Where Are the American Versions of these British Kid's Books About Environmental Activism?
When searching for a third book to round out my week of reviews focusing on reducing waste and protecting the planet, I came across Moth: An Evolution Story by Isabel Thomas. While it may not seem like an obvious choice, learning that Thomas has written two books for kids about protecting the planet (only available in the UK) makes this the perfect book. Having discovered these amazing call to action books for kids that teach them how and why they need to work to save the planet, I did several searches for comparable books from American publishers and came up empty handed. While I found current book lists compiled at the end of last year with titles like, "Books for Kids of All Ages About Environmental Activism and Climate Change," and "25 Books that Teach Kids to Care About the Environment," the books, when they weren't really old (The Lorax), were stories about people and places (Jane Goodall, Rachel Carson, Wangarĩ Maathai) rather than books that inspire and teach kids how to take action.
Then decided to search Amazon UK where, before I even finished typing, "How To Save the Planet Books for Kids" appeared in the search field, followed by the books in the collage above, all of which are from 2018 and 2019. A similar search at the US version of Amazon yielded several picture books from the mid-2000s about recycling. The closest I could find was a book from 2009 that is a revised edition of the original 1990 publication, The New 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth by John Javna. I was able to scroll through the table of contents and first chapters at Google Books and it looks like it has good content, but the production value was not nearly as engaging and energetic as Dorey or Layton's books.
With Greta Thunberg a public figure that most kids recognize - both her person, her mission and her message - and so many books about her and by her being published in 2019 and 2020, I hope that American publishers will keep up, at least with publishers in the UK, if not the world. Until then, I'll be increasing my carbon footprint and ordering books from across the pond...