The best books about beetles

Who picked these books? Meet our 26 experts.

26 authors created a book list connected to beetles, and here are their favorite beetle books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission

What type of beetle book?



By Elise Broach, Kelly Murphy (illustrator),

Book cover of Masterpiece

Wendy McLeod MacKnight Author Of The Frame-Up

From the list on middle grade that promote a love of art.

Who am I?

I’ve been obsessed with art since I was a kid. When I look at art, I see stories, not just about what I’m seeing, but about what it was like when the painting was created: was the artist tired, grumpy, frustrated? Why’d they paint it the way they did? Sadly, my artistic talent is limited, but fortunately, I can tell stories. After visiting William Orpen’s painting of Mona Dunn at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, I couldn’t help wondering why he made her look so pensive. The only way I could answer that question was by writing my own story about Mona and the other paintings in the gallery!

Wendy's book list on middle grade that promote a love of art

Discover why each book is one of Wendy's favorite books.

Why did Wendy love this book?

A middle-grade novel about an artistic beetle? Sign me up. This delightful story of a talented beetle named Marvin, his human friend James, who work together to help the Metropolitan Museum of Art recover a stolen artwork is delightful, thrilling, and heartwarming. It’s not always easy to have (or not have) artistic talent!

By Elise Broach, Kelly Murphy (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A New York Times bestselling middle grade mystery novel full of adventure, friendship, and stolen art.

Marvin lives with his family under the kitchen sink in the Pompadays' apartment. He is very much a beetle. James Pompaday lives with his family in New York City. He is very much an eleven-year-old boy. After James gets a pen-and-ink set for his birthday, Marvin surprises him by creating an elaborate miniature drawing. James gets all the credit for the picture and before these unlikely friends know it they are caught up in a staged art heist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art…

Empire in Black and Gold

By Adrian Tchaikovsky,

Book cover of Empire in Black and Gold

Rohan Monteiro Author Of Keep Calm and Go Crazy: A Guide to Finding Your Inner Hero

From the list on fantasy that is off the beaten path.

Who am I?

I've been passionate about Fantasy ever since I found a used copy of the Dragonlance Chronicles in a second-hand book store in India. I was 10 years old and immediately fell in love with the idea of fantasy worlds with magic and dragons. Soon after I read Terry Brooks, Neil Gaiman, Piers Anthony, RA Salvatore, Edgar Burroughs, and a host of other writers from the 1980s. What I like about the books I've chosen is that these characters are memorable. They are stories that can be re-read because the plot doesn't feel like rehashed tropes. The uniqueness of the settings, the challenges they face, and the solutions they engineer are what make them worth reading.

Rohan's book list on fantasy that is off the beaten path

Discover why each book is one of Rohan's favorite books.

Why did Rohan love this book?

Ten glorious books about deceitful spiders, brave dragonflies, and steadfast beetles. In a world where people possess the traits of different insects, the wasps are expanding their empire. One lone beetle decides to challenge them. Shadows of the Apt turns traditional fantasy on its head by bringing together a whole new set of protagonists - Mantis who are skilled swordsmen beyond compare, Spiders who can craft deceitful webs of intrigue, Ants who can operate within a hive mind, and the like. The storytelling is unique for never before have there been characters like this, on a scale as massive as the insect kingdom.

By Adrian Tchaikovsky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Empire in Black and Gold as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Empire in Black and Gold is the first instalment in the critically-acclaimed fantasy series Shadows of the Apt by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

The days of peace are over . . .

The Lowlands' city states have lived in peace for decades, hailed as bastions of civilization. Yet that peace is about to end. A distant empire has been conquering neighbours with highly trained soldiers and sophisticated combat techniques. And the city states are its desirable new prize.

Only the ageing Stenwold Maker - spymaster, artificer and statesman - foresees the threat, as the empires' armies march ever closer. So it falls…

The Metamorphosis

By Franz Kafka, Stanley Corngold (translator),

Book cover of The Metamorphosis

Robert Pettus Author Of Abry.

