Best Bird Picture Books for Kids
My Birdie illustrated by Jessie Ford
A bird-themed board book that features pop-out, sturdy puzzle pieces, counting, and colors great for the youngest of readers.
Hooray for Birds! by Lucy Cousins
This is an eye-catching primary color explosion of birds that immediately attracts attention. Add in the text that invites you to flap, soar, stretch, and fly, and it seems like a perfect combination to get kids engaged. I predict your kids will be up and flying around while you read them this appealing picture book gem. “Swoop up and down, swoop round and round.” FUN!
Bird House by Blanca Gomez
Simply told and illustrated, this is a warm-hearted grandmother-granddaughter relationship story showing how the abuela helps the little girl learn about caring for nature. A girl and her abuela rescue and nurse an injured bird. When the bird is healthy again, the abuela explains to the girl that they need to let it be free. Later in the spring, the bird visits but doesn’t stay because it’s not theirs to keep.
Birds by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek
“Birds can be yellow / or blue / or brown / or red, / or even green, I think.” Simple text introduces young readers to birds — their colors, shapes, feathers, and more.
Birds by Carme Lemniscates
Delectable, eye-pleasing illustrations are a feast for your eyes in this lovely introduction to the wonders of birds in different sizes, colors, and personalities. “Some birds are very noisy. Others sing a sweet and tender song.“
Bird Builds a Nest by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Richard Jones
Hummingbird by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Jane Ray
Delicate flowers explode on each page. The hummingbird in the girl’s garden in Central America travels north just like the little girl does when she moves to New York City. It’s a charming story of migration and Latin American culture as well as a celebration of nature with hummingbird facts.
All the Birds in the World by David Opie
As the narrator talks about what makes birds birds, the kiwi bird asks “What about me?” on every page. Eventually, we’ll learn the answer to the little bird’s question…even though she doesn’t fly, has no tail and has a beak with nostrils, she is part of the bird family. It’s a wonderful, inclusive book with gorgeous illustrations of birds of all kinds. Valuable back matter gives readers a key to the names of the birds on each page.
The Nest that Wren Built by Randi Sonenshine, illustrated by Anne Hunter
Starting with Wren’s building a nest to sitting on her eggs which hatch and growing fledglings, this spring story of new life consistently ends each stanza with a lovely repeating line, “..the nest that wren built.” Lyrical and descriptive with warm brown illustrations, experience the story with all your senses. “This is the tuft of rabbity fur, plucked from a harp, persnickety burr to warm the nest that Wren built.” You’ll hear the chirps, feel the velvety moss, feathers, and thread, and see the scrawny hatchlings.
The Little Book of Backyard Bird Songs by Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham
Don’t you love in spring when you can start to hear birds unique songs again? This book shares 12 bird songs including a house wren, blue jay, robin, and mourning dove.
Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? by Rita Gray, illustrated by Kenard Pak
“Have you heard the nesting bird?” ask the children about the robin on her nest. As they watch her, they hear the call of other birds — the “chiddik, chiddik” of sparrow, the “ha-ha-chit-chit-chit” of swallow, the “cheer-cheer-cheer-purdy-purdy-purdy” of the cardinal, and many others. But they don’t hear anything from robin until …a tapping, cracking, and hatching. Great use of rhythm and perfect ratio of words to pictures. Lovely.
On Duck Pond by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Bob Marstall
Baby Wren and the Great Gift by Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Jen Corace
Baby Wren learns to appreciate the wonder of being alive and the beautiful song she sings that makes her unique.
Is This Panama? A Migration Story by Jan Thornhill, illustrated by Soyeon Kim
A well-written narrative picture book story about Sammy, a Wilson’s warbler, who lives near the Arctic Circle. He knows he needs to migrate to Panama before the cold comes but he can’t find any other warblers. He starts flying and asks many animals where to find Panama (caribou, dragonflies, a snake, and monarch butterflies.) Love the information mixed in with the fictional story!
Apples and Robins by Lucie Felix
As you notice the apples, their juicy tastes, the birds who feed nearby, the geometric cut-outs, peek throughs . . . and when apples are gone, you can still see the red circle but now it’s the belly of robins.
