Friday, March 19, 2021

ReFoReMo Day 15: Author Keila V. Dawson Dives into Conservation, Preservation, and Climate Change

Although discussion about the environment and climate change is not new, there have been more trade children’s books published to introduce those concepts to young readers. In the mentor text list below, authors and illustrators help readers understand our relationship with the world, environmental justice, and explore actions used in conservation, preservation, and to mitigate climate change.  

 


We Are Water Protectors Lindstrom, Carole (Author) Goade, Michaela (Illustrator) Roaring Brook Press 
(March 17, 2010).






Our House Is on Fire: Greta Thunberg's Call to Save the Planet, Jeanette Winter (Author, Illustrator), 
Beach Lane Books (September 24, 2019).


Earth Hour: A Lights-Out Event for Our Planet
 by Nanette Heffernan (Author) and Bao Luu (Illustrator), Charlesbridge (January 21, 2020).



The Mess That We Made by Michelle Lord  (Author), Julia Blattman (Illustrator) Flashlight Press, (January 1, 2020)





What a Waste: Trash, Recycling, and Protecting our Planet by Jess French (Author) DK Children (April 2, 2019)





Keila is giving away a picture book critique or virtual school visit to one lucky U.S. winner! To be eligible for prizes throughout the challenge, you must be registered by March 1, comment on each post, consistently read mentor texts, and enter the Rafflecopter drawing at the conclusion of ReFoReMo.


Keila V. Dawson worked as a community organizer, educator, and advocate for children with special needs before becoming a children’s author. She is co-editor of NO VOICE TOO SMALL: FOURTEEN YOUNG AMERICANS MAKING
HISTORY, and the forthcoming NO WORLD TOO BIG: YOUNG PEOPLE FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE. And the author of THE KING CAKE BABY and OPENING THE ROAD: VICTOR HUGO GREEN AND HIS GREEN BOOK.
Dawson grew up in New Orleans, has lived and worked in the Philippines, Japan, and Egypt and lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. Find her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or her
website.


191 comments:

  1. Thanks for this list. I love No Voice Too Small!

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  2. Thank you for sharing this list. Wonderful books here!

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  3. Thanks for this great list, Keila. I still need to find & read Our House is on Fire. We Are Water Protectors & The Mess That We Made are such powerful books.

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    1. Yes! It's great to see books focus on more than recycling and include solutions.

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  4. Great list! Thank you.

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  5. Thanks, Keila. This is such a timely list. Thanks again for sharing your love and knowledge of picture books.

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  6. These are great choices, I also love 'Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World' by Laurie Lawlor and Laura Beingessner and 'The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps' by Jeanette Winter as I am a fan of historical nf of pioneering women who took care of the earth.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation. I will look for it!

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  7. Thanks for sharing books on important topics, Keila.

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  8. A really timely topic. The Mess That We Made would make a nice read aloud.

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  9. Thank you, Keila, for sharing. I love No Voice too Small!

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  10. Thank you for this great list, Keila. These books are great examples of voice and narrative structure too. Amazing!

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  11. Keila, thank you for sharing these beautiful books with such powerful and important messages! It is crucial that children learn to value the earth and its limited resources in order to affect behavioral changes in society.

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  12. Important titles - we can't start too early! Thansk.

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  13. Keila, thanks so much for sharing this list. Such important messages in these books!

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  14. Cool and captivating titles! Thanks Keila! Looking forward to reading.

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  15. Thank you! What an important and timely topic. I am looking forward to reading these titles. I also love I am the Storm by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple, to give young readers hope and agency in these difficult climate change times. Thank you!

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  16. Thank you, Keila, for sharing these important books.

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  17. Thank you for such a good reading list. I have a therapy dog and before covid we were visiting a middle school and kids would read to him. I find your reading list good for middle school aged kids. Especially OUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE and EARTH HOUR. I went back through and even the illustrations are captivating. Thank you again

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  18. With Earth Day coming up, this is a great list, Keila! TY,friend.

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  19. Thank you for a great list of books!

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  20. As a former teacher with a certificate to teach environmental education, I was always hard pressed to find timely books for young children. I am happy to see that there are more beautiful, age appropriate texts to be read to children to foster discussion and awareness. Thank you for your list!

