Biology Books for Kids Ages 7 and Up
North: The Amazing Story of Arctic Migration by Nick Dowson, illustrated by Patrick Benson (ages 7 to 10) Dowson follows birds, whales, caribou and other animals as they migrate from as far away as New Zealand to the Arctic in the spring, and sees them through fall, when the weather turns for the worse.
Ultimate Bugopedia by Darlyne Murawski and Nancy Honovich (age 7 and older). If you’re always on the lookout for beetles and butterflies, this book is for you. Hundreds of color photos of common and unusual insects fill this hefty hardcover. There are fascinating stories related to the photos. For example, did you know that a moth called a Lobocraspis griseifusa feeds on the tears of Asian cattle? Have you heard of the tarantula hawk? It’s not a bird; it’s a wasp that preys on the hairy spiders. There’s a question-and-answer section with an entomologist (that’s an insect scientist) and advice on how to help preserve insects that are endangered.
Butterflies Fly. Yvonne Winer. (Ages 7 and Up) Charlesbridge Publishing (2001). This feast for the eyes presents a painting of a single butterfly species and accompanying verse on one page, with a full-page illustration on the facing page that shows the butterflies in their natural habitats. The pictures are strikingly detailed, and the poetry is a tribute to the insect's beauty. An identification guide at the end provides information about each butterfly and emphasizes that habitat destruction is the main threat to these lovely creatures.
Creepy, Crawly Caterpillars. Margery Facklam. (7 and Up) Little, Brown, and Co. (1996). This strikingly-illustrated book begins by describing how caterpillars’ bodies are structured and how the larval stage fits into moth and butterfly metamorphosis. Following is an in-depth look at 13 caterpillars found in various parts of the world, most of them native to North America. Each double-page spread displays a greatly enlarged, dramatically-colored caterpillar; along the bottom of the illustration runs a line of smaller drawings of the stages of growth -egg, caterpillar, pupa, and adult moth or butterfly. Each caterpillar's interesting, sometimes bizarre, behavior is discussed, thus showing the reader how fascinating these tiny creatures can be.
Forest Explorer: A Life-Size Field Guide. Nic Bishop. (7-10 Years) Scholastic Press (2004). Explore the mini-wilds of the forest with this unique photographic nature guide. This book features seven dramatic life-size habitat scenes capturing more than 130 tiny animals just as they appear in nature. Fascinating field notes help young naturalists identify commonly found animals and the tricks and habits they use to survive through the seasons.
A Handful of Dirt. Raymond Bial. (7-10 Years) Walker & Company (2000). Soil may not be alive, but amazingly, multitudes of microscopic creatures live there, battling it out in an eat-or-be-eaten world. This book reveals the tiny creatures, invisible to our eyes, that provide food for the insects that in turn feed the animals that live in and above the soil. Also explains how to make compost and the importance of preserving Earth’s soil.
How Do Animals Adapt? Bobbie Kalman. (7 and Up) Crabtree (2000). This book examines the ever-changing world of animal adaptations. It explains why animals need to adapt; how animals use camouflage and mimicry to protect themselves; and how wild animals have adapted to habitat loss and learned to live in cities.
If You Hopped Like A Frog. David Schwarz. (7-10 Years) Scholastic (1999). A fun look at ratio and proportion as it applies to the animal world reveals that a kid with the strength of an ant could lift a car over her head, and a kid who could eat like a shrew could pack away seven hundred plus hamburgers each day. Playful illustrations show what such feats might look like, while an afterword explains the nitty-gritty of the math.