Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to birds. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about birds.
Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
We hope this list of kids books about birds can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!
When a strange egg appears in their nest, Mr. and Mrs. Bird kindly take it upon themselves to raise the “baby bird” inside. But when the egg hatches, the Birds are in for a big surprise–“Junior” is the oddest-looking baby bird they’ve ever seen–with big, long jaws full of teeth and an appetite to match. In fact, he looks more like a baby alligator than a baby bird! Nevertheless, the devoted Birds run themselves ragged feeding Junior until he gets so big, he must leave the nest or it will collapse underneath him. But how can Junior fly without wings? To the delight of the Birds–and readers!–the dilemma is solved when Junior takes off from a branch overlooking a pond.
Nature lovers and poetry fans alike will be drawn to this lyrical picture book depicting how Carolina wrens build a nest for their young.
This is the bark, snippets of twine,
spidery rootlets, and needles of pine
that shape the nest that Wren built.
In the rhyming style of “The House That Jack Built,” this poem about the care and specificity that Carolina wrens put into building a nest is at once tender and true to life. Papa and Mama Wren gather treasures of the forest, from soft moss for a lining to snakeskin for warding off predators. Randi Sonenshine’s lilting stanzas, woven with accurate and unexpected details about Carolina wrens, and Anne Hunter’s gentle, inviting illustrations reveal the mysterious lives of these birds and impart an appreciation for the wonder of the life cycles around us. Back matter includes a glossary and additional interesting facts about wrens.
“Like nothing you have seen before,” raves Kirkus Reviews in a starred review. In his most beautiful and moving work to date, Bob Staake explores the universal themes of loneliness, bullying, and the importance of friendship. In this emotional picture book, readers will be captivated as they follow the journey of a bluebird as he develops a friendship with a young boy and ultimately risks his life to save the boy from harm. Both simple and evocative, this timeless and profound story will resonate with readers young and old. Bob Staake has been working on this book for 10 years, and he believes it is the story he was born to write.
“An enchanting portrayal of one girl’s delight in a creature and the many ways they can engage and inspire.” – ALA Booklist
Ivy spends her day with the birds–sipping nectar and splashing in the pond in this joyfully written celebration of birds and imaginative play from an award-winning author-and-illustrator team.
Ivy Bird is a celebration of the natural world and the joy found in imaginative play. Perfect for reading aloud, this book will delight children with its search-and-find elements, bright illustrations, and exuberant story. A nonfiction element, two pages bursting with colorful bird illustrations, encourages readers to seek out birds in their own neighborhoods. Printed on FSC-certified paper with vegetable-based inks.
Introduce budding scientists to a fun STEM topic — birds and their feathers! This interactive board book features riddles about different birds, and images that transform as you turn the page to reveal the answer. Includes fact-packed educational notes about birds, feathers and what we can learn from them.
The Best Nest - Mr. and Mrs. Bird search for a place to build a new nest only to discover their old one is better.
Trevor - Jim Averbeck’s and Amy Hevron’s illustrated Trevor is the charming, simple tale of an unlikely friendship between a lonely caged canary and the lemon that hangs from the tree outside his window…
The Wheel on the School - Why do the storks no longer come to the little Dutch fishing village of Shora to nest? It was Lina, one of the six schoolchildren who first asked the question, and she set the others to wondering. And sometimes when you begin to wonder, you begin to make things happen. So the children set out to bring the storks back to Shora. The force of their vision put the whole village to work until at last the dream began to come true. Winner, 1955 Newbery Medal Notable Children’s Books of 1940–1970 (ALA) 1963 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award
Hello, Mr. Dodo! - Martha loves birds, so one day when she meets and makes friends with a Dodo, a species supposed to be extinct, in the woods behind her house, she resolves to keep him secret to keep him safe–but sometimes it is hard to keep a big secret.
It’s not fair! All Little Owl wants is to go to bed at a reasonable hour, like his friends do. But Mama and Papa say little owls have to stay up late and play. So Little Owl spends all night jumping on his bed, playing on the jungle gym, and doing tricks on his skateboard—but he’s hooting mad about it! Children who have a hard time going to bed will love this fun twist on the universal dilemma.
CAUTION! This book contains monkeys, toucans, and a whole lot of silliness.You really shouldn’t be opening this book.
Just put it back on the shelf.
You’re still reading this?
Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you…
It looks like a book, it feels like a book, and it even smells like a book. But watch out…madness and mayhem lie within! Debut author Adam Lehrhaupt urges you NOT to take a walk on the wild side in this humorous, interactive romp with inventive and engaging illustrations from Eisner Award-winning comic artist and rising star children’s book illustrator Matthew Forsythe.
