What’s in the Dark? 14 Books About Nocturnal Animals

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Do your kids know about nocturnal animals? Animals who sleep during the day and are active during the night? Learn more about nocturnal animals like bats, owls, foxes, and raccoons in these illuminating books about the world of the dark.

“To all of you who crawl and creep, 
who buzz and chirp and hoot and peep,
who wake at dusk and throw off sleep:
Welcome to the night.”
– Joyce Sidman, “Welcome to the Night” in Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night


What’s in the Dark? Books About Nocturnal Animals

Little Owl’s Night
by Divya Srinivasan
“Little Owl was having a wonderful night.” He watches the animals in the forest — the possum family waddling along, hedgehog sniffing a mushroom patch, skunk nibbling at berries, cricket singing, and frog croaking. Little Owl can’t imagine how daytime could be better than the wonderful nighttime. A beautiful and reassuring depiction of the world at night.

2016 Halloween Books for Kids
Who’s Who in the Woods? A Pop-Up Mystery
by Eryl Norris and Andy Mansfield
Just who do the eyes belong to? Black and white pop-up creatures, that’s who.

 nocturnal animal books
Fox Explores the Night
by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Richard Smythe
A nocturnal fox searches for food in a busy city. She finds supper in someone’s backyard then returns home. It’s a purposefully simple book with guided questions in the back such as “Can you find examples of different light sources in the book?

What's in the Dark? Books About Nocturnal Animals
Night Animals
by Gianna Marino 
The animals are hiding, keeping safe from the scary stuff in the dark . . . until all the animals learn that THEY are night animals and accidentally scare two kids camping in a tent.

What's in the Dark? Books About Nocturnal Animals
The Night World
by Mordicai Gerstein
A boy and his cat leave their house for the dark night outside. Slowly the shadows reveal a variety of animals who are awake. Mostly black and white illustrations with flashes of colored eyes really stand out in the dim light.


Aptly titled with a word that invokes warm melodies, this is such a beautifully photographed and designed book. All pages are black backgrounded so the animal and words shine out like a shadow in the night. From snow leopards to serval, Nocture shows 85 animals of 40 different species from around the world. Each animal is explained with it’s habits and habitats. It’s a gorgeous book.


Animals at Night: A Glow-in-the-Dark Book
by Anne Jankeliowitch, illustrated by Delphine Chedru
A world of animals are awake in the dark night. In fact, their eyes work better! Learn who they are, what they do, and where they go in this nonfiction picture book with a considerable amount of information. From deer in the forest to the nightjar flying in search of food, you’ll become an expert on many nocturnal animals.


What's in the Dark? Books About Nocturnal Animals
by Lizi Boyd
A beautiful wordless picture book showing a young boy exploring the woods in the dark. His flashlight illuminates plants and animals. Until the animals get the flashlight and illuminate him. Enchanting. (SEE: Reading and Writing Activities for Wordless Picture Books.)


The Night Flower
by Lara Hawthorne
Learn about desert flora and fauna. During the day, notice the saguaro cactus, woodpeckers, brightly colored flowers, deer, squirrels, snakes, and lizards… Then as the darkness sets in, a beautiful white flower blooms on the cactus. As this happens, animals like bats, bobcats, ringtail, and rats emerge from their daytime slumber. In the back of the book, you’ll find a list of animals and descriptions to go back and spot. You’ll also find more information about the Saguaro cactus. Excellent, informative writing makes this a great choice for classrooms.
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.


What's in the Dark? Books About Nocturnal Animals
Owl Bat Bat Owl by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick
A family of owls is resting comfortably on a tree branch. Much to the mama owl’s dismay, they’re joined by a family of bats mirrors the owls positions only upside down. It takes a wind storm and the mother’s love to bring these two nocturnal families together in friendship.


What's in the Dark? Books About Nocturnal Animals
Daylight Starlight Wildlife
by Wendell Minor
Gorgeous illustrations help children walk through the day and night. You’ll learn about diurnal (daytime) and nocturnal (nighttime) animals. Each animal mentioned is listed in the back with information about their life and what they eat.

What's in the Dark? Books About Nocturnal Animals
Moonlight Animals
by Elizabeth Golding, illustrated by Ali Lodge
Readers, look for the hidden nocturnal animals using the enclosed cardboard flashlight! Then read facts about each one.


 books about nocturnal animals
by Claire Saxby, illustrated by Tannya Harricks
Evocative illustrations with visible painted brush strokes initially captivated my interest. But I liked the text too– it’s both a narrative story as well as informative expository text. The story captures what a typical night looks like for this Dingo. She is nocturnal. First, she’ll leave her puppies to hunt for food. Then, returns to feed them, leaving soon to hunt again. Throughout the story, we also read facts about dingos, Australia’s wild dogs. These facts are written in a smaller, italicized text size to differentiate them.

What's in the Dark? Books About Nocturnal Animals
Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night
by Joyce
Celebrate the crickets, the owls, the bats, and the snail in these descriptive poems! You don’t even need the illustrations for the poetic language paints such vivid images. However, there are illustrations with factual information for each subject.


What's in the Dark? Books About Nocturnal Animals
Science Comics: Bats Learning to Fly
by Falynn Koch
Factual information is embedded within this graphic novel about a lost little bat who observes a tour group in the desert learning about bats from a tour guide. When the little bat gets hurt, he’s taken to a wild animal hospital where he meets other kinds of bats. At the hospital, the bats lively conversations help the little brown bat learn more about bats — what they eat, how they fly, different species, echolocation, and where they live. Very well done!


What's in the Dark? Books About Nocturnal Animals
The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions by Tracey Hecht, illustrated by Kate Liebman
In this chapter book, three animal friends — a fox, a sugar glider, and a pangolin — team up to figure out the mystery of the missing animals. They’ll need clues and help from a wombat, a jerboa, some coyotes, and bats. But they could never have guessed where the missing animals are — and what they’re doing.


children's books about nocturnal animals

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2 Responses

  1. Wendy Swanson says:

    If you have any books about Nocturnal animals that either HAVE stickers, or ARE sticker books, I would be VERY grateful to find out! Thank you!

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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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