Best Children's Books About Nature

81+ Children's Books About Nature

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
The Secret Garden book
#1
The Secret Garden
Written by Mandy Archer and illustrated by Jane Newland
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Introducing Little Miss Burnett’s The Secret Garden: A BabyLit® Flowers Primer. From crocus to snowdrop, daffodil, snapdragon, and more, your child can be one of the few that is allowed in the secret garden all summer long!

Baby Bear Sees Blue book
#2
Baby Bear Sees Blue
Written and illustrated by Ashley Wolff
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Leaving the den as the weather warms, Baby Bear discovers blue birds, red strawberries, orange butterflies, and other colorful things in nature.

Jane Foster's ABC book
#3
Jane Foster's ABC
Written and illustrated by Jane Foster
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Introduce little ones to letters in this bold and graphic style board book by illustrator and textile designer Jane Foster. In this ABC board book, children will be introduced to letters by associating them with animals, such as D for duck, L for lion, and Z for zebra.

Sunrise, Moonrise book
#4
Sunrise, Moonrise
Written and illustrated by Betsy Thompson
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Day turns into night and some animals drift to sleep while others spring to life in this beautiful high-contrast board book. Sun rises. Bird sings. And so the day begins in this beautifully simple board book with bold artwork and lyrical text that shows us the passing of time in the day. Fish swim under a blue sky, squirrels dream as the sun sets, the moon rises as stars blink, and an owl hoots when night falls. With word repetition and a single tree that houses both the bird who sings as the sun rises and the owl who hoots after the moon rises, little ones can begin to understand that the day begins and ends in the same way.

Mrs. Peanuckle's Bug Alphabet book
#5
Mrs. Peanuckle's Bug Alphabet
Written by Mrs. Peanuckle and illustrated by Jessie Ford
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Mrs. Peanuckle’s Bug Alphabet introduces babies and toddlers to all sorts of interesting bugs. Perfect to read aloud, this creepy, crawly adventure will engage children and parents alike with its vibrant illustrations and fascinating facts about bugs. Learning the ABCs has never been so bitingly fun! Mrs. Peanuckle’s Bug Alphabet is the fourth title in a series of board books celebrating the joy of nature at home and in the backyard, from fresh fruits and vegetables to birds, flowers, and trees.

My Love is For You book
#6
My Love is For You
Written by Susan Musgrave and illustrated by Marilyn Faucher
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

A beautiful board book that weaves the purity, strength and endlessness of love with simple joys of nature.

Touch the Brightest Star book
#7
Touch the Brightest Star
Written and illustrated by Christie Matheson
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This interactive bedtime story proves nighttime isn't scary at all. The gentle journey from sunset to sunrise shows even the youngest children the magic of the nighttime sky—and lets them make magic happen! A companion to the popular and acclaimed Tap the Magic Tree. This board book edition is the perfect size for little hands.

Augustus and His Smile book
#8
Augustus and His Smile
Written and illustrated by Catherine Rayner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Augustus the tiger was sad. He had lost his smile. So he did a HUGE tigery stretch, and set off to find it. Stunning illustrations celebrate the beauty of the world and the simple happiness it brings to us. An imaginative book for children who love to explore the world around them.

Color Wonder Hooray for Spring! book
#9
Color Wonder Hooray for Spring!
Written by Chiêu Anh Urban
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Celebrate the bright colors of spring with this hands-on color-play novelty board book! Wake up ladybug, look what’s here? Spring brings red, march and cheer. Join award-winning artist Chiêu Anh Urban in this inventively visual experience that allows readers to mix and match the colors of vibrant flowers right before their eyes. Turn the wheels to create and change the bold colors of spring in this deceptively simple and thoughtfully layered novelty book that teaches the joy and wonder of color.

Bugs Galore book
#10
Bugs Galore
Written by Peter Stein and illustrated by Bob Staake
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Dig in as a flurry of bugs of every shape, size, and color crawl across the page in a veritable infestation of whimsy and humor. Cars Galore creators Peter Stein and Bob Staake return with an in-the-dirt, high-inthe-sky critter tale buzzing with nonstop rhymes and swarming with comical retro illustrations.