This quirky, subversive creation begs to be enjoyed again and again and again.
Swan Song Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can’t trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can’t even make a sound. And since he can’t trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena’s affection–he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?
Discover what these animals do in this playful board book by award-winning author Douglas Florian. Flamingos fly. Sailfish swim. Monkeys swing on a jungle gym! Discover what different animals do in this fun, rhyming story by award-winning author Douglas Florian! Animals include flying flamingos, swimming sailfish, swinging monkeys, diving dolphins, soaring swallows, creeping starfish, digging prairie dogs, lunging lizards, plunging pelicans, jumping jaguars, leaping llamas, and sleeping sloths.
From the albatross to the zebra finch, Mrs. Peanuckle pulls out her binoculars and introduces toddlers to 26 species of birds from all around the world. Described by a single interesting fact or defining characteristic, each bird proves to be as unique and surprising as the one before. Ever wonder why flamingoes are pink? It’s all those shrimp they eat. Are there birds that can fly backward? Yes, but hummingbirds are the only ones! With colorful, dynamic art, and attention-grabbing text, Mrs. Peanuckle’s birds fly off the page, and in some cases, into the parks and backyards of the children and adults reading this book. Mrs. Peanuckle’s Bird Alphabet is the fifth title in a series of board books celebrating the joy of nature at home and in the backyard, from fresh fruits and vegetables to birds, bugs, and trees.
Let's Go, Hugo! - Hugo is a dapper little bird who adores the Eiffel Tower—or at least his view of it from down here. Hugo, you see, has never left the ground. So when he meets another bird, the determined Lulu, who invites him to fly with her to the top of the tower, Hugo stalls, persuading Lulu to see, on foot, every inch of the park in which he lives instead. Will a nighttime flying lesson from Bernard the Owl, some sweet and sensible encouragement from Lulu, and some extra pluck from Hugo himself finally give this bird the courage he needs to spread his wings and fly?
Max and Bird - Max, a kitten, and Bird, a very young bird, want to be friends but Max also wants to eat Bird, so they strike a deal.
A Little Chicken - Dot is a small chick who’s scared of lots of things: wolves, bears, the occasional lawn ornament. But when an egg rolls out of her mother’s nest, Dot must pluck up her courage to save the day–and her new sibling! Perfect for kids who need some encouragement to face the challenging world, this story proves that sometimes a big hero is just a little chicken.
Penguin Cha-Cha - Penguins are dancing in their cove, and a young girl is determined to join in the fun.
A Junior Library Guild Selection and Indie Next List Pick
“An emotionally impactful exploration of love and loneliness, this is an essential addition to any picture book collection.” —School Library Journal (starred review)
Bestselling author Beth Ferry (Stick and Stone) and the widely acclaimed Fan Brothers (The Night Gardener) present a gorgeous and poignant picture book about two unexpected friends and the special connection they share.
This tender and affectionate story reminds us of the comforting power of friendship and the joy of helping others—a tale that will inspire and delight children for generations to come.
All the animals know not to mess with old Scarecrow. But when a small, scared crow falls from midair, Scarecrow does the strangest thing.…
He saves the tiny baby crow.
Soon a loving bond grows between the two unlikely friends. But is it strong enough to weather the changing of the seasons?
“A welcome addition to autumnal storytelling.”—Kirkus
“A novel twist on the theme of love between adversaries.” —Publishers Weekly
Tacky’s perfect friends find him annoying until his odd behavior saves the day.
Little Bird loves everything about his home. He’s surrounded by his favourite branch, his favourite food, his favourite view and his favourite music. Why on earth would he ever want to change, even when his brother tells him that they must? Discover how Little Bird ends up finding happiness in his new home from home in this beautifully illustrated picture book. Perfect for all children who love home, however many they may have.
Although a young starling chooses to read books when his cousins are learning to fly, the knowledge he acquires comes in handy when a hurricane threatens the flock’s migration.
When a bus driver takes a break from his route, a very unlikely volunteer springs up to take his place-a pigeon! But you’ve never met one like this before. As he pleads, wheedles, and begs his way through the book, children will love being able to answer back and decide his fate. In his hilarious picture book debut, popular cartoonist Mo Willems perfectly captures a preschooler’s temper tantrum.
Stellaluna - Knocked from her mother’s safe embrace by an attacking owl, Stellaluna lands headfirst in a bird’s nest. This adorable baby fruit bat’s world is literally turned upside down when she is adopted by the occupants of the nest and adapts to their peculiar bird habits. Two pages of notes at the end of the story provide factual information about bats. “Delightful and informative but never didactic; a splendid debut.”–Kirkus Reviews For this anniversary edition, color has been added to the ink drawings and the interior design now allows for more art to be see. Plus there is a code for a downloadable crafts and activity kit, two pages of updated notes about bats, and a special note from the author.