From the list on cultivating meaning in the face of societal absurdity.

Who am I?

Growing up in a rural area influenced by both Protestantism and Catholicism, I found that the daily habits of devoutly religious people were often contradictory to the basic practices of their religion. I also discovered that people were every day forced to adjust their beliefs and behaviors depending on which microcosm within the culture they were in at a given moment participating. People unable to play by these ever-shifting cultural rules would quickly lose respect. This scared the hell out of me, as I was never good at adjusting to different social situations on the fly, but I also found it interesting, and it therefore became the primary theme of my book. 

Robert's book list on cultivating meaning in the face of societal absurdity

Discover why each book is one of Robert's favorite books.

Why did Robert love this book?

If there’s one thing human societies tend to fear to the point of hatred, it’s a stark departure from what is considered normal in terms of physical appearance.

Most people prefer rules and routine; they prefer order even if that order is nonsensical or illogical. Anything that breaks with this routine—even in terms of its appearance—is a source of stress and thereafter banishment. Kafka best describes this bizarre reality when Gregor Samsa wakes up and realizes he’s transformed into a massive bug.

I think most teens probably, at some point in their life, feel similarly to Gregor.  

By Franz Kafka, Stanley Corngold (translator),

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Metamorphosis as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.”

With this  startling, bizarre, yet surprisingly funny first sentence, Kafka begins his masterpiece, The  Metamorphosis. It is the story of a  young man who, transformed overnight into a giant  beetlelike insect, becomes an object of disgrace to  his family, an outsider in his own home, a  quintessentially alienated man. A harrowing—though  absurdly comic—meditation on human feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and isolation, The  Metamorphosis has taken its place as one  of the most widely read and influential works of  twentieth-century…

Knee-Deep in Thunder

By Sheila Moon, Peter Parnall (illustrator),

Book cover of Knee-Deep in Thunder

Rebecca Chace Author Of June Sparrow and the Million-Dollar Penny

From the list on to reach for in the middle of the night.

Who am I?

I'm a writer who has mostly written books for adults, as well as plays and screenplays, and June Sparrow and the Million Dollar Penny is my only book for children (so far). Though I read a lot of adult literature I have never stopped reading children's books. I always keep a "comfort" book on my bedside table for the middle of the night. I think that a really well-written, timeless children's book can teach us, comfort us, and take us on a journey. No matter what age you may be, I hope that you will read these books, or revisit them even if you think you are "too old" for children's books.

Rebecca's book list on to reach for in the middle of the night

Discover why each book is one of Rebecca's favorite books.

Why did Rebecca love this book?

This is a book I reach for if I wake up in the middle of the night, feeling worried or anxious, and I just want to go to another world. The lead character is a young girl who is brave and kind (but not perfect!) who enters a magical world by accident. This world turns out to be made up of many of the elements of our own world that we may not notice—ants, beetles, spiders, and other creatures (not all insects, but these insects are wonderful). They become part of a band of adventurers who face an epic hero's journey with a strong message about how to stand by each other, without being corny or predictable.

This is an older book, published in 1969 by a Native American author who draws on Navajo mythology. I recently re-read it myself, and it was one of those books that I couldn't…

By Sheila Moon, Peter Parnall (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Knee-Deep in Thunder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In service Maris finds danger, absurdity, joy, deep friendship. What happens in the Great Land may be a paradigm for what could happen on earth. "If it is done with courage it leads a heart home." First published over 20 years ago by Atheneum Press, Knee Deep in Thunder and Hunt Down the Prize have been reprinted now together with the first printing of Deepest Roots. This first book in the trilogy begins Maris' adventures informed by Navajo mythology and a deep stream of age-old wisdom; but her problems and questions all belong to today. Originally written for young people,…

Book cover of The Heyday of Natural History, 1820-1870

Michael Layland Author Of In Nature's Realm: Early Naturalists Explore Vancouver Island

From the list on the history of natural history.

Who am I?