The Stick book
#11
The Stick
Written and illustrated by Clay Rice
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

When a young boy finds a stick on the ground and reads the inspiring words carved into it, his life begins to change until he fulfills lifelong dreams and discovers the truth about giving.

Sleepyheads book
#12
Sleepyheads
Written by Sandra J. Howatt and illustrated by Joyce Wan
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Get ready for bed with this soothing sleepy story—now available as a Classic Board Book! The sun has set, and sleepyheads all across the land are tucked into their cozy beds. Rabbit is snoozing in the weeds, and Duck is snuggled in the reeds. Bear is nestled in his cave, and Otter is rocking on a wave. But there’s one little sleepyhead who’s not in his bed. Where, oh where, could he be? This sweet and snuggly bedtime book with irresistible illustrations by Joyce Wan is the perfect read-aloud story to prepare little ones for a cozy night’s sleep.

Babies of the Great Bear Rainforest book
#13
Babies of the Great Bear Rainforest
Written by and illustrated by Ian McAllister
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

In this photographic board book, readers are introduced to the baby animals born each spring in the Great Bear Rainforest.

Maple book
#14
Maple
Written and illustrated by Lori Nichols
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Lori Nichols’ enchanting debut features an irresistible, free-spirited, nature-loving little girl who greets the changing seasons and a new sibling with arms wide open. When Maple is tiny, her parents plant a maple tree in her honor. She and her tree grow up together, and even though a tree doesn’t always make an ideal playmate, it doesn’t mind when Maple is in the mood to be loud—which is often. Then Maple becomes a big sister, and finds that babies have their loud days, too. Fortunately, Maple and her beloved tree know just what the baby needs.

Up in the Leaves book
#15
Up in the Leaves
Written by Shira Boss and illustrated by Jamey Christoph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Bob does not like the noisy, crowded streets and school hallways of his New York City home, so he decides to build a tree house in the cool, green calm of Central Park. Includes a note about the real Bob Redman.

Hello Hello book
#16
Hello Hello
Written and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A new picture book from Brendan Wenzel, the New York Times bestselling and Caldecott Honor-winning author of They All Saw a Cat! Hello, Hello! Beginning with two cats, one black and one white, a chain of animals appears before the reader, linked together by at least one common trait. From simple colors and shapes to more complex and abstract associations, each unexpected encounter celebrates the magnificent diversity of our world—and ultimately paints a story of connection. Brendan Wenzel's joyous, rhythmic text and exuberant art encourage readers to delight in nature's infinite differences and to look for—and marvel at—its gorgeous similarities. It all starts with a simple "Hello." The book includes: • An afterword from author Brendan Wenzel about the importance of conservation and protecting the wildlife on our planet. • A glossary of the animals featured in the book and a notation on their status (Near Threatened, Vulnerable, Endangered, or Critically Endangered).

Mama Loves You So book
#17
Mama Loves You So
Written by Terry Pierce and illustrated by Simone Shin
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

With lilting lullaby text and lovely illustrations, the New Books for Newborns stories are the perfect first books for new parents to share with their little ones right from the start! Start here. If only raising a child was that easy. It can be difficult in the first year to figure out what’s just right for your baby. But with this new line of books—New Books for Newborns— story time is really that simple. Designed as the first books to start reading with your baby, these just-right stories hit all the right notes with soothing texts, lovely art, and, most importantly, stories meant for sharing any time of the day. Start here. Snuggle up. It’s story time! This book celebrates a mother’s love trumping even majestic mother nature…a mama’s love is higher than a mountain and deeper than any stream.

Snow Dog, Sand Dog book
#18
Snow Dog, Sand Dog
Written by Linda Joy Singleton and illustrated by Jess Golden
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What would you do if you were allergic but realy wanted a dog? In this whimsical picture book, a young girl uses her crafty nature and imagination to create four-legged friends each season as the weather changes. She builds a dog out of snow in winter, sand in summer, leaves in fall, and flowers in spring!

