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Our Favorite Children's Books About Birds

At our house, we read A LOT of children's books, and we want to share some of our favorites with you! In this post, we've included our favorite board books and picture books about birds. Both of my kids have loved learning about birds as toddlers and have enjoyed learning to identify different species by both sight and sound. Because of them, I've become a bird-lover too! 😊 So, here are a few of our favorite bird books. There's a bit of overlap between this post and my spring and summer books posts, but feel free to skim the list and see if any of these stories appeal to your family. We hope you enjoy!




Nolan (2.5 years old) "reading" a bird book and listening to bird calls



Board Books



Curious About Birds  Written By: Cathryn Sill  Illustrated By: John Sill  Publisher: Peachtree Petite (2020)

Curious About Birds

Written By: Cathryn Sill

Illustrated By: John Sill

Publisher: Peachtree Petite (2020)

Recommended Ages: 0+


Book Description: Award-winning author and educator Cathryn Sill introduces toddlers and preschoolers to basic facts about birds, including how they look, where they live, what they eat, and how they move around. The simple one-line-per-page text pairs beautifully with detailed watercolor illustrations from noted wildlife artist John Sill. This is the first title in the Discovering Nature series, a dependable and informative first resource for budding birders.


Why We Love It

  • Great introduction to birds for babies and toddlers

  • Simple bird facts paired with simple realistic illustrations

  • Names several types of birds





Baby's First Book of Birds & Colors  By: Phyllis Limbacher Tildes  Publisher: Charlesbridge (2017)

Baby's First Book of Birds & Colors

By: Phyllis Limbacher Tildes

Publisher: Charlesbridge (2017)

Recommended Ages: 0+


Book Description: With charming illustrations and minimal text, each spread presents two birds of the same color against a backdrop of matching flowers, fruits, or foliage. From the eastern bluebird and blue jay to the scarlet tanager and northern cardinal, the birds and their habitats have been carefully researched for accuracy. The color words appear large and bold, and each bird is labeled by name. An ideal book for your little one to start identifying birds out your window, and beyond.


Why We Love It

  • Beautiful illustrations

  • Perfect introduction to birds and colors for babies and toddlers





Picture Books




Ready to Soar  By: Cori Doerrfeld  Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers (2024)

Ready to Soar

By: Cori Doerrfeld

Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers (2024)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description: Riley made a paper airplane and couldn’t wait to let it soar. But just before the plane could take off—SQUAWK! An eagle swoops in and insists Riley’s plane could never fly. It’s much too small. So Riley makes it bigger! But just as this bigger paper airplane is ready to go, a parrot squawks that the plane is way too boring to fly. So Riley makes it fancier! Bird after bird offers advice, and Riley tries making the airplane faster longer, taller, and slimmer. When the plane crashes to the ground after all these changes, Riley finally meets a more supportive friend . . . and rediscovers the joy and wonder of soaring.


Why We Love It

  • Great messages about staying true to yourself and lifting others up!




Bird Hugs  By: Ged Adamson  Publisher: Two Lions (2020)

Bird Hugs

By: Ged Adamson

Publisher: Two Lions (2020)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description: Bernard isn’t like other birds. His wings are impossibly long, and try as he might, he just can’t seem to fly. He’s left wondering what his wings are good for…if they’re even good for anything at all. But a chance encounter with a dejected orangutan leads Bernard to a surprising discovery: that maybe what makes him different is actually something to be embraced.


Why We Love It

  • Endearing illustrations

  • Tidbits of humor injected throughout

  • Great messages about friendship and embracing who you are and what makes you unique





There Is a Bird on Your Head!  By: Mo Willems  Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children (2007)

There Is a Bird on Your Head!

By: Mo Willems

Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children (2007)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description:

Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.

Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.

Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to. Gerald and Piggie are best friends.


In There Is a Bird On Your Head!, Gerald discovers that there is something worse than a bird on your head...two birds on your head! Can Piggie help her best friend?


Why We Love It:

  • Silly, absurd story

  • Great ending!

