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Bugs And Insects: Picture Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about bugs and insects?

There are some people (like myself!) who go out of their way to avoid bugs… except for the cute ones… lady bugs, I’m looking at you. There are other people (like my son!) who absolutely adore bugs and will talk about the two worms they found on the back patio after a rainstorm for several days when you ask them what their highlight was. (“So… the coolest thing that happened today was that you found some worms yesterday? I won’t try so hard” I think to myself.) While it’s hard to find all of the coolest bugs in your backyard all year long, these are some of our favorite books for bug lovers ranging from awesomely age appropriate fact books (Mrs. Peanuckle’s Alphabet!) to more fictional stories about some of the most beloved storybook spiders (Miss Spider’s Tea Party, The Very Busy Spider, etc.)

Top 10 Books About Bugs And Insects

Alpha Bugs book
#1
Alpha Bugs
Written & illustrated by David A. Carter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

From boogie-woogie Bubble Bugs to upside-down Umbrella Bugs, this fun-filled pop, pull, and peek book makes learning the alphabet exactly eight Egg Bugs excellent.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar book
#2
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Follows the progress of a hungry little caterpillar as he eats his way through a varied and very large quantity of food until, full at last, he forms a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep. Die-cut pages illustrate what the caterpillar ate on successive days.

Miss Spider's Tea Party book
#3
Miss Spider's Tea Party
Written & illustrated by David Kirk
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Filled with delightful rhymes and Miss Spider’s charming manners, this tale of one misunderstood spider and her troubles finding guests for her tea parties is a great read! It introduces you to a whole host of bugs and just a smidge of tea party lingo, bringing hopes that despite your reputation (deserved or not) by being kind and caring you can create meaningful friendships who people who know you for your true colors.

25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF A BELOVED CHILDREN’S CLASSIC: In 1992, master toymaker, storyteller, and painter David Kirk created Miss Spider for his young daughter, Violet. Her fascination with the bug world and nature inspired him to create a story about a lonely spider who triumphs over rejection and fear through her goodness and love. Miss Spider’s Tea Party became an immediate bestseller and launched a book series that sold more than five million copies in twelve languages. “So why do insects run away, As they catch sight of me, When all that I am trying to do, Is ask them in for tea?” So wonders a solitary Miss Spider, unaware that her fellow bugs, terribly afraid of a creature so seemingly different, dare not even consider attending her party. Until, as events unfold, they see how gracious a spider she really is. For this story, his first picture book, David Kirk created 35 arresting paintings and original verse about an enticing arachnid and a host of other many-legged creatures. Readers of all ages can’t help cheering for Miss Spider in this engaging tale that may also be read as a counting book. Honors: Parenting magazine Best Book of the Year; National Parenting Publications Honor Book; Parents’ Choice Award-winner. Miss Spider and her family have won the hearts of children with their life-affirming outlook for a quarter of a century now. This gorgeous new edition of Miss Spider’s Tea Party celebrates Miss Spider’s success and welcomes the next generation of young readers.

The Bee Tree book
#4
The Bee Tree
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

To teach his daughter the value of books, a father leads a growing crowd in search of the tree where the bees keep all their honey.

The Beeman book
#5
The Beeman
Written by Laurie Krebs & illustrated by Valeria Cis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

Here are his gloves made of cotton and leather, protecting his hands in all kinds of weather when he tends to his hives as the Beeman.

The Bee Book book
#6
The Bee Book
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

The Bee Book shows you step-by-step how to create a bee-friendly garden, get started in beekeeping, and harness the power of honey for well-being. Fully illustrated with full-color photographs throughout, this beautiful guide covers everything you need to know to start your own backyard hive, from setup to harvest. Practical beekeeping techniques are explained with clear step-by-step sequences, photos, and diagrams so you’ll be prepared to establish your own colony, deal with diseases, collect a swarm, and much more. A comprehensive gardening chapter features planting plans to fill container and border gardens, bee “hotel” and habitat projects, and an at-a-glance flower gallery of bees’ favorite plants. The Bee Book also shows you how to harvest honey, beeswax, and propolis from the hive and use these ingredients in 38 recipes for home remedies, beauty treatments, and candle-making. Discover the wonder of bees in nature, in your garden, and in the hive with The Bee Book, lavishly bound in a beautiful gold-foil and texture cover and perfect for gift giving.

Honey book
#7
Honey
Written & illustrated by David Ezra Stein
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

This sweet companion to David Ezra Stein’s award-winning Leaves celebrates the joy of savoring something you love. Bear is ravenous when he wakes up from his winter sleep and has one thing on his mind: honey! Alas, it is too soon for honey, so Bear tries hard to be patient. The world around him is waking up, too, and he soon remembers all the other things he loves, like warm grass, berries, and rain. He’s almost content, until, one day, he hears a welcome buzzing sound . . . and finally it is time for Bear to delight in the thing he relishes above all others—and it is as warm, golden, sweet, and good as he remembered.

The Grouchy Ladybug book
#8
The Grouchy Ladybug
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

It’s the Grouchy Ladybug’s 20th birthday. To celebrate, we are introducing a new, larger format edition with brighter, more colorful pages created from Eric Carle’s original artwork using the latest reproduction technology. The Grouchy Ladybug is bigger and brigher, as irascible but irresistable as ever and will surely delight new generations of readers, as well as her devoted fans of all ages. Happy Birthday, Grouchy Ladybug!

The Big Honey Hunt book
#9
The Big Honey Hunt
Written & illustrated by Jan Berenstain and Stan Berenstain
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Papa Bear tries to teach Small Bear how to find honey in a honey tree.