Octopus Alone book
#19
Octopus Alone
Written and illustrated by Divya Srinivasan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Octopus loves living on the busy reef under the sea. From her cozy cave, she can see clown fish, and sea turtles, and little butterflies swimming by. She especially loves watching the seahorses having fun, wiggling and twirling. Sometimes she will play with them, but occasionally Octopus just wants to be alone, somewhere quiet, and not so busy. So one day, she swims far, far beyond the reef and finds another cozy cave, only here she is perfectly, wonderfully alone. It is exactly what she wanted . . . until she’s ready to go back home to be with her friends. As she did in Little Owl’s Night, Divya Srinivasan shows children a wonderful part of the natural world in a very warm-hearted way.

One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me! book
#20
One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me!
Written by John Micklos and illustrated by Clive McFarland
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

This playful counting book shares the colorful highlights of the four seasons in charming illustrations. Count your way through the seasons! In spring, the tree’s leaves appear, one by one. By summer, there’s a glorious canopy. And when autumn winds blow, leaves fly from the tree, one after another, leading us into winter. There’s a world of activity to spy in and around this beautiful tree as the wild creatures, and one little boy, celebrate the cycles of nature. As little ones count leaves, look for animals, and enjoy the changing seasonal landscape, bouncy rhymes and bold illustrations make learning to count easy—corresponding numerals reinforcing the learning fun.

Counting on Snow book
#21
Counting on Snow
Written and illustrated by Maxwell Newhouse
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Maxwell Newhouse, folk artist extraordinaire, has created a unique counting book. The premise is simple. He invites children to count with him from ten crunching caribou down to one lonely moose, by finding other northern animals - from seals to wolves to snowy owls - as they turn the pages. But as the animals appear, so does the snow, until it's a character too, obliterating light and dark, sky and earth. A gorgeous exploration of the isolation and the beauty of northern winter, Maxwell Newhouse has created a deceptively simple picture book that can be enjoyed by all ages.

The Camping Trip That Changed America book
#22
The Camping Trip That Changed America
Written by Barb Rosenstock and illustrated by Mordecai Gerstein
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Caldecott medalist Mordicai Gerstein captures the majestic redwoods of Yosemite in this little-known but important story from our nation’s history. In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt joined naturalist John Muir on a trip to Yosemite. Camping by themselves in the uncharted woods, the two men saw sights and held discussions that would ultimately lead to the establishment of our National Parks.

Spit & Sticks book
#23
Spit & Sticks
Written by Marilyn Grohoske Evans and illustrated by Nicole Gsell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Succinct and factual text follows chimney swifts as they arrive on a Texas farm, build their nest, lay eggs, ready for fledglings to take flight, and eventually prepare to migrate back to South America. In a parallel, wordless story, a mom, dad, and young girl on the farm watch the chimney swifts throughout the summer and fall, even as they build a new crib and ready for the new baby they’re expecting. As they enjoy their baby’s first months, they also celebrate the fledglings’ first flight and bid the birds good-bye until next year. Nicole Gsell’s soft illustrations follow the tales of both families—bird and human—from each unique perspective. A beautiful addition to bird lovers’ collections, as well as classrooms and libraries.

Alone Together book
#24
Alone Together
Written and illustrated by Clayton Junior
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

Alone Together looks at opposites and contrasts through unusual and humorous examples in the animal world. This charming picture book will spark conversations between adult and child and is a great introduction to a key early years concept. Its bold, colorful illustrations are perfect for parents and young children to explore together and to pour over time and again.

Mrs. Peanuckle's Bird Alphabet book
#25
Mrs. Peanuckle's Bird Alphabet
Written by Mrs. Peanuckle and illustrated by Jessie Ford
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

From the albatross to the zebra finch, Mrs. Peanuckle pulls out her binoculars and introduces toddlers to 26 species of birds from all around the world. Described by a single interesting fact or defining characteristic, each bird proves to be as unique and surprising as the one before. Ever wonder why flamingoes are pink? It’s all those shrimp they eat. Are there birds that can fly backward? Yes, but hummingbirds are the only ones! With colorful, dynamic art, and attention-grabbing text, Mrs. Peanuckle’s birds fly off the page, and in some cases, into the parks and backyards of the children and adults reading this book. Mrs. Peanuckle’s Bird Alphabet is the fifth title in a series of board books celebrating the joy of nature at home and in the backyard, from fresh fruits and vegetables to birds, bugs, and trees.

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