The best nonfiction picture books on helping wildlife

Meeg Pincus Author Of Make Way for Animals!: A World of Wildlife Crossings
By Meeg Pincus

The Books I Picked & Why

Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology, and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued a Bald Eagle

By Deborah Lee Rose, Jane Veltkamp

Book cover of Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology, and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued a Bald Eagle

Why this book?

A wounded bald eagle getting a new beak made from a 3D printer—what’s not to love?! This is a great story of wildlife rehabilitation and ingenuity that’s sure to suck kids in. And while I’m usually more drawn to illustrated books, the photos in this book bring the reality of this story to life in the way only photos can. It’s such a compelling true tale, which will help kids grow more compassion and curiosity for our feathered friends.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

The Leaf Detective: How Margaret Lowman Uncovered Secrets in the Rainforest

By Heather Lang, Jana Christy

Book cover of The Leaf Detective: How Margaret Lowman Uncovered Secrets in the Rainforest

Why this book?

I picked this book because it’s a great reminder that plants are wildlife, too—and they’re as important and as endangered as animals! It’s also a truly fascinating story of the woman who figured out how to study the rainforest canopy, a hundred feet in the air! I love how this book tells one woman’s inspiring story while at the same time inspiring kids to care and learn more about the much-needed flora on our planet.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist

By Jess Keating, Marta Álvarez Miguéns

Book cover of Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist

Why this book?

I love this book as it highlights the story of the groundbreaking Japanese-American woman scientist who broke barriers and made many discoveries about sharks that kids learn as facts today. Eugenie’s story is one of a child fascinated by ocean wildlife who follows her dreams to become a scientist, deep-sea diver, and discoverer. It’s also the story of a misunderstood wild animal that needs some “rebranding”—and this book does the trick!


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Jasper's Story: Saving Moon Bears

By Jill Robinson, Marc Bekoff, Gijsbert Van Frankenhuyzen

Book cover of Jasper's Story: Saving Moon Bears

Why this book?

This emotional story of one real moon bear, written by two top wild animal experts, hits right in the heart. An important story of what happens when wild animals are caged in laboratories, and what it takes to heal them afterward, this book lingers in the mind for a long time. Jasper’s personality makes everyone fall in love with him, and readers will, too. They’ll also feel compelled to protect every hunted creature (I sure did!).


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

The Wolves Are Back

By Jean Craighead George, Wendell Minor

Book cover of The Wolves Are Back

Why this book?

This book is a classic and a favorite of mine; I loved reading it to kids as a humane educator and seeing their eyes widen. I still marvel at how this book illustrates so simply and powerfully what happened to the entire ecosystem of Yellowstone National Park when wolves were reintroduced after being eliminated by humans years earlier. It’s a hugely impactful story about how any one species in an ecosystem affects all the others—and kids love it! 


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Closely Related Book Lists

Distantly Related Book Lists