This post is an oldie but a goodie from a previous blog I owned. Some links may be affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Enjoy!
One of my kids adores animals and bugs and all things great outdoors. At not even two, I caught her studying small insects on a tree for at least 15 minutes. She just stared and stared at it, storing into her brain the way it moved and looked, and what it did. As she got older, she devoured books about animals and bugs. She still goes off on her own for hours to read and randomly shares the knowledge she has learned with us. She surprises me often, answering a question we have about something, all from remembering what she has read in her books.
I asked her to pick her top three favorite animal and nature books. She has dozens of them but it was not a hard choice for her. The first book in this list she has read multiple times, cover to cover. The last two she got for her birthday last year and they are really beautiful books. The pictures alone are enough reason to add these selections to the shelves in your home.
Smithsonian Super Nature Encyclopedia, Derek Harvey
Oh my goodness, my daughter has read this oodles of times. The binding is falling apart and the pages are starting to look well-loved on the ends. This is the one book she would pick if she had to for a deserted island. The headers on each page are made to be attention getting. “Fussiest Eater” and “Beach Bulldozer” and “Greatest Artist” are rather sensationalist but they are useful for drawing in kids who might otherwise not be interested in this subject matter. Mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates are covered, with interesting facts on how they live, move, and sense things.
Animalium, Katie Scott and Jenny Broom
The front of this book has a ticket-looking sticker with the words “Welcome to the Museum: Admit All” printed on it. This is a great hint at what is inside this book. When you open this book, the beautiful illustrations are museum quality. The intent is to make you feel as if you were actually at a natural history museum, but without having to leave your home. Of course, I am all for experiencing life, but if you are unable to visit a museum, this book is a welcome alternative. Inside are 6 visual and written galleries that showcase invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The descriptions are short and to the point, with just enough information to whet the appetite and perhaps provide the push to do more digging around on one’s own.
This book is amazing! I love the feel and look of it. You could truly use this as a science curriculum for the younger years. It is a great overview of our world and makes learning interesting and beautiful. Those who do any kind of nature journaling will appreciate the illustrations and the occasional cursive writing entries. This book covers so much! Layers of the art, neighborhood animals, insects, flowers, birds, ecosystems, trees. If your child cannot read cursive writing, you will need to help them with some pages, but there is so much here for any person of any age to enjoy. I cannot recommend this book enough. I love it (I bet you can tell, huh?).
I’m always in search of great nature and animal books for my kiddos. If you have any recommendations, please share below in the comments. Thank you!