34 Fantastic Nature Books for Preschoolers

Children are naturally curious about the world around them and love being outdoors in nature. We have carefully chosen over 30 nature books for preschoolers. Each of these books will inspire children to get outside, explore their world, and learn more about the animals and plants they see in nature.

Whether it’s understanding weather patterns, animals, seasons changing, or plants, children love to be involved and learn more about their world. Encourage their curiosity about nature and explore their world through nature books.

Below is a list of all the books highlighted — click on the link to read more on the book and why we think it’s one of the best nature books for preschoolers.


Fiction Nature Books for Preschoolers

There are so many wonderful stories about nature! These fiction books follow children as their cultivate gardens, observe their environment, and take care of the earth.


The Curious Garden Book

The Curious Garden

By Peter Brown
Ages 4 – 6 years |
Picture Book
Themes: Environment, Urban Gardening

A young boy cultivates a garden in an urban setting, and you watch how powerful a garden can be. It encourages children to realize their small actions can have a big impact on their environment. We also love how the illustrations become more vibrant as the garden grows.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Book

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Written by Helen Oxenbury, Illustrated by Michael Rosen
Ages 2 – 5 years | Board Book
Themes: Adventure

We love the can-do optimism of this little family where a dad takes his kids on a journey to find a bear. Kids learn about nature through the various scenes they travel — splashing through a river, stumbling through a forest, whooshing through a snowstorm, and finally tiptoeing to a cave. A classic book loved by all kids!

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Little Owl's Night Book - Kids book about nature

Little Owl’s Night

By Divya Srinivasan
Ages 3 – 5 years | Picture Book, Board Book
Themes: Nighttime, Forest Animals

Follow along with a little owl as he flies through the night and meets forest friends. Our favorite part is at the end when he falls asleep as the sun rises. A great bedtime read to introduce nocturnal animals to children. Check out other Little Owl books, with similar nature lessons.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


A River Ran Wild Book - a great nature book for preschoolers

A River Ran Wild

By Lynne Cherry
Ages 4 – 7 years | Picture Book
Themes: Environment, Preservation, American History

Follow a river as it declines in health with pollution, and then with the help of people coming together, is restored back to health. This is a true story of a river in New England and helps explain to children the importance of taking care of nature and gives a glimpse of history before us. We love seeing children compare the illustrations from the beginning of the book to the end and see how the river and forest have changed.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Owl Moon Book - children's book about nature

Owl Moon

Written by Jane Yolen, Illustrated by John Schoenherr
Ages 3 – 7 years | Picture Book
Themes: Nighttime, Winter

A peaceful story of a nighttime journey of a little girl and her father searching for an owl. The lyrical story and lovely illustrations will have you captivating and wondering the whole time whether will hear an owl at the end or not.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


the Little Gardener Book - children's book about nature

The Little Gardener

By Emily Hughes
Ages 3 – 7 years | Picture Book
Themes: Gardening

A little boy loves gardening but feels his small efforts aren’t enough. One day he wakes up from sleep to find his garden has transformed overnight, thanks to others who were inspired to tend to the garden as well. A mix of fantasy and reality, it is a beautiful story of persistence and that no step is too small to care for our earth.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


The Water: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps Book - nature books for preschoolers

The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps

By Jeanette Winter
Ages 3 – 7 years | Picture Book
Theme: Animals, True Story

Based on the true story of Jane Goodall and how she grew up observing animal life around her and grew up to study and save chimpanzees. We love any story with a brave female character, and children will learn that they too can observe and help animals that they see.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Beyond the Pond Book - nature books for preschoolers

Beyond the Pond

By Joseph Kuefler
Ages 4 – 8 years | Picture Book
Themes: Curiosity

Follow a boy’s curiosity and imagination as he dives into his ordinary pond and discovers a magical world of creatures in his backyard. The wording and illustrations are fantastic and give freedom for children to explore their curiosity and imagine what may be beyond their ordinary surroundings.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Seeds and Trees - nature books for preschoolers

Seeds and Trees

Written by Brandon Walden, Illustrated by Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell
Ages 5 – 12 years | Picture Book
Themes: Planting Seeds, Words, Bullying

A young prince collects seeds and begins to realize some of the seeds become dark and overpower the green seeds. This is a charming story that will teach children about planting seeds but ultimately point back to speaking kind words and encouragement to others, instead of bullying and bringing others down. It is a beautiful tale with an even more lovely lesson behind it.

