Pacific Northwest Earth Books for Children

Jonathan Betz-Zall, ecolibrarian

To find which library near you has each book, just click on the book's "Find in a Library" link and put in your home zip code.

Bash, Barbara. Ancient Ones : The World of the Old-Growth Douglas Fir. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books for Children, 1994. Gr. 2-6.
In the Pacific Northwest, a Douglas fir seedling reaches skyward, grows to 300 feet and lives for five centuries as part of a complex community of many animals and plants. Find in a Library

Baxter, John M. Salmon. Stillwater, MN : Voyageur Press, 2000. Gr 9-12.
The main species of salmon, their evolution, life cycles, migration, and threats to their existence. Find in a Library

Behler, Deborah A. The Rain Forests of the Pacific Northwest. New York: Benchmark Books, 2001. Gr 5-10.
The layers of ecosystem elements from the high canopy to the forest floor, plus the impact of logging and restoration efforts. Find in a Library

Cole, Joanna. Scholastic's The Magic School Bus Goes Upstream : A Book About Salmon Migration. New York : Scholastic, 1997. Gr. 3-6.
Ms. Frizzle’s class takes the Magic School Bus for a salmon run to learn how salmon find their way home. Find in a Library

Cone, Molly. Come Back Salmon. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books for Children, 1992. Gr. 4-8.
A fifth grade class works to restore the once-abundant salmon to Pigeon Creek in Everett, Washington. Find in a Library

Davis, Wendy. Douglas Fir. New York: Children’s Press, 1997. Gr. K-3.
This brief introduction to old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest follows a Douglas fir tree's life cycle, including its vital role after death. Find in a Library

Dunphy, Madeleine. Here Is the Arctic Winter. New York: Hyperion, 1993. Gr. K-2.
The cumulative, rhythmic text introduces a number of the plants and animals of the Arctic winter, including polar bears, seals, and snowy owls. Find in a Library

Dwyer, Mindy. Salmon Princess: An Alaska Cinderella Story. Seattle, WA: Sasquatch, 2004. Gr. 2-4.
An Alaskan adaptation of the European Cinderella story, with strong connections with the real life of European-Americans in Alaska. Find in a Library

Franklin, Kristine L. The Gift. San Francisco, CA : Chronicle Books, 1999.
Although some in town consider the Fish Woman a witch, a young boy goes fishing with her and not only catches, and gives away, his first salmon, but sees a pod of whales close up. Find in a Library

Gill, Shelley, Swimmer. Homer, Alaska : Paws IV Pub., 1995. Gr. K-3.
Swimmer, the Chinook salmon, journeys over 10,000 miles to complete her life cycle, while Katya, the native Alaskan girl, comes of age in her small village along the coast. Find in a Library

Goldin, Barbara. The Girl Who Lived with the Bears. San Diego : Harcourt Brace, 1997. Gr. 1-4.
In this retelling of a traditional tale of the Pacific Northwest, a young girl is captured by the Bear People after insulting them. Find in a Library

Guiberson, Brenda. Salmon Story. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1995. Gr. 4-7.
The salmon life cycle, the history of human exploitation, the difficulties posed by human-created obstacles and the methods scientists use to learn more about salmon. Find in a Library

Guiberson, Brenda. Spotted Owl: Bird of the Ancient Forest. New York : H. Holt, 1994. Gr. 3-6.
Plants and animals of the Old Growth Forest ecosystem, and the economic issues raised by protecting them. Find in a Library

Hirschi, Ron. People of Salmon and Cedar. New York : Cobblehill Books, 1996. Gr. 3-6.
Focuses on the salmon, the forests, and the cultural expression known as the potlatch. Find in a Library

Hirschi, Ron. Salmon. Minneapolis : Carolrhoda Books, 2001. Gr. 4-7.
Examines the anatomy, habitat, behavior, life cycle, and legends of the fish. Find in a Library

Hodge, Deborah. Salmon. Toronto : Kids Can Press, 2002. Gr. 3-5.
The anatomy and life cycles of Atlantic and Pacific salmon and all subspecies. Find in a Library

