Nature Lore Books

“The real use of naturalists’ books [nature lore] at this stage is to give the child delightful glimpses into the world of wonders he lives in, to reveal the sorts of things to be see by curious eyes, and to fill him with desire to make discoveries for himself.” -Charlotte Mason, Home Education (vol 1) p. 64 

Through the study Charlotte Mason’s programmes, I see two distinct categories of nature lore: general nature lore and books that support a student’s special studies. For the sake of clarity, I will divide the books listed below into those categories. You can read more about how these books were assigned for your student’s particular form by reading my posts about form 1 science (gr. 1-3) and form 2 science (gr. 4-6). You might also find further clarification on my science lingo page. Form 3 students would continue to use nature lore as a support to their special studies, but it would not be assigned in their morning lessons.  Jump to middle and high school nature lore.

Nature Lore Books for Form 1-2 (grades 1-6)

Some examples for form 1 students:
Students read 30-40 pages from two of these books each term.

Some examples for form 2 students:
Students read 30-40 pages of one of these books each term, and therefore will continue in the chosen book for several years.

Special Study Books (any age depending on reading level)

Clara Dillingham

  • Among the Pond People
  • Among the Night People
  • Among the Meadow People
  • Among the Forest People
  • Among the Farmyard People

Robert M. McClung (grade ~3-6)

  • Ruby Throat: The Story Of A Hummingbird
  • Luna: the Story of a Moth
  • Sphinx: The Story of a Caterpillar
  • Green Darner: The Story of a Dragonfly
  • Major: The Story Of A Black Bear
  • Leaper: The Story of an Atlantic Salmon
  • Spike: The story of a Whitetail Deer
  • Whitetail
  • Otus: The Story of a Screech Owl
  • Honker: The Story of a Wild Goose
  • Lili: A Giant Panda of Sichuan
  • Redbird: The Story of a Cardinal
  • Buzztail: The Story Of A Rattlesnake
  • Luna: The Story of a Moth
  • Whitefoot: The Story of a Wood Mouse
  • Samson: Last of the California Grizzlies
  • Whooping Crane
  • Horseshoe Crab
  • America’s First Elephant
  • Possum
  • Spotted Salamander
  • Bees, Wasps, and Hornets, and How They Live
  • Peeper, First Voice of Spring

William J. Long

  • Secrets of the Woods
  • Ways of Wood Folk
  • Wilderness Ways
  • School of the Woods
  • Wood Folk at School
  • A Little Brother to the Bear
  • Northern Trails

Thornton Burgess

  • The Burgess Bird Book for Children
  • The Burgess Animal Book for Children
  • The Burgess Book of Nature Lore
  • The Burgess Seashore Book for Children

George F. Mason (~80-100 pp, grade ~4-8)

  • Animal Homes
  • Animal Tracks
  • Animal Weapons
  • Animal Clothing
  • Animal Ways
  • Animal Teeth
  • Animal Habits
  • Animal Feet
  • Animal Sounds
  • Animal Tails
  • Animal Tools
  • Animal Vision

Glenn Orlando Blough (grade ~3-6)

  • The Tree on the Road to Turntown
  • Who Lives in This House: A Story of Animal Families
  • Christmas Trees and How They Grow
  • After the Sun Goes Down: The Story of Animals at Night
  • Who Lives in This Meadow? A Story of Animal Life
  • Discovering Insects
  • Who Lives at the Seashore?: Animal Life Along the Shore
  • Bird Watchers and Bird Feeders
  • Discovering cycles

Jean Craighead George
(The Thirteen Moons series, “for children in the middle grades”, ~50 pp.)

