Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to reptiles and amphibians. 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 and amphibians.
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 and amphibians, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like I Wanna Iguana to popular sellers like The Mixed-Up Chameleon to some of our favorite hidden gems like Art & Max.
We hope this list of kids books about reptiles and amphibians 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.
Chameleon can turn himself into anything and appear to fit in anywhere, but it seems that neither the swirly snail, the green grasshopper nor the striped sock want to be friends. Will he ever find someone to talk to? Someone just like him?
With a subtle and witty interplay between words and illustrations this introduction to colors and shapes (and chameleons!) is sure to delight kids of all ages.
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.
Meet Spike, a lovable monster—and a real-life salamander—who’s looking for friends in this lively picture book that includes Spanish vocabulary. Spike is a scary-looking salamander who keeps trying to frighten other animals—until he finds that using fear is not the best way to make friends. And since Spike lives in Mexico (he is an endangered species called the axolotl), this story is peppered with easy-to-understand Spanish words. In addition to a charming tale of friendship, this picture book contains nonfiction information about the axolotl and a Spanish/English glossary.
Alex just has to convince his mom to let him have an iguana, so he puts his arguments in writing. He promises that she won’t have to feed it or clean its cage or even see it if she doesn’t want to. Of course Mom imagines life with a six-foot-long iguana eating them out of house and home. Alex’s reassurances: It takes fifteen years for an iguana to get that big. I’ll be married by then and probably living in my own house. and his mom’s replies: How are you going to get a girl to marry you when you own a giant reptile? will have kids in hysterics as the negotiations go back and forth through notes. And the lively, imaginative illustrations show their polar opposite dreams of life with an iguana.
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.
Beware of the Crocodile - 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.
Art & Max - Max wants to be an artist like Arthur, but his first attempt at using a paintbrush sends the two friends on a whirlwind trip through various media, with unexpected consequences.
Chamelia and the New Kid in Class - Chamelia is a chameleon who loves to stand out in a crowd. She’s always the star of the show, especially at school. But when a new kid in class becomes the center of attention, Chamelia feels left out. Can she figure out how to beat her competition? Or will she learn to share the spotlight and make a new best friend? Join the fabulous Chamelia in this funny and charming story about friendship, school, and the true meaning of being a star!
Slide-N-Seek Earth - Explore a new and exciting way to learn about what’s happening underground with this interactive Slide-N-Seek book. With a turn of the wheel, you’ll see colorful images transform before your very eyes. But don’t stop there, look closer and you’ll discover hidden images throughout every page. Kids will love this fun and educational format while learning about fascinating objects along the way.
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!
Franklin and his friends love to play soccer, even if they never succeed in scoring a goal, but when they learn to work together, their playing improves.
Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.
Gerald and Piggie are best friends.
In Can I Play Too? Gerald and Piggie meet a new snake friend who wants to join in a game of catch. But don’t you need arms to catch?
Help little ones learn how to give a BIG gentle hug with this first story in the brand-new Wee Beasties series from New York Times bestselling author Ame Dyckman.
Huggy the Python loves to hug. The only problem is, he hugs WAY too hard.
WAIT! Can you show Huggy how to give a gentle hug?
Wee Beasties is a new board book series from New York Times bestselling author, Ame Dyckman, featuring silly animals doing the things they love just a little TOO much. In this first book about Huggy the Python and all the things he loves, little ones will learn how to give a big gentle hug.
There once was a small green chameleon that wished to be handsome like a flamingo, smart like a fox, and funny like a seal. But with each transformation in size, shape, and color, the chameleon learns that maybe being yourself is best of all!
The Mixed-Up Chameleon is sure to delight little readers with its interactive art, funny antics, and heartwarming message.
Rodney - Rodney is a small turtle with a BIG dream. All he wants is to be larger. Then one day, Rodney’s dream comes true - or does it? It’s all a matter of perspective!
The Greedy Python - In this classic picture book from Richard Buckley and Eric Carle, a greedy python eats every creature he comes across in the jungle. From a tiny mouse to an enormous elephant, the eaten animals befriend one another in the belly of the snake, where they team up and kick the inside of the python until he spits them out. This humorous tale about manners, respect, and friendship will delight readers!
Franklin's New Friend - 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.
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.
Tessy is so excited to have a sleepover with Newton, full of midnight snacks and bedtime stories and pillow fights. But Newton just wants to sleep! Can the friends find a way for both of them to have fun?
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.
Do crocs cry? Do crocs clap? All I know is crocs go . . . SNAP! This novelty board book, with fun text and colorful illustrations, features adorable lions, tigers, and bears, as well as the snappy title reptile and other favorite creatures. Kids will happily lift the flap on each big animal “mouth” to discover what sound it makes. For a grand finale, all the animals appear together peering out from behind two gatefolds, so children can sneak a peek and say all the sounds again!
Meet the long-necks, flyers, boneheads, duckbills, swimmers, armored, horned, plated, and sharp-toothed creatures of prehistoric times in this oversized board book with 101 creatures for kids to name and sound out! With bite-size information that’s perfect for this young age, phonetic spellings of each creature, and an interactive refrain, the first book in this young nonfiction series is sure to be a hit!
Is a chameleon the ultimate pest of a pet or just a clever adapter to its environment? In this story, told in rhyme, our main character gets into trouble because she keeps losing sight of the family pet who just won’t stop blending into its surroundings. But that’s what chameleons do! This is a story which explores the unique physical traits of chameleons, and also offers readers lots of fun in spotting the animal before it disappears into the background.
The Kid and the Chameleon Sleepover - Tessy is so excited to have a sleepover with Newton, full of midnight snacks and bedtime stories and pillow fights. But Newton just wants to sleep! Can the friends find a way for both of them to have fun?
If You Give a T-Rex a Bone - Heads up, dino lovers! If by chance you end up in an ancient habitat, and if you offer a T-Rex a bone, things could get . . . well . . . interesting. Dangerously interesting! Storyteller and teacher Tim Myers magically introduces the reader to all types of dinosaurs in quirky sort of way. The boy in the story had a tough day, dodging T-Rex by hiding in the underbrush, only to encounter a toothy dimetrodon. He escapes into a nearby bay, only to attract a 42-foot kronsaurus . . . it was a long day, running to and fro among ancient habitats. There is lots of science, but no boring nonfiction here!
Neon Leon - Everyone knows that chameleons are the best at fitting in. But Leon is an exception. Leon is neon! In fact, he’s so bright that he keeps all the other chameleons awake at night. Poor Leon is lonely, so he goes off in search of somewhere he won’t be a nuisance. In this delightful interactive book filled with vibrant neon artwork, children can help Leon on his journey by counting his steps, sending him to sleep, and giving him lots of reassurance when he’s feeling down. But will he ever find a place where he can fit in?
Snakes on a Train - An adorable board book full of sibilant sounds and other word play, Snakes on a Train is as fun for parents as it is for children, and sure to be a read-aloud hit. The conductor takes the tickets as the snakes start crawling on. The tracks are checked, the whistle blows. It’s time to move along. Hissssssssssss goes the sound of the train.
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