Best Nature Books for Kids

Are you a nature lover (and book lover) and want your kids to be the same? From day one it’s been important for us to instill our love of nature AND books into our kid’s hearts and minds. Here are some of our top picks of best books for nature lovers at every age and stage.

Best Nature Books for Babies and Toddlers

Brown Bear Brown Bear What do You See book
BROWN BEAR, BROWN BEAR, WHAT DO YOU SEE?

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Ages 0-3

Especially for very young children, you can’t go wrong with any of the classic Bill Martin/Eric Carle collaborations. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See holds a special place in our hearts, probably because it was one of the first board books we read to our kids. The clever collage illustrations are a joy to look at while the flowing, repetitive language delights both child and reader. Amazon link.

TREE: A PEEK-THROUGH PICTURE BOOK

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Ages 0-3

There is something magical about peek-through books for young kids and Tree is sure to delight them. An owl is their constant companion as this tree transforms (and other forest friends show up) through the seasons. Amazon link.

Best Nature Books for Little Kids

Stellaluna book
STELLALUNA

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Ages 2-8

The expressions on this little bat’s face would make anybody fall in love with even the most unlikely animal heroes. In addition to the cute factor, the author also imparts lovely lessons about kindness, belonging and being yourself. Amazon link.

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
LEAF MAN

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Ages 2-8

A celebration of fall colors and shapes, you and your kids will never look at leaves the same way after reading Leaf Man. Every maple leaf could be a face now and every narrow willow leaf, a leg! What I love most about this book is how the author, Lois Ehlert, takes objects we regularly see all around us and turns them into creative and charming works of art. Check out our Leaf Man Tutorial if you feel inspired to make a leaf person of your own after reading this book. Amazon link.

Finding Wild book
FINDING WILD

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Ages 2-8

“Wild keeps many secrets, waiting to be discovered.” Finding Wild reminds us that “wildness” can be found all around, we just need to pay attention. Lyrical prose carries readers along as two youngsters travel through a colorful landscape finding surprises along the way. Amazon link.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen book
OWL MOON

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Ages 2-8

Owl Moon is A quiet book that is both soothing and inspiring. Beautiful watercolor illustrations draw you into the snowy night where a father and daughter set off into the woods to listen and look for owls. Amazon link.

When the Wind Stops book
WHEN THE WIND STOPS

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Ages 2-8

Does the wind ever stop? Where does it go? This book makes us stop and think about our perceptions of things. From season to season, flowing illustrations guide the reader to think about whether anything really ends. An excellent bedtime book from prolific children’s book author, Charlotte Zolotow. Amazon link.

Best Nature Books for Preschoolers & Up

The Lorax by Dr Suess book
THE LORAX

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Ages 4-10

Well known for colorful and whimsical illustrations and rhyming text, Dr. Seuss was also an environmentalist. Young children will delight in the wild and wonderful shapes and colors in this book. As they grow older, they’ll understand the important messages about ecosystems and conservation. Amazon link.

OVER AND UNDER THE POND

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Ages 4-10

Budding naturalists will immediately be drawn into the curious underwater world of this Adirondack pond at twilight. This is a fun one to read aloud but as kids grow older they’ll also appreicate the “About the Animals” section at the back to learn more. Amazon link.

OUTSIDE YOUR WINDOW

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Ages 4-10

Starting in spring and carrying us through every season, Outside Your Window captures lovely outdoor moments in prose. From running under cherry blossoms or dipping a jar into a pond, to listening to birdsongs and watching buzzing bees flit from flower to flower, every poem reminds us of all there is to see and do outside. Amazon link.

Best Nature Books for Elementary Age Kids

FUN WITH NATURE

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Ages 5-10

Part field guide, part picture book and part activity manual, Fun With Nature is actually six different “take-along guides” in one. This book offers practical advice, like where to find animals in your own back yard, as well as accurate illustrations and fun facts. Amazon link.

M is for Majestic book
M IS FOR MAJESTIC

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Ages 5-10

While M is for Majestic focuses on National Parks, Sleeping Bear Press publishes many variations of rhyming alphabet books. Our other favorite nature book from this series is S is for Smores. Detailed watercolor illustrations and in-depth side descriptions give kids an opportunity to dive deeper beyond the rhyming text. In addition, there may be one of these books specifically for your state. We love E is for Evergreen (for Washington State). Amazon link.

Best Nature Books for Older Kids

Nature Anatomy book
NATURE ANATOMY

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Ages 10-Adult

I think it is the right balance of drawings with succinct (but not too much) writing that makes our kids love Nature Anatomy. Also, if your child likes to draw, this book provides excellent inspiration because Julia Rothman’s illustrations are simple yet accurate and fairly easy to imitate. In some ways it reminds me of the facts found in various National Geographic kid books but with the charm of a carefully curated nature journal. Amazon link.

HOW TO BE A WILDFLOWER

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Ages 10-Adult

Honestly, I may like How to Be a Wildflower more than my kids do. Like peeking into an artist’s journal, every flower-filled page encourages an appreciation of the beauty of nature around us. Rather than reading it from cover to cover, I like to just flip it open. You might find a recipe for strawberry pie, a spot to press flowers or an inspiring quote from the likes of Muir or Thoreau. Amazon link.

Lost Art of Reading Nature Signs book
THE LOST ART OF READING NATURE’S SIGNS

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Ages 12-Adult

While he wasn’t targeting young young readers when he wrote it, this author’s exploits and observations in The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs are sure to inspire young adventurers. Our middle schooler isn’t reading it cover to cover but he loves flipping open to any page and learning something intersesting. Amazon link.

These books are sure to please your youngsters and align with your family’s nature-loving values. I hope you’ll give at least one or two a try!

The links provided here are Amazon affiliate links (I receive a small percentage of sales at no cost to you) but if you prefer borrowing books from your local library, here is a simple printable list of Best Nature Books for Kids with just Titles and Authors.