The Natural World

Books, naturally...exciting, accessible books for children on animals, plants and the natural world around us

John Farndon has written extensively about the natural world, bringing vividly and clearly to the young reader everything from aardvarks to zebras, and from acacias to zinnias, in books such as the Wildlife Atlas and the Kingfisher First Animal Encyclopedia.

Wildlife Atlas (Hardcover) by John Farndon

Wildlife Atlas (Hardcover) by John Farndon

176 pages Readers Digest/ABC (October, 2002)

A sweeping, colorful, and captivating compendium, Wildlife Atlas takes readers of all ages on a global tour of animal kingdoms. Vivid maps and spectacular artwork span the continents to illuminate eight distinct habitats and reveal the survival secrets of their eclectic inhabitants. From the vast Sahara desert to the steaming Florida everglades to the icy Eurasian tundra, adventurous readers will tour the world to meet ferocious cats, gigantic rodents, meat-eating fish, and wily reptiles-plus myriad mammals, birds of all feathers, and swarms of insects. At every stop, they'll learn vital facts of survival: what each individual animal eats and how each habitat's diverse creatures manage to live together.


"What animals live where? And why do animals live where they do? This beautifully illustrated work answers these and many other questions. Dividing the world into eight broad habitat types, the author offers a clear portrait of each... This very nice packaging of the somewhat difficult subject of zoogeography is highly recommended."

Nancy Bent, Booklist

"John Farndon's Wildlife Atlas (ABC Books, 2004) provides a colourful, habitat-by-habitat account of 1000 or so predators, grazing mammals, birds, insects and reptiles."

Peter Spinks, The Age

The Kingfisher First Animal Encyclopedia by John Farndon

The Kingfisher First Animal Encyclopedia by John Farndon and Jon Kirkwood

160 pagesKingfisher (September 1998)

Witness the lightning-like dart of the chameleon's sticky tongue or the devious devices of the trap-door spider! The Kingfisher First Animal Encyclopedia is a valuable addition to the Kingfisher First Reference series and the perfect introduction to the enduringly popular subject of both wild and domestic animals.


"Children ages five through eight will have a visual adventure with this new Kingfisher volume, which will answer the basic requirements of animal reports....Recommended for school and public libraries. "


"This is truly the best first animal encyclopedia for children."

J. Lee "beanies' mommy" Amazon customer

"My nephew, 4 years old, loves this book! He loves "reading" all the pages, and looking at all the pictures. It's tremendously colorful, and interesting even for the adults. I definitely would recommend it for any child with an interest in animals, or for any adult who hopes to foster such an interest."

nwexplorer Amazon customer

"My son Jason just loves this book....The whole family has learned a lot from this fact filled book"

Amazon customer

"Rarely are we disappointed when we reach for this kid-friendly encyclopedia"

a_mom (Michigan) Amazon customer

As a homeschool mother, this book has been an excellent tool in introducing my 6 year old and 3 year old to the animal kingdom. As my 6 yr old has said, "it has everything."...for my daughter,, it is like front row seats to the zoo."

A Shoup, Amazon customer

World of Plant by John Farndon

World of Plant: Six titles: Seeds; Roots; Stems; Leaves; Flowers; Fruit by John Farndon

24 pages each Blackbirch Press (January, 2006)

Using clear language and short sentences, these titles provide descriptions of the forms and functions for the various parts of plants, such as the way in which roots carry food and water to the rest of the plant or the purpose of the stem.


"With a bit more detail than Gail Gibbons's From Seed to Plant (Holiday House, 1991) and easier to understand than Susan E. Goodman's Seeds, Stems, and Stamens (Millbrook, 2001), these books offer solid information in an attractive format."

Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA, - School Library Journal

Recommended on list of Best New Books to Engage Students in Math and Science, Lisa Bea Walters, DESE, Library Media and Technology Consultant

J. B. Petty, Missouri State University, Coordinator/LIS Education

In touch with nature

In touch with nature - Six titles: Insects; Flowering Plants; Mammals; Life in the Soil; Living Things; Butterflies and Moths

32 pages Blackbirch Press (March, 2004)

In Touch with Nature provides exciting introductions to the amazing world of nature, built around hands-on experiments, observations, and projects. The series helps children to find out about the natural world in a way that no amount of reading alone could match. Each book in the series provides a fascinating way into a particular aspect of nature, from mammals to flowering plants. Lively, concise explanatory pages are interwoven with a series of safe, practical activities for children to carry out in the home or close by. Specially commissioned photographic sequences and step-by-step instructions how clearly how to perform each activity.

Nature's Children series 8 edited by John Farndon

Nature's Children series 8 edited by John Farndon and Angela Koo


According to Scholastic, few series of books have generated as much praise, attention, and use by students of all ages as Nature's Children! Each book is a simple, attractive biography for young children of a particular animal or animal group, from swans to snails, focusing on world distribution, habitat, diet, life cycleand much more.

Bugs and minibeasts by John Farndon

Bugs and minibeasts by John Farndon (Author), Jen Green (Author), Barbara Taylor (Author)

256 pagesSouthwater (October 2002)

Bugs and minibeasts: Examining all the intriguing aspects of minibeasts from spiders to social wasps, this book looks at how their bodies work, their behaviour, life cycles, survival tactics and ancestors. Close-up photography unveils the secrets of this world: silk-spinning spiders, super-sensitive antennae, clusters of eggs and the incredible sight of a perfectly formed insect emerging from its pupal case. Picture sequences zoom in even closer revealing the metamorphosis of a butterfly, how a spider spins its web and a wasp community building their nest. The book includes amazing-but-true facts in "did you know?" spotlights and panels on insects in myth, history, literature and film. The material supplements school curriculum science subjects at Key Stage 2 on life processes in the animal world.


"Bugs & Minibeasts is a beautiful book...Every page is both stunningly laid out (I never knew bugs could be so nice to look at), and full of extensive and clearly written information...The book is billed as a reference guide for 8-12 year olds, but I would suggest that this terrific book will interest children much younger, who will love the big bright pictures, while older children and even adults will find plenty to stimulate them. This is a great value book with a huge scope for impromptu lessons, formal homeschooling sessions, or just a bit of fun."

Magdalena Ball, Preschool Entertainment

Butterflies and Moths (Nature Factfile) by John Farndon

Butterflies and Moths (Nature Factfile) by John Farndon

72 pages Lorenz Books (October 1999); Southwater (2001)

Butterflies and moths: Discover the brief but brilliant lives of these amazing insects-how they feed, fly, breed and disguise themselves from hungry predators. Packed with over 180 glorious color photographs, specially drawn diagrams and illustrations.

Other Books

1000 Things You Should Know About Animals by John Farndon
Miles Kelly (June 2000, May 2005)

1000 Facts on Animals (Hardcover) by John Farndon
224 pages Miles Kelly Publishing Ltd (July 1, 2001)

Natural World by John Farndon
512 pages Miles Kelly (August, 2004)

Insect Kingdom by John Farndon, Jen Green
128 pages Southwater (24 Sep 2004)

Bulletpoints: Trees by John Farndon
40 pages Miles Kelly Publishing Ltd (1 May 2004)