Hogan, Paula Z. The Salmon. Milwaukee : Raintree Childrens Books, 1979. Gr. K-3.
A simple explanation of the life cycle of a salmon. Find in a Library

Hoyt-Goldsmith, Diane. Potlatch: a Tsimshian Celebration. New York : Holiday House, 1997. Gr. 4-6.
Describes the potlatch traditions of the Tsimshian Indians of Metlakatla, Alaska. Find in a Library

Killingsworth, Monte. Circle within a Circle. Margaret K. McElderry, 1994. Gr. 7-9.
Chris, a 14-year-old orphan fleeing a disastrous foster home, meets Chopper, a Chinook Indian on a mission to stop development of a sacred piece of land. At first Chopper helps Chris by involving him and making him feel a part of something larger than himself, but later Chris helps Chopper complete his task. Find in a Library

Lebox, Annette. Salmon Creek. Toronto : Douglas & McIntyre, 2002. Gr. K-2.
Sumi, a coho salmon, travels down river to the ocean, becomes a fully mature fish swimming in the great seas, and determinedly returns up river to her birthplace to spawn. Find in a Library

Levy, Constance. Splash!: poems of our watery world. New York : Orchard Books, 2002. Gr. 2-6.
More than thirty poems celebrate water in its myriad forms, from the ocean to a droplet of dew. Find in a Library

Lewis, Paul Owen. Frog Girl. Hillsboro, Or. : Beyond Words Pub., 1997. Gr. 1-4.
When the frogs suddenly vanish from the lake behind her village, a young Native American girl is led to the frog village underneath the lake and learns what she must do to save both the frogs and her own people. Find in a Library

Lewis, Paul Owen. Storm Boy. Hillsboro, Or. : Beyond Words Pub., 1995. Gr. 1-4.
A story drawn from Haida Indian literary tradition in which a boy falls from his canoe into a world of eighteen-foot tall humanlike creatures who welcome him and eventually return him to his village. Find in a Library

Locker, Thomas, Water Dance. San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1997. Gr. 1-6.
The well-known landscape artist explains the water cycle using romantic style paintings of the Catskill Mountains as a visual lesson. Find in a Library

McDermott, Gerald. Raven. San Diego : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1993. Gr. 1-4.
When Raven, a Pacific Coast Indian trickster, flies over mountains, valleys, and lakes, he discovers that light is being kept hidden inside the house of the Sky Chief, and cleverly finds a way to bring light to the world. Find in a Library

McFarlane, Sheryl and Ken Campbell. Tides of Change: Faces of the Northwest Coast. Custer, WA: Orca Book Publishers, 1995. Gr. 1-3.
Pictures a variety of people at work in the Pacific Coast areas of Canada. Find in a Library

McMillan, Bruce. Salmon Summer. Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998. Gr. 2-5.
A photo essay describing a young Aleut [native Alaskan] boy fishing for salmon on Kodiak Island as his ancestors have done for generations. Find in a Library

Murphy, Claire. The Prince and the Salmon People. New York : Rizzoli, 1993. Gr. 5-7.
When the salmon stop coming to his village, a Tsimshian prince travels to the world of the Spring Salmon People and discovers the vital connection between the human and animal worlds. Find in a Library

Parkin, Tom. Green Giants: Rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. Buffalo NY: Firefly Books, 1992. Gr. 4-8.
Documents the nature of rainforests, beginning with the threat of clearcutting and proceeding to cover trees, other plants, and animals. Particularly well-designed with many color photos. Find in a Library

Patent, Dorothy. Garden of the spirit bear: life in the great northern rainforest. New York : Clarion Books, 2004. Gr. 3-5.
The story of the Spirit Bear, a rare type of black bear of the British Columbia forests, illustrates basic information about the structure of old-growth forests and the flora and fauna found in different layers from canopy to forest floor. Find in a Library

Rand, Gloria, Prince William. New York: Henry Holt, 1992. Gr. K-4
After an oil spill covers Prince William Sound, a little girl rescues a baby seal and helps get him ready to go back to his natural home. Find in a Library

