Top 10 Best Children's Books About the Great Outdoors

These exciting books are sure to motivate kids to get outside more! They feature thrilling adventures, animal antics and heaps of fresh-air fun. See below for the best children's books about the great outdoors, ordered by target age.

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1. The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Beatrix Potter | 3+

This delightful book from beloved children's author Beatrix Potter features an assortment of adorable animals and the exciting adventures they share. First published over a century ago, Beatrix's tales have enchanted young readers for generations, introducing youngsters to unforgettable characters like Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle Duck and Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, all illustrated in a gentle and delicate style. So, if you have young children that you'd like to introduce the wildlife of the great outdoors to, reading them The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a great way to encourage their interest. 

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2. RSPB Wildlife in Your Garden

Mike Dilger | 7+

Get your kids excited about wildlife with the RSPB's fantastic guide to all your garden critters. With sections on every furry face and creepy-crawly you'd expect to spot out in the wilderness, your little outdoors explorers will be animal experts in no time. 

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3. Animal Sticker & Colouring Book

Jessica Greenwell

Explore the wild world of animals and their habitats in this amazing activity book. It features 250 stickers which kids can use to embellish exotic scenes, including an arid desert, a grassy African plain and a lush rainforest. Colour in awesome animals, including lions, tigers, zebras, giraffes, tree frogs, snakes, alligators and plenty of familiar farmyard animals.

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4. The Wild Weather Book

Dawn Isaac | 7+

You and your kids can enjoy being in the great outdoors, whatever the weather, with Fiona Danks' excellent activity book. Featuring 72 ideas for activities to try in rain, wind and snow, your kids could be building igloos, making boats and practicing their rain dance with the instructions in this handy book. 

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5. The Wolf Wilder

Katherine Rundell | 7+

In the snowbound woods of Russia, Feodora and her mother live in a warm and cosy house - just ten minutes away from a pack of wolves. Feodora's mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder teaches tamed animals how to fend for themselves, fight, run and be wary of humans - in short, be wild again. But when the dangerous Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo must go on the run. Embark on a daring adventure, featuring love, resilience, revolution, and - of course - wolves.

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6. The Famous Five

Enid Blyton | 7+

Join the intrepid Famous Five - Dick, Anne, Julian, George and Timmy the dog - on all of their riveting escapades, in caves, castles, secret passageways and more! The gang must outsmart thieves, hunt for hidden treasure, and unravel all sorts of mysteries in these beloved classic tales, which feature exhilarating outdoor locations.

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7. The Wind in the Willows

Kenneth Grahame | 7+

This unforgettable story stars Mole, who pokes his nose out of his burrow and discovers that the world is a very exciting place. He comes to meet brave Ratty, kind old Badger and the pesky Mr. Toad, and they all set off on a thrilling adventure together. Charming and engaging, children will adore this delightful tale.

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8. The Jungle Book

Rudyard Kipling | 9+

This children's classic is a must-read for all young fiction fans (and for adults too!). Rudyard Kipling's classic story of Mowgli, a boy living in the Indian jungle, and his animal friends, including Baloo and Bhageera, is just as entertaining as ever. 

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9. The Secret Garden

Frances Hodgson Burnett | 9+

If you're looking for mystery, adventure, secrets and friendship, you'll find it all in this beautiful classic novel. Spoiled orphan Mary Lennox is sent to live at the isolated Misselthwaite Manor in Yorkshire - but she will discover a magical world she could never have imagined on the other side of a locked garden door. She decides to bring the neglected garden she finds there back to life, and in doing so, will change the course of her own destiny forever.

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10. Swallows and Amazons

Arthur Ransome | 9+

In this unforgettable tale, the Walker children - Captain John, Mate Susan, Able-Seaman Titty and Ship's Boy Roger - set sail on their dinghy, the Swallow, and head for Wild Cat Island. There, they camp under starry skies, swim in clear water and fish for their dinner. But their bliss is disturbed by the Blackett sisters, otherwise known as the fierce Amazon pirates. The Swallows and Amazons must battle it out, and so begins a summer of incredible adventures.

