Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to reptiles. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about reptiles.
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.
When it comes to children’s stories about reptiles, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Gator to popular sellers like Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories to some of our favorite hidden gems like Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor.
We hope this list of kids books about reptiles 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 Tortoise and the Hare with a southwestern flair. Tortoise, living comfortably in her home on Slow Lane, awakens one morning feeling good and challenges cocky Jackrabbit to a race. Patiently bumping her way through the desert landscape, Tortoise heads for the finish line as Jackrabbit cheerfully skips―and sleeps. Roadrunner, Tarantula, Gila Monster and even a Javelina or three cheer them on. Irresistible fun for the young and old alike.
“Did the whale with the slapping, splashing tail see Turtle? Maybe it was the fish with the glittery, shimmering scales? Follow the amazing migration of Turtle through the seas and oceans as she returns home to lay her eggs”—Cover.
After his best friend Sarah leaves for her first day of school, a tortoise named Truman goes on an adventure across the living room and learns to be brave in this thoughtful and heartwarming twist on a first experience story. Truman the tortoise lives with his Sarah, high above the taxis and the trash trucks and the number eleven bus, which travels south. He never worries about the world below…until one day, when Sarah straps on a big backpack and does something Truman has never seen before. She boards the bus! Truman waits for her to return. He waits. And waits. And waits. And when he can wait no longer, he knows what he must do. Even if it seems…impossible!
“How come fraternal twins are called twins when they don’t look alike?” That’s the most common question fraternals ask (and are asked) when they’re young. Not only does Fraturtles answer that question, but it does so through a fun, easy-to-understand story about a twin who comes to realize that having a twin isn’t about sharing their looks. It’s about sharing their lives.
Follow the Little Green Frog as he introduces your baby or toddler to his friends by the pond including ducks, fish, turtles, and more in this adorable lift-a-flap board book. Simple sentences reinforce future language structure while grasping and lifting the sturdy flaps helps develop fine motor skills. A perfect first book!
Welcome to the world little one! Come explore the Little Green Frog Lift-a-Flap board book filled with surprises Perfectly sized for little hands and fingers to open and close the flaps. 6 chunky and sturdy flaps are extra strong so your little one can open and close again and again Surprise and delight baby with bright artwork and special treats under each flap Collect all the books in the Babies Love series. From colors and animals, to first words and holidays, the Babies Love Chunky Lift-a-Flap series is a great introduction to reading with cheerful, contemporary, and whimsical illustrations and sturdy, easy-to-lift flaps
Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship - The amazing true story of the orphaned baby hippo and 130-year-old giant turtle whose remarkable friendship touched millions around the world. The inspiring true story of two great friends, a baby hippo named Owen and a 130-yr-old giant tortoise named Mzee (Mm-ZAY). When Owen was stranded after the Dec 2004 tsunami, villagers in Kenya worked tirelessly to rescue him. Then, to everyone’s amazement, the orphan hippo and the elderly tortoise adopted each other. Now they are inseparable, swimming, eating, and playing together. Adorable photos e-mailed from friend to friend quickly made them worldwide celebrities. Here is a joyous reminder that in times of trouble, friendship is stronger than the differences that too often pull us apart.
The Adventure of Thomas the Turtle - Thomas the Turtle lives with his mother and sister on Placid Pond. Many years ago his father disappeared when he entered one part of the pond, which is called the “forbidden region.” Thomas the Turtle has been told by his mother not to go to this region, but one day Thomas ventures too close and is swept over a waterfall and downstream. He struggles battling the forces of nature to survive the frightening experience. Far from home, he is determined to reunite with this family, and finally with the help of two children he succeeds. The Adventure of Thomas the Turtle stresses family values, filial obedience, adversity, curiosity, faith and determination. Parents will enjoy reading this touching story to their 5-to-9-year-old children for its exciting adventure and strong moral messages.
Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories - Dr. Seuss presents three modern fables in the rhyming favorite Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories. The collection features tales about greed (“Yertle the Turtle”), vanity (“Gertrude McFuzz”), and pride (“The Big Brag”). In no other book does a small burp have such political importance! Yet again, Dr. Seuss proves that he and classic picture books go hand in hand.