  • Teaches kids to ask when they need something (instead of getting really frustrated)





Bird Watch  By: Christie Matheson  Publisher: Greenwillow Books (2019)

Bird Watch

By: Christie Matheson

Publisher: Greenwillow Books (2019)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description: Search for hidden birds and count them in this seek-and-find picture book with a satisfying surprise ending. 


With different species of birds and other forest animals hiding in the trees and bushes, there is something new to discover on every page. Patience is rewarded as readers learn to count backward from ten, meet new birds, and learn about the diverse ecosystem of the forest. Beautiful watercolor-and-collage art, a playful counting text, and a search-and-find theme will inspire children and parents to return to Bird Watch again and again.



Why We Love It:

  • Interactive story; kids can't resist finding the birds on each page

  • Teaches kids to count to 10 (and backward from 10) as they hunt for the birds

  • Includes information at the end of the book about bird-watching and the different species of birds found throughout the book

  • One of Nolan's favorite bird books!





Have You Heard The Nesting Bird?  Written By: Rita Gray  Illustrated By: Kenard Pak  Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2014)

Have You Heard The Nesting Bird?

Written By: Rita Gray

Illustrated By: Kenard Pak

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2014)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description: Woodpecker calls from a tree, "cuk-cuk-cuk." Starling sings, "whistle-ee-wee." But have you heard the nesting bird? In this book, we hear all the different bird calls in counterpoint to the pervasive quiet of a mama bird waiting for her eggs to hatch. Fun and informative back matter takes the shape of an interview so that readers learn more right from the bird's bill. Ken Pak's lively illustrations, paired with Rita Gray's words, render a visual and sonorous picture book to be enjoyed by young naturalists.


Why We Love It:

  • Simple yet beautiful rhyming text, complete with the calls of each bird

  • Close-up artistic renderings of many common birds

  • Includes information about nesting birds in the back in an easily-digestible question-and-answer format

  • One of Nolan's favorite bird books!





Crowbar  Written By: Jean Craighead George  Illustrated By: Wendell Minor  Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (2021)

Crowbar

Written By: Jean Craighead George

Illustrated By: Wendell Minor

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (2021)

Recommended Ages: 4+


Book Description: A funny and amazing story based on a real-life crow from renowned naturalist and Newbery Medal-winning author Jean Craighead George, with illustrations from long-time collaborator Wendell Minor. Twig George and T. Luke George have provided up-to-date research for this stunning picture book by their mother.


A young boy finds a baby crow abandoned, cold and hungry. He takes him home, hoping to nurse him back to health. His Grandpa disapproves—he thinks that crows are pests and thieves! The boy knows that the crow he names “Crowbar” is capable of learning more than how to eat, caw, and fly. But can he prove it? As Crowbar grows, the boy teaches him how to speak, and Crowbar teaches the boy just how clever crows can be. With his innate intelligence, Crowbar shows he is smarter than anyone could imagine.



Why We Love It:

  • This book surprised me. It's a fascinating story about a fascinating bird!

  • Great for older kids (4+) and adults!

  • Provides helpful information about bird rescues and additional resources regarding bird intelligence in the back of the book





The Paper Bird  By: Lisa Anchin  Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers (2021)

The Paper Bird

By: Lisa Anchin

Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers (2021)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description: There once was a time when all the colors, from midsummer blue to sunrise orange, lived at the tips of Annie's fingers...but when her classmates' sidelong glances cause Annie to notice all the tiny flaws in her art, her colorful creative spark fades--quite literally--to gray. With lyrical prose and eye-catching illustrations, author-artist Lisa Anchin shows readers how to find the beauty in imperfections and celebrate the joy of creation for creations' sake.


