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Zoology: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about zoology?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to zoology. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about zoology.

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 zoology, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like My Very First Book of Animal Homes to popular sellers like Dingoes at Dinnertime to some of our favorite hidden gems like Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles.

We hope this list of kids books about zoology 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.

Top 10 Books About Zoology

Fur, Feather, Fin—All of Us Are Kin book
#1
Fur, Feather, Fin—All of Us Are Kin
Written by Diane Lang & 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.

Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles book
#2
Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles
Written by Patricia Valdez & illustrated by Felicita Sala
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin book
#3
The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin
Written by Julia Finley Mosca & illustrated by Daniel Rieley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

If you’ve ever felt different, if you’ve ever been low, if you don’t quite fit in, there’s a name you should know… Meet Dr. Temple Grandin—one of the world’s quirkiest science heroes!

When young Temple was diagnosed with autism, no one expected her to talk, let alone become one of the most powerful voices in modern science. Yet, the determined visual thinker did just that. Her unique mind allowed her to connect with animals in a special way, helping her invent groundbreaking improvements for farms around the globe!

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin is the first book in a brand new educational series about the inspirational lives of amazing scientists. In addition to the illustrated rhyming tale, you’ll find a complete biography, fun facts, a colorful timeline of events, and even a note from Temple herself!

Animals book
#4
Animals
Written & illustrated by Ingela P. Arrhenius
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Know someone who loves creatures? Animal lovers will fixate on this giant book presenting thirty-two big, bold images of friendly beasts. From a star of children’s design in Sweden comes an exquisite array of animals rendered with whimsy and stylish splendor. Every oversize page highlights a different specimen, from an adorable sheep to an elegant flamingo, from an endearing hippo to a silly-looking snake. Each animal’s name appears in a different eye-catching type treatment, making for an attractive graphic keepsake sure to find a prominent place in nurseries and bookshelves everywhere.

Fanatical About Frogs book
#5
Fanatical About Frogs
Written & illustrated by Owen Davey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Owen Davey returns with a new addition to his About Animals series, this time digging into the wonderous world of frogs! Cool illustrations and fun facts give you all a kid could want to know, and more about frogs! Owen Davey returns with a new addition to his About Animals series, this time digging into the wonderous world of frogs! Did you know that there are over 4,000 known species of frog? Some are bigger than your dinner plate, while others are small enough to sit on your fingernail, and in between is about every color and size you can imagine! Leap into this fascinating illustrated guide to the most diverse amphibians in the world, from the lumbering common toad to the beautiful but deadly poison dart frog.

Wanted! Criminals of the Animal Kingdom book
#6
Wanted! Criminals of the Animal Kingdom
Written by Heather Tekavec & illustrated by Susan Batori
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Think animals are all well-behaved? Think again. These thirteen play dirty. But they’re about to get caught!

A fish who deceives her prey with a light dangling in front of her mouth? A bird who leaves her eggs in another bird’s nest to be raised? A monkey who shouts ?Danger? to scare away the others from the fruit? Meet some of the animal kingdom’s most wanted criminals! Slippery Slick, Queenie the Meanie, Lil’ Cupid —- they’re all here in this hilarious book of animal case files that include rap sheets, mug shots, reports of criminal activity and more. All thirteen animals stand accused of playing dirty, but now that Detective X is hot on their trail, their criminal days may soon be behind them!

Author Heather Tekavec offers an original approach to investigating animal behavior, with a fun storyline built on hardcore facts. Paired with Susan Batori’s cheeky illustrations, this is a laugh-out-loud read that explores fascinating animal science. Each animal ?criminal? gets a spread that’s filled with facts about the animal’s characteristics, including distinguishing features, diet, life span, habitat and more, as well as a description of the animal’s ?bad? behavior and the reason behind it. This book offers direct STEAM links to life science curriculum, particularly lessons on the characteristics of living things. The underlying premise of the book also offers the opportunity for discussions on what it means to play fair in the world.

Bonkers about Beetles book
#7
Bonkers about Beetles
Written & 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.

Mama Dug a Little Den book
#8
Mama Dug a Little Den
Written by Jennifer Ward & illustrated by Steven Jenkins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

There are so many different kinds of dens that mother animals make for their babies, from desert burrows to snow caves to elaborate underground tunnels. Jennifer Ward introduces young readers to all sorts of animals and the cozy burrows they call home in this bouncy, rhyming picture book, illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Steve Jenkins.

