Slugs and snails are what little boys are made of – if that is the case then little girls must be made of butterflies and bees. There is just something about the little insects and bugs that kids love to hear about and many classic and popular children’s books have focused on these tiny creatures. So today in our popular book list series we are sharing the favourite Bugs and Butterflies books for your junior naturalist that will have then digging out the nature kit and heading off to discover what lives under the rocks and in the soil in your own backyard.
Read our other themed book lists for kids
Non-Fiction books on Bugs and Butterflies for Toddlers and Preschoolers
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With toddlers and preschoolers, it is sometimes hard to find the balance between a book for now and one that will last. With Caterpillars, Bugs and Butterflies there is enough information to last for a few years but you can look at the amazing images with younger children as well. A great one for those budding naturalists.
We are huge fans of National Geographic non-fiction books for kids and the Insects book has been a great addition to our bookshelf.
One from the Cat in the Hat Learning Library (this is a great series if your children like the style of Dr Seuss) On Beyond Bugs: All About Insects explores the world of bugs looking more in depth at some of the habits of the bugs like how they can smell, communicate and pollinate.
Before you and your kids head out on a Bug Hunt make sure you have Bugs A to Z in your Nature Bag. If you don’t manage to find any bugs you will still have lovely images to look at but if you do then in this A-Z book you will be able to find out more information about the bugs that you do find.
Looking for Butterfly Printable Activities, then check out our Butterfly Activity Project Pack. With ideas for preschool to learn maths, writing and all about the life cycle.
Fiction Bug Books
In The Bug Book take a rhyming journey through the world of bugs with fantastic pictures as you meet those slimy, creepy, climbing and flying bugs of this world.
With the focus on the bugs, Some Bugs a Classic Board Book goes through the garden with creeping, slinking, crawling, buzzing bugs. Ideal for younger preschoolers and toddlers the sentences are simple and rhyme an ideal book to share together.
One of our favourite books to read together Butterfly Butterfly: A Book of Colors follows Lucy through the garden as she hunts for the colourful butterfly she saw. With the peekaboo features, this was great to read together when my kids were toddlers and we still love the copy we own now.
In this colourful and beautifully illustrated book Ladybugs Surprise Birthday Shoes the ladybug wants some bright shoes to go for a walk and as it’s her birthday discover what happens next!
If you read I am scared to be a cocoon together apart from learning about what happens inside the cocoon it gives you opportunities to talk about being scared of things in the future and that maybe different.
Learn about one of the world’s most important naturalist as a young boy as you read Small Wonders: Jean-Henri Fabre and His World of Insects about the life of Jean-Henri Fabre and what he discovers about the bugs. I really like biographies like this that show how important figures developed their passion they can really inspire children to follow their paths.
Eric Carle Book Selections
So this time I think Eric Carle deserves his own section of the book list – with 6 bug based books these have always been a favourite in our house.
We kick off with what has to be MY all time favourite children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar no bug book list or indeed bookshelf for young children should be without this classic book and there are so many different version to buy. I love gifting The Very Hungry Caterpillar Finger Puppet Book as a new baby gift or baby show.
My son has always been fascinated by fireflies and although we are yet to see any thanks to The Very Lonely Firefly board book which was read many times when he was little he knows exactly what to look out for.
With realistic sounds, The Very Clumsy Click Beetle is another in the “Very” series by Eric Carle that teaches a message. This time about perseverance and being proud of what you accomplish.
If you take a walk in the summer you and your children will no doubt hear the sounds of the crickets throughout the fields after that walk though sit down with The Very Quiet Cricket Board Book and learn a little about how crickets make their sound!
Don’t Ladybugs always look so happy well that’s not the case of Grouchy Ladybug Board Book (or The Bad Tempered Ladybird as it is called in the UK) this one is GRUMPY. Follow the ladybug as they learn about friends and also being polite.
Some Activities connected with these Eric Carle Books for your Toddlers and Preschoolers
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar Play dough
- Giant Spider Web
- Hunting Crickets in the Garden
- Paper Plate Ladybugs
Insect and Bug Books for Young Toddlers and Babies
The “Hello World” series of books combine facts with colourful images Hello, World! Backyard Bugs takes babies and toddlers on a trip with the bugs. With suggestions for interacting with the book like “Count the spots” it allows you to extend the story further.
On Kindle which makes it perfect for taking with you. You can sing and rhyme along with Fly Little Butterfly and keep the little ones entertained.
Bonus Bug Books and MORE!
Do you have a budding artist as well a naturalist then Learn to Draw Book Series ~ Bugs & Butterflies would be a great gift for them! Follow the step by step instructions and create fun insects and other bugs.
The Rainforest is teaming with bugs – trust me I lived there and this DVD Bugs! A Rainforest Adventure focuses solely on those bugs in the Borneo rainforests. We love how up close you get to the bugs and see this fantastic ecosystem from a bug’s perspective.
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Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.