100 books like Why Elephants Have Big Ears

By Chris Lavers,

Here are 100 books that Why Elephants Have Big Ears fans have personally recommended if you like Why Elephants Have Big Ears . 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 What People Wore When: A Complete Illustrated History of Costume from Ancient Times to the Nineteenth Century for Every Level of Society

Kevin Cornell Author Of New in Town

From my list on world-building.

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe stories to be our species’ instinctual tool for discovering our best selves. Sometimes those stories are about real people in the past, sometimes they’re completely imagined people in the future — sometimes we even swap out the humans for animals or aliens, or sassy anthropomorphized objects. Whatever the case, for a story to work its wonders, its details must be believable, or we reject its premise. These books help make a story believable, and, if you get the alchemy just right, those details can even help tell the story themselves.

Kevin's book list on world-building

Kevin Cornell Why did Kevin love this book?

This is a pretty exhaustive study of how humans garb themselves, and how function, wealth and technology all influence fashion. Whether you’re telling the a tale of a doughty Georgian lace merchant, or the harrowing adventures of an inter-dimensional jazz band, you’re probably going to put your heroes in some sort of clothing, and this book gives you insight into all the various ways humans have found to do that.

By Melissa Leventon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What People Wore When as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What People Wore When combines the studies of two classic nineteenth-century illustrators Auguste Racinet and Friedrich Hottenroth for the first time. Their works are presented first by chronology and then by subject, so that illustrators, historians, and students alike can choose to follow the path of fashion through the centuries, or study in detail the contrasting styles of individual clothing and accessories. Silhouettes reveal the shape of style through the ages, detailed cross-references draw attention to recurring motifs, and navigation bars help the researcher to travel the complex chronology of costume.

With authoritative narrative from leading experts in the history…


Book cover of The Grammar of Ornament: All 100 Color Plates from the Great Victorian Sourcebook of Historic Design

Kevin Cornell Author Of New in Town

From my list on world-building.

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe stories to be our species’ instinctual tool for discovering our best selves. Sometimes those stories are about real people in the past, sometimes they’re completely imagined people in the future — sometimes we even swap out the humans for animals or aliens, or sassy anthropomorphized objects. Whatever the case, for a story to work its wonders, its details must be believable, or we reject its premise. These books help make a story believable, and, if you get the alchemy just right, those details can even help tell the story themselves.

Kevin's book list on world-building

Kevin Cornell Why did Kevin love this book?

Clothing isn’t the only residue a culture and its people leave behind. Humans are natural pattern makers, and those patterns often give important insight into what those people value, as well as what fills their natural environment. Materials, dyes, tools… all these things have an influence on how a culture decorates their world and themselves. Patterns are a very subtle way to underscore a moment in a story.

By Owen Jones,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This beautiful, highly influential book, long a classic in its field, remains today one of the most comprehensive and best-organized presentations of historic ornamental design. The original 100 color plates, meticulously reproduced here from the rare original folio edition, present a dazzling spectrum of copyright-free design motifs from both ancient and modern cultures. The Grammar of Ornament features designs from around the world: the West to the Far East and many cultures in between.

Graphic and fine artists will find nearly three thousand designs rendered in fine detail from a variety of sources:

Greek and Roman borders and mosaics Celtic…


Book cover of Mapping the World: An Illustrated History of Cartography

Kevin Cornell Author Of New in Town

From my list on world-building.

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe stories to be our species’ instinctual tool for discovering our best selves. Sometimes those stories are about real people in the past, sometimes they’re completely imagined people in the future — sometimes we even swap out the humans for animals or aliens, or sassy anthropomorphized objects. Whatever the case, for a story to work its wonders, its details must be believable, or we reject its premise. These books help make a story believable, and, if you get the alchemy just right, those details can even help tell the story themselves.

Kevin's book list on world-building

Kevin Cornell Why did Kevin love this book?

You get a lot of insight into a culture from the maps they create. Not only how they view themselves, but how they view others around them. There have been times in history when cultures weren’t even concerned with their maps being geographically accurate— they were a tool for teaching religion, or indulging a yearning for the fantastic. This book gives an excellent overview as to the many ways humans have used, and designed, maps throughout the centuries.

By Ralph E. Ehrenberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mapping the World is a one-of-a-kind collection of cartographic treasures that spans thousands of years and many cultures, from an ancient Babylonian map of the world etched on clay to the latest high-tech maps of the earth, seas, and the skies above. With more than one hundred maps and other illustrations and an introduction and running commentary by Ralph E. Ehrenberg, this book tells a fascinating story of geographic discovery, scientific invention, and the art and technique of mapmaking.

