100 books like Animal Architects

By Amy Cherrix, Chris Sasaki (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Animal Architects fans have personally recommended if you like Animal Architects. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Fourteen Monkeys: A Rain Forest Rhyme

Janet Lawler Author Of Walrus Song

From my list on interesting animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an award-winning children’s author who has always been fascinated by the natural world. My many published children’s books include ones about animals and ocean life. Scholastic Book Clubs and the Children’s Book of the Month Club have featured my work, and translations of my fiction and nonfiction titles can be found in several languages, including Spanish, Japanese, and Hebrew. My National Geographic title Ocean Counting was named an Outstanding Science Trade Book by the National Science Teachers Association and Walrus Song has been named a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection.

Janet's book list on interesting animals

Janet Lawler Why did Janet love this book?

I love how master children’s nonfiction author Melissa Stewart instantly engages readers with two rhyming lines introducing each of fourteen rain forest monkeys. Each spread, beautifully illustrated by Steve Jenkins, includes additional facts and a clever rain forest silhouette keyed to show where each species dwells (there’s room for all!). Well-organized, kid-friendly back matter offers many more facts and resources about pygmy marmosets, capuchins, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, and more from Peru’s Manú National Park. They are all different, but all can live together — a great lesson from the rainforest!

By Melissa Stewart, Steve Jenkins (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fourteen Monkeys as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Travel to a tropical rainforest where fourteen species of monkeys live in harmony in this playful, fact-filled book from award-winning author Melissa Stewart and Caldecott honoree Steve Jenkins.

In Manú National Park in Peru, an amazing fourteen different species of monkeys live together. That’s more than in any other rainforest in the world! How can they coexist so well? Find out in this lyrical, rhyming picture book that explores each monkey’s habits, diet, and home, illustrating how this delicate ecosystem and its creatures live together in harmony. From howler monkeys to spider monkeys to night monkeys, young readers will love…


Book cover of Wombat

Janet Lawler Author Of Walrus Song

From my list on interesting animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an award-winning children’s author who has always been fascinated by the natural world. My many published children’s books include ones about animals and ocean life. Scholastic Book Clubs and the Children’s Book of the Month Club have featured my work, and translations of my fiction and nonfiction titles can be found in several languages, including Spanish, Japanese, and Hebrew. My National Geographic title Ocean Counting was named an Outstanding Science Trade Book by the National Science Teachers Association and Walrus Song has been named a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection.

Janet's book list on interesting animals

Janet Lawler Why did Janet love this book?

I really enjoy learning about animals that I don’t see every day. When I picked up Wombat, I was hooked by the cover illustration of this adorable Australian marsupial. Then I was engaged by many interesting facts as I shared a busy day with this tunnel-digging fellow. Who wouldn’t want to read a book about a cute animal that leaves cube-shaped poop on rocks and stumps?!  Chen’s engaging text is perfectly complemented by Liz Duthie’s illustrations. 

By Christopher Cheng, Liz Duthie (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wombat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Learn all about the Australian “bulldozer of the bush” in a fascinating introduction to the wombat.

Wombats may look soft and cuddly, but they are determined and tough, with sharp teeth that never stop growing, limbs that they use to shovel dirt like bulldozers, and bony bottoms they use to defend their burrows. They can live for years without drinking water, getting all of their moisture from the plants they eat—and they deposit their cube-shaped poop on rocks or stumps as a warning to other wombats. Follow one of these powerful marsupials through a suspenseful day in Christopher Cheng’s engaging…


Book cover of Trapped! A Whale's Rescue

Janet Lawler Author Of Walrus Song

From my list on interesting animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an award-winning children’s author who has always been fascinated by the natural world. My many published children’s books include ones about animals and ocean life. Scholastic Book Clubs and the Children’s Book of the Month Club have featured my work, and translations of my fiction and nonfiction titles can be found in several languages, including Spanish, Japanese, and Hebrew. My National Geographic title Ocean Counting was named an Outstanding Science Trade Book by the National Science Teachers Association and Walrus Song has been named a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection.

Janet's book list on interesting animals

Janet Lawler Why did Janet love this book?

