Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to nocturnal animals. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about nocturnal animals.
Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.
When it comes to children’s stories about nocturnal animals, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Hedgehugs: Autumn Hide-and-Squeak to popular sellers like Stellaluna to some of our favorite hidden gems like A Boy Called Bat.
We hope this list of kids books about nocturnal animals can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
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.
Night Animals - Something’s out there in the dark! First Possum hears it. Then Skunk. Then Wolf comes running. ‘What could it possibly be?’ asks Bat. ‘Night Animals!’ the animals declare. ‘But you arenight animals,’ Bat informs this not-so-smart crew. Children will love the oh-so-funny animals in this twist on a cozy bedtime book.
Bats - Presenting fascinating information on all kinds of bats, from how they use echoes to hear, to the legends that surround them and how to protect the species Though people often think of bats as scary, bats are really shy, gentle animals. There are nearly 1000 different species of bats, and they live on every continent except Antarctica. Some are tiny, but the giant flying fox bat has a five-foot wingspan! Popular science author Gail Gibbons also discusses the efforts to protect the world’s only truly flying mammals. A final page offers additional facts.
Science Comics: Bats - Every volume of Science Comics offers a complete introduction to a particular topic—dinosaurs, coral reefs, the solar system, volcanoes, bats, flying machines, and more. These gorgeously illustrated graphic novels offer wildly entertaining views of their subjects. Whether you’re a fourth grader doing a natural science unit at school or a thirty year old with a secret passion for airplanes, these books are for you! This volume: In Bats, we follow a little brown bat whose wing is injured by humans on a nature hike. He is taken to a bat rehabilitation center where he meets many different species of bats. They teach him how they fly, what they eat, and where they like to live.
Want to see books about science and nature?
Bats in the Band - When the weather warms up, bats take advantage of an empty theater to stage a concert.
Bats at the Ballgame - On deck and ready for the spring lineup, New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Brian Lies’s ode to “batty” baseball fans. Hurry up! Come one—come all! We’re off to watch the bats play ball! You think humans are the only ones who enjoy America’s national pastime? Grab your bat—the other kind—and your mitt, because it’s a whole new ballgame when evening falls and bats come fluttering from the rafters to watch their all-stars compete. Get set to be transported to the right-side-up and upside-down world of bats at play, as imagined and illustrated by best-selling author-illustrator Brian Lies.
Bat Loves the Night - As nighttime falls, a pipistrelle bat wakes up, flies into the night, uses the echoes of her voice to navigate, hunts for her supper, and returns to her roost to feed her baby. Reprint.
Owl Love You - Illustrations and simple, rhyming text reveal many ways to show love as a mother owl promises to play with, teach, protect, and care for her baby from sunset to sunrise.
The Fallen Star - A Flabbergastifying adventure under the stars! The third humorous adventure in The Nocturnals, a deluxe, beautifully illustrated middle grade series.
Hoot and Peep - In the night skies above Paris, an adorable young owl teaches her older brother about the power of imagination—and the unconditional love between siblings Hoot the owl is very excited for his little sister, Peep, to join him on the cathedral rooftops. She’s finally old enough to learn all his big brother owly wisdom: First, owls say hooo. Second, they always say hooo. Lastly, they ONLY say hooo! But why would Peep say hooo when she could say schweeepty peep or dingity dong? Why would she speak when she could sing? As she explores the breathtaking Parisian cityscape, Peep discovers so many inspiring sights and sounds—the ring of cathedral bells, the slap of waves on stone—that she can’t help but be swept up in the magic of it all. Hoot doesn’t understand Peep’s awe, until he takes a pause to listen . . . and realizes that you’re never too old to learn a little something new. From the beloved author/illustrator of the classic picture book Red Sled, this gorgeous read aloud celebrates the wonder found in little things—and in the hearts of dreamers, young and old.
The Ominous Eye - A Flabbergastifying adventure under the stars! The second humorous adventure in The Nocturnals, a deluxe, beautifully illustrated middle grade series.
Want to see books about owls?
