Outstanding Books
          about Wild Animals

Selected for their exceptionally accurate science content and
their ability to effectively engage children in science learning.


ALL ABOUT DEER. Written and illustrated by Jim Arnosky. 28pp.  Detailed illustrations and informative text invite the animal enthusiast to get a close-up look at deer. The book describes their physical characteristics, what they eat, how they raise their young, how they travel, and the dangers they face from predators. Learn amazing facts about deer hoofs and antlers.

A is for . . . ? A Photographer's Alphabet of Animals  Written and illustrated with photographs by Henry Horenstein. 36pp.  Stimulate inquiry with the beautiful black-and-white photographs in this very special alphabet book. Animals from A to Z are featured in partial views and from unique angles. By examining the limited photographic clues of physical attributes, the reader is lead to solve the mystery of identifying the animal. Answers are provided at the end. Photographer's Note.

Animal Defenses: How Animals Protect Themselves  Etta Kaner. Illustrated by Pat Stephens. 40pp.  Unusual defense mechanisms employed by animals are described in this well-illustrated text. Divided into chapters, the reader observes various mechanisms of protection, including poisonous skin, camouflage coloration, group living, and imitation. Particularly unique animals in each category are individually discussed. Index

Bizarre Birds Written and illustrated with photographs by Doug Wechsler and VIREO. 48pp.  This volume discusses the strange traits of some of the 10,000 species of birds. Divided into chapters based on physical traits, eating habits, ability to fly, breeding, and interesting habits, this book investigates the fascinating and bizarre aspects of the birds. Beautiful color photographs accompany the various descriptions. Epilogue, Glossary, Index.

The Chimpanzees I Love: Saving Their World and Ours Jane Goodall. Illustrated with photographs.  80pp.  Jane Goodall has written a compelling book that describes the fascinating world of chimpanzees. Through her vast experiences and research, she has been able to describe her discoveries and compare the many similarities between chimpanzees and humans. Facts and Resources.


Meeting Dolphins: My Adventures in the Sea Kathleen Dudzinski. Illustrated with photographs. National Geographic Society. 64pp.  This book is an account of the author's work with dolphin communications. Marine biologist Dudzinski explains how gestures, sounds, and behaviors are used as communications tools. She also describes her invention - a mobile video/acoustic array system. It is used to determine which dolphin in a group is making sounds. Author's Note, Dolphins Chart, Resources, Index.

Fossil Fish Found Alive: Discovering the Coelacanth  Sally M. Walker. Illustrated with photographs.  64pp. The coelacanth is a prehistoric fish that existed millions of years before dinosaurs walked the Earth. These fish have remained virtually unchanged over the millions of years of their existence. This is a story of the first discovery as well as subsequent discoveries of these ancient fish. It is about the author’s quest to answer many questions, with each answer raising new questions. Bibliography, Glossary, Index, Major Coelacanth Discoveries (map), Timeline, Web-sites.


Giant Pandas  Written and illustrated by Gail Gibbons.  32pp. This fascinating book provides factual information about giant pandas. It is an introduction to the physical characteristics, behavior, life cycle, and habitat of these endangered animals. Colorful illustrations accompany the text.


Gorillas  Seymour Simon. Illustrated with photographs. HarperCollins. 32pp. Through engaging narrative and fascinating color photographs, readers explore the physical characteristics of gorillas; how gorillas gather their food; how gorilla families live, communicate, and play; what is endangering gorilla populations; and what efforts are being made to protect the gorillas and safeguard their homes in central Africa, including the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda

Gorilla Walk  Written and illustrated by Ted Lewin and Betsy Lewin.  48pp. 

Visit the Bwindi Impenetrable [Forest] National Park in southern Uganda to meet the mountain gorilla. This beautifully illustrated and charmingly written story relates the travels of a party of explorers as they enter and explore the habitat and society of a subspecies of gorillas found in this area. Map, Mountain Gorilla Facts, Index.


Hello, Fish! Visiting the Coral Reef  Sylvia A. Earle. Illustrated with photographs by Wolcott Henry. National Geographic. 32pp.  In very poetic yet fact-filled text accompanied by eye-catching, large-format photographs, the young reader is given an up-close-and-personal view of a variety of funny, unusual, and beautiful fish, all residents of various coral reefs around the world. Map

Outside and Inside Kangaroos (Outside and Inside series) Sandra Markle. Illustrated with photographs. 40pp.  This addition to the author's series of books provides vivid descriptions of the habitat and the external and internal features of the kangaroo, all highlighted with excellent color photographs. Vocabulary words are italicized in the text and can be found in the glossary. A Looking Back section provides a starting point for inquiry science. Map, Glossary, Index.


