Save the World

Muth, Jon J. Stillwater and Koo Save the World. New York: Scholastic Press, 2023.
Stillwater and his nephew Koo return in this marvellous story of saving the world in little ways. So often, children – and adults – dream of doing grand things to save our planet and bring peace. But what about the small deeds? The everyday tasks? Like cleaning the cat’s litter box and clearing the leaves off the fish pond. Like baking a cake for a neighbour and protecting a family of ducks crossing the road. Each considerate act towards those around us is a step to saving the world. This calm reflective picture book is most highly recommended for readers of all ages.

Another story about Stillwater

More philosophical stories

A middle school mini-unit on making the world a better place

A Library

Giovanni, Nikki. A Library. New York: Versify, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2022.
A young girl helps her grandmother with washing the dishes and doing the laundry before setting off for the public library. Later, back home again, she helps fold the laundry and prepare a meal, before settling down on the back porch with her new books. The beautifully bold yet gentle illustrations by Erin K. Robinson combined with the brief text in a large font have created a wonderful story – by an award-winning poet – to read aloud to a group of primary-school-age children. Perfect as an introduction to talking about the joy of libraries. Perfect as an introduction to talking about the value of reflecting on life. Highly recommended for teachers, teacher-librarians, and readers 5 to 8 years old.

More stories related to the author’s own life

More books about reading and libraries 

Kimchi, Kimchi Every Day

Kim, Erica. Kimchi, Kimchi Every Day. Washington, D.C.: Soaring Kite Books, 2022.

A cheerful, rhyming book that goes through the days of the week celebrating different ways of preparing of kimchi, the famous Korean dish based on fermented vegetables. Exuberantly designed with various fonts – all in the large letters – and brightly coloured full-page illustrations, this picture book is recommended for children three to seven years old. Explanatory notes at the end – providing additional information – make this a useful book for young students starting to do research projects. 

More picture books about cultural concepts 

More Korean stories


Wade, Jess. Nano: The Spectacular Science of the Very (Very) Small. Somerville, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press, 2021.
What a spectacular science book for young readers! Skillfully designed – with fonts of different styles and sizes – and cheerfully illustrated, this picture book about the astonishing world of nanotechnology is highly recommended for readers 6 to 10 years old. 

They will learn that pencils contain graphite – layers of carbon atoms on top of each other – that leaves marks on paper because the layers so easily slide over each other and smudge. 

A single layer of graphite is graphene, the strongest material now known; it is used to make airplanes lighter in weight and windows clean themselves when touched by sunlight.

More books to expand general knowledge

Older readers may also enjoy this picture book. Too often, it seems, students in grades 6 to 8 are strongly encouraged to read but not shown how easy it is to have fun with books. Three-dimensional reading – the kind that requires paper – does not have to involve serious, multi-chaptered books or humorous graphic novels. It can include picture books that expand general knowledge. A few minutes of reading and you come away with more facts to improve understanding of – and pique interest in – our incredible world.

More ideas for encouraging fun while reading

Generally, I recommend borrowing books from a library. How can we possibly buy every book we want to read? But this is a picture book you might like to purchase and keep. For a long time. The very first book I owned – the first book that was specifically mine – was Our Earth: What It Is, part of the Whitman Learn About series. I was six years old and so fascinated by all the incredible information that my parents ordered the whole series for me. Every month, a new title would arrive in the mail. Bliss! I still have almost the whole set, including that first book with these sentences: “One day we will land on the moon and look back at the Earth. What a wonderful sight we will see!” Decades in the future, you will still appreciate Nano but what will you notice about the progress of technology? What will make you smile?

What books do you own that you have had for a long time? What books do you still treasure? Let me know!