Escargot book
#10
Escargot
Written by Dashka Slater & illustrated by Sydney Hanson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Bonjour! Escargot is a beautiful French snail who wants only two things:

  1. To be your favorite animal.

  2. To get to the delicious salad at the end of the book.

But when he gets to the salad, he discovers that there’s a carrot in it. And Escargot hates carrots. But when he finally tries one—with a little help from you!—he discovers that it’s not so bad after all!

A charming and interactive picture book ideal for picky eaters and animal lovers alike.

Books About Bugs And Insects and Bees

The Bee Tree book
#1
The Bee Tree
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

To teach his daughter the value of books, a father leads a growing crowd in search of the tree where the bees keep all their honey.

The Beeman book
#2
The Beeman
Written by Laurie Krebs & illustrated by Valeria Cis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

Here are his gloves made of cotton and leather, protecting his hands in all kinds of weather when he tends to his hives as the Beeman.

The Bee Book book
#3
The Bee Book
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

The Bee Book shows you step-by-step how to create a bee-friendly garden, get started in beekeeping, and harness the power of honey for well-being. Fully illustrated with full-color photographs throughout, this beautiful guide covers everything you need to know to start your own backyard hive, from setup to harvest. Practical beekeeping techniques are explained with clear step-by-step sequences, photos, and diagrams so you’ll be prepared to establish your own colony, deal with diseases, collect a swarm, and much more. A comprehensive gardening chapter features planting plans to fill container and border gardens, bee “hotel” and habitat projects, and an at-a-glance flower gallery of bees’ favorite plants. The Bee Book also shows you how to harvest honey, beeswax, and propolis from the hive and use these ingredients in 38 recipes for home remedies, beauty treatments, and candle-making. Discover the wonder of bees in nature, in your garden, and in the hive with The Bee Book, lavishly bound in a beautiful gold-foil and texture cover and perfect for gift giving.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Honey - This sweet companion to David Ezra Stein’s award-winning Leaves celebrates the joy of savoring something you love. Bear is ravenous when he wakes up from his winter sleep and has one thing on his mind: honey! Alas, it is too soon for honey, so Bear tries hard to be patient. The world around him is waking up, too, and he soon remembers all the other things he loves, like warm grass, berries, and rain. He’s almost content, until, one day, he hears a welcome buzzing sound . . . and finally it is time for Bear to delight in the thing he relishes above all others—and it is as warm, golden, sweet, and good as he remembered.

  2. The Big Honey Hunt - Papa Bear tries to teach Small Bear how to find honey in a honey tree.

  3. Please Please the Bees - Benedict has a pretty sweet life for a bear. Every morning the bees leave a jar of honey on his doorstep, and every day he has honey for breakfast and honey in his tea. It’s an important part of his day. But all that changes when the bees go on strike. Now it’s up to Benedict to listen to the bees, and he realizes there’s a lot more he could be doing to help them. So he fixes up the hive and learns to be a better beekeeper. Will the bees be pleased?

  4. Bee: a Peek-Through Picture Book - Fans of Tree: A Peek-Through Picture Book can now fly along with Bee on her very busy day! Through a hole in the book’s cover, a bee is buzzing inside a flower. Peek into this bright and lively book and discover the big ways this little insect contributes to the beauty of the environment, from pollinating colorful flowers to buzzing about the bright and beautiful meadow. With clever peekaboo holes throughout, each page reveals new flowers and plants, plus a look inside a beehive as the bees work together to help a plants grow. Children will love seeing the details of a bee’s active day as each page is turned, and along the way they’ll learn about ways in which bees and plants works together to produce a healthy, beautiful environment.

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Books About Bugs And Insects and Caterpillars

The Very Hungry Caterpillar book
#1
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Follows the progress of a hungry little caterpillar as he eats his way through a varied and very large quantity of food until, full at last, he forms a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep. Die-cut pages illustrate what the caterpillar ate on successive days.

Caterpillar Dreams book
#2
Caterpillar Dreams
Written & illustrated by Clive McFarland
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The Very Hungry Caterpillar meets Giraffes Can’t Dance in this sweet coming of age story about finding one’s courage. All Henri the Caterpillar has is a dream. It’s an amazing, incredible, impossible dream. And to chase it, Henri will have to leave the safety of his garden and embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Written and illustrated by the award-winning creator of A Bed for Bear, Clive McFarland, Caterpillar Dreams is the inspiring story of what can happen when you dare to believe in yourself.

I Love Dad with the Very Hungry Caterpillar book
#3
I Love Dad with the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The very hungry caterpillar shows appreciation, and love, for all the things fathers do for their children.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Caterpillar and the Polliwog - Impressed by the proud caterpillar’s boast that she will turn into a butterfly when she grows up, a polliwog determines to watch the caterpillar very carefully and turn into a butterfly too.

  2. Caterpillar and Bean - Observe the ways plants and insects interact in a gentle introduction to growing for budding scientists. What’s that wedged in a crack in the ground, small and hard and wrinkly and brown? A bean seed! Soon it develops roots and leaves. And what’s that on the leaf? An egg! The egg hatches a caterpillar, and the caterpillar eats the leaves, getting bigger and bigger until it forms a chrysalis. Meanwhile, the plant is growing, too: it develops flowers, then bean pods, as it reaches up toward the sun. Side by side, plant and insect grow . . . and grow . . . and grow throughout the year, until they come full circle. This fourth book in the First Science Storybook series uses simple, clear language and colorful illustrations to inspire very young readers as they learn about life cycles.

  3. Hedgehugs and the Hattipillar - In this sequel to Hedgehugs, Horace and Hattie return for another sweet story of friendship. It’s spring! And everything is colorful—rainbows in the sky and flowers blossoming on trees. When Horace and Hattie Hedgehog see a caterpillar become a butterfly and take flight, they decide to try a transformation of their own. When these two best friends put their minds to solving a problem, nothing can stand in their way!

