Favorite nature books

So many wonderful books about animals, plants, and the rest of the wild world!  Still, I have a few favorites, which I list here. Some of these books are aimed at children, some at adults. But I have found that simple books are sometimes just what the adult needs, and inquisitive children will enjoy any book well written. Therefore, I have mixed the list.

The books of Marianne D. Wallace
A wonderful illustrated series in which each book gives the perfect overview of the land, climate, plants, and animals of deserts, forests, wetlands, etc.

Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth – William Bryant Logan
There’s a complex symphony below our feet!

The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms – Amy Stewart
You’ll never look at those squirmy guys the same way again.

Essential Atlas of Botany – Barron’s Publ.
Lots of great illustrations to help explain the plant kingdom.

How Animals Work – Knut Schmidt-Nielsen
It’s all here—from flying to burrowing, from senses to defenses!

Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life – Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm
A beautiful picture book about photosynthesis.

Oak Tree – Gordon Morrison
Lovely drawings in this picture book about all the lives that intertwine with that of an oak tree.

Animals in Translation – Temple Grandin
Wonderful insights into how animals perceive the world.

Raptor!Christyne M. and Rene Laubach
Because I work with raptors, I especially like this clear discussion—with great pictures—of birds of prey. For almost any age.

The Salamander Room – Anne Mazer
Sweet story about a little boy who would like to bring a salamander home, but what makes a salamander happy?


The Smaller Majority – Piotr Naskrecki
Tree frogs, bugs, and all our tiny neighbors. Great photos.

Tree of Life: The Incredible Biodiversity of Life on Earth – Rochelle Strauss & Margot Thompson
Lovely picture book about the five branches of life and all the animals and plants that are on them.

Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors – Joyce Sidman & Beckie Prange
From bacteria to crows and coyotes—this picture book gives information about animals that have been with us for millions (and sometimes billions) of years. The timeline on the end sheets is wonderful in itself.

What’s That Bird? – Joseph Choiniere & Claire Mowbray Golding
An attractive introduction to bird basics for all ages, with introductions to the birds we see every day.

When Elephants Weep: the Emotional Lives of Animals – Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
A very interesting and thought-provoking report.

The World That We Want – Kim Michelle Toft
A gorgeous and simple picture book about our interconnected world.

sidebar bubble