We live in a time of heightened environmental awareness, and the stress of this pervasive alarmism is creating a generation of kids with feelings of eco-anxiety — the world is doomed, isn’t it? Maybe not. Not Your Typical Book about the Environment aims to allay some of these fears by showing how all is not lost. Young readers will learn about the remarkable time that they are living in: the Anthropocene era where humans are the dominating environmental force on Earth. This is a time of amazing possibilities as smart technologies, innovative ideas, and a growing commitment to alternative lifestyles are exploding around the world. Each chapter begins by taking everyday objects from a kids’ world — T-shirts, video games, bikes — and using these as launching pads to delve into related environmental issues and information. Profiles of unexpected personalities, like Catherine O’Brien, a happiness researcher, are featured throughout. These profiles enforce the overall message that this time of crisis can instead be seen as a time of great opportunity!


  • Short-listed, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-fiction 2011
  • Winner, Moonbeam Children's Book Awards, Environmental Issues Category, Gold 2010
  • Short-listed, Ontario Library Association, Silver Birch Award 2011
  • Commended, Green Book Festival Awards, Children's Category, Honor Book 2010
  • Long-listed, CYBILS, Non-fiction Middle/Teen Category 2010
  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Best Books for Kids and Teens Selection 2011
  • Short-listed, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award, Juvenile Non-fiction Category 2010
  • Commended, Ontario Library Association, Top 10 Canadian Children's Books, Non-fiction Category, Best Bets List 2010
  • Winner, Skipping Stones Honor Award, Nature and Ecology Book Category 2011
  • Winner, Newton Marasco Foundation, Green Earth Book Award, Non-fiction Category 2011


An optimistic look at choices we can make to improve the planet, this book assesses the impact of everything from the clothes we wear to the food we eat. But instead of laying a guilt trip on readers, it points to eco-friendly alternatives, from devising new products to opting for vintage clothes instead of new.

- Washington Post

This is an intriguing, fact-filled book about saving the environment in unusual ways…This hilarious, information-packed work is an excellent addition.

- School Library Journal

The information included is well-researched and compelling to children and adults. Humor is used throughout and contributes to the non-threatening feel of this excellent resource.

- Connect

Kelsey has gathered together enough eco-friendly life strategies and feel-good stories from around the globe to get budding environmental warriors started.

- Quill & Quire

It’s a smart approach, and one that should inspire.

- Publishers Weekly

Can we move from nations of ‘Captains of Industrial Agriculture’ to ‘Super Sustainable Farmers’? According to this book’s well-thought-out logic and messaging on this and many other aspects of environmental awareness, of course we can.

- The Globe and Mail

This very appealing book, both visually and in terms of content…contains so much information and so many interesting details, that it is difficult to do justice to this title.

- Resource Links

A great gift for a curious or environmentally conscious kid, or a starting point for doing a project or making a change, I recommend this one as a great way to start learning about Earth and what we can do to help her out.

- Kittenpie Reads KidLit

Elin Kelsey has produced a highly engaging book, pointing out surprising connections between kids’ lives and the rest of the planet. The illustrations are fantastic and make a complex subject — conservation and sustainable living — easy to understand. A wonderful book for educating children — and adults — about the environment.

- Jane Goodall Ph.D., DBE Founder – the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace

This upbeat, creative, wide-reaching explanation is indeed a standout in a genre composed primarily of lamentations for the polar bear…this is one of the best books to date at dealing both concretely and philosophically with the blend of opportunity and challenge contained in the green movement.

- The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

[This] exceptionally positive approach to ecological issues encourage[s] children to recognize their power in contributing to the well-being of the planet.

- Canadian Children’s Book News

The green solutions described in this book, such as eco-friendly clothing and urban farming, will surely inspire readers to make a difference in their communities.

- B-Zone Magazine

This is a book so filled with innovation, creativity and promise that my hope is this book becomes the start of many more titles of the same cheery tone! …. I can’t praise this book enough, not only for providing a wealth of fascinating new ideas but for encouraging and perhaps starting a new philosophy of teaching to children.

- Word of Mouse Book Reviews

full of novel ideas . .. would appeal to the scientific-minded youngster.

- Jennifer Jilks

With a combination of fun illustrations, cartoons, and an inviting, optimistic tone, this book will draw in kids. excellent resource in middle school and even high school libraries.


Fun, informative, and full of hope...succeeds in getting kids excited about the time they're living in and their ability to save the world.

- Finding Solutions (David Suzuki Foundation)