Children's Books about Black Female Environmentalists

Children's Books about Black Female Environmentalists

March 05, 2023

Children's books about black female environmentalists promote diversity and inclusion in the environmental movement and our children’s libraries. Here are three books that are the inspiration behind TuTu Goes Green by Tulani Thomas, which teaches children how to live eco-friendly everyday through the fictitious character named TuTu. 

One such book is “Planting The Trees of Kenya” by Claire A. Nivola. This picture book tells the story of Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan environmental activist and the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement, an organization focused on planting trees and promoting sustainable development in rural Kenya. The book is a beautiful tribute to Maathai's life and work, and is a great introduction to the importance of environmental protection and activism.


“Planting The Trees of Kenya” by Claire A. Nivola. Book Cover


Another important children's book about a female Black environmentalist is "The Water Princess" by Susan Verde. This picture book tells the story of Princess Gie Gie, a young girl who lives in a village in Africa and must travel long distances every day to fetch water for her family. The book is based on the real-life experiences of supermodel Georgie Badiel, who grew up in Burkina Faso and now works to promote clean water access in Africa. The book highlights the importance of clean water access, and also touches on issues such as gender inequality and poverty.

Water Princess Book Cover

"One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia" by Miranda Paul is another picture book about a Black environmentalist.  It tells the story of Isatou Ceesay, a Gambian woman who started a recycling program in her village to reduce plastic waste. The book is aimed at middle-grade readers and includes both text and illustrations, as well as historical context that helps readers understand the importance of Merian's work.

Children's books about female Black environmentalists are an important way to promote diversity and inclusion in eco-friendly living and to teach young readers about the important work of black activists and scientists.  These books are a great way to inspire young readers to think about the environment and to consider their own role in protecting our planet Earth.