20 Canadian nature and weather-related books for kids
It's the season when the weather is changing and nature is in full bloom.
Check out these 20 nature and weather-related picture books for younger readers by Canadian authors.
While on a picnic, Daisy realizes that she has to tend to her bird feeders back at home. She teams up with Scout to solve the mystery of what kind of bird feeders need to be watered.
The Case of the Growing Bird Feeder is for ages 4-7.
Eric Hogan and Tara Hungerford are a Vancouver-based husband-and-wife team who are the creators of The Gumboot Kids.
Malaika's Costume is a picture book about family, community and the sunny celebration of Carnival by Toronto author Nadia L. Hohn. It features illustrations by award-winning artist Irene Luxbacher.
Malaika's mother moved to Canada to better provide for Malaika and her grandmother. But it's time for the Carnival parade and Malaika is hoping that her mother will send money back home for a costume. A disappointed Malaika is determined to wear a vibrant costume and dance in the sun — so she sets out to make it happen.
Malaika's Costume is for ages 3-7.
Luxbacher is an award-winning Toronto artist and author.
In the whimsical picture book Picture the Sky, the sky is the star. The book shows young readers that the sky often tells us stories, through weather, clouds and the stars. Using Plasticine illustrations, author and illustrator Barbara Reid shows us the many moods and colours of the sky and how we are all connected by it.
Picture the Sky is for ages 3-8.
Reid is considered one of Canada's best storytellers and is recognized for her vibrant Plasticine artwork. In 2018, Picture the Sky won the CBC's Fan Choice Contest, an award voted on by young readers across Canada. The winner was selected from the finalists of the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award.
Summer Feet is a tongue-twisting picture book that celebrates all the things summer has to offer, including barefoot days, bonfires and dances in the rain.
Summer Feet is for ages 4-8.
Sheree Fitch is the author of several children's books, including Mabel Murple, and young adult novels, like The Gravesavers. She received the Vicky Metcalf Award in 2000, which regconizes the career of a children's book writer or illustrator. While Fitch is known for her work in children's literature, she has also authored poetry books, including the 1993 collection In This House Are Many Women, and novels for adults, including Kiss the Joy as it Flies.
Carolyn Fisher is an award-winning artist and author. She has illustrated seven books, also authoring two of them. Her credits include illustrating Weeds Find a Way, Good Night, World and now Summer Feet.
In Peter and the Tree Children, a squirrel named Piet feels all alone in his forest home. Peter the Forester has the perfect plan to cheer him up: a search for tree children. During the search, Peter offers facts about how trees communicate and care for each other, and the struggles they endure. Soon, the little squirrel feels much better because he helped the tree children grow.
Peter and the Tree Children is for ages 4-8.
Peter Wohlleben is the author of numerous books, including The Hidden Life of Trees and its follow ups The Inner Life of Animals and The Secret Wisdom of Nature.
Cale Atkinson is a Kelowna, B.C.-based illustrator, writer and animator. His work has appeared in numerous children's books, animated shorts, games and on television.
Rain Boy is all wet, all the time! This means he's not as popular as Sun Kidd, who brings sunny weather at all times. But Sun Kidd knows Rain Boy is special as well and invites him to her birthday party. But when the party gets all wet, everyone blames Rain Boy. But can Rain Boy learn to love his rain?
This weather-themed story is about acceptance and loving to love oneself, no matter who they are.
Rain Boy is for ages 3-5.
Dylan Glynn is an animator, painter and author based in Toronto. His work has been recognized and exhibited by Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Somerset House and the Canadian Screen Awards.
The power of nature and community comes alive in picture book Me, Toma and the Concrete Garden. When Vincent has to stay with his Aunt Mimi while his mother is recovering from a medical condition, his aunt's city neighbourhood doesn't seem too exciting at first glance. Vincent, a new friend named Toma and a mysterious box of "dirt balls" kicks off an adventure that leads Vincent to realize that you just have to know where to look to find joy.
Me, Toma and the Concrete Garden is for ages 3-7. The book is a finalist for the 2020 Forest of Reading award program.