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    1. You are welcome. And agree, we see more and more titles on these topics. I am working on one, too. NO WORLD TOO BIG will release in 2023 with Charlesbridge. A companion to NO VOICE TOO SMALL.

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  21. Thank you Keila! I love how picture books tackle such important topics in important ways. Making a difference one page at a time!

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  22. THIS! Such a timely topic for me. I am working on a non fiction story about an endangered creature who brought environmentalists and developers together.

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  23. The need of the hour or an hour ago. So important! Thanks for a great list!

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  24. Keila, this is such an important topic! My students are very interested in the environment!

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  25. I love No Voice Too Small and already noted to read it with The Water Protectors. I am also looking forward to Earth Hour and reading Earth Hour: A Lights-Out Event for Our Planet with my students!

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  26. Thanks so much, I had seen some of those books but others were new to me. SO glad you shared them.

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  27. All great books! Thanks for the wonderful list!

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  28. Thanks for highlighting this important topic.

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  29. Thanks for this list.

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  30. Important and powerful books indeed today Keila.

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  31. Thanks for sharing these books. We need many more like this.

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  32. New--and worthy--titles for me. Thanks for the list.

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  33. We Are Water Protectors sits face out on my top bookshelf and I have read it over and over. Sheer beauty wrapped around a powerful message! I look forward to reading the others when they come into my library.

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  34. What beautiful books! Thank you for showing them to us!

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  35. Thanks for sharing these titles! Such an important topic and I can't wait to check out the ones I haven't yet explored.

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  36. Great list of books that get important topics across to the youngest readers. They are our future.

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  37. Great list for topic and voice. Great mentor texts in many ways.

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  38. Thank you for sharing this list with us and being part of ReFoReMo!

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  39. I'm a big fan of The Mess We Made and We Are Water Protectors. These books are such an important piece of environmental education. Thank you for such a great list.

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  40. These books are so important. Thanks for this excellent list!

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  41. Thanks for highlighting these important topics through excellent mentor texts! Looking forward to your upcoming book!

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  42. Thank you Keila. I am grateful for your suggestions. I really loved THE MESS WE MADE.

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  43. Thank you for this list, Keila!

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  44. Thank you for the list! I got these from my library but accidentally got the wrong Our House Is on Fire: Greta Thunberg book---wasn't a PB! So I'll be swapping that out to catch up on this one!

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  45. Beautiful books that remind the reader of the beauty in the world and the importance of taking care of the earth.

    Thank you, Keila.

    Suzy Leopold

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  46. Thanks for sharing this list on such an important topic. We have started celebrating Earth Hour.

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  47. This is such an important list as Earth Day is just weeks away. I was very intrigued by the different ways in which these books conveyed the importance of working together and doing what we can to save our earth's resources.We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom and illustrated by Michaela Goade is a beautiful book that shows the importance of water to all of us and the need to prevent water pollution. It offers a pledge that students can sign to do what they can to protect the water. The author and illustrator used words and images to inspire the readers to act. Our House Is On Fire: Greta Thunberg's Call to Save the Planet by Jeanette Winter is a powerful book that shows you are never too small to make a difference by telling the true story of activitst Greta Thunberg and how she started school strikes for climate control and then a World Wide Children's March to call attention to the dangers of global warming and call for action. It shows what can be done if people work together! Earth Hour: A Light's Out Event For Our Planet by Nanette Hoffman, illustrated by Bao Luu uses relatively few words to show how much power we have if we work together and if everyone turns out the lights world wide at 8:30 sharp on a Saturday in March. "Alone we are one, together we have power; united we are earth hour.This book is extremely moving.
    The Mess That We Made by Michelle Lord, illustrated by Julia Blattman uses a parody of this is the house that Jack built to show the mess we have made in the oceans with trash, pollution, plastic and ghost nets. It dramatically shows how ocean animals are affected but it also show what we can do to turn things around by working together, recycling and cleaning up the polluted oceans.This dramatic text will undoubtedly move readers to action. What A Waste: Trash, Recycling and Protecting Our Planet by Jess French is a very comprehensive look at all the problems caused by waste in our environment and what can be done to save our earth. It uses great graphics and statistics to get the point across such as 92% of the world's people are breathing polluted air" and explains all types of pollution and ways that can be controlled. It is a very extensive resource. These books are great mentor texts and show the many different ways to get an important message across. Thanks for sharing!

