21 Children’s Books About Nature

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June 2021 | Advice, Books, Featured

It’s never too early to teach your kids about the joys of discovering nature! Connecting with the natural world is a wonderful way to help your littles learn and grow. Here are some of our favorite books for little readers that will encourage them to act as stewards of the environment, teach them about the cycles of life, and inspire them to explore the great outdoors.

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Bookshelf full of colorful books next to red rocking horse

Nature Books for Babies

Below are our picks fit for the youngest of explorers. Babies will pick up on bright colors, fun textures, and big ideas in these interactive and educational board books about nature!

Planting a Rainbow Book Cover
Planting a Rainbow Pages

Planting a Rainbow

Lois Ehlert 
Book Type: Board
Learn the colors of the rainbow and how to plant a garden in this sweet board book. This vibrant story focuses on a mother and daughter’s yearly tradition of planting a garden. 

A great read for teaching little ones about different kinds of flowers, this book is full of beautiful paper-cut style illustrations and lively text that make it a story to remember. Embrace new growth through colorful flowers and teach your child about the colors of the rainbow in this touching tale.

Animal Babies in the River! Book Cover

Animal Babies in the River!

Julia Groves
Book Type: Board
What’s the name of a baby otter? What about a baby duck? This book takes a trip down the river and introduces all the special animals and their babies that you’ll meet along the way. 

We love this book for babies because of its simple but sweet illustrations and text. Each page features just the names of adult and baby river animals accompanied by lovely drawings. Animal Babies in the River is certain to help familiarize your child with river wildlife.

Little Green Frog Book Cover
Little Green Frog Book Pages

Little Green Frog

Ginger Swift
Book Type: Board
This little green frog has a whole pond full of friends. Take a journey through the friendly waters to meet all kinds of new animals. Encounter ducks, fish, turtles, and much much more! 

This board book is great for young readers. Not only will it introduce your child to a vocabulary of water-dwelling animals, but it is full of vibrant colors. The lift-the-flap factor is perfect for keeping little hands busy.

 All Aboard! National Parks: A Wildlife Primer Book Cover
 All Aboard! National Parks: A Wildlife Primer Pages

All Aboard! National Parks: A Wildlife Primer

Kevin Meyers, Hailey Meyers
Book Type: Board
All aboard! This train ride through the United States celebrates the wondrous National Parks. Revel in the unique characteristics of The Grand Canyon, The Tetons, Yellowstone, and many more beautiful landmarks. 

A charming introduction to some of the most beautiful natural spaces and wildlife in the world, this book will take your little one on a journey to remember. Babies will learn about places and new animals in this board book. Sweet pictures and simple text on each page are perfect for the youngest readers. 

All The World Book Cover
All The World Pages

All The World

Liz Garton Scanlon, Marla Frazee
Book Type: Board
All the world is here. It is there. It is everywhere. All the world is right where you are. Now. Follow this bunch of family and friends as they discover throughout the day, from when the sun rises to when it sets. All The World celebrates things about nature, big and little. From the tiniest shell on the beach, to the warmth of family connections, to the widest sunset sky, there is so much to discover and care for. 

This board book version of a Caldecott-winning classic children’s book is made just for little ones. With sturdy pages, vibrant images, and a wonderful message of love and appreciating nature, All the World will make a heartfelt read for storytime.

Hello World! Ocean Life Book Cover
Hello World! Ocean Life Pages

Hello, World! Ocean Life

Jill McDonald
Book Type: Board
Babies love to watch the waves roll in on the beach! Learn what lives beneath the waves we see on the shore. There are all kinds of animals, plants, and creatures to be found. Discover all that exists in the deep blue sea.  

This book is perfect for babies! It is full of bright and cheerful illustrations that will introduce your child to science, nature, and much more in a fun and interactive way.

Wherever You Go Book Cover
Wherever You Go Pages

Wherever You Go 

Pat Zietlow Miller
Book Type: Board
If you’re looking for an adventure, all you have to do is open the door! Follow this adventurous rabbit and his friends on a journey over mountaintops and down long winding roads, discovering nature along the way. See the sites and sounds that can be found just down the road. 