This nonfiction book tells an individual animal’s story in a compelling way. The author’s spare, lyrical language makes the reader truly feel this whale’s panicked efforts to free herself from discarded netting left in the ocean by fishermen. The...whale spirals sideways as spidery lines tighten around her. I had to read on! I won’t spoil it for you, but I was cheering at the end. Trapped! A Whale’s Rescue, beautifully illustrated by Wendell Minor, helps readers of all ages understand the impact of human activity on many ocean-dwelling animals. Independent readers will love the detailed back matter about the actual event, whale rescue techniques, and more humpback whale facts.

By Robert Burleigh, Wendell Minor (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Trapped! A Whale's Rescue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A giant whale trapped in nets and ropes. Can she be helped?

A humpback whale migrating south along the California coast becomes tangled in a fishing trawler’s ropes and nets. As she struggles to free herself, the ropes twist more tightly around her body, digging into her skin. The whale fights until she is too tired to continue. What happens next will astound and inspire.

Based on true events, this is a story of interspecies cooperation and the importance of human responsibility to protect the earth and its many inhabitants.

Wendell Minor’s breathtaking paintings illustrate the majesty of the gentle…


Book cover of Beavers

Janet Lawler Author Of Walrus Song

From my list on interesting animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an award-winning children’s author who has always been fascinated by the natural world. My many published children’s books include ones about animals and ocean life. Scholastic Book Clubs and the Children’s Book of the Month Club have featured my work, and translations of my fiction and nonfiction titles can be found in several languages, including Spanish, Japanese, and Hebrew. My National Geographic title Ocean Counting was named an Outstanding Science Trade Book by the National Science Teachers Association and Walrus Song has been named a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection.

Janet's book list on interesting animals

Janet Lawler Why did Janet love this book?

In a Magic-School-Bus sort of way, Gail Gibbons presents a ton of information in this book about beavers and their families. The main storyline text is supplemented by multiple “factoid” insets and side-view illustrations. The sum total is a book that matches this mammal’s personality—busy and fascinating!  We see beavers and their world, above and below the waterline of the ponds they inhabit and the streams they dam up to create them. I learned exactly how a beaver den is constructed, and what the cozy inside of one looks like (thanks to a great cross-section illustration).

By Gail Gibbons,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beavers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Beavers are fascinating animals. They build their own homes and live in family groups. They keep busy with their sharp teeth, powerful tails, and big webbed feet. Their work helps to preserve wetlands. Gibbons explores where they live, what they eat, how they raise their young, and much more.


Book cover of Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived primarily in Vermont, but my relationship to a remote portion of Maine wilderness is the one geographical consistency in my 81 years. Trained as an academic, I did have literary influences, but my chief influences derived from my early decades among men and women whose arduous existences in the great North Woods preceded electricity, power tools, and modern household conveniences. These men and women had to make their own entertainment, and they did so by way of storytelling, and their stories became a kind of community property. Whatever the genres of my 24 books, I have sought to emulate the timing and precision that these masters commanded. 

Sydney's book list on exemplifying my two crucial virtues in "realist" fiction: understatement and attention to detail

Sydney Lea Why did Sydney love this book?

One of biologist Heinrich’s books, an extended nonfiction essay, may seem an eccentric choice here, but–like other works of this writer’s–it has had a profound effect on the way I regard the natural world in northern New England, my home territory.

There are life-scientists who write well and ones who command a patent, deep knowledge of their subject matter. None comes to my mind who so magnificently combines a fine novelist’s sensitivity to language with so broad and detailed a scientific awareness as Heinrich does. And he is bold. It takes a mind and writer of his caliber, for instance, to make a thumb-sized golden-crowned kinglet the hero—and a doughty one at that, one obliged to eat thirteen times his body weight to survive subzero nights–of his study.

The particularity of Heinrich’s vision is exemplary, something that I, a writer obsessed with the ecology of the region he shares with…

By Bernd Heinrich,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Winter World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From flying squirrels to grizzly bears, and from torpid turtles to insects with antifreeze, the animal kingdom relies on some staggering evolutionary innovations to survive winter. Unlike their human counterparts, who must alter the environment to accommodate physical limitations, animals are adaptable to an amazing range of conditions.

Examining everything from food sources in the extremely barren winter land-scape to the chemical composition that allows certain creatures to survive, Heinrich's Winter World awakens the largely undiscovered mysteries by which nature sustains herself through winter's harsh, cruel exigencies.