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  • AEVFK 9 years +
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    Swallows and Amazons for ever!' The Walker children - also known as Captain John, Mate Susan, Able-Seaman Titty, and Ship's Boy Roger - set sail on the Swallow and head for Wild Cat Island. There they camp under open skies, swim in clear water and go fishing for their dinner. But their days are disturbed by the Blackett sisters, the fierce Amazon pirates. The Swallows and Amazons decide to battle it out, and so begins a summer of unforgettable discoveries and incredible adventures. See inside: Crack the Swallow's code and learn all about the real locations that inspired the adventurous author.
  • RIX2 3 years +
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    The Tale of Peter Rabbit is the first in Beatrix Potter's series of 23 books.

    It tells the tale of a mischievous young rabbit who narrowly escapes a frightening fate when he ventures into Mr McGregor's vegetable garden.

    With beautiful illustrations and an affectionate and touching storyline, The Tale of Peter Rabbit is totally deserving of its iconic status in children's literature. This book would make a lovely gift for children aged 3 and above.
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    The Jungle Book is a classic children's book that older generations will love to share with young readers.

    In it, Rudyard Kipling weaves an extraordinary tale of one child's friendship with the animals in the Indian jungle.

    The characters of Baloo the bear, Bhageera the panther and evil tiger, Shere Khan, roar off the page and will captivate the hearts and minds of young readers from 9+.
  • ALHIO 5 years +
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    Explore the world of animals and their habitats in this bumper activity book. Use the 250 stickers provided to create exotic scenes including an arid desert, a grassy African plain and a lush rainforest. Then colour in animals including lions, tigers, zebra, giraffes, tree frogs, snakes, alligators and a range of more familiar farmyard varieties.
  • The Famous Five Collection - 22 Books - Collection - 9781444936278 - Enid Blyton
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    With mysteries, adventure and lashings of ginger beer, The Famous Five have entertained generations of young readers. In fact, the books have never been out of print!

    Here, in a keepsake box, you can enjoy all 22 novels that follow Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the dog as they visit some thrilling places and explore and uncover all sorts of secrets. To complete the set, there's a book of short stories about our favourite would-be detectives.

    From Kirrin Island to the lighthouse at Demon's Rocks and farms, castles, caves and secret passages galore, the gang outwit thieves, seek hidden treasure and encounter spook trains in their exciting journeys. Illustrated by Eileen Soper, this complete set of books shows how courage and determination can always help children achieve great things.

    Book People and Enid Blyton - A Lifetime of Adventure
    Format: paperback
  • The Wild Weather Book - Hardback - 9780711235281 - Fiona Danks
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    Bestselling authors of Book People favourite, the fantastic Stick Book, Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield are back with another fantastic guide that will encourage children to get outside, make the most of nature, and have an adventure, no matter what the weather.

    72 brilliantly imaginative suggestions for things to do in bad weather - from Rainy Adventures (swimming in the rain) to Getting Creative (making an igloo) and Games (slip and slide or watermelon rugby, anyone?) to Experiments (like rain traps and making boats) and Just Having Fun (if you've never tried rain dancing, now's your chance)! The inspiration is seemingly endless in this imaginative book and the fun to be had certainly is! So get the kids to grab their coats and start embracing those wet, windy and snowy days.
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    What are you looking for? Adventure! Excitement! Fun! Friendship! Join in the delights and disasters on the riverbank with Mole and his new friends. With sensible Ratty, wise Badger, fun-loving Toad, and the dastardly stoats and weasles, there's never a dull moment! Oxford Children's Classics present not only the original and unabridged story of The Wind in the Willows in a stunning new edition, but also help you to discover a whole world of new adventures with a vast assortment of recommendations and activities.
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    Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora's mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans. When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. What follows is a story of revolution and adventure, about standing up for the things you love and fighting back. And, of course, wolves.
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    Young nature enthusiasts can get up close and personal with the animals that visit their garden by following the tips in this essential guide from the RSPB. It's packed with cool illustrations and photographs of the wildlife they should be looking out for.

    From cool creepy-crawlies to beautiful birds, this bright and engaging book is full of facts and explains where and when you can spot all kinds of wildlife. It also covers butterflies, hedgehogs and plants.

    By following the advice and suggestions in this book, children (and you) might even have the chance to welcome some unexpected visitors into your garden.
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    What are you looking for?

    Friendship! Mystery! Adventure! Secrets!

    When spoiled, selfish orphan Mary Lennox is sent to live at lonely Misselthwaite Manor in Yorkshire, she discovers a magical world on the other side of a locked garden door. Mary decides to bring the abandoned garden she finds there back to life; and in doing so, changes her own forever.

    Written by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden is a children's classic that has enchanted generations.