Featured Writer: Six Nature-related Picture Books

nature related picture books_an everyday story

featured writer

Once a month I’ll be sharing this space with some inspiring writers.

This month’s featured writer is Jackie from My Little Bookcase sharing some nature books for children inspired by our Native Bird study.


I consider myself incredibly lucky because My Little Bookcase allows me to discover the most fabulous books for children, which I’m very eager to share with others.

I was excited when Kate asked me to compile a special book list for An Everyday Story. Not only because I love to recommend beautiful books, but I also highly value the philosophies that underpin An Everyday Story.

I personally visit An Everyday Story regularly because I always read Kate’s posts feeling more informed and inspired as a mother and as an educator. I love the focus Kate puts on child-led learning, investigations, creating, nature and outdoor play. I’m sure these are the reasons you visit her blog too.

So, I’ve used these focus areas to create a special book list that I know will benefit the learning and growth of Kate’s children, but I also hope that these books inspire you and your children.

Nature Related Picture Books - An Everyday Story

My Little World

Written by Julia Cooke and illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

my little world

Set on Black Mountain in Canberra, My Little World invites children to look closely at the natural world.

Jack’s little sister is too small to see what her older brother and Gran can see on their bushland walks. Instead, she notices the tiny plants and animals that many people easily miss.

My Little World is a field guide and picture book in one. Budding naturalists will love the intricate, labelled illustrations and the extra information that can be found at the back of the book. The story that accompanies the detailed illustrations is told in a beautiful, descriptive rhyme.

Visit My Little Bookcase for a full review of My Little World.

The Magnificent Tree

Written by Nick Bland and illustrated by Stephen Michael King

the magnificent tree

The characters in this story undertake some project-based learning of their own, and Stephen Michael King’s illustrations are beautifully emotive and heart-warming.

Bonny and her Pop love having the birds come to visit, so they set about creating trees that will encourage the birds to stay and play. Bonny and Pop approach their projects quite differently; Pop tinkers with some new materials and needs to draw pictures to capture his big ideas. Bonny’s approach is much more simple, traditional and natural.

When the birds return they find that Pop’s big and brilliant tree is great for play, exploration and adventure, while Bonny’s simple and beautiful tree is a perfect home.

Visit My Little Bookcase for a full review of The Magnificent Tree.


Written by Penny Olsen and Penny O’Hara

our nest is best

Featuring native Australian birds and stunning archived illustrations that date back to 1893, this book is perfect for bird studies and art exploration.

Our Nest is Best is a board book, and the dialogue-based text is easy for toddlers to follow, while still providing them with rich information.

Two robins set out to investigate the nests of other native birds before building one of their own. They visit magpies, owls, swallows, emus, kookaburras, grebes, fairy-wrens and reed-warblers. None of them is quite right for the robin; so Ruby and Rocky create a nest which is perfect for them using bark, grass, moss, spider’s webs, fur and soft feathers.

Visit My Little Bookcase for a full review of Our Nest is Best.


Written and illustrated by Tina Matthews

A Great Cake

A Great Cake explores a child’s ability to be imaginative and resourceful. It also features two cake recipes at the back of the book, which are perfect for children who enjoy baking.

Harvey wants to bake a cake, but he doesn’t have the ingredients he needs. Using his imagination and all the items he can source from around the house, he sets about baking some cakes anyway. He uses toothpaste, water, toys, flowers and shells to bake cakes for snails, lizards and butterflies.

The illustrations are simply delightful. Full of rich colour, they have been created with stencils and woodblock printing.

Visit My Little Bookcase for a full review of A Great Cake.

Ten Tiny Things

Written by Meg McKinlay and illustrated by Kyle Hughes-Odgers

ten tiny things

This exquisite and engaging story has a clear message, that the natural world has amazing things to offer to those who are willing to slow down to explore them.

Tessa and Zachary, who rely heavily on their machine, are forced to walk to school when it breaks down. After their initial disgust, they begin spotting tiny things such as feathers and shells.

The profound story is told with beautiful, alliterative language and earthy illustrations that have been painted on wood panelling.