Rapp, Valerie. Life in a River. Minneapolis : Lerner Publications Co., 2003. Gr. 6-9.
Examines the physical features, processes, and many different species of plants and animals that make up the Columbia River ecosystem. Find in a Library

Reed-Jones, Carol. Salmon Stream. Nevada City, CA : Dawn Publications, 2000. Gr. 1-3.
Written in cumulative verse like “The House that Jack Built”, follows the salmon’s journal from natal stream to ocean and back. Find in a Library

Reed-Jones, Carol. The Tree in the Ancient Forest. Nevada City, CA : Dawn Publications, 1995. Gr. K-2.
Many winged and furred creatures live in and around an ancient tree in the Pacific Northwest old-growth forest. Find in a Library

Salonen, Roxane. First Salmon. Honesdale, PA. : Boyds Mills Press, 2005. Gr. 2-5.
During the ceremony of First Salmon, an event celebrated by the Northwest Pacific tribes to honor and welcome back the salmon each year, Charlie remembers his beloved uncle and starts the process of accepting his death. Find in a Library

Seuss, Dr., The Lorax. New York: Random House, 1971. Gr. K-3
The Lorax, who speaks for the truffula trees, tries to restrain the owner of the business that consumes the trees to make clothing. When all the trees are gone and only waste products are left, the remorseful owner sells his story to a young boy and encourages him to plant trees to restore the damage. Find in a Library

Siebert, Diane, Sierra. New York: HarperCollins, 1991. Gr. K-2
One of the Sierra Nevada Mountains speaks of all the life that she supports and the beauty of her fellow mountains. Find in a Library

Silverstein, Alvin, Virginia and Robert. The Spotted Owl. Brookfield, Conn. : Millbrook Press, 1994. Gr. 3-6.
The importance of one bird as an indicator species of forest health. Find in a Library

Sjoholm, Barbara, Clear Spring. New York: Feminist Press, 2002. Gr. 5-7.
Racially-mixed Willa and her friends uncover an ecological mystery on a visit to her non-traditional family members in Seattle. Find in a Library

Sloat, Teri. There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Trout. New York : H. Holt, 1998. Gr. K-2.
Set on the coast of the Pacific Northwest, this variation on the traditional cumulative rhyme describes the silly consequences of an old woman's fishy diet. Find in a Library

Smithyman, Kathryn. Nations of the Northwest Coast. New York: Crabtree Pub. Co., 2004. Gr. 5-8.
Explores how the waters, mountains, and forests of the Pacific Northwest have provided food and shelter for groups such as the Tlingit, the Haida, and the Kwakiutl for thousands of years. Find in a Library

Suzuki, David, Salmon Forest. New York: GreyStone Books, 2003. Gr. K-2.
A wise father takes his daughter on a fishing trip, showing her the Salmon Story. Find in a Library

Swanson, Diane. Safari Beneath the Sea: the Wonder World of the North Pacific Coast. San Francisco : Sierra Club Books for Children, 1994. Gr. 4-8.
Color photographs portray underwater animals and plants of the Pacific Northwest. Find in a Library

Winkelman, Barbara. Sockeye's journey home : the story of a Pacific salmon. Norwalk, CT: Soundprints, 2000. Gr. K-3.
Swimming against the current and avoiding fishing nets and predators, Sockeye Salmon travels from the Pacific Ocean through Puget Sound, the Ballard Locks Canal, Lake Union, Lake Washington, and up the Cedar River to return to his birthplace and spawn. Find in a Library

Wisniewski, David. The Wave of the Sea-Wolf.New York : Clarion Books, 1994. Gr. 1-4.
Kchokeen, a Tlingit princess, is rescued from drowning by a guardian spirit that later enables Kchokeen to summon a great wave and save her people from hostile strangers. Find in a Library

Wolfe, Art. Northwest Animal Babies. Seattle : Sasquatch Books, 1998. Gr. K-2.
Color photographs of baby animals found in the Pacific Northwest, including raccoon kits, a bison calf, grey wolf pups, Coho salmon fry, Western Sandpiper chicks, and a cougar kitten. Find in a Library