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Summer Reading

7 picture books that celebrate nature and neighbours

Published on May 18, 2022 | Last Updated May 25, 2022
A book open on a table with grass, a tree, butterflies, a deer and birds coming out of it.

A library of picture books can feel like an art gallery. Each book is like a door to a bright new world. So have a look at this list, you might just find your next picture book journey. 

Nature is an Artist 

book coverBy Jennifer Lavallee, illustrated by Natalia Colombo Brown
Best for: 8 and under

Do you love to draw and make stuff? Love nature too? Then this book is for you! Follow a group of kids into nature where they see fantastic plant life and cool creatures. They even share fun arts and craft ideas to go along with what they see. It’s your chance to put nature into your next work of art.

Our Little Kitchen

book coverBy Jillian Tamaki
Best for: 8 and under

Colourful, fun and yummy. Neighbours come together to prepare a feast for each other. Sharing a meal with friends can be such a joyful and tasty experience! This book celebrates happy meal times and even comes with recipes! Yum, yum, yum!

Out into the Big Wide Lake

book coverBy Paul Harbridge, illustrated by Josée Bisaillon
Best for: 8 and under

Kate, a young girl with Down syndrome, goes to her grandparents’ home by the lake. She's nervous about the trip, but she makes best friends with their dog, Parbuckle. And she even learns to pilot their boat all by herself! When her grandfather gets sick, will Kate have the confidence to face her fears? 

Sangeet and the Missing Beat 

book coverWritten and illustrated by Kiranjot Kaur
Best for: 10 and under 

Sangeet loves music. She loves to play it on her favourite instrument, the tabla. One day, she hears an amazing beat. But oh no! She can't play it on her tabla. What could be wrong? She needs to figure out how to make the beat sound complete.

Rise Up and Write It 

book coverBy Nandini Ahuja, illustrated by Anoosha Syed
Best for: 8 and under 

Ready to make a change close to home? This book is both a story and a box of do-it-yourself change! Farah Patel wants to bring back the butterflies in her area. She’ll need the help of all her neighbours to save the day. The book comes with six envelopes of examples of hands-on activism to follow along with Farah's story and encourage readers to want to get up and get involved.

Thunder and the Noise Storms 

book coverBy Jeffrey Ansloos & Shezza Ansloos, illustrated by Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley
Best for: 7 and under

The world around Thunder often feels too loud. The noises can sometimes be like a big storm. One day, he and his grandfather go on an urban nature walk. The sounds in nature are very different — rushing water and bird wings flapping. Thunder learns these nature sounds can be calming and give you power. 

Welcome to the Cypher 

book coverBy Khodi Dill, illustrated by Awuradwoa Afful
Best for: 7 and under

Filled with music and hip-hop wordplay. A diverse crew of kids is introduced to the possibilities of rap — from beatboxes to fingersnaps. As they rhyme, they gain self-confidence, learn to be themselves and speak up for what they believe in. Read this one out loud!

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