From Alaska to Florida, the United States’ national parks span the entire country. Most adults can name the most-famous park features with just a glance—the Grand Canyon, Old Faithful, the Rocky Mountains. Use the books on this list to teach your children about these incredible natural wonders. Many of these books use photographs, but a few of them have stunning illustrations that kids and adults will love. And, of course, they’re full of facts about the most beloved natural parks in America. Let’s get reading!
This richly illustrated book takes kids on a journey through 21 national parks. The parks are divided into regions, and each one is pictured on a map. The pages that follow offer rich details about the animals and plants in each park, as well as some of the main attractions there. This book will truly immerse your children in the beauty of the national parks. We recommend taking this book section-by-section with elementary kids.
Follow this sweet story of a young boy and his family as they enjoy the great outdoors. He gets a little bored on their hike, but Dad is right there to help by handing him a pair of binoculars. The text emphasizes curiosity and adventure. Read it aloud to preschoolers and early elementary kids.
Don’t go hiking without his field guide for elementary kids! It takes an in-depth look at dozens of things children may see on a nature trail: leaves, birds, insects, toads, and much more. Activities, lists, and art projects are included, too. Kids even get a real magnifying glass! It’s a great choice for preschoolers and early elementary kids who love hiking.
Part of the popular series from WhoHQ, this chapter book describes the Grand Canyon and all of its features in detail. Kids will learn more about its introduction as a national park, the people who originally lived in and around the canyon, and the adventurers that set out to explore it. The details the author brings out will engage kids and motivate them to learn more about this natural wonder. It’s a great read-aloud for elementary kids, but kids in upper grades will be able to read it on their own, too.
This board book guides kids through a basic introduction to several mountain ranges: the Rocky Mountains, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Appalachian Mountains, and more. Colorful artwork highlights the beautiful landscape and wildlife of the mountains. It’s a simple story for toddlers and preschoolers.
This book inspires children to see themselves as park rangers when they grow up! The story visits several national parks, from Saguaro National Park to Gettysburg National Military Park. On each page, children will learn about the ways in which park rangers help protect our nation’s land, animals, and buildings. It’s an informative book, but it’s not intimidating or difficult for little ones to understand. It’s a good pick for preschoolers and kindergartners.
Jam-packed with information, this book takes a look at 59 of the national parks in the United States. There are games, trivia, jokes, and silly activities to keep kids learning. Detailed maps and images mean kids will love to study this book on their own or while sitting in your lap. It’s a good pick for elementary kids.
This wildlife-themed book will have your kids laughing all the way through! The park’s bear loves it when campers leave him food, but the park ranger doesn’t. Who will win this battle? The clever word play and cartoon illustrations will make this a favorite in your family. Read it with preschoolers and early elementary kids.
Cayenne the Coyote doesn’t want to go to sleep, but when she does, she has amazing dreams of the animals and people that previously lived at Arches National Park. She sees dinosaurs, Native Americans, saber-toothed cats, and more. The artwork in this book is unique—hand-drawn animals are overlaid on landscape photos. It’s a gentle read-aloud for elementary children.
For each of the 26 letters in the alphabet, there’s a national park. A is for the Gateway Arch, L is for lava, O is for Old Faithful. Each page features colorful retro-style art. The book presents a fun way to learn about the outdoors and the alphabet. It’s a must-have for toddlers.
K-So the hound dog loves adventure. In this book, he’s traveling to 10 national parks. Kids will learn about Redwoods National Park, Volcanoes National Park, and others. The story weaves through each park with catchy rhymes. The illustrations for each park bring the locations to life with bright colors and imagination. It’s a fun read-aloud for early elementary kids.
This board book uses a train theme to explore the national parks. Each page is filled with pictures that toddlers will love. Mountain goats, orca whales, puffins, and bison all make an appearance. Because this is aimed at toddlers, there’s not much detail. Use it as an introductory book to get your children excited about the beauty of the outdoors.
Curious George and the man with the yellow hat go on a camping adventure! They’ll roast marshmallows, put up a tent, and find a few woodland friends. But, of course, George gets a little too curious and winds up in a bit of trouble. It’s a classic Curious George story with silly antics and a bit of learning, too. Read it with preschoolers and early elementary kids.
Teach kids how to protect and preserve our national parks with this book. Taking out your trash, respecting wild animals, and other ideas are discussed in a straightforward way kids will understand. These real, actionable steps can be put into place the next time you visit any park nearby. The illustrations in this book go way beyond expectations in highlighting the allure of the natural environment. Read this one with elementary kids.
The cover of this book, featuring hot lava spewing from a volcano, is enough to get kids interested in learning more! The inside pages feature additional photographs and diagrams, along with basic information about these natural wonders. There’s plenty of science in this one, but it’s easy enough for 2nd and 3rd graders to read on their own.
This sweet book uses the natural wonder of 17 national parks to convey the love parents have for their children. The story is simple, featuring just a sentence per page. Each page features a different national park and points out a familiar location there. Preschoolers will love snuggling up and reading this one with a loving parent or grandparent.
A is for adventure! This board book takes little ones through the 26 letters of the alphabet in a nature-focused way. The busy and colorful illustrations include delightful details to point out to your children. Read this one with preschoolers and see which illustration becomes their favorite!
Five chapters of factual information take kids on a journey through one of the most iconic national parks in the United States. They’ll learn about the history of the park, the most-famous features, the animals that live there, and much more. This book is packed with facts and great images! Early elementary kids will like reading it along with a parent, while confident readers can explore the book on their own.