  4. Caterpillar to Butterfly - How does a caterpillar become a butterfly? Open out the petal-shaped pages, one by one, and watch a transformation unfold. First there’s a tiny egg on a leaf, then a caterpillar hatching, just big enough to see. Look at the caterpillar munching away, growing and shedding layers of skin so it can grow some more. Follow as it spins a thread into a green and golden chrysalis, hanging in the sun. Are you ready to see a glorious transformation when all the page turns are done? Cleverly leading readers through each stage of the caterpillar’s life cycle, Caterpillar to Butterfly is sure to set curiosity into flight.

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Books About Bugs And Insects and Butterflies

Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly book
#1
Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly
Written by Alan Madison & illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Velma starts first grade in the shadow of her memorable older sisters, and while her newfound interest in butterflies helps her to stand out, it also leads to an interesting complication.

Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead book
#2
Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead
Written by Judy Goldman & illustrated by Rene King Moreno and Judy Goldman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A family celebrates Día de Muertos, a holiday for remembering those who have passed. When the monarch butterflies return to her Mexican countryside, Lupita knows that Día de Muertos, “the Day of the Dead,” is near. She and her favorite uncle watch the butterflies flutter in the trees. When a butterfly lands on Lupita’s hand, her uncle reminds her that she should never hurt a monarch because they are believed to be the souls of the departed. Lupita and her family get ready for the holiday. When the first of November arrives, the family will go to the cemetery to honor the memories of their loved ones. But this year is different—Lupita’s uncle cannot join them. Now, Lupita learns the true meaning of the celebration.

Claudia & Moth book
#3
Claudia & Moth
Written & illustrated by Jennifer Hansen Rolli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

A small girl with a passion for nature turns to her new passion for art as the seasons turn colder.

Claudia loves butterflies. Blue ones. Yellow ones. Purple ones with dots. And since she can’t take them home, she paints them in all their beautiful colors.

But when winter comes, there are no more butterflies to paint…until she finds a little moth. Suddenly, Claudia sees winter in a whole new light.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Butterflies on the First Day of School - Rosie’s excited to start kindergarten—she’s had her backpack ready for weeks. But suddenly, the night before the big day, her tummy hurts. Rosie’s mom reassures her that it’s just butterflies in her belly. Much to Rosie’s surprise, when she greets a new friend, a butterfly flies out of her mouth! Soon, Rosie frees all her butterflies . . . and helps another shy student release hers, too.

  2. Señorita Mariposa - A captivating and child-friendly look at the extraordinary journey that monarch butterflies take each year from Canada to Mexico; with a text in both English and Spanish. Rhyming text and lively illustrations showcase the epic trip taken by the monarch butterflies. At the end of each summer, these international travelers leave Canada to fly south to Mexico for the winter–and now readers can come along for the ride! Over mountains capped with snow, to the deserts down below. Children will be delighted to share in the fascinating journey of the monarchs and be introduced to the people and places they pass before they finally arrive in the forests that their ancestors called home.

  3. Are You a Cat? - From the creator of Can Cat and Bird Be Friends comes a delightful story featuring an adorable cat and an inquisitive dog. Dogs chase cats. Everyone knows this, especially cats. When Dog wants to chase Cat, he politely asks, “are you a cat?” To outrun and outsmart Dog, Cat pretends to be other animals that dogs wouldn’t ordinarily want to chase. It’s a masterful plan indeed. But when an unexpected creature walks by, it’s impossible for Cat to play pretend for much longer. In a charming picture book filled with pleasing banter and hilarious quips, rising talent Coll Muir creates the perfect story about staying true to yourself. Perfect for fans of Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back, This Is Not My Hat, and We Found a Hat.

  4. Moth - Powerful and visually spectacular, Moth is the remarkable evolution story that captures the struggle of animal survival against the background of an evolving human world in a unique and atmospheric introduction to Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection. “This is a story of light and dark…” Against a lush backdrop of lichen-covered trees, the peppered moth lies hidden. Until the world begins to change… Along come people with their magnificent machines which stain the land with soot. In a beautiful landscape changed by humans how will one little moth survive? A clever picture book text about the extraordinary way in which animals have evolved, intertwined with the complication of human intervention. This remarkable retelling of the story of the peppered moth is the perfect introduction to natural selection and evolution for children.

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Books About Bugs And Insects and Action And Adventure

Bear Out There book
#1
Bear Out There
Written & illustrated by Jacob Grant
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Bear and Spider are back in another charming odd-couple friendship story, perfect for fans of Peter Brown and Greg Pizzoli. Bear’s favorite place is inside. He loves sharing his tidy home with his friend Spider. Spider loves the outdoors! When Spider’s kite flies away, Bear must venture out and into the messy forest to help his friend. As their quest in the forest goes from bad to worse, Bear and Spider show readers that being a friend means being there for each other, no matter what.

The Leaf Men book
#2
The Leaf Men
Written & illustrated by William Joyce
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

William Joyce’s absolutely gorgeous illustrations absolutely make this tale of the fight between good and evil in one dying garden between the doodlebugs and the leaf men they summon for help and the Spider Queen and her ant minions. The story is a little odd and requires the use of one’s very active imagination, but is at the sample time beautifully soothing.

When an old woman gets sick and her garden begins to die, the doodle bugs call on the Leaf Men to make things right again.

The Snail And the Whale book
#3
The Snail And the Whale
Written by Julia Donaldson & illustrated by Axel Scheffler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

When a tiny snail meets a humpback whale, the two travel together to far-off lands. It’s a dream come true for the snail, who has never left home before. But when the whale swims too close to shore, will the snail be able to save her new friend?

