The best books for young nature lovers

Darren Lebeuf Author Of My Forest Is Green
By Darren Lebeuf

Who am I?

I’m the kind of person who can stare at a leaf and be mesmerized by its colours and textures. As an author, illustrator, and photographer I am constantly inspired by nature, and through my work I hope that I can inspire others to find beauty in the outdoors. As a father, my favourite moments with my kids are when we are outside looking under rocks, following a ladybug, climbing trees, or trying to find the best stick. I love seeing how other authors share their passion, and this list shows some of the many ways that we can appreciate nature and all that’s in it.


I wrote...

My Forest Is Green

By Darren Lebeuf, Ashley Barron (illustrator),

Book cover of My Forest Is Green

What is my book about?

With art supplies in tow, a young boy explores the urban forest near his home, then interprets what he sees with his art. The boy is a keen observer who uses poetic, rhythmic language to describe the diversity he finds through all four seasons. His forest is both “fluffy” and “prickly,” “dense” and “sparse,” “crispy” and “soft.” It's also “scattered and soggy, and spotted and foggy.” His forest is made up of many colors — but he decides that “mostly it's green.” Each aspect of the forest inspires the boy to create a different kind of art: charcoal rubbing, rock art, photography, sponge painting, snow sculpture, cut-paper collage. To this artist, there's always something new to discover, and to capture!

The books I picked & why

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Some Bugs

By Angela DiTerlizzi, Brendan Wenzel (illustrator),

Book cover of Some Bugs

Why this book?

My daughter and used to love reading this book together. It’s a wonderful introduction into the strange and exciting world of insects, where things fly, jump, buzz, bite, and much more. The illustrations are fun and colourful, and the text is easy for a young child to understand.


Yes, Let's

By Galen Goodwin Longstreth, Maris Wicks,

Book cover of Yes, Let's

Why this book?

I love this book because it basically shows what a perfect outdoor day looks like, and inspires ideas for things to do. This book follows a family as they drive out to the country to go on a hike. The illustrations do a great job of adding to the text, as we see everyone in the family having their own little stories throughout the book.


The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest

By Lynne Cherry,

Book cover of The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest

Why this book?

My kids and I always enjoy reading this book together. We get to meet a variety of rainforest animals, and along the way, we also learn a lot about the rainforest and the important role they play in the environment. I also love reading books like this where I get make up voices for different characters. 


The Dandelion Seed

By Joseph Anthony, Cris Arbo (illustrator),

Book cover of The Dandelion Seed

Why this book?

Through this book we get to follow the quiet adventures of a single dandelion seed as floats along the world. I love the variety of the settings in this book, and the subtle pace of rhythm in the text. Because of its calming text and illustrations, it’s a great book before bedtime.


Beyond the Pond

By Joseph Kuefler,

Book cover of Beyond the Pond

Why this book?

This is a beautifully done book, from the illustrations to the whimsical story. What I love about this book is that although there is so much to see in nature, there is also a lot to imagine. This book nicely combines the beauty of nature with the beauty of imagination.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in explorers, insects, and family?

5,309 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about explorers, insects, and family.

Explorers Explore 67 books about explorers
Insects Explore 12 books about insects
Family Explore 338 books about family

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Bumblebee Economics, Thomas Harriot: A Life in Science, and The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon if you like this list.