The best children’s books about nature and the seasons

The Books I Picked & Why

Say Hi to Hedgehogs!

By Jane McGuinness

Book cover of Say Hi to Hedgehogs!

Why this book?

There’s a leaf-collecting hedgehog in Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, and Say Hi to Hedgehogs! teaches you more about these wonderful animals, following a hedgehog’s story through the seasons. I love everything about this book – the illustrations are beautiful, with a ridiculously cute hedgehog family, magical night scenes, and cosy autumn and winter pages; I learnt some fascinating hedgehog facts from the notes scattered through the story; and the book even includes tips for making your home hedgehog-friendly.


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Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story

By Sean Taylor, Alex Morss, Cinyee Chiu

Book cover of Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story

Why this book?

I love quiet stories and this one is beautiful, exploring how animals survive in the winter woods through the relationship between a boy and his grandmother. We quickly follow the changing seasons from summer to winter and discover that although the winter woods may seem bare, life is tucked snugly out of sight waiting for Busy Spring (a companion book by the same team). A cosy story, gorgeous illustrations, and lots of nature facts, both in the story and the fact-packed pages at the end.


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The Leaf Thief

By Alice Hemming, Nicola Slater

Book cover of The Leaf Thief

Why this book?

This hilarious tale of a squirrel struggling to cope with its tree losing its leaves in autumn shares a theme with Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, but makes it very much its own thanks to its delightfully dramatic main character. Squirrel is a hoot from start to finish, outraged one minute, trying to relax with yoga and a hot bath the next. The book has colourful, expressive illustrations, a wonderful final page twist, and some bonus facts at the back about autumn, trees, and squirrels.


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A First Book of Nature

By Nicola Davies, Mark Hearld

Book cover of A First Book of Nature

Why this book?

A gloriously illustrated mixture of nature facts, poetry, and things to do, this book is like my childhood squished between covers, taking in pond-dipping, caterpillar-hatching, rock-pooling, worm-watching and so much more as it guides you through the seasons. I would have loved this book as a child, and still love it now. 


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Tree: A Peek-Through Board Book

By Britta Teckentrup

Book cover of Tree: A Peek-Through Board Book

Why this book?

There’s so much to look at in this beautiful book which follows a tree through the seasonal cycle. The gentle rhyming text is accompanied by colourful peek-through illustrations, with an owl cleverly joined by more and more woodland animals as the seasons turn towards midsummer’s night. I had to read this one again and again, following not just the tree but the foxes, birds, and even a spider’s web through the seasons.


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