Do you know a child who has a fascination with the chirps and tweets they hear outside their window? Are they constantly stopping to peer up at a winged friend on a wire? Kids who take time to notice birds should be nurtured in their love for the fantastically interesting avian world. These bird books for kids put feathered creatures center stage for readers of all ages.
Bird Books for Preschoolers
1. Mrs. Peanuckle’s Bird Alphabet by Mrs. Peanuckle, illustrated by Jessie Ford
Twenty-six letters means 26 birds, and Mrs. Peanuckle introduces each with a fun fact and a vibrant illustration in this colorful board book.
2. Birds: Feathers, Eggs, and Beaks by Scarlett Wing, illustrated by Beatrice Tinarelli
This Smithsonian Kids’ board book will delight any child who flocks to imagery of our feathered friends. Coupling great photography with tactile layouts, young readers will flip through this book many a time.
Buy it: Birds: Feathers, Eggs and Beaks at Amazon
3. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
If you’re looking for fictional bird books for kids, this is one of several pigeon books by Mo Willems. This Caldecott Honor Award–winning book tells the story of how a sometimes-maligned pigeon gets to be funny, lovable, and often highly relatable to young kids.
Bird Books for Early Elementary School Kids
4. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Birds by Catherine D. Hughes
When the tiniest bird lovers graduate from simple board books, this National Geographic guide is the more comprehensive, but still age-appropriate, volume to choose. With gorgeous photography and fascinating facts, there’s much to explore here.
5. Arlo & Pips: King of the Birds by Elise Gravel
Elise Gravel, who also writes the Disgusting Critters series, turns her focus to the magnificent crow in this graphic novel (which was followed by two additional books). Arlo the crow befriends Pips the bird in this colorful story, woven through with facts about the commonly seen and uncommonly intelligent bird.
6. Backpack Explorer: Bird Watch: What Will You Find? by Storey Publishing, illustrated by Oana Befort
Kids who have any interest in noting the many varieties of feathered friends in their neighborhoods will really enjoy this interactive book. It includes tips for how to scout birds and identify their songs, several interactive activities, and even a magnifying glass and a log for recording notes on sightings.
7. The Little Book of Backyard Bird Songs, by Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham
True bird expertise begins with being able to differentiate between each bird’s unique song. The push-button feature included with this book offers the songs of the 12 most common North American birds.
8. The Big Book of Birds by Yuval Zommer
Part of a series focusing on different species, this big book (it clocks in at about 9-by-14 inches) is brimming with author-illustrator Yuval Zommer’s distinctive art and clever text. The lively illustrations are accompanied by conversational facts about each winged creature.
Buy it: The Big Book of Birds at Amazon
Bird Books for Upper Elementary and Middle School Kids
9. Backyard Birds (Peterson Field Guides for Young Naturalists) by Karen Stray Nolting and Jonathan Latimer, illustrated by Roger Tory Peterson
A field guide designed with young bird-watchers in mind, this volume features the acclaimed artwork of Roger Tory Peterson, considered by many the father of modern bird-watching. Readers will get an introduction to the Peterson Identification System as well, known as the most effective method for identifying birds.
Buy it: Backyard Birds at Amazon
10. The Beaks of Birds by Richard Konicek-Moran, illustrated by Kathleen Konicek-Moran
This clever part-storybook, part-informational text teaches kids how to begin being detectives in nature. The journey in the book finds two young people figuring out what birds eat based on the shapes of their beaks. Activities are also included.
Buy it: The Beaks of Birds at Amazon
11. Beginning Birdwatcher’s Book by Sy Barlowe
Third graders and up will be introduced to the bird-watching method of keeping “life lists,” that is, documentation of the date, time, place, and so on at which they first spotted a certain bird variety. This book includes pages for journaling as well as stickers featuring 48 different species of birds to seek out.
Bird Books for High School Kids
12. What It’s Like to Be a Bird: From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing—What Birds Are Doing and Why by David Allen Sibley
It doesn’t matter how invested a person is in the lives of birds. This book by one of the foremost bird experts in America will actually transport readers into what it feels like to be a bird. Sibley’s illustrations—330 of which are included on these pages—are detailed and often life-size. Teen readers will be happy that the writing is accessible and not overly dry or scientific.
13. National Geographic Pocket Guide to the Birds of North America by Laura Erickson and Jonathan Alderfer
Growing birding hobbyists will find much to love about this portable guide to the birds of North America. The 192 pages not only help users identify species but also offer tips on how to use binoculars to spot winged friends and easy-to-understand descriptions of each bird.
14. The National Audubon Society Field Guide to Birds (North America, Eastern Region) by the National Audubon Society
The best-selling and venerable Audubon guides are well-known for a reason: they’re both comprehensive and gorgeous, featuring detailed photographs of each bird. This one covers birds of North America’s eastern region; other editions span the rest of the continent.