Visit My Little Bookcase for a full review of Ten Tiny Things and for five inspired activities.

Not a Stick

Written by Antoinette Portis

Not a Stick

Not a Stick encourages imagination and playing with natural materials.

The illustrations in this book are simple and the text is sparse. They both revolve around a stick. But, you’ll offend the main character if you actually call it a stick, because to him it’s anything but. Instead, his imagination turns that stick into a sword, a fishing rod and a paint brush.

Not a Stick proves that possibilities are endless when you combine a child’s imagination with a simple object from nature.

If you enjoyed browsing this book list, you might also be interested in exploring some of our other themed book lists.


Thank you Jackie for sharing these amazing books with us. They would make wonderful additions to our home library. I particularly like the sounds of My Little World.


Are there any other books you would add to the list?

23 Replies to “Featured Writer: Six Nature-related Picture Books”

  1. What a lovely list, I remember our nest is best & think my son would love not a stick because for him it’s never just a stick 🙂

    1. Sounds like a perfect book for your son.

  2. Cathy Tyhurst says:

    I would like to say what a great list – I am from Canada and have never heard of these books. It is refreshing to see new books highlighted and I can’t wait to see if I can get a couple here in Canada to add to my collection. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Cathy. I am fairly sure that you should be able to find Not a Stick and Ten Tiny Things in Canada.

      1. I did find Not a Stick on the list for my local store, I am going today to see if I can find it. The Ten Tiny Things is listed but out of stock at all stores in Ontario! That is it…none of the others are even listed. Maybe when someone is going to Australia they will look for me! Thanks for the suggestions.

  3. thanks for the recommendations- they look lovely. One of our favourite nature related books is Magic Beach by Alison Lester. http://www.alisonlester.net/magic%20beach.html

    1. That is a beautiful book. So much to find in the illustrations too. The borders are my favourite feature.

    2. That one is lovely. We have Hidden Forest. It’s so beautiful.

  4. katepickle2 says:

    Not a Stick is one of our favourite books… am going to put some of these others on my smallest boy’s Christmas list!

  5. What a beautiful collection of books. I’ve never read any of them but a couple are going on my ‘to buy’ list. We love nature in this house 🙂

  6. What a great collection…thanks for compiling Jackie, look forward to exploring more about them all!

  7. Can I add “The Curious Garden” by Peter Brown … demonstrating that any small gesture of care to plants is worthy.

  8. I always get excited when I see children’s picture books. I LOVE the look of these. Thanks for the recommendations.

  9. What a great list! 🙂

  10. What a beautiful collection of books, I look forward to checking them out at our library

  11. I absolutely adore this collection of books and they seem like they should all live on every families bookshelf. Thank you

  12. Naww, I love these books. Some I’ve heard of and others I now want to! The Magnificent Tree looks right up my alley, so I’ll be popping over to the book shop later today to find that one. I love new books!

  13. I always love Jackie’s selection of books, and she’s yet to disappoint me. Love the new header too Kate 🙂 xo P

    1. Thanks Pauline 🙂 It’s always fun to have a little bit of a change 🙂

  14. What a wonderful list of books – I want them all! I’ve just started regular excursions to the Australian National Botanical Gardens on Black Mountain with my Family Day Care children. I think I will have to get My Little World first!

    1. That one sounds amazing, doesn’t it? We should meet up some time at the gardens 🙂

      1. OMG I just found out I missed your reply! I have been really bad checking my email lately, especially with 2 weeks of the last month taken out by illnesses in my family 🙁 We usually go the first Friday of the month in an attempt to make it to their Storytime session, but unfortunately not for October as I promised my 5yr old a trip to the Deep Space Communications Complex near Tidbinbilla for school holidays, so we’re going there on Thursday instead. I’ll PM you on Facebook before our next trip to the botanical gardens – probably next week actually. And I’ve bought My Little World and it is really gorgeous.

  15. Might be interested in checking out “Are You Looking For Me?” Can’t get more real with actual photography and indulges that natural curiosity kids (and some adults) have to find the hidden item, and when it’s nature, well, then you’re off to a good start.

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