Birds are beautiful and unique animals, and for bird watchers, spotting birds in their natural habitat is a fulfilling experience. Our kids, in many cases, are adventurous, inquisitive and hungry for knowledge, and will want to understand what’s out there. Below, I’ll review some of the best books on birds for children, and what you need to look out for when choosing one for your little ones.
Why Buy A Children’s Book on Birds?
Birds are everywhere, in your backyard, in the town, in the local park, and virtually everywhere else.
Bird watching is an appreciation of what nature has to offer and a reminder that there are other animals with whom we share a home (earth).
Bird watching for kids, more than adults, fosters skills such as concentration, observation, memory and listening skills.
Watching birds also fosters and nurtures the explorer in your child, giving them a love for the outdoors, a way to detox from the screen overloading they are going through.
Also for those kids with a natural love for birds, these books are a good way of starting them on the bird-watching journey before moving on to more adult-focused bird books.
What To Consider When Buying Bird Books For Children.
1. Choose something they can relate to.
When choosing a bird book for your child, it’s good to find something they can relate to.
A good start is a book on birds that they interact with, or are in their immediate surroundings, or even birds they get to see when they visit the zoo.
Don’t let the books be too exotic, such that they really can’t place these birds, or understand just how important or impressive these birds are.
2. Choose a book that is very easy to read.
An easy way to know if a book is just right for your little one is by using the five-finger rule.
A good thing to note is that books that are too easy will make the reading experience boring, while difficult-to-read books will lead to frustration in your child.
Before they start reading a new book, ask them to turn to a random page in the book and read it, and for every word they don’t know, they should hold up a finger.
According to how many fingers are held up, the guidelines below will show you the suitability of the book.
- 0-1: Too easy for your child.
- 2: A good choice that will allow your child to learn new words and offer a bit of a challenge.
- 3: A good choice if your child is up to the challenge, and will need a little bit of your help.
- 4: This book is too difficult for your child to read on their own. For such a book you need to help your kid or read along with them.
- 5: A bit too advanced for your kid, probably chose a different book.
3. Pick a book full of pictures and illustrations.
For kids, strong imagery is as important in passing on the message, as the words.
Choose books that have a lot of pictures of the birds themselves and illustrations of their ways of life.
4. Fun to read aloud
Choose a book that is also fun to read aloud, as this helps increase the interest in the young ones.
And in many cases, children will want the books they love to be read out to them multiple times.
5. Consider what your kid likes and wants.
When choosing a bird book for your children, consider them first; their needs, wants, interests and hobbies.
Sometimes choosing something that you want and think is right for your child, may not be the best thing for them.
Choosing something that aligns with them goes a long way in fostering their love for reading, learning about birds and appreciating nature.
The 8 Best Bird Books For Children
Now let’s head right over to the top 8 bird books for children (lots of them with an African birds twist)
1. African Birds: Fun Facts and Fantastic Photos for Kids! Learn About African Animals.
This is a book filled with fun, little-known, and weird facts about African birds and all birds in general.
The quirky facts, together with the full-color photos of birds are sure to keep kids entertained and teach them about birds. The book is 60 pages long and can be found either on Kindle or in paperback format.
- The book has a very simple setup that will not overwhelm your child.
- The photos are clear and will give your child a true picture of the birds within and how they are in the wild.
- Does not come in hardcover for those who may want a copy that is durable and can stand up to some mishandling.
2. Facts About the African Penguin (A Picture Book For Kids)
This is an educational book about the African penguin, with the facts presented in a simple and kid-friendly manner.
These facts, sit alongside full-color photos of the African penguins, giving kids context on what it is they are reading and helping them understand more about the African Penguin.
The book is suitable for kids 5 years and above and has 40 pages of interesting facts and titbits.
- The paperback version of the book has some coloring pages for your kid.
- The photos are clear and the text layout is easy enough for your kids.
- only comes in paperback
3. What Is a Flamingo?
Cottage Door Press
This is a board book on the flamingo. This 12-page flap book has fun facts and activities that will keep the little ones occupied and help them learn about this pink feathered bird.
