26 Arizona-themed Kids Books

Updated Apr. 16, 2019

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.

Top 10 Arizona Books

Why Oh Why Are Deserts Dry? book
Why Oh Why Are Deserts Dry?
Written by Tish Rabe and illustrated by Aristides Ruiz, Joe Mathieu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Learn about deserts, what they are, and what animals live in them with the Cat in the Hat.

Art & Max book
Art & Max
Written and 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.

Cactus Hotel book
Cactus Hotel
Written by Brenda Z Guiberson and illustrated by Megan Lloyd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
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!

Describes the life cycle of the giant saguaro cactus, with an emphasis on its role as a home for other desert dwellers.

Desert Night Desert Day book
Desert Night Desert Day
Written by Anthony D. Fredericks and illustrated by Kenneth J. Spengler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Rhyming text describes how desert animals live around the clock.

Zackary Z Packrat Backpacks the Grand Canyon book
Zackary Z Packrat Backpacks the Grand Canyon
Written by Brooke Bessesen and illustrated by Jenny Campbell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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 book
Good Night Arizona
Written by Adam Gamble and illustrated by Joe Veno
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from 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.

Good Night Arizona includes the Grand Canyon, Colorado River, wildlife, desert flowers, ancient rock art, rodeo cowboys, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Merrick Butte, Cathedral Rock, Arizona sports teams, Petrified Forest National Park, mariachi music, and more. Hop on your mule and let's explore the magnificent state of Arizona as this charming board book highlights this region's most visited sights and natural wonders.

Roxaboxen book
Written by Alice McLerran and illustrated by Barbara Cooney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Way Out in the Desert book
Way Out in the Desert
Written by Jennifer Ward, T.J. Marsh and 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...

The Three Little Javelinas book
The Three Little Javelinas
Written by Susan Lowell and illustrated by Jim Harris
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8
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.

Into English ESL Library Level F/Grade 5 title

Fang and Stinger book
Fang and Stinger
Written and 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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