In Nature’s Realm is my third book on the theme of exploration of Vancouver Island, my home for the past thirty years, and my first focussed on the history of natural history. In it, I call upon decades of experience in mapping hitherto scarcely known parts of the world, combined with a keen fascination with the fauna and flora of the many places where I have lived and worked. I have marvelled at the work of the exploring naturalists and am fascinated with their personal histories. I find it enthralling how they each added to the sum of human knowledge of the wonders of the natural world, now so sadly threatened.

Michael's book list on the history of natural history

Discover why each book is one of Michael's favorite books.

Why did Michael love this book?

I found this delightful, well-written account of great interest and reference. It covers the widespread passion for all aspects of natural history during the Victorian era, how the collectors of ferns, seashells, birds’ eggs, and skins, butterflies, beetles, orchids, and all manner of curiosities from the natural world, pursued their hobbies. This general acceptance by society led to the formation of clubs, articles, and even specialist journals and popular lectures by amateurs and scientists.

Beautifully illustrated, this book, even though constrained in its timeframe, provides a wonderful introduction to the topic. Since I cover many of the people and motives included here, I much enjoyed another writer’s perspective on them.

By Lynn Barber,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Heyday of Natural History, 1820-1870 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First American Edition. "Generously illustrated and impeccably researched, "The Heyday of Natural History" is a highly informative look at a fascinating slice of Victorian culture and scientific history, and the scholars of the Victorian period will find it illuminating. . .Lynn Barber writes primarily for the general reader, and no one can fail to enjoy her witty style, and the rich gallery of eccentrics she describes."

Book cover of The Everlasting Story of Nory

Lawrence J. Cohen Author Of Unplug and Play: The Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Roughhousing with Your Kids

From the list on to help you remember what it was like to be a child.

Who am I?

One of the main things I do for work is encourage parents to awaken their playful and empathic hearts and play with their kids—roughhousing play, dramatic play, games—and really listen to their kids. The connection this brings is unmistakable, and irreplaceable. Because so many adults, myself included, seem to have forgotten what it was like to be a child, I am always amazed when someone gets it. These are five books that brought me back there, from writers who somehow remembered, and share that understanding with compassion. (I was limited to books, but if I could have included a movie I would recommend C’mon C’mon.)

Lawrence's book list on to help you remember what it was like to be a child

Discover why each book is one of Lawrence's favorite books.

Why did Lawrence love this book?

I read every Nicholson Baker book as soon as it arrives, and not just because I knew him before he published his first short story.

My favorite novels of his explore what it is to be a thinking (and sometimes, overthinking) human being.

In The Everlasting Story of Nory, he applies his wit and wisdom to the mind of a nine-year-old girl, and he captures beautifully what that time of life is like.

By Nicholson Baker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Our supreme fabulist of the ordinary now turns his attention on a 9-year-old American girl and produces a novel as enchantingly idiosyncratic as any he has written. Nory Winslow wants to be a dentist or a designer of pop-up books. She likes telling stories and inventing dolls. She has nightmares about teeth, which may explain her career choice. She is going to school in England, where she is mocked for her accent and her friendship with an unpopular girl, and she has made it through the year without crying.

Nicholson Baker follows Nory as she interacts with her parents and…

Group Hug

By Jean Reidy, Joey Chou (illustrator),

Book cover of Group Hug

Sandra Horning Author Of The Giant Hug

From the list on children’s books about hugs.

Who am I?

As a children’s author of board books through picture books (Baby Code series, Chicks!, Bizarre Birds, and The Biggest Pumpkin) and as a librarian, I love books that make children feel good and loved. When I was working on my picture book The Giant Hug, I researched what other hug books had been published. There weren’t many back in 2002, but I continued to be on the lookout even after mine was published. I’m happy to report that there are quite a few hug books out there now, spreading love, hugs, and kindness to readers of all ages. We all need them!   

Sandra's book list on children’s books about hugs

Discover why each book is one of Sandra's favorite books.

