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Nature Books for Kids

Picture and Board Books

Ada and the Galaxies by Alan Lightman

Backyard Bugs by Jill McDonald

Beehive by Jorey Hurley

Birdsong by Julie Flett

Canoe Days by Gary Paulsen

Cozy by Jan Brett

Curious About Insects by Cathryn Sill

Discovering Nature's Alphabet by Krystina Castella

Egg by Kevin Henkes

Forest (Adventures with Finn and Skip) by Brendan Kearney

Garden Time (Hello, World) by Jill McDonald

Hummingbird by Nicola Davies

I Am the Storm by Jane Yolen

Listen, Listen by Phillis Gershator

Little Fox in the Snow by Jonathan London

Maple by Lori Nichols

Me--Jane by Patrick McDonnell

Mossy by Jan Brett

Mouse's First Fall (Mouse's Firsts) by Lauren Thompson

A New Green Day by Antoinette Portis

One Earth by Eileen Spinelli

Once Upon a Northern Night by Jean E. Pendziwol

Pipsie, Nature Detective: The Disappearing Caterpiller (Pipsie, Nature Detective) by Rick DeDonato

The Pond by Nicola Davies

Rocket Says Clean Up! by Nathan Bryon

Seaside Stroll by Charles Trevino

Secret Place by Eve Bunting

A Stone Sat Still by Brendan Wenzel

Summer Song by Kevin Henkes

Sun Flower Lion by Kevin Henkes

Tree Full of Wonder by Anna Smithers

The Universe and You by Suzanne Slade

Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert

A Way With Wild Things by Larissa Theule

What's that Noise? by Naomi Howarth

White is For Blueberry by George Shannon

Wild is the Wind by Grahame Baker-Smith

Zonia's Rain Forest by Juana Martinez-Neal

Grades 1-2

Adorable Baby Animals by Courtney Acampora

Coral Reefs in Danger by Samantha Brooke

Goose and Duck by Jean Craighead George

I Wish I Was a Bison (Ranger Rick) by Jennifer Bove

In the Pond by Aubre Andrus

Nature Lover (Jada Jones #6) by Kelly Starling Lyons

Seasons: A Book of Poems by Charlotte Zolotow

Storms by Miriam Goin

Grades 3-4

The Adventure is Now by Jess Redman

A fun-filled, action-packed middle grade novel about a boy who learns about protecting the environment, finding real friends, and living in the now while spending the summer on a remote island.

Sometimes it's hard to be Milton P. Greene. He says all the wrong things, his family is falling apart, and everyone at school avoids him because of the very embarrassing Bird Brain Incident. But when Milton plays his video game Isle of Wild, he becomes someone else―Sea Hawk, the brave and brilliant naturalist explorer who conquers danger at every turn.

Then Milton’s parents ship him off to the remote Lone Island for the summer, where his uncle Evan is an environmentalist researcher. The island is chock-full of spectaculous species, and Milton realizes this is his chance to become the brave and brilliant naturalist he’s always wanted to be―and even meet some fellow explorers!

But as it turns out, the future of the Lone Island is in some pretty serious peril, and the only thing that can save it is a field guide full of cryptic clues. If Milton and his unexpected new friends are going to protect the island, they’ll have to trust each other, discover new truths, and embark on a wild and wondrous adventure all their own.

Bats: Learning to Fly (Science Comics) by Falynn Koch

A Bird Will Soar by Alison Green Myers

Camp Time in California (Magic Treehouse #35) by Mary Pope Osborne

Forever Birchwood: A Novel by Danielle Daniel

The middle-grade debut of star picture-book author and illustrator Danielle Daniel.

Adventurous, trail-blazing Wolf lives in a northern mining town and spends her days exploring the mountains and wilderness with her three best friends Penny, Ann and Brandi. The girls’ secret refuge is their tree-house hideaway, Birchwood, Wolf’s favourite place on earth. When her beloved grandmother tells her that she is the great-granddaughter of a tree talker, Wolf knows that she is destined to protect the birch trees and wildlife that surround her.

But Wolf’s mother doesn’t understand this connection at all. Not only is she reluctant to engage with their family’s Indigenous roots, she seems suspiciously on the wrong side of the environmental protection efforts in their hometown. To make matters worse, she’s just started dating an annoying new boyfriend named Roger, whose motives—and construction company—seem equally suspect.

As summer arrives, so do bigger problems. Wolf and her friends discover orange plastic bands wrapped around the trees near their cherished hangout spot, and their once stable friendship seems on the verge of unravelling. Birchwood has given them so much—can they even stay together long enough to save this special place?

With gorgeous yet understated language, Danielle Daniel beautifully captures an urgent and aching time in a young person’s life. To read this astonishing middle-grade debut is to have your heart broken and then tenderly mended.

I Survived the California Wildfires, 2018 (I Survived #20) by Lauren Tarshis

Little Bird by Cynthia Voigt

Of a Feather by Dayna Lorentz

In the vein of Barbara O’Connor’s Wish, a moving, poignant story told in alternating perspectives about a down-on-her-luck girl who rescues a baby owl, and how the two set each other free.

Great horned owl Rufus is eight months old and still can’t hunt. When his mother is hit by a car, he discovers just how dangerous the forest can be.

Reenie has given up on adults and learned how to care for herself—a good thing, since she’s sent to live with an aunt she’s never met. Yet this aunt has a wonderful secret: she’s a falconer who agrees to help Reenie catch an injured passage hawk in the wild and rehabilitate it.