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Magic School Bus Inside a Beehive - Ms. Frizzle takes her class on a fieldtrip to a beehive in her magic school bus.

  2. Carl and the Meaning of Life - From the often Caldecott-buzzed Deborah Freedman, a sweet and funny story about finding your place in the world. Carl is an earthworm. He spends his days happily tunneling in the soil until a field mouse asks him a simple question that stops him short: “Why?” Carl’s quest takes him on an adventure to meet all the animals of the forest, each of whom seems to know exactly what they were put on this earth to do, unlike the curious Carl. But it’s not until the world around him has changed that Carl begins to realize everyone, no matter how small, makes a big difference just by being themselves.

  3. The Honeybee and the Robber - After gathering nectar and making its way safely home, a lone honeybee saves the day when a bear attacks the hive.

  4. Captain Barbosa and the Pirate Hat Chase - In this wordless graphic novel, Captain Barbosa sails the seven seas with his trusty shipmates: a fly, an alligator, and an elephant. A seagull steals his treasured hat, and Barbosa and his crew give chase through a nasty storm. When Barbosa reaches the seagull’s island, he finds the hat―along with a nest of baby seagulls―and decides even pirates can forgive and forget.

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Books About Bugs And Insects and Zoology

Bonkers about Beetles book
#1
Bonkers about Beetles
Written & illustrated by Owen Davey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Owen Davey’s dynamic art and witty informational tidbits shine a light on the toughest bugs in the insect world: those brawny beetles! Did you know that there are roughly 400,000 different species of beetles? These incredible creatures make up about 25% of all animals on our planet! Beetles are superbly adapted to life in various climates across the world, wherever trees and flowers are found. From the mighty Goliath beetle to the beautiful iridescent scarab beetle, this captivating and stunningly illustrated guide will teach you everything you need to know about these fascinating insects.

The Secret of the Egg book
#2
The Secret of the Egg
Written by Nicola Davies & illustrated by Abbie Cameron
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Discover the delights of nature with zoologist, poet, and top children’s book author, Nicola Davies. Follow the young adventurer as she explores eggs of all shapes and sizes, where they may be hiding and what secrets could be held within. The easy rhymes encourage children to join in. With zoologically accurate, bright, and exciting illustrations by Abbie Cameron, this book explores the huge variety of animal and insect eggs and is one in a series of rhyming picture books which entertain and educate on a wide range of animals.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt: Let's Discover Bugs book
#3
We're Going on a Bear Hunt: Let's Discover Bugs
Written & illustrated by Andrea Cascardi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Enticing and educational guides to our feathered friends and all things creepy-crawly, featuring artwork from the We’re Going On a Bear Hunt animated special. Ants, spiders, and butterflies, oh my! Readers will learn about all sorts of bugs and insects in this guide for eager young entomologists. Whether the plan is to scour the house for crawling critters or venture out on a big bug hunt, this book is teeming with information on where to search for bugs, how to plan an excursion, and more — including buggy activities and stickers.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Summer Birds - Documents the work of a young girl, Maria Merian, who lived during the Middle Ages and disproved the theory of spontaneous generation by observing caterpillars as they spun cocoons and emerged as butterflies and moths in the spring. By the author of the Newbery Honor Book, The Surrender Tree.

  2. The Bug Girl - Maria Sibylla Merian was fascinated with insects. But when Maria was a girl in the mid-1600s, superstitions about bugs prevented most people from taking a close look. People thought bugs were evil—and anyone interested in such creatures was surely evil too. That didn’t stop Maria. Filled with curiosity, she began to study and paint them. She even witnessed silkworms form cocoons and transform into moths—discovering metamorphosis! Painting and drawing as she studied, Maria pushed the boundaries of what girls were expected to do, eventually gaining recognition as one of the first entomologists and scientific illustrators. This gorgeously illustrated biography celebrates a fascinating female pioneer who broke boundaries in both the arts and sciences.

  3. The Beetle Book - Beetles squeak and beetles glow. Beetles stink, beetles sprint, beetles walk on water. With legs, antennae, horns, beautiful shells, knobs, and other oddities—what’s not to like about beetles? The beetle world is vast: one out of every four living things on earth is a beetle. There are over 350,000 different species named so far and scientists suspect there may be as many as a million. From the goliath beetle that weighs one fourth of a pound to the nine inch long titan beetle, award-winning author-illustrator Steve Jenkins presents a fascinating array of these intriguing insects and the many amazing adaptations they have made to survive.

  4. We Dig Worms! - What do worms do all day? How do they see? And why are they so cold and squishy? Find out by going on an underground tour through the hidden world of earthworms. Kevin McCloskey’s book even shows readers what’s happening inside a worm’s body— brain, crop, gizzard, and more. The book takes young readers from “ew!” to “wow!” as they learn about the different ways worms work hard to help the earth. Kids may pick up many of the life science lessons contained here on their first read, but they’ll return to We Dig Worms! again and again to rediscover its story. Deceptively simple, humble yet charming, this little book reaches surprising depths…just like, well, a worm!

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Books About Bugs And Insects and Ants

Bring Me a Rock! book
#1
Bring Me a Rock!
Written & illustrated by Daniel Miyares
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the author-illustrator of Pardon Me! and Float comes a funny and fun picture book about a little bug who proves that even the small can be mighty.

When a power-hungry grasshopper king wants a throne to loom over his bug subjects, he summons each of them to “bring me a rock!” One by one, the bugs bring him the biggest rocks they can carry, but one little bug can contribute only a very small pebble. The grasshopper king shuns the little bug. But when his throne is in danger of tipping, that little bug might be the only one who can save him.

With beautiful, bold illustrations and a folk-tale sensibility, Bring Me a Rock! is a classic underdog tale with a humorous twist.

