Inside: Nonfiction animals books mesmerize children! From learning about animal habitats to unique traits to adaptive measures, these books will captivate your kids.
Nonfiction Animals Books for the Win!
There’s simply no debating it: children love learning about animals!
From the way they care for their families, attack their prey, run like the wind or camouflage among their surroundings, nonfiction animal books never fail to captivate children.
Learning about animals – whether pets at home or animals in the wild – opens up a whole new wondrous world for kids. Household pets teach kids about empathy, compassion, and responsibility. But wild and/or exotic animals are mysterious and intriguing. Their homes, eating habits and actions are so different from those of humans, yet so many parallels can be drawn. This makes reading about animals ripe with learning opportunities!
Nonfiction Animal Books Have Numerous Benefits for Kids!
The animal books in this collection help children learn about the environment and the world at large. These books introduce factual information in a way that helps children transition to more complex texts as they move to higher grades. They also introduce new vocabulary and prompt questions that often lead to an innate desire to learn more about a given animal or habitat. Finally — and my personal favorite — nonfiction books help raise awareness about issues your children may have never otherwise known about. From animal extinction to ways pollution is harming the environment and, in turn, animal habitats, kids learn how they can take action to make a difference in their own unique ways.
In short? These books are a win-win!
If your children are fascinated by animals, or if you are looking to add more nonfiction to supplement a homeschool or virtual curriculum, Happily Ever Elephants has got you covered. Check out these incredible books!
Nonfiction Animal Books: Collections
Lovely Beasts, by Kate Gardner and illustrated by Heidi Smith: This fabulous book encourages young readers to challenge what they think they know about some of the worlds “scariest” animals. Gorillas, porcupines and rhinoceroses may certainly be frightening, but they do exhibit some surprising – even gentle – characteristics. I absolutely love the way this book challenges preconceived notions children (and adults!) have about wild animals and the manner in which it inspires them to move beyond first impressions. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Encyclopedia of Animals, by Jules Howard and illustrated by Jarom Vogel: With more than 300 species and 500 creatures, this gorgeous book is subdivided into classes of the animal kingdom, with each animal looked at in detail by a natural history expert. From sea turtles to elephants and everything in between, this celebration of Earth’s animals covers habitats, behaviors and more, with deep insight and expertise. Whether you open pages at whim or read through it page by page, this one will spark curiosity and wonder from every child who picks it up! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Animal Habitats: Search and Find, by Sam Hutchinson and illustrated by Sarah Dennis: WOW. If you want to teach your children about animal habitats, introduce them to a uniquely gorgeous cut-paper illustration style, AND have them go on a seek and find through these beautiful pages, you will adore this book! From coral reefs to mysterious rain forests, children are introduced to both the wonders of ecology and earth’s creatures, big and small. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Under Threat: An Album of Endangered Animals, by Martin Jenkins and illustrated by Tom Frost: What does it mean to be an endangered animal? This book will help young readers understand that exact question, all while traveling the world and meeting animals under threat of extinction. From China’s Giant Panda to Grevy’s Zebra in Kenya to Japan’s Red Crowned Crane, meet thirty animals that are in danger of ceasing to exist. Including a call to action for readers, this gorgeous book not only introduces kids to beautiful animals and creatures, but also explains why these animals are dying out and how we can help. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Migration: Incredible Animal Journeys, by Mike Unwin and illustrated by Jenni Desmond: Did you know that animals across the globe journey for food, safety, and survival? Animals world wide make epic migrations through desert planes and snow, through the oceans and in the air, and this beautiful book follows 20 different animals as they journey around the world. This one is absolutely fascinating! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Pink is for Blobfish: Discovering the World’s Perfectly Pink Animals, by Jess Keating: You will never look at the color pink in the same way after reading this wacky and fun book that kids will just adore! After all, pink is not just for tutus and ballet shoes but monster slugs and naked mole rats, too! This is a fun and insanely unique exploration of the animal kingdom that will have your kids thinking differently about all things pink and learning about some cool and crazy animals along the way! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Don’t Let them Disappear: 12 Endangered Species Across the Globe, by Chelsea Clinton and illustrated by Gianna Marino: Another winner for the elementary school set, this book takes readers into the daily lives of twelve animals on the verge of extinction around the world. From blue whales to sea otters, kids learn not just what makes each of these vulnerable animals special, but how we can help protect them from disappearing from our world. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Wild Animals of the North, by Deiter Braun: From the North America to Europe to Asia, this beauty takes children on a journey throughout the northern hemisphere, where they will come across dolphins in the ocean, two-humped camels across the dry steppes and arctic foxes in the freezing Siberia. From the teeny-tiny to the majestic and huge, Braun’s witty descriptions and detailed illustrations will teach children all about 80 animals native to the Northern Hemisphere. We also love the companion book, Wild Animals of the South. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Welcome to the Museum: Animalium, by Jenny Broom and illustrated by Katie Scott: This series is simply stunning! Definitely for upper elementary kids, these books are designed to mimic a museum experience, with each chapter in the series being a different “gallery.” This oversized book depicts the animal kingdom through pen and ink artwork that kids and adults alike will pore over. From fish to amphibians to mammals and more, you will truly feel like you are walking through a natural history museum as you read through these beautiful pages. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Creature Features: Twenty-Five Animals Explain Why They Look The Way They Do, by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page: This book is so much fun! Written with each animal is explaining to the reader why it possesses particular features, the question and answer format engages kids as they study each of the animal portraits within this book. Why do mandrills have such colorful noses? Why does a harpy eagle’s feathers fan out? All of the features have very real purposes, and children will be delighted to learn all about them! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Insect Superpowers: 18 Real Bugs that Smash, Zap, Hypnotize, Sting and Devour!, by Kate Messner and illustrated by Jillian Nickel: Introducing the superheroes and super villains of the insect world, packaged in a comic book style that will enthrall young readers! Children will laugh at the superhero names each insect is given (the Asian Giant Hornet, for instance, is The Decapitator, and the Robber Fly is the Supersonic Assassin) and cheer as they see which insects will become champions in head to head combat. Unique, innovative, and amazing, this is such a creative way to present nonfiction to kids! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
The Big Book of Birds, by Yuval Zommer: This Big Book series is fantastic, and we simply love the way it introduces readers to the flamboyant and majestic birds in the sky! From hummingbirds to flamingos to the great bald eagle, this book answers fascinating questions about birds in general (whey do they have beaks rather than lips?) as well as questions unique to each winged creature. Vibrant, quirky and captivating, children will love entering the world of birds, learning how to become bird watchers and make their gardens bird friendly along the way. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Nonfiction Animal Books: Individual Animals
The Elephant, by Jenni Desmond: Did you know elephants walk on their tip toes? Or that they can detect the rumbling of other elephants from nearly six miles away? We absolutely adore Jenni Desmond’s non-fiction offerings, including The Blue Whale and The Polar Bear, and this beautiful picture book about the endangered elephant is another stunner filled with gorgeous, true-to-life illustrations and fascinating facts for little minds. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Chomp: A Shark Romp, by Michael Paul: Your youngest readers will love this simple text that introduces them to the different types of sharks found throughout the ocean. Some gentle, some fierce, all fascinating! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Horses: Wild and Tame, by Iris Volant and illustrated by Jarom Vogel: Horses have been part of the human world since they were domesticated thousands of years ago. This gorgeous book showcases all the ways these animals have worked side by side with humans, from working fields to pulling carts to fighting in our wars. But it doesn’t end there. Throughout history, horses have also been wonderful companions to men and women world wide. With interesting facts and beautiful illustrations, this one is a winner! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Beware of the Crocodile, by Martin Jenkins and illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura: I love this book for young elementary students to explore as they begin to learn how to use nonfiction texts for research purposes and more. This great book talks about everything from a crocodile’s teeth to to their cunning and determined nature to a crocodile mother’s gentle nature with her babies. Love the factual, fun info and the awesome illustrations! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Gecko, by Raymond Huber and illustrated by Brian Lovelock: I bet you didn’t know that geckos are considered the escape artists of the lizard world! Or that their eyes don’t close and their feet are self cleaning? This is such a fun book with great factual tidbits for your lizard lovers at home. Your kids will be fascinated by the way these animals protect themselves and outsmart their predators — and you will be just as intrigued! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Fanatical About Frogs, by Owen Davey: Did you know that some frogs are as big as newborn babies while others are smaller than your fingernails? Introducing more than 4,000 species of frogs, this intriguing guide takes readers on a vibrant and informative adventure through the world of these diverse amphibians, teaching kids little known facts in digestible chunks that they can easily devour with each reading. They’ll be learning and laughing — especially when they learn that male red-eyed tree frogs shake their behinds to win an argument! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
The Butterfly House, by Katy Flint and illustrated by Alice Pattulo: This book, simply put, is stunning. Inside this winged house, children will learn about 100 butterfly and moth species who are known as the most beautiful insects thanks, in part, to species with shimmering wings. With butterflies living nearly around the world, this book will teach your kids about some of the butterflies most fascinating characteristics, turning your little ones into expert butterfly spotters overnight! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Giant Squid, by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Eric Rohmannn: This wonderful book, a Robert F. Sibert honoree for teaches children about one of the most elusive animals in the world, an animal that can disappear from predators in a murky cloud of ink. With thirty-foot long tentacles and lidless eyes, children will marvel at these mysterious creatures that hide deep within the sea and force scientists to piece together information from the clues they leave behind. What a fabulous book!. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!