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Arizona: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about Arizona?

Arizona may appear to be just a dry desert to some with miles and miles of dirt and sage brush and an occasional cactus, is that it? Well, we hope as you read these books you will see, as we have, how interesting these cacti can be! As well as lots of interesting animals to learn about.

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National Parks of the USA
Written by Kate Siber & illustrated by Chris Turnham
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11
Take a tour of America's great outdoors and discover the beauty and diversity of its most iconic and majestic national parks. Packed with maps and fascinating facts about the flora and fauna unique to each of the 21 parks portrayed, this lushly illustrated coast-to-coast journey documents in large format the nation’s most magnificent and sacred places—and shows why they should be preserved for future generations to enjoy.
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Why Oh Why Are Deserts Dry?
Written by Tish Rabe & illustrated by Joe Mathieu and Aristides Ruiz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Learn about deserts, what they are, and what animals live in them with the Cat in the Hat.
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Cactus Hotel
Written by Brenda Z Guiberson & illustrated by Megan Lloyd
Thoughts from Mom of Boys
This is such an interesting story. It tells all about the life of a cactus. Can you guess how long it takes for one of these cacti to grow to full height? I was very surprised to learn the facts. It is told in a very fun way. This story makes me want to visit the desert!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Describes the life cycle of the giant saguaro cactus, with an emphasis on its role as a home for other desert dwellers.
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Art & Max
Written & illustrated by David Wiesner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Max wants to be an artist like Arthur, but his first attempt at using a paintbrush sends the two friends on a whirlwind trip through various media, with unexpected consequences.
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Desert Night Desert Day
Written by Anthony D. Fredericks & illustrated by Kenneth J. Spengler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Rhyming text describes how desert animals live around the clock.
Desert Giant book
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Zackary Z Packrat Backpacks the Grand Canyon book
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Good Night Arizona book
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Roxaboxen book
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  • Desert Giant - Documents the life cycle and ecosystem of the giant saguaro cactus and the desert animals it helps to support.

  • Zackary Z Packrat Backpacks the Grand Canyon - Looking for fun and adventure? Zachary Z. Packrat backpacks the Grand Canyon takes you on an interactive expedition to discover the spectacular nature of America s grandest national park. Hike with Zachary into this geologic wonder to search for small treasures, and you are in for some humorous and heart-stopping surprises.

  • Good Night Arizona - The Goodfather -

    We have enjoyed the Good Night book series. We've found they're generally well researched and do a good job of highlighting some favorite attractions and features of a place. Good Night Arizona is no exception and is sure to please young readers familiar with Arizona.

  • Roxaboxen - Marian called it Roxaboxen. (She always knew the name of everything.) There across the road, it looked like any rocky hill — nothing but sand and rocks, some old wooden boxes, cactus and greasewood and thorny ocotillo — but it was a special place: a sparkling world of jeweled homes, streets edged with the whitest stones, and two ice cream shops. Come with us there, where all you need to gallop fast and free is a long stick and a soaring imagination. In glowing desert hues, artist Barbara Cooney has caught the magic of Alice McLerran’s treasured land of Roxaboxen — a place that really was, and, once you’ve been there, always is.

