Recommended Reading for Grades K-2

  • Celebrating Black History Month & the Environment Through Literature

    This Black History Month, we celebrate the individuals who are inspiring all of us to connect with the environment, whether through their work or through their beautiful words and illustrations about nature.

  • Acorn Was a Little Wild

    Acorn Was a Little Wild takes readers on a journey through the adventurous life of a spirited acorn. After dropping down onto the ground, he gets his first taste of freedom. Whether it’s rolling down hills at breakneck speeds or feeling the wind whipping through his cap, he loves the thrill of adventure. Use this story to teach learners about the life cycle of an oak tree and just what it means to grow up in nature!

  • Cover of Jayden's Impossible Garden

    Jayden’s Impossible Garden

    This book empowers youth to find the beauty of nature wherever they are, and to sow the seeds of change while enhancing their intergenerational relationships.

  • Berry Song

    Michaela Goade celebrates the gifts of the forest with wisdom, gratitude, and kinship with the land in PLT’s latest recommended read, Berry Song.

  • tree grows from a fox lying down surrounded by forest friends

    The Memory Tree

    Teaching young children about the loss of a loved one can be a difficult topic. In this picture book, a fox lives a long and happy life in the forest, but he is now ready to sleep and closes his eyes forever. As the fox’s friends begin to share memories and tell stories, a tree starts to grow taller and stronger with every memory.

  • Young boy wearing a red coat, white shirt, blue jeans, and white lace up sneakers running through a lush green forest holding a journal

    My Forest is Green

    Follow along a curious young boy who explores the urban forest near his home and describes the shapes, textures, and colors of the plants and animals that live there and encourages young children to observe and appreciate the nature around them.

  • Bee My Friend

    Poppy is afraid of bees until she begins to learn about all the essential ecosystem services that pollinators—and bees, in particular—provide.

  • The front cover of the book Bird Count. A young girl wearing a red winter hat, yellow coat, and pink scarf looking into binoculars.

    Bird Count

    Do you enjoy seeing and hearing birds in your community? Use this book with grades K-2 and spend a day with Ava and her team as they participate in the annual Audubon Bird Count. Learn more about bird watching and how you can become a community scientist yourself and contribute to real scientific research.

  • amara and the bats cover three kids holding signs with bats

    Amara and the Bats

    Halloween is a great time to think about bats and their vital role in our ecosystems. Follow Amara on her mission to bring bats to her local park and help people appreciate their importance. Use this children’s book to learn the truth about bats, and to share facts about these amazing–yet often misunderstood–creatures.

  • cover of deep in the woods book with a bear deer fox and rabbit sitting beside each other

    Deep in the Woods

    Can one little hideaway be a home to a host of woodland creatures? Learn about a Russian folk tale and encourage early learning along the way.

  • Where’s Rodney?

    Rodney can’t seem to sit still. At school, he is always more interested in what is happening outside the window than what is going on inside the classroom. Learn how a park visit can transform Rodney’s perspective. Use this text to explore learning styles and personal characteristics with young readers.

  • A Day in a Forested Wetland

    Introduce biodiversity to young readers through this nonfiction picture book that explores a typical day for animals that call a soggy forest home.

  • Circel-Unbroken-childrens-book-cover

    Circle Unbroken: The Story of a Basket and Its People

    An African-American grandmother interweaves stories of her family’s ancestry and culture as she shows her granddaughter how to weave a traditional Gullah basket.

  • Seed School

    A lost seed with a funny looking hat helps young children learn not only about seed science but also important lessons about diversity and difference.

  • Tall-Tall-Tree_book-cover

    Tall Tall Tree

    Use this book’s beautiful, scientifically-accurate illustrations, playful rhymes, and a game of search-and-find, to help children in grades K-4 experience the majesty of redwood trees.

  • The Happiest Tree: A Yoga Story

    The word “yoga” derives from a Sanskrit word “yuj,” meaning “to unite or integrate.” This book embodies Sanskrit’s yuj and can be used to integrate multiple discipline areas.

  • wild ones observing city critters

    Wild Ones, Observing City Critters

    Grade K-5 readers are invited to play a game of I Spy to find urban wildlife along with this story’s main character, a family dog named Scooter.

  • over and under the snow children's book

    Over and Under the Snow

    Use this book with grades K-4 to explore winter habitats, biodiversity, and even predator-prey relationships that all take place over and under the snow.

  • the three questions children's reading book

    The Three Questions

    Who do you trust? Using the different and diverse perspectives of his animal friends, a young boy ultimately finds the answers he searches for.

  • flashlight children's reading book


    Using no words and a dramatic color palate, this book follows a little boy who leaves his tent to explore the environment in the dark.

  • Welcome to the neighborwood children's book

    Welcome To The Neighborwood

    Learn about forest habitats and micro-communities as artist-turned-author, Shawn Sheehy takes young readers from neighborhood to neighborwood.

  • hi koo children's book

    Hi, Koo!

    Use this book with PreK-3 graders to explore the changing seasons, the alphabet, and the wonderful world of haikus.

  • leaves children's reading book


    Use this book to explore the falling leaves of autumn with young readers and a first-year bear cub.

  • trouts are made of trees children's book

    Trout Are Made Of Trees

    In this book for grades K-2, join three young children and their Dad as they observe life in and around a stream.

  • the gardener children's book

    The Gardener

    Use this children’s book to compare and contrast rural and urban America as Lydia travels to a new city with a suitcase full of seeds.

  • Nature Recycles, How About You?

    Use this book with grades K-5 to explore how animals in different habitats use recycled material to build homes, protect themselves, and nourish their bodies.

  • energy heat light and fuel children's reading book

    Energy: Reading for Grades K-2

    A collection of children’s books about energy for grades K-2.

  • hey little ant reading children's book

    Hey, Little Ant

    To squish or not to squish? This heart-warming story of a conversation between a boy and a little ant encourages children to consider other perspectives.

  • mud children's reading book


    This children’s book offers an ode to muddy feet, brown earth, and new grass…perfect for exploring the wonders spring brings!

  • do princesses wear hiking boots children's book

    Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots?

    This children’s book offers a lesson in self discovery and acceptance. Learn more about this resource and what PLT activities it can be used with.

  • autumnblings children's book


    This children’s book explores the colors, events, and emotions that the fall season brings. Learn more about this resource and the PLT activities it supports.

  • when sophie gets angry children's book

    When Sophie Gets Angry

    This book demonstrates how a young girl, Sophie, deals with anger when her older sister takes a favorite toy. Learn which PLT activities it supports.

  • pablos trees children's book

    Pablo’s Tree

    Storybooks are a great way to capture children’s interest in the environment. Check out this book—and some ways to tie it to PLT activities.

  • around one log children's book

    Around One Log

    Storybooks are a great way to capture children’s interest in the environment. As this story builds, it repeats, an excellent instruction technique for young children.

  • the listening walk children's reading book

    The Listening Walk

    In this children’s book, a young girl takes a quiet walk with her father and identifies the many different sounds they hear.