Books · Nature Study · Uncategorized

New and Upcoming 2023 Nature-Based Books for Children

Earlier this year I shared about my favorite nature-based books for children from 2022 and I thought it would be fun this year to go ahead and share my favorites for the first half of the year. There are so many notable picture books this year that celebrate nature as well as children spending time in nature and appreciating the natural world. I hope you have a chance to check these out.

In addition, I’ll be sharing a list of favorite nature-based nonfiction books newly published or set to publish soon. Hopefully this will inspire your reading!


Nell Plants A Tree

Balzer + Bray (January 31, 2023)

This gorgeous picture book shows how one little girl’s careful tending of a pecan tree creates the living center of a loving, intergenerational Black family. (Publisher description)

Dear, Earth

Tiger Tales* (February 7, 2023)

A loving appreciation of the Earth that blends facts and flights of fancy. (Kirkus Reviews)

Black Beach: A Community, an Oil Spill, and the Origin of Earth Day

little bee books (February 21, 2023)

A reserved but perceptive view of a major milestone in the environmental movement. (Kirkus Reviews)

One Tiny Treefrog: A Countdown to Survival

Candlewick* (February 14, 2023)

The red-eyed treefrog of the Costa Rican rain forest stars in this bold and visually arresting countdown book, which is both a captivating read-aloud and a resource. (Publisher description)

In A Patch of Grass

Tilbury House Publishers* (March 14, 2023)

A funny, rollicking take on a natural-history picture book, designed to entertain kids and the adults who read to them. (Publisher description)

Every Little Seed

Sleeping Bear Press* (March 14, 2023)

Rhyming text and lush artwork bring the wonders and joys of gardening to life. Back matter includes information about seeds. (Publisher description)

The Tree and the River

Candlewick* (March 14, 2023)

A spectacular time-lapse portrait of humankind—and our impact on the natural world—from a Caldecott Honor–winning master of the wordless form. (Publisher description)

City Beet

Sleeping Bear Press* (March 14, 2023)

This clever, humorous take on an old folktale is a celebration of community and the ways we all come together. (Publisher description)

Just A Worm

Greenwillow Books* (March 14, 2023)

The cleverness of this story lies in its lighthearted, effective dissemination of information about various insects as well as earthworms. . . . The stunning illustrations are done in quilled paper—a centuries-old technique that involves assembling strips of colored paper into shapes—which adds sparkle and originality. (Kirkus Reviews)

Hush-A-Bye Night: Goodnight Lake Superior

Sleeping Bear Press* (March 15, 2023)

This lyrical lullaby to the lake, and the flora and fauna that call its shores home, is a beautiful ode to the most beautiful lake. (Publisher description)

Apple Pie Picnic

Red Comet Press* (March 21, 2023)

This charming story delivers some beginning Spanish vocabulary as well as a lesson in plant life for young readers who will enjoy spending time with Rosa, her dog, Churro, and her entire family. (Publisher description)

Linh’s Rooftop Garden

Peachtree Publishing (March 21, 2023)

Linh searches for blueberries in her rooftop garden in this vibrant exploration of gardening and healthy eating, from the Where in the Garden? series. (Publisher description)

The Planet We Call Home

Philomel Books (March 21, 2023)

A lyrical and loving ode to Planet Earth and the ways in which its many features are interconnected–to each other and to us–told in the cumulative style of “This Is the House that Jack Built.” (Publisher description)

This Is the Planet Where I Live

Beach Lane Books (March 21, 2023)

A stunning tribute that will make future conservationists out of all who read it. (Kirkus Review)

Welcome, Rain!

Greystone Kids* (March 28, 2023)

Children everywhere will identify with the different experiences that rain (or no rain) brings. . .A joyful and nuanced take on a popular subject. (Publisher review)

Love Makes a Garden Grow

Simon & Schuster (March 28, 2023)

A sweetly personal and stunningly illustrated picture book about a young girl who grows closer to her grandfather by tending to the garden with him. (Publisher description)

Cool Green: Amazing, Remarkable Trees

Candlewick* (March 28, 2023)

A portrait of some of the world’s most incredible trees, seen through the eyes of a landscaper who loves them—and his granddaughter who is beginning to understand why. (Publisher description)

Opal’s Springtime Birdhouse

Yeehoo Press* (March 28, 2023)

A charming picture book tale that showcases how the rewards of our efforts can come from the most unexpected of places. (Publisher’s description)

A Bed of Stars

Candlewick* (April 4, 2023)

Under the desert night sky, Dad helps his child find cosmic comfort. . . . A lovely vision for small, sensitive existentialists. (Kirkus Reviews)

My Grandpa, My Tree, and Me

Yeehoo Press* (April 11, 2023)

In this moving tale about the depths of love and care a grandfather and granddaughter have for one another, author Roxanne Troup and artist Kendra Binney deliver a timeless story sure to become a classic. (Publisher description)

