Books About Seas, Trees & a Gentle Breeze

It is a wonderful time to enjoy the feel of sand beneath our feet and the smell of the ocean as the breeze wafts it over us. Or to feel warm rain drops as they splash on our cheeks. To listen to them plinking off of roofs and windows. All as we enjoy the smell of petrichor rising from the grass. If the last few years have taught us anything at all, it’s that small moments are worth relishing. It’s good to be outside no matter the weather. And that we can accomplish great things when we work together. Here are some books to get that feeling.

1st of the Books: The Great Global Pause

The first story really highlights those truths. The Great Global Pause by Maggie Reidy and illustrated by Andrew Sharp (Self-Published/FriesenPress, 2021). This book looks back over the pandemic through the eyes of Grandmother Turtle and a young child. They talk about how this pause helped humans learn to appreciate each other and work together, and how it helped the environment rebalance itself. As an added bonus, Reidy is a Registered Clinical Counsellor, so she wrote different coping tools and advice throughout the story without pulling the reader out of the tale. For ages 5 to 9.

2nd of the Books: Whales to the Rescue

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Another book that takes place in the ocean is Whales to the Rescue by Adrienne Mason and illustrated by Kim Smith (Kids Can Press, 2022). This is a non-fiction book all about whales and the unique ways they help us save the environment. Unlike many non-fiction books about whales, Whales to the Rescue doesn’t feature photographs. But the phenomenally detailed illustrations are rich with colour and vibrant with life. They are fantastic, and it is worth getting the book just to look at the pictures. For ages 8 to 12.

3rd: The Forest Keeper

Now it’s time to move on to stories about trees. The first is a The Forest Keeper by Rina Singh and illustrated by Ishita Jain (North South, 2023). This true story happened in India. Every year during the monsoon season the river spills over its banks wrecking havoc on the plant life and taking the soil with it (before depositing new soil as it recedes). One year, in 1979 a 16-year-old boy decides to do something to protect the land he loves. However, his elders wouldn’t help him, and the government was too busy to do anything except give him a bag of bamboo seedlings to plant on his own. Returning home, he picked an abandoned sandbar and began his lifelong work of growing a forest. For ages 4 to 7.

4th: Elinor Wonders Why: Forest Giants

The second book about trees is Elinor Wonders Why: Forest Giants by Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson (Kids Can Press, 2020). This graphic novel, based off of the TV show by the same name, is bright, colourful and filled with facts about trees. If your child is a budding forest ecologist, or even just a bit curious about how tall trees can grow and why they don’t fall over like a tower of blocks (which is also a question they answer in the book), they will enjoy this story. For ages 4 to 7.

5th: Our Green City

Finally, to round it out is Our Green City by Tanya Lloyd Kyi and illustrated by Colleen Larmour (Kids Can Press, 2022). The point of this book is to show children that living green doesn’t just happen in the wild spaces like the ocean or deserted riverbed. It can also happen within our cities. Our Green City teaches children the many ways that cities can be green. From using wind power to community gardens to safe active transportation. Each page ends with a question for you and your child to discuss or a clue for something to find within Larmours illustrations. For ages 4 to 7.

And there you have it. Five new books for you to enjoy this summer to remind your children that learning and fun can happen together. I hope you find something to inspire you in the pages of these five books. I really enjoyed learning about plants, animals and city planning as I was reading them.

Christina Van Starkenberg
Christina Van Starkenberg
Christina Van Starkenburg lives in Victoria with her husband, children, and cat. She is the author of One Tiny Turtle: A Story You Can Colour and many articles. To read more of her work and learn about her upcoming books, check out her website at