The most recommended reptile books

Who picked these books? Meet our 9 experts.

9 authors created a book list connected to reptiles, and here are their favorite reptile books.
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The Extinction Trials

By S.M. Wilson,

Book cover of The Extinction Trials

Lauren Stabler Author Of Trials of the Realm

From the list on dystopia set in the UK.

Who am I?

I’m an English writer based in Sheffield. I started reading dystopia when I was around 19 and in a very bad place mentally, it became an escape for me and I would read everything in the genre. It got to the point where I was writing in the notes on my phone (not very well, I might add). Somehow dystopia ignited my passion for writing and so I went to university to study it. Almost everything I wrote for both my undergrad degree and my master's was set in a future dystopian UK. It is where my passion still lies and I hope to create more futuristic worlds like those I have listed.

Lauren's book list on dystopia set in the UK

Why did Lauren love this book?

Why am I recommending this book? First of all – Dinosaurs. I don’t know where they came from in the book series and frankly I don’t care. I’ll read anything with dinosaurs. I think this book series is set in a modern UK but it’s never explicitly stated. It’s set in a futuristic world where nature has failed us – because of us – and humans need to find a new way of living. They must learn to live with dinosaurs. Maybe the new Jurassic World film could learn from the characters? Who knows. 

By S.M. Wilson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first book in the heart-stopping The Extinction Trials trilogy, for fans of The Hunger Games and Jurassic Park.

Betrayal. Sacrifice. Survival. Welcome to The Extinction Trials...

In Stormchaser and Lincoln's ruined world, the only way to survive is to risk everything. To face a contest more dangerous than anyone can imagine. And they will do anything to win.

But in a land full of monsters - human and reptilian - they can't afford to trust anyone. Perhaps not even each other...

Shortlisted for the 2019 Scottish Teenage Book Prize


By Catriona Clarke, Connie McLennan (illustrator),

Book cover of Reptiles

Laura Hulbert Author Of Who Has These Feet?

From the list on animal adaptations for young readers.

Who am I?

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

Why did Laura love this book?

You really can’t go wrong with a book from Usborne publishers. Reptiles is a gem. It has all the features of a traditional non-fiction book--chapter titles, table of contents, glossary, and a list of related websites--and it bestows information in kid-friendly language. When a procedure is outlined, such as temperature regulation for a desert lizard through a long hot day, the process is distilled into 4 numbered steps. The small size of the book (6” x 8”), the beautiful integration of photographs and illustrations, and the high interest level of the topics covered makes this book a surefire winner with kids.

By Catriona Clarke, Connie McLennan (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is a fantastic brand new addition to the "Beginners" series, designed to provide an informative introduction to trees and plant-life for young readers. Children can learn about some of the most fascinating cold-blooded creatures in the world from reptiles that can fly, walk on water, and climb on ceilings. This book offers terrific reading practice for children who prefer fact to fiction. It is developed with a reading expert from Roehampton University to help young readers grow in confidence. It is great value for money.

Book cover of Why Elephants Have Big Ears : Understanding Patterns of Life on Earth

Kevin Cornell Author Of New in Town

From the list on world-building.

Who am I?

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

Why did Kevin love this book?

If you’re gonna draw any creatures, humans included, it’s important to understand all the factors that influence their size and their shape. The temperature of their environment, the altitude, the precipitation— even the gravity of the planet itself. The book gives gives an in-depth understanding as to why animals look they way they do, and why some weird structures are not only practical, but crucial for a species to survive.

By Chris Lavers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Why Elephants Have Big Ears as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why are all the big land animals on Earth mammals? Why are reptiles so small today when they were so huge in the Age of Dinosaurs? Why are rivers, lakes and swamps dominated by large cold-blooded reptiles and not by mammals? Why are there so many birds on Earth and why are they all so small? In this beautifully written and utterly compelling book Lavers scours the fields of biology, physiology, ecology and palaeontology to find answers to these global-scale questions. In the process he reveals a fundamentally new view of life on Earth, one that offers no room for…

Art & Max

By David Wiesner,

Book cover of Art & Max

Dorothia Rohner Author Of I Am Goose!

From the list on children’s books with nature, whimsy, and humor.

Who am I?

I was born into a large, unique family. Our house was nestled in the Colorado foothill mountains. Our small tv with the rabbit ear antenna had one fuzzy station, so we depended upon our imaginations for entertainment. We read fairy tales, performed puppet shows, fed fairies on the full moon, painted, drew, wrote stories, explored the canyon. I once observed a small pebbled cylinder inch its way across a puddle. I thought it was magic! It was a caddis fly larvae. That spark of excitement from nature, imagination, and whimsy are what inspire me today when I create. I hope these books will inspire you–or at least make you laugh.

Dorothia's book list on children’s books with nature, whimsy, and humor

Why did Dorothia love this book?

Art and Max is one of my favorite picture books because it contains humor, knowledge, great characters, and imagination. David Weisner is a master at capturing expression and pushing the limits of the imagination to amuse and surprise the reader. Art is a serious artist reptile, Max is an overexcited literal lizard that wants to learn to paint. He is a serious annoyance to Art. When Art finally agrees to let him paint, confusion on what to paint explodes into a mess. Each art mishap resembles famous artist styles and techniques. It’s a funny, clever, and imaginative book that both children and adults enjoy.

By David Wiesner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Max and Arthur are best friends who both want to make art. Arthur is an accomplished painter; Max is a beginner. Max's first attempt at using a paintbrush sends the two friends on a whirlwind adventure with paints, pastels and pencils, which turn out to have unexpected pitfalls.

Heavily influenced by surrealist Salvador Dali, Wiesner has crafted a fascinating story about friendship, creativity and the mysterious place where these two forces meet.

Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor

By Patricia Valdez, Felicita Sala (illustrator),

Book cover of Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles

Karlin Gray Author Of Anne and Her Tower of Giraffes

From the list on picture-book biographies for young animal lovers.

Who am I?

I write picture-book biographies and my latest book focuses on the first giraffologist, Dr. Anne Innis Dagg. While researching this book, I learned about so many people who have dedicated their lives to studying and protecting animals. Almost always, their love of wildlife began in childhood. So why not inspire young animal lovers today with true stories about people who share their passion for wildlife?

Karlin's book list on picture-book biographies for young animal lovers

Why did Karlin love this book?

There is so much to love about this biography on scientist Joan Procter—from a girl having a tea party with lizards... to her journey of becoming a scientist and curator... to her alliance with real-life dragons! And every spread of this book slithers with stunning reptiles thanks to illustrator Felicita Sala. In the back matter, readers learn that the zoologist died at the young age of 34 due to complications from a chronic illness. But because of this inspirational biography, Procter’s story—and love of reptiles—will live on and on in the minds of young readers. 

By Patricia Valdez, Felicita Sala (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Back in the days of long skirts and afternoon teas, young Joan Procter entertained the most unusual party guests: slithery and scaly ones, who turned over teacups and crawled past the crumpets... While other girls played with dolls, Joan preferred the company of reptiles. She carried her favorite lizard with her everywhere - she even brought a crocodile to school!

When Joan grew older, she became the Curator of Reptiles at the Natural History Museum. She went on to design the Reptile House at the London Zoo, including a home for the rumored-to-be-vicious komodo dragons. There, just like when she…

A Place to Start a Family

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

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

Matt Forrest Esenwine Author Of Once Upon Another Time

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

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 (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

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.

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…