Why We Love It:

  • Neat illustrations that start out colorful, fade to gray, and regain their color at the end

  • Great message about being true to yourself and not worrying what others think of you or your art





The Winter Bird  Written By: Kate Banks  Illustrated By: Suzie Mason  Publisher: Candlewick Press (2022)

The Winter Bird

Written By: Kate Banks

Illustrated By: Suzie Mason

Publisher: Candlewick Press (2022)

Recommended Ages: 3+


Book Description: As the days grow shorter and the air becomes colder, the spring birds fly south for winter—all except for a nightingale with a broken wing. Unable to fly, the nightingale worries about how to prepare for weather it’s never had to experience before. Luckily, the forest animals who are used to frosty conditions help the nightingale navigate the cold as its wing heals. Though the unfamiliar season proves challenging, and even a little scary at times, the nightingale discovers there’s beauty to be found in even the harshest weather—and with that comes newfound gratitude for the return of spring.


Why We Love It:

  • Beautifully descriptive story paired with beautifully crisp illustrations

  • Celebrates friendship and the winter season

  • Satisfying ending that comes full circle





Max and Bird  By: Ed Vere  Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (2016)

Max and Bird

By: Ed Vere

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (2016)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description: When Max meets Bird, Max thinks he'd like to be friends with Bird. He would also like to chase Bird and maybe eat him as a tasty snack. But that's not what friendship is all about…is it?


With the same loveable character and bright, graphic illustrations as Max the Brave, Max and Bird is sure to delight young readers and adults alike.


Why We Love It:

  • Funny!

  • Perfect comedic timing, and the illustrations add to the humor

  • Uplifting ending

  • Great message about friendship





Cooking with the Birthday Bird  Written By: Glenda Armand  Illustrated By: Jan Gerardi  Publisher: Random House Children's Books (2023)

Cooking with the Birthday Bird

Written By: Glenda Armand

Illustrated By: Jan Gerardi

Publisher: Random House Children's Books (2023)

Recommended Ages: 1+


Book Description: In this sweet, easy-to-read story, the Birthday Bird arrives at a child's house to bake and decorate a birthday cake. An ideal choice for children learning to read, baking enthusiasts, and of course, Dr. Seuss fans; it's perfect for encouraging young children to help in the kitchen!



Step 1 Readers feature big type and easy words for children who know the alphabet and are eager to begin reading. Rhyme and rhythmic text paired with picture clues help children decode the story.


Why We Love It:

  • Based on Dr. Seuss's Happy Birthday To You! book

  • Less wacky and easier to digest (and read!) than the original

  • Great birthday book for kids who like to bake






How to Find a Bird  Written By: Jennifer Ward  Illustrated By: Diana Sudyka  Publisher: Beach Lane Books (2020)

How to Find a Bird

Written By: Jennifer Ward

Illustrated By: Diana Sudyka

Publisher: Beach Lane Books (2020)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description: How do you find a bird? There are so many ways! Begin by watching. And listening. And staying quiet, so quiet you can hear your own heartbeat. Soon you’ll see that there are birds everywhere—up in the sky, down on the ground, sometimes even right in front of you just waiting to be discovered!



Why We Love It:

  • Great introduction to birding for toddlers and kids

  • Includes more than 50 species of birds, plus birding information after the story

  • Beautiful, rich illustrations

  • This is one of my favorite bird books to read to the kids!





Birds  Written By: Kevin Henkes  Illustrated By: Laura Dronzek  Publisher: Greenwillow Books (2009)

Birds

Written By: Kevin Henkes

Illustrated By: Laura Dronzek

Publisher: Greenwillow Books (2009)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description: With a fine eye for detail, a girl observes and describes birds—their sizes, their colors, their shapes, the way they move and appear and disappear, and how they are most like her. She imagines what it would be like if clouds looked like birds, or if she could ask the birds questions. Though she can’t fly, the girl can do one thing birds do—she can sing.


Why We Love It:

  • Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers

  • Uses birds to help young kids learn colors, numbers, and sizes

  • Imaginative; encourages kids to think "What if...?"

  • One of Nolan's favorite bird books!