The Bear Report book
#9
The Bear Report
Written & illustrated by Thyra Heder
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Sophie is uninterested in writing a research report on polar bears until a polar bear named Olafur swoops her away to the Arctic, where she learns all about the playful bear’s habits and habitat, from glacier mice to Northern Lights.

Dive in: Swim with Sea Creatures at Their Actual Size book
#10
Dive in: Swim with Sea Creatures at Their Actual Size
Written by Roxie Munro
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A scuba diver encounters exquisite coral reef creatures in this clever introduction, which includes a gatefold of a reef shark, to one of world’s most alluring—and threatened—habitats.

Luminous spreads of true-to-size sea life, from a brilliantly colored rainbow parrotfish to a venomous southern stingray, and a surprise gatefold fit together into one scene in this meticulously illustrated nonfiction picture book.

Accompanying the vibrant artwork are descriptions of the 29 creatures that reveal their intriguing habits and more about the Caribbean coral reef they call home. A key included in the back matter shows how the pages smartly fit together. An index, a map, and a section on protecting coral reefs are also included. Budding conservationists will love learning about this vital ecosystem of coral reefs around the world.

Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Zoology and...

Books About Zoology and Science And Nature

Fur, Feather, Fin—All of Us Are Kin
Written by Diane Lang & 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.

Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles
Written by Patricia Valdez & illustrated by Felicita Sala
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Fanatical About Frogs
Written & illustrated by Owen Davey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Owen Davey returns with a new addition to his About Animals series, this time digging into the wonderous world of frogs! Cool illustrations and fun facts give you all a kid could want to know, and more about frogs! Owen Davey returns with a new addition to his About Animals series, this time digging into the wonderous world of frogs! Did you know that there are over 4,000 known species of frog? Some are bigger than your dinner plate, while others are small enough to sit on your fingernail, and in between is about every color and size you can imagine! Leap into this fascinating illustrated guide to the most diverse amphibians in the world, from the lumbering common toad to the beautiful but deadly poison dart frog.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Wanted! Criminals of the Animal Kingdom - Think animals are all well-behaved? Think again. These thirteen play dirty. But they’re about to get caught! A fish who deceives her prey with a light dangling in front of her mouth? A bird who leaves her eggs in another bird’s nest to be raised? A monkey who shouts ?Danger? to scare away the others from the fruit? Meet some of the animal kingdom’s most wanted criminals! Slippery Slick, Queenie the Meanie, Lil’ Cupid —- they’re all here in this hilarious book of animal case files that include rap sheets, mug shots, reports of criminal activity and more. All thirteen animals stand accused of playing dirty, but now that Detective X is hot on their trail, their criminal days may soon be behind them! Author Heather Tekavec offers an original approach to investigating animal behavior, with a fun storyline built on hardcore facts. Paired with Susan Batori’s cheeky illustrations, this is a laugh-out-loud read that explores fascinating animal science. Each animal ?criminal? gets a spread that’s filled with facts about the animal’s characteristics, including distinguishing features, diet, life span, habitat and more, as well as a description of the animal’s ?bad? behavior and the reason behind it. This book offers direct STEAM links to life science curriculum, particularly lessons on the characteristics of living things. The underlying premise of the book also offers the opportunity for discussions on what it means to play fair in the world.

  2. An Egg Is Quiet - This stunningly beautiful and wonderfully informative book from award-winning artist Sylvia Long and author Dianna Hutts Aston makes for a fascinating introduction to the vast and amazing world of eggs. Featuring poetic text and an elegant design, this acclaimed book teaches children countless interesting facts about eggs. Full of wit and charm, An Egg Is Quiet will at once spark the imagination and cultivate a love of science.

  3. Incredible Creatures - The animal world is full of remarkable things, including elephants that purr like cats, sharks that like to listen to heavy metal, and Egyptian plover birds that clean the teeth of crocodiles in exchange for food. With loads of information on animals’ colors, perception, speed, and strength, Incredible Creatures explores monkey business, bird bathrooms, snappy sounds, claws and effect, and even the cuddly pets we love best.

  4. Crowds of Creatures - In rhyming couplets, Crowds of Creatures offers up a fun, foundational introduction to the family groups of six types of animals that are sure to fascinate every preschool learner. Simple, rhythmical text identifies a common name used in defining what a group of each creature is called. Detailed illustrations, meanwhile, bring the animals to life in their natural habitats. Set within a durable board book format, this is a title all kinds of families can share!

Books About Zoology and Birds

Birds
Written & 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.

Tiny Bird
Written by Robert Burleigh & illustrated by Wendell Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

A narrative nonfiction picture book following a hummingbird’s daunting journey south for the winter, with stunning art.