Buy Online: Amazon


Miss Rumphius Book - Kids book about nature

Miss Rumphius

By Barbara Cooney
Ages 4 – 8 years | Picture Book
Themes: Flowers, Impact

A lovely story of a woman who “traveled the world, lived by the sea, and now has to do something to make the world a beautiful place.” It shows the lovely influence one person can have on the earth. Plus we love that it highlights a woman who does not get married or have children, which is rare to see in a children’s book.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Roxaboxen Book - Kids book about nature

Roxaboxen

Written by Alice McLerran, illustrated by Barbara Cooney
Ages 3 – 8 years | Picture Book
Themes: Imagination

This is childhood at its finest: using imagination to create magic from the ordinary. An ordinary Arizona landscape transforms into a special place thanks to the imagination of a group of kids. This story will inspire children to get outside, use their creativity, and play.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Tree Lady Book - Nature book for preschoolers

Tree Lady

Written by H. Joseph Hopkins, Illustrated by Jill McElmurry
Ages 3 – 7 years | Picture Book
Themes: Trees, Parks, True story

The true story of Kate Sessions and how she changed San Diego by adding trees and creating parks. There are snippets of true facts sprinkled throughout the story, highlighting her bravery and perseverance. The illustrations are lovely and detailed, which will keep your child interested.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Fancy Nancy Explorer Extraordinaire! - nature books for preschoolers

Fancy Nancy: Explorer Extraordinaire!

Written by Jane O’Connor, Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
Ages 4 – 8 years | Picture Book
Themes: Exploring your Backyard

Learn about the world around you in your backyard by following Fancy Nancy and Bree in their explorer’s club. There is a storyline, but also a lot of facts about animals and plans surrounding their homes, so it’s more comprehensive than normal Fancy Nancy books — but perfect for girls or fans of the fancy character.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt - nature book for preschooler

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt

Written by Kate Messner, Illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal 
Ages 4 – 6 years | Picture Book
Themes: Gardening, Dirt

Discover the secret world below the earth. The story follows a young girl as she is up in the garden planting, and meanwhile what the creatures down in the dirt are doing to tend to the plants. The text is poetic and the illustrations are whimsical. At the end are more informational descriptions of the animals you meet on the pages. If you like this story, you may enjoy Over and Under the Snow, by the same author and illustrator.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Look What I Did with a Leaf Book

Look What I Did with a Leaf

By Morteza E. Sohi 
Ages 3 – 7 years | Picture Book, Craft Book
Themes: Leaves, Crafts

This book teaches children to observe the world around them and see what ways they can be creative with nature. In addition to facts about trees and leaves, there are ideas for how to create crafts with leaves, which is a great activity to get your kids in nature and flex their creativity.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature Book

Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature

Written by Nicola Davies, Illustrated by Mark Hearld
Ages 3 – 7 years | Picture Book
Themes: Nature

Traveling through the four seasons, the lyrical poem shares with readers facts, observations, and suggestions on the natural world and how children can enjoy it. The illustrations are vibrant and offer a lot of texture. A wonderful introductory book on nature for preschoolers!

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn Book - Nature book for preschooler

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

By Kenard Pak
Ages 3 – 7 years | Picture Book
Themes: Changing Seasons

Join a girl on a walk as she observes nature changing from summer to autumn. It is the perfect read with your child on an early autumn day! Also, if you enjoy this book, check out Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter by the same author.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


How Does My Garden Grow?