Mapping the World is organized chronologically with a brief introduction that places the maps in their historical context. Special "portfolios" within…


Book cover of A Museum of Early American Tools

Kevin Cornell Author Of New in Town

From my list on world-building.

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe stories to be our species’ instinctual tool for discovering our best selves. Sometimes those stories are about real people in the past, sometimes they’re completely imagined people in the future — sometimes we even swap out the humans for animals or aliens, or sassy anthropomorphized objects. Whatever the case, for a story to work its wonders, its details must be believable, or we reject its premise. These books help make a story believable, and, if you get the alchemy just right, those details can even help tell the story themselves.

Kevin's book list on world-building

Kevin Cornell Why did Kevin love this book?

Nothing angers me more than when a book tries to explain something in words when it can be communicated much more effectively through illustration. That’s the beauty of Eric Sloane. The man visually recorded everything from weather phenomena to architecture to tools of bygone eras. I’m recommending the book A Museum of Early American Tools because its the one I’ve found the most useful, but I recommend checking out any of his books. At the very least, it can help you appreciate how those design decisions we take for granted— the roof of a barn, or the shape of a hammer handle— were honed by a balance of tradition, practicality, and circumstance.

By Eric Sloane,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Museum of Early American Tools as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This absorbing and profusely illustrated book describes in detail scores of early American tools and the wooden and metal artifacts made with them. Informally and expressively written, the text covers bulding tools and methods; farm and kitchen implements; and the tools of curriers, wheelwrights, coopers, blacksmiths, coachmakers, loggers, tanners, and many other craftsmen of the pre-industrial age. Scores of pen-and-ink sketches by the author accurately depict "special tools for every job," among them a hollowing gouge, hay fork, cornering chisel, apple butter paddle, boring auger, mortising chisel, a holding dog, hauling sledge, winnowing tray, reaping hooks, splitting wedge, felling axe,…


Book cover of Ten Million Aliens: A Journey Through the Entire Animal Kingdom

Melissa Washburn Author Of Draw Like an Artist: 100 Birds, Butterflies, and Other Insects: Step-By-Step Realistic Line Drawing - A Sourcebook for Aspiring Artists and Designers

From my list on natural history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York and spent many weekends hiking, camping, and fishing with my parents. Identifying and understanding the plants and animals around me was always interesting, and this love of nature has stayed with me as an adult. I now live near Lake Michigan and am an avid hiker, birdwatcher, and an Indiana Master Naturalist. I take endless inspiration from the natural world in my illustration work and believe that co-existing with, respecting, and preserving the natural world is central not just to the integrity of our planet, but to our very humanity.

Melissa's book list on natural history

Melissa Washburn Why did Melissa love this book?

This book is probably my favorite among natural history reading I’ve come across. A chance encounter at the library, I ended up buying a copy for myself as well as gifting it to several friends. Barnes weaves together short vignettes about science, observation, and personal encounters with nature organized from the tiniest life forms to some of the largest. Biologist JBS Haldane once said, “The universe is not only stranger than we imagine; it is stranger than we can imagine.” This book proves it with memorable anecdotes and a wonderful sense of kinship and compassion for life both like us and completely unlike us.

By Simon Barnes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Life on Planet Earth is not weirder than we imagine. It's weirder than we are capable of imagining. Ten Million Aliens opens your eyes to the real marvels of the planet we live on.


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 An Anthology of Intriguing Animals

María José Fitzgerald Author Of Turtles of the Midnight Moon

From my list on animal and nature-loving-empaths who are curious.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up near the outskirts of a lush Honduran cloud forest, I remember searching for magic in the woods, a fairy behind the waterfall, and an emerald quetzal bird in the canopy. I have always been a lover of nature, ecology, and wildlife, and I appreciate how each of these five books speaks to the passion that I have for ecology in a unique way. From fantastical rabbits to hidden systems we all rely on, to turtles and whales and the entire animal kingdom, these books will resonate with those of us who believe that we each have a place in our interconnected planet.

Maria's book list on animal and nature-loving-empaths who are curious

María José Fitzgerald Why did Maria love this book?

I was that kid who liked grabbing the encyclopedia and reading it for fun. My husband did the same thing.

This gorgeous “encyclopedia-like” anthology is filled with beautiful illustrations and funny writing. I love grabbing it and reading a page here and there to learn a new fact or to simply appreciate a creature I might never have read anything about!

Did you know that some parrotfish make a sleeping bag out of slime to spend the night in? Or that sloths are surprisingly good swimmers who cross fast-moving rivers doing the doggy paddle? Ben Hoare’s writing is simple, informative, and fun! I appreciate the graphic design and colorful images that “pop” off the page. 