Raptor! A Kid’s Guide to Birds of Prey  Christyna M. Laubach and René Laubach and Charles W. G. Smith.  128pp.  Can’t tell an accipiter from a buteo? A hawk from a falcon? Every science teacher interested in teaching about birds of prey should have this book in his or her classroom. In addition to the great photographs, maps, charts, and scientific information, Raptor! gives the reader a sense of responsibility for the continuation of this magnificent group of predators that soars above the rest. Author’s Note, Glossary, Index.


Red-Eyed Tree Frog. Joy Cowley. Illustrated with photographs by Nic Bishop. Scholastic Press. 32pp.  

 Through engaging and informative text and outstanding photography, this book is an exciting new way to look at nature. It provides students with a unique way to see the natural world through the adventures of a red-eyed tree frog: searching for food, avoiding the dangers of the rain forest, and trying to survive attacks from poisonous caterpillars and hungry boa constrictors. Afterword.

Salmon Stream
Carol Reed-Jones. Illustrated by Michael Maydak. 32pp. 

This book is a poetic yet accurate description of the life cycle of the salmon. The sense of movement of the “Salmon Stream” is embedded in the language, words, and illustrations. Facts, References, Organizations.


Chris Mattison. Illustrated with photographs. 192pp.  Captivating, glossy photographs charm students to read and research more than 60 types of snakes, ranging from adders to yellow anacondas. This richly formatted book features each snake in detailed entries with informative, readable text. Glossary, Index, Snake Directory.


A Symphony of Whales. Steve Schuch. Illustrated by Peter Sylvada.  32pp. 

This enchanting tale was inspired by a true story about the efforts of a group of people working to save whales trapped in an ice-enclosed bay. The story and artwork weave the story of human effort and partnership to assist imperiled beluga whales. Historical Notes.



Where Are the Night Animals? (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science series). Written and illustrated by Mary Ann Fraser.  32pp.

The author's lyrical text and realistic illustrations help explain how nocturnal animals are adapted to living in the dark. This book helps the reader understand the world that comes alive under the cover of darkness-where are the night animals and where do they go during the day? Afterword.


Woolly Mammoth: Life, Death, and Rediscovery Windsor Chorlton. Illustrated with photographs. 40pp.  This story emphasizes the excitement and enormity of the project to excavate and remove a frozen woolly mammoth. The experience highlights the expertise and technology needed for such a venture. Several new discoveries are illustrated and old theories are reinforced. The project is brought to life by brilliant photographs and illustrations. Websites, Index, Mammoth Sites and Finds.


Sea Soup: Zooplankton  Mary M. Cerullo. Illustrated with photographs by Bill Curtsinger.  40pp.  The world of the invisible microbe is alien to us. Too often we are unaware of the vital role and stunning beauty such creatures present. This book effectively captures the important niche filled by zooplankton. The book’s microscopic photography reveals this unseen universe, documenting the teeming life that occurs in just one cubic centimeter of ocean water. Index, Bibliography.





Elephant Quest
Written and illustrated by Ted and Betsy Lewin

Ted Lewin's realistic paintings and Betsy Lewin's field sketches illuminate this four-day, real-life trip to Moremi Reserve in Botswana, Africa. This work is an adventure story that introduces the reader to the region's wildlife and ecology. African Elephant Facts, Index.


The Elephant Book (To benefit the Elefriends Campaign)
by Ian Redmond. Illustrated with photographs.

"We can replant forests, and even reclaim deserts in time, but no one, when the last elephant has gone, can make another." Biologist Ian Redmond pays tribute to the pachyderm in The Elephant Book, with breathtaking photos of the African landscape. Divided into sections such as "The Architect of Africa," "Trunks and Tusks" and "Peaceful Coexistence," and peppered with quotes from the likes of David Attenborough and Jane Goodall, the book seeks to stop the ivory trade and eliminate poaching. Half the royalties go to the Elefriends Campaign, an elephant protection group based in London.


Elephant Walk
 Written by Jean Craighead George, Illustrated by Anna Vojtech

Poetic and heartwarming, this charming tale of a baby elephant named Odon introduces the reader into the subtle and sensual world of elephant family life. Young children will relate to Odon's struggle to master the everyday challenges that seem so simple for adults and older siblings-- they will also relate to his elation over his eventual success! But what makes this book far and away a winner is the fascinating two-page spread at the back of the book illustrating "Elephant Talk". Illustrations and text explain what elephants are communicating to each other when they engage in different postures and embraces. The best one is illustrated by the cover art above -- this mother elephant is saying, "I love you baby!" Written by Newberry Award winner Jean Craighead George, and magically illustrated by Czech born artist Anna Vojtech, this book is perfect for children aged 5-8. To buy this book, click here.



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