Written and Illustrated by Gerda Muller
Ages 4 – 8 years | Picture Book
Themes: Gardening

Sophie visits her grandparents in the country and falls in love with their vegetable garden. It is told in a story form, with many call-out illustrations and labels for different types of vegetables and other ways to care for a garden. It is a wonderful book on gardening throughout the seasons and will spur an interest in children to start their own vegetable garden. Gerda Muller has many other favorite books on gardening and nature, each with so much character and charm.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Lola Plants a Garden Book - nature books for preschoolers

Lola Plants a Garden

Written by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
Ages 2 – 6 years | Picture Book
Themes: Gardening

Inspired by gardening poems, Lola wants to plant a garden. She and her mom go to pick out the flowers, plant them, care for them, and then wait for them to grow. We love that while she’s waiting (a hard task for children and adults alike!), she creates her own garden book. A sweet story with lovable characters.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Inch by Inch Book

Inch by Inch

By Leo Lionni
Ages 3 – 8 years | Picture Book
Theme: Worms

A little inchworm loves measuring things and uses his skill and wit to get him out of trouble. The pictures are pretty and the story teaches kids about measurements and nature. Plus, we love asking children to find the inchworm on each page. Delightful book.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


The Tea Party in the Woods Book

The Tea Party in the Woods

By Akiko Miyakoshi 
Ages 3 – 7 years | Picture Book
Themes: Woods, Winter

A modern-day fairy tale where a little girl stumbles upon a tea party in the woods. The animals of the tea party help the little girl recover her pie that she needs to bring to her grandmother. This is a sweet story with an unexpected twist and fun to ask kids what they think happened at the end.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


The Big Alfie Out of Doors Storybook - nature books for preschoolers

The Big Alfie Out of Doors Storybook

By Shirley Hughes
Ages 2 – 6 years | Picture Book
Themes: Discovery, Nature

Sweet stories about a little boy Alfie and his sister discovering their little world outside. The illustrations are charming and the stories are the perfect length for preschoolers.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Because of an Acorn Book

Because of an Acorn

Written by Lola M. and Adam Schaefer, Illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon
Ages 4 – 6 years | Picture Book
Themes: Nature

In this simple story, a little girl discovers that nature is all connected to each other in the cycle of life. A great book to read with a child, then take a walk in nature and ask the child to observe all it saw in the book. Beautifully illustrated!

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Just a Dream Book

Just a Dream

By Chris Van Allsburg
Ages 4 – 7 years | Picture Book
Themes: Environment, Recycling

Follow along as a little boy dreams about one devastation after another, and each event would have been reversible by recycling and taking care of earth’s resources. The boy awakes to find it’s not too late. The perfect storybook to teach children about the importance of taking care of our earth!

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Non-Fiction Nature Books for Preschoolers

Below are great non-fiction nature books for preschoolers, which offer information and resources on various topics, such as birds, rocks, gardening, animals, and weather.


A Rock is Lively Book

A Rock is Lively

Written by Dianna Hutts Aston, Illustrated by Sylvia Young
Ages 3 – 6 years | Picture Book
Themes: Rocks, Geology

Lovely illustrations, simple descriptions, and a wonderful introduction to geology for children. If you know a child who is interested in rocks or gems, this would be a lovely addition to their library. This book is part of a nature series by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Young. All of the other books in the series are equally great nature books for preschoolers!

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Lift the Flap Questions & Answers Book - nature book

Lift the Flap Questions & Answers

Written by Katie Daynes, illustrated by Marie-Eve Tremblay
Ages 3 – 6 years | Lift-the-Flap Book
Themes: How the World Works

The questions are on the outside and answers are revealed when you lift the flap. Preschoolers are naturally curious about how the world works, and this book helps explains some of the many questions they ask. The illustrations are great and the colors are brilliant. A great book to grow with! This is one of our favorite nature books for preschoolers!

