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Minibeasts Topic

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Recommended children’s books about minibeasts 

Creepy crawlies, minibeasts, bugs or insects – dig deep into the miniature worlds of these fascinating creatures, with over 25,000 of the species found in Britain and many thousands more all around the globe.

From bluebottles and butterflies to wasps and wiggly worms, there’s plenty to discover in the minibeasts topic, including habitats, lifecycles and learning to recognise just how important these tiny creatures are to our planet’s ecosystems. From classic children’s stories like EYFS favourite The Very Hungry Caterpillar to beautifully illustrated non-fiction gems like The Big Book of Bugs, there are plenty of minibeast stories for children to discover on our list.

Dig deep into the topic with our list of the best children’s books about minibeasts and insects…

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Children's books about spiders

Lydia Monks

Little Spider has a lot to prove when she wants to be the family pet. Can she convince a family who is scared of spiders to keep her?

This brightly illustrated picturebook is an uplifting story about acceptance and EYFS children love to join in (sometimes very loudly!) with the repeated phrases. We love Lydia Monk’s textured pages, making this well-loved storybook a treat for the eyes, ears and hands!

Matt Carr

Created in Matt Carr’s signature comic-book style with a palette of bold primary colours, this entertaining story follows Spyder, a secret agent arachnid whose codename is 008. Spyder is sent on a highly important mission to save one boy’s birthday cake from the destructive intentions of an uninvited Bluebottle.

The text is full of puns but the humour is perfectly pitched for adults and children alike. It was wonderful to see that the secret agent was female (because why wouldn’t she be?). There are oodles of extra details to spot, such as the various images on the screen of the agent’s spy gadget and the spider webpage at the end of the book.
 This delightful, cool and engaging picture book is a favourite at BooksForTopics HQ and is a real winner in the Key Stage 1 classroom.

Stories about caterpillars and butterflies

Julia Donaldson
 & Yuval Zommer
From Julia Donaldson, bestselling author of The Gruffalo, and award-winning illustrator Yuval Zommer, comes a charming minibeast Cinderella story.Crawling through the garden, the little Woolly Bear Caterpillar wonders what kind of moth she will become. Bonny and bright, stunning and smart, but not kind, the other caterpillars laugh at the small, plain Woolly Bear. There is one thing that they are sure of: Woolly Bear could never be as dramatic and beautiful as them! But could one little caterpillar be about to undergo a truly terrific transformation?Brilliantly written and stunningly illustrated this engaging picture book comes complete with a non-fiction mini book about caterpillars and moths written by a nature specialist.
Eric Carle
Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a perennial favourite with children and adults alike. Its imaginative illustration and clever cut-out detail charts the progress of a very hungry caterpillar as he eats his way through the week.
Nicola Davies
 & Hannah Peck
See how a little girl recovering from poor health finds wonder in nature and delights in planting a garden with her father to attract a fascinating array of butterflies. Exploring the life stages of butterflies, their importance to our ecosystems and the revitalising power of nature, this book is a heart-warming information story for children who love the outdoors and all its incredible creatures. The stories carries a beautiful message about life cycles and the power of new beginnings. 

Stories about bees and other winged insects

Jane Clarke
 & Britta Teckentrup
A delightful picturebook filled with beautiful neon artwork. Florence Firefly is lost, and there are so many bright lights shining in the night sky that she doesn't know which way to go. She'll need some help to find her way back home. In this interactive story, children can help Florence on her journey by encouraging her to fly faster, suggesting which direction to take and making a wish.
Charlotte Milner
Learn all about bees with this brightly coloured and highly appealing non-fiction picture book. Topics include where honey comes from, how hives work, why we need pollination and how to help save more bees.
Janet Burroway & John Vernon Lord

How would you solve the problem if 1 million wasps invaded your town? The residents of Itching Down find a creative solution by trying to construct a giant jam sandwich to trap the wasps.

Some of the language and illustrations seem quaint to modern readers, but this adds to the retro charm of the book and the strong rhyming structure carries the story at a great pace. Children love the imaginative efforts of the townspeople (supersize food always seems to capture young children’s imaginations) and the story could lead into a host of creative activities including baking, designing, acting and drawing.

This classic rhyming picturebook and classroom favourite has stood the test of time and is still a big hit in Reception and KS1 classrooms.

Books about snails and worms

Ruth Brown
The pages of this picture book contain short, simple text on beautifully detailed illustrations. Follow the journey of the snail as he goes over hills, through tunnels, past slippery things and finally out into a delightful surprise at the end. Things are not always as they seem in this delightful outdoor adventure by the acclaimed Ruth Brown.
Vivian French
 & Jessica Ahlberg
Worms might seem yucky at first, but there's more to these wiggly fellows than meets the eye! Presented in a style to be interesting and accessible to young children, this is a lovely non-fiction text to support a minibeasts topic in EYFS and KS1.
Sue Hendra & Paul Linnet

A super-fun story from much-loved Supertato creators Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet. Norman is a slug who longs to be a snail-if only he could find the right shell! He tries a tennis ball, an apple, and even an alarm clock but none of them feels quite right. Until one day, Norman stumbles upon a doughnut! What could be better than that? But is that sweet shell really the perfect fit?