Galapagos George - This is the story of the famous Lonesome George, a giant tortoise who was the last of his species, lived to be one hundred years old, and became known as the rarest creature in the world. His story gives us a glimpse of the amazing creatures inhabiting the ever-fascinating Galápagos Islands. Renowned naturalist and bestselling author of the Newbery Medal-winning Julie of the Wolves and the critically acclaimed Everglades Jean Craighead George once again introduces children to the wonders of the natural world in this incredible evolution story set in the Galápagos Islands. The back matter features key terms, a timeline, and further resources for research. Supports the Common Core State Standards.
“Simple, lyrical words and bright, acrylic doublepage pictures convey the astonishing facts about the loggerhead sea turtle. . . . A powerful nature story for a young audience.” — Booklist
Far, far out at sea lives one of the world’s most mysterious creatures, the loggerhead turtle. For thirty years she swims the oceans, wandering thousands of miles as she searches for food. Then, one summer night, she lands on a beach to lay her eggs — the very same beach where she herself was born. Nicola Davies’s lyrical text offers fascinating information about the journey of the tiny, endangered loggerhead, while charming paintings by Jane Chapman vividly illustrate one turtle’s odyssey.
The timeless tale of The Foolish Tortoise, illustrated by Eric Carle, is now available in a Level 2 Ready-to-Read edition!
The foolish tortoise is tired of being so slow. He decides that the easiest way for him to move faster is to get out of his heavy shell. The only problem is, once he leaves his home, he’s too scared to walk anywhere! This silly tortoise learns the hard way that there’s no place like home.
Children will enjoy this jubilant tale of a tortoise on a journey of self-discovery! Now available as a Level 2 Ready-to-Read, this charming story with rhyming text is perfect for young readers!
On the banks of Africa’s Lake Nyasa there’s a quarrel going on. Elephant and Hippopotamus are boasting how big and strong they are and frightening the smaller animals. But not clever Tortoise. He may be small but his brains are big and he knows a trick to cut those bullies down to size!
Limu was different than all the other Hawaiian sea turtles - he was blue! But while other turtles made fun of him, Limu still had fun growing up in the sea, bodysurfing the big waves, laughing with seals and making friends big and small. Follow Limu’s adventures, as he discovers that no matter what he looks like on the outside, others like him because of the good turtle he is on the inside.
Franklin has always lived in the same house in the same town, and he’s grown up with the same friends. Then new neighbors move in — the Moose family! At school, Mr. Owl asks Franklin to be Moose’s buddy. Initially, Franklin is afraid of Moose because of his size but he soon realizes that despite their differences, he has made a new friend in this Franklin Classic Storybook.
The Sea Turtle Mystery - The Aldens are spending spring break on a beach, but they aren’t just soaking up the sun. They’re protecting an endangered species! Their job is to mark sea turtle nests so the eggs can be moved to a safe place to hatch, but someone is digging up the eggs without permission. Can the Boxcar Children figure out what’s going on and help save the sea turtles?
Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! - A fascinating look at the dangers sea turtles face and the role that humans have in helping with wildlife and ocean conservation. In this re-illustrated edition of the previously published text, author April Pulley Sayre introduces readers to the life of a sea turtle. From the tiny hatchlings being born on the shores of Florida to the turtles making their way through the sea to their journey back to lay eggs of their own years later, the reader sees the dangers that turtles must face and how humans can help. Backmatter includes Information on sea turtle conservation efforts and the seven species of sea turtles. A great introduction to ocean life cycles as well as a perfect resource for building awareness about environmental and nature conservation in and outside of the classroom.
Nate the Great and the Tardy Tortoise - These chapter books introduce beginning readers to the detective mystery genre. Perfect for the Common Core, kids can problem-solve with Nate, using logical thinking to solve mysteries! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and someone is eating the flowers in Nate the Great’s garden. A green tortoise is slowly, slowly stepping across the lawn, and Nate is slowly, slowly following him. Where does Nate’s green guest truly belong? It may take all of Nate the Great’s patience and sharp eyesight to find out slowly.
Back to School Tortoise - It’s time to go back to school. But Tortoise is worried. What if he falls down? What if he doesn’t like lunch? What if the kids are mean to him? What if he falls down, doesn’t like lunch, and the kids are mean to him? The perfect back-to-school book about being brave, with a surprise at the end!
Finger puppet books are a favorite at our house! Whether I use my finger or my boys use theirs, we have a good time watching the animal tell us a story!