Full of fun rhyme and rhythm that describes the lush landscape this rabbit encounters, Wherever You Go introduces your baby to the natural world through the eyes of charming little critters and invites you to follow along as its characters make discoveries about nature. This quiet board book will make the ideal bedtime story for babies. 

little girl stands near pony

Toddler Nature Books

Toddlers take in new sights, sounds, colors, words, and concepts every day! Help them develop a vocabulary, strong visuals, and an interest in the natural world with these awesome books.

Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature Book Cover
Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature Book Pages

Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature

Nicola Davies
Book Type: Picture
There is so much nature waiting just outside the window! Listen to the buzz of the bumblebees, search for bird tracks in winter snow, plant acorns, take a bite of an apple, and discover nature all the while. Inspiration and appreciation of the world’s wonders are all within a toddler’s grasp. 

Perfect for little readers, this first book of nature presents so many different options for growing and discovering. Full of tips about activities and details about the four changing seasons, this story offers plenty. Toddlers will encounter all sorts of joys in this beautifully illustrated book.

Night Animals Book Cover
Night Animals Pages

Night Animals

Gianna Marino
Book Type: Board
Possum hears a shuffle in the dark, then Skunk and Wolf notice. “What could it be?” Bat asks. “Night Animals!” they reply. But, wait! “Aren’t we night animals too?” 

Your toddler will discover the wonders of the night and the joys of nocturnal forest dwellers in this fun board book. Full of humorous dialogue and silly pictures, this pick is great for little readers. The unique grey-scale illustrations and wide-eyed stares of these nighttime creatures make for a lively bedtime read.

 Tree: A Peek-Through Picture Book Cover
 Tree: A Peek-Through Picture Book  Pages

Tree: A Peek-Through Picture Book 

Britta Teckentrup 
Book Type: Picture
A friendly owl sits in the hole of the tree, accompanying readers through their forest journey! Meet all the animals that live in the big, majestic tree and travel through the seasons with the flip of each page. You’ll discover the patterns of nature in seasons while encountering baby bears, bees, birds, squirrels, and many more critters. 

This book is made just for toddlers. The peek-through whole in the middle encourages littles to actively participate in story time. Along with vibrant illustrations and fun textures, colors, sights, and sounds of the tree will inspire young ones to make big nature discoveries.

When The World is Dreaming Book Cover
When The World is Dreaming  Pages

When The World is Dreaming

Rita Gray
Book Type: Picture
Take a peek into the nighttime world of all different animals in nature. Deer, rabbits, and other woodland friends have unique dreams. See the world and the animals’ environments from a new perspective in this dreamy read. 

A great bedtime story for little ones, When The World is Dreaming combines poetic text and serene illustration to create a memorable tale. Toddlers will be prompted to use their own imaginations to think about what fascinating things animals dream of. Using a gentle pastel color scheme and sweet language, this book is wonderful for young ones. 

Tall, Tall Tree Cover
Tall, Tall Tree Pages

Tall, Tall Tree 

Anthony D. Fredericks
Book Type: Picture
Full of accurate scientific information, this book is a celebration of the oldest redwood forests on the northern coast of California. A tribute to the tallest trees and the habitats they create, Tall, Tall Tree grants its readers a new perspective.  There’s a whole world of creatures and species to discover within this wondrous space. 

Taking a numeric structure, this book is great for toddlers learning to count. There is so much to learn about the age of trees, the wildlife found within and around redwoods, and what makes this spot special. The rhyming structure makes this book engaging for readers and its content makes it equally as educational for little ones.

Over and Under the Pond Cover
Over and Under the Pond Pages

Over and Under the Pond 

Kate Messner, Christopher Silas Neal
Book Type: Picture
The world comes to life in this underwater environment! Readers will discover species that make up the rich, interconnected ecosystem of a mountain pond. Over the pond, the water is a mirror, reflecting the sky. But under the pond is a hidden world of minnows darting, beavers diving, tadpoles growing. These and many other secrets are waiting to be discovered…over and under the pond.

This book is a wonderful chance for little ones to discover nature. One of many valuable children’s books about animals and nature, this book’s approach to underwater creatures with sprawling, colorful illustrations is perfect for toddlers to explore at storytime.

Dream Animals: A Bedtime Story Cover
Dream Animals: A Bedtime Story Pages

Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey 

Emily Winfield Martin
Book Type: Board
Journey through the nighttime sky to discover all the nocturnal animals to be dreamt of. What could your dream animal be? Where might it take you? Close your eyes and snuggle up for a soothing and explorative read. 

