it is fun to see his imagination at work. Reading helps children to maintain their reading levels and stretch their imagination. Below you will find some of Keep Liberty Beautiful’s favorite fun environmental-themed books. Once in awhile, Bryce would say to me, “Nana remember when you read that funny book to me?” and he would have the biggest smile on his face.

Reading is something we at Keep Liberty Beautiful like to do when we visit the Liberty County Pre-K classrooms or act out a book at one of the elementary schools. Since COVID-19, we have recorded our readings or done some virtually. We cannot wait until we can go back into the schools to share our love for the environment. I hope you get to read “Green” with your children or grandchildren and make some beautiful memories.

Here are some of our suggestions and some recommendations from librarians for your children’s wintertime reading pleasure and maybe yours, too.

Baby Loves Green Energy

by Ruth Spiro, illustrated by Irene Chan The latest addition to the Baby Loves Science series manages to present global warming so that even babies can understand: just like Baby, Earth has a blanket, and it’s made of air! When greenhouse gases get trapped beneath the blanket, Earth gets too warm. Luckily, there are green energy options and little things Baby’s family can do to help Earth stay at a comfortable temperature.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

by Rozanne Lanczak Williams This book provides questions you can ask your child before you read, during your reading, and after you finish reading. This book is short and does a beautiful job explaining to a “Little One” why it is important to recycle.

Penguins Don’t Wear Sweaters by Marikka Tamura, illustrated by Daniel Rieley This one’s a kid-friendly look at the aftermath of an oil spill near a penguin habitat in Australia. Wellmeaning humans knit sweaters for the penguins to protect them from the oil, but actually, a penguin’s own feathers, and clean, clear water, is the best solution for our tuxedoed friends.

The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling by Alison Inches It is sometimes hard for kids to understand the importance of recycling and where that waste actually goes once it leaves your recycle bin. This book does a great job of bringing the journey of a plastic bottle to life. Told from the bottle’s point of view (complete with diary entries!), the story follows the bottle from its creation, through its life, to its recycling transformation into a fleece jacket.

The Wartville Wizard by Don Madden The town of Wartville is being buried in trash! Oh my! Then one tidy old man figures out a way to get rid of the trash forever! The illustrations are as humorous as the storyline.

Michael Recycle by Ellie Bethel A sort-of superhero comes to life when a flash of green crash-lands in the local garbage dump of the messy, trash-filled town of Abberdoo-Rimey. Michael Recycle has a plan to save the town as well as the world!

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss This timeless classic, written by Seuss decades ago, has a timeless message about conserving the Earth’s natural resources. The message is as powerful now as it was when he wrote this charming tale.

The Day the Trash Came Out to Play by David M. Beadle A boy named Robin carelessly tosses a candy wrapper on the ground and starts a chain reaction of events that eventually teaches him---and his community-- about the problems with litter and the importance of taking care of his neighborhood. You will never see trash the same way after reading this funny little story.

10 Things I Can Do to Help My World by Melanie Walsh This super child-friendly book has beautifully die-cut pages filled with ways that even young children can help the environment, from planting seeds to turning off the lights when they leave a room.

Julian Rodriguez:

Episode One Trash Crisis on Earth by Alexander Stadler This is a hilarious paperback for adolescents. Alien Julian Rodrigues is disguised as an eight-yearold boy on Earth. It is up to him to avert the trash crisis and save us all from annihilation!

The Camping Trip that Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Our National Parks by Barb Rosenstock This is a beautiful story for young readers about a little-known historical camping trip that spurred the creation of national parks and protected public wilderness. The illustrations are as delightful as the story.

Bag in the Wind by Ted Kooser, illustrated by Barry Root Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Ted Kooser’s first picture book is a beautiful story of a plastic bag that’s been thrown away but is then blown into the wind and travels from person to person, all of whom find new uses for it.

So whether you and your children are sitting in the front room or hanging out in a park, or just getting that last little snuggle before bedtime, I hope you will try out some of these delightful message-themed books that we can all treasure.

 For more ideas on reading green, check out Keep Liberty Beautiful at www. or visit our office in the Liberty County Community Complex in Midway. Happy Reading Green!

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