When the last summer flowers open their petals to the slanting sun, it’s time for a tiny hummingbird to dip its beak into the heart of each flower, extracting as much nectar as possible before the hard trip ahead. Today is the day Tiny Bird begins its amazing journey south for the winter, traveling as fast as thirty miles an hour for hundreds of miles on end. The trip is long, with savaging weather and many predators along the way, but Tiny Bird is built for this epic journey and eventually arrives at its winter home. This inspiring and informative story celebrates the important role of a small but mighty creature. For animal enthusiasts, future environmentalists, and fans of Katherine Roy’s How to Be an Elephant.

The Sky Guys
Written & illustrated by Madeline Rogers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Teach your children about our feathered friends with this fun and educational book, part of a series that explores the natural world. The series has three existing titles: The Safari Set, The Polar Pack and The Jungle Crew, and two new titles exploring sea creatures and forest animals: The Marine Team and The Forest Folk.

Five birds – a flamingo, owl, hummingbird, albatross and pelican – are explored through rhyme and pictures. With two spreads dedicated to each bird, adults will be able to read the short playful rhyme on each spread to children and look at the bright illustrations to teach them about their habits and environment. The book also features some fun facts about each animal on the inside back cover.

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. Migration - 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.

  3. Curious About Birds - This board book beginner’s guide offers a thoughtful first glimpse into the world of birds. Educator and author Cathryn Sill introduces very young children to basic facts about birds with the help of beautifully detailed illustrations from noted wildlife illustrator John Sill. Simple and clear descriptions of how birds look, where they live, what they eat, and how they move around make this first title in the Discovering Nature series a dependable and informative beginning resource for learning about birds.

  4. 10 Reasons to Love... a Penguin - Penguins go on incredible journeys, toboggan on their stomachs, and survive in the harshest climates. Turn the pages of this giftable series to find 10 reasons to love penguins, and five ways you can show you care.

Want to see books about birds?

Books About Zoology and Baby Animals

The Secret of the Egg
Written by Nicola Davies & illustrated by Abbie Cameron
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

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.

The Everything Book of Horses and Ponies
Written & illustrated by Dorling Kindersley Publishing
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

A must-have for every animal-loving child, this is the cutest introduction to everything kids want to know about horses and ponies. Do you dream about riding a horse and want to really get to know them? Would you like to learn how to take care of a horse, what equipment to use, or enter the world of equestrian sports? Discover the secrets of gorgeous horses and ponies in this fun, lively book. Packed with colorful photos, fur-tastic facts, and bite-sized information, The Everything Book of Horses and Ponies takes you into their fascinating world. Find out about favorite breeds from Shire horse to Shetland pony. Learn about horses and ponies from around the globe, and be amazed by their beautiful colorings and patterns. Young equine enthusiasts will be champing at the bit to read this wonderful treasury of horses and ponies.

Play in the Wild: How Baby Animals Like to Have Fun
Written by Lita Judge
board book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Why do animals play?

With thoughtful text and sweetly realistic watercolor art, author and illustrator Lita Judge explores the importance of play in the animal kingdom. She shows how play teaches animals to defend themselves and survive in the wild. More adorably, Judge highlights how animals make friends―and also forgive.

Grounded in detailed research, Play in the Wild is sure to captivate young readers while giving them an informative peek into the world around them.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Baby Animals Take a Bath - Sometimes bath time means a roll in the mud, and sometimes it’s a plunge in the snow. Little ones learn how baby animals friends clean up.

  2. Homes in the Wild - As informative as it is lovely, Homes in the Wild is an adorable nonfiction picture book from author/illustrator Lita Judge that shows that wild creatures—from beavers to bobcats, and sloths to squirrels—aren’t so different from us after all. Just like us, every baby animal has a home. Some live in complex burrows deep underground, others in simple nests high in the treetops. But all homes, regardless of where they are or how they’re built, serve the same purpose: providing shelter where a baby can eat, sleep, learn, and stay safe while growing up. Animal lovers will delight in this gorgeously illustrated peek inside the homes—from burrows deep underground to nests high in the trees—where baby animals live and grow.

  3. Baby Penguin's First Waddles - What happens after a baby penguin emerges from her egg? Follow her journey and find out! Meet a penguin chick and see how she grows. Developed in tandem with the American Museum of Natural History, and featuring stunning photography in the penguin’s Antarctic home, this nonfiction picture book captures the first few months of a baby penguin’s life and her transformation into adulthood. With fun and engaging text, Baby Penguin’s First Waddles is sure to delight animal-loving kids.

