35 Beautiful Nature Books for Kids

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Besides being outdoors, reading was one of my favorite hobbies as a kid! Often, I would combine the two and read outside. A lot of my favorite stories were about nature and outdoor adventure! Now, I love finding beautiful nature books for kids to read to my own children! Some of them are old favorites and others are new discoveries.

Reading about nature and outdoor exploration to kids is a great way to pique their curiosity and create a love of nature from a young age! The list below offers a variety of picture books, educational books, and literature that is suitable for toddlers all the way up to older kids and teens.

Here are 35 of the best nature books for kids!


Ages 2-10

1. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt

This is a beautifully written and illustrated book about a girl and her nana tending their garden together. The story comes full circle over the course of a year and demonstrates how all sorts of wildlife intertwines with the garden.

2. Because of an Acorn

See the big impact one small acorn can have within the pages of this book! It’s a great demonstration for young children of cause and effect as well as how everything in the ecosystem is intertwined.

3. Owl Moon

A young girl and her father venture outside on a still winter’s night to go owling together. Accompanied by spectacular watercolor illustrations, this story depicts the beautiful relationship between family as well as humans with nature.

4. Tiny, Perfect Things

When you look closely, there are so many amazing, little things to be discovered in nature! Join a child and grandfather to see what they discover right in their own neighborhood. It will be an inspiration to your own kids to look closely around them!

5. Blueberries for Sal

This is one of the classic nature books for kids that has certainly stood the test of time. Young children will be delighted at the mix-up that occurs with little Sal, her mother, and a couple of bears who are all just after the blueberries on blueberry hill.

6. Animals in Winter

If your kids have ever wondered where all the animals disappear to during winter (and even if they haven’t), this is the perfect book. Read on to see how different animals cope with the cold and snow!

nature books for kids- goodbye summer, hello autumn

7. Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

This book successfully captures that beautiful transition period where summer fades into fall. It’s a wonderful way to introduce the concept of seasons to young kids!

8. The Berenstain Bears go to Summer Camp

I love all things summer camp, so it’s no wonder that this particular Berenstain Bear adventure is one of my all-time favorites! Join Brother and Sister Bear as they have the time of their lives swimming, canoeing, and camping out overnight on skull rock!

9. Moon: A Peek-Through Picture Book

This story gives a glimpse of the moon’s cycles and beautiful visuals of the world at nighttime. The moon illuminates a whole new world that come alive after dark!

10. Outside Your Window

There’s so much to be discovered right outside your own window! This book provides a glimpse of how wonderful it is to enjoy the little things all around us.

11. Oliver and Hope’s Adventure Under the Stars

This book tells about an adorable adventure shared by some animal friends who decide to camp out for the first time. Along the way, they imagine wonderful things and overcome a few fears along the way.

12. The Tiny Seed

I don’t know about you, but the unique illustrations of Eric Carle definitely have a prominent place in my memories of childhood stories. This story demonstrates the long journey of a seed and all the obstacles it overcomes before taking root and blooming into a giant flower.

13. The HIke

This is a spirited story about three young girls who set out on a hike to explore the nearby woods. Join them in a fun adventure and see what they discover!

14. Over and Under the Snow

The snow may look calm and still, but a peak through these pages will reveal what’s actually happening underneath!

15. Curious George Goes Camping

Join everyone’s favorite monkey as he embarks on his first camping trip and inevitably gets into mischief as his curiosity once more gets the best of him.


Ages 2-10

1. The Honeybee

Follow along with the honeybee and learn about why the work they do is so important!

2. National Parks of the USA

For any kids with a heart for exploration, this book details several of America’s National Parks with beautiful depictions of the flora, fauna, and other sights to be seen at each one.

3. The Big Book of Blooms

A beautiful combination of illustration and information for any little ones curious to learn more about flowers!

4. Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World

We love the beautiful illustrations in this book and the variety of natural topics that it overviews. If you’re wondering about a certain nature-related topic, chances are you’ll find it in here!

5. The Magic and Mystery of Trees

The perfect educational introduction to trees for the budding naturalist or curious kid!

6. Tracks, Scats, and Signs

Learn about the different clues and signs that common animal species leave behind through the illustrations in this book! Then, head outside and search for some of your own!

7. Big Book of Bugs

What kid isn’t curious about bugs? This book is full of beautiful illustrations and interesting facts about a vast array of insects!

8. Exploring Nature Activity Book

If you’re looking for some nature activity ideas to do with your kids, this book is full of ideas! Create your own explorer kit, trace leaves, search for animal tracks, and tons more!

9. The Big Book of Blue

This book has the prettiest illustrations of ocean life that I’ve ever seen, plus tons of fascinating info to go along with it!

10. The Big Book of Beasts

This book is a great introduction to the animal world for young children! They’ll love the illustrations and interested tidbits of info along the way.


Ages 10+

1. Anne of Green Gables

Set in the 19th century on Prince Edward Island, Canada, this is a beloved story about an orphan girl who finally finds a home as well as plenty of mishaps and adventures along the way. This is a personal favorite of mine! I love all the beautiful nature imagery and Anne’s imagination and love of the outdoors. This is one that I constantly reread to this day!

2. Hatchet

A classic survival story where a young boy is forced to fend for himself after being stranded in the wilderness with only a hatchet. I still recall reading this in middle school, and I enjoyed it enough to go out and buy if afterward to reread!

3. Julie of the Wolves

This is a classic survival story of a young girl who runs away from her village and becomes lost in the wilderness. She survives with the help of a local wolf pack but eventually returns to civilization where she struggles with her identity in the village versus who she was amongst the wolf pack.

4. My Side of the Mountain

A boy runs away from his life in a crowded New York City apartment and heads to the Catskill Mountains where he learns to survive.

5. Island of the Blue Dolphins

Another one of my personal favorites from childhood, this is the story of a Native American girl who survives alone on an island off the California coast after being left behind by the rest of her tribe.

6. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

One of the most classic tales of all time about a mischievous boy and his childhood adventures in 19th century Mississippi. Another personal favorite of mine!

7. Downriver

After being sent to an outdoor education program, Jessie and a few companions “borrow” a raft and head solo down the Colorado river. They are eventually pursued by helicopters but continue to push on into the turbulent waters despite all consequences.

8. A Wolf Called Wander

A young wolf cub is separated from his pack after an attack from rival wolves. This story follows his remarkable journey across the Pacific Northwest and all of the obstacles he overcomes along the way.

9. Where the Red Fern Grows

A heartwarming tale, especially for animal-lovers, about a boy, his dogs and their hunting adventures together. Just be warned: if you have any heart at all, the ending will make you sob.

10. The Sign of the Beaver

12-year old Matt is left alone for several weeks to look after his family’s cabin in the wilderness of Maine. After a stranger steals his gun, Matt struggles to fend for himself until he receives help from a nearby tribe of Native Americans and forges an unlikely friendship.

There are so many great nature books for kids out there, and literature is a great way to pique curiosity about nature and inspire our kiddos to get out and explore! For more outdoor inspiration for your family, check out our 40 best summer activity ideas for kids!

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