The 6 Best Children’s Books About Nature – Ranked for New Readers

Written by Maxwell Martinson
Published: September 15, 2022
© Sleepy Mandy/Shutterstock.com

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A person’s interest in nature is much stronger if it’s nurtured from a young age.

Young environmental enthusiasts are sure to be the people who make strides to remedy climate change and ensure that our earth remains a wonderful place. Further, nature is just really fun and exciting to learn about, especially from a young age.

To spark that wonderful interest, you’re going to need a few great books to pave the way. To help, we compiled some excellent books about nature that new readers will love.

We hope the books below inspire your child’s love for nature, national parks, wildlife, and more. Let’s take a peek.

  1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
    • A classic of children's literature
    • Introduces aspects of the animal kingdom, the food chain, and the circle of life to children
    • A great book to read to your kids, especially if they can't yet read themselves
    Check Amazon
  3. The Hike: (Nature Book for Kids, Outdoors-Themed Picture Book for Preschoolers and Kindergarteners)
  4. The Hike: (Nature Book for Kids, Outdoors-Themed Picture Book for Preschoolers and Kindergarteners)
    • Readers will learn to identify plants and animals and get a primer on scientific thinking
    • A simple narrative that playfully explores the beauties of nature, childhood, and friendship
    • Perfect way for your kids to get interested in biology
    Check Amazon
  5. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
  6. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
    • A classic children's book by author Bill Martin Jr. and illustrator Eric Carle.
    • Easy-to-understand rhyme scheme for pre-readers helps them learn about animals.
    • Teaches children color recognition with bright illustrations.
    Check Amazon
  7. All Aboard! National Parks: A Wildlife Primer (Lucy Darling)
  8. All Aboard! National Parks: A Wildlife Primer (Lucy Darling)
    • A celebration of National Parks geared directly at children
    • Stir your child's wonder and inspire him to explore Nature
    • A great way to explain the National Parks System to your child
    Check Amazon
  9. Goodnight Great Outdoors
  10. Goodnight Great Outdoors
    • Great nighttime companion for your child
    • Soothing story and pictures that will put your child at ease
    • Easy rhyming structure with beautiful images that feel like a soft dream
    Check Amazon
  11. Exploring Nature Activity Book for Kids: 50 Creative Projects to Spark Curiosity in the Outdoors (Exploring for Kids Activity Books and Journals)
  12. Exploring Nature Activity Book for Kids: 50 Creative Projects to Spark Curiosity in the Outdoors (Exploring for Kids Activity Books and Journals)
    • Fifty creative ideas for outdoor projects
    • Great for building skills and deepening relationships
    • Helps instill love for nature in your kids
    Check Amazon

6. Exploring Nature Activity Book for Kids

Exploring Nature Activity Book for Kids offers 50 creative ideas for outdoor projects that will get your kids involved with nature.

It’s one thing to read nature books and an entirely different thing to get out and get your hands dirty. With that in mind, kids that are geared toward hands-on learning will benefit from this book a great deal.

The activities included in this book are great for building skills, deepening relationships, and illuminating the idea that nature is something we can incorporate into our lives with enjoyment and excitement.

Best for Budding Environmentalists
Exploring Nature Activity Book for Kids: 50 Creative Projects to Spark Curiosity in the Outdoors (Exploring for Kids Activity Books and Journals)
  • Fifty creative ideas for outdoor projects
  • Great for building skills and deepening relationships
  • Helps instill love for nature in your kids
Check Amazon

5. Goodnight Great Outdoors

Goodnight Great Outdoors is a bedtime story that illuminates and gives personality to the animal kingdom.

Whether the animals in the story are just waking up or settling down for the night, they’re depicted in a way that puts your child at ease and makes them feel one with the animal kingdom.

The message gets across with easy rhyming structure, beautiful images that feel like a soft dream, and a slow pace that new readers will be able to keep up with.

Even if your little one isn’t reading quite yet, this book is a great nighttime companion that will get them in touch with nature from inside your home.

Goodnight Great Outdoors
  • Great nighttime companion for your child
  • Soothing story and pictures that will put your child at ease
  • Easy rhyming structure with beautiful images that feel like a soft dream
Check Amazon

4. All Aboard! National Parks: A Wildlife Primer

All Aboard! National Parks is a celebration of National Parks geared directly at children. These parks are the closest thing North America (and much of the rest of the world) has to the unfettered wilderness.

