From its jungle-shrouded volcanoes to its emerald-hued rainforest canopies, Costa Rica boasts an endless parade of wildlife. Fortunately, Ticos and Ticas (as Costa Ricans affectionately call themselves) make protecting these lush natural resources a major priority.
More than 28 percent of the nation’s green areas are protected wildlife refuges or national parks, and Costa Rica has set the ambitious goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2021. So, it’s no wonder the spirit of the rainforest and conservation have inspired many great children’s stories about this Central American nation.
From a silly tale of rainforest animals hitching a ride on an umbrella to an exploration of the impact kids can have on the world, Costa Rica for kids will come to life while reading these lovely tales.
The Umbrella by Jan Brett
With its exotic Costa Rica setting, whimsical story of rainforest animals, and detailed illustrations, you and your kids will fall in love with Jan Brett’s The Umbrella. The tale begins when Carlos climbs into a huge cloud forest fig tree to catch a better glimpse of the rainforest’s many animals. While climbing, he accidentally drops his banana leaf umbrella to the ground far below.
One by one, rainforest animals clamor to the umbrella piling on. From a colorful tree frog to a baby tapir and a big jaguar, the umbrella quickly gets crowded. Soon, even a hummingbird can’t find a free spot. Once the umbrella’s filled, the animals tumble out, but Carlos is too high in the tree to see them. He eventually leaves the forest wondering where all the animals are hiding. Inspired by Jan Brett’s visit to the Monteverde Cloud Forest, this lighthearted tale is sure to give your kids a case of the giggles while providing a literary kid’s guide to Costa Rica.
The Forever Forest: Kids Save a Tropical Treasure by Kristin Joy Pratt-Serafini and Rachel Crandell
If you’re looking for an inspirational rainforest read that will empower your kids, then look no further than The Forever Forest: Kids Save a Tropical Treasure. Written by Kristin Joy Pratt-Serafini and illustrated by Rachel Crandell, it tells the story of the 54,000-acre Children’s Eternal Rainforest in Costa Rica.
The Children’s Eternal Rainforest started as an idea created by a handful of kids to hold a bake sale and raise money to protect the rainforest. But as word spread, children from more than 44 countries banded together to raise enough funds to preserve this massive swathe of rainforest. Designated in 1987, it remains the largest private reserve in Costa Rica. Your kids will delight at the colorful illustrations by Rachel Crandell, and they’ll feel inspired by this remarkable, true story of a forest in the clouds.
The Forest in the Clouds by Sneed B. Collard III and Michael Rothman
Written by Sneed B. Collard III and illustrated by Michael Rothman, The Forest in the Clouds will bring the rainforests of Costa Rica to life for your children. They’ll discover the breathtaking beauty and splendor of this fragile ecosystem shrouded in mist. Receiving up to 10 feet of rain each year, the forest supports hundreds of different types of birds and species of butterflies.
What’s more, your kids will learn about the many plants that make this magical spot their home including gardens of epiphytes, plants that grow on other plants. Coupled with the vibrant, vivid illustrations of Michael Rothman, this journey through the enchanting world of the Monte Verde Cloud Forest will educate and inspire. A glossary of terms at the back of the book as well as a further reading guide and list of helpful websites make this a Costa Rican resource your whole family will enjoy.
Costa Rica for Kids
These books about Costa Rica will introduce your kids to the nation’s impressive natural landscapes, combining spellbinding imagery with messages of conservation. Each story makes teaching kids about Costa Rica a compelling journey you’ll love, too.
Interested in learning more about Costa Rica for kids? Or, looking for Costa Rica travel options your whole family can get behind? Check out our Costa Rica Adventure, a culturally rich, kid-friendly way to visit some of the most extraordinary destinations in Central America.
At Our Whole Village, we create transformational trips for curious families who want to create lasting memories while making a difference. We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its peoples, and its cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we handcraft for curious families just like yours.