Best Kids Books About Bugs

18 Amazing Books for Your Child Who Loves Bugs and Spiders

Updated Feb. 19, 2019

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.)

Miss Spider's Tea Party book
#1
Miss Spider's Tea Party
Written and 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 Grouchy Ladybug book
#2
The Grouchy Ladybug
Written and 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 Leaf Men book
#3
The Leaf Men
Written and 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.

Firenze's Light book
#4
Firenze's Light
Written by Jessica Collaço and illustrated by Angela Li
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

The illustrations on this one are my favorite part and they're gorgeous with a little spunk. The story about letting your unique light shine from the perspective of a little firefly is really very cute, but it spells it out a little too plainly and literally for my taste.

Follow Firenze, a feisty firefly, as she discovers the power of her light in this fun and encouraging story of friendship and self-appreciation. Firenze's friends love her light, but Firenze doesn't think it's so great. How can she when it's nearly impossible to play a good game of hide-and-seek?!! When Firenze's light and a new friend's artwork unexpectedly combine, she must decide whether she will keep her light hidden or find the courage to let it shine. "Firenze's Light" is a beautifully illustrated picture book that sets itself apart by leaving out the bullying and shame found in more traditional children's books. Readers will find encouraging, kind characters inspiring self-appreciation, gratitude, kindness and compassion. While Firenze twirled on the stage, she realized how powerful her light was. It was creating magical art, joy for her friends, and happiness in her heart. Suddenly, Firenze felt very grateful she was a firefly. Ideal for children ages 3-8, this is the first in a series of books that reflect gentle parenting and nurture universal values that inspire and empower kids. "Firenze's Light" is a thoughtful gift for baptisms, baby showers, dance recitals and birthdays. Perfect for toddlers, preschool, kindergarten, first grade and second grade.

The Snail And the Whale book
#5
The Snail And the Whale
Written by Julia Donaldson and 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?

Hi! Fly Guy book
#6
Hi! Fly Guy
Written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Buzz captures a fly to enter in The Amazing Pet Show, his parents and the judges tell him that a fly cannot be a pet, but Fly Guy proves them wrong.

The Very Lonely Firefly book
#7
The Very Lonely Firefly
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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!

The Very Quiet Cricket book
#8
The Very Quiet Cricket
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

One day a tiny cricket is born and meets a big cricket who chirps his welcome. The tiny cricket tries to respond, but there is no sound. The quiet cricket then makes his way into the world, meeting one insect after another, each of whom greets the little cricket with a cheery hello–the hum of a bee, the whirr of a dragonfly, the whisper of a praying mantis. The cricket rubs his wings together each time, but nothing happens, not a sound. Until the day he meets another cricket, a female, and something different happens . . . As children turn the page on this wonderful moment, they are greeted with a surprise–an actual chirp! Full of Eric Carle’s gorgeous and lush collage art, a gentle rhythmic text for read-alouds, and a wonder-inducing surprise at the end, The Very Quiet Cricket remains an all-time favorite from one of the true masters of picture-book making. As children turn the page on this wonderful moment, they are greeted with a surprise–an actual chirp! Full of Eric Carle’s gorgeous and lush collage art, a gentle rhythmic text for read-alouds, and a wonder-inducing surprise at the end, The Very Quiet Cricket remains an all-time favorite from one of the true masters of picture-book making.

Inch by Inch book
#9
Inch by Inch
Written and illustrated by Leo Lionni
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

To keep from being eaten, an inchworm measures a robin's tail, a flamingo's neck, a toucan's beak, a heron's legs, and a nightingale's song.

How Many Bugs in a Box? book
#10
How Many Bugs in a Box?
Written and illustrated by David A. Carter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Here is the book that started the Bugs phenomenon! Inside each bright box are bugs to count from one to ten. Bugs fans will laugh and learn as they lift open the boxes and find colorful, comical bugs that pop out, run, eat -- and even swim! How Many Bugs in a Box? will keep children counting over and over again.

Buzz book
#11
Buzz
Written by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Vincent Nguyen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

After learning that a bee's body is too chunky for flight, Buzz the bumblebee defies the laws of aerodynamics to save a friend in need.

Snippet the Early Riser book
#12
Snippet the Early Riser
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from Mr. Stacatto

A charmingly illustrated book about a little snail that's too full of energy to sleep. Unfortunately, it's all about Snippet and his friends' tactics to wake up his parents. Personally, I'd probably pass on this as I don't want my kids to think such shenanigans are cute or welcome.

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.

Diary of a Fly book
#13
Diary of a Fly
Written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Harry Bliss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A young fly discovers, day by day, that there is a lot to learn about being an insect, including the dangers of flypaper and that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! book
#14
Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!
Written and illustrated by Bob Barner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-12

A nonsense rhyme introduces children to familiar bugs. Includes a fun facts sections.

Diary of a Spider book
#15
Diary of a Spider
Written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Harry Bliss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

The Fly book
#16
The Fly
Written and illustrated by Petr Horacek
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

There’s never a dull moment in this funny, beautifully illustrated tale depicting a pesky fly in a whole new light. The housefly in this story doesn’t understand why people won’t share their food with him or play with him . . . and why do they keep trying to give him a swat? He’s not doing any harm! In a clever, interactive novelty book buzzing with fun, Petr Horácek may make readers reluctant to turn the final page.

Alpha Bugs book
#17
Alpha Bugs
Written and 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
#18
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written and 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.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.