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  48. Thank you for sharing about these important texts. I’m so glad that there are so many great environmental picture books these days.

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  49. These books are so important. The next generations are our hope to save the planet. Thank you for highlighting them.

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  50. Thanks for compiling such a compelling list. The message is conveyed magically, like Mary Poppins' spoon full of sugar.

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  51. A lot of hard work must have gone into the research, language, and art in these books to make them so appealing to young readers. Bravo, writers and illustrators! And thank you, Keila.

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  52. These books and those like them are so important. We can never have enough of them! Thank you for sharing them with us!

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  53. Comment by Rhonda Kay Gatlin The Mess that We Made was my Topic book of the day. I think children will enjoy the lyrical flow and the repetition of the authors words. The list today was compelling and important for children to gain some insight of the mess our world is headed...

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  54. A very worthy cause brought to the attention of young readers.

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  55. All important books on important subjects. Thx, Keila.

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  56. As an environmental educator I have to say, “Yes!” We desperately need engaging books to inspire a new generation and their parents! Good mentor texts for those of us trying to write in this genre too. Thanks so much.

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  57. Such an important list! I really enjoyed seeing the wide variety of approaches to environmental topics. Thank you, Keila!

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  58. Such an important topic. Such a great list. Thanks, Keila!

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  59. I am enjoying reading these books and learning a lot even as an adult. And we will be practicing Earth Hour for the first time this year. Great books for families to learn to take an active part in conservation and preservation. Thank you for bringing these to our attention.

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  60. Thank you for sharing these important books on our environment, Keila!

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  61. Great suggestions, important reads for students of all ages.

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  62. Interesting how sparse the language is for some of these, letting the subject speak for itself.

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  63. Keila ~ Thanks for the great reads!

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  64. Thank you for the great list of mentor texts which focus on such an important topic. Wonderful way to launch discussions with kids.

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  65. Thank you, Keila, for being an advocate for children with special needs. As a special educator for over 33 years, I appreciate your devotion to speak up for our children of all abilities.
    Thank you for your encouragement to read picture books with important messages of challenge and hope. We can make a difference in our world as we write for children of all ages.

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  66. So many voices talking about important issues. Thank you, Keila!

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  67. I've read We are Water Protectors and will be adding the others to my library hold list.

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  68. These are all such great books, Keila! Great selection that shows a range of treatment for this broad issue!

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  69. Thanks, Keila! What a wonderful group.

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  70. An interesting array of books, some lyrical, some narrow in scope, some quite detailed - all timely and needed. Keila, I look forward to your forthcoming book on climate change.

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  71. Thanks, Keila, for this great list. THE MESS THAT WE MADE is one of my favorite books. The rhythmic, cumulative structure is such a beautiful read aloud on an important topic. I also loved reading NO VOICE TOO SMALL. Such perfect poetry forms to match each of the young subjects.

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  72. I'm not surprised that books with an environmental message are in demand. It's interesting to see the forms those books take.

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  73. These are important subjects that I believe we owe it to our children to make them understand they are responsible as individuals for what makes things better or worse for generations to come. I only hope we can communicate this in a loving, caring manner.

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  74. In addition to the important message in each book, the illustrations were just fabulous and added to the vibrancy of Earth and the impact of each problem. As a biology teacher I'm always looking for creative ways to discuss current environmental issues - these titles will help.

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  75. evafelder@hotmail.com

    Thank you Keila for today's list, extremely important subject touched in a different manner in each book.
    I love your book Opening The Road, such a relevant theme for young people to know. Everything added is as necessary and so well done as the story itself.
    Every time I find out how a book got started I am surprised in a wonderful way. Nanette Heffernan was driving on a bridge on her way home to Lafayette
    when all the lights went out. She thought that there was a blackout, it so happens that it was Earth Hour. She decided to write a book about an unknown subject to her. It was unknown to me too until I read the book today. So I will join this year on March 27 at 8:30 local time. Every year on the last Sat in March.
    Everybody check out 60+ EA Blog, The Earth Hour Virtual Spotlight.

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  76. Saving the planet one by one starting early. Good list of books. Thank you

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  77. Thank you for recommending this list of books with such important messages!