  4. Animal Babies Do the Strangest Things - Meet a menagerie of the animal kingdom’s most adorable and beloved creatures - babies! Award-winning illustrator Charles Fuge pairs unlikely baby animal friends-big, small, slimy, and furry-to show what makes our favorite stars of the natural world unique. Along with vibrant illustrations, Fuge presents silly, funny, laugh-out-loud rhymes to stir a child’s fascination with animals. Learn what makes each amazing animal baby unique and what they all have in common. This enchanting picture book is guaranteed to delight children of all ages.

Books About Zoology and First Concepts

Animals
Written & illustrated by Ingela P. Arrhenius
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Know someone who loves creatures? Animal lovers will fixate on this giant book presenting thirty-two big, bold images of friendly beasts. From a star of children’s design in Sweden comes an exquisite array of animals rendered with whimsy and stylish splendor. Every oversize page highlights a different specimen, from an adorable sheep to an elegant flamingo, from an endearing hippo to a silly-looking snake. Each animal’s name appears in a different eye-catching type treatment, making for an attractive graphic keepsake sure to find a prominent place in nurseries and bookshelves everywhere.

Octopuses One to Ten
Written by Ellen Jackson & illustrated by Robin Page
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-8

“A fascinating counting journey through the amazing and mysterious world of octopuses”—

Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives
Written by Lola M. Schaefer & illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In one lifetime, a caribou will shed 10 sets of antlers, a woodpecker will drill 30 roosting holes, a giraffe will wear 200 spots, a seahorse will birth 1,000 babies.

Count each one and many more while learning about the wondrous things that can happen in just one lifetime. This extraordinary book collects animal information not available anywhere else—and shows all 30 roosting holes, all 200 spots, and, yes!, all 1,000 baby seahorses in eye-catching illustrations. A book about picturing numbers and considering the endlessly fascinating lives all around us, Lifetime is sure to delight young nature lovers.

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. 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.

  3. Beehive - Acclaimed author Jorey Hurley shows us how bees make and store honey in this bold and graphic picture book that includes informative backmatter on the process. With just one word on each page and the vivid illustrations Joey Hurley is known for, Beehive showcases the cycle of bees making honey. Detailed backmatter further explains this fascinating natural process.

  4. Baby Animals Take a Nap - Some baby animals get rest standing up, and others get sleepy while swimming. Sleepy little humans will be lulled by animal friends getting cozy.

Books About Zoology and Animal Homes

Bonkers about Beetles
Written & 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.

Mama Dug a Little Den
Written by Jennifer Ward & illustrated by Steven Jenkins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

There are so many different kinds of dens that mother animals make for their babies, from desert burrows to snow caves to elaborate underground tunnels. Jennifer Ward introduces young readers to all sorts of animals and the cozy burrows they call home in this bouncy, rhyming picture book, illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Steve Jenkins.

Welcome Home: Where Nature's Most Creative Creatures Dwell
Written & illustrated by Lisa Mundorff
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Young readers will delight in the realistic and literal interpretations of where some of our most favorite animals live. Humans love to put their feet up at home after a long day—whether they’re in a house, apartment, or cabin. Well, even animals have their own particular homes. Otters kick it on a couch, lions retreat to their dens, and pigeons (the city dwellers that they are) call lofts their home. Where we live is a part of us.

Honorable Mentions
  1. A House in the Sky - Some animals build nests, some live in holes in the ground, and some even live in books! Turtles, birds, fish, beavers, and kangaroos are just like people—they need homes, and take up residence in unusual places. Readers get a glimpse of the similarities between human and animal homes with sidebars that detail the unique qualities of each animal and its home. Robbin Gourley’s stylized yet realistic watercolor illustrations prove that nonfiction can be accurate and elegant. Backmatter includes more information about each animal—their habits and their habitats.

  2. Under the Snow - A cozy look at the amazing ways animals behave and interact with their environments on a snowy day. When snow falls, we go home where it is warm and safe. What about all those animals out there in the forests and fields? What do they do when snow blankets the ground? Award-winning science writer Melissa Stewart offers a lyrical tour of a variety of habitats, providing young readers with vivid glimpses of animals as they live out the winter beneath the snow and ice. Constance R. Bergum’s glowing watercolors perfectly capture the wonder and magic that can happen under the snow.