If You Wake a Skunk

Sleeping Bear Press* (April 15, 2023)

This laugh-out-loud cautionary tale will have readers cringing as each page is turned…. Includes back matter about skunk biology and behavior. (Publisher description)

An Earth Song

Harry N. Abrams (April 18, 2023)

Discover the power and joy of poetry in this simple, modern introduction to Langston Hughes, featuring an ode to spring and long-awaited new beginnings. (Publisher description)

Pedro Loves Saving the Planet

Happy Yak (April 18, 2023)

Pedro spends the day at his school eco club’s forest cabin where he learns about electric cars,plants some vegetable seeds and encourages his friends to think of creative ways to recycle. (Publisher description)

Through the Fairy Door

Magic Cat (April 18, 2023)

Featuring the award-winning images of photographer Lars van de Goor, this enchanting tale follows a young girl on her magical quest through a fairy door, where she discovers that change starts with a tiny seed and no one is too small to make a difference. (Publisher description)

Isabel and the Invisible World

MIT Kids Press (April 18, 2023)

In simple, engaging language, complemented by luminous artwork from best-selling illustrator Ramona Kaulitzki, author and physicist Alan Lightman unveils the hidden world of light waves—the ones you can see and the ones you can’t. (Publisher description)

Today I Am A River

Sounds True (April 18, 2023)

With bright, lyrical poems and lovely illustrations, children will immerse themselves in the natural world through movement, imagination, and play. (Publisher description)

When Summer Comes: Exploring Nature in Our Warmest Season

Little Bigfoot (April 25, 2023)

A celebration of outdoor summer joys and togetherness. (Kirkus Reviews)

Let’s Go Puddling!

Candlewick* (April 25, 2023)

Grab a raincoat, pull on some boots, and head out the door for a joyful celebration of splish-sploshing in puddles. Squelch! (Publisher description)

Minnow: The Girl Who Became Part Fish

Medicine Wheel Publishing (May 1, 2023)

A young Indigenous water protector named Minnow goes on an underwater journey, learning from our ocean-living relatives. When she returns to the surface, she gathers her community to help make a change.  (Publisher description)

Can You Hug a Forest?

Beach Lane Books (May 2, 2023)

Celebrate the beauty of the natural world in this meditative picture book encouraging mindfulness, gratitude, and love for the environment—featuring illustrations painted on actual wood. (Publisher description)

Walking Together

Annick Press (May 2, 2023)

This innovative picture book introduces readers to the concept of Etuaptmumk—or Two-Eyed Seeing, the gift of multiple perspectives in the Mi’kmaw language—as we follow a group of young children connecting to nature as their teacher. (Publisher description)

Forest Bath Right Down This Path

Sounds True (May 9, 2023)

This beautiful picture book illustrates the practice and pleasures of forest bathing as a young girl encourages her dad to take a nature walk with her. (Publisher description)

Cicada Symphony

Albert Whitman & Company (May 11, 2023)

Using a combination of rhythmic, rhyming verse and fun facts, this story describes the life cycle of the cicada and helps readers better understand this fascinating insect. (Publisher description)

Âmî Osâwâpikones (Dear Dandelion)

Annick Press (May 23, 2023)

Both a love letter to the dandelion and a call to love ourselves in a difficult world, Âmî Osâwâpikones reminds us that we are not defined as others see us. (Publisher description)

Let’s Build a Dam!

NorthSouth Books (May 23, 2023)

Powerfully demonstrates the wonders imagination can dream up…and how quickly reality can crash back in. (Kirkus Reviews)

Who Am I?

Sleeping Bear Press (July 15, 2023)

Who Am I? tells the story of how we are all connected to our ancestors, our past and future, and the Earth–and how it is everyone’s duty to fend off darkness, connect to the past, offer safety and shelter, and color the world with beauty. (Publisher description)

That’s the full list of picture books I wanted to share with you! In the next section we will cover nonfiction books.


Line Up!: Animals in Remarkable Rows

Peachtree (January 10, 2023)

Featuring birds, crustaceans, fish, insects, mammals, and reptiles from around the world, Line Up is a cozy and comforting book that reminds us of our similarities while illuminating some specific, distinctive behaviors. (Publisher description)

The Kitchen Pantry Scientist Ecology for Kids

Quarry Books* (March 7, 2023)

Aspiring young ecologists will discover an amazing group of role models and memorable experiments in Ecology for Kids, the fifth book in The Kitchen Pantry Scientist series. (Publisher description)

How Old Is a Whale?: Animal Life Spans from the Mayfly to the Immortal Jellyfish

Big Picture Press* (March 7, 2023)

Well-researched text and winning visuals anchor a fascinating look at life spans. (Kirkus Reviews)

Watch Me Bloom: A Bouquet of Haiku Poems for Budding Naturalists

Lantana Publishing* (March 7, 2023)

Mindful haiku poems to help us rediscover our natural surroundings, without traveling too far from home. (Publisher description)

