Animal Books & Crafts for Earth Day


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books (digital for stories and physical for crafts) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Happy Earth Day! I am one who believes every day is Earth Day but today is the day the world celebrates this amazing planet and the nature that fills it. To celebrate today I am sharing three new children's books about animals with perfect messages for Earth Day and craft round-ups to go with them as well as two craft books with animal themes. We will start with the first two books. They are from the Surviving Wild series by Remy Lai. The series are graphic novels for ages 6 to 9. The first is Surviving the Wild: Rainbow the Koala

From the Publisher:

Planet Earth meets Narwhal and Jelly in this funny and suspenseful early reader graphic novel series featuring heroic animals surviving in the perilous wilderness! Inspired by true events, the book includes facts about climate change, koalas, and how kids can help protect the environment.

Rainbow the Koala is ready to go off and live on his own―or so his mom says. But Rainbow is scared! The kookaburra bird cackles at him and he struggles to find a tree to call his home. As scorching heat takes hold and Rainbow runs out of water, he'll soon face his most dangerous test: surviving a bush fire.

From Me:

This book shares the story of Rainbow the young koala. It shares about koalas as well from the point of view of Rainbow. He is ready to venture out on his own but the forest fire hits. Since there is an emergency he does what his mother taught him to do--climb a tree. This is not the best thing to do when there is a forest fire however. 

The story is based off a real one from the many fires that burned in Australia in 2019-2020. At the end of the book it shares the real details and explains a bit what happened as well as some of the science behind the nature in the forest there. It also gives ideas on how to help stop global warming that kids can actually do!

Koala Crafts & Books

To go with Rainbow the Koala I am sharing some koala crafts we have made or from craft books we have shared in the past as well as a couple of other books featuring koalas.

1) TP Roll Koala

2) Knitted Koala

3) Needle Felted Koalas

4) Koala by Claire Saxby

5) K is for Kissing a Cool Kangaroo by Giles Andreae

Be sure to check out the origami koala face below!.

The second book is Surviving the Wild: Star the Elephant

From the Publisher:

Planet Earth meets Narwhal and Jelly in this funny and suspenseful young reader graphic novel adventure series featuring heroic animals! Inspired by true events, the book includes facts about climate change, elephants, and how kids can help protect the environment.

"A heartening and pensive story, told through irresistibly charming art, Star the Elephant is an utter delight." ―John Patrick Green, New York Times-bestselling creator of InvestiGators

Star the Elephant and his herd are searching for a new home. But when Star is separated from his family, he must journey alone into the great unknown. He'll come face to face with giant spiders, the vast ocean beyond his island, and strange humans. Can Star find his way back to his family?

From Me:

This book tells the story about a sweet young elephant who is with his mother and aunt. They separate from the other elephants in their herd because the food is getting scarce. Everywhere they turn they seem to run into humans whom they are very scared of. They are always trying to run away from the humans but also to find food. 

What I love about this book is it tells the story from the point of view of the young elephant. Then at the end of the book it shares the "true story". It goes into how deforestation happens and what it is. It shares the reasons deforestation happens as well as information about the other animals in the story. The story is based on a real-life story of animals. In the end they are brought to an elephant sanctuary and are safe. This book is perfect for Earth Day as it stresses how humans are destroying the habitats of wild animals. 

Elephant Crafts:

To go with this book, I am sharing our past elephant crafts as well as elephant crafts from craft books we have shared in the past. For an amazing book about elephants be sure to check out our review of Grandmother Elephant's In Charge. Also check out our review of Howl Like a Wolf for more elephant fun!

1) Party Blower Elephants

2) Paper Plate Elephant Mask (Gerald from Piggie and Elephant series)

3) Origami Elephant Head and a different one here

4) Needle Felted Elephant Pull Toy

5) Needle Felted Mini Elephant

6) Knitted Elephant

Our next book is a picture book that has a sweet story about hedgehogs and enjoying nature. It is Big Hedgehog and Little Hedgehog Take an Evening Stroll by Britta Teckentrup. It is being released in the United States in May. It is recommended for ages 3 to 7.

From the Publisher:

One of the masters of children’s picture books returns with a simple and lovely story about taking one’s time. Teckentrup’s spacious, textured collages, brushed with soft color and populated by a pair of charming hedgehogs, convey the beauty of a natural setting, and the comforting bond between caregiver and child.

It is evening and the big and little hedgehog are slowly making their way home. There is so much to see, and the little one wants to take it all in. Each step of the way the big hedgehog patiently asks, “What are we waiting for now?” The little hedgehog’s answers unfold in a series of lush landscapes as the two animals wait for the sun to set, for birds to fly by, for the moon and stars to appear, and for the world around them to prepare for sleep. At last, the little hedgehog is also asleep, carried home in the big hedgehog’s arms. Perfect for naptime, bedtime—or for any time that asks that we take a moment and slow down–Teckentrup’s signature combination of simple text and soothing illustration will appeal to readers young and old.

