25 Picture Books to Encourage a Love of Nature

“God wrote “I love you”—He  wrote it in the sky, and on the earth, and under the sea.  He wrote his message everywhere!  Because God created everything in the world to reflect Him like a mirror—to show us what He is like, to help us to know Him, to make our hearts sing.”— Sally Lloyd-Jones, from The Jesus Storybook Bible

 This month we celebrate Easter and new life seems to be all around. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing trees blossom and birds build nests.  What is dormant is now vibrant and full of life!  It’s such a lovely time for us all to look around at nature since it is neither too hot nor too cold to be outside.  Children love this time of year and they are so observant, aren’t they?!  It is for this reason I’ve put together this list of books in which we can praise our Lord who has given us such beautiful gifts in the world around us, encourage our children to look carefully at the intricacies of what He has made, learn about people who have aided in His creative powers, and become inspired by what could happen when we make the tiniest effort to take care of His gifts for us.  Loving our planet and all that it holds means nothing if we forget who gave it to us.

I’ve divided the list into sub-sections to help break it up a bit.  Click on the picture of the book for our affiliate link!

In Praise of Nature and God’s Wonderful Creations

St. Francis sings of God’s love and all of the surrounding nature join him.  Beautifully illustrated and poetic, Tomie de Paola never disappoints.

Using text from the Old Testament, Tomie dePaola praises all of God’s creations from the sky to the earth to under the water.  It’s a celebration of nature.

Katherine Patterson tells us the story of nature by sharing an old hymn paired with beautiful illustrations.

This book follows the day in the life of a little boy who looks around at all he has been given and marvels at its beauty.  He gives thanks for all he has.

A board book for children sharing this popular hymn.

A little girl and her brother look around at nature and sing its praises through the same popular hymn in many of these books.

Celebrating True Stories of People Who Love God’s Creation

This is the story of Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize winner, who worked to replant many of the trees in Kenya that had been destroyed.  30 million trees were replaced because of her.

The biography of Saint Francis who gave up his wealth to follow God and who had a special connection with his creations.

The biography of Jean-Henri Fabre and his work with insects.  Beautifully illustrated, his story and the world of insects comes to life!

John James Audubon believed in observing nature, not just reading about it.  This is his story.

Gregor Mendel is a Catholic friar and scientist who did great studies with genetics and heredity.  This is his biography and so great to share with kids! (Especially when so many thing the church is against science!)

Encouraging Children to Look More Closely at What God Has Created

With art and science together, children are encouraged to take a look at the changing seasons and look closely at color and detail.

Look at the beautiful patterns in nature.  This book encourages kids to take the time to focus on even the tiniest aspects and intricacies.

This book is great for very young children as it has short simple phrases on each page with vibrant beautiful pop-ups of the common things you would see in nature during spring.

Look closely at nature to discover it’s colors and textures and you are an artist, too!
A classic Little Golden Book that shows the natural world around and is written in verse so that children can look at what surrounds them and learn from the poetry as they listen.

God’s Children Helping Nature Flourish

A cute story about a boy growing up in the brown city when he finds some small plants surviving out of reach of people.  He slowly nourishes them and helps the plants to grow.  With the help of his neighbors, the little garden slowly takes back the city and everything is beautiful and green once again!

A very simple story of a persistent young boy who is determine to grow a carrot despite being told by everyone he can’t do it.

Another classic book that tells the story of Miss Rumphius who spreads her flower seeds everywhere and helps make the world more beautiful.  See our full review with lesson plans and activities here.

A little tiny gardener, much like a Tom-thumb character, toils day and night to help his garden flourish.

After moving, a little girl finds an abandoned butterfly park, but there are no longer any butterflies.  She works with her community to fix the park and bring the butterflies back.

This book is a beautiful comparison between planting a seed and the care you give and planting a dream and working to help it come true.  Sweet and encouraging for children who have big dreams!

This story of a young girl who moves to the bland city and starts a roof-top garden over her uncle’s business.  She is able to brighten the day of his customers by giving them flowers.

Matt and his friends work to help recover this forgotten by clearing it of debris and showing the respect for it that God asks of each of us when caring for his creation.

Written by famous nature author Jim Arnosky, this book shows his famous character who shows children great secrets of the natural world and gives advice about how they can protect it.