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  78. Outstanding list! I loved so many aspects of them all, especially Our House is on Fire. So important to share with kids!

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  79. Thank you for this list of books, Keila. They were all eye-opening (and a tad depressing) and help teach children (and adults) about our world.

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  80. Keila, thanks for the inspirational mentor texts. The illustrations are impressive!

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  81. Keila, thank you for sharing these important books. The environment and global warming need to be shared with our children. They are the future.

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  82. So good to see more books on environment and climate change! Thank you for this great list!

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  83. An important subject, that is for sure! Thank you!

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  84. Thank you for these! One of my favorite topics. :)

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  85. Important topics done beautifully. Thanks!

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  86. Another wonderful Friday list. I enjoyed Earth Hour: A Lights Out Event For Our Planet because it gives kids a simple solution they can do immediately. Great for busy teachers trying to give a meaningful energy conservation assignment. The Mess We Made is a mentor text I can use right now while I prepare to dabble in the area of rhyme. Cumulative Rhyme has always been my favorite kind of PB. This one has such an important theme for repetition to be highlighted. I'm on the search for more like this.

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  87. I love these because they teach us things we don't always know, but really should. And they do it in a beautiful way.

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  88. Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful mentor texts that give us and children so much knowledge about our world.

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  89. I'm thrilled that more of these books are being published! Not only needed, but sought after by our children.

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  90. So important to spread these messages and spark these conversations through books!

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  91. KEILA: THANK YOU for the list of mentor books to help INSPIRE us to know HOW IMPORTANT it is to teach young readers about their connection to the Earth--and their responsibility to take care of it. I have only read one of the books, so I'm EXCITED to dig into these. THANK YOU! And THANK YOU for the AMAZING work you do. You are an example to all of us!

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  92. What an awesome group of books with a fantastic message. Thanks for sharing your list!

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  93. Thanks for sharing these meaningful picture books. What a Waste was chock FULL of useful information. I can see many lessons to be taught from its pages.

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  94. What a great variety of books. I loved the structure and language of the The Mess That We Made. The repetitiveness worked well with the concept in trying to convince the reader.

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  95. comment Rhonda Kay Gatlin Great list of books for us to introduce children about our earth. I couldn't get this list, but thank goodness for You Tube.

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  96. Great selection of books today. I love all the different styles/genres too.

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  97. Thanks Keila for this great list. I have reserved them at my local library.

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  98. Thank you, Keila. I'm so glad to have these important titles. Thank you so much for your work as an advocate for children with special needs and as a writer for young readers.

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  99. There are never too many environmental books. Thanks.

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  100. A topic near and dear to me, and some wonderful mentor texts. Thank you!

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  101. Great list. These books are beautiful.

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  102. Thank you for this great list of books, Keila! The Mess That We Made so powerful in that we made it, we can clean it up!

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  103. I love that we're highlighting these serious issues to young children. Never too young to learn to respect the earth

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  104. Thank you for your recommendations. I look forward to reading them and sharing them with my own kids.

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  105. Thank you for sharing this list

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  106. A very effective portrayal of a person-made problem. I like the child heroes getting involved in the clean-up.Good backmatter too.

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  107. Thank you for providing such a great and important roundup of titles! I really enjoyed The Mess That We Made and Earth Hour, and also Our House Is on Fire (What an amazing story showing the difference that one girl can make -- so inspiring!)

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  108. Understanding the importance of climate change shouldn't be tied to a certain age. I love the idea younger readers will have the chance to learn how even they can make a difference in their world...

    Great post!

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  109. Earth Day 2021 - March 27 @ 8:30!
    The back matter in The Mess That We Made is mind-boggling. Every family should read this book together.
    Then, the other books on this list - mandatory reading in schools & homes!

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  110. Thank you for the great list of suggestions.

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  111. It's fascinating to see the kinds of books that become important. When I started writing, retellings were big. It's nice to watch the evolution and that people care. It gives hope.

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  112. Thank you for this list of books of truth. I feel that i we read, we'll understand a bit more, and we'll help repair one small way after another. (kids and adults)

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  113. Thanks, Keila! Many on your list are mentor texts for me. As well as, NO VOICE TOO SMALL.