What a Hoot! -
A companion to the best-selling Hot Dog, Cold Dog,_ Frann Preston-Gannon’s new lap-sized boardbook, _What a Hoot! explores opposites through the antics of adorable owls.
Wide-eyed and plump, Frann’s colorful little owls cavort happily through these pages–sloshing through the mud in a pair of rainboots (“This one’s dirty”) or nose-to-nose with a rubber ducky in a sudsy tub (“That one’s clean”), they embody simple opposites that kids will immediately appreciate. A surprise ending adds to the read-aloud fun. • In addition to the irresistibly cute owls, each spread includes other funny things for kids to spot, from “hidden” treats to a sneaky snail • Rhyming text makes this a great read-aloud while repetition encourages early reading skills • Story closes with a birthday party scene for all the owls Praise for Frann’s previous book, Hot Dog, Cold Dog: “Preston-Gannon’s simple words will have children reading along in no time. The instant I started to read the story to my son I started to do it with a sing-song rhythm and continue to do so every time I read it. The simple text and rhyming will instantly draw your child in and have them wanting you to read it over and over again!” - Pawing Through Books “This larger format board book is a bright and bold delight. Each spread shows a dog but simple opposites (new dog, old dog) become increasingly surprising and more inventive with each turn of the page.” - Books For Keeps
Mr. Lincoln's Way - When Mr. Lincoln, “the coolest principal in the whole world,” discovers that Eugene, the school bully, knows a lot about birds, he uses this interest to help Eugene overcome his intolerance.
Hooray for Birds! - In an exuberant display of color, Lucy Cousins invites little ones to imagine themselves as brilliant birds. Birds of all feathers flock together in a fun, rhyme-filled offering by the creator of Maisy. From the rooster’s “cock-a-doodle-doo” at dawn to the owl’s nighttime “tuwit, tuwoo,” the cheeps and tweets of many bright and beautiful avian friends will have children eager to join in as honorary fledglings. This day in the life of birds will hold the attention of even the smallest bird-watchers, whether at storytime or just before settling into their cozy nests to sleep.
Once, there was a pig who admired birds. But he could never join them. Or could he? Thus begins the journey of a pig with big dreams, and the perseverance to make them come true. He develops flight plans, builds experimental contraptions, and has far-flung adventures, but at the end of the day, his favorite thing to do is still to sit and watch for those he loves best: the birds. Il Sung Na creates a world at once whimsical and aspirational, where anything is possible and, yes, even pigs can learn to fly.
The Blotter family are famous bird spotters, who stay in their hideout all day. All except for Otto–he’d rather go out and have big adventures. When he follows the BIGGEST footprints he’s ever seen, he finds an extraordinary baby bird all on its own. Otto’s new friend soon reveals a very special ability: camouflage! But the bird keeps growing and growing, and Otto begins to suspect it may have a family after all . . . perhaps the time has come to take him home? Keen-eyed readers may spot the bird’s giant family hidden on the pages, if they’re good enough bird spotters!
“A masterful delight, this crafty caper has huge kid appeal and a title/refrain that will easily sneak into the family lexicon: ‘Shh! We have a plan.’ ” —School Library Journal (starred review) Four friends creep through the woods, and what do they spot? An exquisite bird high in a tree! “Hello birdie,” waves one. “Shh! We have a plan,” hush the others. They stealthily make their advance, nets in the air. Ready one, ready two, ready three, and go! But as one comically foiled plan follows another, it soon becomes clear that their quiet, observant companion, hand outstretched, has a far better idea.
A penguin has wings for a reason . . . doesn’t he? Having a best friend with his own airplane is one thing, but actually experiencing what it feels like to fly by himself? Here is one penguin who believes this is precisely what he needs to feel complete. Only . . . if flying by himself is so wonderful, then why does he feel so empty?
Because some experiences are better shared. (And penguins are much happier on the ground.)
Oliver Jeffers delivers the perfect companion to his much-loved Lost and Found. Penguins everywhere will take flight in delight.
In this wordless book with interactive flaps, a friendship develops between a girl named Flora and a graceful flamingo, as they learn to dance together.
