Does your child love to explore, dig in the dirt or ask questions about everything from why the leaves change colour to how bees make honey? Investigate the answers to these and hundreds of other questions with exciting (and educational) books to help your child learn about nature – we’ve chosen 35 of the best that will suit all ages, from toddlers to teens!
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Learn about nature, wildlife and the environment – it’s not only fascinating, but important for any budding scientists and conservationists.
We’ve compiled our list of favourites so you can build your library with a great selection of nature books that will ensure you hear ‘Did you know…?’ on a regular basis!
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Books to Learn About Nature
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
First published in 1969, this all-time favourite not only follows the very hungry caterpillar as it grows from egg to cocoon to beautiful butterfly, but also teaches the days of the week, counting, and more. Striking pictures and cleverly die-cut pages offer interactive fun.
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My First Nature: Let’s Go Exploring
My First Nature: Let’s Go Exploring by DK
Learn about nature and explore the forest, farm, seasons, water, night-time, garden, and more. Easy-grip picture tabs are perfect for little hands, and they’re sure to enjoy all the vibrant images of everyday objects.
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Usborne Baby’s Very First Nature Sounds Playbook
Baby’s Very First Nature Sounds Playbook by Fiona Watt
A brightly coloured, high-contrast playbook full of nature scenes for babies to explore. There is plenty to touch and feel, and an easy-to-use sound panel with ten soothing sounds from nature, including croaking frogs, tweeting birds, chirruping grasshoppers, hooting owls, buzzing bees and more.
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One World by Michael Foreman
A brother and sister spend their day playing on the beach by a rock pool. They create their own tiny marine world in a bucket and, with its wildlife, shells, oil and even a tin can, it is a microcosm of the larger world outside.
Through a series of stunning watercolours, the multi award-winning Michael Foreman makes clear his underlying concern about pollution within the environment.
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Yucky Worms by Vivian French and illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg
Worms: fun, fascinating and wriggly worms! The humble earthworm plays a significant role in the environment, as all farmers and gardeners know – it aerates the soil, composts dead matter into rich matter in which seeds can germinate and plants can grow. Children love them too, especially for their wriggliness!
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A First Book of Nature
A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Mark Hearld
From beachcombing to stargazing, from watching squirrels, ducks and worms to making berry crumble or a winter bird feast, this is a remarkable book – part poetry, part scrapbook of recipes, facts and fragments – and a glorious reminder that the natural world is on our doorstep waiting to be discovered.
Mark Hearld’s pictures beautifully reproduce the colours of the seasons on wood-free paper, and Nicola Davies’ lyrical words capture the simple loveliness that is everywhere, if only we can look.
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Bee by Britta Teckentrup
Turn the pages to follow the miraculous little bee and its journey from flower to flower in this delightful peep-through picture book. Brought to life by the lyrical text and stunning artwork from the award-winning Britta Teckentrup, the miracle of pollination will amaze and entertain.
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Bug Hotel by Libby Walden and illustrated by Clover Robin
Welcome to the Bug Hotel, a homemade habitat where creepy crawlies of all shapes and sizes can find a place to stay! Discover how a bug hotel can create a sustainable, safe environment for insects and mini-beasts by exploring each section, lifting the flaps and finding out facts about your favourite garden insects.
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The Magic Garden
The Magic Garden by Lemniscates
With gorgeous illustrations and a beautiful story of a young girl discovering the marvels of nature, The Magic Garden is sure to delight young readers. At the end, the mysteries uncovered in the story are explained, so children can get their questions about the natural world answered, including sections on how bees make honey, why some animals camouflage themselves, and how a seed grows into a tree. An enchanting way to learn about nature!
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Because of An Acorn
Because of An Acorn by Lola M. Schaefer and Adam Schaefer
Because of an acorn, a tree grows, a bird nests, a seed becomes a flower. Enchanting die-cuts illustrate the vital connections between the layers of an ecosystem in this magical book. Wander down the forest path to learn how every tree, flower, plant and animal connect to one another in spiraling circles of life. An acorn is just the beginning.
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National Geographic Kids First Big Book of the Ocean
First Big Book of the Ocean by National Geographic Kids
National Geographic Kids First Big Book of the Ocean is an adorable animal reference that includes the sea’s high-interest animals, such as dolphins, sharks, sea otters, and penguins, and introduces kids to some of its lesser-known creatures. More than 100 charming animal photos illustrate the profiles, with facts about the creatures’ sizes, diets, homes, and more.
