100 books like Grandmother Fish

By Jonathan Tweet, Karen Lewis (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Grandmother Fish fans have personally recommended if you like Grandmother Fish. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt

Carol Fisher Saller Author Of The Bridge Dancers

From my list on nature providing strength and healing.

Who am I?

I’m not an expert in gardening, forestry, or herbal medicine. But like everyone else, I have a growing awareness that our planet Earth is entirely dependent on thriving forests and insects and even weeds. We owe it to our children and future generations to learn about and protect our precious resources. Although I live in the big city of Chicago and have a tiny backyard, last year I turned my little grass lawn into prairie! I have creeping charlie, dandelions, creeping phlox, sedge grass, wild violets, white clover, and who knows what else. (Luckily, my neighbors are on board.) I’ve already seen honeybees and hummingbirds. It’s not much, but it’s something I can do.

Carol's book list on nature providing strength and healing

Carol Fisher Saller Why did Carol love this book?

Many of us tend to view gardens only from the surface up.

This book dives underground to show how many living things in the dirt are working hard to help us garden. Worms and insects that we might find “gross” are actually essential for airing the soil and warding off invaders.

Plenty of things grow just fine without human help because they have all the helpers they need under the earth. This book shows how nature goes about its business, plants and insects and animals all working together to green the earth.

Bonus: Neal’s illustrations are anatomical wonders, showing worms and bugs with legs and feelers in a friendly light. Squeamish children (and their parents) might make a few buggy friends as they read.

By Kate Messner, Christopher Silas Neal (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A companion to the new Over and Under the Pond and Over and Under the Snow, this sweet book explores the hidden world and many lives of a garden through the course of a year.

Up in the garden, the world is full of green-leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit. But down in the dirt there is a busy world of earthworms digging, snakes hunting, skunks burrowing and all the other animals that make a garden their home. In this exuberant and lyrical book, discover the wonders that lie hidden between stalks, under the shade of leaves... and down…


Book cover of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Christine Ieronimo Author Of A Thirst for Home: A Story of Water across the World

From my list on stories from Africa with strong protagonists.

Who am I?

I am passionate about writing books for children that create windows to the world, teaching empathy. Children that are empathic grow up to be kind and compassionate adults. I write because I long for a world that is more accepting and compassionate.  

Christine's book list on stories from Africa with strong protagonists

Christine Ieronimo Why did Christine love this book?

Drought has hit a Malawi village and everyone’s crops are failing. Fourteen-year-old William Kamkwamba figures out how to bring electricity to the village by building a windmill out of scraps from a junkyard. I love this story because it highlights the importance of education, and along with determination, William was able to build this windmill bringing electricity which helped lift this community up and bring hope. Education is the best way to lift communities up from poverty. Elizabeth Zunon provides gorgeous illustrations that enhance the text.  

By William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer, Elizabeth Zunon (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba's tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season's crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family's life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William's windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land. Retold for a younger audience, this exciting memoir shows…


Book cover of Amazing Evolution: The Journey of Life

Jordan Bell Author Of Aunt Jodie's Guide to Evolution

From my list on evolution for children.

Who am I?

As a kid, I never stopped asking “But why?” Learning the answers always led me to new questions, and I’ve been on a life-long journey to understand the world, and how everything works. I wanted to give the joy of discovery, and the empowerment of understanding, to a new generation of readers. The amazing story of evolution seemed to be a great starting point. I wrote the book I wanted to read to my own daughter, full of adventures and grown-up science, told in a way kids can understand. 

Jordan's book list on evolution for children

Jordan Bell Why did Jordan love this book?

I wish I’d had this richly illustrated book as a curious 10-year-old who wanted to learn about evolution in a very fact-based way. Packed with explanations, illustrations, lists, and definitions, Amazing Evolution helps kids self-educate around how and why evolution happened – from the origin of life in the sea to the first creatures to survive on land, through to dinosaurs and convergent evolution in mammals. A great book for an older primary kid who wants to understand how all life is related, but wants to find it out themselves. And the “Fact File” at the end of the book is jam-packed with the kind of amazing information that will make readers want to say “Did you know…?” to everyone they see!