The Last Rainbow Bird  By: Nora Brech  Publisher: Floris Books (2022)

The Last Rainbow Bird

By: Nora Brech

Publisher: Floris Books (2022)

Recommended Ages: 3+


Book Description: Unless Jo and Alex can find the last Rainbow Bird, its species will become extinct. Journeying by riverboat through a spectacular forest, the children find many extraordinary birds – elegant Underwater Birds, glowing Lamp Birds and excitable Big-to-Little Birds – but will they find the last Rainbow Bird?


The singularly fabulous world of the Rainbow Bird, created by award-winning author-illustrator Nora Brech, is a riot of color, imagination, and wonder. Children will love the heartfelt and humorous story that gently conveys an important conservation message.


Why We Love It:

  • Gorgeous illustrations

  • Imaginative world-building

  • Fun look-and-find on the last spread

  • Important message about conservation





Tiny Bird: A Hummingbird's Amazing Journey  Written By: Robert Burleigh  Illustrated By: Wendell Minor  Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books (2020)

Tiny Bird: A Hummingbird's Amazing Journey

Written By: Robert Burleigh

Illustrated By: Wendell Minor

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books (2020)

Recommended Ages: 3+


Book Description: When the last summer flowers open their petals to the sun, it’s time for a tiny ruby-throated hummingbird to dip its beak into the heart of each bloom, extracting as much nectar as possible before the hard trip ahead.


Today is the day Tiny Bird begins its amazing journey south for the winter, traveling as fast as thirty miles an hour for hundreds of miles on end. The trip is long, with savage weather and many predators along the way, but Tiny Bird is built for this epic journey and eventually arrives at its winter home. This inspiring migratory and life cycle story celebrates the important and impressive feat of a small but mighty creature.


Why We Love It:

  • Amazing story, beautifully-written with factual information weaved throughout

  • Fabulous illustrations

  • Very informative backmatter and endpapers






Oliver the Curious Owl  By: Chad Otis  Publisher: Little, Brown & Co. (2020)

Oliver the Curious Owl

By: Chad Otis

Publisher: Little, Brown & Co. (2020)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description: The only question Oliver's family ever asks is Who? Who? Who? But he wants to know more:


Who lives in those faraway woods?

Where does the river go?

Why can't I leave our tree?


When his curiosity gets the better of him, Oliver -- and his best buddy, Bug -- travel far from the safety of home to get answers about the wonderful world they live in. But after a day of exploration, how will the friends find their way back? In this delightful story of discovery, an inquisitive owl inspires those around him to let their curiosity take flight!


Why We Love It:

  • Clever story with memorable characters

  • Encourages curiosity and exploration!

  • Teaches kids to ask "Who?", "What?", "When?", "Where?", "Why?", and "How?"






The Little Book of Backyard Bird Songs  By: Andrea Pinnington & Caz Buckingham  Publisher: A Firefly Book (2016)

The Little Book of Backyard Bird Songs

By: Andrea Pinnington & Caz Buckingham

Publisher: A Firefly Book (2016)

Recommended Ages: 1+


Book Description: This enchanting book features recordings of twelve bird songs from some of the best-known garden bird species seen and heard across North America.


Why We Love It

  • Sound book featuring 12 common birds; helps us identify birds and bird calls in our area

  • Fosters an appreciation of nature

  • Has elements that make it appropriate for toddlers, older children, and even adults!

  • This is the book Nolan was "reading" in this post's opening photo!







Field Guide To The Birds Of Eastern North America  Edited By: Jon L. Dunn and Jonathan Alderfer  Publisher: National Geographic Society (2008)

Field Guide To The Birds Of Eastern North America

Edited By: Jon L. Dunn and Jonathan Alderfer

Publisher: National Geographic Society (2008)

Recommended Ages: 4+


Book Description: This book delivers in-depth information on every bird officially recorded east of the Rocky Mountains, with illustrated accounts of the different plumages and life stages, along with hundreds of color-coded range maps


Why We Love It

  • This is our go-to book when we're trying to identify bird species we see in our backyard, neighborhood, etc.