Neil Clark
Walter is a snail who is really, really bored of leaves. Surely there's more to life than leaves? His fellow snails are happy just slowly munching away... but not Walter! He wants to try something new.Walter's never seen beyond the large, looming leaves and tall towering flowers of his simple, small world. He sets out on an incredible journey full of challenges, unlikely friends and remarkable sights!The brave, curious snail meets heart warming animal characters, like Lottie the squirrel and Kendrick the frog, who inspire him to continue on a big adventure, particularly for such a tiny creature.Comical scenarios, rich artwork and a stunning colour palette makes this a lovable read. Walter the snail will encourage readers to think big and not to be afraid of change!

Polly Owen
 & Gwen Milward

It is rare to find a book which gives a completely different and exciting perspective on a historical figure, particularly those aimed at younger readers, so ‘Darwin’s Super-Pooping Worm Spectacular’ is a particularly delightful read.

As the title suggests, the book tells the story of Darwin’s investigations into the humble earthworm. It is clear that the author, Polly Owen, has discovered her passion for this topic as it is written with such an enthusiastic tone; by the end of page one the reader is already convinced that earthworms are completely awesome!

The book recounts the range of experiments that Darwin is believed to have tried in order to uncover the mysteries of earthworm senses; from hearing, sight and taste. It is written in a very accessible style, with lots of humour. There is a worm on each double-page spread which gives a little more context and brings the reader back to the historical facts within the story. These small speech bubbles also direct the reader to some of the scientific vocabulary; useful to gather if using the book as a stimulus for writing projects or science discussions.

There are plenty of illustrations throughout the book to enjoy too. GwenMilward has captured the Victorian style perfectly and has drawn Darwin with a real sense of joy and wonder towards the worms; each page shows Darwin with real expression as he ponders these mysterious creatures.

If you are looking to add a book that is charming, insightful and has more than a few poo-based jokes, then this would be a perfect choice! Key Stage Two children will enjoy the book as much as their Key Stage One peers.

Rachel Bright
 & Nadia Shireen

Gail is determined to get more out of life than the other snails. She’s not content with keeping her foot on the ground, eating greens and growing old; she’s not your average snail, she wants to blaze a different trail. This snail wants to go into space! Accomplishing her ambition will take perseverance and hard work, overcoming last-minute hurdles, but, as Gail shows, if you have a dream anything is possible.

Bold, bright illustrations complement this humorous, rhyming story from two skilled picture book creators, about the power of purpose and persistence, showing that resilience is key to success.

Gail is an endearing snail, standing out from the rest with her leopard print shell. Her character is brought vividly to life with her emotions and thoughts conveyed solely through the illustrations of her eyes, providing a masterclass in how important it is to read the pictures as well as the words. Featuring a sparkling, inviting cover, this is ideal for sharing with Early Years and KS1 children to enjoy and encourage self-belief.

Children's books about all different bugs and their habitats

Yuval Zommer
This large-sized informative compendium is the kind of non-fiction that children like to come back to again and again to pore over its pages. Each double-page spread dives into a different bug-themed question, such as 'How does a butterfly flutter by?' or 'Where does the name praying mantis come from?'. The illustrations are stunning and come together with the accessible chunks of text to make wonderful and informative spreads that children love exploring.
Anna Milbourne
 & Simona Dimitri
Come on a bug hunt in this little book and discover ants building their nest underground, bees making honey in their hive and a bug hotel where lots of creepy crawlies have found a home. With colourful illustrations, flaps to lift and holes to peep through, there's so much to discover in this fascinating introduction to insects and where they live.
Matt Robertson
This award-winning information book aims to show exactly why minibeasts can be truly awesome in their own unique way. The book includes 14 humorous, bug-tastic spreads, featuring worms, bees, beetles, dragonflies, butterflies, moths, grasshoppers, spiders, ants, snails and stick insects. Find out how honey bees make their honey, why moths always fly around lamps and how bombardier beetles protect themselves from hungry predators. There's something new to learn about each bug.
Alex Griffiths
After George visits the Museum of Wildlife with Grandad, all he can think about is bugs! The very next day he goes out hunting, but he soon finds there are no more insects left in the garden, and the ones he has captured in jars don't look very happy... George is about to learn exactly why bugs are so important. A brilliant, vibrant debut from Alex G Griffiths, featuring a wonderful grandfather-grandson relationship.
Jess French
 & Duncan Beedie
Bella Loves Bugs tells the story of a day in the life of a girl who is passionate about bugs, as she goes off to Forest School where she always has many creepy crawlie adventures with her fellow nature hero friends! The book is packed with facts about bugs , some of which Bella regularly spots, but also includes the bugs she dreams about seeing one day - different insects from all over the world. Bella makes a magical moth trap, spies a butterfly laying an egg and shows her friends how to hop like a grasshopper! Follow Bella as she shares her love of bugs - discover how many bugs might be lurking in a pond, see how awesome ants are, and be amazed by mighty stag beetles. With an engaging and lively narrative from Jess French and fun, and warm illustrations from Duncan Beedie this book will help ignite a love and appreciation for nature, right on our doorsteps.

Libby Walden
 & Clover Robin
Welcome to the Bug Hotel, a homemade habitat where creepy crawlies of all shapes and sizes can find a place to stay! Discover how a bug hotel can create a sustainable, safe environment for insects and mini-beasts by exploring each section, lifting the flaps and finding out facts about your favourite garden insects.

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