Bugs are all around us. They’re in our yards, on the streets, and sometimes even in our own homes (yikes!). If you have a bug fan in your life, they’ll probably love reading books all about insects and bugs. I’ve compiled a list of my 13 favourite picture books about bugs.
My toddler enjoys getting up close to see any creepy-crawly. Just the other day in the garden he was holding an earthworm and had found an earwig! He was very pleased with himself showing me what he had found.
Overcoming A Fear of Bugs
I know some little ones can be afraid of bugs, but a great place to start would be with reading all about them. Talking about insects when there aren’t any around can really help you get to understand their fears and where they may be coming from. Here’s a great article about helping children overcome a fear of bugs.
What Do Insects Teach Kids?
For me, the biggest thing that interacting with bugs and insects teaches children is an appreciation for nature. They can also learn about the environment, caring for other living creatures, anatomy, habitats, and classifications. The possibilities are really endless! Plus, they’re pretty cool to just watch and observe.
Here are my top 13 favourite picture books about bugs.
Author: Britta Teckentrup
From Amazon: “Fans of Tree: A Peek-Through Picture Book can fly along with Bee on her very busy day! Through a hole in the book’s cover, a bee is buzzing inside a flower. Peek into this bright and lively book and discover the big ways this little insect contributes to the beauty of the environment, from pollinating colorful flowers to buzzing about the bright and beautiful meadow. With clever peekaboo holes throughout, each page reveals new flowers and plants, plus a look inside a beehive as the bees work together to help a plants grow. Children will love seeing the details of a bee’s active day as each page is turned. Along the way, they’ll learn how bees and plants works together to produce a healthy, beautiful environment.”
Author: Bonnie Becker, Illustrator: Nina Laden
From Amazon: “Never stop. Never tarry. An ant who wastes time will never marry!” Bart the sand ant has heard these words for as long as he can remember. Never in the history of antdom has an ant taken a day off. Still, Bart can’t help but wonder what it might be like to see what goes on out there in the big, wide world. “They’ll never let you back in!” warns his best friend, Floyd, about leaving the nest. But Bart leaves his mounds of work behind, and discovers just how important it is for an ant to find some time for himself every now and then. Bonny Becker has written the perfect story for our hectic, overscheduled lives. Nina Laden’s illustrations bring the bustling insect world to life with humor and verve.”
Author: Doreen Cronin, Illustrator: Harry Bliss
From Amazon: “This hilarious picture book from the bestselling, acclaimed author-illustrator team of Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss tells the adventures of a spider through his daily diary entries. This is the diary . . . of a spider. Actually, he’s a lot like you. He goes to gym class and has Grandparents Day at school. But he also spins sticky webs, scales walls, and takes wind-catching lessons. Lucky for him, his best friend is a fly!”
Author: Paul Meisel
From Amazon: “This is the diary of P. Mantis, one of 150 brothers and sisters born on a garden bush. P. Mantis is an amazing bug: she can make herself look like a stick to hide from predators, she can swivel her head all the way around, and when she’s grown up she’ll even be able to fly! In dated journal entries P. Mantis describes the entirety of her life, sharing the fun and beauty of her world as well its little ups and downs (“I ate one of my brothers. Okay, maybe two”). Colorful, bold art helps illustrate the different stages of the mantis life cycle, and the engaging, narrative text is paired with more detailed information about praying mantises on the heavily-illustrated endpapers.”
Author: Sophia Spencer, Margaret McNamara | Illustrator: Kerascoet
From Amazon: “7-year-old Sophia Spencer was bullied for loving bugs until hundreds of women scientists rallied around her. Now Sophie tells her inspiring story in this picture book that celebrates women in science, bugs of all kinds and the importance of staying true to yourself. Sophia Spencer has loved bugs ever since a butterfly landed on her shoulder–and wouldn’t leave!–at a butterfly conservancy when she was only two-and-a-half years old. In preschool and kindergarten, Sophia was thrilled to share what she knew about grasshoppers (her very favorite insects), as well as ants and fireflies . . . but by first grade, not everyone shared her enthusiasm. Some students bullied her, and Sophia stopped talking about bugs altogether. When Sophia’s mother wrote to an entomological society looking for a bug scientist to be a pen pal for her daughter, she and Sophie were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response–letters, photos and videos came flooding in. Using the hashtag BugsR4Girls, scientists tweeted hundreds of times to tell Sophia to keep up her interest in bugs–and it worked!”
