Books to Inspire Activism

Explore new picture books that are fun and inspiring for your youngest readers.

This Story Is Not About a Kitten

This Story Is Not About a Kitten By Randall de Sève; illustrated by Carson Ellis

A heartwarming picture book about a neighborhood coming together to help a kitten find a home, from a New York Times bestselling author and a Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator.

Contrary to what you may believe, this story is not about a kitten, hungry and dirty, scared and alone, needing a home. It is also not about the dog who heard the kitten meowing sadly. Even less so about the woman and child walking the dog, who stopped when their dog heard the kitten. Nor is it about the friends who brought a box for the kitten, or the man who offered it some milk. No, this story is not about a kitten at all—well, maybe a little—but more importantly this is a story about community, compassion, and generosity. 

Randall de Sève’s thoughtful and warm story is sure to fill readers of all ages with hope and the warm fuzzy feeling that rescuing animals brings. Wonderfully complemented by Carson Ellis’s breathtaking illustrations, this book is sure to be cherished by animal-loving readers everywhere!

Brave Every Day

Brave Every Day By Trudy Ludwig; illustrated by Patrice Barton

From social-emotional learning expert Trudy Ludwig and award-winning picture book illustrator Patrice Barton (co-creators of The Invisible Boy) comes a story about managing anxiety and finding the courage to stand up for yourself and others.

Most kids love hide-and-seek, but Camila just wants to hide. Hiding is what she does best when she worries, and she worries a LOT.What if... I can’t... I’m scared!
A class trip to the aquarium causes her worries to pile up like never before. But when an anxious classmate asks for help, Camila discovers that her heart is bigger than her fears.
From social-emotional learning expert Trudy Ludwig and award-winning illustrator Patrice Barton, this tale of courage and compassion will embolden readers to face their own fears.
“A sweet and powerful gem of a book sure to help young worriers.” –Dawn Huebner, PhD, author of What to Do When You Worry Too Much

Hug a Bug

Hug a Bug By Bonnie Worth; illustrated by Aristides Ruiz

Join the Lorax—Dr. Seuss's beloved icon of environmentalism—as he introduces children to nine insects currently endangered by human activity. An empowering book that teaches kids simple actions they can take to help protect and save them!

I am the Lorax
and I’ve come here to say
that some bugs need our help
(and they need it TODAY)!


This rhymed easy-reader narrated by the Lorax explains how insects are vital to life on Earth, and how some of them—including bumble bees, ladybugs, monarch butterflies, and dragonflies—are threatened with extinction. Young children will learn how these common backyard insects help humans to survive (by pollinating our crops, for example), and how humans—including kids—can make simple changes that will help these insect species to survive as well!
 
Illustrated with bright, cheerful art and full-color photographs, Hug a Bug includes suggestions on growing native plants, reducing energy use to combat climate change, a list of recommended Web sites, glossary, index, and instructions for building a simple bee house. It's a perfect choice to nurture a love and respect for the natural world—as well as a love of reading!

Hair to Share

Hair to Share By Sylvia Walker

A joyful exploration of friendship, generosity, and confidence that comes from within.

A fresh take on celebrating the beauty of natural textured hair, HAIR TO SHARE tackles the difficulty of childhood medical hair loss and the impact empathy and generosity can have on one's self-esteem. 
 
Suri was born with more hair than anyone had ever seen on a baby.  As she grew, so did her hair until it eventually reached all the way down to her knees! But when she makes a new friend a girl who has no hair, Suri wants to find a way to help feel comfortable and confident. 
 
Complete with backmatter addressing the many causes of medical hairloss, how to support kids managing hair loss, and how to donate or receive natural hair wigs, this sweet story is the embodiment of generosity and self love.
 




 

One Turtle's Last Straw

One Turtle's Last Straw By Elisa Boxer; illustrated by Marta Álvarez Miguéns

The inspiring true story of how one small turtle and kids all over the country sparked an environmental movement. Based on the viral video that created awareness of the harm caused by plastic straws, this heart-wrenching story is a perfect tool for teaching children about sustainability.

Slurp! A boy finishes his drink and tosses it in the trash, straw and all. He moves on without another thought....
 
In the waters off of Costa Rica, scientists spot an endangered sea turtle and pull him aboard to study him. But he has something stuck in his nose. A barnacle? A stick? No...it's a plastic straw!
 
This heroic story of one turtle's rescue reminds us that even the smallest straw can hurt our ocean life--and that the smallest demand for change can grow into something big!

Random House Teachers and Librarians