Bird Books for Kids

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Birdwatching is a popular hobby and a great way to introduce children to science and nature.

The linked titles go to Amazon. Please see the disclosure below.

childrens-books-for-young-birdwatchers

 Beginning Readers

Great Horned Owls by Melissa Hill and Gail Saunders-Smith, PhD (Consultant Editor) is part of a new series that feature common species of owls. Early readers explore where owls live, what they eat, and their life cycle, while learning new vocabulary words. Did you know that owls do not build their own nests?

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 1
Publisher: Capstone Press (August 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1491460539
ISBN-13: 978-1491460535
  Burrowing Owls by Melissa Hill and Gail Saunders-Smith, PhD (Consultant Editor) is another title from the new Owls series. Burrowing owls are small owls that live in tunnels in the ground. They are commonly found in the desert.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Capstone Press (August 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1491460466
ISBN-13: 978-1491460467

Peregrine Falcons by Melissa Hill and Gail Saunders-Smith, PhD, Consultant Editor

Did you know that peregrine falcons are the fastest animals on the planet? They can reach speeds of over 200 mph when diving. They are found throughout the world, except at temperature extremes (hot tropics and coldest polar regions). Learn more about these incredibly fascinating birds with informational titles in the Birds of Prey series for beginning readers.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Capstone Press (February 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1491423102
ISBN-13: 978-1491423103

Brilliant Birds (Read Me!: Extreme Animals) by Isabel Thomas is a beginning reader with a bright pink cover that is sure to catch a child’s eye. Part of the Extreme Animals series, this book looks at unusual birds, such as regal eagles, helicopter hummingbirds, noisy Kakapos, and cunning crows. Illustrated with big, bright color photographs and with plenty of high-interest facts in the sidebars, it is likely a child will want to pick this title up again and again.

Reading level: Grades 1-3
Publisher: Heinemann-Raintree (August 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1410946843
ISBN-13: 978-1410946843

Can You Find These Birds? (All about Nature) by Carmen Bredeson and Lindsey Cousins

This guide to birds for the beginner reader features a controlled vocabulary and short sentences, but still manages to pack in a lot of information about birds. Check out the preview at the Enslow website.

Reading Level: Ages 3-6
Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Enslow Elementary (July 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1464400725
ISBN-13: 978-1464400728

Why Do Owls and Other Birds Have Feathers? (Animal Body Coverings) by Holly Beaumont is new title that explains how owls and other birds use their feathers to keep warm and to fly, among other things.

Age Range: 5 – 7 years
Publisher: Heinemann (August 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1484625382
ISBN-13: 978-1484625385

 

Picture Books

Woodpecker Wham! by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Steve Jenkins

What better way to learn about woodpeckers then via Sayre staccato-burst prose? Six pages of back matter richly supplement the verb-laden text. Steve Jenkins’ cut and torn-paper collage illustrations aren’t too shabby, either.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (May 12, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0805088423
ISBN-13: 978-0805088427

The Wolf-Birds by Willow Dawson

Why are ravens called wolf-birds? Dawson reveals there is a complex relationship between ravens and gray wolves, particularly in areas with cold, harsh winters. Note:  a book about predators necessarily shows the death of a few animals, but it is tastefully done.

Overall, The Wolf-Birds is perfect for young readers interested in science and nature, particularly animals. It is also likely to appeal to those readers who think they prefer fiction. It is one of those versatile books to pull it out for units on birds, winter, animal behavior, and even art.

Longer review at Wrapped in Foil

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Owlkids Books (September 15, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1771470542
ISBN-13: 978-1771470544

On the Wing by David Elliott and illustrated by Becca Stadtlander

Head over to the poetry section to find this beautiful picture book. Each poem is sure to inspire readers to want to find out more about the fascinating birds inside.

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Publisher: Candlewick (September 9, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0763653241
ISBN-13: 978-0763653248

 

Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen

What is there to learn about bird feathers? It turns out there is a wealth of information. You might already be familiar with how feathers help birds fly or how they keep water birds dry, but Melissa Stewart has found at least 16 different ways birds use their feathers. To make it easy for children to relate to and remember, she compares the uses to common human-made objects with similar purposes, like sunscreen and jewelry.