Author: Picture Window Books
From Amazon: “Why do earthworms show up on sidewalks after it rains? Find out in Nancy Loewen’s Garden Wigglers: Earthworms in Your Backyard. Fun facts and activities, an anatomy diagram, and easy-to-read text introduce young scientists to the fascinating behaviors and traits of nature’s gardeners –earthworms!”
Author: Catherine Hughes
From Amazon: “The experts at National Geographic present a delightful reference that introduces young children to bugs of all kinds: big and small, jumping and crawling, colorful and creepy. This charming book explores backyard favorites, such as ladybugs and lightning bugs, and introduces kids to more exotic species that inhabit rain forests and deserts around the world. Colorful photos are paired with profiles of each insect, along with facts about the creatures’ sizes, diets, homes, and more. This book will quickly become a favorite at storytime, bedtime, and any other time!”
Author: Lauren Davidson
From Amazon: “Crawl into the wonderful world of bugs—a fun photographic adventure for kids ages 3 to 5. Take your child on an educational adventure bursting with the kinds of colorful photographs you need in bug books for kids. The Backyard Bug Book for Kids has everything you’d want in bug books for kids: a story, pictures, and activities combined. Introduce your little one to the types of bugs they’re likely to see during their day, then help them remember what they’ve learned with fun, on-the-page challenges.”
Author: Angela DiTerrlizzi, Illustrator: Brenda Wenzel
From Amazon: “Get the buzz on bugs in this Classic Board Book edition of Some Bugs by bestselling author Angela DiTerlizzi! Grab your magnifying glass! Find your field guide! And come hop, hide, swim, and glide through this buggy backyard world! Featuring butterflies and moths, crickets and cicadas, bumblebees and beetles, this zippy rhyming exploration of backyard-bug behavior is sure to have young insect enthusiasts bugging out with excitement!”
Bugs A to Z
Author: Caroline Lawton
From Amazon: “An essential A to Z bug book for young readers.The perfect book for all kids who are fascinated with bugs. Simple text from A to Z provides buggy facts and figures. Larger than life full-color photographs of creepy crawlies include locusts, caterpillars, beetles, flies, grasshoppers, ants, praying mantis, and more!”
Author: Lily Murray, Illustrator: Britta Teckentrup
From Amazon: “There are bugs everywhere! Some of them live in jungles, some of them underwater, and some certainly live in your house. And all of them are fascinating! Britta Teckentrup’s work will enthral budding entomologists. This nonfiction volume from a much-loved illustrator simply sparks with personality and is chock-full of weird and wonderful facts about all kinds of creepy-crawlies.”
Author: Camilla de la Bedoyere, Illustrator: Ste Johnson
From Amazon: “How many legs does an insect have? What’s the difference between an arachnid and an arthropod?Why do monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed plants? Find out the answers to these questions, and lots more, in this book featuring slimy, scary, stinky and strange creepy-crawlies on land and in water. Wow! is a fantastic series not only filled with the best and most amazing facts about popular science topics, but each book also includes beautiful illustrations with fun and interactive artwork clues that lead readers through the book and stimulate discussion. This appealing series is certain to make readers say “Wow!”over and over again.”
Author: Diana Hutts Aston, Illustrator: Sylvia Long
From Amazon: “The award-winning duo of Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long team up again, this time creating a gorgeous look at the fascinating world of beetles. From flea beetles to bombardier beetles, an incredible variety of these beloved bugs are showcased here in all their splendor. Poetic in voice and elegant in design, this carefully researched and visually striking book is perfect for sparking children’s imaginations in both classroom reading circles and home libraries.”
More Book Lists
Babies are attracted to black-and-white, high-contrast images. Check out some of my favourites in The Best High-Contrast Books for Babies.
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