  • Helpful information and resources about birds

  • A separate version includes birds located west of the Rocky Mountains






Penguin Cha-Cha  By: Kristi Valiant  Publisher: Random House Books (2013)

Penguin Cha-Cha

By: Kristi Valiant

Publisher: Random House Books (2013)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description: Julia loves to dance and enjoys spending her Saturdays watching live shows at her local zoo. One Saturday, Julia is watching dancers perform when she notices that a group of penguins is hiding backstage, and they are sneakily collecting the dancers’ discarded accessories. Julia can’t help but wonder what the penguins are up to, so she follows them to find out. It turns out that the penguins are putting on their own secret dance show! Julia really wants to dance with the penguins, but, whenever she tries, they freeze and act like there is nothing going on. Will Julia find a way to earn the penguins’ trust and join their exclusive dance crew? Tap, Flap, Cha-Cha-Cha!


Why We Love It: 

  • Fun rhythmic and rhyming language interspersed among simple prose text

  • Illustrations include details that complete the story and keep things interesting

  • Ending leaves the reader wondering about the next adventure…and wanting more!






Mel Fell  By: Corey R. Tabor  Publisher: Balzer + Bray (2021)

Mel Fell

By: Corey R. Tabor

Publisher: Balzer + Bray (2021)

Recommended Age: 2+


Book Description: Turn the book sideways and upside down to follow Mel on her journey from downward fall to triumphant flight in this tale of self-confidence and taking a leap of faith.


Why We Love It:

  • Turning the book makes reading an interactive experience

  • Story is simple yet very creative

  • Details in the illustrations add humor to the story

  • Great message about taking chances and believing in yourself!






Whoever Heard of a Flying Bird?  Written By: David Cunliffe  Illustrated By: Ivan Barrera  Publisher: Bedtime Press LLC (2020)

Whoever Heard of a Flying Bird?

Written By: David Cunliffe

Illustrated By: Ivan Barrera

Publisher: Bedtime Press LLC (2020)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description: Have you ever been told something was impossible, but just knew it was possible? Pip is a little bird who wants nothing more than to eat the fresh fruit high up in the trees. There’s just one problem – on her island, birds don't fly! All the other birds think the idea of flying sounds ridiculous. After all, whoever heard of a flying bird? But Pip was never one to give up easily. Surrounded by birds that think she'll never succeed, Pip is determined to overcome failure and self-doubt and reach the fruit. Maybe...just maybe...if she tries hard enough, she might just succeed.


Why We Love It:

  • Charming, rhyming text

  • Bright, colorful illustrations

  • Great message about perseverance






The Lion and the Little Red Bird  By: Elisa Kleven  Publisher: Puffin Books (1992)

The Lion and the Little Red Bird

By: Elisa Kleven

Publisher: Puffin Books (1992)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description: This is a gentle mystery about a silent, gallant lion and a sweetly cheerful bird—two friends who are attracted to each other through the universal language of art.


Why We Love It:

  • Sweet story about an unlikely friendship

  • Mystery element keeps kids intrigued

  • Neat, collage-style illustrations





The Pigeon Will Ride the Roller Coaster!  By: Mo Willems  Publisher: Union Square Kids (2022)

The Pigeon Will Ride the Roller Coaster!

By: Mo Willems

Publisher: Union Square Kids (2022)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description: Buckle up for twists, turns, and emotional loop-de-loops in the most roller coaster-y Pigeon book ever! The Pigeon WILL be ready. Will YOU!?


Why We Love It:

  • Humorous; perfectly captures the emotions and anticipation of riding a roller coaster for the first time

  • Includes rich vocabulary words

  • Funny climax...if you can call it that. 😂

  • Great ending!


 

We sincerely hope that you enjoy these books as much as we have! To receive monthly book recommendations, sign-up for my newsletter at the bottom of this page. Otherwise, if you have any book recommendations for us (about birds or otherwise), please type them in the comments below. We are ALWAYS looking for fun new books to read! 😊


Happy birding and happy reading from our family to yours!




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