Free Kids Nature Book Suggestions and Links!

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Free Nature Book Suggestions and Links!

Free Kids Nature Book Suggestions and Links! Project Gutenberg!

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One of the best websites for children’s homeschool resources on the internet is Project Gutenberg.

There’s an amazing choice of classic books and old magazines available at Gutenberg  totaling at around 59,908 free ebooks and rising!

Books are available to download on a variety of formats including epub and kindle as well as just reading online.

I find it so interesting to read kids weekly magazines from the early 1900s and discovering what was popular in those days.Free Nature Book Suggestions and Links!

The children’s letter pages are especially illuminating giving the reader an idea of what kids thought about centuries ago.

Kids were even asking questions about climate change in the late 1800s!

I’m just glad that my son even at 14 still loves story time as it gives me an excuse to read kids books!

I just love old books. The language used just seems so eloquent and satisfying to read aloud.Free Nature Book Suggestions and Links!

Kids learn so many new words reading old books and the imagery that the words conjurer up can be spell binding.

Of course some of the social and cultural ideas that are evident within old books are outdated.

But I find when these arise its an ideal opportunity to discuss how society’s values and morals change over time.

I’ve included a wealth of books below, plenty fodder for every child’s (0-100 years) imagination!

Free Nature Book Suggestions and Links!

Free Kids Nature Book Suggestions and Links!

Free Nature Book Suggestions and Links!

FIVE OF THE BEST EARTH THEMED CHILDREN’S BOOKS ON PROJECT GUTENBERG (technically number 5 is a lot more than 1! The more books the better is my motto)

1.The Story book of Science by Jean Henri-Faber. Published in 1917Free Nature Book Suggestions and Links!

This book is full of charming stories based on various science topics; butterflies, metals, in the woods, the sun,the age of trees, cells, cotton,paper and much more. The book also has black and white scientific illustrations of flowers and insects.

Review within the book:

”The young in heart and the pure in heart of whatever age will find themselves drawn to this incomparable story-teller, this reverent revealer of the awe-inspiring secrets of nature, this “Homer of the insects.” The identity of the “Uncle Paul,” who in this book and others of the series plays the story-teller’s part, is not hard to guess; and the young people who gather about him to listen to his true stories from wood and field, from brook and hilltop, from distant ocean and adjacent millpond, are, without doubt, the author’s own children, in whose companionship he delighted and whose education he conducted with wise solicitude.”

By Dr. C. V. Legros”

Free Nature Book Suggestions and Links!

2.A Floral Fantasy in an Old English Garden by Walter Crane. Published in 1899

This book is full of wonderful colour illustrations and lovely script writing and amazing calligraphy verses. An extract:

”In an old world garden dreaming,
Where the flowers had human names,
Methought, in fantastic seeming,
They disported as squires and dames”

Walter Crane, 1899

I’m going to get my son to practice calligraphy by copying the scripts. The verses are also ideal for homeschool recitations. As are the illustrations for practicing sketching.

3. The Great Round World and What’s going on in it. A weekly magazine for kids published 1896-1903. Gutenberg has the copies dating from 1897-1898.

Free Nature Book Suggestions and Links!


There is a huge collection of these magazines available and they contain exactly what the title says. I find these magazines fascinating and usually read an article a day as part of homeschool history. An extract from February 25th 1897:

”A great sea monster has been washed ashore on the coast of Florida, and men who study natural history are much interested in it. What is left of the creature is said to weigh eight tons, and no one can tell exactly what kind of a fish it is, because it appears to have been tossed by the waves for a long time, and has been partly destroyed by them. Those people who have seen it think that it is a kind of cuttlefish, but that the arms, or tentacles, as they are called, have been broken away from it. These arms must have been from one to two hundred feet long. It is now only a huge body without much shape to it. Photographs and careful descriptions of it have been sent to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and to Yale College, and the scientific men there expect to be able to decide what it is by comparing it with other known kinds of mollusks. Scientists study these things so carefully, that they can tell what the exact size of an animal was, and what it looked like, if but a small portion is left; we may therefore expect to hear all about this great creature ere long.”

The extract refers to ‘scientific men’ and I think this could spark a good debate on how society has evolved to encouraging girls to study science.