  3. A Place to Start a Family - A poetry collection introducing animal architects that build remarkable structures in order to attract a mate and have babies. Many animals build something—a nest, tunnel, or web—in order to pair up, lay eggs, give birth, and otherwise perpetuate their species. Organized based on where creatures live—underground, in the water, on land, or in the air—twelve poems bring fish, insects, reptiles, mammals, and birds to life. Giles Laroche’s intricate cut-paper illustrations are so life-like, readers will feel like they’ve stepped right into the homes of some of nature’s best builders. Back matter includes more information about each animal.

  4. Birds Make Nests - Birds make many kinds of nests in many kinds of places—to keep their eggs safe and to keep chicks safe. In this exquisitely illustrated picture book, created with both traditional woodcut and digital tools, acclaimed artist Michael Garland celebrates animals that are both beautiful and resourceful.

Books About Zoology and Science

Animalium
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Showcases dozens of full-color animal specimens from around the world in a gallery format, complemented by indentification information and brief descriptions.

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin
Written by Julia Finley Mosca & illustrated by Daniel Rieley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

If you’ve ever felt different, if you’ve ever been low, if you don’t quite fit in, there’s a name you should know… Meet Dr. Temple Grandin—one of the world’s quirkiest science heroes!

When young Temple was diagnosed with autism, no one expected her to talk, let alone become one of the most powerful voices in modern science. Yet, the determined visual thinker did just that. Her unique mind allowed her to connect with animals in a special way, helping her invent groundbreaking improvements for farms around the globe!

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin is the first book in a brand new educational series about the inspirational lives of amazing scientists. In addition to the illustrated rhyming tale, you’ll find a complete biography, fun facts, a colorful timeline of events, and even a note from Temple herself!

10 Reasons to Love... a Lion
Written by Catherine Barr & illustrated by Hanako Clulow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Lions are the only big cat to live in groups, have the loudest roar and the most magnificent manes. Turn the pages of this giftable series to find 10 reasons to love lions, and five ways you can show you care.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Something Rotten: A Fresh Look at Roadkill - When Heather L. Montgomery sees a rattlesnake flattened on the side of the road, her first instinct is to pick it up and dissect it—she’s always wanted to see how a snake’s fangs retract when they close their mouths, and it’s not exactly safe to poke around in a live reptile’s mouth. A wildlife researcher with a special penchant for the animals that litter the roadways, Heather isn’t satisfied with dissecting just one snake. Her fascination with roadkill sets her off on a journey from her own backyard and the roadways of the American South to scientists and kids in labs and homes across the globe. From biologists who use the corpses of Tasmanian devils to investigate cures for a contagious cancer, to a scientist who discovered a whole new species of bird from a single wing left behind, to a boy rebuilding animal bodies from the bones up, to a restaurant that serves up animal remnants, Heather discovers that death is just the beginning for these creatures. This engaging narrative nonfiction is an eye-opening and irreverent look at the dead and dying animals that we pass by without a second thought—as well as a fascinating insight to the scientific research process.

  2. Something Rotten - When Heather L. Montgomery sees a rattlesnake flattened on the side of the road, her first instinct is to pick it up and dissect it—she’s always wanted to see how a snake’s fangs retract when they close their mouths, and it’s not exactly safe to poke around in a live reptile’s mouth. A wildlife researcher with a special penchant for the animals that litter the roadways, Heather isn’t satisfied with dissecting just one snake. Her fascination with roadkill sets her off on a journey from her own backyard and the roadways of the American South to scientists and kids in labs and homes across the globe. From biologists who use the corpses of Tasmanian devils to investigate cures for a contagious cancer, to a scientist who discovered a whole new species of bird from a single wing left behind, to a boy rebuilding animal bodies from the bones up, to a restaurant that serves up animal remnants, Heather discovers that death is just the beginning for these creatures. This engaging narrative nonfiction is an eye-opening and irreverent look at the dead and dying animals that we pass by without a second thought—as well as a fascinating insight to the scientific research process.

  3. 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.

Books About Zoology and Marine Life

Dive in: Swim with Sea Creatures at Their Actual Size
Written by Roxie Munro
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A scuba diver encounters exquisite coral reef creatures in this clever introduction, which includes a gatefold of a reef shark, to one of world’s most alluring—and threatened—habitats.

Luminous spreads of true-to-size sea life, from a brilliantly colored rainbow parrotfish to a venomous southern stingray, and a surprise gatefold fit together into one scene in this meticulously illustrated nonfiction picture book.

Accompanying the vibrant artwork are descriptions of the 29 creatures that reveal their intriguing habits and more about the Caribbean coral reef they call home. A key included in the back matter shows how the pages smartly fit together. An index, a map, and a section on protecting coral reefs are also included. Budding conservationists will love learning about this vital ecosystem of coral reefs around the world.