By Anna Claybourne, Wesley Robins (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Amazing Evolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Evolution can be a difficult idea to wrap our brains around: it deals with random, unlikely events, combined with vast lengths of time too enormous to comprehend. But the evidence is all around us–in the fossils of long-dead creatures, and in our genes and the relationships between all living beings.

Amazing Evolution shines a light on this incredible process, from the beginnings of life around 3.8 billion years ago, to the millions of different species alive today, including the moon-walking, talking apes with super-powerful brains–human beings!

Filled with clear explanations, beautiful illustrations and fascinating facts about the planet’s strangest and…


Book cover of The Story of Life: A First Book about Evolution

Jordan Bell Author Of Aunt Jodie's Guide to Evolution

From my list on evolution for children.

Who am I?

As a kid, I never stopped asking “But why?” Learning the answers always led me to new questions, and I’ve been on a life-long journey to understand the world, and how everything works. I wanted to give the joy of discovery, and the empowerment of understanding, to a new generation of readers. The amazing story of evolution seemed to be a great starting point. I wrote the book I wanted to read to my own daughter, full of adventures and grown-up science, told in a way kids can understand. 

Jordan's book list on evolution for children

Jordan Bell Why did Jordan love this book?

The Story of Life is a good introduction to the history of life on Earth for younger readers. Introducing Earth from before life existed, it traces the changes in the planet as life begins to develop, then bloom, then flourish in every possible niche. There’s a thorough treatment of dinosaurs, which will be a favourite section for many readers. The illustrations are energetic, clever, and funny, with enough detail to let kids read and re-read as they catch every little interaction on each page. A handy time-tracker on the bottom left of each double-page spread keeps you oriented in time as you turn each page. Along with a glossary at the back, this book makes a great introduction to evolution for kids in the early primary years.  

By Catherine Barr, Steve Williams, Amy Husband (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Story of Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This wonderful book introduces children to the story of life and how it all began. Using bitesize text and beautifully bright illustrations this is the perfect book for budding scientists and those eager to learn more about our amazing planet.

Are you ready for an exciting and dramatic story about how life began and developed on Planet Earth? Packed full of fascinating facts and funny illustrations, this is the perfect introduction to life on earth for even the youngest of readers.

At first, nothing lived on Earth. It was a noisy, hot, scary place. Choking gas exploded from volcanoes and…


Book cover of Who Will It Be? How Evolution Connects Us All

Jordan Bell Author Of Aunt Jodie's Guide to Evolution

From my list on evolution for children.

Who am I?

As a kid, I never stopped asking “But why?” Learning the answers always led me to new questions, and I’ve been on a life-long journey to understand the world, and how everything works. I wanted to give the joy of discovery, and the empowerment of understanding, to a new generation of readers. The amazing story of evolution seemed to be a great starting point. I wrote the book I wanted to read to my own daughter, full of adventures and grown-up science, told in a way kids can understand. 

Jordan's book list on evolution for children

Jordan Bell Why did Jordan love this book?

A more conceptual connection to evolution, this creative book introduces the amazing fact of life and introduces young readers to the fact that all life on Earth is related. I love the way the vibrant illustrations track development from cells to creatures and show how humans, mammals, fish, reptiles, and birds are connected. With back matter to support adults to explain evolution in an age-appropriate way, this story can be a great introduction to answering the question “where do people come from?”

By Paola Vitale, Rossana Bossù (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Who Will It Be? How Evolution Connects Us All 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?

"This is a beautiful and important book—a reminder that humans are deeply connected with every other animal on this glorious planet." —Sy Montgomery, Naturalist and New York Times best selling author

If gills appear, will it be a fish? From fish to frogs to humans, Who Will It Be? introduces the theory of evolution, exploring connections between humans and all life on Earth.

Exploring the origin of animals from fish to frogs to humans, Who Will It Be? introduces Darwin’s theory of evolution to children with a simple, captivating story.