  • The Moon of the Owls (January)
  • The Moon of the Bears (February)
  • The Moon of the Salamanders (March)
  • The Moon of the Chickarees (April)
  • The Moon of the Monarch Butterflies (May)
  • The Moon of the Fox Pups (June)
  • The Moon of the Wild Pigs (July)
  • The Moon of the Mountain Lions (August)
  • The Moon of the Deer (September)
  • The Moon of the Alligators (October)
  • The Moon of the Grey Wolves (November)
  • The Moon of the Winter Bird (December)
  • The Moon of the Moles (December and January)

Alice E. Goudey

  • Here come the Seals
  • Here come the Lions
  • Here Come the Cottontails
  • Here Come the Bees
  • Here Come the Elephants
  • Here Come the Squirrels
  • Here Come the Deer
  • Here Come the Whales
  • Here Come the Beavers
  • Here Come the Dolphins
  • Here Come the Raccoons
  • Here Come the Bears
  • Here Come the Wild Dogs

Herbert Spencer Zim

  • Frogs and Toads
  • Sharks
  • Owls
  • Rabbits

Margaret Waring Buck

  • Along the Seashore
  • Animals through the Year
  • Country Boy
  • How They Grow
  • In Ponds and Streams
  • In Woods and Fields
  • In Yards and Gardens
  • Pets from the Pond
  • Small Pets from Woods and Fields
  • Where They Go in Winter

Olive L. Earle

  • Robins in the Garden
  • Birds and Their Beaks
  • Birds and Their Nests
  • Thunder Wings: The story of a ruffed grouse
  • Birds of the Crow Family
  • White Patch A City Sparrow
  • The Swans of Willow Pond
  • Pond and Marsh Plants
  • Squirrels in the Garden
  • Pigs, Tame and Wild
  • Strange Companions in Nature
  • Paws, Hoofs, and Flippers
  • Strange Lizards
  • Strange Fishes of the Sea
  • Praying Mantis
  • Mice at Home and Afield
  • The Octopus
  • Animals and Their Ears
  • Scavengers
  • Camels and Llamas
  • The Rose Family
  • Strangler Fig & Other Strange Plants
  • Seeds and Seed Travels
  • Peas, Beans, and Licorice
  • Nuts
  • Animals and Their Young by Glenn Blough and Olive Earle
  • Animals That Live Together by Glenn Blough and Olive Earle

Millicent Selsam

  • Animals of the Sea
  • See Along the Shore
  • Hidden Animals
  • Keep Looking!
  • Terry and the Caterpillars
  • Big Tracks, Little Tracks: Following Animal Prints
  • When an Animal Grows
  • How Animals Tell Time
  • How Animals Sleep
  • How Animals Eat
  • How Animals Live Together
  • The Courtship of Animals
  • How to be a Nature Detective
  • Language of Animals
  • See Through the Forest
  • See Through the Jungle
  • See Through the Lake
  • Birth of a Forest
  • Stars, Mosquitoes and Crocodiles: The American Travels of Alexander Von Humboldt
  • Let’s get Turtles
  • How Puppies Grow
  • Tony’s Birds
  • A First Look at Birds
  • A First Look at Birds Nests
  • A First Look at Spiders
  • A First Look at Seashells
  • A First Look at Whales
  • A First Look at Cats
  • A First Look at Owls, Eagles and Other Hunters in the Sky
  • A First Look at Poisonous Snakes
  • A First Look at Animals that Eat Other Animals
  • A First Look at Animals With Backbones
  • A First Look at Animals Without Backbones
  • A First Look at Snakes, Lizards and Other Reptiles
  • A First Look at Seals, Sea Lions and Walruses
  • A First Look at Sharks
  • A First Look at Fish
  • A First Look at Insects
  • Ants
  • Egg to Chick
  • All About Eggs and How They Change Into Animals
  • Backyard Insects
  • Strange Creatures That Really Lived
  • Questions and Answers About Horses
  • Questions and Answers About Ants
  • The Bug That Laid the Golden Eggs
  • Where Do They Go: Insects in Winter
  • Plenty of Fish
  • Harlequin Moth: Its Life Story
  • All Kinds of Babies
  • Cotton
  • More Potatoes
  • Seeds and More Seeds
  • Bulbs, Corms, and Such
  • Plants that Heal
  • Plants We Eat
  • The Don’t Throw It, Grow It Book of Houseplants
  • Eat the Fruit, Plant the Seed
  • A First Look at Flowers
  • The Amazing Dandelion
  • The Apple and Other Fruits
  • Peanut
  • Maple Tree
  • Things to Do with Trees
  • Tree Flowers
  • Popcorn
  • The Carrot and Other Root Vegetables
  • The Tomato and Other Fruit Vegetables

