From digging around for bugs in the backyard to inventing their own constellations on a cold winter night, kids easily find adventure in the natural world. Maybe it’s because playing outside and learning about the outside world go together like sunshine and sunflowers. Or, like the tide and tide pools. Or maybe even like finding neat bugs outside and bringing them inside to show them off!
Learning about the natural world can fuel a child’s curiosity and ignite a deep sense of wonder. And the right book about nature can turn an ordinary walk through the neighborhood into a naturalist’s exploratory expedition.
To that end, here are the five best children’s books about nature, chosen by our own book-loving naturalists!
You Are Stardust
Award-winning author Elin Kelsey sets the tone for You Are Stardust with this amazing fact:
“Every tiny atom in your body came from a star that exploded long before you were born.”
(Be sure to watch your child’s face as you read this out loud to them—you’ll never forget their adorable astonishment!)
This book is an intimate journey exploring the timeless relationship between the self and the universe. It’s the perfect conversation opener for cosmic questions your kids may have as they learn about the greater world around them. But, just in case, keep your favorite search engine web page open for the questions the book doesn’t cover!
Turn off the Moana soundtrack and step away from another re-watch of The Little Mermaid. In this book, sea life gets even cuter.
And more educational!
Ocean Wonders invites you to swim into one of the most engaging and beautiful environments on Earth—our own ocean. Full of sweet undersea characters, this rhyming board book is sturdy, entertaining, and educational. Lovely illustrations sport shiny foil accents to catch your little one’s eye. Each page has a pull-out section for interactive fun that will engage your child and keep them coming back to learn more about the wonders of the deep.
Water is Water
Water: like alone time and being able to watch movies above a “G” rating, it’s something we often take for granted.
But, in Water is Water, we learn the amazing transformative nature of this essential substance in our cups and in our baths!
Water is Water captures the magic of water transitioning from state to state, then puts that magic into contexts your child can recognize in everyday life. Snow, fog, rain, mist, steam—all aspects of H2O are explored and explained with lyrical expertise and a poetic touch.
This book is the instant classic your child will associate with the water cycle, whether it’s from observing steam from a mug of hot cocoa or watching rain patter against the windows.
The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth
In the world of a kid’s imagination, anything can talk. The family cat, the backyard tree, their favorite stuffed animals, the toaster…
But what about the earth itself?
Can you hear me, Earth?
In this story, the earth answers back.
The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth follows a boy as he quests to find happiness on Earth, and the Earth responds by sending him on a journey sprawling across some of its most beautiful landscapes—snowy mountain peaks, cliffs on the coast, and low, sweeping deserts.
David McClellan, a Disney Interactive artist, illustrates breathtaking backgrounds around the world that will transport your child to faraway lands.
If You Were The Moon
On your child’s list of favorite things, “playing” is probably scribbled in crayon at the very top (right next to snuggles with Mom or Dad, cupcakes, and their favorite toy). To play is to be a kid, after all! And in this book, your child can play dodgeball, peek-a-boo, and tug-of-war… with the moon!
The genius of Laura Purdie Salas’ If You Were The Moon lies in how the author uses familiar fun to help little readers understand the extraordinary work the moon does every day.
Dazzling illustrations bring the moon to life and personify the planets, making these high-level concepts as accessible as a cookie jar on the lowest shelf.
Expand Your Child’s World With Literati
There’s certainly something special about the way that nature can rocket our imaginations into the cosmos, the environment, and the mysteries of life. Children’s books about nature embody that wonder, deepening their knowledge while feeding a love of the natural world.
Whether you have a little oceanographer or a budding geologist on your hands, you can find the best books for kids with Literati’s expert book selections.
Along with five themed books, each subscription kids book box comes with themed surprises like frameable art and personalized bookplates. Literati’s age-specific book subscription will transport your child to another world (or even deeper into this one!) while fostering a lifelong love of reading.
Ready to start their adventure? The sun’s out, the breeze is lovely, and your hike is about to begin.