2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

Pollution Children’s Books–2023

Pollution Children’s Books–2023 recommendations are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.

Children’s book titles are carefully handpicked by a certified elementary school librarian who, although retired, still enjoys reading children’s books, especially picture books, and recommending them to busy teachers, school librarians, parents, grandparents, and other book lovers.

Most of the books Mrs. Ferraris reads before recommending are checked out from the public library, except for those much-appreciated complimentary copies sent to her for an honest review. Those are noted. 

The content below contains Amazon affiliate links. When you buy through these links, she may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

Cover of the picture book The Day the River Caught Fire with three children looking at the river on fire

The Day the River Caught Fire: How the Cuyahoga River Exploded and Ignited the Earth Day Movement

by Barry Wittenstein (Author), Jessie Hartland (Illustrator).

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books 
  • Year: 2023
  • Grades 2-5
  • Hardcover Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book: 48 pages
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1534480834

Brief summary:  In the summer of 1969, the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught fire from the sparks of a train railcar falling into the water. It was not the first time the river caught on fire.

Comments: Young readers will learn about how the river became so polluted and what happened to decrease the pollution.

Back pages include sections: Author’s Note, Environmental Time Line, Clean Water Act, To Learn More, and a Bibliography.

Rating: 3.5/5 📗📗📗1/2

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

Young girl with long red hair holding a starfish above her head with two unicorns on either side picking up pollution on the beach that has litter on it

Josie, Johnnie and Rosie and the Ocean Rescue! 

by Michael Panzner (Author), Brooke Beaver (Illustrator)

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Twin Unicorn Publishing LLC
  • Year : ‎ 2023
  • Grades: Toddlers-first grade
  • Paperback picture book ‏ : ‎ 32 pages
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8218219031

Brief summary: Rosie and her two unicorn friends, Josie and Johnnie, go to the beach for a picnic. Afterward, they play in the water and notice fish caught in a net. With the help of the unicorns’ magical horns, they can untangle the fish.

Rosie looks around and notices that the water is polluted with litter. The trio picks up the garbage and is joined by others on the beach, eventually restoring the area to its natural beauty.

Comments: This is a calm and upbeat book about how children can help with pollution by simply picking up trash.

This is a darling book for any unicorn lover.

Rating: 3/5 📗📗📗

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

* I received a complimentary paperback copy of this book by the author for an honest review.

The picture book cover of Black Beach with Sam holding a picket sign saying "Save our planet." Marine animal life are with her while the oil rig is spilling oil onto the water

Black Beach: A Community, an Oil Spill, and the Origin of Earth Day 

by Shaunna & John Stith (Author), Maribel Lechuga (Illustrator)

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ little bee books 
  • Year: 2023
  • Grades: K-4
  • Hardcover Picture Book: 40 pages
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1499813043

 Brief summary: Sam is in class in Santa Barbara when she sees her teacher look outside the window after the principal whispers to her and wonders why. Her parents explain to her about Union Oil causing an oil spill near where they live. The family walks to their favorite beach to find that the beach and ocean are black with oil. The town tries to clean the oil from the beach and help the animals covered with it.

Comments: A national day was created from this disaster and organized to celebrate and protest the environment which still exists today called Earth Day, April 22, 1970.

There are several sections in the back of the book: Author’s Note, Selected Bibliography, Timeline, Earth Day Today, Earth Day Every Day, and How to Become an Environmental Activist.

Teachers and homeschooling parents could share this book as a supplement in addition with Earth Day activities.

Rating: 4/5 📗📗📗📗

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

Picture book cover of Flipflopi with a boy and his father building a boat with the community in the background collect plastic pollution out of the ocean.

Flipflopi: How a Boat Made from Flip-Flops Is Helping to Save the Ocean 

by Linda Ravin Lodding (Author), Dipesh Pabari (Author), Michael Machira Mwangi (Illustrator)

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Beaming Books
  • Year: 2023
  • Grades: K-3
  • Hardcover Picture Book: 40 pages
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1506486406

Brief summary: Juma walks with his grandfather to go fishing on the beach and is met with all sorts of plastic trash and thousands of flip-flops. The community comes together and gathers all of the endless plastic waste and melts it to make a dhow boat.

Comments: This is based a on a true story which is explained in the back pages along with sections: Ocean Pollution, How Can You Help?, and Glossary.

What a “make lemonade out of lemons” story!

Rating: 4/5 📗📗📗📗

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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