Wilfrid Bronson

  • The Grasshopper Book
  • Water People
  • Children of the Sea
  • Cats
  • Turtles
  • Coyotes
  • Dogs
  • Starlings
  • The Chisel-Tooth Tribe (squirrels and such)
  • Goats
  • Horns and Antlers
  • The Wonder World of Ants
  • Beetles

Alice Goudey

  • Here Come the … (seals, squirrels, dolphins, cottontails, whales, deer, lions, raccoons, bees, beavers, bears, elephants, wild dogs)
  • Butterfly Time
  • Red Legs (grasshopper)
  • Graywings
  • The Merry Fiddlers

Charles L. Ripper

  • Trout
  • Bats
  • Hawks
  • Mosquitos
  • Foxes and Wolves
  • Woodchucks and Their Kin
  • The Weasel Family
  • Swallows
  • Diving Birds
  • Ground Birds
  • Moles and Shrews

Marine animals

  • The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson
  • Under the Sea Wind by Rachel Carson
  • Children of the Sea by Wilfrid Bronson
  • Who Lives at the Seashore? By Glenn Blough
  • The Silent World by Captain J.Y. Cousteau
  • A Whale for the Killing by Farley Mowat (250 pp.)
  • The Burgess Seashore Book for Children by Thornton Burgess
  • Along the Seashore by Margaret Waring Buck
  • Fiddler Crab by Mary Adrian
  • Wild Folk at the Seashore by Carroll Lane Fenton
  • Shimmer and Splash: The Sparkling World of Sea Life by Jim Arnosky

Winter and Snow books

  • Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin (33 pp.)
  • Snowflakes in Photographs by W. A. Bentley
  • See my post Winter Nature Study Inspiration. Scroll to the bottom for a list of fun books.

Middle and High School Nature Lore and Special Study Books

  • The Amateur Naturalist by Gerald Durrell
  • My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
  • A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold
  • The Geese of Beaver Bog by Bernd Heinrich
  • A Year in the Maine Woods by Bernd Heinrich
  • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
  • John Burroughs’ America: Selections from the Writings of the Naturalist by John Burroughs
  • Deep Woods by John Burroughs
  • The Wilderness World of John Muir, Edited by Edwin Way Teale (review)
  • All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
  • Making Sense: Animal Perception and Communication by Bruce Brooks (68 pp.)
  • Anatomy Of A Rose: Exploring The Secret Life Of Flowers by Sharman Apt Russell
  • The Rose Family by Olive L. Earle
  • Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
  • Lay of the Land by Dallas Lore Sharp
  • Rural Hours by Susan Fenimore Cooper
  • The Land of Little Rain by Mary Austi
  • The Natural History of Selborne by Gilbert White
  • The Outermost House by Henry Beston
  • Hal Borland’s Book of Days by Hall Glen Borland
  • Wild Life of Orchard and Field by Ernest Ingersoll
  • The Wit of the Wild by Ernest Ingersoll
  • Books by John Muir
  • Books by Jacques Costeau

Gene Stratton-Porter

Edwin Way Teale

  • The American Seasons
  • Journey Into Summer
  • North With the Spring
  • Autumn Across America
  • A Naturalist Buys An Old Farm
  • A Walk through the Year

Jean-Henri Fabre

  • The Life of the Spider
  • The Life of the Fly
  • Bramble-Bees and Others
  • The Life of the Grasshopper
  • Insect Adventures
  • The Life of the Caterpillar
  • Field, Forest, and Farm