Andrew Larsen is a bestselling author of children's books. He was born in Montreal and based in Toronto.
Anne Villeneuve is a Montreal-based author and illustrator of children's books.
Nibi is Water, written and illustrated by Joanne Robertson, looks at the importance of Nibi—which means water in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) — and our role to thank, respect, love and protect it. Babies and toddlers can follow Nibi as it rains and snows, splashes or rows, drips and sips. The picture book is written from an Anishinaabe water protector's perspective and is in dual language — English and Ojibwe.
Nibi is Water is for ages 0-3.
Robertson is an Anishinaabe author, illustrator, and water protection activist. She is also the author of the picture book The Water Walker.
What Grew in Larry's Garden is a story about how amazing things can grow when you tend to your garden. Larry, a teacher, has his students grow tomato plants that they then give away to their neighbours with personal notes attached. Through the garden, a community is built.
What Grew in Larry's Garden is for ages 4-7.
Laura Alary is Toronto-based author whose books include Is That Story True?, Jesse's Surprise Gift, Mira and the Big Story, Victor's Pink Pyjamas, How Do I Pray for Grandpa? and Make Room: A Child's Guide to Lent and Easter.
Kass Reich is a Toronto-based artist who specializes in illustration and making picture books. Her books include the board books Hamsters Holding Hands and This Little Hamster.
A Forest in the City is a book of narrative nonfiction that looks at the urban forest. It discusses the issues that city trees face, such as the abundance of concrete, poor soil and challenging light conditions. The book includes a list of activities to help the urban forest and a glossary.
A Forest in the City is for ages 3-7.
Andrea Curtis is an author of books for children and adults. Her children's nonfiction titles include Eat This! and What's for Lunch?. She is also the author of the young adult novel Big Water.
Pierre Pratt is an award-winning illustrator of over 70 children's books. He has won several awards, including the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, the Mr. Christie's Book Award, the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award and the Governor General's Literary Award for children's literature — illustration three times.
In My Ocean is Blue, a young girl and her mother take a trip to the seaside. Throughout the day, the girl makes astute observations about the ocean, scenes depicted through the cut-paper collage illustrations by Ashley Barron.
My Ocean is Blue is for ages 3-7.
Darren Lebeuf is a Vancouver-based award-winning photographer and writer. He is also the author of My Forest is Green.
Ashley Barron is a Toronto-based illustrator specializing in cut-paper collages.
At the Pond tells the story of a boy who takes his dog for a walk to a shimmering pond filled with snowy white swans swimming freely. One of the swans invites the boy and dog for a ride. They climb on and sail into a picturesque landscape. The boy befriends the swan. When he puts a leash on the swan, the sky turns stormy grey, the water becomes turbulent and the other swans fly away. The boy realizes he must free his friend.
At the Pond is for ages 3-7.
Geraldo Valério was born in Brazil and now lives in Toronto. His books include Friends, Blue Rider, Turn On the Night, My Book of Birds, Moose, Goose, Animals on the Loose and Jump, Leap, Count Sheep.
The Magic Boat, a story by authors Katherine Farris and Kit Pearson, is set at the beach during the summer. When a little girl named Ellie meets Piper at the beach one warm day, the pair find themselves using the power of imagination to set sail for adventure.
The Magic Boat is for ages 3-7 and is a finalist for the 2020 Forest of Reading award program.
Kit Pearson is an acclaimed Victoria-based writer and winner of numerous literature awards. She is a recipient of the Vicky Metcalf Award for her body of work and the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence. In 2018, Pearson was appointed a member of the Order of Canada.
Vancouver-based Katherine Farris is an editor, author and researcher.
Gabrielle Grimard is a Quebec-based artist and illustrator.
The Bug Girl is the story of seven-year-old Sophia Spencer, who was bullied in school for loving bugs. One day, her mother wrote to an entomological society in search of a bug scientist to be a pen pal for her daughter. In response, hundreds of women scientists rallied around her. Now Sophia has written her inspiring story in this picture book celebrating women in science, bugs of all kinds and the importance of staying true to yourself.
The Bug Girl is for ages 4-8.