Book cover of A Hollow Is a Home

Sarah R. Pye Author Of Wildlife Wong and the Bearded Pig

From my list on to ignite your children’s love of nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was on holiday in Borneo with my daughter, we met an inspirational conservationist who was basically single-handedly saving sun bears from extinction. I asked what I could do to help. “Do what you do best,” he said. Those five powerful words shaped my last decade, most recently prompting the growing series of Wildlife Wong nonfiction children’s books based on his true adventures with rainforest creatures. I feel strongly about the importance of connecting kids to nature. Not only is it good for their physical and mental health, but my generation hasn’t done a particularly good job of environmental stewardship, and we need all the help we can get. 

Sarah's book list on to ignite your children’s love of nature

Sarah R. Pye Why did Sarah love this book?

Although I am originally from the UK, I now live in Australia—home to amazing creatures, many of whom make homes in hollows. This book rams home the importance of protecting habitat because it doesn’t just highlight species like possums, owls, parrots, quolls, snakes, and goannas, but it integrates them with their environment. A Hollow is a Home is designed in a magazine-like format, with illustrations and photos, which I have found connects really well with reluctant readers. The bite-size sections are useful for school projects and, if you don’t live in Australia, this book is a fantastic way to learn about global biodiversity!

By Abbie Mitchell, Astred Hicks (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Hollow Is a Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Do you know what a tree hollow is?

To you and me, a tree hollow is just a hole, cavity or tunnel in a tree or branch. But to an animal, that hollow may be a bedroom, hiding place, nursery or shelter. It is the ultimate tree house!

Come and take a peek inside the amazing world of tree hollows and discover more than 340 species of incredible Australian animals that call hollows home. With colour photos of glorious gliders, darting dunnarts, minute microbats and many more, this book is full of fun facts about animals that use tree hollows…


Book cover of Wildlife Ranger Action Guide: Track, Spot & Provide Healthy Habitat for Creatures Close to Home

Patricia Newman Author Of Planet Ocean: Why We All Need a Healthy Ocean

From my list on nature to WOW! kids and teens.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Sibert Honor author and write books for kids and teens about nature. Part biography, part science adventure, my books introduce readers to real scientists and the unexpected twists and turns of their discoveries. The more I research the more I discover hidden connections to our natural world that humble me and fill me with gratitude. I do my best to share these connections with readers in an accurate, truthful way to help them find their own “ah-ha” moments in life. I want them to say, “I can do this, too!”

Patricia's book list on nature to WOW! kids and teens

Patricia Newman Why did Patricia love this book?

This book challenges kids to get outside and observe the wildlife in their own communities—the BEST way to connect to nature. Written as a field guide, this book is meant to be shoved in a backpack and consulted on the trail. Mary Kay Carson shows kids how to record observations in a nature journal and includes many projects with materials found around the house. Before you know it, your kids will be local wildlife experts. When kids understand nature, they care about it, and when they care, they protect it. 

Perfect for ages 6-12.

By Mary Kay Carson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wildlife Ranger Action Guide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kids can make the world better for wild animals, starting right in their own backyards! With hands-on activities, from a Wildlife Spotting Fort to a Sand Print Track Trap, along with habitat projects and wildlife field guides, this book teaches young nature observers how identify which animals live nearby. DIY projects such as making a Frog Pond out of a kiddie pool, planting a pollinator garden for bees, painting a bat house, and building a lodge for lizards help kids create a welcome haven for animal friends. Throughout the book, habitat maps and fun facts profile 84 North American wildlife…


Book cover of A Place to Start a Family: Poems About Creatures That Build

Matt Forrest Esenwine Author Of Once Upon Another Time

From my list on children’s poetry collections about animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since my parents gave me a copy of Dorothy Aldis’ The Secret Place and Other Poems, I have enjoyed a lifelong love of poetry. Now, as a traditionally-published children’s author, I have had numerous books and poems published over the years, including books that began as poems, like Flashlight Night (Astra Young Readers, 2017) and Once Upon Another Time (Beaming Books, 2021). My poems can be found in various anthologies including The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry (N.G. Children’s Books, 2015) and Construction People (Wordsong, 2020) as well as Highlights for Children magazine.

Matt's book list on children’s poetry collections about animals

Matt Forrest Esenwine Why did Matt love this book?

Given poet David L. Harrison’s background and interests (he holds science degrees from both Drury and Emory Universities), it should not be surprising to see his books show up on two of my lists. While he has published numerous poetry collections about animals, A Place to Start a Family stands out because of its tight focus – poems about animals that build nests, hives, and other types of homes – and the writer’s incredible talent for wordplay.

