Inspire Nature Lovers with This Growing List of Picture Books

a growing list of picture books io inspire recycling, protection of wlderness areas, and environmental advocacy

Encourage the next generation of outdoor adventurers with these fun stories.

Nothing inspires wonder, cultivates mindfulness, and relieves stress as effectively and enjoyably as time spent in nature. Inspire the wilderness enthusiast in your child with this growing list of stories.

Talk about the issue.

  • Name three things that you love to do outside?

  • Where are your favorite outdoor spaces?

  • Are their any outdoor adventures you hope to have some time in the future?

  • What creature do you wish you could see in the wild?

  • What can your family do to help take care of your favorite natural areas?

  • What can your family do to reduce waste in your home?

Featured Title

The Littlest Gardener by Emily Hughes
Through gorgeous illustrations and elegant text, Hughes introduces us to the hopes and frustrations of the littlest gardener. There is so much to love in this little story and it's fairy-tale-style celebration of persistence, team work, and - of course - tending nature.

Additional DGT Favorites

A Place to Grow by Stephanie Bloom
Destined to be your next favorite book, and favorite book to give others, A Place to Grow reminds us all to appreciate our unique gifts. The joyous illustrations by Kelly Murphy will inspire your inner gardener to get planting!

Brother Eagle, Sister Sky by Susan Jeffers.
Adapted from a speech supposedly made by the American Indian Chief Seattle, Brother Eagle, Sister Sky encourages reverence for the land and environment.

Canoe Days by Gary Paulsen.  
Enjoy the peace and pleasure of a summer day in this poetic, beautifully illustrated, and fully transportable canoe trip.

Everglades by Jean Craighead George and Wendell Mior.
A storyteller describes the Florida Everglades as he guides children though this one-of-a-kind ecosystem. Minor’s paintings depict the beauty of this home to alligators and egrets.

Fairy House by Tracy Kane.
Bring the joy of imaginative play to your outdoor experiences with this wonderful story. Join Kristin as she builds a fairy house in the woods, and follow her dream-like adventures with the fairies. Then build  your own fairy houses using the instructions in the book, and adding to them with your own imagination and natural treasures. It's a great alternative to screen time!

Feathers by Eileen Spinelli
This collection is as lyrical and charming as its subject matter. Explore the bird world with creative, funny, and beautiful poems that just might inspire your to burst into song. This book is perfect for anyone creating and sharing homemade bird feeders.

Fire Flies! by Julie Brinkloe.
Discover the magic of fireflies on a summer night, and learn to respect the freedom wild things deserve. This is a perfect companion for a summer camping trip, along with a bug net!

The Forest Has Eyes by Elise Maclay.
Have fun with this lushly drawn “camouflage art,” with pictures hidden within. Learn about Native American culture, their reverence for the land and the animals that inhabit the forests.

Fun with Nature and More Fun with Nature (Take Along Guides) both by Mel Boring, Diane Burns, and Leslie Dendy.
Kids will love learning about the most common creatures, tracks, and trees they're likely to encounter in North America. These books will turn every trip to the park into a scavenger hunt!

The Garden of Happiness by Erika Tamar
Marisol learns the beauty of having a community garden in her New York City neighborhood.

John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall by Julie Danneberg.
This exciting story from the life of renowned naturalist and environmental advocate John Muir is rich with history as well as natural wonders.

Maxwell's Mountain by Sheri Becker.
This story is perfect for young readers who want to lead their own nature expedition. Maxwell learns the rules that keep hikers safe as he trains to tackle the "mountain" at his local park.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. 
With few words and magical illustrations, this book places you in the chilled quiet of a winter night and the magical intimacy with nature that's possible in this silent world.

Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems by Kristine O'Connell George.
This inspiring collection of tree poems is one part meditation and one part playful exploration of our stately neighbors.

The Raft by Jim LaMarche.
Follow along with Nicky's adventure in the Wisconsin woods. Nicky's summer with his raft, and his grandmother, opens him up to the natural world as well as his own artistic inclinations. The tone and the illustrations pull you in to this mesmerizing tale.

Two Old Potatoes and Me by John Coy
Discover the wonder of a first-time gardener in this charming story about family, patience, and change. Can two old, sprouted potatoes really turn into something new?

The Tree that Time Built: A Celebration of Nature, Science, and Imagination (A Poetry Speaks Experience) by Linda Winston, Mary Ann Hoberman, and Barbara Fortin.
This anthology of nature inspired poems is sure to inspire and engage your child with the outdoors in unexpected ways.

The Story of the Blue Planet by Andri Snaer Magneson.
This delightfully unique story is sure to spur conversations with your child and challenge your whole family to enjoy the simple pleasures of nature to the fullest.

Back to Read Together for more book lists.

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The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.