You can never go wrong with a book for a holiday gift. Books are one of my favorite gifts to give my kids, and if the book is about nature (my favorite subject), even better! The books below are filled with gorgeous nature illustrations to give kids a close-up view of the amazing life they can find in their own backyard. I’ve also included some of my favorite books for introducing kids to the unique wildlife we have here in Texas!
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Awesome Nature Books for Younger Kids
1. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner
This book gives preschoolers a behind-the-scenes look at all the life happening in the garden—both above and below the soil! It is filled with sweet illustrations that take your child through the changing seasons of the garden. Get the book.
2. Backpack Explorer: Bird Watcher by Storey Publishing
Have an aspiring birder? This hardcover activity book introduces kids ages 4–8 to birding by guiding them on a walk outdoors to listen for bird songs, identify common birds, and engage in fun activities found in the book. It also comes with a magnifying glass and birding log! Get the book.
3. The Little Book of Backyard Bird Songs by Andrea Pinnington
Can I add this book to my holiday wishlist? This interactive book is perfect for kids of all ages (and adult bird-lovers too)! Help your child start to identify backyard birds by their song with this helpful book. Press a button to hear the songs of 12 common backyard birds. Then head outside to listen! Get the book.
4. The Backyard Bug Book by Lauren Davidson
There’s no reason to be scared of bugs—they are awesome! Introduce kids ages 3–5 to the amazing world of bugs with The Backyard Bug Book. This book has great closeup photos of favorite backyard insects including rollie pollies and fireflies, paired with simple text to keep your preschooler engaged. Get the book.
Awesome Nature Books for Older Kids
5. National Parks of the U.S.A. by Kate Siber
Explore 21 of our country’s amazing national parks without leaving home! This hardcover book is chock full of beautiful illustrations of the unique flora and fauna that can be found at each of the parks. Use the book to start a family bucket list of parks you’d like to visit some day! Get the book.
6. Trees, Leaves, Flowers & Seeds by the Smithsonian Institution
You can’t beat these Smithsonian Institution guides for the most amazing photographs! I have the adult version of this photo-filled reference book, Flora, and it is my favorite coffee table book. This version is geared toward kids ages nine and up. It is filled with over 1,000 gorgeous close-up photos of plants, and kid-friendly facts about smelly plants, meat eating plants, and more! Get the book.
7. The Magic and Mystery of Trees by Jen Green
Trees are so much more than a trunk and branches of leaves! They are complex organisms and critical habitats for insects and wildlife. Get a close-up look at what makes trees so amazing with this hardcover book filled with beautiful illustrations and fun facts for elementary-aged kids. Get the book.
8. The Kids Guide to Birds of Texas by Stan Tekiela
Get to know some of our Texas backyard visitors with this activity-filled book. It features 90 Texas birds, along with fun facts and tips for identifying them. The book is organized by the color of each bird to help you easily identify and learn about a bird you’ve spotted in your yard. Get the book.
9. How to Raise Monarch Butterflies by Carol Pasternak
Texas is on the central migration route for Monarch butterflies so we have a unique opportunity to help these amazing creatures on their journey. Kids can learn how to raise and release butterflies in this cool book. Get the book.
10. Texas Wildlife Pocket Guide by James Kavanagh
I love these laminated pocket guides for learning about our local wildlife. They are great for kids of all ages (and adults too), and would make a fun stocking stuffer! Keep the guide on your backyard patio, or throw it in your backpack when headed out on a family hike. In addition to this guide on Texas wildlife, you can also get guides for Texas birds and Texas butterflies! Get the pocket guide.