It is suitable for children below six years,
- The book has thick flaps and is made to be durable and withstand the playfulness of children.
- Great illustrations and vibrant colours, which appeal to kids.
4. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Birds (National Geographic Little Kids First Big Books)
This is a book that introduces young readers to the world of birds, from those in their backyard to the exotic birds found in places like the Amazon and the African jungle.
The book has more than 100 illustrations and photos with each bird’s profile.
The facts in the book, are activities kids can relate to in their normal day-to-day activities such as feeding, swimming, dancing, and diving.
At the end of each chapter are interactive games and questions that encourage kids to engage with the subject or bird under study. It is suitable for kids between 3-6 years old and is 128 pages long.
- Kids can relate to the content within the book.
- The content within the book motivates and encourages kids to be inquisitive.
- Is available on Kindle and as a Hardcover
- The pages are not made of sturdy paper and can tear easily.
5. The Little Book of Backyard Bird Songs
This book is suitable for kids between 2-5 years.
The book teaches kids to listen and identify what individual birds sound like, with each bird having their own page of facts and detailed illustrations.
One of the very cool features of this book is that on each page is a set of buttons with a bird head that will play each bird’s unique wild call.
Within the books case is a set of sound modules that play the sounds of the birds within the book.
- The book has a durable and hardy construction that will stand up to toddler abuse.
- The sound module makes it even more interesting and captivating to kids.
- The sounds made are accurate, in comparison to those of the actual birds
- You’ll need to change the battery for the sound module.
6. The Burgess Bird Book for Children (Dover Children’s Classics)
Thornton W. Burgess
This book tries to introduce young readers to the fascinating world of birds, lessons on ecology and giving them an appreciation for the environment.
The facts about birds in this book are given in a story like fashion that will appeal to kids of all ages.
The book has 272 pages and is suitable for kids of between 6-7 years.
- The facts are put in a format that will appeal to the natural curiosity of kids.
- It is a great book to read out loud to kids
- The book doesn’t have a lot of pictures, colours and illustrations.
7. Backpack Explorer: Bird Watch: What Will You Find?
Editors of story publishing
This book offers something extra unlike others in this list, as it offers the budding naturalists tips on how they should handle themselves outside, when they go for a hike, bird watching or even collecting samples.
It helps kids learn about birds, in terms of their songs, migration patterns, and habitats. This book is suitable for kids of between 3-8 years.
- The book includes a magnifying glass and stickers.
- Encourages kids to be hands-on, in the great outdoors.
- The glue holding the book might be weak and some pages might fall out.
8. Big Book of Birds (The Big Book Series)
This is a charming book of watercolor illustrations and facts that is captivating to both parents and kids alike.
The book also challenges young readers alike to be eco-warriors, and be protectors of birds in their backyards and make them more bird-friendly.
This 64-page book is suitable for kids of between 4-7 years.
- The pages are fun and full of useful information.
- The Illustrations also help children be more artistic.
- The illustrations, in particular the eyes might not be to some liking.
Some more FAQS on bird books for children.
- What is the difference between hardcover and paperback?
Hardcover books have thick and rigid covers that are usually made of cardboard while paperback books have a thick but soft and bendable cover.
Hardcover books are also made with a higher grade acid-free paper while paperbacks make use of cheap newsprint paper. Hardcover books also have a larger print making the books bulkier than their paperback counterparts.
Due to the way they are made and bound, hardcover books are durable, made to last, and more expensive than paperback books, but this also makes them less portable.
So although harder to find I think, the best bird books for children are the hardcover ones, in my opinion 😉
Want to find out about the best binoculars for kids? Go check out my blog post here!
My Final Conclusion
To help foster the budding bird watcher and adventurer in your kid, then these bird books for children are a good place to get the started on their journey.
These books are specifically designed with children in mind, with their colourful pages full of illustrations and photos and weird facts that are sure to grab their attention!
If you have any more questions about this topic, please feel free to ask them in the comment section below or join me on my social media pages or Facebook group for more pictures of birds, African animals, or my travels!
I wish you happy travels and birdwatching!