The Marine Team
Written & illustrated by Madeline Rogers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Teach your children about our aquatic friends with this fun and educational book, part of a series that explores the natural world. The series has three existing titles: The Safari Set, The Polar Pack and The Jungle Crew, and two new titles exploring birds and forest animals: The Sky Guys and The Forest Folk. Five sea creatures - a seal, seahorse, shark, turtle and whale - are explored through rhyme and pictures. With two spreads dedicated to each creature, adults will be able to read the short playful rhyme on each spread to children and look at the bright illustrations to teach them about their habits and environment. The book also features some fun facts about each animal on the inside back cover.

Little Explorers: Under the Sea
Written & illustrated by Little Bee Books
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Introducing the next book in the LITTLE EXPLORERS series, an interactive nonfiction series for curious youngsters. With more than 30 flaps, UNDER THE SEA provides little ones with hands-on fun! UNDER THE SEA is a lively introduction to all types of sea creatures, where children can lift the flaps to learn about all types of amazing animals and the environment they live in. Young readers will be amazed as they find out all about the coral reef, open ocean, endangered animals, shipwrecks, and much much more! This book features over 30 sturdy flaps to lift, along with charming, kid-friendly artwork that introduces new concepts and vocabulary in a simple and accessible way.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. Chomp: A Shark Romp - Dive in to the depths of the ocean to discover different species of sharks in this nonfiction picture book with simple text and illustrations. Many different kinds of sharks are swimming below the ocean’s surface. Some sharks are gentle, and some sharks are fierce. Some are awake in the day, and some are awake at night. Some eat almost anything, and some are very picky. You may not be able to visit their watery world, but you can always visit them up close at the aquarium. Simple text and bold illustrations take young explorers on a deep dive through the ocean full of sharks. Don’t Miss More from Michael Paul in Roar: A Dinosaur Tour!

  3. Ocean Emporium - With a nod to the Victorian-era fascination with natural history collections and drawings, young readers will be awed by this compendium of ocean creatures and will learn how creatures great and small are interconnected in this mysterious ecosystem. From plankton and krill, to corals and crabs, to sea dragons and squids and swordfish and more! The oceans are teeming with life! Find out fascinating facts about these animals and how they survive deep beneath the waves.

Books About Zoology and Environmental Science And Ecosystems

We're Going on a Bear Hunt: Let's Discover Bugs
Written & illustrated by Andrea Cascardi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Enticing and educational guides to our feathered friends and all things creepy-crawly, featuring artwork from the We’re Going On a Bear Hunt animated special. Ants, spiders, and butterflies, oh my! Readers will learn about all sorts of bugs and insects in this guide for eager young entomologists. Whether the plan is to scour the house for crawling critters or venture out on a big bug hunt, this book is teeming with information on where to search for bugs, how to plan an excursion, and more — including buggy activities and stickers.

Moth
Written by Isabel Thomas & illustrated by Daniel Egneus
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

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.

Drawn from Nature
Written & illustrated by Helen Ahpornsiri
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Polar Bear - Following on her gorgeous blue whale, Desmond’s polar bear is exquisitely rendered, magnificent, and precise, with wonderful storytelling too.

  2. Bugs in Danger: Our Vanishing Bees, Butterflies, and Beetles - By now you’ve probably heard that bees are disappearing—but they aren’t the only species at risk. Populations of fireflies, butterflies, and ladybugs have all been declining in recent years, too. This middle grade nonfiction explains the growth, spread, and recent declines of each of these four types of insects. Exploring human causes, like the Baltimore electric company that collected fireflies to attempt to harness their phosphorescent lighting source, to natural occurrences, like the mysterious colony collapse disorder that plagues bee populations, master nonfiction storyteller Mark Kurlansky shows just how much bugs matter to our world.

Books About Zoology and Animal Behavior

Sleep: How Nature Gets Its Rest
Written & illustrated by Kate Prendergast
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

All animals sleep. But do they dream? Facts inspire imaginations in a beautifully illustrated nonfiction picture book for curious young minds. Some animals sleep alone. Others sleep in packs. Some slumber at night, and others prefer the daytime for getting some z’s. Whether large or small, familiar or unusual, all animals must find a way to get some rest. Did you know that giraffes sleep standing up? That sloths sleep upside down? Or that fish sleep with their eyes open? Take a close look at the sleeping habits of meerkats, bats, horses, birds, and other animals around the world in a book for young nature enthusiasts that is certain to spark a sense of wonder.