Vibrant illustrations and eye-catching primary colors transition the story, driving…


Book cover of When the Whales Walked: And Other Incredible Evolutionary Journeysvolume 1

Jordan Bell Author Of Aunt Jodie's Guide to Evolution

From my list on evolution for children.

Who am I?

As a kid, I never stopped asking “But why?” Learning the answers always led me to new questions, and I’ve been on a life-long journey to understand the world, and how everything works. I wanted to give the joy of discovery, and the empowerment of understanding, to a new generation of readers. The amazing story of evolution seemed to be a great starting point. I wrote the book I wanted to read to my own daughter, full of adventures and grown-up science, told in a way kids can understand. 

Jordan's book list on evolution for children

Jordan Bell Why did Jordan love this book?

A great follow-up book for older readers who want to delve into the detail of interesting stories from our evolutionary past. Beautifully illustrated with plenty of contextual information, this book tells some amazing stories of evolutionary changes from the fossil record, including reptiles growing wings, birds with teeth, tiny elephants, and the titular walking whales. It has some lovely detail about the changes to Earth itself over the millennia and speculates about future possibilities for evolution and extinction. 

By Dougal Dixon, Hannah Bailey (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When the Whales Walked as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

A 2019 Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students: K–12 (National Science Teachers Association and the Children's Book Council).

From the moment life crawled out of the oceans and onto land, to when our primate ancestors climbed down from the trees, the history of Planet Earth is filled with incredible stories. This beautifully illustrated guide explores some of the most exciting and incredible events in evolution, through 13 case studies.

Step back in time and discover a world where whales once walked, crocodiles were warm-blooded, and snakes had legs! Meet terrifying giant birds, and tiny elephants living on islands in this…


Book cover of Grand Canyon

Leslie Barnard Booth Author Of A Stone Is a Story

From my list on rocks and geology for children.

Who am I?

As a child growing up in the Pacific Northwest, my pockets were often full of rocks. Rocks are beautiful and soothing to hold. They are ubiquitous treasures, available to all. But even more than this, rocks are portals to the past—to a time before humans, before animals, before plants, before microbes. I am endlessly fascinated by the stories rocks tell and by the secrets they share with us through their form and structure. I still collect rocks, and now I also write picture books about science and nature for children. The books on this list are all wonder-filled. I hope you enjoy them!

Leslie's book list on rocks and geology for children

Leslie Barnard Booth Why did Leslie love this book?

I’m obsessed with time—how to define it, the way it reshapes all things, the sheer immensity of it. Rocks are our only link to Earth’s deep past, and we rely on the stories rocks tell to understand our planet’s history.

This nonfiction picture book offers a detailed introduction to the geology and ecology of one of Earth’s great natural wonders, showcasing the Grand Canyon’s distinct ecological communities and explaining its formation.

As a parent and child hike the canyon, we explore it alongside them, and through momentary leaps back in time, we see how the landscape and its inhabitants have changed over the course of more than 1 billion years.

By Jason Chin,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Grand Canyon 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?

Rivers wind through earth, cutting down and eroding the soil for millions of years, creating a cavity in the ground 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and more an a mile deep known as the Grand Canyon.

Home to an astonishing variety of plants and animals that have lived and evolved within its walls for millennia, the Grand Canyon is much more than just a hole in the ground. Follow a father and daughter as they make their way through the cavernous wonder, discovering life both present and past.

Weave in and out of time as perfectly placed die cuts…


Book cover of Earthshake: Poems from the Ground Up

Brenda Z. Guiberson Author Of Yours 'Til Niagara Falls

From my list on the fascinating and connected layers of world.

Who am I?

As a writer of dozens of books for children, I always learn much more that can go into each effort. A “wow” moment gets me started. It could be a giant cactus that grows so slowly, frogs that don’t ribbet, maybe a moment with a sea turtle, or thoughts on geology and natural wonders. Each book comes into a hazy focus after tons of research but much gets left out. What goes in? The best “wow” details get woven into an incredible story full of surprise, joy, and admiration for this world of constant change and those struggling to survive.