A new title in the bestselling finger puppet series! Tiny tots will enjoy swimming with newly hatched baby sea turtles in Little Sea Turtle. This simple, comforting story features a permanently attached plush finger puppet and peek-a-boo holes in every page, giving parents and children a fun, interactive way to play and read together.
For fans of Penguin and Pinecone, this adorable new duo will warm your heart and tickle your funny bone. Meet Croc! He is the strongest and fastest crocodile around. Meet Turtle! He agrees that Croc is the strongest and fastest. But what happens when Elephant lifts that heavy rock with ease? And when Cheetah speeds on by? Croc and Turtle might not be the strongest or the fastest, but they’re definitely the best at something even more important . . . Introducing an utterly charming new duo, this humorous and heartwarming adventure will delight readers of all ages.
This is a fun and crazy book about a girl who wakes up in a silly situation. Her calm and polite way of dealing with it, getting information, and going confidently with the flow is a great model for all of us. The illustrations are line-drawn in green, white, and shades of pink. The meter keeps things clipping along and the rhyming is clever and sometimes unexpected. It just goes to show that we never know what people might be whispering when they stare!
One day, a girl discovers an alligator on her head and, although she is afraid her friends will laugh, the ‘gator soon convinces her that she can still give her brother a scare, eat an eclair, and choose anything to wear as long as he is there.
Back in the days of long skirts and afternoon teas, young Joan Procter entertained the most unusual party guests: slithery and scaly ones, who turned over teacups and crawled past the crumpets…. While other girls played with dolls, Joan preferred the company of reptiles. She carried her favorite lizard with her everywhere—she even brought a crocodile to school!
When Joan grew older, she became the Curator of Reptiles at the British Museum. She went on to design the Reptile House at the London Zoo, including a home for the rumored-to-be-vicious komodo dragons. There, just like when she was a little girl, Joan hosted children’s tea parties—with her komodo dragon as the guest of honor.
You probably know a little about crocodiles already. They’re reptiles, they have an awful lot of teeth, and they’re pretty scary — at least, the big ones are! They’re not very fussy about what they eat, and when it comes to hunting down dinner, crocodiles are very determined . . . and very cunning. But there’s more to crocodiles than just their appetites. They love to nap on warm sandbanks and cool off in calm waters, and crocodile mothers are very gentle with their babies. This fascinating look at one of Earth’s most infamous creatures is full of information for amateur scientists, with back matter that includes an index, notes on species, and suggestions for further reading.
Alligators All Around: An Alphabet - From alligators all around to zippity zound, from entertaining elephants to throwing tantrums, the antics of these alligators have made reciting the alphabet fun for over fifty years! Now in a larger, 5 x 7 trim size, Alligators All Around will continue to make children giggle while learning their ABCs. This beloved classic from Maurice Sendak has helped introduce the alphabet to generations of children. This edition is perfect for lap sharing and as a baby shower gift.
Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book) - Snappsy the alligator is having a normal day when a pesky narrator steps in to spice up the story. Is Snappsy reading a book … or is he making CRAFTY plans? Is Snappsy on his way to the grocery store … or is he PROWLING the forest for defenseless birds and fuzzy bunnies? Is Snappsy innocently shopping for a party … or is he OBSESSED with snack foods that start with the letter P? What’s the truth? Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book) is an irreverent look at storytelling, friendship, and creative differences, perfect for fans of Mo Willems.
Chompers the Hungry Alligator - Softcover 24 page book with fun full color illustrations.Chompers is a very hungry baby alligator. He can’t find anything to eat. He asks his new friends what they eat. Nothing sounds very good to eat until Chompers eats the sweet sawgrass. He loves the seagrass. Suddenly, Chompers is caught by a Dentist. The Dentist notices that Chompers need braces for his teeth. The Dentist and his family fall in love with Chomers and the family adopts him. Chompers is very happy.
Chomp Goes the Alligator - From #1 New York Times bestselling novelty book creator Matt Van Fleet comes an irresistible picture book about a very hungry alligator who likes to chomp, chomp, chomp, which will delight readers as they learn animal names, colors, and counting. Along came the alligator, chomp, chomp, chomp! From the internationally bestselling children’s book creator Matthew Van Fleet comes the story of a hungry little alligator who gulps his way from one to ten. Ten touchable textures, a sturdy chomping pull tab, and a grand finale pop-up are sure to engage the youngest readers.