Where Does Kitty Go in the Rain?
Written by Harriet Ziefert & illustrated by Brigette Barrager
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“A little girl steps out into her rainy yard in search of her missing kitten. She discovers a series of charming garden denizens on the way to finding Kitty. After celebrating the glories of a rainy day, the book ends with a heartwarming reunion between girl and cat”—

Animal Grossology
Written by Sylvia Branzei & illustrated by Jack Keely
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Author Sylvia Branzei and illustrator Jack Keely prove once again that they know what fascinates&150and completely disgusts&150kids of all ages. Learn about slimy creatures, vomit-munchers, bloodsuckers, and unforgettable animal poops. It’s an icky concoction of information, but it contains a heaping helping of real and memorable scientific facts. With a perfect-bound spine and all new covers, Animal Grossology is easy to read! And it is perfect timeing, as the Grossology Museum Tour begins this summer.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 50 Wacky Things Animals Do - Did you know that giraffes clean their ears with their tongues? Or that food passes through a giant squid’s brain before going to its stomach? 50 Wacky Things Animals Do describes 50 unbelievable animals and the things they do that seem too crazy to be true - but are! Whether incredible, funny, or just plain gross, these peculiar and fascinating animal behaviors will surprise and delight fun-fact lovers of all ages.

  2. Whose Nose Do You Suppose? - Richly detailed and realistic illustrations of various animals in their natural habitat invite children to guess which animal each nose belongs to, then to learn a variety of facts about each animal. An enjoyable, educational resource for children, caregivers, and classrooms alike.

  3. Look at Me!: How to Attract Attention in the Animal World - Have you ever noticed that certain creatures have fur, feathers, and features designed to catch your eye? Chock-full of the fascinating facts and stunning art readers have come to expect from Jenkins and Page titles, Look at Me! is a pleasure to look at and an engrossing read. Showcasing the most attention-grabbing animals on the planet gathered together, Look at Me! helps readers understand the range of ways animals try to get one another’s attention and why. From luring in prey to warning off predators, protecting themselves to attracting a mate, each animal has a remarkable display. These are animals you won’t want to miss.

  4. Whose Poop is That? - Poop! Ewwww! No, don’t say “Ewwww.” Ask, “Whose poop is that?” This simple, and yes, charming book asks this question about seven examples of animal poop. By investigating visual clues, young readers can learn to identify the animal through its droppings. For instance, find a sample of poop with bits of bone and tufts of hair. Turn the page to learn it came from a fox! Kelsey Oseid’s illustrations are both accurate and beautiful. Backmatter includes further information about the poop and what scientists can learn from an animal’s droppings.

Books About Zoology and Bugs And Insects

Bugs Everywhere
Written by Lily Murray & illustrated by Britta Teckentrup
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

There are bugs everywhere! Some of them live in jungles, some of them underwater, and some certainly live in your house. And all of them are fascinating! Britta Teckentrup’s work will enthral budding entomologists. This nonfiction volume from a much-loved illustrator simply sparks with personality and is chock-full of weird and wonderful facts about all kinds of creepy-crawlies.

Summer Birds
Written by Margarita Engle & illustrated by Julie Paschkis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Documents the work of a young girl, Maria Merian, who lived during the Middle Ages and disproved the theory of spontaneous generation by observing caterpillars as they spun cocoons and emerged as butterflies and moths in the spring. By the author of the Newbery Honor Book, The Surrender Tree.

The Bug Girl
Written by Sarah Glenn Marsh & illustrated by Filippo Vanzo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Maria Sibylla Merian was fascinated with insects. But when Maria was a girl in the mid-1600s, superstitions about bugs prevented most people from taking a close look. People thought bugs were evil—and anyone interested in such creatures was surely evil too. That didn’t stop Maria. Filled with curiosity, she began to study and paint them. She even witnessed silkworms form cocoons and transform into moths—discovering metamorphosis! Painting and drawing as she studied, Maria pushed the boundaries of what girls were expected to do, eventually gaining recognition as one of the first entomologists and scientific illustrators. This gorgeously illustrated biography celebrates a fascinating female pioneer who broke boundaries in both the arts and sciences.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Beetle Book - Beetles squeak and beetles glow. Beetles stink, beetles sprint, beetles walk on water. With legs, antennae, horns, beautiful shells, knobs, and other oddities—what’s not to like about beetles? The beetle world is vast: one out of every four living things on earth is a beetle. There are over 350,000 different species named so far and scientists suspect there may be as many as a million. From the goliath beetle that weighs one fourth of a pound to the nine inch long titan beetle, award-winning author-illustrator Steve Jenkins presents a fascinating array of these intriguing insects and the many amazing adaptations they have made to survive.

