10 Diverse Nature Books for Kids

10 Diverse Nature Books for Kids

Nature is full of color and diversity…children’s books about nature should be, too! Diverse books are incredibly important, not only for children who are looking to see their own lives reflected in literature, but to introduce new thoughts and ideas to all children so they know there is so much more to our beautiful world. Diversity can be brought out in the character’s background, race, skin color, religion, socio-economic status, or family life as well. Or diverse books can also deal with characters that have disabilities. Today, we have Kathleen White, photographer and Arizona mom of 3 here sharing her family’s 10 favorite diverse nature books for kids. We hope you’ll add a few of these to your bookshelves or library wishlist! 

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10 Diverse Nature Books for Kids

The importance of diverse books

As a homeschool mama of three, books are a staple in our house. I love watching my kids turn the pages, learn, and get excited as the stories come alive. And as the matriarch of a mixed family, it is extremely important for me to provide my kids with books that show diversity so they see kids that look like them and they can relate to in the stories as well. When kids open a book and see a character that looks, thinks, feels, and loves the way that they do, they feel less alone. Kids need to feel confident in who they are from the earliest stages of development, and normalizing diversity is key to that goal.

Diverse books are also a great way to allow children to walk in another’s shoes and learn about another’s world and experiences. In a book, they get the chance to see things from a new perspective, in a place they may never go, and live in a culture they may never experience. Diverse books can help cultivate compassion, awareness, and understanding.

Research on prejudice shows that coming in contact with people who are different from us helps to reduce stereotypes by giving us the opportunity to learn about them and their stories. And while it would be ideal for children to actually meet people from different backgrounds in person, if that isn’t possible, books can serve as a wonderful next best thing and introduce kids to diverse people, experiences, and cultures.

Diverse nature books for kids

10 diverse nature books for kids

Today I’m excited to share a few of our favorite diverse nature books for kids to hopefully inspire and encourage conversations about diversity with your kiddos. When compiling this list, I tried to narrow it down to include books about different topics, as well as books that all ages can enjoy. I have a 9 (almost 10) year-old, 4-year-old, and a 2-year-old and they all couldn’t put these down! This list of topics in these book range from an inspiring story of the first African American entomologist, to weather, to taking care of our Earth, planting gardens, and going on hikes! There is bound to be something here for all of your little readers. Not only are these books vivid and fun to read, but they are excellent conversation starters! As we all begin a new school year, I hope that this helps add to your home library! 

Best diverse nature books for kids

1. All About Weather by Huda Harajli MA 

All About Weather is the perfect book for your preschooler. It will keep your kids entertained, while giving them a first look at all the different types of weather. I love the interactive questions at the end too!

2. Green Green: A Community Gardening Story by Marie Lamba 

Green Green: A Community Gardening Story is a short and sweet story about the importance of community, as well as creating a garden that everyone can share. It also helps children identify their colors, which is a perfect activity and lesson for preschool-age children, as well! 

3. Only a Tree Knows How to Be a Tree by Mary Murphy

Only a Tree Knows How to Be a Tree is a great reminder to kiddos that we are all created in our own unique ways and that we are the only ones who know how to be us. It’s simple, joyful, and colorful. All of my kids love it! 

Diverse nature books for kids

4. One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom

One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree is so much fun to read aloud! It keeps my kids entertained the whole time as they try to find out if the boy can escape the snake! Also, it’s beautifully illustrated and really colorful. A hungry snake. A beautiful brown boy. What more can a young reader ask for?

5. Are Your Stars Like My Stars? by Leslie Helakoski

Are Your Stars Like My Stars is a precious book. It “teaches children that no matter where they live, all children gaze at the blue sky, bask in the warmth of the golden sun, dig in the rich dirt, and watch clouds grow soft and rosy at end of day. Through the eyes of one inquisitive and thoughtful young narrator, young readers explore the idea of perspective, and come to realize that all of us, everywhere, share the colors of the world.”

10 favorite diverse books for outdoorsy kids

6. Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn

Lola Plants a Garden starts out with Lola’s mom reading her a classic garden poem which inspires her to create a garden of her own. They go to the library and learn all about gardening, buy their seeds, and get to planting. But, of course, Lola wants the flowers to grow right away! She creates a flower book and spends time with friends in her new garden. This book is part of the Lola Reads series, which I highly recommend!  

7. My Friend Earth by Patricia MacLachlan

My Friend Earth is a super interactive and stunning book! It contains die-cut pages and flaps that engage your kids while reading. My daughter especially loved it! Little readers might try to damage the pages (like my 2-year-old, for example!) but it is still one I will keep around as it teaches important lessons about taking care of the Earth. 

 

creating a diverse library for kids

8. Buzzing with Questions: The Inquisitive Mind of Charles Henry Turner by Janice N. Harrington

Buzzing with Questions: The Inquisitive Mind of Charles Henry Turner tells the story of the first African American entomologist. It showcases his ideas and discoveries about ants, bees, and other insects and how far his inquisitive mind got him. I love that it shows real photos of him in the back of the book too! It is perfect for older readers, but of course, you can always read it to your littler kids.

9. The Hike by Alison Farrell 

The Hike is a wonderful book about three friends who set out on an adventure together! It features a glossary, a sketchbook by one of the characters that highlights aspects of the hike, and labels throughout that encourages scientific learning. This book is perfect for kids who love exploring!

the importance of diversity in children's nature books

10. National Parks of the USA by Kate Siber

Finally, it wouldn’t be a nature book list without including one all about the National Parks of the USA, right?! Not only will you want to put this book on display, but it also includes maps and information about 21 different parks. We are National Park lovers and this book is amazing. 

Divided by region (East, Central, Rocky Mountains, West, Tropics, and Alaska), a pictographic map at the start of each section shows the locations of the parks to be covered. Each park is introduced by a stunning, poster-worthy illustration of one of its scenes and a summary of its makeup, followed by individual illustrations of the animals and plants that make their homes there.

There is also a “Can you spot this…?” page at the back that challenges kids to find a pictured critter or plant for every letter of the alphabet. My kids love this page.

The parks include: Acadia, Badlands, Big Bend, Biscayne, Bryce Canyon, Channel Islands, Death Valley, Denali, Everglades, Glacier, Glacier Bay, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains, Hawaii volcanoes, Isle Royale, Mesa Verde, Olympic, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Virgin Islands, Yellowstone, and Yosemite.

Diverse nature books for kidsCreating a diverse nature book library for kids

What are your favorite diverse nature books for kids?

For more book recommendations, check out the following posts:

About the author

Kathleen is married to her high school sweetheart and is the mama to 3 energetic littles. She is passionate about natural and intentional living, photography, and documenting her family’s travels in their RV. They just wrapped up traveling full-time around the United States in their RV for nearly a year! When she’s not planning her family’s next adventure, she is running a health and wellness business and homeschooling her three kiddos. 

You can find more from Kathleen in the following locations:
Website: www.faithboundtravel.com
YouTube: Faith Bound Travel
Instagram at @faithboundtravel
Other RWMC posts: Kathleen

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