When Reenie traps bedraggled Rufus, his eyes lock onto her heart, and they form a powerful friendship. But can Rufus learn to trust in the outside world and fly free? And can Reenie open her heart enough to truly soar?

Pax (Pax #1) by Sarah Pennypacker

Saving Sorya by Trang Nguyen

An Eisner-nominated middle grade graphic novel adventure based on a true story, in which a young conservationist overcomes the odds to save and return a sun bear to its natural habitat.

When endlessly curious and tenacious Chang discovers a bear bile farm near her home in Vietnam, she decides to do everything she can to save wild animals—by becoming a conservationist! After teaching herself survival skills, documenting each rainforest plant and animal she sees in her field notebook, and disproving the critics who think she isn’t old enough or strong enough, Chang is finally accepted as a rescue center volunteer. But her toughest challenge yet comes when she’s tasked with returning Soryathe sun bear she raised from infancyback into the wild. Because despite beinga different species, Sorya is Chang’s bestfriend. And letting a friend go is nevereasy . . . even when it’s the right thing to do.

With breathtaking art and STEM facts galore, Chang’s daring story is for any young reader, animal lover, and intrepid explorer!

The Secret Garden by frances Hodgson Burnett

Spineless by Samantha Pryor

This exciting middle-grade adventure is Hoot for the Gilded Age—with scientific discoveries, secret plots, and surprisingly enormous fauna.

When his asthma lands him at a health resort in the wilds of Gilded Age South Florida, twelve-year-old Algie Emsworth is over the moon. The scientific treasure trove of unexplored swamps may launch his dream career as a naturalist. But even Algie is startled when he happens upon a brand-new species and her brood in the karst springs surrounding the resort. Algie quickly realizes he must keep his discovery a secret: a famous collector of exotic animals is also staying at the hotel, and the new species is threatened by his very presence. An apparent curse has also descended upon the hotel, bringing with it a deadly red tide. But when the pool starts filling with ink and guests start getting mysterious, sucker-shaped wounds, Algie must pluck up his courage to find the truth about the goings-on at the Grand Hotel—and save the new species from destruction.

Twister Trouble (Magic Schoolbus) by Ann Schreiber

Wild River: A Novel by Philbrick

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry

This gripping novel about survival and family is based on the real story of one wolf’s incredible journey to find a safe place to call home. Illustrated throughout, this irresistible tale by award-winning author Rosanne Parry is for fans of Sara Pennypacker’s Pax and Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan.

Swift, a young wolf cub, lives with his pack in the mountains learning to hunt, competing with his brothers and sisters for hierarchy, and watching over a new litter of cubs. Then a rival pack attacks, and Swift and his family scatter.

Alone and scared, Swift must flee and find a new home. His journey takes him a remarkable one thousand miles across the Pacific Northwest. The trip is full of peril, and Swift encounters forest fires, hunters, highways, and hunger before he finds his new home.

Inspired by the extraordinary true story of a wolf named OR-7 (or Journey), this irresistible tale of survival invites readers to experience and imagine what it would be like to be one of the most misunderstood animals on earth. This gripping and appealing novel about family, courage, loyalty, and the natural world is for fans of Fred Gipson’s Old Yeller and Katherine Applegate’s Endling.

Includes black-and-white illustrations throughout and a map as well as information about the real wolf who inspired the novel.

Grades 5-6

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (Calpurnia Tat #1) by Kelly

In this witty historical fiction middle grade novel set at the turn of the century, an 11-year-old girl explores the natural world, learns about science and animals, and grows up. A Newbery Honor Book.

Calpurnia Virginia Tate is eleven years old in 1899 when she wonders why the yellow grasshoppers in her Texas backyard are so much bigger than the green ones. With a little help from her notoriously cantankerous grandfather, an avid naturalist, she figures out that the green grasshoppers are easier to see against the yellow grass, so they are eaten before they can get any larger. As Callie explores the natural world around her, she develops a close relationship with her grandfather, navigates the dangers of living with six brothers, and comes up against just what it means to be a girl at the turn of the century.

Author Jacqueline Kelly deftly brings Callie and her family to life, capturing a year of growing up with unique sensitivity and a wry wit.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly was a 2010 Newbery Honor Book and the winner of the 2010 Bank Street - Josette Frank Award. This title has Common Core connections. This is perfect for young readers who like historical fiction, STEM topics, animal stories, and feminist middle grade novels.


Beatrix Potter, Scientist (She Made History) by Lindsay H. Metcalf

Flower Watching with Alice Eastwood (Naturalist's Apprentice Biographies) by Michael Elsohn Ross

Henry David Thoreau: American Naturalist (First Book) by Peter Anderson

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin


All About Plants by Andrea Beaty

Auroras: Behind the Northern and Southern Lights (Nature's Mysteries) by Elisa Peters

Earth-Friendly Tech Crafts by Veronica Thompson

Extreme Scientists: Exploring Nature's Mysteries from Perilous Places (Scientists in the Field) by Donna M. Jackson

Design Like Nature: Biomimicry for a Healthy Planet (Orca Footprints #20) by Megan Clendenan

From Acorn to Oak Tree by Emma Carlson-Berne

From Seed to Cactus by Lisa Owings

Leaf Crafts by Rebecca Sabelko

Nature: More than 800 Things to Find! (Look and Find) by Clever Publishing

Nature All Around: Trees by Pamela Hickman

Seed Crafts by Betsy Rathburn

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