20 Nature Books for Kids to Read This Summer

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Whether it’s the glory of a simple stick or a stargazing adventure overnight, children and nature can be one of the most harmonious and entertaining combos, ever. For the little ones who love the great outdoors, these nature books for kids offer inspiration and activities and are perfect to take along on your next trip.


What a Shell Can Tell

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Did you know you can tell how old a shell is, just by looking at it? This vibrant picture book details what shell patterns and textures say, what their colors and shape means and so much more. Helen Scales’ book is the ideal companion for a summer day spent at the beach. Ages: 6+


Nature is an Artist

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An introduction to the beauty and magic of nature for young readers, Jennifer Lavallee’s vibrant book is more than eye catching. Follow along with the children in the story, with Nature as their teacher, and see how the world is filled with artwork beyond compare. Ages: 3-8


Oceanarium: Welcome to the Museum

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From future oceanographers and biologists, to kids who are serious about the sea, Loveday Trinick’s new book is a love story of the ocean. Gorgeous illustrations and vibrant colors make learning about everything from plankton to reptiles of the sea and can’t miss experience. Ages: 8+


Let’s Go Outside

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Your littles will be clamoring to head outside after reading Ben Lerwill and Marina Ruiz’s story. A sweet lyrical tale that is also a page turner, the book ends with fun ideas families can do when they head outdoors. Ages: 3-6


nature books for kids

In Our Garden

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“It takes more than ideas to build a garden” in this sweet nature book for kids. Millie is in a new place, an ocean away from her old house. To make it feel more like home, she has an idea: to start a garden on her school’s rooftop. The entire school and community come together as they learn about germination, patience and togetherness. Ages: 3-7


I’ll Take Care of You

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With stunning illustrations by Nicolette Bertelle and beautiful story-telling by Maria Loretta Giraldo, this will quickly become a favorite story. Young readers will go on a seed’s journey as it encounters the Sky, Water and Earth and learn about the care of the ecosystems along the way. Ages: 3-7


My Big Book of Outdoors

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Winter, summer, spring and fall. Forest, oceans, deserts and mountains. Each time of year and outdoor space is filled with life and beauty, and this nature book for kids explores them all. Not only does it come with informative prose, but recipes and projects, too. Tim Hopgood’s robust and beautifully crafted book is wonderful for kids of all ages. Ages: 7+


Behold Our Magical Garden: Poems Fresh from a School Garden

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From the poetic mind of Allan Wolf comes a vast collection of poems fresh from the garden. Illustrated by Daniel Duncan, readers will go on a journey from germination to compost, learning along the way. Ages: 7-12


Marshmallow Clouds: Two Poets at Play among Figures of Speech

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A beautiful collection for budding poets, readers will go on an adventure through fire, water, air and earth. Each poem is accompanied by beautiful illustrations from Richard Jones and explores the beauty of the world around us. Ages: 10-13


Firsts and Lasts: The Changing Seasons

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What an amazing world we live in, to experience the cycle of seasons! This ode to nature by Leda Schubert and illustrations by Clover Robin shares the anticipation of a new season while enjoying the beauty of the current. From activities and food to sensory experiences, there’s plenty to love every moment of the year. Ages: 4-8


I Hear You, Forest

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Forest bathing comes naturally to children and Kallie George’s new nature book for kids reminds us all how the sounds of nature can be restorative to our minds and bodies. The forest has a lot to say if you listen. From the creaks of the trees to the nibbles of the squirrels, the forest is forever revealing secrets to those willing to listen. Read this book and head out for a hike. Carmen Mok’s illustrations are both whimsical and realistic, making you wish you were napping on a forest floor right now. Ages: 3-7


The Camping Trip

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This sweet book from author-illustrator Jennifer K. Mann invites us along on Erenstine’s first-ever camping trip. She’s got her bags packed with all the things she thinks she’ll need but nothing prepares her for what it’s really like to be in the great outdoors. The author encourages kids to try new things and celebrate the beauty of the wild. Ages 3-7.


Fungarium: Welcome to the Museum

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Mushrooms are curious and fascinating life forms brought to the page by author and senior research leader at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England, Ester Gaya. Fungi can be food, poison, and medicine —and sometimes all three. Thanks to Katie Scott’s artwork, this gorgeous book presents like the botanical specimens of old children’s book form and includes the common and the uncommon, what fungi are, and how important they are to the world’s ecosystem. It’s oversized (11.06 x 14.88 inches!) and hardcover, making it a great gift for little nature lovers who want to learn. Kids who love this will also love other books in the Welcome to the Museum series including Botanicum and Antatomicum. Ages 5-12 (and up!).


Crossings: Extraordinary Structures for Extraordinary Animals

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Katie S. Duffield’s forthcoming collaboration with Illustrator Mike Orodán celebrates nature through the wildlife crossings that exist around the world. From a bridge over a Canadian interstate to monkeys on rope bridges to bears under an overpass, Crossings teaches kids what happens when the non-natural world and the creatures of nature collide, celebrating both the ingenuity of animals and encouraging conservation and awareness. Ages 3-8.


Cuento de Luz

A New Harvest: A Tale about Perseverance and Community

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A devastating tornado leaves Rodrigo and his family homeless but through his community and a strong connection with nature, Rodrigo finds a way to build a new life. He begins a farm, where he can grow food to not only feed his family but others like him. The book is printed on the publisher Cuento de Luz’s signature stone paper, and all of author Cristina Expósito Escalona’s income from royalties will be donated to the Homeless Garden Project. Illustrated Miguel Ángel Díez. Ages: 4-8


Plantology: 30 Activities and Observations for Exploring the World of Plants

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Budding botanists and curious collectors alike will adore Plantology: 30 Activities and Observations for Exploring the World of Plants by science educator and author Michael Elsohn Ross. From plant skeletons to prop roots and all the mosses in between, this super cool book will have your kids looking at the natural world in a whole new way. Ages 7 and up.


H is for Haiku

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Haiku, the shortest form of poetry, is rooted in embracing simplicity and nature. It asks the poet to take in all the senses around them and distill those down into just three lines, typically five-syllable/seven-syllable/five-syllable. Read this beautiful little book by author Sydell Rosenberg with your nature-loving kids and get inspired to write haiku celebrating the beauty of the world around you. Vibrantly illustrated by Sawsan Chalabi. Ages 5-11.


Wildchild: Adventure Cooking with Kids

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What happens when you combine a James Beard Award-nominated author and family-friendly food with the great outdoors? An epic new cookbook by Sarah Glover that wil not only inspire you to cook over an open flame, it will make you want to forage in the woods and celebrate nature together. From bread baked on hot coals to saltwater kale and potatoes, Kat Parker’s photographs will have you drooling over the places and the food all at once. All ages (family).


Amazing Islands: 100 Places That Will Boggle Your Mind

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From how an island is formed to islands that have contributed to some of the most diverse animal and plant life on earth, Amazing Islands is a beautifully illustrated guide to all things island. Travel around the world with author Sabrina Weiss and illustrator Kerry Hyndman and get your island fix from your armchair. Ages: 7-11


Talent for Trouble

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Alice lives with her Aunt Patience, living a relatively quiet life since the death of Alice’s mom. And then Aunt Patience sends Alice off to a boarding school in the wild Scottish Highlands, sending Alice on an adventure of a lifetime with her two new friends. Natasha Farrant’s mischievous adventure story has a Harry Potter-ish element to the friendship and problem solving with the trio that includes meeting her biological father who lives on a remote Scottish island. Ages: 10-12

 

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