Buy Online: Amazon


About Birds: A Guide for Children Book

About Birds: A Guide for Children

Written by Cathryn Sill, illustrated by John Sill
Ages 3 – 6 years | Guide book
Theme: Birds

While it is a short and simple book, the facts presented are perfect for a preschool-aged child to understand. The illustrations are beautiful and accurate and will have your child recognize birds in their natural habitat.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


The Variety of Life - nature books for preschoolers

The Variety of Life

Written by Nicola Davies, Illustrated by Lorena Scobie
Ages 3 – 8 years | Informational Picture Book
Themes: Animals

Children (and adults!) will learn facts about different kinds of animals in this book, some well-known and others obscure. The watercolor illustrations of animals are just lovely! A great general book of animals for preschoolers.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Gardening Lab for Kids: 52 Fun Experiments to Learn, Grow, Harvest, Make, Play, and Enjoy Your Garden

Gardening Lab for Kids: 52 Fun Experiments to Learn, Grow, Harvest, Make, Play, and Enjoy Your Garden

By Renata Brown
Ages 5 – 12 years | Informational, Activity Book
Themes: Gardening

This book is full of fun ideas for children and adults to do together to encourage making their yard and garden into a lovely haven. The activities in the book may work better for elementary-school-aged children, but with the help of a parent, preschool-aged children will thoroughly enjoy this book as well.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Nature Anatomy Book

Nature Anatomy

By Julie Rothman
Ages 3 + | Illustrated Nature Book

Themes: General Nature, Plants, Weather, Animals,

Explore the world with Julie Rothman’s lovely illustrations and descriptions of details in nature, like weather patterns, plants, animals, landforms, tides, and many more. This is one of our favorite nature books for preschoolers, as it is comprehensive and can grow with your child. If you enjoy this book, you may also be interested in Farm Anatomy and Food Anatomy, two similarly beautiful books with a more niche focus.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


How Did That Get in My Lunchbox? The Story of Food -- a nature book for preschoolers

How Did That Get in My Lunchbox?: The Story of Food

Written by Chris Butterworth, Illustrated by Lucia Gaggiotti
Ages 4 – 9 years | Informational, Reference Book
Themes: Food, Gardening

Do you have a young child who asks questions about everything? (Hand raised over here). This book is perfect for providing answers for those inquisitive preschoolers who like to know all of the details of how the world works. This book takes you on a journey to see how exactly the items in a child’s lunchbox arrives there, from the garden to a factory to your local grocery store. It is a good introduction on a balanced, healthy diet.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


The Big Book of Bugs

The Big Book of Bugs

By Yuval Zommer
Ages 4 – 7 years | Informational, Reference Book
Themes: Bugs

A fact-filled book on everything from inchworms to ladybugs to crickets. If you have a bug-loving kid, this would be the perfect book. And if you have a bug-hating kid, the illustrations are lovely enough that even they will be able to tolerate and appreciate bug life. If you like this book, you may be interested in The Big Book of Bug Stickers and The Big Book of the Blue by the same author, all great nature books for preschoolers.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Weather - nature book for preschooler

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Weather 

By Karen de Seve
Ages 4 – 8 years | Informational, Reference Book
Themes: Weather

Very informative, engaging, and interesting book all about weather. The pictures are all vibrant and the facts are basic enough for preschoolers, but informative enough that it will grow with your child. If you like this book, check out more National Geographic Kid books for other nature books for preschoolers.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Secrets of the Vegetable Garden - nature books for preschoolers

Secrets of the Vegetable Garden (A Shine-A-Light Book)

By Carron Brown
Ages 4 – 8 years | Informational, Reference Book
Themes: Gardening

A garden comes to life in this interactive shine-a-light book. When you shine a light on the pages, readers will be able to see what is living in the garden between the leaves and stems and soil. This book would be a sweet gift for a child paired with a flashlight for them to use while they read it.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


These are only a few of hundreds of great nature books for preschoolers. If you have a favorite nature book that was not listed, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below!

Disclaimer: The Kid Book Nook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. All information found on theKidBookNook.com is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Learn more about our goals.

Ginna Neel

Author: Ginna Neel

Ginna is a writer, wife, mom to two daughters, and founder of theKidBookNook.com. She lives in Durham, NC, and is passionate about reading quality, clever, and inclusive books to her kids. Our mission here at the Kid Book Nook is to foster a love of reading in children, starting in the home. Read more posts on raising a reader. Happy reading!