The tropical rainforests cover only six percent of the Earth but about half of all the plant species in the world can be found in the tropical rainforest. There are over 150,000 known species of plants in the tropical rainforest. Plus many other plants that live in the rainforest are still being discovered. Unfortuately many of the rainforest plants are endangered including the rosy periwinkle, one of the many plants in the rainforest used as medicine to treat cancer.
Children are usually fascinated and excited to learn about this habitat. While older children can learn about biodiversity and the ecosystem, younger children continue to be enthralled in learning about the plants and animals of the rainforest.
Listed below are three books about the tropical rainforests that I love and have read to children.
- Welcome to the Green House by Jane Yolen is the simplest of the 3 books. It contains rhyming, repetition, and onomatopoeia and the illustrations by Laura Regan are stunning.
- The Song of La Selva by Joan Banks is a story told by one of the inhabitants of the rainforest, a tiny strawberry poison frog. Children get a glimpse into the frog's life in the rainforest and begin to learn about nature's biodiversity.
- The Great Kapok Tree has become a staple in homes and classrooms since Lynne Cherry wrote the book. It explores the community of plants and animals that live in the tropical rainforest.