The most recommended bird books

Who picked these books? Meet our 154 experts.

154 authors created a book list connected to birds, and here are their favorite bird books.
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What type of bird book?


Book cover of Beaks!

Jennifer Ward Author Of How to Find a Bird

From my list on for budding young birders.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of more than 25 award-winning books for children, including Mama Built a Little Nest, illustrated by Steve Jenkins, and I Love Birds! 52 Ways to Wonder, Wander and Explore Birds with Kids, illustrated by Alexander Vidal. When not writing, I help rehabilitate injured and orphaned songbirds, I study bird behavior, and I further my knowledge about birds through books and scholarly journals. Birds offer a constant source of discovery and wonder. I hope the books I’ve recommended offer a source of discovery and wonder for your young readers, too!

Jennifer's book list on for budding young birders

Jennifer Ward Why did Jennifer love this book?

Not only is this book stunning – sculpted paper illustrations that appear 3D – it offers a flock-full of information about birds and the many types of beaks one may find on them. A beak isn’t just a beak, after all. With over 10,000 bird species in the world, it’s not surprising to learn that bird beaks come in many shapes and sizes, each with a specific purpose to a bird’s habitat necessary for survival in this big, wide world. Although geared for young readers, this book will inspire readers of all ages to take notice of bird beaks. Anytime we can encourage young readers to engage with nature and the world around them, that’s a good thing, don’t you think?

By Sneed B. Collard III, Robin Brickman (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beaks! 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?

Young naturalists explore a variety of birds, their habitats, and how their beaks help them build, eat, and survive.  From the twisted beak of a crossbill to the color changing bill of a seagull, readers will learn fun facts about how beaks are designed and used as tools by birds of all shapes and sizes.  Bright, bold cut-paper illustrations create amazingly realistic tableaus of birds in their natural environments with their beaks in action. Back matter includes a comprehensive quiz, a bibliography, and a list of related websites.

Book cover of Ways to Welcome

Nancy Loewen Author Of The Everybody Club

From my list on that create a sense of belonging.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve published many books for children, but this one is truly special. The Everybody Club is a collaboration with my dear friend Linda Hayen in memory of her daughter, Carissa. As a child, Carissa started a real-life Everybody Club. The first members were toys, dolls, the family cat, and her brothers, one of whom had severe disabilities. Carissa died in a car accident at the age of 16, and this book is Linda’s way of sharing her daughter’s generous spirit with the world. A note for adults at the end of the book shares this backstory.

Nancy's book list on that create a sense of belonging

Nancy Loewen Why did Nancy love this book?

So often we address the “what” and “why” but not the “how.” Ways to Welcome is all about the “how.” Just how can we make others feel included? I love the specific examples in this book—from waves, smiles, and “hellos” to cups of tea, bouquets of flowers, and retrieving a lost hat. We even see ways we can welcome dogs, bees, and birds. The rhyming text is buoyant, and the illustrations are bold and bright. This book positively exudes warmth!

By Linda Ashman, Joey Chou (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ways to Welcome 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 welcome can be warm
Or cold,
Shy and quiet,
Big and bold.
An offering,
A smiling face
That warms a cold and lonely place.
There's lots of ways to show we care
and welcome friends from everywhere!

When everyone knows they're welcome, the world is a better place - and you might just make a new friend. This timeless picture book about small acts of kindness in a big world is one that kids and grown-ups will reach for again and again.

Book cover of The Pigeon Has to Go to School

Ethlie Ann Vare Author Of WOOF!

From my list on reads I wish were around when I was a kid.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Boomer. I was expected to read books about well-behaved children (Fun with Dick and Jane, 1940) or happy animals (The Poky Little Puppy, 1942), or going to bed quietly (Goodnight Moon, 1947). Why do you think my cohort has so much love for Dr. Seuss? The Cat in the Hat (1957) was a brat, and kids love a brat. The rhymes were smart, and kids need smart. Today, I get to read books to my grandkids that have edge, and books that don’t talk down to them. They deserve it, they won’t settle for less, and it’s a hell of a lot more fun for me.

Ethlie's book list on reads I wish were around when I was a kid

Ethlie Ann Vare Why did Ethlie love this book?

Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus is the better known in this series of funny, adorably illustrated books, but I think Pigeon Has to Go to School really gets to the heart of why Pigeon is so beloved by kids: He embodies kid-ness.

He’s defiant and bratty and scared and anxious and excited and impatient and distractible and everything else that is lovable and crazy-making about your daughter/son/grandchild.

An easy read for young kids and fun to read to them.

By Mo Willems,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Pigeon Has to Go to School 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?

Mo Willems' Pigeon is BACK in a hilarious story perfect for those about to start school or nursery.

"There is no such thing as a bad Mo Willems book" The Times

The Pigeon is about to get SCHOOLED. Do YOU think he should go?

Why does the Pigeon have to go to school? He already knows everything! Well ... almost everything. And what if he doesn't like it? What if the teacher doesn't like him? I mean, what if he learns TOO MUCH!?!