I Spy in the Sky by Edward Gibbs
Peek at the brightly colored eye area of a bird. It’s purple, has small wings, and likes to drink nectar. It’s a hummingbird! From hummingbirds to pelicans, what will you spy with your little eye? Gorgeous!
Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen
Finding a Dove for Gramps by Lisa J. Amstutz, illustrated by Maria Luisa Di Gravio
A boy and his mom bundle up to help with the annual bird count. He uses his binoculars, then marks what he sees on his data sheet, remembering his Gramps’ advice. They see blue jays, a red-bellied woodpecker, a tufted titmouse but will he spot the dove that his grandpa always wanted to see? It’s a lovely tradition that honors Gramps’ legacy that just happens to have the perfect ending.
The Real Poop on Pigeons! by Kevin McCloskey
Learn how fasts pigeons can fly (faster than a car!), how they carried the first airmail, that they are in the same family as doves, and the many wild varieties of pigeons made by breeders, . . . The fun facts are actually fun — Picasso named his daughter after pigeons and the Dodo bird is a pigeon. Who knew!? Readers will be as convinced as the man in this story that pigeons are pretty wonderful but the end.
A Goofy Guide to Penguins by Jean-Luc Coudray & Philippe Coudray
A mix of groan-worthy penguin jokes and cool penguin facts, this is a delightful nonfiction graphic novel for beginning readers. The illustrations often answer the questions posed by the narrator penguin and are almost always silly.
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Birds by Catherine D. Hughes
Gorgeous full-color photographs introduce kids to the world of birds from backyard favorites to forest and desert birds around the world. Learn about bird behaviors, sizes, diets, homes, and more.
The Hawk of the Castle: A Story of Medieval Falconry by Danna Smith, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
A Round of Robins by Katie Hesterman, illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier
These poems show robin parents first building a nest, then guarding eggs, and raising their baby birds to be independent. The rhyming poems are joyful, playful, and fun to read out loud. Teachers, you’ll love using these poems in your writing workshop. Vibrant action verbs capture the lives of this bird family. “Jumble, jostle, rumble, squirm” or “Wiggle, ship / Squiggle, slip” are some of the lines that captured my attention.
One Dark Bird by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon
As the town wakes up for the day, more birds soar in the sky above from one to ten and then many more. Then a hawk appears and the starlings become a large flock, moving in unison like waves, dancing together in a noisy clutch. When it’s over, the birds float back down and settle in the tree for nighttime, counting from ten back to one. A beautiful pairing of evocative images and lyrical text!
Bird Show by Susan Stockdale
Watch a gorgeous fashion show where the birds’ beautiful plumage is compared to clothing. Various birds show their adornments that look like skirts, scarves, crowns, vests, and more. Rhythmic with vivid verbs and colorful with gorgeous illustrations, this is a delight to read.
Kookaburra by Claire Saxby, illustrated by Tannya Harricks
Textured paintings and poetic text illuminate the life of the Australian kookaburra bird and her family. The narrative writing is engaging and descriptive, “Together they go nest hunting. / She kookas, / he kookas, / soft murmurings for their ears only.” But there’s more expository text that gives factual information, providing additional depth and information. “Kookaburras mostly partner for life but still court before each nesting season.“
Aviary Wonders Inc. Spring Catalog & Instruction Manual by Kate Samworth
In a word, quirky. Once you understand that you can’t really order bird parts to assemble your own bird, you’ll find this so-called “catalog” to be quite entertaining, and informative. Even in it’s satire, readers learn about species and parts of birds, meant to educate readers on the loss of habitat and bird species. Beautifully illustrated!
Ostriches: The Superpower Field Guide by Rachel Poliquin, illustrated by Nicholas John Frith
You think you know. But you have no idea…how cool and weird and amazing ostriches are. Not until you read this book. I read it cover to cover in one sitting because it was so incredibly interesting and compelling! I mean, the ostriches have TOE CLAWS OF DEATH. For real. And their bones are just bizarre yet for a really good reason! What you think is their knee is their ankle bone. Not to mention their eyeballs are the biggest of any land animal. But let’s not get too much into all the fascinating facts that you’ll learn; let me just sum up by saying that this book will get you excited about the ostrich.