Though 2021 has felt much like a rollercoaster ride, it carried some pleasant things with it as well. A wonderful selection of children’s books for tiny activists for one thing!

These children’s books are giving us hope for the future as they encourage the youngest generations to do better than we did. Introducing difficult topics to them at a young age to begin teaching them as soon as possible.

2021 may have been filled with more scares and worries amongst other climate and political concerns, but these books are a great distractio for parents and children alike.

1. The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees is a picture book that explores the wonderful world of bees in everything from their anatomy to why they are important to the ecosystem. It’s such a fun and educational way to show children why we need to protect these mighty pollinators!

You can buy the book here.

2. The Tree in Me

This 2021 book filled with poetic text and illustrations of children basking in nature highlights our spiritual connection to the world around us. The Tree in Me focuses on our roots in nature and how our lives are intertwined with other people’s lives.

Like trees, we spread our branches and lay down our roots. The Tree in Me uses this beautiful connection to touch on self-esteem, personal growth, and the importance of connecting with our communities.

This is a thought-provoking read that is sure to be a conversation starter with your young ones. You can purchase the book here.

3. Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race

Our Skin is a beautifully formatted book meant to help parents start the conversation about race and racism with children.

This 2021 book is created in a way that even small children can understand, giving parents a way to start the discussion around racism in a safe and meaningful way.

This is just one of the “first conversations” books that can help parents approach difficult discussions. Yes! No?: A First Conversation About Consent and Being You: A First Conversation About Gender are also part of the series. Both bring up important topics such as gender identity and consent.

You can buy Our Skin here.

4. The Last Bear

The Last Bear is a 2021 book that takes a journey with April as she visits Bear Island with her father, who is doing scientific research. He tells her that there are no polar bears left on Bear Island, but April sees a bear all by themself.

The lone polar bear is hungry and lonely and in need of a friend. The story tells a beautiful tale of friendship and adventure as April and the polar bear take you along for the ride.

The book also shows off some beautiful illustrations as well as information on the real Bear Island and the plight of the polar bears.

The book is a great way to teach young readers about the importance of saving this amazing species. You can purchase the book here.

5. Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem

Change Sings, created by presidential inaugural poet and activist Amanda Gorman teaches children that anything is possible when we put our voices together.

The book, full of breathtaking illustrations, follows the story of one young girl who leads the other characters on a musical journey. It teaches them that they can make a difference in the world around them – whether that be big, small, internal, or external.

It comes with the message that everyone’s voice can make a difference and create a lasting impact, encouraging children to use their voices to fight the injustice around them.

You can purchase the book here.

6. Zonia’s Rain Forest

Zonia’s Rain Forest follows a young girl in the rainforest of Peru, where the forest calls to her each morning for new adventures.

It focuses on her unique and beautiful relationship with the nature around her as she visits the animals that live there and revels in its beauty.

The beautifully illustrated book also gives information on the Peru rainforest and the Asháninka community that lives there, while highlighting the important issues of conservation.

You can buy the book here.

7. Livi and the Story of the Sausage Roll

Livi and the Story of the Sausage Roll focuses on a little girl and her plant, planet, and paw friends, the PPP crew.

Livi meets Ella, a daring little pig that dreams of playing in the mud and living her adventure instead of living on a factory farm.

Will Ella escape to live her dream? This story follows this exciting adventure, teaching children along the way about the importance of caring for the creatures around us, big or small.

You can buy the book here.

8. We Are Still Here!: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know

We Are Still Here teaches children much of the information about Native Americans that is left out of traditional education.

It highlights many parts of history that schools don’t teach, and thus, children grow up without learning.

It touches on important topics around the history of Native Americans and how they were treated in the past. It also highlights the present struggles that indigenous people face.

You can buy the book here.

9. The More We Get Together

This preschool-level book is filled with bright and eye-catching illustrations with text that creates a kid-friendly rhythm.

The More We Get Together follows a group of children as they work together to clean up their neighborhood and make it beautiful and clean again.

It teaches children the importance of keeping the earth clean and taking responsibility. You can buy the book here.

10. The Water Lady: How Darlene Arviso Helps a Thirsty Navajo Nation

The Water Lady focuses on a Native American woman who provides water to the Navajo reservation, where the families are regularly without water.

The picture book tells the true story of the woman who, every day, makes it her mission to bring fresh water to the Navajo families so that they can take care of themselves. It is a beautiful story about taking care of one’s community and lending a helping hand. It also spreads awareness about the plight of many Native American reservations.

You can purchase the book here.

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