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Spring explorer booklist

World of Birds

Can books get your little ones outside? Here's how!

Spring is a great time to start exploring the world around you - whether that's learning more about animals or having a picnic in your garden. Here are some books to spark children's curiosity for the world around them.

  • Sunday Rain

    Author: Rosie J. Pova Illustrator: Amariah Rauscher
    Publisher: Lantana
    Interest age: 4-5

    A little boy watches the children on his street playing together, but he's too shy to say hello! A lovely tale about having the courage to leap into the unknown to make friends.

  • Wild

    Author: Sam Usher
    Publisher: Templar Books
    Interest age: 4-8

    Sam Usher’s beautiful picture book starts off as a story about an exciting everyday life kind of event: getting a pet is a big part of anyone’s childhood. Yet what starts as a new pet story changes unexpectedly into something much more fantastical and dreamy.

  • The Misadventures of Frederick

    Author: Ben Manley Illustrator: Emma Chichester Clark
    Publisher: Two Hoots
    Interest age: 4-7
    Reading age: 7+

    Emily is playing in the forest when she sees a boy watching her from a grand house. She invites him to play, but his mother refuses - will Emily be able to convince him to face his fears and come outside? A sophisticated, skilful picture book.

  • Anywhere Farm

    Author: Phyllis Root Illustrator: G. Brian Karas
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 4-6
    Reading age: 5+

    Rhyming text and warm illustrations create an uplifting tale that celebrates the joys and pleasures of growing not just food and flowers, but also friendships and communities.

  • Errol’s Garden

    Author: Gillian Hibbs
    Publisher: Child’s Play
    Interest age: 4-6
    Reading age: 5+

    Errol loves gardening, but he doesn’t have a garden. Then he comes up with a creative solution, thanks to the discovery of a disused area at the top of his apartment block. A heartwarming book with universal appeal that's a delight, from beginning to end. 

  • My Butterfly Bouquet

    Author: Nicola Davies Illustrator: Hannah Peck
    Publisher: Wren & Rook
    Interest age: 4-8
    Reading age: 6+

    Nicola Davies’ books are full of lovely details about nature, and in this book, she has deftly woven a story about a child recovering from illness into a story about how we can also help revive butterflies, a species that are under threat.

  • Outside: A Guide to Discovering Nature

    Author: Maria Ana Peixe Dias and Ines Teixeira do Rosario Illustrator: Bernardo P Carvalho
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln
    Interest age: 8+
    Reading age: 8+

    Amphibians, birds, rocks, oceans and clouds: they're all explored in this large and stylish hardcover guide to nature for children in cities and the countryside alike.

  • Sounds of Nature: World of Birds

    Author: Robert Hunter
    Publisher: Wide Eyed Press
    Interest age: 5-8
    Reading age: 7+

    Do you know what the roadrunner sounds like? The emperor penguin? Or the superb fairy-wren? Find out in this extraordinary sound book. Introducing birds from all around the world, over sixty different bird calls can be heard throughout the book, from the classic Cuckoo to the exotic birds of paradise.

  • I Love Bugs

    Author: Emma Dodd
    Publisher: Orchard Books
    Interest age: 3+
    Reading age: 7+

    A large, bright, creepy-crawly bug safari through a little boy’s garden, with a final spread which shows how we often react to them.

  • Follow the Swallow

    Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Pam Smy
    Publisher: Egmont
    Interest age: 4+
    Reading age: 6+

    Chack the blackbird is brown but claims he will turn black and that the berries in the tree where he lives will turn orange, but Apollo the swallow doesn't believe him.

  • A Walk in the Park

    Author: Anthony Browne
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 3-6
    Reading age: 5+

    A welcome republication for an Anthony Browne classic from 1977. Two children from very different backgrounds (and their dogs) make friends where their parents cannot.

  • We Are Not Frogs!

    Author: Michael Morpurgo Illustrator: Sam Usher
    Publisher: Picture Squirrels
    Interest age: 3-6
    Reading age: 5+

    Alice and Jago are playing in granny's garden one day when they find lots of toads in the long grass. Michael Morpurgo's lovely nature tale and Sam Usher's sensitive and funny illustrations bring this story hoppingly alive.

  • Tidy

    Author: Emily Gravett
    Publisher: Two Hoots
    Interest age: 4-7
    Reading age: 6+

    Pete the badger likes to keep everything neat and tidy, but his over-zealous cleaning begins to have a damaging impact on the forest. This entertaining picture book, with its rich illustrations, carries an important environmental message.

  • Lots

    Author: Marc Martin
    Publisher: Bonnier Publishing
    Interest age: 3-6
    Reading age: 5+

    This beautiful book celebrates the world we live in: there are LOTS of people, places, landscapes and cultures to see. Marc Martin's illustrations capture the spirit of every place and culture, igniting the travelling bug for young explorers.