Freedom Bird: A Tale of Hope and Courage - In this inspiring story in the tradition of American black folktales, an enslaved brother and sister are inspired by a majestic and mysterious bird to escape to freedom in this dramatic and unforgettable picture book. There was nothing civil about that war. They should have called it what it was: a big, bad war. Brother and sister Millicent and John are slaves on Simon Plenty’s plantation and have suffered one hurt and heartbreak after another. Their parents had told them old tales of how their ancestors had flown away to freedom just as free and easy as a bird. Millicent and John hold these stories in their hearts long after their parents are gone. “Maybe such a time will come for you,” their parents said. Then one day a mysterious bird appears in their lives. The bird transforms them and gives them the courage to set their plan into motion and escape to freedom.
Flora and the Ostrich - Inspired by Caldecott Honor book Flora and the Flamingo, this series of board books is perfect for the very youngest Flora fans. When a new feathered friend seems so different from her, Flora discovers that opposites, in fact, attract! Featuring fold-out pages and Molly Idle’s graceful artwork, this adorable book of opposites will delight young children as they master new words and concepts.
Max and Marla Are Going on a Trip - From the #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator of She Persisted comes a Max and Marla story about being present and appreciating the world around us. School is out for the summer, and Max and Marla are off to Australia! Max has always wanted to see koalas, after all. He makes sure to pack his camera for the trip, so that he can capture every moment and remember this vacation. Off they head by air and by sea, with Max looking for just the perfect shot along the way. But when he keeps missing the amazing sights while focusing his lens, Marla knows that she needs to step in. In this final story in the Max and Marla quartet, the two friends learn that being together and enjoying their trip makes for the best memories after all!
Red and Lulu - Separation and miles cannot keep a determined cardinal from his loved one in this heart-tugging story combining the cheer of Christmas, the magic of New York City, and the real meaning of the holiday season: how important it is to be surrounded by love. Full color.
Barney Saltzberg’s irrepressible and imaginative books—Good Egg, Beautiful Oops!, Arlo Needs Glasses, and A Little Bit of Oomph!, combine distinctive art, a lively spirit, and paper engineering to bring great joy to kids (and grown-ups, too). Now Barney is launching a new series of board books about a character named Redbird. With his long orange beak, red body, and friendly expression, Redbird calls to mind Dr. Seuss’s offbeat heroes and Boynton’s zany barnyard creatures, while embodying the author’s signature playful style.
In Colors, Colors, Everywhere!, Redbird tries to pick his favorite color—is it red like him, blue like the sky, or yellow like the sun? Finally, he concludes: Colors, colors, everywhere! It’s hard to really choose. . . . It’s hard to really know! And that’s the reason why I love . . . the colors of the rainbow!
Cuckoo hatches. And all is well. But when his brothers and sisters sing out Too-too-weet! Too-too-weet! Cuckoo instead chirps Cuckoo! and no one can understand him. When he leaves his nest, Cuckoo still can’t find anyone who speaks his language. He tries to communicate with the other animals—coomooing and buckooing and cabooing along the way—but he doesn’t sound like anyone else out there! Just when he thinks all is lost, Cuckoo finds an unlikely friend who understands him perfectly.
George has absolutely no interest in exploring the world. None at all.
He’s far too busy enjoying his home life and baking delicious pastries. Or so he tells all his friends when they invite him along on their wonderful adventures.
But when George’s friend Pascal digs a little deeper, the real reason George refuses to travel away from home is finally revealed . . . From the children’s book author of the acclaimed Herman and Rosie comes Gus Gordon’s Somewhere Else.
Eva’s pet bat, Baxter, is missing!Pick a book. Grow a Reader!This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line, Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!In book 6, a famous author is coming to Treetopolis! Eva and her classmates each have to write a story to share with the author. Eva’s excited! But then something terrible happens: Her pet bat, Baxter, goes missing! Eva can’t think of anything to write about – except how much she misses Baxter! With help from her friends, Eva looks everywhere for Baxter. She even hangs up MISSING posters! Where could Baxter be? And will Eva finish her story in time for the author’s visit?
One autumn day, a lion finds a wounded bird in his garden. With the departure of the bird’s flock, the lion decides that it’s up to him to care for the bird. He does and the two become fast friends. Nevertheless, the bird departs with his flock the following autumn. What will become of Lion and what will become of their friendship?Note: some pages in this book are intentionally blank to represent snow.Marianne Dubuc received her degree in graphic design from the University of Quebec, Montreal. She has created many different kinds of books for readers of all ages. She is an internationally acclaimed illustrator whose work has been published by major publishers in fifteen countries.
