Showing kids the practical importance of sustainability and looking after their natural resources can start from a young age, through picture books, storytelling and engaging activities. Earth Day is celebrated on 22 April, and is a call to look after our environment and restore the earth. 

Story Box Library has put together a selection of stories to engage children in environmental themes over the autumn school holidays, in the lead up to Earth Day and beyond, forming a lifelong practice of tending to the environment around them in kind and understanding ways. 

Story Box Library connects educators, librarians and families with a world of stories by extending your physical collection, getting young readers excited about reading and making learning fun. After watching digital stories in our Environment and Nature collection, young readers can borrow the books at their public library or school library, and leave a bookmark review for the next borrower to discover!

Join the reading challenge in four easy steps, and download a full pack of Earth Day Holiday Reading Challenge resources, including reading checklist, bookmarks and certificate of completion.

Four ways to participate in the Earth Day Holiday Reading Challenge:

  1. Watch the story read.

  2. Learn more with Short Films.

  3. Play with Activity Time.

  4. Borrow and discover more!

Explore stories below with children and participate in the Earth Day Holiday Reading Challenge:

One Thousand Trees: Read by tree-hugger extraordinaire and actor Trevor Jamieson, One Thousand Trees is a thought-provoking celebration of the natural world that examines our wonderful trees from every angle.

The River: The River takes the reader on a journey of what their eyes can see and their ears can hear. See green ants crawling, hear frogs croaking, a goanna running, a fish splashing... 

My Country: A story inspired by author Ezekiel Kwaymullina's grandmothers, who passed on their love of country to him. Ezekiel's simple, yet beautiful words create an image of what it would have been like for his grandmothers as young Indigenous girls, playing in their country without a care in the world. 

Last Tree in the City: A poignant tale about the environment and the way children relate to its beauty, asking children of interesting or funny places where they might plant a tree to make the world just a little bit better.

Benny Bungarra’s Big Bush Clean-Up: When the animals work as a team to come up with ways to look after the bush, they decide to ask the humans to REDUCE, RECYCLE and use RUBBISH BINS. But it is Benny Bungarra who has the bright idea of a BIG BUSH CLEAN-UP so the animals can also help look after the bush.

All I Want for Christmas is Rain: Dedicated to Aussie farmers, and an antidote to the commercialism of Christmas, All I Want For Christmas is Rain is an uplifting story about one girl's selfless desire to ease the strain on her family and community at this special time of the year. 

Little Bird’s Day: A simple, universal story of a day in the life of Little Bird as she sings the world alive, flies with Cloud, travels with Wind, nestles with Moon and dreams of flying among the stars.

Florette: A gloriously gentle story containing a very powerful message that adapting to change takes time, and that we can all find a bit of green in our lives.

Owl Know How: Cornelia Rabbit and her best friend Orvi awaken one morning to find their magical home has begun to sink.

Water Witcher: Through the story of one family, Water Witcher brings to life the experience and difficulties of drought-stricken rural Australia during the Depression era.

Patchwork Bike: Jump aboard The Patchwork Bike and celebrate the childhood freedom and joy of owning and riding a bike! Maxine Beneba Clarke's sparse yet evocative text is delightfully vibrant with irrepressible energy and exuberance. 

A Walk in the Bush: A story about the wonders of nature, the funny side of life and spending time with the ones we love. Grandad and Iggy delight in the sights, sounds and smells they encounter on their walk and we learn about some fascinating aspects of the flora and fauna they come across.

Our Little Inventor: Far from Nell's home in the countryside, the Big City is growing more polluted every day - and Nell has a brilliant mind and an ingenious invention. She sets off on the long journey, only to find that the problem is far worse than she'd imagined. But Nell is determined to succeed.

Discover more stories about the environment and sustainability on Story Box Library.

For further school holiday ideas, take a look at our Anzac Day Holiday Reading Challenge.