Books are a passion of mine, one I've passed onto my children and thus, we spend a lot of time in the local bookstores. As you can imagine, like any parent, I want my children to read educational and fun books. My children have a very broad genre in which they are interested. One thing that they all have in common is anything having to do with nature. Here are some books that fit into the ecology and environment category that we've recently had the opportunity to take a look at and have really enjoyed. Your child might really enjoy them as well!
Janice VanCleave's Ecology for Every Kid: Easy Activities that Make Learning Science Fun- by Janice VanCleave- this book was recommended to us by a friend of ours who home-schools her kids. It has a lot of really neat experiments and learning ideas in it. I would say this book is best for school aged kids, however our youngest who is a pre-schooler enjoyed participating with the activities. The book can be bought for about $10 at your local book store.
Earth Book For Kids: Activities to Help Heal the Environment, by Linda Schwarz. We got this book on the recommendation of one of my daughters teachers, and I actually used it for my Brownie troop. This book is beautifully illustrated, and it not only teaches the kids about the earth in simple terms that they can understand, but gives them experiments to further help them understand. This book can be purchased for around $13.00.
Morpha: A Rain Forrest Story by Stephen Tennyson and Jennifer H. Yoswa. My son borrowed this book from his teachers library. It is a great book for teaching children about the Rain Forrest and the cycle of life, and how humans can effect that cycle in the rain forest. It really is a great book, and very well written. I recently saw this at the book store for $14.95.
The Remarkable Rain forest: An Active-Learning Book for Kids, New Edition by Toni Albert. If your little one shows an interest in the Rain Forrest, and if by chance you read Morpha and like it, then you should definitely get this book. It is really cool. It has maps, and games and is really interactive. It pretty much goes over all parts of the rain forest, and really keeps kids entertained while teaching them. Can be bought at any book store for around $10-$12.
Now, if you're looking for a magazine type of monthly subscription, I would recommend the National Geographic Kids Magazine or if your child is very young, they have an addition called National Geographic Little Kids Magazine.
Kids Discover is another good science magazine- more science- not a guarantee that each issue will have an environmental issue.
Muse is a children's magazine that focuses on science, nature and poetry. Appropriate for ages 9-14 http://www.cobblestonepub.com/magazine/MUS/
OWLkids On-line is a science magazine that is on-line, good for older kids, ages 6-9, http://www.owlkids.com/
For the youngsters- Your Big Backyard is for kids ages 3-7, it focuses on nature and things in the environment. http://www.nwf.org/yourbigbackyard/
I know how important it is to find the "right gift" and how important it is to keep your kids stimulated. I hope that you find what you're looking for here!