TODAY’S HOURS: 8 am – 6 pm 

Story time with Bella Begonia and Carlos Cactus

From Finding Birds to Rediscovering Creeks, Enjoy Reading One of These Nature Books as a Family

It may be cold and gray outside, but inside you and your family can explore the green, buzzing world of nature through a book. FWBG | BRIT educators are always looking for great titles to share with readers of all ages—following is a selection of some of our favorites. They are all books that will plant seeds of literacy, STEM skills and love of the natural world. Most of these books are available from the Fort Worth Public Library.

Book recommendations for early child and elementary ages include the following:

Cover of "How to Find a Bird" by Jennifer Ward and Diana Sudyka

How to Find a Bird by Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Diana Sudyka. This book is described by the publisher as “A joyful and informative guide to birdwatching for budding young birders from an award-winning author-illustrator duo.”

Our experts say, “This book has been featured in the StoryWalk at FWBG | BRIT. We love it because it encourages families to use their five senses (we call them ‘scientific tools’) to observe nature closely to spot sometimes hard-to-find birds and wildlife, often noting their camouflage that blends them into the plants that make up their habitat.”

Plants Can't Sit Still Cover

Plants Can‘t Sit Still by Rebecca E. Hirsch, illustrated by Mia Posada. The publisher says of this book, “Do plants really move? Absolutely! You might be surprised by all ways plants can move. Plants might not pick up their roots and walk away, but they definitely don’t sit still! Discover the many ways plants (and their seeds) move. Whether it’s a sunflower, a Venus flytrap, or an exotic plant like an exploding cucumber, this fascinating picture book shows just how excitingly active plants really are.”

Our staff say, “We love all the verbs and fun action words—great for building young vocabulary—used in this book to describe plants. They are used to describe children, too! We love to encourage healthy movement activities, and this book offers a lot of ideas to mimic plant movement.”

Cover of "Senorita Mariposa"

Senorita Mariposa by Ben Gundersheimer (Mister G), illustrated by Marcos Almada Rivero. This book is described as, “A captivating and child-friendly look at the extraordinary journey that monarch butterflies take each year from Canada to Mexico; with a text in both English and Spanish.”

Our staff say, “We love this bilingual book and featured it as a storytime during our Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations in October 2021. With rhyming prose—that is actually a song to sing—this is a great book to introduce young children to the monarch migrations that pass through our area.”

Cover of "Green Green: A Community Gardening Story"

Green Green: A Community Gardening Story by Marie Lamba and Baldev Lamba, illustrated by Sonia Sanchez. The publisher says about this book, “Green grass is wide and fresh and clean for a family to play in, and brown dirt is perfect for digging a garden. But when gray buildings start to rise up and a whole city builds, can there be any room for green space? The neighborhood children think so, and they inspire the community to join together and build a garden for everyone to share in the middle of the city.”

FWBG | BRIT educators say, “We love to see a book that highlights an urban community coming together to connect to nature and its benefits. This book highlights community building, healthy strategies and conservation—all in the middle of the city. Nature and its benefits come in all shapes, sizes and locations!”

Cover of "Bloom Bloom!"

Bloom Boom! by April Pulley Sayre. The publisher writes, “Discover the magic—and the science—behind spring flower blooms with this companion to the celebrated Raindrops Roll, Best in Snow, and Full of Fall.”

Staff say of this book, “We love many books by April Pulley Sayre which feature intimate nature photographs partnered with age-appropriate rhyming vocabulary to describe seasonal plants and natural wonders. So often picture books are illustrated with beautiful drawings, so we love adding a book that uses high-quality photographs to inspire young explorers. Bright colors and close-up images get us excited for spring wildflowers in Bloom Boom!

Cover of "The Busy Tree"

The Busy Tree by Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Lisa Falkenstein. The book description says, “Spectacular illustrations rendered in oil paint, and a rhyming text that describes a tree’s activities from its roots to its branches, introduce young readers to the amazing activities that go on in a tree. Acorns nibbled by chipmunks, ants scurrying across a trunk, a spider spinning a web, leaves ‘breathing out air for all to breathe in’—everything adds up to a ‘busy tree’ for all to ‘come and see.’

FWBG | BRIT educators say, “Trees may appear simple and quiet, but a closer look reveals they are as busy as can be! Squirrels scurrying, ants marching and spiders spinning are just a few of the ecosystem interactions readers will find within this book.”

Cover of "Tidy"

Tidy by Emily Gravett. The publisher says of this book, “Pete the badger learns that being tidy isn’t always the best thing in this save-the-environment picture book from award-winning author and illustrator Emily Gravett.”