What Does an Anteater Eat? book
#2
What Does an Anteater Eat?
Written & illustrated by Ross Collins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Anteater is hungry, but he has completely forgotten what anteaters eat. Baffled, and with his tummy rumbling, he consults the other animals. Sloth is too busy, Toucan is clueless, and Crocodile has his own mouth full. Whatever will Anteater do? It isn’t until the ants all run for their lives that Anteater remembers what he should be eating . . . and it’s not what you think! A delightfully silly tale that little ones will return to again and again.

Snail Crossing book
#3
Snail Crossing
Written & illustrated by Corey R. Tabor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In a book that is as cheerful and charming as Snail himself, Corey Tabor tells a winning tale of slow but steady Snail, whose determination and kindness bring him the best reward of all: friendship.

When Snail spies a plump, crisp cabbage across the road, nothing will stop him—not a speeding car or even a hungry crow.

But then kindhearted Snail stops to help a crew of antsy ants in a rainstorm, and he loses his way. It looks like he will never get his treat—until Snail’s new friends come up with an ingenious idea. . . .

Honorable Mentions
  1. Hey Little Ant - A song in which an ant pleads with the kid who is tempted to squish it.

  2. The Ant and the Grasshopper - While hard at work on her chores, an ant hears the wonderful clickety click chirrup of music coming from the distance. Although she knows she should focus on the task at hand, she can’t help but explore the joyful noise! Award-winning team Rebecca and Ed Emberley bring an entertaining new twist to the classic children’s. The bright, bold graphics seem to dance and leap, as a bunch of boogying bugs start a celebration of their own.

  3. Henry's Awful Mistake - Henry the Duck has invited his good friend Clara to his home for a delicious dinner! But as he starts the preparations, he sees a pesky ant in his kitchen. “The ant must go,” says Henry, but as he quickly learns, one tiny little ant turns into huge and hilarious trouble!

  4. It's an Orange Aardvark! - Acclaimed New York Times-bestselling picture book creator Michael Hall delivers a funny and suspenseful story about colors, ants, aardvarks, and rainbows that will appeal to Lois Ehlert fans and fans of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle. Another winner from the author of My Heart Is Like a Zoo, Perfect Square, and Cat Tale! Five carpenter ants at home in their tree stump hear a noise. What is it? One ant thinks it is a hungry aardvark lurking outside the stump, just waiting to eat them. One ant makes a hole in the stump to see. Orange light floods the stump—it’s not an aardvark, proclaims the ant chorus. It’s orange! So what is lurking outside the stump? This very funny picture book features die-cut holes on almost every page, suspenseful page turns, a wonderful surprise ending, and an introduction to a rainbow of colors. It’s an Orange Aardvark! is a tour de force for Michael Hall, the acclaimed and bestselling creator of My Heart Is Like a Zoo, Perfect Square, and Cat Tale.

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Books About Bugs And Insects and Snails

Escargot book
#1
Escargot
Written by Dashka Slater & illustrated by Sydney Hanson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Bonjour! Escargot is a beautiful French snail who wants only two things:

  1. To be your favorite animal.

  2. To get to the delicious salad at the end of the book.

But when he gets to the salad, he discovers that there’s a carrot in it. And Escargot hates carrots. But when he finally tries one—with a little help from you!—he discovers that it’s not so bad after all!

A charming and interactive picture book ideal for picky eaters and animal lovers alike.

A Book for Escargot book
#2
A Book for Escargot
Written by Dashka Slater & illustrated by Sydney Hanson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

In this standalone sequel to Escargot, written by award-winning author Dashka Slater, we follow a funny and charming French snail through a library to find the book of his dreams. Bonjour! It is moi, Escargot, your favorite French snail. Today I am going on a trip to the library, where there are so many stories to choose from! Stories about dog superheroes . . . guinea pig detectives . . . and flamingo astronauts.

But sadly, none of these books is about a daring snail hero who saves the day. What is that you say? Perhaps this is the book about the snail hero? Ooh là là!

Snippet the Early Riser book
#3
Snippet the Early Riser
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Snippet is a typical snail. He loves to draw. He loves to play soccer. He loves piggyback rides. But unlike other snails, he does not love to sleep in. While his family is snoozing the morning away, he is wide awake and determined to rouse his family. But how? Snippet the Early Riser is the perfect bedtime (or wake-up time!) tale, celebrating early birds and late snoozers alike.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Marigold and Daisy - Although Marigold is excited to meet her new snail sister, Daisy, she becomes envious of the attention everyone gives her, but when Marigold reaches her breaking point and decides to run away, she discovers that Daisy may come in handy after all.

  2. Snails are Just My Speed! - What’s the scoop behind all the mucus? Did you know snails build roads like engineers and go undercover in camouflage like spies? Did you know they can be smaller than a seed or bigger than a grown-up’s hand? Kevin McCloskey mixes snail science, art, and hilarity for the newest book in his Giggle and Learn series, praised by The New York Times as “a winning combination of facts and gross-out fun.”

  3. Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator - The wolfsnail hunts its prey: other snails. This true tale of horror begins in the leaf litter beside a quaint porch in Jackson, Mississippi. The wolfsnail is on the prowl. Big, strong, and fast (for a snail), the wolfsnail has a taste for meat. In some areas, it is called the cannibal snail. It has earned the name. Soon, the predator finds the slime trail of a smaller snail and follows the path toward its prey. When the chase ends and the dramatic feast is done, nothing remains of the smaller snail but an empty shell. This photographic story, a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book, of a day in the life of a wolfsnail offers a unique and dramatic introduction to the food chain. Young readers will be fascinated by this little-known predator and the impact it has had on habitats where it does not belong.

Want to see more children's books about snails?