From Me:

This is a sweet story about a little hedgehog and his guardian. It is perfect for bedtime. It however has underlying messages. Little Hedgehog wants to wait to see the sunset, the moon come out and more. It has the message of slowing down and being mindful. Little Hedgehog needs to stop to smell the flowers and say good night to his animal friends. He enjoys the nature all around him. He sees, hears, and smells the world around him during the stroll. He is enjoying Earth which is why I am putting it as one of my books for Earth Day. 

The illustrations are beautiful, and the story is one that will be read and read again. It is just a sweet book that I know kids and adults will love.

Hedgehog Crafts:

To go with this book I found all the hedgehog crafts we have made or have books that have them in it. 

1) Pom Pom Hedgehog

2) Miniature Knitted Hedgehog

3) Knitted Hedgehog

4) Felt Hedgehog Phone Case

5) Needle Felted Hedgehog Pin Cushion

6) The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog and Other How To Poems by Paul B. Janeczko

Our last two books are craft books. The first is Realistic Origami Animals by Fumiaki Kawahata.

From the Publisher:

Create miniature versions of your favorite creatures!

Realistic Origami Animals shows you how to create 32 exquisite paper animals designed by renowned origami master, Fumiaki Kawahata. This diverse collection features many unusual models that will bring your origami skills to the next level and help you to explore the endless possibilities of paper folding.

This full-color book has detailed, step-by-step instructions showing you exactly how to fold each of the 32 impressive animals, including:
  • Bison--A sturdy model with a distinctive hump and a beard
  • Elk--Boasts an impressive rack of antlers in a contrasting color
  • Flying Squirrel--A kinetic piece captured mid-flight with its "wings" outstretched
  • Dachshund--An adorable "stretched" pup who makes an amusing companion
  • Kangaroo--A muscular marsupial with a sweet little joey peeking out from its pouch
  • Gorilla--A powerful presence with a furrowed brow that will make you think twice before going too close
  • And many more!
Kawahata's clever projects draw their realism from unique and innovative folding patterns--no wet folding required!

From Me:

This book is full of some fun animal origami. The projects are rated with stars with one star the easiest and four stars the hardest. Since our children's books included one with koalas, I thought I would try the koala head project.

This project was rated two stars. I found the directions pretty easy to follow, but they definitely assumed I had some knowledge of origami. There were spots where I needed to flip the project over that were not marked. Fumiaki tends to have you get all the creases in the project made before the actual project gets folded. I also begin the elephant project which is three stars but stopped because I got confused and didn't have a lot of time. 

I love that the book has different levels of projects and so many different animals. I do not think this book is great for a beginner but is perfect for someone with some understanding of origami techniques. 

Our final book is Charming Quilted Animals by Yoko Saito.

From the Publisher:

Create adorable animal applique with this sweet and whimsical hand-quilting patchwork pattern book.

From favorite critters like perky penguins, smiling lions and gangly giraffes to unexpected friends like jellyfish, vultures and a unicorn, this book includes an animal for each letter of the alphabet.

In Charming Quilted Animals, world-renowned quilt artist Yoko Saito shows you how to:
  • Make over 40 different animal appliques
  • Create 26 animal patches--from A-Z
  • Incorporate the animals in 25 unique projects
  • Implement essential quilting techniques

Make fun items like a tapestry incorporating all the animals, a clasp purse, pin cushion, accessory tray, pencil case and tote bag for the kids in your life--or the kid in you! This charming collection of designs is accessible to quilters of all skill levels.

A generous how-to section with photographic illustrations takes you through the basics of hand quilting, while instructions and diagrams for each project show you how to assemble your pieces from start to finish. You'll also find large pull-out tracing sheets containing templates for all the animals and elements used in these projects.

There's no limit to what you can do with these playful animal appliques. Let Charming Quilted Animals inspire you to add touches of whimsical wildlife to your quilted designs.

From Me:

I have not pulled out my fabric and sewing machine to try any of the animals yet, but I love that the book includes animals from A to Z and you can make an alphabet quilt with them. It also includes smaller projects. It has many bags, pouches, book covers and more. It even has an Elephant Accessories Holder. 

The book come with pull-out, double-sided, full-sized sheets of patterns. The instructions seem easy to follow but I have not done one yet to be sure. The projects seem fun and adorable with the animals. What a perfect way to celebrate our Earth by celebrating some of the wildlife that lives on it.

I hope you get outside and enjoy our wonderful planet and all of the nature that fills it. Be sure to check out these great books! Happy Earth Day!