Book cover of Owly: The Way Home

Raea Gragg Author Of Mup

From my list on graphic novels for reluctant readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, there was nothing I hated more than reading. Struggling with dyslexia and learning disabilities made books miserable and the distractions of screens didn’t help. However, everything changed when I discovered graphic novels and comics! That led to a newfound love of stories and books (especially graphic novels) which took me on a journey of not being able to read at age ten, to publishing my first novel at age fifteen. Since then, I’ve written and illustrated children’s books and young adult novels, but Mup is my first graphic novel. This has inspired me to create more graphic novels designed specifically for those who are just like me – reluctant readers.

Raea's book list on graphic novels for reluctant readers

Raea Gragg Why did Raea love this book?

A nearly wordless comic about a cute little owl who goes on adventures and meets new friends. Not only is Owly adorable – but it’s practically wordless. This series is perfect for an early reader who wants to start reading graphic novels on their own. Its non-intimidating approach makes it a great start for any reluctant reader. Plus, did I mention that Owly is super cute? 

By Andy Runton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Owly as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

All Owly wants is a friend...

Owly is a good-natured little owl, and he's always helping those around him. But despite his kindness, he seems to frighten would-be friends away before they even give him a chance, just because he's an owl. That all changes, though, once Owly meets Wormy. Like Owly, Wormy is in need of a good friend, too -- someone who can be counted on for a helping hand, a good laugh, and a great adventure!Through a unique blend of words and symbols, Owly can be read by the youngest readers, and is a great introduction to…

Book cover of Bird Boy

Lois Wickstrom Author Of Pulling Together

From my list on pictures about bullying.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was bullied as a child, both at home and in school. My parents always took my little sister’s side, and punished me. When I got bullied at school, my parents and teachers just told me to work harder on throwing a ball. My escape was books. I found it reassuring that kids in books who got bullied survived and learned and had fun in their lives even if they also had to deal with bullying.

Lois' book list on pictures about bullying

Lois Wickstrom Why did Lois love this book?

Nico is a nature lover. At recess, he doesn’t always want to swing on the swings. Sometimes he wants to sit and watch ants carrying seeds to their anthills.

One day birds come up to him. He enjoys the birds. The other kids call him “bird boy.”  He knows they are teasing him. He knows they are being mean. But he thinks about what the words mean. And he surprises himself by smiling.

After that, he not only watches birds, he pretends to be different birds. A few other children become fascinated by his imagination. They like him for who he is. Birds and all.

By Matthew Burgess, Shahrzad Maydani (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bird Boy 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?

Take flight in this heartwarming story about a boy who learns to be true to himself at school while following his love of nature.

Nico was new, and nervous about going to school. Everyone knew what to do and where to go, but Nico felt a little lost.

So, he did what he loved to do:
Watched the insects
Sat in the grass
And most importantly... befriended the birds.

Before he knew it, Nico was known as BIRD BOY. But Nico didn't mind. Soon, he made one friend, then two, as the other kids learned to appreciate Nico for who…

Book cover of All Birds Have Anxiety

Anthony Lloyd Jones Author Of The Princess and the Fog: A Story for Children with Depression

From my list on understanding depression, loss, grief, and anxiety.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had depression when I was young, but I didn’t know what that meant or what to do about it. So much of mental health is invisible and nobody knew. I didn’t have the language to explain how I felt, or to ask for help, and I didn’t know how to find out. Any book that could have helped me jump those hurdles would have been incredibly valuable. Children relate to stories, characters, metaphors and pictures more than words. Giving children the tools to explore how they feel in ways they can relate to is really important. I wouldn’t want anyone else to feel as alone as I did. 

Anthony's book list on understanding depression, loss, grief, and anxiety

Anthony Lloyd Jones Why did Anthony love this book?

I will not mince words: this book is silly. It follows a very simple formula of describing the symptoms of anxiety, general worry, and stress alongside photographs of birds. The funny expressions candidly captured on the bird’s faces somehow seem to always illustrate the specific situations and emotions being described in the text more perfectly than I even could as a professional illustrator. It’s really good fun and would be an especially great resource for a parent/carer/teacher to read along with an anxious child - jumping off and discussing how they relate to what the birds look like they’re feeling as they go.

By Kathy Hoopmann,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All Birds Have Anxiety as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

Life as a bird can be stressful! From worrying about airplanes, windows, and getting enough worms to eat, it is clear that birds can be anxious beings. Through a light-touch, quizzical depiction of bird behaviour, All Birds Have Anxiety uses colourful images and astute explanations to explore with gentle humour what it means to live with anxiety day-to-day, and how to begin to deal with it.

Following the style of the best-selling All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome and All Dogs Have ADHD, wonderful colour photographs express the complex and difficult ideas related to anxiety disorder in an easy-to-understand way. This…

Book cover of A Good Day

Lauren Stringer Author Of Yellow Time

From my list on the magic of being outside in the natural world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began as a picture book illustrator and gradually started writing my own stories, but I still love illustrating other people’s stories. From their manuscripts, I learn to look at the world in new and unexpected ways. As a visual artist, I learned from a young age to pay attention and really look at the world around me. When I have days full of errands and chores and forget to look and be present, the day becomes gray and boring. All of these books in words and pictures offer nature and the act of paying attention and celebrating as transformation and connection.

