15 Delightful Bird Books For Kids

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Jean Kuo Lee

Staff Writer

Jean Kuo Lee is a writer from California with a B.A. in English from UCLA, a former career in interior design, and a current calling to homeschool her children. She writes for parents and kids on several blogs with publications forthcoming. To contact her or to see more of her work, visit Twitter: @JeanKuoLee

Do you have any young bird lovers who love to watch these creatures soar through the air? Or perhaps they love hearing unique birdsong while on a walk? Birds are a favorite animal amongst kids both young and old. From common backyard birds to the more exotic birds of prey, these creatures bring delight and curiosity about nature. Here are some excellent bird books for kids to inspire delight.

We have nonfiction titles that inform and provide solid science for curious young minds. Why do birds have so many feathers? How do you birdwatch? Who are some of the pioneering scientists behind our understanding of birds? While providing answers to the many questions young kids may have, these informational picture books are also delightful, entertaining to read aloud, and often gorgeously illustrated.

Alongside these nonfiction titles are also fiction selections that touch on different aspects of birds than the scientific and informational. These titles open up the world of birds as myth, emblem, and cultural symbols. Throughout history and in many cultures, birds represent freedom, possibility, hope, and courage. They may also possess meaning when individuals adopt them as personal symbols. Take up a volume and enjoy a story with a young reader. It’ll make a bird lover out of you both..

Nonfiction Bird Books For Kids

Hawks, Kettle, Puffins Wheel- and other poems of birds in flight by Susan Vande Griek Cover

Hawks Kettle, Puffins Wheel: And Other Poems of Birds in Flight by Susan Vande Griek

Poetry and science come together in this picture book about twelve birds and their unique ways of flying. It pairs beautiful lyricism with imagery of birds wheeling, mobbing, and skeining. The book is perfect for young readers learning about the quirky and mesmerizing qualities of birds for the first time.

Birds and their Feathers, Britta Teckentrup Cover

Birds and their Feathers by Britta Teckentrup

This book about birds and their feathers is not only a feast for the eyes but for the inquisitive mind as well. What are feathers made of and why do birds have so many of them? How do they help birds fly? Answers are here alongside stunning illustrations to satiate young readers’ curiosity.

The Hummingbird, by Nicola Davies Cover

The Hummingbird, by Nicola Davies and Jane Ray

A wonderful introduction to the delightful hummingbird with its jewel-like beauty and body as light as a nickel. Follow the tiny bird from Central America to Central Park in this picture book.

Look up!- Bird-watching in your own backyard, Annette Cate Cover

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

A 2014 Sibert Honor book, this is an excellent title to inspire those who want to go bird-watching and to encourage those who already do. Look Up! is filled with humor and personality as the author shows budding bird-watchers the hilarious and entertaining characters that can be found right in their backyards.

The boy who drew birds- a story of John James Audubon, Jacqueline Davies Cover

The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon by Jacqueline Davies and Melissa Sweet

This picture book chronicles the life of John Audubon, whose lifelong love for birds and careful observations gave us the scientific foundations for understanding these creatures and their patterns. The biography inspires and informs young ornithologists to follow in his footsteps.

The Nest that Wren Built, by Randi Sonenshine Cover

The Nest that Wren Built by Randi Sonenshine and Anne Hunter

This rhyming picture book takes after the style of “The House that Jack Built.” The poem depicts two wrens building their nest with soft moss and unexpected things like snakeskins. The book is lyrical yet informative.

One Dark Bird, Liz Garton Scanlon Cover

One Dark Bird by Liz Garton Scanlon and Frann Preston-Gannon

If your little one loves counting books and birds, this is the perfect picture book for them. It begins with one dark bird perched high, then two, three, and four, until hundreds are there in the sky avoiding a hawk together in one of the best tricks of the animal kingdom.

Wings, Cheryl B Klein Cover

Wings by Cheryl B. Klein and Tomie dePaola

This sweet picture book captures a baby bird’s first flight. From fearful and clumsy beginnings to triumphant flight, this book will captivate youngsters.

Fiction Bird Books For Kids

Book cover of Sacred Song of the Hermit Thrush- a Mohawk Story by Tehanetorens

Sacred Song of the Hermit Thrush: a Mohawk Story by Tehanetorens and David Kanietakeron Fadden

This is the legend of how the hermit thrush got its song. In this Mohawk tale, readers imagine a time when birds had no songs and the Great Spirit heard only silence on the Earth. He would reward a beautiful song to the bird who could fly the highest. Read more to find out why the hermit thrush has such a beautiful song but never shows itself.

The Bird Watchers Simon James Cover

The Birdwatchers by Simon James

In this sweet picture book, Granddad takes Jess birdwatching. While “nothing” happens at first, eventually they begin to encounter nature. This book captures a lovely intergenerational bond and shows the magic that comes through patient observation.

Birdsong, by Julie Flett Cover

Birdsong by Julie Flett

A story of friendship between a young girl and an elderly artist, this picture book captures the changing seasons, the shared love for birds and art, and the loss that comes with life. Award-winning Cree-Métis author Julie Flett tells a subtle and profound story.

Asha and the Spirit bird, Jasbinder Bilan Cover

Asha and The Spirit Bird by Jasbinder Bilan

In this middle grade novel set in contemporary rural India, Asha must travel across the Himalayas to find her missing father. She follows a mythical bird and tiger, the spirits of her guiding ancestors, ultimately to save her family’s home.

Freedom Bird, Jerdine Nolen Cover

Freedom Bird: A Tale of Hope and Courage by Jerdine Nolen and James E. Ransome

In this powerful story told in the tradition of American Black folktales, two siblings enslaved on a plantation take courage from a mysterious bird to escape to freedom.

The Dreamer, Il Sung Na Cover

The Dreamer by Il Sung Na

“Once there was a pig who admired birds…” And so begins this picture book about those who have ever dared to dream big. This book is not just a book about birds and all the hopes and aspirations they represent, but it is also about the humble pig who knew he wasn’t a bird but nevertheless determined that he would learn to fly.

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again), Dan Santat Cover

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) By Dan Santat

In this beloved picture book, Humpty Dumpty gets back up again (and more!). Readers will love the end when they see who Humpty Dumpty, the fallen egg, was really meant to be.

Does your little reader love animals? Find even more children’s books about animals here!