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Top Picks for Nature Books For Toddler, Preschool, & Kindergarten

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I’m a mom on a mission to ignite in my children a love for Mother Nature, and I’ve found that there’s a friend who can accompany me on this journey: books.

These gems have not only turned reading time into an adventure but encouraged our family’s curiosity and appreciation for nature.

This is just the list you’ve been looking for if you’ve been feeling that subtle nudge to bring the beauty of the great outdoors into your home through literature.

These books have brought countless joyful moments to my family, and I hope they’ll do the same for you.

If you have older kids, check out our top nature book picks for older kiddos…there are some excellent nature books for them, too!

Picture Books for Little Explorers

When you have a preschooler or a kindergartner, picture books are the perfect way to embark on a journey of curious discovery. Here are my top recommendations for this age group:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle — A classic that I’m sure you remember from your own childhood, this book is still a winner with little ones today. Is there anything more exciting than watching the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly unfold right before your eyes?

Tip: Make it interactive by having your child make a caterpillar craft with colorful pom-poms and googly eyes!

Psst…did you know there’s also a Christmas book about this classic favorite caterpillar?

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of the Rain Forest by Moira Rose Donohue — engage your kids with vivid colors and fantastical creatures that live in the rain forest. Get them curious about another world they can only see in books (at least for today!).

childrens books about love

‘The Lorax’ by Dr. Seuss

Why we love it: “The Lorax” presents a powerful message about the environment in classic Dr. Seuss’s rhyming fun, making it easy for even the youngest readers to grasp the concept of caring for nature. One thing’s for sure: after reading this book, my kids are always motivated to do their part to protect the planet. How amazing is that?

‘The Watcher’ by Jeanette Winter

Why we love it: This beautifully illustrated biography of Jane Goodall tells her awe-inspiring story, revealing her love and dedication to studying chimpanzees. My kids are absolutely fascinated by her journey, and it’s sparked meaningful conversations in our home about the importance of respecting wildlife. Isn’t it incredible how one woman’s story can inspire young minds?

‘Over and Under the Pond’ by Kate Messner

Why we love it: This captivating book brilliantly depicts life above and below the water’s surface, with engaging illustrations to match. From the pond’s tiniest insects to its largest animals, my kids are always mesmerized by the delicate balance of this intriguing ecosystem. Who knew a pond could be so captivating?

‘The Great Kapok Tree’ by Lynne Cherry

Why we love it: Set in the Amazon rainforest, this book takes readers on a journey to save a Kapok tree, highlighting the interconnectedness of nature. Even my littlest ones find themselves immersed in the world of the rainforest, making it a perfect read for budding eco-warriors! Plus, the lush illustrations transport us to an enchanting world with every page turn.

Miss Rumphius’ by Barbara Cooney

Why we love it: The heartwarming story of Miss Rumphius will have you and your kids reflecting on the positive impact we can make in our world. My kids, for one, adore the story of the “Lupine Lady” and her mission to make the world a more beautiful place. It’s a fantastic reminder for us all to do our part to nourish the Earth.


The world outside is full of life, and I’ve always found that sharing the wonders of nature with my little ones brings us together.

Over the years, I’ve stumbled across these remarkable nature books for kids that have opened our eyes to the beauty of the world around us and deepened our understanding and appreciation for all living things.

So, do you want to turn your kids into little nature enthusiasts?

These top picks for nature books suitable for different age groups, accompanied with insightful tips and resources will help cultivate your children’s love for the great outdoors.

And remember: If you have older kids, check out our top nature book picks for older kiddos…there are some excellent nature books for them, too!

Thanks for sharing - You're awesome!

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