Two socially conscious children’s books to delight your children (and the kid inside you, too)


Guest Post by: Amy Taylor, Brains on Fire

When Better World Books reached out and asked if I’d be interested in writing a guest post about my favorite book, I jumped at the opportunity. Immediately thereafter, my mind began racing. What would I choose? Would it be Mary Roach’s Stiff, a sometimes-shocking (always comical) look at the secret lives of human cadavers? Perhaps Laurie Notaro’s laugh-until-your-sides-hurt take on life as a 20-something, The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club? Or the quiet wisdom of Paulo Coehlo’s The Alchemist?

In the end, I turned to an entirely different section of my bookshelf.
When I was little, my favorite books were classics like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and Goodnight Moon. These books inspired imagination and possibility with a liberal sprinkling of pixie dust. A decade or two later, whether I’m embarking on a new project or trying to get over a bought of writers block, I still find myself turning to children’s books for a creativity kick-start. Why? Because children’s literature has a timeless ability to inspire and delight youngsters – and those who are simply young at heart.
So, with no further ado, I present two picks from my bookshelf sure to amuse kids of all ages – and the kid inside every parent.
The Great Paper Caper
Oliver Jeffers
Themes: recycling, re-purposing, environmental stewardship
When a group of charming, responsible forest-dwellers notice trees disappearing, everyone begins pointing fingers. As alibis pan out, the animals realize they’ve got a tree thief on their hands. After putting their forensic skills to the test (think teeny-tiny C.S.I. squad), they discover a bear has been stealing trees to make paper airplanes for an upcoming paper airplane competition.
Pick up a copy to find out what happens when the bear stands trial, and learn what becomes of his paper airplanes.
Note: Don’t forget to check behind the overleaf for a special treat – instructions on making your own at-home recycled paper.


Themes: vegetarianism
Not quite pig, not quite goat, not quite elephant, Hubert is a little creature that lives on Farmer Jake’s processing farm with the other pudges. Unfortunately, pudges never have a chance to grow up before they are carted off to be turned into TV dinners and sausage links. On the one day a year when the pudges are allowed to romp in the grass, Hubert finds a hole in the fence, and makes a break for freedom. Once beyond the fence, Hubert grows larger than any pudge has ever grown before. Despite his newfound freedom, Hubert finds himself thinking about the fate of his friends and family back on Farmer Jake’s farm. When Hubert decides enough is enough, he storms the farm with his jungle friends. What will become of the pudges and Farmer Jake? Grab a copy and find out. (Hint: It involves tofu!)
Note: Laden with pro-veggie propaganda, the story of Herbert is an edgy (if not a bit irreverent) and amusing tale parents and children can enjoy together.
What was your favorite book as a child? What do you think about these cause-related children’s books? What issues do you think children need to learn about early?
*Note* The below blog post is a guest blog from our Twitter friend Amy. This content does not necessarily reflect the views of Better World Books (as our lawyers make sure we say). We love having guest bloggers and invite you to email if you are interested in covering a book or topic on the BWB Blog. Thank you, Amy!




  1. I always found joy in Dr. Seuss. As an adult, I realize that he addressed some important social issues. His genius often lay in the fact that the lessons he imparted were subtle. His writing was accessible. His works are timeless–a fact that is evidenced by the enduring popularity of his works.

  2. I’m also a big fan of Dr.Seuss. You get to learn a lot about the real world in a fun and childish way.

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