From ingenious internal rhyme to intriguing back matter to Giles Laroche’s masterful cut-paper illustrations, this work of creative nonfiction is equally at home in libraries and classrooms as it is on children’s bookshelves.

By David L. Harrison, Giles Laroche (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Place to Start a Family as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

A poetry collection introducing animal architects that build remarkable structures in order to attract a mate and have babies.

Many animals build something--a nest, tunnel, or web--in order to pair up, lay eggs, give birth, and otherwise perpetuate their species. Organized based on where creatures live--underground, in the water, on land, or in the air--twelve poems bring fish, insects, reptiles, mammals, and birds to life. Back matter includes more information about each animal.

"A fine synthesis of poetry and science" — Kirkus Reviews

"An inviting introduction to a dozen industrious creatures" — Publishers Weekly


"A natural for classroom use, with…


Book cover of Anonymouse

Elen Ghulam Author Of Graffiti Hack

From my list on graffiti to make you want to pick up spray paint.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm sure you’ve heard of method acting. A technique by which an actor embodies the character they're portraying 24/7. I'm a method writer. I embody the world of the novels that I write. However, when the time came to write a novel inspired by graffiti, I faced a particular frustration. Graffiti is illegal. I felt a strong desire to grab a spray paint can to decorate public spaces. And yet the fear of a jail cell prevented me from acting on the impulse. I had to find a different outlet for that desire. I poured over every book and movie on the subject. I believe I became a bit of an expert.

Elen's book list on graffiti to make you want to pick up spray paint

Elen Ghulam Why did Elen love this book?

Anonymouse is a charming illustrated picture book for children that grownups will appreciate. It tells the story of a mysterious graffiti artist that creates art specifically for animals. What I love most about it, is that it illustrates the transformative power of art. As the different animals are surprised and delighted with the graffiti, their lives, how they see themselves and relate to each other are enhanced in surprising ways.

By Vikki VanSickle, Anna Pirolli (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anonymouse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Animal-friendly street art is popping up all over the city, but who is creating these masterpieces? There is no explanation, only a name: Anonymouse. For fans of Sidewalk Flowers and Art & Max.

Art for the birds.
Art for the ants.
Art for the dogs, cats and raccoons.
Art to make them laugh, make them think, make them feel at home.
But who is creating it?
Only Anonymouse knows for sure . . .

This clever tale mixes street art, animals and gorgeous illustrations to create a meditation on how art can uplift any creature's spirit -- human or animal…


Book cover of I Like Animals

Paul Harfleet Author Of Pansy Boy

From my list on celebrating curiosity, nature and LGBTQ+ acceptance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I adore depictions of the natural world, I've always been fascinated by how humanity interacts, describes and catalogues birds and animals. I’ve collected books on birds for as long as I can remember and sought solace in the golden hues of the gardens and parks of my childhood. My own book is a reflection on what can be described as ‘queer nature writing’, the exploration of an environment that does not judge our identity or gender. The motivation of all my work is to challenge injustice in subtle and surprising ways and my ongoing mission to share my work from Pansy Boy, The Pansy Project, and Birds Can Fly

Paul's book list on celebrating curiosity, nature and LGBTQ+ acceptance

Paul Harfleet Why did Paul love this book?

First published in 1960 this is a beautiful example of illustration in book form. From my contemporary perspective as an animal lover there is a sense that this book celebrates the tendency we have as humans to capture and own animals, with zoos, farms, and pet shops filling almost every page. To me, this book celebrates a naïve adoration and love of nature that doesn’t necessarily fit with the modern need to protect and preserve the natural habitats that humanity has spent generations pillaging. I’d like to think that this is a beautiful conversation starter about how we can best appreciate the natural world. 

By Dahlov Ipcar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Like Animals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Every child loves animals. At some point, all of us have wished for our own zoo filled with beasts and birds; a pet shop with cats, dogs and fish in every shape and colour; a cabin in the woods to spy on brown bears and wild wolves, and a ranch with mustangs to race across the plains! Here's a book for every animal lover. I Like Animals was first printed in 1960 by Alred A. Knopf using a hand-picked colour palette and traditional printing techniques. As Dahlov's original lithographic plates were lost many years ago, Flying Eye Books has worked…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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