Even as climate change reaches its claws into these parks, there are still vast stretches that are largely the same as they’ve always been. Visiting National Parks and experiencing undisturbed nature allows people to better appreciate what it is that we’re losing.

This book is a great way to explain and explore the National Park system before setting out on a road trip to visit. You can stir your child’s interest in heading out to one of the United States’ parks before you leave and plant the seed of wonder.

All Aboard! National Parks: A Wildlife Primer (Lucy Darling)
  • A celebration of National Parks geared directly at children
  • Stir your child's wonder and inspire him to explore Nature
  • A great way to explain the National Parks System to your child
Check Amazon

3. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, the classic children’s book by Bill Marin Jr & Eric Carle, has stirred the hearts and minds of children for nearly the last three decades.

The poetry and imagery of the book effectively bring out the salient characteristics of the best-known animals in the tree of life. There’s also an artistic quality in this book that really digs into the imagination and leaves an impression.

Join the hundreds of thousands of parents and children who have enjoyed this book as a primer for the animal kingdom.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
  • A classic children's book by author Bill Martin Jr. and illustrator Eric Carle.
  • Easy-to-understand rhyme scheme for pre-readers helps them learn about animals.
  • Teaches children color recognition with bright illustrations.
Check Amazon

2. The Hike

The Hike by Alison Farrel gives early readers a simple narrative that playfully explores the beauties of nature, childhood, and friendship.

In the process, readers will learn to identify plants and animals and get a primer on scientific thinking without getting too deep. It’s a perfect way for your kids to find interest in biology through the idea of taking a hike with friends.

The Hike: (Nature Book for Kids, Outdoors-Themed Picture Book for Preschoolers and Kindergarteners)
  • Readers will learn to identify plants and animals and get a primer on scientific thinking
  • A simple narrative that playfully explores the beauties of nature, childhood, and friendship
  • Perfect way for your kids to get interested in biology
Check Amazon

1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is another book written and illustrated by Eric Carle. Many adults today still remember the way The Very Hungry Caterpillar introduced them to the simple facts of nature.

It’s a book that introduces aspects of the animal kingdom, the food chain, and the circle of life to children. The reader goes through a journey that includes cut-out images, unforgettable artwork, and simple language that even the youngest of readers will understand and retain.

The book is also excellent to read to children and toddlers who can’t read yet. It can be a close companion throughout their childhood before they learn to engage with more complicated books.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • A classic of children's literature
  • Introduces aspects of the animal kingdom, the food chain, and the circle of life to children
  • A great book to read to your kids, especially if they can't yet read themselves
Check Amazon

What Type of Nature Book is Right for You?

Our list, much like the bank of children’s nature books available online, shows two types of literature.

On one hand, there are image books that stir the imagination and familiarize kids with nature through art and catchy poetry. On the other hand, there are books that still use images but focus more on the scientific or factual aspects of things like National parks, bug life, the food chain, and more.

The book you choose really depends on where your child is at! If they enjoy more creative and expressive materials, then they might get just as much out of The Very Hungry Caterpillar as a scientific-minded child would get from All Aboard! National Parks: A Wildlife Primer.

In any case, you should pair these books with real-life experiences with bugs, animals, hiking trails, and nature.

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About the Author

Hi! I'm Max and I'm a writer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I've been freelancing for more than five years and love the freedom and variety that this profession offers. Animals are also a big part of my life, and a lot of my time is dedicated to playing with my cat, Herbie.

The 6 Best Children’s Books About Nature – Ranked for New Readers FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How do you show your kids nature?

Showing your kids nature is as simple as exposing them to it. It doesn’t hurt to have some interesting insights into the park you’re visiting, the animal you’re seeing, or the plant life that’s around you when you go. State and National Parks always have easy, safe trails or exhibits that are suitable for children. Go out of your way to show your child some beautiful nature and see how they respond to it!

Why is it important to show your children nature?

Studies show that access to nature improves a number of health and wellness outcomes in kids. Not to mention, children who are exposed to opportunities in nature are more likely to pursue them as adults. Things like hiking, biking, climbing, and traveling, in general, are healthy activities that might not be pursued as readily if someone isn’t exposed to them in their youth.

What’s the importance of reading to kids?

Reading to children is important for a number of reasons. Among them are improved listening, learning, thinking, social, emotional, and interpersonal skills. Further, reading with a child regularly reinforces the bond between parent and child. Children also tend to have vivid imaginations and a great deal of interest in the stories at hand, making the subject matter all the more important and significant in their lives.

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