Brenda's book list on the fascinating and connected layers of world

Brenda Z. Guiberson Why did Brenda love this book?

Humor and poetry brought to the natural wonders of earth? Wow! This book has twenty-two poems such as “Recipe for Granite,” “Obituary for a Clam” and “Instructions for the Earth’s Dishwasher.” A favorite is a plea for a glacier, so sluggish and slow. “Just once, when no one is looking, peel out!” The illustrations are bright and fun and the endnotes provide extra information.

By Lisa Westberg Peters, Cathie Felstead (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Charles Darwin's on the Origin of Species

Pamela S. Turner Author Of How to Build a Human: In Seven Evolutionary Steps

From my list on children’s books about evolution.

Who am I?

Life really is stranger than fiction, and some of the stuff served up by evolution is outrageously bizarre. There are one-celled creatures that make rats want to cozy up to cats, a parasitic worm that turns snails into “disco zombies” and an ape that communicates across continents by pushing keys to create rows and columns of pixels. I’m fascinated by all of these creatures and love writing books for children about evolutionary biology, especially the evolution of intelligence. Besides authoring How to Build a Human, I’ve written about the evolution of intelligence in dolphins (The Dolphins of Shark Bay) and crows (Crow Smarts: Inside the Brain of the World’s Brightest Bird).

Pamela's book list on children’s books about evolution

Pamela S. Turner Why did Pamela love this book?

If you want to understand evolution, it certainly helps to know how and where the theory of evolution originated. This picture book rendition of Darwin’s classic work – the foundational text of all modern biology – explains Darwin’s explorations, the process of natural selection, and the common descent of all living things. The direct quotes from Darwin’s own writings are a nice touch, as are the charming illustrations. It doesn’t hurt that the writer/illustrator is a molecular biologist. 

By Sabina Radeva,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Charles Darwin's on the Origin of Species 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 picture book adaptation of Charles Darwin's groundbreaking On the Origin of Species, lushly illustrated and told in accessible and engaging easy-to-understand text for young readers.

On the Origin of Species revolutionized our understanding of the natural world. Now young readers can discover Charles Darwin's groundbreaking theory of evolution for themselves in this stunning picture-book adaptation that uses stylish illustrations and simple text to introduce how species form, develop, and change over time.


Book cover of Darwin's Armada: Four Voyages and the Battle for the Theory of Evolution

Edith Forbes Author Of Tracking a Shadow: My Lived Experiment with MS

From my list on curious people on the hunt for new knowledge.

Who am I?

As a novelist, I am endlessly curious about people and like hearing their stories. As an erstwhile computer programmer and farmer, I also have a lifelong interest in science and natural history. When I find those two divergent interests have cross-pollinated in a single gracefully-written book, I am a very happy reader. I love books that weave together an intriguing scientific question with the human story of the scientists pursuing an answer to that question.

Edith's book list on curious people on the hunt for new knowledge

Edith Forbes Why did Edith love this book?

Almost everyone knows the name of Charles Darwin, but how many of us know about Thomas Huxley? The reality is that Darwin’s brilliant leap of insight was only one step in bringing the theory of evolution into common knowledge. People don’t readily embrace a new idea that turns their entire worldview on its head, and Darwin alone could not have overcome the inertia and outright hostility that greeted his new theory. Darwin’s Armada is a delightful account of a larger cast of characters whose scientific efforts, exploratory voyages, and intriguing personalities were part of the story of this revolution in human thought.

By Iain McCalman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Darwin's Armada as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Award-winning cultural historian Iain McCalman tells the stories of Charles Darwin and his staunchest supporters: Joseph Hooker, Thomas Huxley, and Alfred Wallace. Beginning with the somber morning of April 26, 1882-the day of Darwin's funeral-Darwin's Armada steps back and recounts the lives and scientific discoveries of each of these explorers, who campaigned passionately in the war of ideas over evolution and advanced the scope of Darwin's work.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in evolution, evolutionary biology, and Charles Darwin?

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