My Nest Is Best - Mr. Bird thinks his nest is the best in the world–until Mrs. Bird tells him it’s all wrong. Adapted from P. D. Eastman’s classic The Best Nest, simple and sturdy flaps, wheels, and slide tabs bring Mr. and Mrs. Bird’s quest for “the best nest” to life when their “mailbox-nest” gets a delivery, their “church-bell” nest cling-clangs, and a storm blows them into the best nest of all. And you can guess which one that is!
Eva's Campfire Adventure - Eva and her friends are going camping!Pick a book. Grow a Reader! This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow! Eva can’t wait to go camping with her classmates! They pitch tents, eat yummy campfire treats, and build useful inventions. Best of all, they go on a treasure hunt through the forest. Join Eva and her friends as they work together to find the treasure!
Fly Away Home - A homeless boy who lives in an airport with his father, moving from terminal to terminal trying not to be noticed, is given hope when a trapped bird finally finds its freedom. “A first-rate picture book that deserves a place in all collections. Sure to spark discussion.” – School Library Journal, starred review
Real Pigeons Eat Danger - Spending too much time staring at birds out your window? Well take another look, because what looks like an ordinary pigeon might just be saving your butt! The high-flying adventures continue in book 2 of this hilarious illustrated series perfect for fans of BAD GUYS and DOG MAN. What do Real Pigeons do? They EAT DANGER, of course! This squad of crime-fighting feathered friends is nonstop action and nonstop laughs. Watch them as they infiltrate a secret warehouse full of bottled birds and take down a truly criminal ostrich. The DANGER is REAL. And so are the REAL PIGEONS.
Calling all P. D. Eastman fans! What could be a better than six Beginner Books written and/or illustrated by P. D.–or son Peter–Eastman? Six of them for less than the price of two! At only $15.99, The Big Purple Book of Beginner Books is an incredible value and includes the full, unabridged text and illustrations for A Fish Out of Water by Helen Palmer, I’ll Teach My Dog 100 Words by Michael Frith, Fred and Ted Go Camping by Peter Eastman, Snow by P. D. Eastman and Roy McKie, and Flap Your Wings and Big Dog . . . Little Dog by P. D. Eastman, all bound together in one sturdy, hardcover omnibus. Perfect for birthdays and holidays, this is a classic, affordable gift the whole family can enjoy together.
A little yellow bird teaches Rocket the dog how to read by first introducing him to the “wondrous, mighty, gorgeous alphabet.”
Every year, the president pardons one turkey for Thanksgiving. One. But KC and her best friend, Marshall, think one isn’t enough! This year, they want to gather lots of turkeys to be spared. The night before the holiday, the turkeys are in a big flock on the National Mall waiting to be set free. The next morning, they’re gone! Who would steal 117 Thanksgiving turkeys? KC and Marshall have to ruffle some feathers to find out!
The time has come to fight for the enchanted land of Perodia!Pick a book. Grow a Reader!This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line, Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!Get ready for an epic battle! Tag, Skyla, and Blaze call on their friends to help them in the fight against the powerful vulture Thorn. Blaze will finally learn how to use the magical Ember Stone… but will its magic be strong enough to defeat Thorn and his army of spies? In this battle, only the brightest magic can defeat the Shadow!
“An unforgettable story of friendship, love, and finding your flock.” –Erin Entrada Kelly, Newbery Medal-winning author of Hello, UniverseIn this exceptional debut, one young girl’s determination to save the flock she calls family creates a lasting impact on her community and in her heart. Gorgeous and literary, this is an unforgettable animal story about friendship, family, home, and belonging. For readers who love books by Kate DiCamillo and Katherine Applegate. Ten years ago, an impossible thing happened: a flock of pigeons picked up a human baby who had been abandoned in an empty lot and carried her, bundled in blankets, to their roof. Coo has lived her entire life on the rooftop with the pigeons who saved her. It’s the only home she’s ever known. But then a hungry hawk nearly kills Burr, the pigeon she loves most, and leaves him gravely hurt.Coo must make a perilous trip to the ground for the first time to find Tully, a retired postal worker who occasionally feeds Coo’s flock, and who can heal injured birds. Tully mends Burr’s broken wing and coaxes Coo from her isolated life. Living with Tully, Coo experiences warmth, safety, and human relationships for the first time. But just as Coo is beginning to blossom, she learns the human world is infinitely more complex?and cruel?than she could have imagined.This remarkable debut novel will captivate readers from the very first line. Coo examines the bonds that make us family, the possibilities of love, and the importance of being true to yourself. Fans of Katherine Applegate, Kate DiCamillo, and Barbara O’Connor will devour this extraordinary story. Features black-and-white spot art throughout.
Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did you know you can help us improve this list? Check out our Community Handbook and learn how to add tags to books.