Megabat and Fancy Cat - Megabat returns, this time with a new nemesis: a very fancy cat. Can our tiny bat hero stop his Daniel’s heart from being stolen by this nefarious, fluffy villain? Megabat was looking forward to Christmas morning: presents, playing toys, smooshfruit and watching Star Wars. But then Daniel opened his last, most special present. Daniel thinks this might be the best Christmas present yet: a beautiful cat named Priscilla! He’s always wanted a pet. Megabat is not sure he likes this cat. She tastes most hairy. Daniel loves his new cat! She’s fun to play with, and she’s so soft and fluffy. Megabat is not soft OR fluffy. He’s not purebred and he doesn’t have a big, beautiful swishy tail. What if Daniel loves Priscilla more than Megabat? This is truly a disturbance in the Force. Megabat and Birdgirl must find a way to get rid of this trubble cat once and for all! Calamity ensues as Megabat and Birdgirl try to come up with ways to get rid of Priscilla. But is there more than meets the eye with this furry menace? Kass Reich’s adorable illustrations paired with Anna Humphrey’s hilarious text make for another unforgettable Megabat adventure.
Megabat - A sweet and hilarious chapter book about a boy and a bat, two unlikely friends who bond over loneliness, jellyrolls and Darth Vader. Daniel Misumi has just moved to a new house. It’s big and old and far away from his friends and his life before. AND it’s haunted . . . or is it? Megabat was just napping on a papaya one day when he was stuffed in a box and shipped halfway across the world. Now he’s living in an old house far from home, feeling sorry for himself and accidentally scaring the people who live there. Daniel realizes it’s not a ghost in his new house. It’s a bat. And he can talk. And he’s actually kind of cute. Megabat realizes that not every human wants to whack him with a broom. This one shares his smooshfruit. Add some buttermelon, juice boxes, a lightsaber and a common enemy and you’ve got a new friendship in the making! This charming, funny story is brought to life by Kass Reich’s warm and adorable illustrations. There’s never been a bat this cute — readers will be rooting for Megabat and Daniel from page one!
Dewey Bob - A sweet raccoon character stars in this endearing tale of unexpected friendship from the creator of the bestselling Skippyjon Jones Dewey Bob Crockett is a durn cute raccoon who lives by himself in a house filled to the brim with the wonderful objects he collects. Buttons, wheels, furniture and bricabrac adorn his cozy quarters and keep him busy as he finds and fixes, turning trash into treasures. But there’s something missing from Dewey’s collections—a friend! He tries gathering up some critters and bringing them home in his shopping cart, but that doesn’t work out so well. In the end, a friend does come Dewey’s way, and, with a little DIY help from this clever raccoon, returns again and again. Combining art and heart with storytelling genius and a lilting twang, Judy Schachner’s tale of unexpected friendship will delight readers young and old.
Rabbit & Possum - Rabbit likes to leap before she looks. Possum is a little more cautious. Together, they are a dynamic duo ready to charm fans of Frog and Toad or Toot & Puddle! Rabbit has been preparing all day for her best friend Possum’s visit, but when the time comes she finds Possum fast asleep. No matter what Rabbit does, she just can’t wake him up. But then a rustle in the bushes frightens Possum and sends him up a tree—where he gets very, very stuck. Rabbit has any number of ideas to get him down. Unfortunately, they all make Possum a little…uneasy. But best friends never give up. With a little creativity—and a big surprise—Rabbit just might be able to save the day. These unlikely friends and their upbeat humor are just right for fans of Eric Rohmann’s My Friend Rabbit and Kelly Bingham’s Z Is for Moose.
Twilight Chant - As day slips softly into night, sharp eyes catch glimpses of the special creatures who are active at dusk. Lyrical text and lush art capture the richness and life of this magical time in a sumptuous picture book that will inspire budding naturalists and anyone who has ever chased a lightning bug at twilight. An author’s note about twilight is included.
Daylight Starlight Wildlife - In amazingly lifelike, luminous paintings, Wendell Minor, one of America’s finest wildlife and landscape painters, reveals the variety of animals that surround us when we are awake and when we are sleeping. Minor’s vivid introduction to diurnal (daytime) and nocturnal (nighttime) creatures invites readers to experience the movements, sounds, colors, and textures of nature. By day a red-tailed hawk soars through sky, and by night a barn owl silently swoops through it. In the daylight a family of fluffy cottontail rabbits hops into a field to forage for food, and under starlight a family of pink-nosed opossums does the same. As day turns to night and night to day, amazing critters large and small come and go. Children will enjoy comparing and contrasting the roaming habits of the wonderful wildlife that surrounds us.
Want to see books about nature?