Why did Sandra love this book?

Jean Reidy’s Group Hug begins with a slug “needing someone to hug.” Slug offers a hug to a lonely beetle and together they then offer a hug to a mouse. The circle of comfort grows with animals of different sizes and emotions. When a bear comes along, the group is afraid, but slug presses on to include the bear. Reidy’s rhyming text and Chou’s bright art beautifully show that both the hugger and huggee experience joy from the hug. This makes another great story time read to spread kindness and understanding. 

By Jean Reidy, Joey Chou (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What do we all need when we're feeling down? yes, that's right, a group hug!
A slug is the unlikely hero of this feel-good tale: "You need a hug? I have one," said Slug, "to keep your heart snug!" More and more sad-looking animals arrive, and one by one slug persuades each to join the group hug until a scary looking bear turns up. But who will be brave enough to hug bear?
A wonderful read-aloud book with irresistible rhyme, vibrant nature scenes and huggable animals.

Beetle Boy

By M. G. Leonard,

Book cover of Beetle Boy

Virginia Clay Author Of Warrior Boy

From the list on told from the point of view of animals.

Who am I?

I live in Nairobi, and my first book, Warrior Boy, is set here in Kenya. I live in a house that used to be an animal foster home. The previous owner left, but some of the non-human residents remained, including a gazelle, 25 tortoises, six cats, two dogs, a monkey, a snake, some fish, guinea pigs, and chickens. They all have such diverse personalities, and my children and I will often amuse each other by performing whole scenes involving the various animals and their voices. I could not help but write my next book, Forever Home, from their perspective. I hope you enjoy my book recommendations, all of which have helped me write my book. 

Virginia's book list on told from the point of view of animals

Discover why each book is one of Virginia's favorite books.

Why did Virginia love this book?

Technically, Beetle Boy is not told from an animal’s POV (or even a beetle’s POV for that matter), but an important part of the main human character’s journey is that he learns how to understand what the beetles are saying. Young people have a special ability to communicate with animals, and because you are reading this, it is highly likely you are one of those. So, please enjoy this super fun, heartwarming tale, and be encouraged that if you think you understand animals—you probably do. Conversely, if you think I am ridiculous, then I suggest you learn how to listen to animals and minibeasts as soon as possible. You don’t want to become one of those adults Roald Dhal calls “stodgy” now do you?

By M. G. Leonard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this “hugely entertaining adventure with . . . characters worthy of Roald Dahl,” a boy searches for his father with help from an extraordinary beetle (The Guardian).

Darkus Cuttle can’t believe his eyes when a huge insect drops off the pants leg of his horrible new neighbor. It’s a giant beetle—and it seems to want to communicate with him. But how can a boy be friends with a beetle? And what does a beetle have to do with the disappearance of his dad and the arrival of the terrifying Lucretia Cutter, with her taste for creepy fashion?

The first…

Book cover of How to Tell If You Are Human: Diagram Poems

Mark Yakich Author Of Poetry: A Survivor's Guide

From the list on poems for people who don’t usually read them.

Who am I?

As a child I did not enjoy reading of any kind, detested English class, and loathed poetry in particular. I simply couldn’t comprehend what relevance poems had to my life. Then, while living overseas, in my mid-twenties in a country in which I didn’t speak the language well and had no friends, I took refuge in an English-language bookstore. There, I would find the slimmest books I could find, which happened to be poetry collections, and I’d pull one down hoping for commiseration. At some point, I realized that I could make certain friends with certain poems. Twenty-five years of growing friendships later, now I read and write poetry for a living.  

Mark's book list on poems for people who don’t usually read them

Discover why each book is one of Mark's favorite books.

Why did Mark love this book?