By Ben Hoare,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Anthology of Intriguing Animals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

Reveal the stories behind your favourite creatures with this awe-inspiring animal book for curious kids aged 6-8.

The animal kingdom is so much bigger than young minds can fathom and there is always more to learn. An Anthology of Intriguing Animals is a stunning animal encyclopedia for young readers to explore, with reference pages packed with fascinating information, little learners will be captivated as they discover the facts, stories and myths behind their favourite animals. Whether it's where the slow-motion sloth lives, how the plodding pangolin protects itself from predators, or which animal the Ancient Egyptians thought rolled the Sun…


Book cover of Animals and Where They Live

Laura Hulbert Author Of Who Has These Feet?

From my list on animal adaptations for young readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a child, I saw a grasshopper doing the sidestroke in the ocean and it sparked my interest in animal behavior. Though I still don’t know if all grasshoppers do the sidestroke, I’ve learned a lot about animal adaptations since then. And I’ve learned a lot about what motivates young readers from my years as a reading specialist and a classroom teacher. I’ve put that knowledge to work in my two popular books: Who Has These Feet? and Who Has This Tail?

Laura's book list on animal adaptations for young readers

Laura Hulbert Why did Laura love this book?

There are lots of animal encyclopedias out there, but none compares to this Dorling Kindersly book. Each double-page spread focuses on a particular biome. The illustration takes up most of the page and depicts the inhabitants assembled in naturalistic poses. Along the borders of the page are labels and short paragraphs about each of the animals. Topics related to a particular biome are included: Surviving the Cold, The Burrowers, etc. The Life in the Mountains and The Ocean Depths sections show the different levels in which animals live. This is a book to be gazed at long and luxuriously, preferably on a lap.

By John Feltwell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Animals and Where They Live as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

so cool HB children's book


Book cover of In the Wild

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?

This book proves that poetry is thoughtful, succinct, and beautiful to read – and most importantly, accessible to all. From elephants and cheetahs to American bison and polar bears, David distills the essence of each animal into short poems that are brimming with insight and wit. While all of David’s books in this series are wonderful, In the Wild was one of the first and remains one of the best.

By David Elliott, Holly Meade (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Wild 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 stunning combination of poems and illustrations celebrating some of Earth’s wildest and most beautiful creatures.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

The stellar team who brought us On the Farm presents a companion book evoking creatures of the wild in simple, clever poems and vibrant woodcuts. From the lion standing alone on the African savannah to the panda in a bamboo forest, from the rhinoceros with its boot-like face to the Arctic polar bear disappearing in the snow, David Elliott’s pithy verse and Holly Meade’s stunning woodcut and watercolor illustrations reveal a world of remarkable beauty and wonder.


Book cover of The Song that Sings Us

Linda Newbery Author Of This Book Is Cruelty Free: Animals and Us

From my list on animals and us.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm mainly known as an author of fiction for young readers, but animal awareness is an important part of my life and I decided to write about it.  I’ve been vegetarian for many years, and vegan for the last four: I decided long ago that no animal was going to die so that I could eat it. From early childhood, I loved animal stories, and as I grew older it baffled me that we care for our pets while thinking of other creatures as food. I spend a lot of my time campaigning for animals – for better treatment of farm animals, against bloodsports like fox-hunting and shooting, and for better awareness of the natural world and how we must look after it. 

Linda's book list on animals and us

Linda Newbery Why did Linda love this book?

This is an epic adventure story with a strong environmental theme, set in an alternative world. A harsh government, the Automators, trains citizens to think of the whole natural world – animals, plants, everything – as theirs to use and exploit. Set against them is a group of specially gifted people, the Listeners, who can tune in to animal minds and share their thoughts. But this ability is a dangerous one, as anyone found to be a Listener can be imprisoned and brainwashed. Harlon, Ash, Zeno, and their mother are part of a resistance group called Green Thorn, which tunes into an unseen network that connects all living things. This is an exciting story that’s also moving and poetic – and the story will continue!

By Nicola Davies,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Song that Sings Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When animals talk, it's time humans listened: Harlon has been raised to protect her younger siblings, twins Ash and Xeno, and their outlawed power of communicating with animals. But when the sinister Automators attack their mountain home they must flee for their lives. Xeno is kidnapped and Harlon and Ash are separated. In a thrilling and dangerous adventure they must all journey alone through the ice fields, forests and oceans of Rumyc to try to rescue each other and fulfil a mysterious promise about a lost island made to their mother. A stunning environmental epic with cover and chapter illustrations…


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