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  114. O had a very hard time getting ahold of these books. In addition I tried to read other picture books in this vein. Many were straight educational, many bland, many forgetting the basics of storytelling. I loved Energy Island, which might not quite be centered like those above. I reread Earth, My First 4.54 Billion Years and Sea Bear: A Journey of Survival even though those titles are a bit older. Also I found quite a few biographies which included figures involved in conservation efforts, which was helpful.

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  115. The mess that we made is such an amazing book to show kids the impacts of even our small actions

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  116. This is a great, powerful list of books for an important topic.

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  117. Thank you for your insight and new titles to look for and older ones, too.

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  118. Thanks for all of these titles. I love books that offer hope and practical suggestions, esp where it comes to climate change which can feel so hopeless at times. Looking forward to reading your King Cake Baby--totally a new concept to me!

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  119. These books are so important. Thanks for the great list!

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  120. I love The Mess that We Made-I paired that with Crab Cake last year before our school shut down. The kids were surprised how much trash makes it to the ocean and didn't think that was right. Exactly the reaction I was hoping they would have. It isn't right and I'm glad we have these books to show them we can do better!

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  121. I love this group of books, the way the teach our children about conservation and changes to the environment not only for people but animals and plants too. Awareness is the first step in helping to achieve a planet for all generations now and in the future.

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  122. I can't wait to read these books. I too loved No Voice too Small.

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  123. Great collection! I love the focus on modern-day kids as a way to connect readers to people making a difference right now.

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  124. "Helping readers understand their relationship with the world." We all have a part to play!

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  125. I loved The Mess that We Made.

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  126. Thanks for a great list. I also liked the spread in Ocean!
    Waves for All by McAnulty, Stacy that talked about the garbage that is in the oceans.

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  127. Thank you, Keila. These are amazing books

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  128. I do appreciate these posts.

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  129. Such important topics for children. Thanks for this great list, Keila.

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  130. Thanks for sharing these- important and inspiring!

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  131. I'm glad that more of these books are being published. Thank you!

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  132. A great list to have on hand to prepare for Earth Day next month!

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  133. Excellent list, Keila! Books that make a hugely important connection between our planet, our responsibility, and the legacy of awareness in young readers.

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  134. Great list! EARTH HOUR was new to me. What a beautiful book!

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  135. I was unable to get the last two recommendations but will continue to look for those. I am a fan of the the others on the list.

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  136. Such a great list to explore. Inspiring post.

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  137. I love that We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade is on so many of these mentor text lists. This award winner is amazing on so many levels.

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  138. Such an important list. Glad there is a Greta book out there too. This was new to me. Thank you.

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  139. Great suggestions for environmental learning! thanks very much!

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  140. Books that feature environmental changes can be sad when we truly internalize what's happening. However, all of these suggestions offer hope & clear steps on what we can do to make better choices and a change.

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  141. I liked 'The Mess That We Made'! All great suggestions.

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  142. Thanks for this list--I haven't read these yet, so I'm grateful for your bringing them to my attention. Very important topics to be sure!

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  143. Although Environmental Education has been around since the late 60's and early 70's there was little interest and no positions for teachers at that time. I am so glad the children's PBs are taking up the mantle and how the educational systems will make environmental education a large and meaningful part of their Science curricula.

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  144. One thing I noticed about these texts is how visually inviting they are--draws the reader in.

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  145. Loved Earth Hour - what an awesome idea. Thanks for sharing these mentor texts. Important topics presented so beautifully.

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  146. Some of the most important picture books of our time!

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  147. Thank you for sharing this great list!

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  148. Hard to think of a more urgent topic than this one....

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  149. What a list! I knew about The Water Protectors, but didn't know about the other titles. It's an important topic, especially for kids.

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  150. Thank you, Keila, for highlighting these books that address such
    important and timely topics. It’s fantastic that they are available
    to us as readers, writers and sharers.

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  151. Thank you for these! I have a fun idea for a PB in this area so grateful for the mentor text suggestions!

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  152. I love how these books spread such important messages.

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  153. I’m bummed my library only had 2 of your recommended books. I’ll have to keep searching for the rest. Thanks for sharing!

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  154. Wonderful list of books that address issues in a great kid friendly way. I particularly like The Mess That We Made. Thank you!

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