This book will challenge your notion of what a poem is or can be. Let it. Subtitled “Diagram poems,” these works mix both word and illustration to get at their playful effects. The illustrations come from “found” or ephemeral sources, e.g., a manual on textiles, or a guide to common beetles of North America, or a grammar on computer languages, or the layouts of American playgrounds. The interplay in the poems creates a wonderful uncanniness. The friction, say, caused when you read “You are special” next to a few numbered puzzle pieces in Figure A. and “Everyone is special” next to a completed puzzle in Figure B, and yet when you try to superimpose the one on the other, you realize that some of the pieces have had to adjust themselves to fit the whole. The sudden epiphany is: How special is anyone? And yet answering that question…

By Jessy Randall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Tell If You Are Human as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With an entirely new approach to poetry and the art of collage, Jessy Randall transforms diagrams, schematics, charts, graphs, and other visual documents from very old books into poems that speak to the absurdities, anxieties, and joys of life in this modern age.

Miss Benson's Beetle

By Rachel Joyce,

Book cover of Miss Benson's Beetle

Penny Haw Author Of The Woman at the Wheel

From the list on historical fiction on women who follow their dreams.

Who am I?

My maternal grandmother was an unconventional woman and a feminist in every way that matters. Although she was raised according to Victorian norms when girls were expected to remain in patriarchal shadows, she was fiercely independent. She was my hero and encouraged me to forge my own future. She also nurtured in me a love of reading and writing, which led to me becoming a journalist and author. My grandmother and I shared a great love of animals. It’s no coincidence that my debut historical fiction, The Invincible Miss Cust is based on the true story of Britain and Ireland’s first female veterinary surgeon. I’m intrigued by strong, interesting women driven to follow their dreams.   

Penny's book list on historical fiction on women who follow their dreams

Discover why each book is one of Penny's favorite books.

Why did Penny love this book?

Reading should be fun, and this is fun! Margery Benson is a woman after my own heart. She’s impulsive, stubborn, and independent.

I cheered her on as she gave up her frustrating job and boring life in England to go on an expedition to the other side of the world in search of a beetle, which may or may not be a myth. Along with her lively assistant, Enid Pretty, Miss Benson encounters some hair-raising challenges that compel her to break rules and discover a new self.

Miss Benson’s Beetle is a rollicking adventure story, which explores what it is to be an unconventional woman. It’s full of unexpected turns but is also a gentle study of a friendship that flouts convention. Everyone needs friends like Miss Benson and Enid.

By Rachel Joyce,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Miss Benson's Beetle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'The perfect escape novel for our troubled times.' PATRICK GALE

It is 1950. In a devastating moment of clarity, Margery Benson abandons her dead-end job and advertises for an assistant to accompany her on an expedition. She is going to travel to the other side of the world to search for a beetle that may or may not exist.
Enid Pretty, in her unlikely pink travel suit, is not the companion Margery had in…

The Origin of Feces

By David Waltner-Toews,

Book cover of The Origin of Feces: What Excrement Tells Us about Evolution, Ecology, and a Sustainable Society

Lina Zeldovich Author Of The Other Dark Matter: The Science and Business of Turning Waste Into Wealth and Health

From the list on the wild and wacky science of human waste.

Who am I?

Born and raised in Russia, I watched my grandfather fertilize our family’s organic orchard with composted sewage every fall. “You have to feed the earth the way you feed people,” he said, essentially describing what today we call a circular economy. I thought the whole world did the same—until I grew up and learned that most people flush their humanure down the toilet. That hurts the planet’s ecology in multiple ways. It depletes farmlands that must be replenished by syntenic fertilizers which are polluting to produce, and it overfertilizes rivers, lakes, and the ocean, causing toxic algae blooms. I wanted humans to know about People’s Own Organic Power aka POOP!

Lina's book list on the wild and wacky science of human waste

Discover why each book is one of Lina's favorite books.

Why did Lina love this book?

I love this book because it turns everything we think we know about poo on its head. If there was one definitive pathogen-laden substance your mother told you to never touch, poop is it! We’re all naturally disgusted by it. But feces, whether human or animal, are as natural as air, and are absolutely essential for thriving ecosystems, for soil health, and even for climate change. In nature, what’s one species trash is the other species treasure, and no one portrays this better than David Waltner-Toews, as he describes why dung beetles feast on doodies and why some animals eat their own droppings. The planet has a use for everybody’s poo, including ours, so you will have a newfound appreciation of excrement after reading this book. 