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Way Out in the Desert
Written by T.J. Marsh and Jennifer Ward & illustrated by Kenneth J. Spengler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
This toe-tapping text will have you singing along with the lovable creatures of the desert in no time! Filled with vibrant illustrations of many of the charming plants and animals that call the Sonoran Desert home, Way Out in the Desert is a wonderful teaching tool that takes you on a trip down memory lane. If you remember singing Over in the Meadow as a child, now you can give your children their own memories of this timeless tune. So take a child on a trip where Way out in the desert having fun in the sun lived a mother horned toad and her little toady one...
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The Three Little Javelinas
Written by Susan Lowell & illustrated by Jim Harris
Thoughts from The Fun Uncle
This book is fun! It's just a "three pigs and big bad wolf" story, but desert style. The illustrations are fun, but the best part is the amount you can learn about the desert and its wildlife from this story. It is definitely worth reading.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8
Into English ESL Library Level F/Grade 5 title
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Fang and Stinger
Written & illustrated by Conrad Storad
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
This story is the friendship of a tarantula and a scorpion who are picked on by a tarantula hawk wasp and learn to stand up themselves.
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Rattlesnake Rules
Written by Conrad Storad & illustrated by Nathaniel Jensen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-5
Uh-oh! Was that a rattle I heard? Maybe it was a rattlesnake just following the rules. Rules? Rattlesnakes have rules?! If these babies shake their rattles, you d better pay attention! Much maligned primarily because they are too often misunderstood, rattlesnakes have gotten a bad rap over the years.Conrad J. Storad, an award-winning author of more than 40 science and nature books for young readers, wants to do something about that. Available in paperback for the first time, Rattlesnake Rules demystifies the world of rattlesnakes and introduces children to such topics as who, when, and what rattlesnakes eat. He shows readers why rattlesnakes have rattles and what it means if you hear one. You will learn how the snakes forked tongues help them survive. The delightful and colorful illustrations of Nathaniel P. Jensen help bring the story alive. A long-time resident of the Sonoran Desert, Conrad has long been fascinated by the diversity of animals and plants that call the desert home.
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Good Night Grand Canyon
Written by Adam Gamble and Mark Jasper & illustrated by Cooper Kelly
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Young discovers are invited to venture deep into one of the most spectacular canyons in the world. Your young reader will explore all aspects of canyon life while being lulled into a peaceful night s rest. From mule riding to canyon wildlife, little ones recognize their most cherished sites and activities including hiking, mule riding, camping, the Colorado River, white-water rafting, fishing, park rangers, Mather Point, Grand Canyon Railway, Havasu Falls, Skywalk, Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon Visitor Center, helicopter tours, off roading, and canyon wildlife. "
The Seed and the Giant Saguro book
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Desert Digits book
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A is for Arizona book
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Don't Call Me Pig! book
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  • The Seed and the Giant Saguro - It all begins with the tiniest of seeds. Here you will discover how a pack rat, a rattlesnake, a roadrunner, a coyote, and even the clouds above all play a role in helping a small seed grow into a giant saguaro. This wonderful read-aloud brings the wild desert to life and will spark a child’s interest in the fascinating creatures that live there. As an added bonus, a timeline, glossary, and fun facts about this gentle giant and the amazing desert are included in the back.

  • Desert Digits - Topics such as the insects, mountain peaks, saguaro, coyotes, cacti, and more found in Arizona are introduced using numbers and poetry combined with detailed expository text for more in-depth information.

  • A is for Arizona - Take an alphabetical journey—A through Z—while learning fun facts about the University of Arizona. The rhymes and facts from A is for Arizona are wonderful for learning the alphabet and a whole lot about Arizona sports. A great book for Wildcat fans of all ages!

  • Don't Call Me Pig! - Don’t Call Me Pig!uses a delightful rhyme and clever colorful illustrations chock full of detail to tell the javelina’s story. What exactly is a javelina? The hairy little animal is shaped much like a pig. It has a snout like a pig. It makes grunting noises like a pig. But is it really a pig? No way. Is it some type of large, hairy rodent? Nope. Not at all. Not even close! Javelina is just one name for a creature that lives in large families and roams in herds across the Southwestern deserts. Collared Peccary is another. One thing is certain, after reading this amusing story, readers of all ages will know why they should never, ever call them pigs!

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A Cowgirl and Her Horse
Written & illustrated by Jean Ekman Adams
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-11
A young cowgirl demonstrates her unique way of caring for her horse, from feeding him hay sandwiches to helping him pick out new shoes.
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Where Is the Grand Canyon?
Written by Jim O'Connor and Who HQ & illustrated by Daniel Colon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Presents an introduction to the Grand Canyon, including how it formed, its end-to-end exploration in the late 1860s, the early native people who lived there, and its varied wildlife.
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Coyote
Written & illustrated by Gerald McDermott
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Coyote, who has a nose for trouble, insists that the crows teach him how to fly, but the experience ends in disaster for him.
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Bedtime in the Southwest
Written by Mona Hodgson & illustrated by Renee Graef
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Various desert animals have different ways of trying to avoid bedtime.
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G Is for Grand Canyon
Written by Barbara Gowan & illustrated by Katherine Larson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-10
People, places, animals, and characteristic things of Arizona are represented by the letters of the alphabet, with information about them presented in rhyme and explanatory notes.
A Is for Arizona book
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Hello Arizona book
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Major Impossible (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales #9) book
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Swim Or Sink book
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  • A Is for Arizona - A is for Apache Trout . . .B is for Bola . . .C is for Cactus Wren . . .With F for the Four Corners, N for Navajo Bridge, and T for Turquoise, going from A to Z has never been more fun! Take an alphabetized field trip around the Grand Canyon State and discover the plants, animals, foods, and places that make it, well, Arizona!