“Searching for a flat in London is no fun, especially after a summer in Spain. The search persists day after day. The air chills, a reminder of the English winter marching towards me. Emerging from the Charring Cross Underground station to scout for an Indian restaurant, a travel poster catches my eye. The gentle curves of a white sand beach banded by a wide ribbon of turquoise dissolving into deep blue defy the London gray. Coconut palms with shaggy yellow-green fronds cast soft shadows on shimmering sand while two empty orange chaise lounges relax in tropical luxury. Below the picture, in heavy bold block letters, I read the word “JAMAICA.” These stories chronicle a young woman’s journey to post-colonial Jamaica. On a one-way ticket, she arrives in Kingston to spend the next seven years exploring roots from the past, the challenges facing a newly independent nation, and the intricacies of creating an identity of her own in unfamiliar circumstances.
Gator provides such a fun, nostalgic tale of leaving home, having an adventure and coming back again, all while helping improve the world for those around you. One of my favorite parts of the story is seeing how, even when Gator is home again and everything seems like they’re back to the “good old days,” things are really even better than before for Gator’s friend Duck.
A carousel alligator goes on a courageous journey to find a place with real alligators—and a wonderful, familiar sound—in this moving and modest story. Full color.
There are lots of clubs for Rory to join at his new school, but none seem quite right for him. So when his parents suggest he start his own club about something he loves, Rory knows exactly what it will be: a Reptile Club! He’s positive that there are other kids out there who share his passion. He sets up his first meeting and then waits and waits for students to show up. Just as he is about to give up, Rory hears whispering in the hallway and hurries over to see who it is. To his astonishment, it’s not his schoolmates who have arrived to attend the first meeting, but a crocodile, an anaconda and a gecko!
A departing tortoise has his bags packed and is almost ready to set out on an adventure, but he can’t leave until he says good-bye to each of his animal friends. The tortoise stops for every last timid mouse and bumblebee, shouting his rhyming good-byes, making you wonder if, perhaps, he’s stalling the start of his trip. His animal friends appear startled as he suddenly pops up on each page to say adieu—especially the perplexed rhinoceros the tortoise mistakes for a unicorn! With each farewell, the tortoise’s good-byes get sillier and more creative. When will the good-byes end and the adventure begin? See You Later, Alligator is a silly story with bright, engaging illustrations and expressive, rhyming text that children will want to read—and giggle through—again and again. Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers—picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
From the bestselling author of “Bear Snores On” comes this hilariously illustrated story that teaches young readers the concept of counting from one to five and back again. Full color.
Alan's Big, Scary Teeth - A goofy and lonely denizen of the jungle has just one talent — scaring other creatures with his big, scary teeth! What would he do without them? Deep in the jungle lurks Alan the alligator, descended from a long line of very scary alligators. He prepares carefully — polishing his scales, brushing each of his big, scary teeth, and practicing his frightening faces — then sneaks into the jungle to terrorize the jungle critters. (“I’m big, scary Alan! Fear my razor-sharp teeth!”) But after a long day of scaring, Alan likes nothing better than to enjoy the crossword, run a warm mud bath, and take out his teeth, which nobody else knows are false. Until one morning, when Alan wakes up and finds that his teeth are gone! Without those teeth, he’s just not very scary, and scaring is the only thing he knows how to do. Or is it? Witty, charming, and playful storytelling will have preschoolers cheering for Alan as he discovers a new way to fit in.
Snappsy the Alligator and His Best Friend Forever (Probably) - Snappsy (begrudgingly!) returns in this clever and hilarious follow-up to the critically-acclaimed Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book). Snappsy the alligator wants nothing more than a quiet evening to himself, but a pesky chicken who insists he’s Snappsy’s best friend won’t leave him alone. Friendship bracelets? Matching shirts? The sleepover of the century? Snappsy did not ask for any of the activities the chicken—his best friend forever?—is planning. This pitch-perfect sequel to Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book) explores all the ways we get friendship wrong (and why it feels so magical when we get it right!).