  2. We Dig Worms! - What do worms do all day? How do they see? And why are they so cold and squishy? Find out by going on an underground tour through the hidden world of earthworms. Kevin McCloskey’s book even shows readers what’s happening inside a worm’s body— brain, crop, gizzard, and more. The book takes young readers from “ew!” to “wow!” as they learn about the different ways worms work hard to help the earth. Kids may pick up many of the life science lessons contained here on their first read, but they’ll return to We Dig Worms! again and again to rediscover its story. Deceptively simple, humble yet charming, this little book reaches surprising depths…just like, well, a worm!

  3. Snails are Just My Speed! - What’s the scoop behind all the mucus? Did you know snails build roads like engineers and go undercover in camouflage like spies? Did you know they can be smaller than a seed or bigger than a grown-up’s hand? Kevin McCloskey mixes snail science, art, and hilarity for the newest book in his Giggle and Learn series, praised by The New York Times as “a winning combination of facts and gross-out fun.”

  4. My Awesome Summer by P. Mantis - Get a bug’s-eye-view on the life cycle of the praying mantis, in this hilarious, scientifically accurate Nature Diary following an insect through her whole summer. Finalist for the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books “May 17: I was born today! It’s a beautiful, sunny spring day!” This is the diary of P. Mantis, one of 150 brothers and sisters born on a garden bush. P. Mantis is an amazing bug: she can make herself look like a stick to hide from predators, she can swivel her head all the way around, and when she’s grown up she’ll even be able to fly! In dated journal entries P. Mantis describes the entirety of her life, sharing the fun and beauty of her world as well its little ups and downs (“I ate one of my brothers. Okay, maybe two”). Colorful, bold art helps illustrate the different stages of the mantis life cycle, and the engaging, narrative text is paired with more detailed information about praying mantises on the heavily-illustrated endpapers.

Books About Zoology and Nature

Song of the Wild
Written by Nicola Davies & illustrated by Petr Horacek
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

An extensive look at nature in verse. An essential introduction to the animal world with exquisitely modern illustrations.

Belle's Journey
Written by Rob Bierregaard & illustrated by Kate Garchinsky
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

For over sixteen years, Dr. Rob Bierregaard (Dr. B. to his students) has tracked osprey migration using small radio transmitters. This is the story of one of Dr. B.’s ospreys, Belle, who each spring flies 4,000 miles from her winter home in Brazil to her spring nest on Martha’s Vineyard to meet her mate and start a new family. Besides the long distance, Belle must find food, weather storms, and face other dangers. Dr. B. and his companions follow Belle’s journey via her transmitter. This mostly true story is based on information garnered through twenty years of research by Dr. B.

Speediest! 19 Very Fast Animals
Written by Steve Jenkins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Through illustrations, infographics, facts, and figures, readers will see how big each animal is compared to humans, where it lives on the globe, and just how quickly it can move! With his signature art style, Steve Jenkins’ Extreme Animals reader series explores nature’s truly superlative animals. These readers are fact-packed and span the globe, detailing the astounding abilities of every shape, size, and species. Each installment focuses on amazing and unusual animals, making these nonfiction readers accessible, informative, and fascinating.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 10 Reasons to Love... a Bear - Bears are incredible creatures! Did you know that they can sleep for months on end? Or that they hum when they are happy? Discover ten reasons why bears 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 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.

  3. A Is for Australian Animals - There are so many amazing animals to be found in Australia — and many of them are found nowhere else in the world. Discover thirty-eight of the weird and wonderful creatures of Down Under — from the iconic kangaroo to the puzzling echidna; from the tiny crusader bug to the enormous saltwater crocodile; from the adorable quokka to the terrifying Tasmanian devil. Did you know that lyrebirds can mimic almost any sound? Or that an oblong turtle has the longest neck of any turtle in the world? Vibrant paintings and fascinating facts introduce readers to a wide array of incredible animals in this vivid celebration of the fauna that makes Australia unique.

  4. Stinkiest!: 20 Smelly Animals - Through illustrations, infographics, facts, and figures, readers will see how big each animal is compared to humans, where it lives on the globe, and just how putrid it can be! With his signature art style, Steve Jenkins’ Extreme Animals reader series explores nature’s truly superlative animals. These readers are fact-packed and span the globe, detailing the astounding abilities of every shape, size, and species. Each installment focuses on amazing and unusual animals, making these nonfiction readers accessible, informative, and fascinating.

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