We love this book for its creative approach to a bedtime tale. Animals are a big part of nature to be discovered by little ones. Soft, gentle, and touching illustrations will pull readers in and lull little minds to sleep.

little girl stands near pony

Books About Nature for Preschoolers

These picture books about nature will keep little readers involved and inspired to take care of the world around them and get outside. Full of fun facts, engaging stories, and vibrant illustrations, these picks are perfect for early readers.

The Little Gardener Cover
The Little Gardener Pages

The Little Gardener 

Emily Hughes
Book Type: Picture
There was once a little gardener and his garden meant everything to him. He worked hard, very hard, but he was just too little (or at least he felt he was). Follow along on this gardener’s persistent journey to succeed in understanding how to make things grow. 

This book teaches a touching tale of persistence and stewardship of the earth. As the gardener fights against the odds of maintaining a huge garden, your child will discover the joys and wonders of wildlife. The beauty of the natural world shines through in this book’s ornate illustration and gentle text that will keep preschoolers captivated with each turn of its pages.

The Variety of Life Cover
The Variety of Life  Pages

The Variety of Life

Nicola Davies
Book Type: Picture
Learn about the extraordinary variety of all kinds of species in this informative and beautifully illustrated book. Including featured pages for different species of animals and plants, it creates a fun and educational reading experience for young readers. Discover the hidden wonders of the world in this nonfiction gem.

Glorious painted pictures and text packed full of facts make this book great for preschoolers. We love this book for seeking to instill environmental stewardship in young readers. It would make for a wonderful Earth Day read, as it emphasizes the importance of respecting nature. 

A Nest is Noisy Cover
A Nest is Noisy  Pages

A Nest is Noisy 

Diana Hutts Aston, Sylvia Long
Book Type: Picture
From tiny bee hummingbird nests to orangutan nests high in the rainforest canopy, a wide variety of nests are showcased here in all their splendor. Poetic in voice and elegant in design, this carefully researched book introduces children to a captivating array of nest facts and will spark the imaginations of children whether in a classroom reading circle or on a parent’s lap.

We love this book for its poetic text which laces itself through its gorgeous illustrations. Preschoolers will learn all about habitats through fun and easily digestible facts.

Finding Wild Cover
Finding Wild Pages

Finding Wild

Megan Wagner Lloyd 
Book Type: Picture
What is wild? And where is it hiding? Follow along as two friends seek wild in all sorts of unexpected places. From the bark on the trees in the forest and back to their city streets, this book proves that nature can be found in the most unlikely places. 

This book’s endearing approach to nature and message of open-mindedness will teach little preschoolers an important lesson. This book will grant young readers a new perspective on understanding the world around them through descriptive text and detailed illustration.

National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry Cover
National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry Pages

National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry

J. Patrick Lewis
Book Type: Picture
A lyric collection of poems written by former U.S. Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis is accompanied by stunning photos of wildlife in this remarkable book. Put real sights and descriptive sounds together to enjoy nature to the fullest extent with this photobook. Celebrate the natural world and all it brings, including springs, mountains, thunderstorms, the night sky, and much more. 

This nonfiction read will draw preschool-aged students in with its captivating images. The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry makes a great read for family storytime, as its vibrant images cater to little ones while its beautiful text will move parents.

The Lorax Cover
The Lorax Pages

The Lorax

Dr. Seuss
Book Type: Picture
“Mister! He said with a sawdusty sneeze, I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.” The Lorax is the original eco warrior and his message rings loud today. In this fable about the dangers of destroying our forests, he tries to save the Truffula trees from the greedy once-ler’s axe.

This classic read is a zany and silly take on an important concept. It introduces the idea of environmentalism and protecting the earth through a fun, vibrant, and creative story that little ones will want to read over and over.

A Walk in the Forest Cover
A Walk in the Forest Pages

A Walk in the Forest

Maria Dek
Book Type: Picture
Discover the woods as a place to play and explore. Find feathers, stones, and sticks. Build a shelter out of what you find. Follow tracks in the mud. Listen closely to the chirps of the birds and sounds of the animals. There is so much to find! 

We love this book for its lovely watercolors illustrations and sweet text. Not only will it teach your child what is so special about the forest, but it will encourage them to discover the forest, too. Suggestions for a fun and informative nature walk will inspire preschoolers to connect with their surroundings and find joy in the outdoors.


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