Birds (A Day in the Life)

Neon Squid (March 7, 2023)

Set over a 24-hour period, meet speedy ostriches, tiny hummingbirds, and majestic eagles in this kids’ nonfiction book about the coolest birds in the world. (Publisher description)

Birds Everywhere

Big Picture Press* (March 7, 2023)

Besides the interesting facts, most spreads include an invitation to take a more careful look. . . An inviting, accessible, information-filled package. (Kirkus Reviews)

One World: 24 Hours on Planet Earth

Candlewick* (March 14, 2023)

Quietly profound, this glowing tribute to the natural world—and reminder of its fragility—blends accessible science, lyricism, sweeping artwork, and a call for climate awareness into an ideal companion book for Earth Day, or any wondrous day on Earth. (Publisher description)

Water: How We Can Protect Our Freshwater

Candlewick (March 21, 2023)

Bold illustrations, accessible text, and clear action points tell the story of freshwater around the world and urge us to defend a vital resource while we still can. (Publisher’s description)

The Frozen Worlds: The Astonishing Nature of the Arctic and Antarctic

DK (March 21, 2023)

Enter the world of the Arctic and Antarctic, in this gorgeously illustrated book for young animal and conservation enthusiasts. (Publisher’s description)

How Birds Sleep

minedition (March 28, 2023)

Young bird-watchers may perk up their eyes at dusk to see if they can spy any resting birds. (Kirkus Reviews)

Rise to the Sky: How the World’s Tallest Trees Grow Up

Millbook Press (April 4, 2023)

A well-focused, beautiful, and informative introduction to the arboreal world (Kirkus Reviews)

The Who, What, Why of Zoology: The Incredible Science of the Animal Kingdom

Wide Eyed Editions* (April 4, 2023)

Join the scientists uncovering the secrets of the animal kingdom in this funny, fact-packed introduction to zoology. (Publisher’s description)

Epic Animal Journeys

Cicada Books (April 4, 2023)

All the branches of the animal kingdom – birds, fish, crustaceans, reptiles, mammals, insects, and even slime moulds undertake great journeys across water land or air. This is a glorious celebration of the mysteries and marvels of migration. (Publisher description)

The Secret Life of Bugs

Twirl* (April 4, 2023)

An amazing close-up look at the world of insects. Bees, spiders, butterflies, ants and more are meticulously illustrated in this informative compendium of little critters that’s written for young animal fans. (Publisher’s description)

The World That Feeds Us

words & pictures* (April 11, 2023)

In this charmingly illustrated book, follow sustainable farming around the world to discover how farmers from Hawaii, to Sweden, the UK, and beyond grow the fresh and tasty food we enjoy eating. (Publisher description)

Wings, Waves & Webs: Patterns in Nature

Greystone Kids* (April 18, 2023)

A thoroughly grounded introduction that takes readers a step beyond shape recognition. A surefire way to get children excited about observing their world. (Kirkus Reviews)

The Forest Keeper– The True Story of Jadav Payeng

NorthSouth Books (April 18, 2023)

Rina Singh has sensitively retraced the story of young Jadav. In Ishita Jain’s picture book debut as illustrator, readers feel immersed in the spectacular habitat whose existence borders on a miracle come true. (Publisher description)

Round and Round Goes Mother Nature

Wide Eyed Editions (May 2, 2023)

This truly beautiful and wonderfully illustrated book introduces children to the magic of nature, through the stories of 48 fascinating life cycles. (Publisher description)

A Home for Every Plant: Wonders of the Botanical World

Phaidon Press* (May 10, 2023)

Journey across 40 incredible habitats around the world to discover the biggest, boldest, and stinkiest plants. (Publisher description)

Teaching Tornero: The True Story of a Sloth Superstar

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Press* (May 23, 2023)

This is the true story of Tornero the sloth and how, with the help of his wildlife care specialists and his mother, he learned to become a wildlife ambassador―a superstar for sloths and wildlife around the world. (Publisher’s description)

Timelines of Nature

DK (June 6, 2023)

Full of exciting visual timelines covering minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years, Timelines of Nature reveals our planet’s natural history and its life cycles in an entirely new way. (Publisher’s description)

Stand as Tall as the Trees: How an Amazonian Community Protected the Rain Forest

Charlesbridge (July 18, 2023)

An inspiring true story about how an activist in the Amazon worked with other Indigenous communities to protect and preserve their sacred lands and forests. (Publisher description)

Two Honorable Mentions for Nature Nonfiction:

Wildlife Anatomy by Julia Rothman (Storey Publishing; April 4, 2023) is not necessarily a children’s book but I think children will find this fascinating and fun to peruse!

Katya’s Book of Mushrooms will be published in paperback on July 11, 2023! This is fantastic book for mushroom learning and is hard to come by in hardback, so I’m looking forward to this publication.

*Starred books were provided by the publisher for review. Opinions are my own.

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