Nature book buying guide

It can be daunting to choose a book for someone we care about. There are so many books to choose from. Where do we begin?

By subject matter

Young child reading a book
Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

If your gift recipient is naturally curious or excited about a particular topic, you have a great place to start. Check out your local library and browse the shelves to get ideas.

If you don’t have a particular subject in mind, that’s okay. That means your gift recipient will probably find lots of different topics interesting.

By age range

Baby with adult reading a picture book
Photo by Nappy Studio on Unsplash

Children’s books are written for particular ages. If you know how old your gift recipient is, this is a good way to narrow things down.

Go to your local bookstore and browse the children’s book section for that age range. In Australia, children’s books are typically categorised like this:

  • 0-3 (babies and toddlers) – board books, often with lift-the-flap or other tactile features.
  • 4-6 (pre-schoolers) – picture books, either fiction or non-fiction.
  • 6-8 (lower primary)chapter books: short books of mostly text, split into bite-sized chapters.
  • 9-12 (upper primary)middle grade books: similar to chapter books, but longer and tailored to an older readership.

By reading a sample

Children's book section of a bookstore
Photo by Taylor Heery on Unsplash

When you’ve found the right section of the bookstore or library, pick up a book that looks interesting.

Read a few pages. Does it pull you in, either through visuals, language or story? This will give you a sense of whether it’s likely to appeal to your gift recipient.

Good books about nature provide an immersive experience, bringing entertainment, fascination and connection with the world around us.

There are heaps of really great, engaging books about nature on the market.

By researching awards

Kidlit books about nature on bookshelf at bookstore
Photo by Author

The Wilderness Society has been running the annual Environment Award for Children’s Literature since 1994 for books about the environment.

In 2022 they launched the Karajia Award for Children’s Literature, for children’s books by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island authors/illustrators that focus on Connection to Country.

Check out this year’s winners, and shortlisted titles from the last 3 decades, at the Wilderness Society website.

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