Books About Bugs And Insects and Spiders

The Hugely-Wugely Spider book
#1
The Hugely-Wugely Spider
Written by Ethan T. Berlin & illustrated by Karl Newsom Edwards
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

This funny and clever picture book, great for spring displays, is a twist on the classic Itsy-Bitsy Spider nursery rhyme.

The Very Busy Spider book
#2
The Very Busy Spider
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

A spider, blown by the wind to a fence post near a farm yard, begins to build her web and cannot be distracted from the task at hand–not by the horse, cow, sheep, goat, or dog. But when the rooster asks if she wants to catch a pesky fly, the busy spider is able to catch it in her web immediately!

The Spider and the Fly book
#3
The Spider and the Fly
Written by Mary Howitt & illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

“‘Will you walk into my parlor,’ said the Spider to the Fly…” is easily one of the most recognized and quoted first lines in all of English verse. But do you have any idea how the age-old tale of the Spider and the Fly ends? Join celebrated artist Tony DiTerlizzi as he — drawing inspiration from one of his loves, the classic Hollywood horror movies of the 1920s and 1930s — shines a cinematic spotlight on Mary Howitt’s warning, written to her own children about those who use sweet words to hide their not-so-sweet intentions.

Honorable Mentions
  1. I'm Trying to Love Spiders - You don’t have to love or even like spiders to love this book. In fact, if you really don’t like spiders, you’ll have a lot in common with the book’s narrator, who despite his/her best intentions, cannot help smooshing them! This fresh and very funny non-fiction picture book shares lots of fascinating facts about spiders-like a single spider can eat 50 pounds of bugs in a year!-and in an entirely captivating way. If I’m Trying to Love Spiders doesn’t cure your spider phobia, it’ll at least make you appreciate how amazing they are…and laugh a lot as you learn about them.

  2. The Itsy Bitsy Spider - In this expanded version of a popular song, the itsy-bitsy spider’s climbing is interrupted by a fan, a mouse, a cat, and some dew before she makes her way to the top of a tree to spin her web.

  3. Uugghh! - A slug who believes he is ugly meets a spider who teaches him that beauty is subjective by introducing him to people and animals who have different ideas of what is beautiful.

Want to see more children's books about spiders?

Books About Bugs And Insects and The Environment

Slide-N-Seek Earth book
#1
Slide-N-Seek Earth
Written & illustrated by David Miles
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Explore a new and exciting way to learn about what’s happening underground with this interactive Slide-N-Seek book. With a turn of the wheel, you’ll see colorful images transform before your very eyes. But don’t stop there, look closer and you’ll discover hidden images throughout every page. Kids will love this fun and educational format while learning about fascinating objects along the way.

The Honeybee book
#2
The Honeybee
Written by Kirsten Hall & illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Buzz from flower to flower with a sweet honeybee in this timely, clever, and breathtakingly gorgeous picture book from critically acclaimed author Kirsten Hall and award-winning illustrator Isabelle Arsenault. Bzzz… What’s that? Do you hear it? You’re near it. It’s closer, it’s coming, it’s buzzing, it’s humming… A BEE! With zooming, vibrant verse by Kirsten Hall and buzzy, beautiful illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault, this celebration of the critically important honeybee is a honey-sweet treasure of a picture book.

Give Bees a Chance book
#3
Give Bees a Chance
Written & illustrated by Bethany Barton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the author-illustrator of Children’s Choice Book Award Winner I’m Trying to Love Spiders: a plea to please give bees a chance!

Not sure whether to high-five bees or run away from them? Well, maybe you shouldn’t high-five them, but you definitely don’t have to run away from them. Give Bees a Chance is for anyone who doesn’t quite appreciate how extra special and important bees are to the world, and even to humankind! Besides making yummy honey, they help plants grow fruits and vegetables. And most bees wouldn’t hurt a fly (unless it was in self-defense!).

Bethany Barton’s interactive cartoon-style illustrations and hilarious narrator mean this book is full of facts and fun. With bees officially on the endangered animals list, it’s more important now than ever to get on board with our flying, honey-making friends!

Honorable Mentions
  1. UnBEElievables - The buzz is big for Douglas Florian’s new poetry collection about the unBEElieveably unique lives of honeybees—and the vital role they play in our ecosystem. Come inside the honeycomb—a busy, buzzy, bee-filled home—and learn about the unexpected wonders of these tiny insects’ lifestyles, families, and communities. In fourteen funny, fact-filled honeybee poems and paintings, Douglas Florian explores the natural history of these often-unappreciated critters, revealing them to be a totally cool—and totally important—part of our ecosystem. Indeed, these buzzy bugs have been in the spotlight lately as wild bee populations are dwindling, honey prices are rising, and beekeeping has become a popular hobby.

  2. Bee & Me - A beautiful wordless picture book brings a personal note to the plight of the honeybee and offers a message of hope. A little girl befriends a bee that takes her on a journey of discovery, revealing an action that every child can take to aid in conservation. In a wordless story told through enchanting illustrations, Bee & Me tells a tale of friendship and offers an introduction to the ecology of the natural world. Alison Jay’s original artwork brings the story gently to life, pointing out the sadness of a world without bees. An afterword makes clear to readers the important role these endangered insects play.

  3. Exploding Ants - A wasp lays its eggs under a caterpillar’s skin so that its young can eat the caterpillar’s guts as they grow. A young head louse makes its home on a human hair and feasts on human blood. Frogs use their eyeballs to help swallow their food. From small worms that live in a dog’s nose mucus to exploding ants to regurgitating mother gulls, this book tells of the unusual ways animals find food, shelter, and safety in the natural world. If animals all ate the same things and lived in the same places, it would be impossible for all of them to survive. So they specialize. Some animals eat the bits that others leave behind, such as skin and mucus. They find all kinds of unusual places to shelter, including the cracks and holes in another creature’s skin or its internal organs. They use their own bodies to protect themselves from predators by imitating unsavory items such as bird droppings and even by blowing up. These habits that may seem disgusting to us are wonderful adaptations that make it possible for a great variety of creatures to live and thrive on Earth. Read about them and marvel at the amazing ways animals adapt to the natural world.