The text with dual-layer format, with the easy-to-read main text in a large font, and sidebars on each page to fill in the informational details. The watercolor illustrations look like you should be able to pluck them from the page. Nature lovers are going to want this for the illustrations alone.

Look for a complete review and activities to extend the book at Growing with Science blog.

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Grade Level: 1 – 4
Publisher: Charlesbridge (February 25, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1580894305
ISBN-13: 978-1580894302

Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore and illustrated by Susan L. Roth is a lovely new picture book. What catches your eye right away are the mixed-media collage parrots on the cover. What holds your attention is the fascinating story of the history of the Puerto Rican parrot, tied in a unique way with the history of the island of Puerto Rico.

You need to have this book on hand because it can be used in so many ways. Obviously it is perfect to accompany art lessons on collage in an art class. Pick it up for units on birds in science class, or for discussions of environmental issues and conservation. It also has an important place in units on U. S. history, because the history of Puerto Rico is also covered in detail. Add darling parrots and an ongoing drama of whether they are going to survive, and it is a real winner.

Ages 6 to 11
Publisher: Lee & Low Books (September 15, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1620140047
ISBN-13: 978-1620140048

 

 


Bird Talk: What Birds Are Saying and Why by Lita Judge

Birds make a lot of different sounds and you may have wondered what they are saying. This lovely picture book will give you an introduction to bird communication. The illustrations are amazing. Note:  Some of the calls are about attracting mates, and Judge does not shy away from this topic.

Reading level: Ages 6 and up
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Flash Point (March 13, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1596436468
ISBN-13: 978-159643646

Birds of a Feather by Bernadette Gervais and Francesco Pittau

All about birds with more than 40 lift-the-flaps and pop-ups.

Hardcover: 18 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books; Pop edition (September 26, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1452110662
ISBN-13: 978-1452110660


For the Birds: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson
by Peggy Thomas and illustrated by Laura Jacques

Inspiring biography of naturalist Roger Tory Peterson, of Peterson Field Guides fame.

Reading level: Ages 8 and up
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press (October 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1590787641
ISBN-13: 978-1590787649

Puffling Patrol by Ted Lewin and illustrated by Betsy Lewin

The Lewin’s based this informational picture book on a trip to Iceland. The Puffling Patrol of the title is a group of people, including children, who rescue pufflings that wander into town.

Hardcover: 56 pages
Publisher: Lee & Low Books (March 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1600604242
ISBN-13: 978-1600604249

Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95
by Phillip Hoose

The Moonbird is a tiny bird who has flown an estimated 350,000 miles – over the distance to the moon and halfway back – in his lifetime! Pair with bird-related citizen science projects that are child friendly, such as the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Reading level: Ages 10 and up
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (July 17, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0374304688
ISBN-13: 978-0374304683

My review

Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird: A True Story by Stephanie Spinner

The title character of this book is an African gray parrot named Avian Learning Experiment. It turns out that Alex lives up to his clever name. His owner finds out that birds are capable of much more complex behavior than originally thought.

Reading level: Ages 8 and up
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (October 9, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0375868461
ISBN-13: 978-0375868467

Bring On the Birds by Susan Stockdale

This brightly colored picture book explores 21 species of birds from around the world. See what Susan Stockdale has to say about her book at STEM Friday.

Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (February 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1561455601
ISBN-13: 978-1561455607

 

 

olivias-birds2

Olivia’s Birds: Saving the Gulf
by Olivia Bouler

Written by Olivia when she was eleven, this book shows children what they can accomplish if they put their mind to it. See an interview with Olivia at Archimedes Notebook.

Reading level: Ages 3 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Sterling; First Edition (April 5, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1402786654
ISBN-13: 978-1402786655

Bird Books with Hands-on Activities Included

Bird-acious (Science with Stuff) by Melissa Stewart.