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Butterflies and Moths
Butterflies and Moths by DK
The perfect companion for children eager to understand how caterpillars become butterflies. Explore butterfly habitats and find out all about how butterflies work, from wings to feet. With exciting activities, like how to make a butterfly kite, and plenty of fun facts, this book is a must for children curious about butterflies and moths.
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Nature’s Day by Kay Maguire and illustrated by Danielle Kroll
Learn about nature and discover the world on your doorstep. Beginning in spring, this charming book revisits nine different places, including the farm, the back garden and the woods, during each of the four seasons through the year and explores the changing scenery and animal life found there. Packed full of fascinating facts and information alongside gorgeous illustrations, this is the perfect book to celebrate each season with.
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Eddie’s Garden and How to Make Things Grow
Eddie’s Garden and How to Make Things Grow by Sarah Garland
What makes Eddie’s garden grow? Earth, rain, sun and all sorts of creatures, of course! Eddie’s garden is magnificent, from his stringy bean house to his tall sunflowers. Find out how Eddie’s garden grows in this gentle story with lively characters and colourful illustrations. Want to grow your own fantastic garden like Eddie’s? This book will tell you how!
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199 Things in Nature
199 Things in Nature by Usborne
Discover and name lots of amazing things you might find in nature, from puffins, snowy owls and acorns to dandelions, butterflies and chipmunks. The book is organised into themed pages, including gardens and parks, grasslands and deserts, in the mountains and under the sea.
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Tree by Britta Teckentrup
Explore the beauty of the changing seasons in this timeless peek-through book with beautiful artwork from Britta Teckentrup and accompanying rhyming text. Following the life-cycle of a tree through spring, summer, autumn and winter, children will easily learn to recognise the signs of the seasons with this simple, yet striking, picture book.
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The Great Kapok Tree
The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry
A man beginning to cut down a great kapok tree falls asleep at its roots. While he dreams, the animals that depend on the tree beg him to reconsider.
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A Little Guide to Trees
A Little Guide to Trees by Charlotte Voake
What sort of tree did Robin Hood’s bow come from? What pine tree drops its needles in the winter and how did the monkey puzzle get its name? These are just some of the wonderful facts that you’ll discover inside this book.
Use the delicate illustrations and simple text to help your child identify the trees they see every day, whether they live in the country or the city. This book is a wonderful way of encouraging a child to interact with their environment, helping them to respect and protect the trees that surround them.
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Ocean: A Children’s Encyclopedia
Ocean: A Children’s Encyclopedia by DK
Explore the hidden depths of the ocean with this stunning visual encyclopedia for children which reveals the secrets of the seas through stunning images and beautiful photography to engage and educate kids.
From the Arctic to the Caribbean, tiny plankton to giant whales, sandy beaches to the deepest depths, this detailed and beautiful encyclopedia lets your child discover the mysterious world beneath the waves.
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Usborne Illustrated Book of Nature
Illustrated Book of Nature by Usborne
This is a delightful collection of the popular Little Books series on nature. Young children can learn about nature through the secret life of birds, the wonderful world of trees and flowers, and the wildlife living on the seashore and in your own garden.
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Ned the Nature Nut’s Nutty Nature Facts and Jokes
Ned the Nature Nut’s Nutty Nature Facts and Jokes by Andy Seed
This nutty nature joke book is full of side-splittingly hilarious jokes and fascinating facts based on nature. Full of green-fingered giggles and wildlife witticisms, as well as incredible facts about nature, Ned the Nature Nut will turn you into a nature nut too!
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It Starts With a Seed
It Starts With a Seed by Laura Knowles
In gentle rhyme, explore the growth of a tiny sycamore seed. Taking a journey through the seasons and years, we follow the seed as it transforms from a seedling to a sapling, then a young tree, until it becomes a large tree with its branches and roots filling the page. As the tree grows, it is joined by well-loved woodland creatures – squirrels and rabbits, butterflies and owls – who make it their home.
Beautifully presented with a gold embossed front cover, textured paper and specialised etching technique throughout, It Starts with a Seed was the winner of the inaugural Margaret Mallett Award for Children’s Non-Fiction.
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The Nature Explorer’s Scrapbook
The Nature Explorer’s Scrapbook by Caz Buckingham and Andrea Pinnington
With this book, no trip outside will ever be the same again. Each page marks a new adventure as you are guided through the incredible world of nature and invited to search, explore and gather things as diverse as skulls and shells, tadpoles and trilobites. When you have finished (though that may take a lifetime!) you will have created your own unique nature masterpiece that is a wonderful record of trips spent outside.