How to Be on the Moon - In the follow-up to How to Find Gold, best friends Anna and Crocodile are going on another intrepid adventure — this time, to the moon. It’s almost impossible to get to the moon. It’s out in space, which is dark and empty, and it’s very far away. If Anna and Crocodile are going to make it to the moon, they’ll need some special skills, like being able to do math and having a lot of patience. They’ll also need to build a rocket. Not to mention the sandwiches for the journey. Luckily, when Anna and Crocodile put their minds together, nothing can stand in their way. Full of the same cheerful charm that made How to Find Gold so endearing, Viviane Schwarz’s pitch-perfect text and wonderfully colorful illustrations launch this story off the page in a true celebration of curiosity and the magic of imaginative play.
Doodle Bites - The inspired Polly Dunbar wraps up her series about Tilly and Friends with two beguiling new adventures. When Doodle the alligator is feeling bitey, the backside of Tumpty the elephant looks very tempting. But now Tumpty is sore — in more ways than one — and promptly stamps on Doodle’s tail. No wonder everyone’s upset! Luckily, the friends agree to apologize, and all is well — at least until Doodle starts to feel bitey again. . . .
Petty Potts has been kidnapped! Josh and Danny have to find her before it’s too late. While investigating, the boys come across Petty’s latest S.W.I.T.C.H. spray that can turn them into alligators. Josh and Danny soon have a date with destiny…
From Caldecott-winning illustrator David Small and bestselling author Bonny Becker, an unforgettable Christmas story that will leave the whole family giggling. When Alice Jayne finds a crocodile under the tree on Christmas Eve, her family goes into an uproar! The Christmas Crocodile doesn’t mean to be bad, not really, but soon he is eating up Christmas—from the dinner roast to the left stove-top burner…even the Christmas tree! Everyone has an opinion about what to do with him. Uncle Theodore suggests they send him to Africa, Father recommends the zoo, and Aunt Figgy mentions an orphanage. But Alice Jayne thinks the Christmas Crocodile deserves a real family. Can she find him a new home? And will she and the family survive till Christmas morning, with that naughty crocodile gobbling up everything in sight?
In this interactive board book, kids will love pulling the tabs to make Brock the crocodile snap his teeth! Brock the crocodile has great big teeth, but sometimes, they’re so scary that they frighten all his friends away. Brock scares a bird when a yawns, a frog when he sneezes, some snakes when he hiccups, some baby elephants when he coughs, and a rhino and some monkeys when he laughs. He feels bad scaring them, but he can’t help having such big, scary teeth! But his mom is able to cheer him up by giving him a nice big cupcake!
An adaptation of the school-yard jump rope or clapping song “Miss Lucy Had A Baby,” the illustrations are cute, spunky and add a dynamic feel to the book. The text is pretty minimal and standard, but with great rhythm (what else would you expect from a jump rope song?) and it’s a quick read.
Children’s Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman’s bestselling Sing-Along Stories are perfect for reading together, with over one million copies sold in all formats. You know the song, but you’ve never heard it like this! A familiar melody with uproariously funny new lyrics are presented alongside bright, zany illustrations in this picture book that includes music, stories, and games. These outrageous rhymes will appeal to reluctant readers, eager readers, silly readers, and the whole family together!
Mary Had a Little Lizard - A modern take on “Mary Had a Little Lamb” featuring hilarious antics as Lizard sneaks into Mary’s backpack and causes nothing but mayhem in her Kindergarten class. He eats someone’s lunch, makes a mess in the painting corner, and scares the teacher silly during story time before being sent to the principal’s office to wait for Mary’s mom to pick him up. It’s no fun being alone. But when Mary finally comes home from school, Lizard knows he’ll always have his very best friend. Rendered in a combination of traditional and digital color, Mary Had a Little Lizard is a silly, satisfying celebration of new experiences and friendships that can never be broken.
Duckworth, the Difficult Child - Duckworth’s parents think he is a difficult child, so when a snake slides right up and swallows him whole, his parents don’t believe him! What’s poor Duckworth to do? Duckworth is a difficult child. At least that’s what his parents think. So when Duckworth tries to explain that a gigantic snake slithered out of his closet, his parents insist it’s all in his head—he is far too old to be imagining such nonsense. (And will he please do his chores?) But even when the cobra slides right up and swallows Duckworth whole, his parents remain unconvinced! (Where did he find that snake costume, and will he please put it away?) What’s poor Duckworth to do when his parents just won’t listen? With nods to the deliciously dark humor of Edward Gorey, Florence Parry Heide, and Jon Klassen, Michael Sussman and Júlia Sardà empathize with children everywhere who must find ways to deal with their difficult parents.