  • Hello Arizona - Welcome to Arizona! Parent and child eastern collared lizards tour Arizona in best-selling author-illustrator Martha Day Zschock’s Hello! board book series for children. In Hello, Arizona! join the pair as they explore the Grand Canyon, Tucson, Phoenix, and Slide Rock State Park. Along the way, saddle up at a dude ranch, paint at the museum, visit an old pueblo home, and peek at the stars at the Lowell Observatory! For ages 2-5. Made in the USA.

  • Major Impossible (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales #9) - The ninth book in the bestselling series tells the story of John Wesley Powell, the one-armed geologist who explored the Grand Canyon John Wesley Powell (1834-1902) always had the spirit of adventure in him. As a young man, he traveled all over the United States exploring. When the Civil War began, Powell went to fight for the Union, and even after he lost most of his right arm, he continued to fight until the war was over. In 1869 he embarked with the Colorado River Exploring Expedition, ten men in four boats, to float through Grand Canyon. Over the course of three months, the explorers lost their boats and supplies, nearly drowned, and were in peril on multiple occasions. Ten explorers went in, only six came out. Powell would come to be known as one of the most epic explorers in history! Equal parts gruesome and hilarious, this latest installment in the bestselling series takes readers on an action-packed adventure through American history.

  • Swim Or Sink - Although only in eighth grade Baxter Reilly is an important member of the Edgeview High School in Tempe, Arizona, and lately the pool has been his place of refuge from the stress of his parents’ separation—but now, between the pending divorce, his father’s miserable apartment, his mother’s new boyfriend, and the resentment and bullying from his older teammates, it is getting harder to focus on his role as the anchor of the 4 x 400 freestyle relay in the upcoming races.

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24 Hours in Nowhere
Written by Dusti Bowling
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Welcome to Nowhere, Arizona, America's least livable town. For Gus, a bright 13-year-old with dreams of escaping, life there is made even worse by bully Bo Taylor. When Bo tries to force Gus to eat a spiny cactus, Rossi Scott, one of the best racers in Nowhere, rescues him by relinquishing her prized dirt bike. Gus agrees to do anything to get it back--even if it means going into a deadly mine to hunt for gold. A gripping story about friendship, hope, and finding the power within ourselves.
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Revenge of Superstition Mountain
Written by Elise Broach & illustrated by Aleksey & Olga Ivanov
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
In the third and final book in this action-packed trilogy, the Barker brothers and their good friend Delilah secretly climb up to Superstition Mountain one last time. There are still mysteries to solve—is the creepy librarian really the ghost of Julia Thomas from a century before? What was their uncle Hank's role in discovering the gold mine? Can they still get into the gold mine after the avalanche that nearly crushed them? Does their cat, Josie, have mysterious powers? And, most of all, who is trying to kill them?
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Secret of Shadow Ranch #5
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Nancy is looking forward to a fun-filled vacation at Shadow Ranch, but she soon finds herself involved in solving a baffling mystery.
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Treasure on Superstition Mountain
Written by Elise Broach & illustrated by Antonio Javier Caparo
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Returning to Superstition Mountain, the Barker brothers, along with their friend Delilah, soon find themselves entangled in more danger and mystery as they uncover a real treasure.
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Missing on Superstition Mountain
Written by Elise Broach & illustrated by Antonio Javier Caparo
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
It's summer and the three Barker brothers--Simon, Henry, and Jack--just moved from Illinois to Arizona. Their parents have warned them repeatedly not to explore Superstition Mountain, which is near their home. But when their cat Josie goes missing, they see no other choice. There's something unusually creepy about the mountain and after the boys find three human skulls, they grow determined to uncover the mystery. Have people really gone missing over the years, and could there be someone or some thing lurking in the woods? Together with their new neighbor Delilah, the Barker boys are dead-set on cracking the case even if it means putting themselves in harm's way. Here's the first book in an action-packed mystery series by a New York Times bestselling author. Missing on Superstition Mountain is a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Fiction title for 2011.

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