Ten Books to Get You Started on Nature Study

When it comes to science, the study of nature is an amazing place to start.  Today, I’m sharing a list of some of our favorite books on the topic of nature study.

About nature study, I love this quote by Charlotte Mason, “Every child has a natural interest in living things about him, which it is the business of his parents to encourage.” 

One of the ways I like to encourage my kids in this area, is with great, colorful, informational resources. 



10 Books to Get your Started on Nature Study


1. Nature Anatomy series by Julie Rothman

These are delightful books with colorful, hand drawn pictures that explore all things nature. Types of butterflies, trees, flowers, and bees fill each page, inspiring readers to take a closer look at the world around them.  

These books are more picture-based with light, labeled reading. Although, not completely comprehensive they do make a handy resource for general findings. (tree types, basic species, etc)

Along with the Nature Anatomy, there is a Food Anatomy, Farm Anatomy, as well as, an Ocean Anatomy book.

We have three of Julie Rothman’s work and our children love flipping through these books. I would definitely purchase these again.


2. Christian Liberty Nature Readers

There are five levels of Nature Readers. These books are designed to be read by the child at their appropriate reading level.

These books have been around awhile, nevertheless, the content is fabulous.

Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of nature. Furthermore, it dives deep in exploration. (For example, they not only mention the paper wasp, but teaches about it’s life cycle, how it builds it’s home, and what it eats.)

These are mostly word based books, but there are simple pictures scattered throughout (More so, in the earlier levels.)


3. Handbook of Nature Study By Anna Comstock

This thick resource is an amazing fount of knowledge. It can be used as a nature study curriculum because, not only, does it give the information, but it gives exercises and activities for exploration. It would also work as a great reference.

While it is quite comprehensive, it is a bit antiquated. (It was written in 1911 for elementary school teachers.) 

There are pictures, but they are black and white and not very crisp.

We use this as a reference guide when we want to find more information about something.


4. Nature Take-Along Guide Series

There are quite a few of these take-along picture, guide books. They cover all sorts of topics. Some of the titles include: Birds Nests and Eggs, and Trees Leaves and Bark.

These are about the size of a basic picture book. The pages are colorful, and full of great information.

While they don’t feel like a read aloud, they do make a great reference resource.


5. Burgess Bird and Animal Book

These books are fictional stories that teach nature in an imaginative and fun way. The vocabulary is rich and the content is robust. 

While this is an older book and the language reflects that, it makes a nice, read aloud that kids will definitely learn from.

Note: I purchased the Dover Bird Coloring Book for my kids to do while I read this to them, because we found the it was hard for the little ones to sit through without their hands staying busy. 


6. James Herriot’s Treasury for Children

This is one of our family’s most loved treasuries! This book contains short stories from Mr. Herriot’s days as a veterinarian and is appropriate for all ages.

Each story draws you in, and fosters a true love for animals and nature. Furthermore, the illustrations are beautiful.

A living book at its finest!


7.  The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady

This is a beautiful, real life, example of a nature journal. This is Edith Holden’s handwritten findings of the English countryside in 1906.

Throughout the pages, she journals her nature exploration. The notes are in her own, lyric, italic handwriting and the pictures are beautifully hand painted.

This book can be inspiring for young writers, and artists who are looking to create a book of their nature discoveries.


8.  Audubon Field Guide

These Audubon field guides are the best for reference. Since we are from the Pacific Northwest, I purchased the one specific to our area.

We use it all the time. It is so convenient and helpful in finding names and information of birds and plants native to our area. 

It is also great to take along on trips.


9. Curious Kids Nature Guide

This is a lovely book we borrowed from the library. This would be great to use as a reference, or simply a book to enjoy the pictures.

It is divided up into habitats. Each section introduces a handful of animals and plants that thrive in that eco-system.


10. Outside Your Window- A First Book of Nature

This a sweet, little, first book of nature.  It is divided into seasons and covers quite a bit of information. Furthermore, the pictures are delightful and the book has an overall poetic flow.

There are also some activities and ideas included to get the kids physically involved in the study of nature.




Picture Books about Nature:

If you aren’t quite ready for the thicker resources, here is a short list of some of our favorite picture books about nature.


What are some of YOUR favorite Nature Study Resources?



Looking for specific activities or journaling options? Check out our Garden Journal and Activity Pack!



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