This large hardback book with elastic band closure and beautiful photos has pages for collecting summer grasses, weather observations and photos, feathers, leaves, and more.
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Usborne Nature Trail: Rocks and Fossils
Rocks and Fossils by Usborne Nature Trail
Clear text, illustrations and photographs explain how rocks, minerals and fossils are actually formed, what they can tell us about the history of the earth and its future, and where you can see and find them. Children will also learn about nature through fantastic facts boxes and short experiments, as well as a field spotter’s guide.
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Butterflies by Dr Emma Lawrence
This hardback is part of the Little Nature Explorers series. A rhyming tale with fascinating facts about our precious wildlife, butterflies.
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Explanatorium Nature by DK
From fruit to flowers, from shells to sharks, from ants to elephants, this extraordinary new encyclopedia will keep animal and nature enthusiasts from ages 9 to 109 utterly absorbed by amazing, close-up images. Did you know that baby foxes are born with blue eyes which later turn golden? Or that reptile scales are made from keratin, the same material as your hair and nails?
Explanatorium of Nature is the perfect way to learn about nature and discover why fungi, plants, birds, invertebrates, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and ecosystems exist and what they mean for our world.
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In the Garden
In the Garden by i-Spy
Search for over 140 sights in the garden with this i-SPY guide. This fun activity book encourages kids to explore outdoors, from trees and shrubs to garden birds, in search of i-SPY points. A fun, interactive way to encourage curious children to learn about the world around them.
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A Drop in the Ocean
A Drop in the Ocean by Jacqui Bailey
Follows a drop of water as it cycles from droplet to vapour and back to water again. A Drop in the Ocean describes its journeys in between, and includes activities that kids will enjoy.
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Questions and Answers About Nature
Questions and Answers About Nature by Usborne
Why do spiders make webs? Where do clouds come from? And how many leaves does a tree have? Inquisitive young children can discover the answers to these questions and many more in this beautifully illustrated information book, containing over 60 flaps to lift.
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The Earth Book
The Earth Book by Jonathon Litton
In this enormous book about the Earth there is so much to explore! Readers can marvel at the physical planet, travel back in time to primordial Earth, explore all branches of the tree of life, discover habitats from oceans to deserts, learn how the weather works, and take a tour of the human planet from the Maasai steppe to Manhattan.
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1,000 Things in Nature
1,000 Things in Nature by Usborne
Pre-readers will enjoy looking and pointing at the detailed pictures, while older children can use the book as a starting point for discussion or research. An excellent tool for broadening vocabulary as each picture is labelled and theres a comprehensive index at the back of the book to help your child learn about nature.
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Cool Nature by Amy-Jane Beer
Did you know that fish can use tools, and that wombat poo is cubic? This fact-packed guide to the world of nature contains everything the budding naturalist needs to know. Meet nature’s most fearsome predators, explore the wonders of the ocean, and marvel at the ability of animals to survive in the harshest environments.
If you want to get out into the wild yourself, there’s cool practical advice for tracking animals through the woods, using binoculars to spot our feathered friends, making a bird feeder in your back yard, and more.
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Lots: The Diversity of Life on Earth
Lots: The Diversity of Life on Earth by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Emily Sutton
There are living things everywhere: the more we look, the more we find. There are creatures on the tops of the tallest jungle trees, at the bottom of the coldest oceans, even under the feathers of birds and in boiling volcanic pools.
From the award-winning team behind Tiny: The Invisible World of Microbes comes a beautifully illustrated introduction to the concept of biodiversity for younger readers.
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Nature Explorers Boxset
Nature Explorers Boxset by DK
The perfect companion for children eager to understand the world outside and learn about nature, the Nature Explorers Box Set contains four fantastic first books on Birds, Weather, Woodland and Forest, and the Seashore. Each book contains exciting activities, like cloud spotting, bark rubbing and how to make a bird feeder, as well as plenty of fun facts.
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Dirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth
Dirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth by National Geographic Kids
Come and explore the world under your feet with the Dirtmeister and friends! Part graphic novel, part fun guidebook, this very cool, rocky journey introduces both eager and reluctant readers to the basic geologic proceßses that shape our Earth.
Clear and concise explanations of the various geologic processes reveal the csomprehensive science behind each fascinating topic. Fun facts and simple DIY experiments reinforce the concepts while short biographies of important scientists inspire future geo-scientists.
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How do your kids learn about nature? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!