The following extract from Vol 53,  November 11 1897 was sent in by a child reader to the editor. I find it amazing that kids were talking about climate change more than a hundred years ago:drought

Dear Sir:—In your article in No. 51, on the forest fires and drought following a very wet season, and remarking that we should have such extremes, is it not due—our irregularity of climate—to our careless devastating of whole portions of the country of trees? Many claim so. We are in sore need of national or state foresters”rainy season

Reply from the magazine editor:

”Dear Inquirer:

While vegetation has something to do with the climate, the sudden changes to which we are subject are due to the configuration of the land. The Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Range rising at either edge of the continent form the immense valley through which the Mississippi takes its course; and these two factors of the high mountains and the broad plains have the greatest influence on the climate.Our immense length of seaboard and the proximity of the Gulf Stream are also agents for engendering our variable climate.Trees protect moisture from rapid evaporation, and a wooded country is a blessing to its inhabitants, defending their dwellings from wind in mountainous districts.The denudation of the forests tends to destroy the moisture of the atmosphere, but has little effect on the sudden transitions from heat to cold.

Editor.” Nature Book Suggestions and Links!

4. WIld Animals of North America, by Edward William Nelson, published by the National geographic Society, 1918

Sea lion

Sea lion/elephant

I love the coloured paintings of animals within this book as well as their fascinating detailed descriptions. Near the end of the book there’s some animal track illustrations.

This extract from the book highlights humans impact on the oceans in the early 20th Century:

”A like disregard for the future has been shown in the pursuit of the sea mammals. The whaling and sealing industries are very ancient, extending back for a thousand years or more; but the greatest and most ruthless destruction of the whales and seals has come within the last century, especially through the use of steamships and bomb-guns. Without adequate international protection, there is grave danger that the most valuable of these sea mammals will be exterminated. The fur seal and the sea-elephant, once so abundant on the coast of southern California, are nearly or quite gone, and the sea otter of the North Pacific is dangerously near extinction”

and this extract shows that climate change was a hot topic a 100 years ago!:

”The potency of climatic influence on animal life is so great that even a fauna of large mammals will be practically destroyed over a great area by a long-continued change of a comparatively few degrees (probably less than ten degrees Fahrenheit) in the mean daily temperatures.” Nature Book Suggestions and Links!

Free Kids Nature Book Suggestions and Links!

Free Nature Book Suggestions and Links!

5. A plethora of  fiction and fact books:                                                                               

The little red hen:                                                                                                                                        Free Nature Book Suggestions and Links!

The wind in the willows, by Kenneth Grahame:

The story of Dr Dolittle by Hugh Lofting:

A collection of Beatrix Potter stories:

The Burgess Animal book for children:

Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling:                                                                                                  Free Nature Book Suggestions and Links!

The Animal story book by Andrew Lang:

The Beasts of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling:

My Father’s dragon:

The Call of the wild by Jack London:                                                                                                                                                        Free Nature Book Suggestions and Links!

Secrets of the woods by William J Long:

The Junior Classics,Volume 8 Animal and Nature Stories by William Patten:                                         

Korean Tales by Horace Newton Allen:

The Insect Folk by Margaret Warner Morley:


Birds, Illustrated by color photography: (this is an amazing book the illustrations are great and it has poems and descriptions)

Animal behaviour by C. Loyd Morgan:                                                               

The Book of the Ocean by Ernest Ingersoll:

Animals of the past by Frederic A. Lucas:

The Ocean World:Being a description of the sea and its living inhabitants by Louis Figuier:

Artistic anatomy of animals by Edouard Cuyer:

Anecdotes of dogs by Edward Jesse:

Zoological illustrations by William Swainson:

The Curious creatures of zoology by John Ashton: (has entries for unicorns and giants!)                                                     



For many more Gutenberg Book suggestions check out near the end of this post: 




Free Kids Nature Book Suggestions and Links!


Welcome to Earth Cadets Education! The idea of ECE was born in Scotland and is managed by ordinary parents. It fills a gap that is usually missing from todays school curriculum. Its a hub of ideas and resources for your child's Eco-Earth Education. Everyone is welcome, home-schoolers and traditional schoolers alike.

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