Our staff say, “What happens when we tidy up nature? Find out in this fun book about a badger who likes everything tidy! Readers will learn why a little mess in nature is exactly what nature needs to survive.”

Cover of "Creekfinding: A True Story"

Creekfinding: A True Story by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illustrated by Claudia McGehee. The publisher’s description states, “Once upon a time a creek burbled up and tumbled across a prairie valley. It was filled with insects and brook trout that ate them, frogs that chirruped and birds watching for bugs and fish. This is a true story about a man named Mike who went looking for that creek long after it was buried under fields of corn. It is the story of how a creek can be brought back to life, and with it a whole world of nature.”

One staff member says, “I love this book because it mirrors the story of our own Rock Springs Garden, where the natural spring was lost due to the construction of I-30, but then revived, allowing the the native flora and fauna to return.”

Cover of "On Meadowview Street"

On Meadowview Street by Henry Cole. The publisher describes this book as, “The perfect book for everyone who loves nature! On Meadowview Street celebrates the environment, ecosystems—and individual empowerment.”

Our staff say, “Are there meadows on Meadowview Street? Thanks to a young girl and her love for nature, Meadowview Street now lives up to its name. This story empowers young readers to conserve and protect nature right in their own home and inspires others to do the same.”

Our educators note that many of these books include information pages at the back to guide families in their nature explorations. They provide science facts, vocabulary, resources, ideas and inspiration to help parents further their child’s introduction to nature.

Look for more book recommendations, including suggestions for middle school and young adult readers, in the months to come!

Related Articles


Celebrate Hispanic Heritage with Your Family during a Full Day of Activities at the Garden

Our four-week festival of Hispanic heritage, ¡Celebramos!, begins Sept. 15, and our calendar is packed with events that range from a Quinceañera community celebration to an outdoor market to an art exhibit of depictions of the plants of Latin America. Families looking to celebrate Hispanic Heritage with their children should highlight Saturday, Oct. 1 on their calendars and plan to attend Día de la Familia. The day is packed with educational programs and performances and culminates with movie night at the Garden.

Read More »
A field of yellow sunflowers

Making Sense of Sunflowers

The natural world is filled with flowers of all shapes and colors. What’s surprising is that a great many of these flowers are all related. About one quarter of flowering plants are members of the Asteraceae family, which contains more than 32,000 known species of flowering plants. The sheer variety of sunflowers can make the plant a challenge to identify. Yet correctly identifying Asteraceae is important when conducting plant surveys, assessing the ecological health of a habitat, managing land or simply exploring nature. Fortunately, sunflower experts Richard Spellenberg and Naida Zucker can help. Join us for their book talk and workshop on sunflowers and never be confounded by sunflowers again.

Read More »
Multicolored kernels on heritage corn

Ethnobotany and the Study of Plants, Cultures and Communities

Imagine you lived exactly where you live today–but five hundred years ago. If you’re hungry, you can’t go to the grocery store. If you’re tired, you no longer have a foam mattress. If you have a headache, you can’t pop an Advil. Yet the people of the past ate, slept and treated their ailments just as we do. How? They used plants.

Read More »
Yellow tulilps against green foliage

Plan Now for Bountiful Bulbs Next Spring

A sigh of relief can be heard across North Texas that the heat wave has broken. We know to expect more hot days in September, but with Labor Day behind us, cooler weather is just around the corner. That means it’s time to think about spring! No, we’re not crazy, and yes, we know it’s not yet autumn. But now is the time to plan for a gorgeous spring by planting bulbs.

Read More »
Sunflowers by sign that reads Embrace New Beginnings

Community Education Fall Preview: Grow Your Mind with New Classes and Workshops

It still feels like the height of summer, but fall is just around the corner, and that means the Community Education program is rolling out a new slate of classes, workshops and events. “We’ve got a mix of long-time favorites and completely new experiences,” says Community Education Manager Crissa Nugen. “I think almost everyone will find something they want to explore.”

Read More »
Water sprinkler on summer day

Managing Your Garden Through Heat and Drought

Gardeners across North Texas can only look at their landscape and sigh as the heat wave refuses to break and rain refuses to fall. Plants that thrive most summers are withering and dying under the stress of week after week of 100-degree-plus temperatures. Gardeners struggle to balance watering enough to keep their plants alive with responsible behavior during a drought–and the prospect of budget-busting water bills. What to do? “The first step is to not give up,” says Sr. Horticulturist Steve Huddleston. “You do have options.”

Read More »