Want to see more children's books about the environment?

Books About Bugs And Insects and Feelings And Emotions

Calm with the Very Hungry Caterpillar book
#1
Calm with the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

This beautiful little gift book featuring The Very Hungry Caterpillar provides a simple, easy-to-follow journey to relaxation, perfect for children and adults. Just stop and breathe . . . How do you feel? Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar for a soothing story featuring classic art from the World of Eric Carle. With simple coping mechanisms and beautiful illustrations, this book is an excellent reminder to kids and adults alike to take a moment, breathe deep, and smile!

A Way with Wild Things book
#2
A Way with Wild Things
Written by Larissa Theule & illustrated by Sara Palacios
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Poppy’s not flashy, but she stands out in her own way. This charming book about a girl who loves nature celebrates quieter kids.

Poppy Ann Fields loves bugs—sitting in the grass singing with cicadas, carrying on conversations with ladybugs—and feels much more at home outside with six-legged friends than with other people. Inside, Poppy prefers to disappear into the background. Some might call her a wallflower.

But when Grandma Phyllis turns 100, Poppy must go to the party. She wears a dress that blends into the garden setting, so she’s almost invisible, until a very special bug lands on Grandma Phyllis’s cake. Poppy can’t resist popping out to see it. Soon, the rest of the party guests notice this beautiful wild thing—Poppy and the dragonfly!

With a gently poetic text from newcomer Larissa Theule and wildly charming illustrations by Sara Palacios, this story shows that sometimes a wallflower is actually a wildflower.

Musical Mac book
#3
Musical Mac
Written & illustrated by Brendan Kearney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Mac the millipede loves to make music. He dreams of playing in a talent show with a band, but wherever he auditions, everyone says NO. No one wants him . . . until Mac comes up with an ingenious one-millipede solution to his problem! Brendan Kearney’s funny picture book will inspire kids who like to march to the beat of their own drum.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Very Lonely Firefly - A VERY classic from Eric Carle, creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar! When a very lonely firefly goes out into the night searching for other fireflies, it sees a lantern, a candle, and the eyes of a dog, cat, and owl all glowing in the darkness. It even sees a surprise celebration of light. But it is not until it discovers other fireflies that it finds exactly what it’s looking for–a surprise sure to bring smiles to anyone who turn the final page! Lushly illustrated with Eric Carle’s trademark vibrant collage art, soothingly told with a gentle read-aloud rhythm, and complete with a surprise sure to “light up” children’s faces, The Very Lonely Firefly will fast become a storytime favorite. Read it with a flashlight in the dark or under the table–and watch those fireflies glow!

  2. Why Worry? - Told through soft, gorgeous color illustrations, Why Worry is a gentle story of two friends swept into the unpredictable wilderness and how, despite feeling anxiety and worries, they find peace and calmness together. Once upon a time there were two good friends, Cricket and Grasshopper. Cricket always worried. Grasshopper never did. Cricket and Grasshopper go on a high-flying, wild adventure and encounter a large crow, a hungry fish, powerful winds, and more. But while Grasshopper is having the time of her life, Cricket can’t help but worry if they’ll be safe, where they’re going, and how they’ll return home. Though the two have differing perspectives, Grasshopper and Cricket find support in each other through acceptance and patience. Originally published in 1979, Why Worry? is a soothing tale that teaches understanding and empathy of people who experience anxiety, and how to support and alleviate those worries.

  3. Hugs and Kisses for the Grouchy Ladybug - From the World of Eric Carle comes a brand-new book starring the Grouchy Ladybug, a favorite character for over 40 years! Perfect for fans of Love from the Hungry Caterpillar, this reminds us that that hugs and kisses truly make the world go ‘round and that we all need love, even when we’re grouchy! With Eric Carle’s signature bright collage illustrations featuring an array of charming animals, this is the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day, or any time you want to share love with someone special. With its universal message of friendship, this little gift book is perfect for all ages! Hugs and kisses for the grouchy ladybug will make you smile, clap, and jump for joy!

Want to see more children's books about feelings and emotions?

Books About Bugs And Insects and Friendship

Twig book
#1
Twig
Written & illustrated by Aura Parker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Heidi is a stick insect, tall and long like the twig of a tree. It’s her first day at a busy bug school, where she hopes to learn and make new friends. But finding friends isn’t easy when no one can find you!

The Secret Rhino Society book
#2
The Secret Rhino Society
Written by Jonathan E. Jacobs & illustrated by Samantha Cotterill
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In the spirit of favorites like Stick & Stone and Spoon this warmhearted and hilarious picture book tells the story of a highly unusual group of friends and is stunningly illustrated by Samantha Cotterill.

Meet Hudson, a hippo. Fran, an earthworm. And Jean, a lightbulb.

They have one thing in common: a profound appreciation for rhinos. So, they form a Secret Rhino Appreciation Society, in which a key activity it wearing paper horns. (Sometimes this results in a fire. That’s what happens when a lightbulb wears a paper horn.) But when they meet their first real, live rhino and ask her to do rhino-y things, she doesn’t want to charge or snort—she’s a gardener! She is not what the society expected, but can they learn to appreciate her for who she is?

This funny, character-driven story explores themes of friendship, expectations, and prejudice.

I Love You (Almost Always) book
#3
I Love You (Almost Always)
Written by Anna Llenas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

When two creatures are different, can they still be pals? A sweet pop-up book about friendship, from the creator of The Color Monster.
 
