When I think about childhood, wildlife, and books, the only one that comes to my mind is The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. Didn’t all of us grow up with Mowgli by our side? Ah, those good old days!
Anyway, we’re here, in modern times, where a five-year-old says:
“Wildlife includes all those animals that are not pets. Non-domesticated aneemals,” says Ishana, parroting her mom’s dictionary definition of wild animals. As they snuggle with each other, they get ready for their nocturnal ritual—a classic bedtime story! Today, they’re reading about wildlife.
Do you also have a bedtime story routine with your child? Would you want to know about wildlife stories that can be read to them? If yes, here’s a list of seven books that can help:
1) The Active Wild series
The active wild is a quite famous publisher of children’s books. Their series of ‘wild’ books are informative and fun.
“I personally like The Tales from the Brink series,” says Nitisha, a mother of a three-year-old. She says that the books are great for three-year-olds as much as they are for six-year-olds!
“My son likes the fact that one book has four stories so we can have a longer run reading it,” she adds and suggests, “Do read the snow leopard and the panda’s story. Who knew talking about endangered species could be done in such a nice way?”
2) RSPB Bumper Book of Wildlife Stories
A publisher I’m fond of and this book surpasses my expectations. I have the paperback edition of this series of wildlife stories and to say that my son loves them will be an understatement.
“It has so many pictures,” says my son when I ask him why he likes the book so much.
That’s true, the book is well illustrated and stands out in terms of providing fascinating facts about wildlife.
Authored by Pat Kelleher, the book also contains wildlife puzzles and a few games. It’s not your traditional bedtime read, but when it comes to grabbing your child’s attention, it does a fantastic job. Engage your toddler and preschooler with this book!
3) I See Animals Hiding by Jim Arnosky
“Who knew that camouflage could be written about and that too so fantastically?”
Bharti runs a local library of sorts at her home. Kids and moms crowd her place every evening and according to her, they all have a few common favourite titles. This one tops the list.
“I read the book before I read it out to my daughter. I was so intrigued and glued!” says Nita in amazement. She just came in to borrow a book as Bharti and I discuss I See Animals Hiding.
Animal camouflage, protective colouration, odds against danger, why animals are shaped the way they are, are concepts that have a whole new meaning for us, now that I’ve read the book to my son. It’s a must-read of sorts!
4) Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert
Does your child like butterflies? If he or she is under 5, I’m sure butterflies top the list of favourite insects.
You can bring butterflies to life in their bedroom every night by reading this wonderful book. It is a dazzling and scientific story of the life cycle of a butterfly. Preferably for children under four years, the book is like a butterfly garden.
It talks about where butterflies come from, illustrations, caterpillars, moths, and all the other interesting facts about the transformation of caterpillars into butterflies.
Another stellar in this category is A Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. The fun in it is the illustrations (eaten holes!), and the fantasy diet of a caterpillar.
“Your child will associate himself with nature after he reads these. They bring a garden home,” says Bharti, giving me rave reviews about these books.
5) Are You My Mother? By P D Eastman
“Well, this is a modern animal storybook but has lots of fun things to learn from,” says Apeksha. She and her daughter have read this book several times and it has a lot of animal lessons to teach. A baby bird has hatched and is looking for her mother. The book recounts her journey as she goes around asking, “Are you my mother?”
As I browse through the book, I notice that it’s beautifully illustrated (so one tick in my son’s bucket list of things that books should have!) plus it includes a cow, a dog, and a plane (which are the fun stuff for most kids under four).
If you’re looking for some fun time at bedtime, get a hold of this book now!
6) The Cherry Tree by Ruskin Bond
Imagine you’re nine years old and have your own cherry tree in your garden! Wouldn’t that be fun? That’s exactly the kind of fun this book promises.
A story of a little boy who has planted a sapling and sees it growing into a big tree. In the kind of magical writing that only Ruskin Bond can create, this book is a simple story that carries a great message.
If you want your five to seven-year-olds to experience seasons, gardens, and natural miracles through a few pleasurable pages of writing, get this book for them.
7) Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
“If you talk about children’s wildlife books and miss Where the Wild Things Are, you will be putting all writers to shame,” says Nair, quite emphatically.
He doesn’t know that I’ve read the book, watched the movie, and am even aware of the opera based on this one. Let me tell you more about this fantastic book.
The book is a classic about a boy and his adventures. A short fantasy where, in his imagination, his bedroom turns into a jungle and oceans come touching his feet. The boy finds himself in the wild, and amazing escapades follow.
Animated to the core, if this sounds even remotely interesting, go grab one for your kid now!
Do you read wildlife stories to your kid? Tell us about a few in the ‘Comments’ section below.