© 2017 The Literacy Classroom 

Environmental Issues

One World
by Michael Foreman

A brother and sister spend their day playing on the beach by a rock pool. They create their own tiny marine world in a bucket and, with its wildlife, shells, oil and even a tin can, it is a microcosm of the larger world outside. 

With a series of stunning watercolours, the multi award-winning Michael Foreman makes clear his underlying concern about pollution within the environment.

The Great Paper Caper
by Oliver Jeffers

Exciting new cover reissue of this funny forest story, from award-winning, internationally bestselling picture book creator of Lost and Found, Oliver Jeffers.

When life in the forest begins to change; when trees mysteriously lose their branches, when whole tree trunks start to disappear, when homes are lost, the only course of action for the forest dwellers is to begin a full scale investigation. Alibis must be proved, clues must be sought but even so, blame is never far from anyone's thoughts.

Who is the perpetrator of this heinous crime? Will justice be done?

The Journey Home
by Frann Preston-Gannon

A lone polar bear decides that he can’t stay in the arctic as the ice is melting around him and he is hungry. He builds a boat and sails across the oceans picking up other endangered creatures along his way; an orangutan who is surrounded by tree stumps; an elephant who is trying to out-run a poacher and a panda without a home.

Finally, the boat full of creatures reaches an island that can only be described as paradise. A dodo greets them and explains that they can go home when more trees are planted, when the ice stops melting and when the poachers stop hunting for tusks. The hopeful animals huddle together watching the sun set over the ocean wondering what tomorrow will bring.

A beautiful, simple picture book, full of things to talk about and with a very strong environmental message.

Window
by Jeannie Baker

Stunning and unique mixed media collages will amaze readers in this powerful, eco-conscious picture book by the internationally renowned Jeannie Baker. In this visually compelling look at our changing environment by Jeannie Baker, illustrator of the critically-acclaimed Mirror and Where the Forest Meets the Sea, a mother and baby look through a window at a view of wilderness and sky as far as the eye can see. With each page, the boy grows and the scene changes. At first, in a clear patch of forest, a single house appears. A few years pass and there is a village in the distance...When the boy is twenty, will he recognize the view from his window? Illustrated with elaborate and gorgeous collage constructions, Window is a wordless picture book that speaks volumes.

Stories for a Fragile Planet
by  Kenneth Steven, illustrated by Jane Ray

An author and poet, welcomed for his reflective and thought-provoking style, retells 10 stories from different cultures - from around the world and through the ages - which each highlight the importance of taking care of the world. These stories - from ancient Greece, the Far East, the Celts, Africa, Greenland, Russia, China, Japan, South America and ancient Israel - afford wonderful opportunities for Jane Ray's paradisiacal paintings of trees and flowers, animals and birds. . . in short, all creation.

This Morning I Met a Whale
by  Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Christian Birmingham

At sunrise, young Michael spots a whale on the shores of the Thames and thinks he must be dreaming. But the creature is real and it has a message for him – one that only an open-minded child can deliver to the rest of the world. The whale warns that the earth’s days are numbered and that humans must put right the damage they are doing, but how can Michael fulfil his promise to tell others when neither his teacher nor his classmates will believe his story? Within hours, the city and the wider world have learned of London’s remarkable visitor, and all eyes are on the whale’s struggle against the receding tide. Michael must now join his new friend in a race against time to reach the ocean, and hold fast to his promise in the race to save the world itself.

Dinosaurs and All that Rubbish
by Michael Foreman

Dinosaurs have taken over the Earth! They're stomping and stamping all over the place. Young readers will love finding out why in this classic environmental tale from best-selling author/illustrator Michael Foreman. A fable for our time, and as relevant today as it was when it was first published in 1972.

The Tin Forest
by Helen Ward, illustrated by Wayne Anderson

"There was once a wide, windswept place, near nowhere and close to forgotten that was filled with all the things that no one wanted." So begins Helen Ward's tale of the Tin Forest where an old man lives who tidies the rubbish and dreams of a better place. With faith, ingenuity and hard work, he transforms a junkyard into a wonderland in this poetic modern fable.

The Lorax
by Dr Seuss

The Lorax is the original eco warrior and his message still rings loud today in this fable about the dangers of destroying our forests, told in the trademark rhyme of the irrepressible Dr. Seuss.

“Mister! He said with a sawdusty sneeze, I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.”

The Lorax is a hilarious and timeless story with the trademark humour and silly rhymes of Dr. Seuss, that packs a punch with its ecological message without feeling heavy-handed or worthy. The Lorax is the original eco warrior as he tries to save the Truffula trees from the greedy once-ler’s axe, and the Dr Seuss blend of zany pictures and unique rhyme, rhythm and repetition mean that all ages will learn from and love this wonderful book.

The Last Tiger
by Rebecca Elliott

This story warns of what the future might hold if we neglect our duty of care to our environment. In a world that has been destroyed by human carelessness, a little boy discovers the last tiger. But where did he come from? Through their adventure together they rediscover a natural way of living and lead the world to a sustainable future. With striking illustrations crafted in ink line and collage, this thoughtful yet uplifting picture book leaves a lasting impact.

The Paperbag Prince
by Colin Thompson

The Paperbag Prince is an old man who spends his time in a railway carriage at the end of the old town dump, in company with the animals that live there. The local people think he is mad - but he proves that it is possible to find contentment by caring about your environment.

Oi! Get off our Train
by John Burningham

 A story about a boy who dreams he’s travelling around the world on his toy train, and each time he stops he picks up animals from species that are endangered because their habitat is being threatened or has been destroyed. Great pictures and the message is delivered with a lot of fun

White Dolphin
by Gill Lewis

When they first meet, Kara and Felix can't stand each other. But on discovering an injured dolphin calf on the beach they know they must work together to save it. 

Now friends, they set out to find the truth behind the disappearance of Kara's mother, and to protect the nearby reef. 

But powerful people don't want them to succeed. And with the odds stacked against them, how can Kara and Felix make their voices heard?

The Last Wild
by Piers Torday
In a world where animals no longer exist, twelve-year old Kester Jaynes sometimes feels like he hardly exists either.  Locked away in a home for troubled children, he’s told there’s something wrong with him.  So when he meets a flock of talking pigeons and a bossy cockroach, Kester thinks he’s finally gone a bit mad.  But the animals have something to say…
 

The pigeons fly Kester to a wild place where the last creatures in the land have survived.  A wise stag needs Kester’s help, and together they must embark on a great journey, joined along the way by an over-enthusiastic wolf-cub, a spoilt show-cat, a dancing harvest mouse and a girl named Polly.

 

The animals saved Kester Jaynes.  But can Kester save the animals?

Under the Weather
edited by Tony Bradman
From the effects of rising sea levels to changes in animal behaviour and human lifestyles, these powerful stories portray the issues surrounding climate change in personal terms and so bring them vividly to life. Offering warnings and inspiration in equal measure, the stories cover a wide range of localities from Siberia and Canada to Australia, UK, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Writers include award-winning Linda Newbery as well as exciting newcomers like Australia's George Ivanoff. Whether read from cover to cover or dipped into for one or two stories, this book will enlighten and inspire everyone to consider how climate change will affect us all.