Ralph is a roly-poly. Rita is a firefly. They are very different, and that is why they like each other . . . until, one day, they don’t. Rita thinks Ralph’s shell is too hard, and Ralph thinks Rita shines too brightly. Is their friendship in trouble? Or can they find a way to compromise? This celebration of love between two besties wows with amazing 3-D pop-ups on every page. It’s the perfect gift for Valentine’s—or any—Day.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Bizz & Buzz Make Honey Buns - Following Bear’s recipe for honey buns, bees Bizz and Buzz are confused by homophones, causing them to use a “flower” instead of “flour” and tell a buttercup how much they “need” it instead of “kneading” the flower and butter together.

  2. Diary of a Spider - This is the diary . . . of a spider. Actually, he’s a lot like you. He goes to gym class and has Grandparents Day at school. But he also spins sticky webs, scales walls, and takes wind-catching lessons. Lucky for him, his best friend is a fly! Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss, the team behind the #1 New York Times bestselling Diary of a Worm and Diary of a Fly, spin a hilarious tale about the upside-down web world of an eight-legged charmer and his unlikely friend, Fly.

  3. Bug Off! - Maude wants to be a member of the Bug-of-the-Month Club in her new neighborhood and decides that her entrance speech will be about fireflies. She reads, she researches, she prepares, and she delivers a speech that all the club members love—except for hard-to-please Louise. Louise won’t even let Maude in the club! So Maude vows to really let Louise have it for being so rude—but when she does, it’s not in the way anyone expects. A sparkly story about friendship, kindness, and inclusion—packed with info about fireflies, too!

  4. Here Comes Stinkbug! - Stinkbug can really stink. But when it starts bugging his friends, Stinkbug wonders if it’s time to stop doing what stink bugs do best. This is a funny bug story about when it’s okay to stink and when it might be wiser not to.

Want to see 7 more children's books about bugs and insects and friendship?

How about children's books about friendship?

Books About Bugs And Insects and Nature

In a Garden book
#1
In a Garden
Written by Tim McCanna & illustrated by Aimee Sicuro
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Acclaimed author Tim McCanna celebrates gardens, nature, and all sorts of critters in this delightful and vibrant read-aloud picture book.

In the earth a single seed sits beside a millipede worms and termites dig and toil moving through the garden soil

How does a garden grow? Follow along from seed to sprout to bud to flower as a garden blooms. Worms, ladybugs, millipedes, and more help a garden grow each season. Tim McCanna’s gorgeous, rhyming text, combined with Aimée Sicuro’s stunning illustrations make this charming picture book as informative as it is fun to read aloud.

Bonus backmatter features tons of cool facts about ecosystems and the symbiosis between plants and bugs.

Among a Thousand Fireflies book
#2
Among a Thousand Fireflies
Written by Helen Frost & illustrated by Rick Lieder
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

How can a firefly find the one, among so many? Exquisite photographs and poetic text evoke a sense of mystery and magic. On a summer evening, just as the stars blink on, a firefly lands on a flower. Lights start to flash all around her — first one, then three, seven. Hundreds. Thousands. How will she find just one flash among them? And will he see her flash in return? In evocative photographs and lyrical language, Rick Lieder and Helen Frost, creators of the critically acclaimed Step Gently Out and Sweep Up the Sun, offer a true story of how two fireflies come together after finding each other’s light among thousands of others.

Like a Shooting Star book
#3
Like a Shooting Star
Written & illustrated by Rino Alaimo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Award-winning filmmaker and author of The Boy Who Loved the Moon. Rino Alaimo returns with an endearing tale about courage and love. When a young boy’s father doesn’t return from the war, the lonely boy wishes upon a shooting star—one that turns out to be a little firefly who, try as she might, just can’t fly. Touched by the boy’s earnest wish, the firefly undertakes a courageous journey to bring the boy’s father home. Hope, love, and the courage of an unlikely hero fill the pages of this stunningly illustrated picture book.

Honorable Mentions
  1. How to Survive As a Firefly - Listen up, larvae! I’ve been in the trenches for the last year and a half, and let me tell you, there is danger lurking behind every tree and headlight. With my expertise, you’ll learn how to hunt your first meal (snail soup anyone?), what makes your abdomen glow (put down the fire extinguisher!), and how to react when your mate wants to eat you for dinner (who knew fireflies could be cannibals?). Buck up, buttercup you’re in for the flight of your life! If you know what s good for you, you’ll stop goofing around and pay attention to How to Survive as a Firefly, or you might never make it to adulthood! How to Survive as a Firefly provides a unique take on insect science that will entertain and educate in and out of the classroom. Full of opportunities for extended learning, this book includes fun facts hidden throughout the hilarious illustrated story and after, a glossary of important terms and some real firefly photos. If you’ve ever wondered how these fascinating beetles grow and glow and you like to laugh while you learn this book is for you!

  2. 100 Bugs! A Counting Book - A boy and girl find and count 100 different bugs in their backyard in increments of ten.

  3. Bug - Bug is a quirky little girl who’s mad about insects and drawing . . . and hates arithmetic. But when her teacher promises the class a field trip if everyone does well on their math test, Bug knows she HAS to pass. This humorous story shows kids that there are many ways to find the correct answer—if you use your imagination and count on the things you love.

  4. Beehive - Acclaimed author Jorey Hurley shows us how bees make and store honey in this bold and graphic picture book that includes informative backmatter on the process. With just one word on each page and the vivid illustrations Joey Hurley is known for, Beehive showcases the cycle of bees making honey. Detailed backmatter further explains this fascinating natural process.

Want to see 7 more children's books about bugs and insects and nature?

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