By David Waltner-Toews,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Origin of Feces takes an important subject out of locker-rooms, potty-training manuals, and bio-solids management boardrooms into the fresh air of everyone’s lives. With insight and wit, David Waltner-Toews explores what has been too often ignored and makes a compelling argument for a deeper understanding of human and animal waste. Approaching the subject from a variety of perspectives ― evolutionary, ecological, and cultural ― The Origin of Feces shows us how integral excrement is to biodiversity, agriculture, public health, food production and distribution, and global ecosystems. From the primordial ooze to dung beetles, from bug frass, cat scats, and…

Mimic Makers

By Kristen Nordstrom, Paul Boston (illustrator),

Book cover of Mimic Makers: Biomimicry Inventors Inspired by Nature

Natascha Biebow Author Of The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons

From the list on inventors.

Who am I?

I love to get kids fired up about true stories, using their imaginations and believing in themselves as future innovators, inventors, and creators. Crayola crayons inventor Edwin Binney's story is a fabulous springboard for exploring nature, color and creativity. I love to draw and make stuff just like Binney, so his story resonated with me. The more I researched, the more I admired how he listened to what people needed and looked to nature for inspiration. I am intrigued by the origins of everyday objects. Here are some books that inspired me when I was writing, and that have that fascinating a-ha moment that spurs on innovation.

Natascha's book list on inventors

Discover why each book is one of Natascha's favorite books.

Why did Natascha love this book?

Featuring ten inventions inspired by nature, this book explores how scientists, architects, and engineers can find innovative solutions right there, in the world around them. For example, the shape of the kingfisher’s beak helped to design a quieter, speed-busting Japanese train, and the tiny Namibian beetle, a way to collect drinking water in the desert. At a time when people are increasingly disconnected from nature and our planet is endangered, these true stories are a fantastic and humbling reminder of how clever nature really is and what we can gain if we stop to look, listen and innovate. 

By Kristen Nordstrom, Paul Boston (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Mimic Makers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Young readers will be captivated by the contemporary inventors and inventions featured, and inspired to incorporate biomimicry into their own designs.”
—Miranda Paul, author of One Plastic Bag and Water is Water

Who's the best teacher for scientists, engineers, AND designers? Mother nature, of course!

When an inventor is inspired by nature for a new creation, they are practicing something called biomimicry. Meet ten real-life scientists, engineers, and designers who imitate plants and animals to create amazing new technology. An engineer shapes the nose of his train like a kingfisher's beak. A scientist models her solar cell on the mighty…

Some Bugs

By Angela DiTerlizzi, Brendan Wenzel (illustrator),

Book cover of Some Bugs

Darren Lebeuf Author Of My Forest Is Green

From the list on young nature lovers.

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.

Darren's book list on young nature lovers

Discover why each book is one of Darren's favorite books.

Why did Darren love 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.

By Angela DiTerlizzi, Brendan Wenzel (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Grab a magnifying glass and come hop, hide, swim and glide through a buggy undergrowth world!

Featuring insects including butterflies and moths, crickets and cicadas, bumblebees and beetles, this zippy rhyming exploration of backyard-bug behavior is sure to have insect enthusiasts bugging out with excitement!

Galapagos Crusoes

By Bryan Nelson, June Nelson,

Book cover of Galapagos Crusoes: A Year Alone With the Birds

Tui De Roy Author Of A Lifetime in Galápagos

From the list on humanity and nature in the Galapagos Islands.

Who am I?

I was born in Brussels, Belgium, but my parents followed their dream to live a pioneering life close to nature, settling in the Galapagos Islands when I was just two years old. The raw yet gentle nature of these islands, combined with my parents’ artistic eyes and naturalist interests, plus contact with visiting scientists, taught me everything I needed to know to become the islands’ only resident nature photographer and writer at an early age. Although my travels have taken me to the remotest corners of all seven continents, with publications about many of them, Galapagos draws me back like an irresistible magnet. These islands made me who I am; they are my spiritual home.