Spencer lives in Sarnia, Ont., and is in Grade 4. The Bug Girl is her first book.
Margaret McNamara is a New York City-based author of the Mr. Tiffin Classroom series, which includes The Dinosaur Expert, A Poem in Your Pocket, The Apple Orchard Riddle and How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?. She is also the author of Eliza, The Story of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton.
Kerascoët is the pen name of French illustrator duo and husband-and-wife team Marie Pommepuy and Sébastien Cosset. They are also the illustrators of Beautiful Darkness by Fabie Vehlmann, Jacky Ha-Ha by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein and Malala's Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai.
Life Cycles of Caribou is a bilingual book, featuring text in Inuktitut syllabics, Inuktitut Roman orthography and English. It shares six Inuktitut terms for caribou throughout their life cycles, giving the young readers an understanding of the rich Inuktitut terminology for these important animals.
Life Cycles of Caribou is for ages 0-3.
Monica Ittusardjuat is a residential school survivor. For many years, she worked as a teacher in elementary schools, high schools and teacher education programs. She is now the senior Inuktitut editor at Inhabit Education.
Emma Pedersen is a Toronto-based illustrator and visual storyteller.
Set against the backdrop of the warm weather season, Natsumi's Song of Summer is about two young cousins who learn more about language and culture through the course of learning about themselves. When Jill's family travels to Japan from America to stay with Natsumi and her family one summer, the two cousins learn that they share more in common than they first realized.
Natsumi's Song of Summer is for ages 3-7.
Robert Paul Weston is an Ontario-raised, U.K.-based author of children's books. His books include Zorgamazoo, Dust City and Blues for Zoey, and Sakura's Cherry Blossoms.
Misa Saburi is a New York-based illustrator of children's books.
Sockeye Silver, Saltchuck Blue introduces young readers to iconic sounds of the West Coast, like roaring sea lions, rustling cedar branches in the wind, sacred drumming of a potlatch and the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. It's the fourth board book in The First West Coast Book series, which includes Hello Humpback!, One Eagle Soaring and Sockeye Silver Saltchuck Blue.
Sockeye Silver, Saltchuck Blue is for ages 0-3.
Roy Henry Vickers is a renowned carver, painter and printmaker from British Columbia. He is the co-author of the popular children's Northwest Coast Legends series, which incudes Raven Brings the Light, Cloudwalker, Orca Chief and Peace Dancer.
Robert "Lucky" Budd is the co-author of the Northwest Coast Legends series and the author of Voices of British Columbia and its sequel, Echoes of British Columbia.
In Little Cloud, we trace the journey of a small cloud as it grows from a simple cumulus cloud to a full-blown hurricane. Meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe uses simple language to write a story about the power and science of weather systems.
Little Cloud is for ages 6-8.
Wagstaffe is the meteorologist and science host for CBC Vancouver and CBC News Network.
Julie McLaughlin is Vancouver Island-based illustrator. Her previous books have been nominated for several awards, and she won the 2015 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction for Why We Live Where We Live.
Tree Song uses poetic language and phrasing to explore the life cycle of a tree, from a tiny seed, to sapling and fully grown. The book looks at the tree in different seasons, from birds in spring, picnics in summer and leaves in fall. Tree Song is a read-aloud celebration of the venerable tree for small children while serving as the ideal introduction to nature's life cycles.
Tree Song is for ages 4-7.
Tiffany Stone is a Quebec-born and B.C.-based children's poet, picture book author and editor.
Holly Hatam is an illustrator. She is known for her whimsical, quirky mixed media art style.
This illustrated nonfiction picture book by child psychologist Dr. Jillian Roberts explores the nature and the environment and what we can do to protect it. Using simple language, On Our Nature Walk takes readers on a walk and along the way we learn more about pollution, trash and the steps we can all do to make our world a better place. The book features a foreword by CBC host Bob McDonald.
On Our Nature Walk is for ages 6-8.
Dr. Jillian Roberts is a B.C.-based child psychologist, author, professor and parent.
Jane Heinrichs is a children's book writer and illustrator based in the U.K.