First of all, the book itself is a fun and educational introduction to birds for young readers. It contains big color photographs and interesting facts. It covers everything from feathers and flying to beaks and eating. There’s even a two-page spread that features photographs of cool bird tongues and describes what the various structures are used for.

But this book offers even more. In the cover image above, do you see the brown mass in the yellow oval to the right, just under the title? That is an actual owl pellet for kids to dissect. A bird book with its own hands-on activity included, how cool is that?

Age Range: 8 and up
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Downtown Bookworks; Nov edition (December 10, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1935703900
ISBN-13: 978-1935703907

Look and Learn Birds (PBS Kids) by Sarah Parvis and PBS KIDS (Editor)

Perfect to accompany a citizen science project like The Great Backyard Bird Watch, this kit comes with a 64-page book, simple-to-use binoculars, a laminated identification sheet with pictures of common birds, and an activity poster. What a great way to encourage the next generation of bird watchers.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Downtown Bookworks; Box Pck Pa edition (August 30, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1941367291
ISBN-13: 978-1941367292

Middle Grade

Look Up!: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard
by Annette LeBlanc

In an attempt to overcome the “whatever” attitude of the modern child, LeBlanc adopts a conversational style and cartoon illustrations that are sure to attract some new interest in giving birdwatching a try.

Reading level: Ages 8 and up
Hardcover: 64 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (March 12, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0763645613
ISBN-13: 978-0763645618

 

Nat-geo-bird-guide

National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America: The Best Birding Book for Kids from National Geographic’s Bird Experts by Jonathan Alderfer

It may seem like hype to call yourself the best, but this book really does takes kid-friendly bird guides to a whole new level. The book features National Geographic quality photographs and artwork. Plus, it wouldn’t be National Geographic with really nice maps of where many of the birds are found (sneak in a geography lesson here?) Now add a lot of good tips for identification and easily-digestible facts about the different birds. Stir in a few bird-related activities, and you have a fantastic bird guide for kids.

Age Range: 7 – 9 years
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (March 12, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1426310943
ISBN-13: 978-1426310942

Older children might enjoy reading about Fire Birds by Sneed B. Collard III.

Fire Birds reveals the work of biology professor Dick Hutto, who has been investigating what happens to bird species after a forest fire. He found that some kinds of birds increase in number due to increased nest sites and food. He has come up with a list of 15 species that are closely associated with recently burned forests, which he calls “Fire Birds.” Can you guess what they might be?

(This title was previously reviewed at Wrapped in Foil.)

Ages: 8+
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Bucking Horse Books (December 10, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0984446079
ISBN-13: 978-0984446070

Crow Smarts: Inside the Brain of the World’s Brightest Bird by Pamela S. Turner and photographs by Andy Comins

 

Written with light humor (one of the crows is named “Crow we never got around to naming”) and illustrated with birds-eye-view photographs (like the one on the cover). Whether you have read all of books in the Scientists in the Field series or none of them, you are going to want to pick up this one. Perfect for anyone interested in learning, tool use and birds, including budding animal behaviorists, ornithologists, psychologists and educators.

Full review at Growing With Science.

Age Range: 10 – 12 years
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (August 2, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0544416198
ISBN-13: 978-0544416192

Birdology: 30 Activities and Observations for Exploring the World of Birds (Young Naturalists) by Monica Russo and with photographs by Kevin Byron

Birdology gives an introduction to many aspects of bird biology, such as their anatomy and special characteristics, where to look for them, what they eat, bird migratory behavior, etc. In the final section it explores common careers that involve working with birds. Each section reveals information about a topic, such as feathers, and then provides suggestions for hands-on activities to reinforce learning.

The author is very careful to point out that it is illegal to collect or possess feathers, nests or eggs of wild birds. All the activity suggestions keep this important consideration in mind.

(Full review and activities at Growing with Science blog)

Age Range: 7 and up
Publisher: Chicago Review Press (January 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 161374949X
ISBN-13: 978-1613749494

 

Be sure to check our recent list of children’s books about bird migrations, too.

Do you have a book to add to this list? We’d love to hear from you.

 

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Disclosure:  I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

 


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