Tui's book list on humanity and nature in the Galapagos Islands

Discover why each book is one of Tui's favorite books.

Why did Tui love this book?

I can barely remember when, as a child in the mid-1960s, I met a young couple of biologists who had just spent a year living in a tiny camp among the seabirds of Galapagos, devoid of contact with the outside world. Part diary, part behavioral field notes, Bryan’s enduring book, Galapagos, Islands of Birds has just been rewritten and expanded into a brand-new edition by his widow, over 50 years later — a charming and timeless volume.

By Bryan Nelson, June Nelson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A new, updated version of the celebrated 1968 title, Galapagos: Islands of Birds, by the renowned late ornithologist Bryan Nelson, with additional, previously unpublished reminiscences and lively and irreverent memories from his wife June. This timely reissue breathes new life into a classic work of natural history that will appeal to bird-lovers and Galapagos-lovers alike. It is as memorable for its groundbreaking descriptions of Galapagos wildlife as for June's naked appearance in the News of the World accompanied by a quote from the Duke of Edinburgh.
In 1964 the late Bryan Nelson, a zoologist, and his wife June spent a…

Steve the Dung Beetle on a Roll

By Susan Stoltz, Melissa Bailey (illustrator),

Book cover of Steve the Dung Beetle on a Roll

Hayley Rose Author Of Gomer the Gassy Goat

From the list on to inspire a love of reading.

Who am I?

I am a chocolate loving writer, goat yoga enthusiast, and author of several successful children’s books specializing in early learning, along with an award-winning line of gratitude coloring journals. I hope to inspire a love of reading through education and laughter. My latest book, Gomer the Gassy Goat has sold over 21,000 units since 2021, and was recently referenced in The New York Times about the importance of using humor in books for kids to inspire a love of reading. “Not every book has to reach a lesson. Sometimes it can just be fun.” - Mr. Price

Hayley's book list on to inspire a love of reading

Discover why each book is one of Hayley's favorite books.

Why did Hayley love this book?

Who doesn’t love a book about poop... Steve the Dung Beetle rolls this ball of dung past all the animals on the Savanah and along the way he teaches them why the dung beetle is so important to the environment. The illustrations are just fabulous and zookeepers write about the more endangered animals mentioned in the book. But I think the biggest plus are the poop jokes on the back of the book. Guaranteed laughs...

By Susan Stoltz, Melissa Bailey (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Steve the Dung Beetle on a Roll as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

Dear Wandering Wildebeest

By Irene Latham, Anna Wadham (illustrator),

Book cover of Dear Wandering Wildebeest: And Other Poems from the Water Hole

Matt Forrest Esenwine Author Of Flashlight Night

From the list on children’s poetry collections about nature.

Who am I?

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 (National Geographic Children's Books, 2015).

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

Discover why each book is one of Matt's favorite books.

Why did Matt love this book?

Where to begin? This book covers a wide range of animals found on the African grasslands – impalas, giraffes, oxpeckers, and more – but also includes unlikely (and unseemly) subjects like poop-rolling dung beetles and carcass-cleaning vultures. An especially nice poem, “Tree for All,” written from the tree’s perspective, extolls its virtues by sharing how rhinos, baboons, skinks, safari ants, and other creatures all make use of its resources.

By Irene Latham, Anna Wadham (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Welcome wildebeest / and beetle, / Oxpecker and lion. / This water hole is yours. / It offers you oasis / beside its shrinking shores.

Spend a day at a water hole on the African grasslands. From dawn to nightfall, animals come and go. Giraffes gulp, wildebeest graze, impalas leap, vultures squabble, and elephants wallow. Fact sidebars support the poems about the animals and their environment. Imaginative illustrations from Anna Wadham complete this delightful collection.