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Picture Books for Sharing Planet Earth and Rainbow Craft

Earth Day is just around the corner! We encourage you to share books with young people that inspire them to pursue lives of service - to value the interconnectedness of all living things, and to care for and act as stewards of planet Earth.

We have curated a list of some of our favorite books that celebrate the beauty, complexity and importance of caring for the place we call home. Each and every one of these books can be used to facilitate conversations about the natural world, environmental activism, and climate justice, and are appropriate for a wide range of ages.

We have selected ten of our favorites to share in greater detail below, and have indicated whether they are fiction or nonfiction. You can read about all of our selections on our Bookshop page.

In addition to this book list, we want to share a quick and easy art craft that uses mostly recycled materials. We chose to make rainbows but you can also have children complete the same process using Earth templates, or even tree and flower ones to celebrate Earth Day!


  • Cardboard, cereal boxes, or brown paper bags cut into the shape of your choice

  • Colored collage paper (we used torn scrapbook paper, pre-cut color squares, and ripped construction paper)

  • Buttons

  • Pom poms

  • Glue

Children will each start out with a cardboard template and a selection of colored collage paper. Again, we chose to make rainbows, but Earths and other things found in nature would turn out wonderful as well.

We sorted the paper ahead of time so that our young students could easily select whichever colors they wanted to work with. It’s also fun to invite kids to sort the colors, though - this process promotes collaboration amongst peers and language development related to color knowledge.

Next, children will cover their entire template in glue and get to work! It is fascinating to see how students interpret the project - you’re likely to see some who very precisely place items in ROYGBIV, and others who could care less about the “rules.” No matter how they approach the project, each and every child will make something unique and beautiful.

If you give this project a try, we’d love to see the completed works of art! You can tag us (@madisonreadingproject) in your photos online and they may be shared on our social media.

Books Recommendations on Sharing Planet Earth:

What Can You Do With a Rock?

Author: Pat Zietlow Miller | Illustrator: Katie Kath | Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky