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Nature: Picture Books For Kids

Nature is filled with beauty, peace, curiosity, and wonder. There's beauty in every sunset, peace in the sound of rain or the waves on the beach, the curiosity of the bugs and animals, and how everything works and comes to be, and the wonder of the natural phenomenons you can find in nature wherever you seem to look.

These books hold adventures, beauty, and knowledge of nature for little ones to learn, explore, and enjoy.

Top 10 Books About Nature

The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth book
#1
The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth
Written and illustrated by Chris Burkard
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers

This is an all-time favorite children's book for me. The artwork is stunning and the entire book is a fantastic celebration of our beautiful Earth. This is the first children's book by award-winning photographer Chris Burkard, and if you've seen his photography (@chrisburkard), it's no surprise that the message of this book is to take time to explore and enjoy beautiful moments. Children might not appreciate that important reminder as much as adults, but they'll love the pretty illustrations and the peaceful, calm of this book. The words are simple and direct, but that's part of what makes it powerful.

When a young boy in search of joy asks the Earth where he can find happiness, the Earth responds and agrees to show him the way. The boy rushes excitedly through the landscapes that make the Earth most proud--the ocean, the cliffs, the forest, the desert, the mountains, and the top of the world. But the boy soon realizes happiness is much harder to find than he expected.

You Belong Here book
#2
You Belong Here
Written and illustrated by M. H. Clark
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

"The stars belong in the deep night sky, and the moon belongs there too, and the winds belong in each place they blow by, and I belong here with you. So begins this classic bedtime book, richly illustrated by award-winning artist Isabelle Arsenault. The pages journey around the world, observing plants and animals everywhere, and reminding children that they are right where they belong. A beautiful title for new babies, adoptive families, and children of all ages. ----------- You are a dream that the world once dreamt, And now you are part of its song. That's why you are here, in the place where you're meant, For this is right where you belong."

Miss Rumphius book
#3
Miss Rumphius
Written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A beloved classic is lovelier than ever! Barbara Cooney’s story of Alice Rumphius, who longed to travel the world, live in a house by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful, has a timeless quality that resonates with each new generation. The countless lupines that bloom along the coast of Maine are the legacy of the real Miss Rumphius, the Lupine Lady, who scattered lupine seeds everywhere she went. Miss Rumphius received the American Book Award in the year of publication. To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of two-time Caldecott winner Barbara Cooney’s best-loved book, Viking has reoriginated the illustrations, going back to the original art to ensure state-of-the-art reproduction of Cooney’s exquisite artwork. The art for Miss Rumphius has a permanent home in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Green book
#4
Green
Written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Illustrations and simple, rhyming text explore the many shades of the color green.

Up in the garden down in the dirt book
#5
Up in the garden down in the dirt
Written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this beautiful, unique look at a garden, as it shows what's happening above and below the ground and pairs it with sweet sentiments of gardening with family and creating something beautiful together. This book shows the efforts of diligent work, and it also shows the beauty in nature around us, both in plants and animals.

In this exuberant and lyrical follow-up to the award-winning Over and Under the Snow, discover the wonders that lie hidden between stalks, under the shade of leaves . . . and down in the dirt. Explore the hidden world and many lives of a garden through the course of a year! Up in the garden, the world is full of green—leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit. But down in the dirt exists a busy world—earthworms dig, snakes hunt, skunks burrow—populated by all the animals that make a garden their home.

The Curious Garden book
#6
The Curious Garden
Written and illustrated by Peter Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

One boy's quest for a greener world... one garden at a time. While out exploring one day, a little boy named Liam discovers a struggling garden and decides to take care of it. As time passes, the garden spreads throughout the dark, gray city, transforming it into a lush, green world. This is an enchanting tale with environmental themes and breathtaking illustrations that become more vibrant as the garden blooms. Red-headed Liam can also be spotted on every page, adding a clever seek-and-find element to this captivating picture book.

Sometimes Rain book
#7
Sometimes Rain
Written by Meg Fleming and illustrated by Diana Sudyka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Celebrate the four seasons of the year and all of the fun that comes with them with this lyrical, rhyming picture book from the author of I Heart You. Sometimes it rains, sometimes it snows, sometimes the sun shines, and sometimes the trees change color. But no matter what the seasons bring, there is lots of fun to be had! This lyrical exploration of the four seasons and all of the wonder that they bring is illustrated with vibrant watercolors.

The Little Gardener book
#8
The Little Gardener
Written and illustrated by Emily Hughes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I loved the fun take on having a "little" gardener who tries to make the garden look beautiful by working as hard as he can, but in the end, he needs a little help from someone bigger. His efforts inspire those around him to work harder and he gets the help he needs! This book is darling.

There was once a little gardener and his garden meant everything to him. He worked hard, very hard, but he was just too little (or at least he felt he was). In this beautifully gentle tale, Emily Hughes, the celebrated author of Wild, once again transports us to a world not unlike our own, but still brimming with fantasy and wonder.

Owl Moon book
#9
Owl Moon
Written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by John Schoenherr
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Celebrating 30 years of the beloved classic Owl Moon from renowned children’s book author Jane Yolen and Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator John Schoenherr! Late one winter night a little girl and her father go owling. The trees stand still as statues and the world is silent as a dream. Whoo-whoo-whoo, the father calls to the mysterious nighttime bird. But there is no answer. Wordlessly the two companions walk along, for when you go owling you don’t need words. You don’t need anything but hope. Sometimes there isn’t an owl, but sometimes there is.

Planting a Rainbow book
#10
Planting a Rainbow
Written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-2

This educational and enjoyable book helps children understand how to plant bulbs, seeds, and seedlings, and nurture their growth. Lois Ehlert's bold collage illustrations include six pages of staggered width, presenting all the flowers of each color of the rainbow.

Books About Nature and Gardening

Miss Rumphius book
#1
Miss Rumphius
Written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A beloved classic is lovelier than ever! Barbara Cooney’s story of Alice Rumphius, who longed to travel the world, live in a house by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful, has a timeless quality that resonates with each new generation. The countless lupines that bloom along the coast of Maine are the legacy of the real Miss Rumphius, the Lupine Lady, who scattered lupine seeds everywhere she went. Miss Rumphius received the American Book Award in the year of publication. To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of two-time Caldecott winner Barbara Cooney’s best-loved book, Viking has reoriginated the illustrations, going back to the original art to ensure state-of-the-art reproduction of Cooney’s exquisite artwork. The art for Miss Rumphius has a permanent home in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Up in the garden down in the dirt book
#2
Up in the garden down in the dirt
Written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this beautiful, unique look at a garden, as it shows what's happening above and below the ground and pairs it with sweet sentiments of gardening with family and creating something beautiful together. This book shows the efforts of diligent work, and it also shows the beauty in nature around us, both in plants and animals.

In this exuberant and lyrical follow-up to the award-winning Over and Under the Snow, discover the wonders that lie hidden between stalks, under the shade of leaves . . . and down in the dirt. Explore the hidden world and many lives of a garden through the course of a year! Up in the garden, the world is full of green—leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit. But down in the dirt exists a busy world—earthworms dig, snakes hunt, skunks burrow—populated by all the animals that make a garden their home.

The Curious Garden book
#3
The Curious Garden
Written and illustrated by Peter Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

One boy's quest for a greener world... one garden at a time. While out exploring one day, a little boy named Liam discovers a struggling garden and decides to take care of it. As time passes, the garden spreads throughout the dark, gray city, transforming it into a lush, green world. This is an enchanting tale with environmental themes and breathtaking illustrations that become more vibrant as the garden blooms. Red-headed Liam can also be spotted on every page, adding a clever seek-and-find element to this captivating picture book.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Little Gardener - B is for Bookworm - I loved the fun take on having a "little" gardener who tries to make the garden look beautiful by working as hard as he can, but in the end, he needs a little help from someone bigger. His efforts inspire those around him to work harder and he gets the help he needs! This book is darling.

  2. Planting a Rainbow - This educational and enjoyable book helps children understand how to plant bulbs, seeds, and seedlings, and nurture their growth. Lois Ehlert's bold collage illustrations include six pages of staggered width, presenting all the flowers of each color of the rainbow.

  3. The Tiny Seed - With his inimitable bright collage art and simple text, Carle follows the journey of a seed, from being blown by the wind to taking root and sprouting seeds of its own. Full color.

  4. When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree - "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." In this imaginative take on that popular saying, a child is surprised to receive a lemon tree from Grandma for her birthday. After all, she DID ask for a new gadget! But when she follows the narrator's careful--and funny--instructions, she discovers that the tree might be exactly what she wanted after all.

Want to see 6 more children's books about nature and gardening?

How about children's books about gardening?

Books About Nature and Trees

Sometimes Rain book
#1
Sometimes Rain
Written by Meg Fleming and illustrated by Diana Sudyka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Celebrate the four seasons of the year and all of the fun that comes with them with this lyrical, rhyming picture book from the author of I Heart You. Sometimes it rains, sometimes it snows, sometimes the sun shines, and sometimes the trees change color. But no matter what the seasons bring, there is lots of fun to be had! This lyrical exploration of the four seasons and all of the wonder that they bring is illustrated with vibrant watercolors.

Maple book
#2
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
#3
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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Wangari's Trees of Peace - A paperback picture book based on the true story of Wangari Maathai, an environmental and political activist in Kenya and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. As a young girl growing up in Kenya, Wangari was surrounded by trees. But years later when she returns home, she is shocked to see whole forests being cut down, and she knows that soon all the trees will be destroyed. So Wangari decides to do something--and starts by planting nine seedlings in her own backyard. And as they grow, so do her plans . . . This true story of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is a shining example of how one woman's passion, vision, and determination inspired great change. Includes an author's note.

  2. The Magic and Mystery of Trees - Learn about the amazing natural science of trees in this illustrated nature and science book. From the highest branch and leaf down to the complex "wood wide web" of roots, every part of a tree plays an important role in its own growth and the habitat of the whole forest or woodland. Did you know that trees take care of each other and that the whole forest is connected? The Magic and Mystery of Trees takes children on a fascinating journey of exploration, showing them just how special these mighty organisms are. Discover how they communicate and warn each other of predators, how they nurture their networks, record the past, and anticipate the future to ensure their survival. Learn unbe-leaf-able tree facts, meet extraordinary trees from around the world and the animals that call them home. Find out what trees do for us and how we are damaging them with pollution and deforestation. But it's not too late to do something about it and you'll find out how you can help with instructions on how to plant your very own tree!

  3. Stretch to the Sun - The tallest known tree on earth is located in Redwood National Park in northern California. More than twelve hundred years old, it is approximately 380 feet tall--and still climbing! The tree in this book sprouted, flourished, and survived ecological threats for over twelve hundred years before being discovered by tall-tree researchers. The coast redwood tree provides a unique ecosystem for the many plants and animals in its tree canopy and managed to survive extensive harvesting by loggers nearby. Discovered in 2006, the tree's location is kept secret to protect it.

  4. The Happiest Tree: A Story of Growing Up - In this simple and profound picture book, growing up is seen and experienced through the perspective of a gingko tree. Over the years, the gingko tree that resides outside an apartment building has seen many things. When it was ten, sounds of the Rose Piano Class filled the ground floor and whistled through its young branches. At fourteen, a growth spurt year, it met Mr. Artist on the second floor whose muse was the tree itself. As the years continue on, the tree encounters many people in the apartment building making memories. Some are happy, some are sad—they’re all part of growing up. All part of who we will be in the future. This wonderfully emotional story of life and growing up will pull at the heartstrings of readers.

Want to see more children's books about trees?

Books About Nature and Rhyming

Green book
#1
Green
Written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Illustrations and simple, rhyming text explore the many shades of the color green.

Take a Hike, Miles and Spike! book
#2
Take a Hike, Miles and Spike!
Written and illustrated by Ethan Long, Travis Foster
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Take care, GRIZZLY BEAR! Stay loose, MOOSE! Buh-bye, BUTTERFLY! Join Miles and Spike as they take a hike...and a few provisions, as well, much to the vexation of their fellow forest creatures. Travis Foster and Ethan Long offer a hilarious picture book full of silly rhymes, outdoor adventures, and learning how to get along with others.

Nature's Lullaby Fills the Night book
#3
Nature's Lullaby Fills the Night
Written by Dee Leone and illustrated by Bali Engel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Shh - listen. Can you hear the quiet, loving sounds of the nighttime world? From moths fluttering their powdery wings, to a nightingale's sweet trills, to swaying willow trees softly shushing, shushing everyone to sleep, this rhythmic, rhyming lullaby will soothe and calm little ones.

Honorable Mentions
  1. What in the World? - Discover nature by the numbers in this gorgeous, innovative counting book. The natural world is full of sets of numbers: from birds’ wings in twos and clover leaves in threes to deer hooves in fours and octopus arms in eights. This book uses playful rhyming text to explore these numerical sets in vibrant detail, ending with the stars in the sky—a number set too big to count!

  2. Some Days - "Some days are chocolate pudding pie days. Kites up in the sky days. Jumping super high days." This rhyming picture book--from the author of the bestselling I Wanna Iguana series and Miles of Smiles--is a moving, powerful, delightful exploration of a child's shifting feelings. Come along and follow a year in the life of a young boy and girl as they discover their many different and ever-changing emotions, including joy, fear, anger, jealousy, excitement, pride, disappointment, loneliness, and contentment. As children read about "angels in the snow days" as well as "need my mommy now days," they'll begin to understand how to cope with both positive and negative feelings.

  3. The Secret of the Egg - 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.

  4. It Starts With a Seed - In gentle rhyme, It Starts With a Seed evocatively explores the growth of a tiny sycamore seed. Taking a journey through the seasons and years, we follow the seed as it transforms from a seedling to a sapling, then a young tree, until it becomes a large tree with its branches and roots filling the page. As the tree grows, it is joined by well-loved woodland creatures – squirrels and rabbits, butterflies and owls – who make it their home. Beautiful and evocative, It Starts With a Seed is a factual story that will touch children with its simple but enchanting message of life and growth.

Want to see more children's books about rhyming?

Books About Nature and Animals

Fur, Feather, Fin—All of Us Are Kin book
#1
Fur, Feather, Fin—All of Us Are Kin
Written by Diane Lang and illustrated by Stephanie Laberis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

There are so many wild and wonderful animals in our world. Some have fur, some have feathers, some have fins, but all are connected. This fact-filled rhyming exploration of the diversity of the animal kingdom celebrates mammals, birds, insects, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and more! It’s a perfect match for budding naturalists and animal enthusiasts everywhere.

That Fruit Is Mine! book
#2
That Fruit Is Mine!
Written and illustrated by Anuska Allepuz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When five fruit-loving elephants spot a scrumptious hard-to-reach fruit high up in a tree, it's a race to see who can claim it first! But after one too many fumbles, the elephants begin to lose their cool, and the highly coveted fruit is whisked away by the teeny-tiniest of all jungle creatures—mice! The elephants soon realize they have a lot to learn from this cooperative little bunch.

Pop-Up Jungle book
#3
Pop-Up Jungle
Written and illustrated by Ingela P. Arrhenius
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

In another palm-size pop-up book, designer Ingela P. Arrhenius showcases flora, fauna, and other familiar scenes of the jungle with her trademark retro style. Hop aboard a riverboat for a colorful trek into the depths of the jungle with its many wonders. Tree frogs, monkeys, and jewel-toned birds are just a few of the extraordinary creatures that make their home within this lush green forest. Stylish and well-crafted, this miniature pop-up from the illustrator of the oversize hit Animalswill let imaginations go wild.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Hello Hello - 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).

  2. Giraffe Problems - Can you guess what’s making this giraffe self-conscious? Could it be . . . HIS ENORMOUS NECK?? Yes, it’s exactly that–how on earth did you figure it out? Cyrus the giraffe can’t understand why his neck is as long and bendy and, well, ridiculous as it is. No other animal has a neck this absurd. He’s tried disguising it, dressing it up, strategically hiding it behind bushes–honestly, anything you can think of, he’s tried. Just when he has exhausted his neck-hiding options and is about to throw in the towel, a turtle swoops in (well, ambles in, very slowly) and helps him understand that his neck has a purpose, and looks excellent in a bow tie.

  3. The Alphabet of Alphabets -

  4. To Live on an Island - When you live on an island, things are different. Sometimes harder. Sometimes sweeter. Sometimes quieter. Experience a day in the life of a child growing up on a Pacific Northwest island in this beautifully written and illustrated picture book. Off the coast of Washington State rise hundreds of small islands. Some are lush and green. Others are rugged and rocky. And each has its own personality. Many islands are home mostly to deer, but quite a few have farms and fields, schools and stores, and people. What is it like to live on an island? Award-winning author Emma Bland Smith explores what it's like to grow up on an island in the Pacific Northwest from the perspective of a young boy, who wakes up to the sound of a ferry horn, hikes through the woods to get to his bus stop, drops crab pots for dinner, and falls asleep counting orcas instead of sheep. This book celebrates what's special about island culture and includes a brief nonfiction element on each spread that relates to the narrative.

Want to see 59 more children's books about nature and animals?

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Books About Nature and The World

The World Shines for You book
#1
The World Shines for You
Written by Jeffrey Burton and illustrated by Don Clark
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

A gorgeous keepsake book that shines with emotion and foil on every spread, The World Shines for You is full of illumination and hope—perfect for the youngest readers in your life. There is a tree in the forest There are leaves on the wind There are clouds in the sky There are snowflakes drifting down A simple story connects the world, the seasons, change, and everything that shimmers in life with show-stopping foil, embossing, and spot UV on every page. This artistic and heartwarming first book truly says what every parent wants to share with their little ones: The World Shines for You.

From Tree To Sea book
#2
From Tree To Sea
Written by Shelley Moore Thomas and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From a child’s point of view, this lyrical picture book looks at the relationship of nature to the human world and the place we call home. From the edge of the sea to a high mountain top, everything has its place in the world and all living things are connected. The world around us has a lot to tell us if we take the time to look and listen. This tender and comforting picture book celebrates the wisdom in many of the things great and small that make up our wonderful world.

You Are Home book
#3
You Are Home
Written and illustrated by Evan Turk
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Award-winning author and illustrator Evan Turk showcases the beauty and importance of the National Parks in this gorgeous picture book that takes readers on an amazing tour across the United States. Beneath the soaring doorways of stone, and peaks that pierce the ceiling of clouds, from every river, star, and stone comes the eternal refrain: you are home. In simple, soaring language and breathtaking art, acclaimed author-illustrator Evan Turk has created a stirring ode to nature and nation. From the rugged coast of Maine to the fiery volcanoes of Hawaii, You Are Home reminds us that every animal, plant, and person helps make this land a brilliant, beautiful sanctuary of life.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Alaska ABC - This playful and humorous alphabet book inspires learning the ABCs and introduces young children to Alaskan flora, fauna, and culture. Meet a moose in mukluks, a reindeer in the rain, and salmon snowshoeing!

  2. Wilderness - This brilliantly illustrated book takes young readers to the planet's wild regions, including forests, jungles, tundras, and deserts to discover the animals that call it home. This captivating book brings the natural world into sharp focus. Beautifully colored and intricately detailed illustrations depict places as exotic and wide-ranging as Senegal's Niokolo-Koba National Park, Russia's Sikhote-Alin mountain range, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve in Sri Lanka, Daintree National Park in Australia, the Mexican desert, and China's bamboo forests. The animals that live in these remote places, cleverly hidden in the trees, plants, and flowers, create a marvelous challenge for young readers to find and identify. Each spread contains more than twenty different species including birds, snakes, frogs, iguanas, leopards, tigers, gorillas, pandas, and wolves. The back of the book is filled with additional information about the animals and their habitats. Young readers will find much to discover, explore, and learn in this absorbing celebration of our planet and the amazing creatures we share it with.

  3. Through Your Eyes - From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Take Heart, My Child and popular FOX news anchor Ainsley Earhardt comes a sweet new book that celebrates everyday wonders and miracles. Ainsley Earhardt reflects on her experiences as a mother and viewing wonders of the world through a child’s eyes in this stunning follow up to Take Heart, My Child. So often as we race through life, we need the wisdom and perspective of a child to remind us what is important and what should be celebrated and remembered: the everyday joys and miracles and simple pleasures of life. Our children teach us and awaken our own inner child.

  4. A World Full of Animal Stories - Discover a menagerie of animals with this book that brings together 50 best-loved tales from all around the world! Meet the Big Bad Wolf, the Ugly Duckling, and many other favorite characters from classic stories, myths, and legends in these fresh and vibrant re-tellings. Perfect for reading aloud!

Want to see 10 more children's books about nature and the world?

How about children's books about the world?

Books About Nature and Explorers

Magnolia's Magnificent Map book
#1
Magnolia's Magnificent Map
Written by Lauren Bradshaw and illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

?In this second book in the Walnut Animal Society series, following Henry's Bright Idea--Magnolia the Bunny explores the grove with her friends Margaux the Kitty and Chester the Raccoon, looking for that elusive, special place that will complete her map. Deep in the shade of a walnut grove stands a tall tree house. A delightful group of friends gathers here. They call themselves the Walnut Animal Society. Their mission is to create and to always remain curious. The Walnut Animal Society is busy preparing for a very special event. The Society Soiree comes just once a month, when the night is clear and the stars are bright. Tonight it is Magnolia the Bunny's turn to share. Everyone is excited. Everyone but Magnolia, that is. It has taken her months of exploring and sketching and picture-snapping to create her latest map--a map of the walnut grove. There's just one problem. Her map isn't finished. Magnolia's map is missing a spot. Will she finish it in time?

What's the Difference? book
#2
What's the Difference?
Written by Emma Strack and illustrated by Guillaume Plantevin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

What distinguishes a mandarin orange from a clementine, an iris from a pupil, a tornado from a cyclone, and a bee from a wasp? The difference is in the details! This content-rich illustrated extravaganza distills the distinctions between an impressive collection of pairs—from animals to food to geography and more—offering enlightening trivia, amusing tidbits, and unforgettable facts in a highly browsable format. Young readers can dip in quickly to feed their curiosity, or delve into the details and stay awhile. With a bold, graphic art style and an accessible, smart text, this miscellany collection will enrich probing minds (or is it "brains"?!).

Explorers of the Wild book
#3
Explorers of the Wild
Written and illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Boy and Bear both love to explore the outdoors. There are so many neat things to see, and so many strange things to find. These explorers are prepared for anything . . . except each other! When Bear and Boy meet in the woods, they're scared at first. Really scared. But soon these kings of the wild realize that no mountain is too big to conquer if you have a friend to climb it by your side.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Feathers and Hair, What Animals Wear - At first glance, a wild animal’s appearance may seem simple. But there is fascinating science behind every part of an animal’s physique—from its nose to its toes! Celebrated author Jennifer Ward explores different kinds of fur, feathers, skin, and scales in this nonfiction picture book that’s truly like no other. From porcupines and polar bears to octopuses and owls, you’ll never see animal outerwear the same way again!

  2. Natural World - A first introduction to the natural world that looks at the myriad ways in which plants and animals have adapted to give themselves the best chance of survival. Natural World explores and explains why living things look and behave the way they do in a series of visually compelling information charts.

  3. Outside - Who does this footprint belong to? What is this worm up to? What is the name of this tree? Even if we live in the city, nature is still all around us: clouds and stars, trees and flowers, rocks and beaches, birds, reptiles or mammals. What are we waiting for? Let's jump off the couch and begin exploring! Created in collaboration with a team of Portuguese experts, this book, which won the coveted Bologna Regazzi award, aims to arouse your curiosity about fauna, flora and other aspects of the natural world. It includes suggestions for activities and many illustrations to help the whole family get started, leave the house, and go out to discover - or simply admire - the amazing world that exists outdoors.

  4. Nature's Day - Discover the world of wonder on your doorstep with this first book of nature.

Want to see more children's books about explorers?

Books About Nature and Adventure

The Stick book
#1
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.

When a Tree Grows book
#2
When a Tree Grows
Written by Cathy Ballou Mealey and illustrated by Kasia Nowowiejksa
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

When Moose rubs his antlers against the tree where Squirrel built his nest, he sets off a chain of comic catastrophes. The tree falls and wakes Bear, who stumbles into Moose, who causes a truck to swerve. But then Squirrel jumps onto that truck and ends up in the city, all alone. Who will help him get home? A sweet story of friendship, generosity, and how one fun thing leads to another.

The First Dog book
#3
The First Dog
Written and illustrated by Jan Brett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

An exciting tale of adventure in prehistoric times, set against a spectacular Ice Age landscape. Kip the cave boy bounds along the trail home with a sack of warm and tasty Woolly Rhino ribs. If he could only get rid of pesky Paleowolf, who follows him, hoping for a taste of those delicious ribs! But Paleowolf’s presence turns out to be useful: His warnings save Kip from the Cave Bear, the Mighty Mammoth, and the frightening Saber-Toothed Cat. So Kip offers to share his food—if Paleowolf will use his keen nose, fine ears, and sharp eyes to keep Kip from being eaten up. With a bark and a wag of his tail, Paleowolf agrees to this bargain, and Kip christens his new friend “Dog.” In this exciting tale of adventure in prehistoric times, Jan Brett creates a spectacular Ice Age landscape populated with the massive animals of the time and bordered with images inspired by cave paintings and Ice Age artifacts. She convincingly portrays the growth of the warm bond between man and animal that must, long, long ago, have resulted in the first domesticated dog.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Kitty Alone - Kitty Alone is the latest in a series of captivating picture books, each based on a beloved songtale from the great American folk music heritage. This beautifully illustrated version sets the song in the Appalachian Mountains and uses a bobcat, called a "woods ghost" by locals, as the title character. Like the other titles in the First Steps in Music series, Kitty Alone includes song history and notation, along with a free download link for the song, sung by Jill Trinka.

  2. Under the Water - Summer has finally arrived in the fourth book of Carle's Porta's Tales From The Hidden Valley series! Beloved characters return in the final book of this whimsical series for fans of Tove Jansson's Moomins. Hidden in a remote place surrounded by high mountains, there lies a secret valley. There is an entrance, but you could pass by it a hundred times and still not see it. It's finally summer, and our friends from the hidden valley are gearing up for a dreamy summer afternoon! When a new, watery friend appears, Ticky, Mister Cold and the rest of the pals explore an exciting new undewater world. But a great monster lurks beneath the surface, and our joyous friends sure are causing quite a fuss! Will they be able to escape its terrible jaws?

  3. See Hear - This innovative flip-format picture book is a sequel to the best-selling and CBCA Notable Book for 2017, Smile Cry. Piglet, Bunny and Cat return in a charming, whimsical sensory adventure that encourages kids to explore the multitude of ways that they can engage with the world around them, particularly via the senses of sight and sound. From watching ‘squiggly rain’ on a window to pointing out ‘heavenly horses’ in the clouds, from hearing ‘buzzing blossoms’ as bees collect pollen and nectar to ‘hot pan sizzles’ as a favourite meal is prepared, See Hear invites us to open our eyes and ears to the everyday magic that surrounds us. Younger kids will respond to the soft whimsical illustrations, while older readers will enjoy the onomatopoeic wordplay. Perfect for ages 3 and up, this is a book that will captivate children and parents alike.

  4. The Adventures of Buster Bear - The Adventures of Buster Bear introduces a new generation of children to Thornton W. Burgess’s long-beloved Bedtime Stories characters. Buster Bear is new to the Green Forest and because he is so big (and his appetite is also so big), he's having some trouble making new friends. But there are always interesting stories about meeting the new folks in the neighborhood. Is a nice fat trout a good present for a new friend? Can someone as big as Buster be afraid of Farmer Brown's boy? How can a little tin pail cause any trouble? Children have laughed at the antics and adventures of the residents of the Green Meadows for five generations. And while laughing they're learning something about the natural world, and maybe something about themselves. A dedicated naturalist, Burgess imbues his stories with the good humor, imagination, and fun animal antics that all children will enjoy reading during story time. These essential childhood classic stories also feature the original black-and-white illustrations by Harrison Cady, lending this edition a vintage feel.

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Books About Nature and Flowers

Miss Maple's Seeds book
#1
Miss Maple's Seeds
Written and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Fans of Miss Rumphius will adore this gorgeous picture book which introduces the kind, nature-loving Miss Maple, who celebrates the miracle in each seed. Miss Maple gathers lost seeds that haven’t yet found a place to sprout. She takes them on field trips to explore places to grow. In her cozy maple tree house, she nurtures them; keeping them safe and warm until it’s time for them to find roots of their own, and grow into the magnificent plants they’re destined to become. Eliza Wheeler’s luminous paintings feature gorgeous landscapes, lush foliage and charming details. Her tender story celebrates the potential found in each seed—since even the grandest tree and most brilliant flower had to grow from the smallest of seeds. Celebrate every season with Miss Maple, from Earth Day to graduations to harvest festivals.

Caterpillar and Bean book
#2
Caterpillar and Bean
Written by Martin Jenkins and illustrated by Hannah Tolson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

Bloom Boom! book
#3
Bloom Boom!
Written and illustrated by April Pulley Sayre
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Discover the magic—and the science—behind spring flower blooms with this companion to the celebrated Raindrops Roll, Best in Snow, and Full of Fall. When spring arrives, flowers of all kinds sprout and grow buds and bloom. Sometimes, they bloom a few at a time. But other times, many will bloom at once in a colorful flower boom! This photographic exploration of flowers goes from the desert to the woodlands and beyond, celebrating their beautiful variety and the science behind these colorful displays.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Wonder Garden - Open the gates of the Wonder Garden to explore five of Earth's most extraordinary habitats, each filled with incredible creatures and epic scenery. Trek through the Amazon Rainforest, travel to the Chihuahuan Desert, dive in the Great Barrier Reef, delve deep into the Black Forest and stand on the roof of the world - the Himalayan Mountains - to see nature at its wildest. Breathtaking, engraved illustrations bring to life Earth's spectacular Wonder Garden.

  2. The Night Flower: The Blooming of the Saguaro Cactus - An exquisitely illustrated nonfiction picture book about a desert flower that blooms for just one night a year As the summer sun sets over the Sonoran desert in Arizona, wildlife gathers to witness a very special annual event. The night flower is about to bloom. For a few short hours, the desert is transformed into a riot of color and sound as mammals and insects congregate for this miracle of nature. Explore the fascinating desert ecosystem, from pollinating fruit bats to howling mice and reptilian monsters, in this beautiful nonfiction picture book.

  3. 100 Bugs! A Counting Book - A boy and girl find and count 100 different bugs in their backyard in increments of ten.

  4. The Night the Forest Came to Town - From dusk to dawn a forest creeps into a town where the grown-ups are too distracted to notice. But the children do. They see greenery take root in the lifeless cracks of dull sidewalks. They see an eagle build her nest atop a forgotten fountain and saplings start to sprout in dark corners. A gray-drab city defined by concrete and steel, vibrations and notifications, transforms into a living garden where apartment buildings overflow with window boxes full of flowers, birds sing songs through day and night and children laugh and tend to their gardens. Watch as nature reclaims this town.

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Books About Nature and Imagination

Something Extraordinary book
#1
Something Extraordinary
Written and illustrated by Ben Clanton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Amazing things are happening all around you. You just need to know where to look—and this whimsical picture book is the perfect place to start. Have you ever wished for something extraordinary? Like the ability to fly? Or to breathe underwater? What if you could talk to animals? It’s fun to wish for amazing things. But take a look around, and you just might find that the most “ordinary” things…can be extraordinary.

Animal City book
#2
Animal City
Written and illustrated by Joan Negrescolor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Nina journeys to a secret jungle city populated by animals, plants, and lost objects. The reason for her visit: story hour, where a book's power holds the wild in thrall. The animals are eager for stories about space, the sea, and other worlds. But their favorite story of all is the one told here: a story about a mysterious place, laden with legend and lore, and now overtaken by nature. Five Pantone colors infuse each illustrated spread with a vibrant, electric energy, making this powerful celebration of nature—and stories—as vivid visually as its narrative is engrossing.

Snow Dog, Sand Dog book
#3
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!

Honorable Mentions
  1. A River - There's a river outside my window. Where will it take me? So begins the imaginary journey of a child inspired by the view outside her bedroom window: a vast river winding through a towering city. A small boat with a single white sail floats down the river and takes her from factories to farmlands, freeways to forests, out to the stormy and teeming depths of the ocean, and finally back to the comforts—and inspirations—of home. This lush, immersive book by award-winning picture book creator Marc Martin will delight readers of all ages by taking them on a transcendent and aspirational journey through an imaginative landscape.

  2. Vroom! - Join a little girl as she zooms— past fields and forests, up mountains, over rivers, through deserts, home again, and into bed in this playful picture book about the power of imagination, from award-winning author and artist Barbara McClintock.

  3. Juna's Jar - Juna and her best friend, Hector, love to go on adventures in the park, collecting things to put in Juna’s empty kimchi jars. But then one day Hector unexpectedly moves away, and Juna is left wondering who will play with her. With the help of her special jar, Juna searches for her friend the world over. What Juna finds is that adventure—and new friends—can be found in the most unexpected places. Winner of Lee & Low’s New Voices Award, Juna’s Jar is a heartwarming and whimsical celebration of friendship and the power of imagination.

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Books About Nature and Environment

The Honeybee book
#1
The Honeybee
Written by Kirsten Hall and 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.

Tidy book
#2
Tidy
Written by Emily Gravett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Pete the badger learns that being tidy isn’t always the best thing in this save-the-environment picture book from award-winning author and illustrator Emily Gravett. Pete the badger likes everything to be neat and tidy at all times, but what starts as the collecting of one fallen leaf escalates quickly and ends with the complete destruction of the forest. Will Pete realize the error of his ways and reverse his tidying habit?

Rainforest book
#3
Rainforest
Written and illustrated by Julia Groves
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Exotic and beautiful creatures of the rainforest, selected for the extraordinary noises they make. Delicate, colourful and distinctive, Julia Groves' illustrations introduce us to the animals that live in this precious and endangered habitat.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. Drawn from Nature - An intricately crafted journey through four seasons of flora and fauna Helen Ahpornsiri's intricate artwork transforms leaves, petals, and seeds into bounding hares, swooping swallows, and blossoming trees. Using nothing but pressed plants, this journey through the seasons captures the wonder and magic of the natural world between the pages of a book. This standout title with beautiful nonfiction text will take readers through an extraordinary year in the wild.

  3. Spring Into Action - The five fun and friendly Dinosaur Pals are back in a new classroom adventure that takes place in the great outdoors. No computers, no TV, no homework--just friends! Every day on her way to school, Kayla--a nature-loving stegosaurus--passes a lot of garbage. She wishes she could wave a magic wand and make it a beautiful spot full of flowers, vegetables, and trees. Kayla soon learns that wishes do come true. Not with a magic wand, but with hard work and the best friends ever! With the help of their teacher, Mrs. Gronk, Kayla; Max, an energetic T-Rex; Kev, a shy spinosaurus; Max, a slow but determined triceratops; and Addy, a straight-shooting apatosaurus, get their hands dirty, have fun, and plant a beautiful garden together.

  4. Don't Let Them Disappear - From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted comes a beautiful book about the animals who share our planet--and what we can do to help them survive. Did you know that blue whales are the largest animals in the world? Or that sea otters wash their paws after every meal? The world is filled with millions of animal species, and all of them are unique and special. Many are on the path to extinction. In this book, Chelsea Clinton introduces young readers to a selection of endangered animals, sharing what makes them special, and also what threatens them. Taking readers through the course of a day, Don't Let Them Disappear talks about rhinos, tigers, whales, pandas and more, and provides helpful tips on what we all can do to help prevent these animals from disappearing from our world entirely. With warm and engaging art by Gianna Marino, this book is the perfect read for animal-lovers and anyone who cares about our planet.

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Books About Nature and Winter

Claudia & Moth book
#1
Claudia & Moth
Written and 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.

Over The River and Through The Wood book
#2
Over The River and Through The Wood
Written and illustrated by Emma Randall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh--so hop in, hold tight, and join the journey in this dazzling holiday classic! In this stunning paper-over-board picture book, a blustering wind stings the toes and bites the nose, but hearts are warm and there's lots to eat--for 'tis Thanksgiving Day! Bundle up as you navigate a winter wonderland of sparkling snow-covered trees and adorable woodland creatures in this cherished holiday tale. Coupled with Emma Randall's delightful illustrations, the familiar poem-turned-song is the perfect way to celebrate the season. Just remember to leave room for pumpkin pie!

When Green Becomes Tomatoes book
#3
When Green Becomes Tomatoes
Written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Julie Morstad
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

december 29 and i woke to a morning that was quiet and white the first snow (just like magic) came on tip toes overnight Flowers blooming in sheets of snow make way for happy frogs dancing in the rain. Summer swims move over for autumn sweaters until the snow comes back again. In Julie Fogliano's skilled hand and illustrated by Julie Morstad's charming pictures, the seasons come to life in this gorgeous and comprehensive book of poetry.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Outside Your Window - Introduces the sights and sounds of the changing seasons, along city streets and in country meadow.

  2. Finding a Dove for Gramps - A boy and his mom continue the family tradition of participating in the annual bird count. Since Gramps went South for the winter, the boy hopes to spot Gramps's favorite bird for him—a dove! But with so many different birds in the nature preserve, will he be able to spot one? This heart-warming family story about nature celebrates a holiday census that was first started in 1900 and happens every year.

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Books About Nature and Birds

Birds book
#1
Birds
Written and illustrated by Carme Lemniscates
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Brilliant graphic illustrations and a gentle, thought-provoking text pay homage to birds and their wonder-inspiring ways. Birds are like thoughts. They come, stay awhile . . . and then fly away. Birds come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They like to chat with one another as they fly high and low in the sky. Birds make music, with songs that are like the loving words of a friend, and we are lucky enough to enjoy those sweet melodies. But best of all, birds are capable of flying wherever they please -- they just let their hearts guide them. And we can do that, too, if we use our imaginations. In a lyrical ode to our winged friends, the creator of Trees turns her eye to a diverse class of creatures that has much to teach about transcending the barriers that lie between us.

Hello, I'm Here! book
#2
Hello, I'm Here!
Written by Helen Frost and illustrated by Rick Lieder
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A poetic text and wonderfully intimate photographs follow a newborn sandhill crane as it takes its first steps into the world. Will my legs hold me? What if I fall? Peek in as a sandhill crane hatchling makes its first wobbly stand and takes its first steps alongside its brother. With their parents close by, they flap their wings and dance before enjoying a buggy treat. Someday they will fly with the majestic cranes overhead, but for now, Mama's soft feathers beckon. With a lyrical narrative and lovely photo illustrations, this latest venture from an acclaimed creative team makes a perfect new baby gift -- and will appeal to bird lovers, too.

Hummingbird book
#3
Hummingbird
Written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Jane Ray
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Follow a tiny hummingbird on its journey from Central America to Central Park in a captivating tale with exquisite illustrations echoing the creature's jeweled tones. Tz'unun! Tz'unun! A buzz of wings, a flash of color . . . There's a very special visitor in Granny's garden. It's a hummingbird! And it's just about to begin its long migration, heading north to its nesting ground. Watch as it spreads joy to all who encounter it along its two-thousand-mile trek. In an engaging text sprinkled with facts, zoologist Nicola Davies introduces readers to this valiant bird, lighter than a nickel, while Jane Ray's lush, intricate illustrations, accented in gold Pantone, highlight its jewel-like beauty. More details about hummingbirds, along with a bibliography and an index, are available at the end to budding ornithologists.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Sounds of Nature: World of Birds - Explore ten diverse habitats from the Great Plains to the Sonoran Desert, and listen to birds in the wild with this extraordinary sound book. Full of fun facts about each bird species, you can press each page and listen out for the sounds of tropical birds, birds of paradise and even songbirds from your own back garden, in this stunning interactive book for young nature lovers.

  2. How the Finch Got His Colors - Many years ago, before the world bloomed in magnificent colors, the Earth lay stark and gray. The animals that graced its skies and roamed its lands were the colors of dirt, clay, and stone . . . . . . until Rainbow descended to bestow her colors on the creatures of the world. Each bird asked for a bright and beautiful color: green for Parrot, red for Cardinal, and yellow for Canary. But will there be any colors left for little Gouldian Finch? He soon learns the power of patience and the beauty of all creatures. Based on a Belgian folktale, this beautifully told and illustrated tale is a timeless treasure for every collection.

  3. Hidden City - A poetic book highlighting everyday nature The perfect blend of science and poetry, Hidden City demonstrates that nature can thrive anywhere, even in highly populated areas. In this graceful collection of poems, skyscrapers serve as perches for falcons, streetlights attract an insect buffet for hungry bats, and an overgrown urban lot offers shelter to both flora and fauna. Hidden City also includes engageing supplementary materials, which provide scientific information about the animals and plants featured in the book. Coupled with beautiful collage illustrations, the poems in Hidden City offer readers the perfect reminder to notice and care about their environment.

  4. Duck and Goose, a Gift for Goose - Duck and Goose, the stars of #1 "New York Times"-bestselling Hills' beloved picture book series, return in an all-new, easy-to-read book. Duck has a very nice gift for Goose, and the perfect box to put it in...maybe too perfect! Full color.

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Books About Nature and Poetry

Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys book
#1
Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys
Written by Bob Raczka and illustrated by Peter H Reynolds
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

The wind and I play tug-of-war with my new kite. The wind is winning. When you’re a guy, nature is one big playground—no matter what the season. There are puddles to splash through in the spring, pine trees to climb in the summer, maple seeds to catch in the fall, and icicles to sword fight with in the winter. Nature also has a way of making a guy appreciate important stuff—like how many rocks it takes to dam up a stream, or how much snow equals a day off from school. So what kind of poetry best captures these special moments, at a length that lets guys get right back to tree climbing and kite flying? Why, guyku, of course!

Flower Fairies of the Autumn book
#2
Flower Fairies of the Autumn
Written and illustrated by Cicely Mary Barker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Experience the beauty and the magic of Cicely Mary Barker’s famous Flower Fairies, with a new edition of Flower Fairies of the Autumn. The magic and loveliness of Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies, newly rejacketed and updated with a contemporary look, is a perfect gift for Flower Fairies fans and a new generation of readers. First published in the 1920s, Cicely Mary Barker’s original Flower Fairies books have been loved for generations. The book features poems and full-color illustrations of over 20 flowers and their guardian fairies.

Daniel Finds a Poem book
#3
Daniel Finds a Poem
Written and illustrated by Micha Archer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Stunning collage art full of rich color, glorious details, and a sense of wonder—reminiscent of the work of Ezra Jack Keats—illustrate this delightful story celebrating the poetry found in the world around us. What is poetry? Is it glistening morning dew? Spider thinks so. Is it crisp leaves crunching? That’s what Squirrel says. Could it be a cool pond, sun-warmed sand, or moonlight on the grass? Maybe poetry is all of these things, as it is something special for everyone—you just have to take the time to really look and listen. The magical thing is that poetry is in everyone, and Daniel is on his way to discovering a poem of his own after spending time with his animal friends. What is poetry? If you look and listen, it’s all around you!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Flower Fairies of the Summer - This beautiful reissue of the well-loved classic Flower Fairies title is complete with Barker’s original poems and exquisite artwork. Each page features her recreation of nature’s beauty and the enchanting world of the fairies. Essential background readings to the bestselling Fairyopolis, this book provides a glimpse into the enchanting world of the Flower Fairies.

  2. Poetry for Kids: William Shakespeare - Love! Betrayal! Ambition! Tragedy! Jealousy! Williams Shakespeare's universal themes continue to resonate with readers of all ages more than 400 years after his death. This wonderful, fully illustrated book introduces children to the Bard and more than thirty of his most famous and accessible verses, sonnets, and speeches. From “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” to “O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!” and “All the world’s a stage,” the words of the greatest playwright and poet spring to life on the page. The next generation of readers, poets, and actors will be entranced by these works of Shakespeare. Each poem is illustrated and includes an explanation by an expert and definitions of important words to give kids and parents the fullest explanation of their content and impact.

  3. Predator and Prey: A Conversation in Verse - Who is the predator, and who is the prey? Illuminating poetry and vivid artwork capture the awe-inspiring ways that creatures use their resources to stay alive. Who wins, the assassin bug or the spider? The bat or the frog? The ant or the honey bee? The male firefly . . . or the female? The battle for survival between predator and prey is sometimes a fight, sometimes a dance, and often involves spying, lying, or even telling the truth to get ahead. Biologist and debut author Susannah Buhrman-Deever explores these clashes in poems and prose explanations that offer both sides of the story. With beautiful, realistic illustrations that are charged with drama, Bert Kitchen captures the breathtaking moments when predator meets prey. Readers who hunger for more about the art of survival will find an extensive list of references in the back.

  4. Poetry for Kids: Carl Sandburg - Professor and scholar Kate Benzel has carefully chosen 35 poems of interest to children and their families. Carl Sandburg divides the poems into poems about people, and poems about people. You'll find classics including "Young Bullfrogs," "Shenandoah", "Jazz Fantasia", "Fog", and 31 more of Sandburg's favorite and most accessible works. Each poem is beautifully illustrated by the award-winning Robert Crawford. This gentle introduction includes commentary, definitions of key words, and an introduction to the poet's life, plus a final synopsis of the author's interpretation of the pieces.

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Books About Nature and Friendship

The Snail And the Whale book
#1
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?

How Do I Love Thee? book
#2
How Do I Love Thee?
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A gorgeous reinvention of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's famous "Sonnet 43" from the bestselling author of the BabyLit board books and the acclaimed illustrator of Over and Under the Snow. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Whether in soft sunlight or rain-drizzled night or winter's frost-etched breath, three children share the love and joy of friendship while exploring the wonders of nature. Bestselling author Jennifer Adams has reimagined Elizabeth Barrett Browning's beloved "Sonnet 43," best known by its opening lines, creating a lyrical, evocative ode to the love of family and friends. Christopher Silas Neal brings the poetry to life with his beautiful, imaginative, and whimsical illustrations.

Come All You Little Persons book
#3
Come All You Little Persons
Written by John Agard and illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

From above earth, from above sky, from below earth, from under water, come all you little persons come exactly as you are. Come little bird person, come little bee person, come little tree person - little persons from all over the world join together to celebrate the dance of life and love in this stunning poem from John Agard. Stunningly illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle, this is a book that both little persons and big persons will treasure and pore over for a lifetime, and is a true poem of our time.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Blue Pebble - Under a daisy Oli finds a pebble. Everyone he shows it to tells him to throw it away. But Oli just knows he'll find a use for it one day. At last he meets a very sad girl and finds he was right all along. His pebble is special after all.

  2. Blue - A boy, his dog, and their multi-generational bond are seen through the lens of the color blue in this gorgeous and poignant companion to Laura Vaccaro Seeger's Caldecott Honor Book Green.

  3. Poetree - A girl writes a poem to a tree, but then is surprised when the tree writes back in this wondrous and warm picture book about friendship, nature, and the power of poetry. The snow has melted, the buttercups are blooming, and Sylvia celebrates winter's end by writing a poem. She ties her poem to a birch tree, hoping that it doesn't count as littering if it makes the world more beautiful. But when she returns, a new poem is waiting for her. Could the tree really be writing back? Sylvia decides to test her theory, and so begins a heartwarming poetic correspondence...as well as an unexpected new friendship. Lyrical and sweetly satisfying, Poetree is about finding beauty in the world around you, and new friends in unlikely places.

  4. The Feather - This is a story about hope, kindness and redemption set in a grey dystopian world. When a great feather drifts from the leaden sky, two children recognize its extraordinariness and take it to the village for its protection. The villagers, however, want to encase it, upon which the feather loses its radiance. The children take it home and care for it through the night. In the morning it is again radiant, and when they set it free it leaves behind the first signs of blue sky and color. The ambiguous ending invites multiple interpretations about the effects of selflessness and kindness.

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Books About Nature and Fish

Hello, World! Ocean Life book
#1
Hello, World! Ocean Life
Written and illustrated by Jill McDonald
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

All young children love to play in the waves at the beach. Now here’s a Hello, World! board book that teaches them all about oceans and the creatures and plants that live there.

The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark book
#2
The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark
Written by Deborah Diesen and illustrated by Dan Hanna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

Mr. Fish wants to help his friend Ms. Clam when she loses her pearl, but though he's fast as a sailfish, as smart as dolphin, and as strong as a shark, Mr. Fish has a secret: he's scared of the dark! Very young children will swim along with Mr. Fish as he journeys deep into the ocean to new and mysterious places. They will discover, as Mr. Fish does, the power of friendship to light the way through the big-big dark.

Slide-N-Seek Ocean book
#3
Slide-N-Seek Ocean
Written and illustrated by David Miles
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Explore a new and exciting way to learn about creatures that live in the ocean with this Slide-N-Reveal book. You'll see colorful images appear before your very eyes with the turn of a wheel. Learn fun facts about each creature and discover hidden images throughout each page. Kids will love this fun and interactive format and learn about beautiful creatures along the way.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 10 Reasons to Love... a Whale - Blue whales are incredible creatures! Did you know they are the largest animal on earth? Or that they sing songs across the ocean? Discover ten reasons why whales are amazing and five ways you can show they love them in this gorgeous picture book. A must for any young animal enthusiast and a fantastic introduction to environmental issues.

  2. A Whale's World - A Whale’s World follows a pod of spy-hopping orcas as they explore the ecosystems of the Great Bear Sea while hunting for their next meal. Past rocky shores and through kelp forests,they observe foraging wolves, hungry grizzly bears, curious black bears, graceful fin whales, splashing porpoises,slippery seals and other members of the Pacific coastal food web.The book gives readers a fun introduction to the many ways that marine and land animals interact with their environments and with each other.

  3. The Coral Kingdom - From brightly coloured corals to shimmering shoals of fish, the diversity of life on a coral reef is celebrated in this visually stunning picture book with a strong ecological message about the need to protect this most precious of environments. Through gentle rhyme and intricately etched artwork, it explores the life cycle, diversity and colour of the coral reef ecosystem, as well as the threats the reef faces and what we can do to save it. With each page packed full of delightful sea creatures to discover and enjoy, this is a lyrical and engaging way to learn about the life cycle of a coral reef.

  4. Free the Lines - A little sailing boat casts out his line to catch a fish in a busy, healthy ocean. But when a big, smoking trawler casts its mighty net, will any of the fish escape? Does the little sailing boat make the right choice? What do you think? This striking and artistic wordless picture book explores an environmental theme through simple linework, patterns and strong contrasts. A great way to spark conversations between parents and children about conservation and environmental issues.

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Books About Nature and Fact Filled

Bonkers about Beetles book
#1
Bonkers about Beetles
Written and 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 Truth About Elephants book
#2
The Truth About Elephants
Written and illustrated by Maxwell Eaton III
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Did you know that an elephant's tusks never stop growing? Did you know that elephants can sometimes purr like giant cats? And that they use six sets of teeth throughout their lives? Impress your friends and teachers with these facts and more in this wildly entertaining (not to mention hilarious) nonfiction picture book offering everything you want to know about elephants.

Migration book
#3
Migration
Written by Mike Unwin and illustrated by Jenni Desmond
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Twenty incredible stories of animal migration - with art from New York Times Best Illustrated honoree Jenni Desmond.Animals of all shapes and sizes make epic journeys through harsh weather, avoiding hungry predators, in their efforts to survive. This collection of 20 migration stories features animals from across the globe. Follow emperor penguin through snow, ice and bitter temperatures; watch as the great white shark swim over 6,000 miles in search of seals; track huge herds of elephants, on their yearly hunt for water; and be amazed at the millions of red crabs, migrating across Christmas Island. Fascinating text from a renowned travel writer is paired with stunning art from acclaimed illustrator Jenni Desmond to tell the stories of these creatures.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Buddha - A nonfiction picture book with full-color illustrations about the life of the Buddha, from award-winning author and illustrator Demi Many centuries ago, in a kingdom in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains, a miraculous child was born to the king and queen. The young prince, Siddhartha, was raised in the greatest luxury, sheltered from all pain and ugliness. But one day Siddhartha left the palace and saw, for the first time, human suffering and death. He knew then that he must relinquish everything-- his family, his wealth, his position-- to discover the Truth of life and death. With only a few humble possessions, he began a remarkable spiritual journey that ended many years later under a bodhi tree. There he finally discovered the Truth and became an Enlightened One, a Buddha. The Buddha taught the Truth and the path to inner peace for forty-five years, attracting thousands of disciples. Today millions of people around the world live by his teachings. Demi's exquisite illustrations, inspired by the paintings and sculptures of several Asian cultures, are layered with meaning; each brush stroke has a special significance. Demi, herself a Buddhist, brings her devotion to the teachings of the Buddha and her vast knowledge of his life to this comprehensive picture-book biography of an extraordinary spiritual leader.

  2. The Truth About Dolphins - Did you know that dolphins find their dinners by using sound to track down the location of their prey? Did you know that baby dolphins are born tail-first? Did you know that each dolphin has a unique whistle (like human fingerprints) that makes them recognizable to other dolphins? Discover these facts and more in this new addition to the popular series that combines raucous amounts of humor with a surprising amount of information on beloved animal friends.

  3. How to Survive as a Shark - Ahoy, me mateys! Upset your Mom swam away after you were born? Cry me an ocean. You’ve got ME to show you the ropes! Well, at least until I get a craving for baby shark. Swim along and I’ll teach you how to hunt using all six senses (a whole sense more than a human), why you can NEVER stop moving (blimey, no - not even to sleep!), and what your most dangerous threat is (here’s a hint: those sneaky landlubbers don’t even live in our waters!). Aye, me hearties, learning How to Survive as a Shark is not as easy as it sounds! How to Survive as a Shark provides a unique take on fish 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 photos of great white sharks. If you’ve ever wondered how to think and swim like a shark, and you like to laugh while you learn, this book is for you!

  4. 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!

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Books About Nature and The Ocean

The Rhythm of the Rain book
#1
The Rhythm of the Rain
Written and illustrated by Grahame Baker-Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Issac plays in his favorite pool on the mountainside. As rain starts to fall, he empties his little jar of water into the pool and races the sparkling streams as they tumble over waterfalls, rush through swollen rivers, and burst out into the vast open sea. Where will my little jar of water go now? Issac wonders. From the tiniest raindrop to the deepest ocean, this breathtaking celebration of the water cycle captures the remarkable movement of water across the earth in all its majesty

Aquarium book
#2
Aquarium
Written and illustrated by Cynthia Alonso
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A girl ventures to the water's edge, dreaming of a new friend. And, just like that, a beguiling red fish leaps into her life. But is friendship a sea these two can navigate together? From debut Argentinian author-illustrator Cynthia Alonso comes a wordless picture book about the timeless beauty of nature, the transcendent power of connection, and the importance of letting go.

Storm Whale book
#3
Storm Whale
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A captivating and beautifully illustrated story about three sisters who nd a stranded whale on the beach. Bleak was the day and the wind whipped down when I and my sisters walked to town . . . With a powerful, poetic text, wonderful to read aloud, and illustrations full of life and movement, this picture book about three sisters finding a stranded whale celebrates the majesty and vulnerability of nature and our place in it.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Seagrass Dreams - Learn to count as you discover a host of marine animals that make their home in seagrass. Seagrass Dreams is a unique counting book and introduction to marine life that stars animals who make their home in seagrass. While learning to count from 1 to 11, meet a host of marine animals, such as the great barracuda, yellow stingray, bucktooth parrotfish, and chocolate chip sea star. Find out each animal's name, scientific name, natural habitat, and more! Seagrass Dreams features gorgeous illustrations, adding a colorful and engaging element to this delightful book. Seagrass Dreams closes with a list of the common species of seagrass, their scientific names, and where each can be found.

  2. Fish Everywhere - Best-selling illustrator Britta Teckentrup explores the world of fish in a sumptuously illustrated nonfiction book. There are fish everywhere! Some of them live in fresh water, some of them live under ice, and some even live in the desert. Fish Everywhere is the first in a series of nonfiction books from Britta Teckentrup. Young readers will learn where in the world all sorts of animals can be found and all the weird and wonderful things that they never imagined were true. This is nonfiction with spark and personality from a much-loved illustrator.

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Books About Nature and Weather

River Friendly, River Wild book
#1
River Friendly, River Wild
Written by Jane Kurtz and illustrated by Neil Brennan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This winter was snowy, this spring brought a terrible blizzard, and now the river is rising. Sandbags don't stop it, the dikes don't stop it, and late one night sirens warn everyone to evacuate. A girl and her family don't expect to be gone more than a couple of days, so they leave their cat and race for shelter with only a suitcase each. But as days stretch into weeks they worry: Is the cat safe? Will they have a home to return to? And how will their lives be changed? In searing, personal poems, Jane Kurtz explores what it's like to struggle through a flood and pull your life together afterward. Inspired by Kurtz's own flood experience, this tale is realistic and unforgettable. Not just a moving story of one girl's courage, River Friendly, River Wild is a tribute to everyone who's ever faced great loss.

Bush Tracks book
#2
Bush Tracks
Written by Ros Moriarty and illustrated by Balarinji Studio
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

What can you see? Follow the clues that landscape, seasons, weather, the stars, the moon and the sun give to navigate bush tracks and find the Australian animal. A lyrical, fun story about tracking animals in the bush featuring vibrant illustrations by Balarinji, Australia's leading Indigenous design studio.

The Earth Gives More book
#3
The Earth Gives More
Written by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Christiane Engel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From leaves falling and becoming fertilizer to raindrops bringing plants to life in the spring, the cycle of every season has something to enjoy. While delighting in all nature offers, we need to remember to respect and treasure the world around us. This sweet rhyming story follows the change in seasons and illustrates how we can all be stewards of the Earth.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Picture the Sky - The sky can often tell different stories: in the clouds having a parade, in the stars blanketing the night, and in our imagination. Every hour, every day, in every season, the sky is different. In this companion to Picture a Tree, award-winning creator Barbara Reid offers a lyrical story using plasticine relief illustrations to explore the wondrous and ever-changing sky.

  2. Spring in the Woods - Join the fun of finding and counting all the animals, flowers, and insects, as more and more appear on a lively walk through the woods during the springtime. Packed with repetition that young children love and that also helps them learn, this is an entertaining introduction to colors, numbers, and the seasons.

  3. Spectacular Spring - Bruce Goldstone lays out all the facts and fun of spring in his third picture book about the seasons. Not only will readers find out what to expect in spring—they'll also be taken through the whys and hows of rain falling, rainbows appearing, birds hatching, and so much more! With vivid photographs, lively explanations, and creative craft ideas, Spectacular Spring is not to be missed.

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Books About Nature and Non-fiction

Seeds Move! book
#1
Seeds Move!
Written and illustrated by Robin Page
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Discover the fascinating and surprising ways that seeds move and find a place to grow in this gorgeous picture book from Caldecott Honoree Robin Page. Every seed, big or small, needs sunlight, water, and an uncrowded place to put down roots. But how do seeds get to the perfect place to grow? This exploration of seed dispersal covers a wide range of seeds and the creatures that help them move, from a coconut seed floating on waves to an African grass seed rolled by a dung beetle, to a milkweed seed floating on the wind.

Amazing Animals book
#2
Amazing Animals
Written by and illustrated by Peter David Scott
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Discover the incredible diversity of the natural world through Peter David Scott’s stunning illustrations of animals in their native habitats. Peter David Scott’s richly detailed and colorful artwork brings the beauty of the natural world into your hands in this collection of amazing animals from around the world. From the western gorilla of the African rain forests to the colossal squid that resides deep beneath the sea, animals from every habitat are featured on these pages. A field guide—complete with pencil sketches of each animal—presents the reader with more facts about these creatures.

Way Down Below Deep book
#3
Way Down Below Deep
Written by Nancy Raines Day and illustrated by David Sheldon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Swim with the ocean's most secret creatures! What mysteries lurk at the bottom of the ocean? Discover some of the world's most fascinating animals, such as anglerfish, luring prey to a toothy doom with a siren's light; vampire squid, peering forth with red eyes; and sea cucumbers, filtering food from the water passing through their bodies. Follow the lanternfish as he lights the way down to the mysterious deep, where whale worms sprout from bones and all varieties of jellies float free. Children will learn about these bizarre bottom-dwellers through clever rhymes and captivating drawings that bring this sunless land to light. Fun, sometimes silly, facts and images accompany each rhyming marine description.

Honorable Mentions
  1. A Mammal Is an Animal - What is a mammal? And what is not a mammal? Mammals have skeletons as deer have, breathe air in lungs as whales do, and are born alive as are calves. What is not a mammal? A ladybug has no skeleton, a fish breathes through gills and a bird hatches from an egg. Monkeys, dolphins, and elephants are mammals—and so are you and I! With clear, simple language, beautiful paintings, a chart, diagrams, and a cutaway, acclaimed author-illustrator Lizzy Rockwell has created a beautiful and informative book that introduces young children to animal classification and dichotomous inquiry.

  2. Antsy Ansel - As a child, Ansel Adams just couldn't sit still. He felt trapped indoors and never walked anywhere—he ran. Even when he sat, his feet danced. But in nature, Ansel felt right at home. He fell in love with the gusting gales of the Golden Gate, the quiet whisper of Lobos Creek, the icy white of Yosemite Valley, and countless other remarkable natural sights. From his early days in San Francisco to the height of his glory nationwide, this book chronicles a restless boy's path to becoming an iconic nature photographer.

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Books About Nature and Science

Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of Science book
#1
Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of Science
Written by Bob Cooper and illustrated by Greg Paprocki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Little Leonardo s Fascinating World of Science introduces kids to the vast and varied areas of science and the different types of scientists they can aspire to become. Whether it s ancient dinosaur bones unearthed by paleontologists, anthropologists studying different cultures around the globe, or new planets discovered by astronomers, there s bound to be something here any child will find fascinating and appealing.

The Street Beneath My Feet book
#2
The Street Beneath My Feet
Written by Charlotte Guillain and illustrated by Yuval Zommer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

This double-sided foldout book takes you on a fascinating journey deep underground. One side of the foldout shows the ground beneath the city, whilst the other side of the foldout shows the ground beneath the countryside. The scenes in the book, by the widely acclaimed illustrator Yuval Zommer, are continuous, so contrasting underground sections, from tunnels and pipes to burrowing creatures, layers of rock to the planet’s molten core, run seamlessly into the next. Mixing urban and rural settings, as well as Geology, Archaeology and Natural History, The Street Beneath My Feet offers children the opportunity to explore their world in a detailed learning experience. And its fold-out, ‘Laperello’ style, which extends to 2.5 metres in length, is great fun to spread out on the floor and really get involved!

One Day a Dot book
#3
One Day a Dot
Written by Ian Lendler and illustrated by Braden Lamb, Shelli Paroline
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

One Day a Dot explores the age-old question: Where did we come from? Where did everything come from? Starting with one tiny dot and continuing through the Big Bang to the rise of human societies, the story of our universe is told in simple and vivid terms. But the biggest question of all cannot be answered: Where did that one dot come from? One Day a Dot is a beautiful and vibrant picture book that uses the visual motif of circles as to guide young readers through the stages of life on Earth.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Bird Builds a Nest - It’s time for Bird to build her nest! Follow her as she pulls a worm out of the ground, lifts some twigs that are just the right size, and pushes the twigs into place. Uh-oh! One of the twigs falls to the ground! But after a day of hard work, Bird’s nest is ready and waiting. Can you guess what it’s waiting for? Using simple, clear language and beautiful illustrations, this engaging story is the perfect introduction to physical forces for very young readers. A final spread with some simple questions promotes discussion with parents, teachers, or caregivers and encourages readers to think about the concepts introduced. A gentle, sweetly illustrated concept book takes on physical forces as young children learn about pushing and pulling.

  2. Plants Feed Me - An elegant, easy-to-read text and beautiful illustrations describe the parts of plants that humans eat. Watermelons are fruits. Cabbages are leaves. Walnuts are seeds. Carrots are roots. People eat many parts of plants. Even flowers! Detailed illustrations teach new readers about the edible parts of different plants, including leaves, flowers, stems, roots, and seeds. Labeled diagrams explain how an apple seed can grow into a new plant, reveal how a walnut is contained within its shell, and show how wheat seeds make flour.

  3. When Sue Found Sue - From a very young age, Sue Hendrickson was meant to find things: lost coins, perfume bottles, even hidden treasure. Her endless curiosity eventually led to her career in diving and paleontology, where she would continue to find things big and small. In 1990, at a dig in South Dakota, Sue made her biggest discovery to date: Sue the T. rex, the largest and most complete T. rex skeleton ever unearthed. Named in Sue's honor, Sue the T. rex would be placed on permanent exhibition at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. When Sue Found Sue inspires readers to take a closer look at the world around them and to never lose their brave, adventurous spirits.

  4. Like a Lizard - The attributes of 28 different lizards are revealed in this STEM nonfiction picture book, while the story provides a subtle message encouraging children to be true to their own nature. The actions of 28 lizard species--the flying dragon that swoops through the air, the shingleback that sticks out its blue tongue to scare predators, the basilisk that can race across the surface of water--invite readers to act like a lizard themselves. The text by noted author April Pulley Sayre asks: "Can you run like a lizard? Sun like a lizard? Bob your head like a lizard?" Featuring brilliantly colorful, textured artwork by illustrator Stephanie Laberis, the book also includes extensive back matter with further information about the featured lizard species--their size, geographical range, why they perform the various actions introduced in the text--as well as details about lizards in general.

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Epilogue

8 books that are just too good to leave off of our nature list.

  1. The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth - Lemony Snickers - This is an all-time favorite children's book for me. The artwork is stunning and the entire book is a fantastic celebration of our beautiful Earth. This is the first children's book by award-winning photographer Chris Burkard, and if you've seen his photography (@chrisburkard), it's no surprise that the message of this book is to take time to explore and enjoy beautiful moments. Children might not appreciate that important reminder as much as adults, but they'll love the pretty illustrations and the peaceful, calm of this book. The words are simple and direct, but that's part of what makes it powerful.

  2. You Belong Here - "The stars belong in the deep night sky, and the moon belongs there too, and the winds belong in each place they blow by, and I belong here with you. So begins this classic bedtime book, richly illustrated by award-winning artist Isabelle Arsenault. The pages journey around the world, observing plants and animals everywhere, and reminding children that they are right where they belong. A beautiful title for new babies, adoptive families, and children of all ages. ----------- You are a dream that the world once dreamt, And now you are part of its song. That's why you are here, in the place where you're meant, For this is right where you belong."

  3. Owl Moon - Celebrating 30 years of the beloved classic Owl Moon from renowned children’s book author Jane Yolen and Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator John Schoenherr! Late one winter night a little girl and her father go owling. The trees stand still as statues and the world is silent as a dream. Whoo-whoo-whoo, the father calls to the mysterious nighttime bird. But there is no answer. Wordlessly the two companions walk along, for when you go owling you don’t need words. You don’t need anything but hope. Sometimes there isn’t an owl, but sometimes there is.

  4. Because of an Acorn - Because of an acorn, a tree grows, a bird nests, a seed becomes a flower. Enchanting die-cuts illustrate the vital connections between the layers of an ecosystem in this magical book. Wander down the forest path to learn how every tree, flower, plant, and animal connect to one another in spiraling circles of life. An acorn is just the beginning.

  1. The Nature Girls - Aki's The Nature Girls is a picture book starring an adorable troupe of girls exploring different biomes—the ocean, the desert, the tundra, the grasslands, the forest—and meeting all the cute animals that inhabit them.

  2. Augustus and His Smile - 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.

  3. The tin forest - An old man's persistent dreams transform a garbage dump into a forest full of life.

  4. Fishing in the Air - We were going on a journey, to a secret place. We'd catch the air! We'd catch the breeze! A father and son set out early one morning in search of a cool, clear river in which to fish. With their lines and bobbers, they cast high into the air catching memories, discoveries, and a bubble of breeze and a sliver of sky and a slice of yellow sun. The first picture book by Sharon Creech, Newbery award-winning author of Walk Two Moons, is a lyrical portrait of the bond between a father and son. Caldecott Honor recipient Chris Raschka's illustrations shimmer in pools of color and light, making Fishing in the Air a beautiful reminder of the gift of imagination a parent passes on to a child -- and a child gladly shares in return. AWARDS: Best Children's Books 2000 (PW) and Lasting Connections 2001 (Book Links)

Did you enjoy our nature book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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