2018 Picture Books About Nature

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Nature — the environment, the animals, the plants — surrounds us. We can teach our children about nature in many ways — being outside and observing is always my first preference. But books can support our children’s understanding of nature, too. Especially when we’re reading about things we can’t experience first hand due to our location in the world. (Not too many of us live by coral reefs.) That’s why I hope you and your kids will enjoy these recently published books as much as me.

 

2018 Picture Books About Nature


Where Is Bear Going?
by Mark Janssen, illustrated by Suzanne Diederen
Bear gives readers clues to a special animal he’s going to visit… See if you can use the clues to figure out who! As he walks in the forest, he’s joined by other animal friends. “We are going to see a teensy-weensy mouth!” All the clues come together at the end — he’s visiting Baby Mouse with sleepy little eyes, cute little ears, little pink nose, teensy-weensy mouth, and soft little belly. Sturdy pages make this a good choice for little hands.

 

 
The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reef
by Kate Messner, illustrated by Matthew Forsythe
Ken loves the coral reefs. One summer, he notices that the corals are losing color and the fish aren’t as abundant. He and his daughter begin an experiment that turns into a movement to grow more coral colonies. The group is called The Coral Restoration Foundation. “They hang bits of coral on special underwater trees and lines where the corals can grow.” Guess what!? It works! Gorgeous illustrations paired with an inspirational true story make this a must-read book to introduce children to the plight of coral reefs and how one person can make a difference.

 


A Hippy-Hoppy Toad
by Peggy Archer and Anne Wilsdorf
Rhythmic, repetitive, delicious words with alliteration and onomatopoeia make this an excellent book to read aloud to your children. Toad’s having quite a busy day; a day where he encounters may other creatures. He begins as he ends, on a twig in the middle of the puddle… Highly recommended.
“In the middle of a puddle
in the middle of a road
on a teeter-totter twig
sat a teeny-tiny toad //
Snap! went the twig //
Up! went the toad.”
 
Bird Builds a Nest
by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Richard Jones
This picture book explains how a bird collects sticks to build a nest, then lays her eggs. It’s simple yet informative. Illustrated in muted earth-tones.

 


Summer (A Pop-Up Book)
by David A. Carter
What stands out in this book is not the simple text or the nouns that label summer things but the colorful pop-ups on each page: trees with birds, bushes with berries, vegetables in the garden, and columbine flowers.

 

 
Prickly Hedgehogs!
by Jane McGuinness
The author does an incredible job at making this informational book read like a narrative story, which makes it more accessible for younger readers. Learn about hedgehogs, nocturnal animals, by following a mama hedgehog and her growing babies. I also love the use of onomatopoeia throughout the book and the incredible illustrations. Very well-done!
He might be small but Little Hedgehog has a big appetite.Sometimes he walks a whole mile in one night . . . 
sniff-sniff-sniffing for things to eat.
Added to: Children’s Books About Nocturnal Animals.

 

 
Earth Verse Haiku from the Ground Up
by Sally M. Walker, illustrated by William Grill
Science teachers looking to integrate literacy into their curriculum, use this book as a model to write haiku poems about the Earth!! “hold fast, stalactite, / everlasting icicle, / stone bed for a bat” So interesting!

 

 
In the Past: From Trilobites to Dinosaurs to Mammoths in More Than 500 Million Years
 by David Elliott, illustrated by Matthew Trueman
Aptly-oversized to reflect many of the gigantic creatures within, these poems and gorgeous illustrations celebrate prehistoric creatures. Creatures like the weird-looking dunkleosteus or terrifying yutyrannus. Some of these creatures you’ll know, many will be new. The text is very accessible. Each creature includes their scientific name plus the geologic time line in which they lived. SO cool, right?
Meganeura
No birds yet.
Only you in the sky.
Meganeuropsis permiana:
the giant dragonfly!”
 2018 picture books about nature
The Things That I LOVE about Tree
s
by Chris Butterworth, illustrated by Charlotte Voake
What do I love about this oversized picture book? I love Charlotte Voake’s gorgeous illustrations, Chris Butterworth’s celebration of trees, the big text size of the descriptive thing to love about trees, and the smaller text size for the factual information. Bigger narrative text like, “Summer trees are shady and so full of leaves that when the wind blows, they swish like the sea.” And smaller factual text like, “Leaves use the sunshine to make food that the tree needs so that it can grow.” Fabulous descriptive text make this book a good choice for teaching children about using sensory images and figurative language in writing. Added to: Children’s Books About Trees.

 

 
Everything You Need for a Treehouse
by Carter Higgins, illustrated by Emily Hughes
I debated adding this title to the nature book list — but I did because it celebrates not just building a treehouse but the adventures of being in nature. Like many of the other books on this list, this one contains beautiful, descriptive language and enchanting illustrations. It will make readers desire their own treehouse adventures!
“You can spill secrets and
whispers in a treehouse
cause the wind keeps them
snug with a rustle
which is a hush you can feel
in your bones
that’s how you know it’s safe.”

 

2018 picture books about nature
Rivers, Seas and Oceans
by Mac (Mac’s World of Wonder)
The combination of cartoon illustrations with full-color photographs feels playful and kid-friendly. A just-right amount of readable text —  like a paragraph per informational page — works well. The questions on the opposite page make the reading interactive. (“Can you identify the animals that live in brackish water?” is the question underneath a photo of brackish water filled with cartoon illustrations which are labeled.) Add this book to your science curriculums and STEM libraries.

 

Captivating full-color photographs accompany the lyrical prose celebrating the richness of the earth’s offerings — from big mountains to tiny ladybugs, for patterns, and seasons, and more. Use this book to launch an Earth Day celebration and study of conservation.

 

I can see homeschoolers LOVING this nature book. Why? Because it is almost an interactive curriculum that contains both fascinating information as well as fun activities to do. For example, read about the bowerbird’s different types of nests, then make your favorite type of nest. I love the activity idea to camouflage yourself with clothes or face painting like a leopard after reading all about leopards. Other animals include raven, skunk, deer, octopus, bat, wolf, and honeybee. Colorful illustrations throughout.

 

2018 books about nature

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2 Responses

  1. I love your nature books. Do you have any about volcanoes, rocks, and the rock cycle.

    1. no, but I was just thinking about rock books– I’ll write something up and reply again with the link. Thanks, Suzette.

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    Hi! I’m Melissa Taylor, mom, writer, & former elementary teacher & literacy trainer. I love sharing good books & fun learning resources.

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