Lauren's book list on the magic of being outside in the natural world

Lauren Stringer Why did Lauren love this book?

This book begins with a declaration: “It was a bad day….” and proceeds to show in pictures how bad a day it was for little yellow bird, little white dog, little red fox, and little brown squirrel. Every time I read this book, I remember that even though a day may feel like a bad day, you never know what could happen that could completely turn the day around. It is a story to remind me to go outside and stay curious.

By Kevin Henkes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What can turn a bad day into a good day? You decide.

Book cover of The Odd Egg

Simon Philip Author Of You Must Bring a Hat!

From my list on unexpected endings & terrific twists.

Why am I passionate about this?

Simon is obsessed with picture books: reading them, writing them, buying them, smelling them. His own have been published in more than 20 languages. You Must Bring a Hat won the Sainsbury’s Children’s Book of the Year, and I Really Wany the Cake was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. He particularly enjoys funny, deadpan picture books. After gaining a 1st class degree in History, he put his skills to use as a barman at a local pub, grew tired of the owner calling him Andy, left to fail a teaching degree, then turned to writing. He lives in England, although occasionally leaves to buy milk.

Simon's book list on unexpected endings & terrific twists

Simon Philip Why did Simon love this book?

Emily Gravett is a picture book maestro. I’m a big fan of her work, and The Odd Egg is yet another brilliant picture book, with glorious artwork.

All the birds have laid an egg and are awaiting the arrival of their chicks. All except for Duck, that is. But Duck claims a big, spotted egg as their own – and whilst they have to wait a little bit longer than the others for their egg to hatch, when it finally does, the creature inside it is…unexpected...and…spectacular….

By Emily Gravett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Odd Egg 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?

The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett is a beautifully illustrated tale with a surprise ending bound to ruffle some feathers!

All the birds have eggs to hatch. All except Duck. Then Duck is delighted to find an egg of his own to look after. It's the most beautiful egg in the whole world! But all the other birds think it's very odd indeed - and everyone's in for a big surprise when it finally hatches.

With split pages, this fun format will keep children in suspense as the story unfolds. And they'll love joining in - creak! crack! as each…

Book cover of The Parrot in the Mirror: How evolving to be like birds made us human

Keith M. Martin Author Of Cryptography: The Key to Digital Security, How It Works, and Why It Matters

From Keith's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Cryptographer Proud scot Birdwatcher Dachshund daddy Bookworm

Keith's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Keith M. Martin Why did Keith love this book?

Sometimes, a book comes along that simply surprises you, which is exactly what happened when I read The Parrot in the Mirror.

We (humans) don’t look much like birds, but this book’s evolutionary and behavioral argument is that we are much more similar to birds than you might possibly imagine. I was astonished and also convinced – but you really need to read this book to find out why!

By Antone Martinho-Truswell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Parrot in the Mirror as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How similar are your choices, behaviours, and lifestyle to those of a parrot?

We humans are not like other mammals. We look like them, but we don't act like them. In fact, many of our defining human traits: our longevity, intelligence, monogamy and childrearing, and learning and language, all deep parts of what it means to be human, are far more similar to birds than to our fellow mammals. These similarities originate not from shared ancestors but from parallel histories. Our evolutionary stories have pushed humans and birds to the same solutions. In this book, Antone Martinho-Truswell explores these similarities…

Book cover of Finding a Dove for Gramps

Peggy Thomas Author Of For the Birds: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson

From my list on for budding birders.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved birds, especially the red-winged black birds; their song was the first I learned to recognize as a kid. My first field guide was written by Roger Tory Peterson, and through that book and many others I’ve learned about the amazing world around us. Now, as a children’s nonfiction author, I get to share similar stories with young readers through my books and at school presentations. And as a writing instructor, I collect well-crafted and well-researched nonfiction, and use them to encourage budding children’s writers at workshops, in blog posts for the Nonfiction Ninjas, and as co-host of the annual Nonfiction Fest that celebrates true stories for children.

Peggy's book list on for budding birders

Peggy Thomas Why did Peggy love this book?

This is a fictional story about a boy searching for his Gramps’s favorite bird during the Christmas Bird Count. 

I’m sure there are many young readers who don’t think they know enough to participate in something so grand as the Christmas Bird Count. But I’m confident that this book will reassure them that they know more than they think as they confidently identify the birds deftly illustrated by Maria Luisa Di Gravio. Lisa Amstutz, the author, has also included in the backmatter a birding checklist to get little bird nerds started. I think this story will inspire a lot of families to start their own birding tradition.

By Lisa J. Amstutz, Maria Luisa Di Gravio (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Finding a Dove for Gramps as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A heart-warming story about nature, birds, and a family tradition.

A boy and his mom continue the family tradition of participating in the annual bird count. Since Gramps went South for the winter, the boy hopes to spot Gramps's favorite bird for him—a dove! But with so many different birds in the nature preserve, will he be able to spot one? This heart-warming family story about nature celebrates a holiday census that was first started in 1900 and happens every year.