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A Book List for Children who Love the Natural World

So I have been asked for Non-Fiction/ Dinosaur/Animal type books several times this week, and so I’ve gotten a good selection together for you here, they would be appropriate for readers 3 and up, with an explanation of what I like about the book. What makes it special.

I recommend you reach out to your local independent bookshop to order the books I have listed, if they don’t have it in stock they can place an order for you. If you have found my content useful and would like to show your appreciation we have merch available as well as a tip jar here.

You will find my recommedations below for

  1. Unique Books about Plants
  2. Dinosaurs
  3. Our Universe, Our World, Facts Facts Facts!
  4. Evolution
  5. Human Body
  6. Non-Fiction Animal Books
  7. Fiction Animal Books

Unique Books about Plants

“In the Garden”

Emma Giuliani

This book is an unusual masterpiece, it’s really big but not incredibly dense, it’s stunningly beautiful, totally interactive with tons of little flaps to explore and discover. Definitely the coolest Garden book I have ever seen.

“I Ate Sunshine For Breakfast”

Michael Holland & Phillip Giordano

Absolutely gorgeous, so many pieces to notice, fantastic bright detailed oriented illustrations. Includes science projects you can do at home. It is a great book for reading a page or two at a time, you can choose bits and pieces. I like a non-fiction book that is in bite sized bits!

“Over and Under the Rainforest”

Kate Messner & Christopher Silas Neal

Is part of an acclaimed series by Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal, what is interesting about these books is that they straddle the line between fiction and Non-Fiction. It is a fiction story in a traditional sense, a child observing nature, but it includes lots of non-fiction facts as well. The art, although not hyper realistic, pays particularly close attention to real life details. These books are very unique.

“Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt”

Another book in the “Over and Under” series. This one looks at the Garden and it’s changes over the seasons. Lyrical, poetic, observant of nature. Plenty of opportunities to discuss what we notice in the world around us, and to explore new vocabulary.

Dinosaur Pop Up

“Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs”

By Robert Sabuda & Matthew Reinhart

This book is all about the pop up. It has all sorts of incredibly specific scientific detail, which is really better suited to a child 7 and up, but my toddler and kindergartener pore over this book, again and again. It is magnificent. Interesting to not Matthew Reinhart the artist also does a “pop up school” for young artists on social media. This book isn’t just about dinosaurs, it’s about the fact that art can be 3D in so many different ways, and it can be dynamic, innovative, and involve a lot of engineering.

Our Universe, Our World, Facts Facts Facts!

“Me and the World: An Infographic Exploration”

By Mireia Trius and Joana Casals

This book is so unusual, and definitely a reaction to the trend and love for Infographics. It’s about everything and nothing specifically, but it’s all taken from statistics and facts. Each spread is a different infographic, incredibly detailed, and graphed or mapped out differently. This is a great way to discuss graphing, and communication of information in different ways. There are infographics on different breakfast foods around the world, Sports around the world, even Birthday dates! It’s totally random, and yet some how really well unified. Really enjoyable.

“Sound: Shhh…Bang…POP…BOOM!”

By Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv

This non-fiction book is conceptual but also concrete and factual, exploring different kinds of sound, how they’re made, how we hear and interpret them. But also exploring silence, sign language, different language sounds around the world. It’s a beautiful book and super inclusive. Not a dense read either, can be read all in one go enjoyably.

“Discovering Energy”

By Eduard Altarriba

This is part of a whole series too, I’ve only read two. But I think this one is more interesting and accessible. I really like this one, it goes through every sort of energy source and information to understand different elements about it. Really important read for a child learning about the mechanics of our world.


“Who Will It Be? How Evolution Connects Us All”

Paola Vitale and Rossana Bossu

This one is about evolution and starting at the smallest sells and growing and becoming, and guessing from these really interesting watercolour? Possibly ink? Illustrations what something will be. At the end it has info about Darwin, and Evolution.

Human Body

“Grow Secrets of our DNA”

Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton

This book is great, it follows one girl’s life and throughout it explains how her body will grow, it explains DNA and what it all means. Very nicely done.

Non-Fiction Animal Books

“Fanatical About Frogs”

(and below some of the other Animal books by Owen Davies)

By Owen Davies and Produced by Flying Eye Books

These books are incredibly special, and beautifully made, which doesn’t seem like that important? But the quality of these books really does stand out, the colours are so deep, the paper is thick, it lasts which is what I look for in a hard cover book I want to buy. The art is phenomenal, again it’s not photographic, nor is it photo realism, but the attention to detail on every element of these scientific illustrations is bananas. They’re just magnificent.

So these are really a reference book not stories, but what I also like about this series is that every block of text is broken up into something readable and understandable. So though there is a ton of information in each book, you can read it with a child as young as three over time. My child enjoyed them.

“Bird Watch”

“Bird Watch” (And “Beach Walk”)

Backpack Explorer

These are super fun, they have photographs, they include activities and are very interactive. They even both include a little magnifying glass. They’re the perfect handheld activity to bring with you out on a walk, or on a trip. They’re also quite sturdy so they’ll survive a tromp around in the woods.

“One Day on Our Blue Planet…In the Outback”

By Ella Bailey

I recommend a lot of Flying Eye Books because the quality is so consistently good. This one is also part of a series apparently, but this is the only one I personally have read and it’s very well done. It’s also formatted more like a read through story rather than a reference book. So it is a couple of sentences on each page about what is happening with the animals and the time of day and where they are etc. It’s Non-Fiction but it’s a nice pleasant read through.


So I know this is about Nature, and really celebrating non-fiction. But if your child enjoys animals and nature, they might enjoy these hilarious fiction stories. The following

“Fussy Flamingo”

Shelly Vaughan James and Matthew Rivera

This is one of River’s absolute favourite read alouds. It has so much good stuff happening, a story about a little flamingo who will not eat shrimp because she thinks they’re going to be yucky. It’s fun, it’s well written for early readers to chime in with, and at the back there’s a whole Non-Fiction section about flamingos! So good!


Judith Henderson and Andrea Stegmaier

This is my personal favourite story book of 2020. It’s about a boy who finds an alligator, who maybe wants to eat some people, but they become friends anyway.

Unstoppable: (Family Read-Aloud book, Silly Book About Cooperation): Rex,  Adam, Park, Laura: 9781452165042: Books


By Adam Rex and Laura Park

I don’t even know how to explain this book it is totally ridiculous, unexpected and hilarious. You should probably buy it.

“Animals Brag About Their Bottoms”

Maki Saito

Exactly what it sounds like. Delivers on title promises.

“Not Your Nest”

Gideon Sterer and Andrea Tsurumi

This one is just so silly, this poor bird keeps trying to build a nest, but every single animal keeps stealing it away. Poor bird just wants to sleep.



Alessandra Requena is a children's book writer represented by the Catchpole Literary Agency.

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