On this page, you’ll find a growing list of children’s books that I’ve paired with some of my photos, videos, and blog posts. These are books I think will grab kids’ interest, maybe fill in some informational blanks, and—I hope—ignite a lifetime of curiosity about our natural world.
(If you wish to buy a book, consider Bookshop.org, where profit from online book purchases is distributed among independent bookstores.)
How to Find a Bird, by Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Diana Sudyka. This beautiful picture book shows kids how to use both their eyes and ears to locate birds. We meet a variety of birds, both in their habitats and at backyard feeders. One of the best features is the book’s onomatopoetic renderings of many of the birds’ calls and songs. They’re as fun to read as they are informative. I love this book!
Here’s one of a zillion bird stories I see outside my window. This one’s a favorite and one of the best reasons I can think of to help kids learn to find and love birds. I could watch this gorgeous, flirty wood duck pair over and over.
This super-fun kids’ book is The Little Book of Woodland Bird Songs, by Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham. The book has beautiful bird images and info, but the magic is in the buttons kids press to hear the birds’ songs! See and hear 12 North American birds. By the same authors, a second book features backyard birds and their songs. These books are great for toddlers on up. My granddaughter is two, and this is one of her favorites. Even babies would love these bird songs.
This White-breasted Nuthatch, seen here on one of our deck railings, is included in the book.
Counting Birds: The Idea That Helped Save Our Feathered Friends, by Heidi E.Y. Stemple, with stunning illustrations (lots of birds!) by Clover Robin. The book is about Audubon’s annual Christmas Bird Count, which takes place every year near the end of December. The event began in 1900 when ornithologist Frank Chapman wanted to replace a traditional Christmas bird hunt when people would shoot as many birds as possible. I learned about Chapman in this terrific kids’ nonfiction picture book.
Here’s a Red-bellied Woodpecker in late December. I’m sure he’d want to be counted!
Bird Count by Susan Edwards Richmond, Illustrated (beautifully!) by Stephanie Fizer Coleman. Here’s another terrific picture book about Audubon’s annual Christmas Bird Count. The protagonist is a girl who participates in the event. Readers follow her as she goes through town counting the birds she sees and hears. There is also information about migration, bird calls, and bird-spotting techniques. It’s a simple story, fun to read, and may inspire budding birders.
Here’s a Pileated Woodpecker, feathers all floofed on a chilly day. With that bright red crest, isn’t he the perfect bird for counting at Christmas?