The Best Big Books About Animals for Kids Ages 8-12

Book Roundup, Middle Grade, Nonfiction
The best BIG BOOKS about animals for kids ages 8-12. | books about nature | books for kids that like animals | nonfiction books for kids ages 8-12 |

Kids love big books about animals. My kids are fiercely protective of their nonfiction books full of facts about living creatures and will spend hours at a time looking through them.

And of course, the bigger, the better. Large formats are especially welcome, as are chapter books loaded with stories pictures, and facts.

Because I know my kids aren’t the only ones that love big books about animals and nature, I decided to share what’s on our shelves.

Oh, and this blog post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission. It doesn’t cost you anything, but it helps me keep the blog running.


Our favorite big books about animals

Ultimate Oceanpedia: The Most Complete Ocean Reference Ever from National Geographic Kids by Christina Wilsdon | Books about nature for kids. | Ocean Encyclopedia for kids | Animal Encyclopedia for kids | Big books about animals for kids that like nature | Fact books about nature. | batchofbooks.comUltimate Oceanpedia: The Most Complete Ocean Reference Ever by Christina Wilsdon

I love animal encyclopedias, so of course I love this big book dedicated to marine wildlife. Anything that lives in the ocean can be found within these pages. In true National Geographic Kids style, there are big, beautiful photographs, interesting facts, and lots of info for kids to pour over.

Books about animals are always a hit with my kids. Ultimate Oceanpedia is written in a way that’s easy to understand and digest while still delivering enough facts to make it more than just your run-of-the-mill ocean animal book.

This is an excellent choice for kids that like animals, nature, the beach, or just learning new stuff.

Amazon | Book Depository


Animals A Visual EncyclopediaAnimal Encyclopedia

This book is full of information for a wide variety of animals with full-color photos all the way through. The text is more advanced than the Little Kids National Geographic books my children usually read, but it’s written with kids in mind. Kids between the ages of 9 and 14 will especially like this book because it has the best of both worlds. It’s visually appealing and interesting, while also being very in-depth and informative.

One thing you should know about this book is that it’s enormous! When they say encyclopedia, they mean it. It’s not a lightweight picture book. It is a large, heavy book designed to give kids lots of information about the animal kingdom.

Amazon | Book Depository


Animal Bites Series

Animal Bites Series

This is a wonderful series that ends up being a pretty big when you have the whole set. With six books in the series about various types of animals, my kids have spent endless hours with them. One of the things I like the most about this series is that it’s kid-friendly. It has big picture, info boxes, and uses wit, humor, and puns to teach kids about the animals. This series is very well done!

Wild Animals: Amazon | Book Depository

Farm Animals: Amazon | Book Depository

Ocean Animals: Amazon | Book Depository

Polar Animals: Amazon | Book Depository

Baby Animals: Amazon | Book Depository

Animals on the Move: Amazon | Book Depository


Animal Planet Animal Atlas. Learn the biomes of the world. #kidlit #nonfiction | batchofbooks.comAnimal Atlas by Animal Planet

Unlike other atlases, Animal Atlas is broken up by biomes – geographical areas defined by things like vegetation, temperature, and terrain. Kids can learn about biomes from all over the world and the animals that live there. Most of the animals are well known (like tigers), but there are some that will be new to readers. The book has large, beautiful photographs on every page, along with fact boxes and maps showing the borders of the biome.

This book is oversized, so it’s a good one to spread out on a table or on the floor. It also has large text to make it easy to read.

Amazon | Book Depository


Wicked Bugs Young Reader's Edition by Amy Stewart, illustrated by BrionyMorrow-Cribbs. A middle-grade adaptation of the adult book by the same name. Contains short chapters with stories and facts about various bugs. | Books for kids that like bugs | Creepy books for kids. | Books for kids that like nature | Books about science. | batchofbooks.comWicked Bugs (Young Reader’s Edition) by Amy Stewart, illustrated by Briony Morrow-Cribbs

This book is for kids that love the creepiest, slimiest, and grossest critters on earth. Told through stories and facts, Wicked Bugs is for kids that like nature, science, and that uncomfortable, squirmy feeling you get when you think about roaches crawling over your skin.

It’s wildly fascinating, with information on things like tapeworms and tarantulas as well as shocking facts about earthworms and ants.

For whatever reason, kids love things that make adults shudder. So, if your kid has jars of bugs in their room or is always trying to show you their latest catch, they’ll love this book!

Amazon | Book Depository


Strange Unusual Gross and Cool Animals by Animal Planet and Charles Ghigna. Nonfiction for kids ages 8-12 who like to read about animals and nature.Strange, Unusual, Gross, & Cool Animals

This is one of my favorite books on this list. It’s received a bunch of national attention for being so dang interesting (because it is!).

Weird animals are SO interesting and kids love them. This book is full of some seriously strange animals. You might recognize a few of them, but everything in it is unusual, weird, or gross in some way. My kids love learning about the different animals that exist in the world and telling me all about them.

Amazon | Book Depository


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