Booklist: Children's Books about Rainforests
Rainforests are warm, wet and dense forest habitats and are filled with millions of types of plants and animals (including some yet to be discovered!). Rainforest expeditions can easily capture the imaginations of young readers. From canopies and capybaras to epiphytes and explorers, we've got it covered in our selection of recommended children's books for the rainforest topic...
There's a Rang-Tan in My Bedroom
James Sellick & Frann Preston-Gannon
A stunning picture book about one little girl and her orangutan friend, based on the Greenpeace film that became a viral sensation.
When a little girl discovers a mischievous orangutan on the loose in her bedroom, she can't understand why it keeps shouting OOO! at her shampoo and her chocolate. But when Rang-tan explains that there are humans running wild in her rainforest, burning down trees so they can grow palm oil to put in products, the little girl knows what she has to do: help save the orangutans! Extra pages at the back include information about orangutans and palm oil plus exciting ideas about how young readers can make a difference.
The Great Kapok Tree
This is a colourful and engaging picture book that captures the spirit of the rainforest through its beautifully detailed illustrations. It has a simple storyline that is accessible to less confident readers but a strong message about deforestation and enough depth to captivate older readers too. Check out the accompanying unit of work from KS2History.
One Day on our Blue Planet: In the Rainforest
Part of the popular 'One Day on our Blue Planet' series, this beautifully illustrated picture book charts the wildlife in the rainforest across the course of a whole day. Informative and visually appealing with accessible text, this is a winner for the classroom.
Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2017, 'The Explorer' is set in the Amazon and follows the story of Fred, whose plane accidentally crashes into the rainforest canopy.
This book was nominated for our Best of 2017 booklist by teacher Polly, who says "Katherine Rundell’s The Explorer is a perfect class read for children learning about rainforests, the Amazon, friendships, resilience and much more. Exquisite writing once again from Rundell; the ‘language talk’ that ensued in our classroom was inspiring."
Time Trails: Rainforest
Liz Gogerly, Rob Hunt & Oivind Hovland
Prepare to take a chronological journey, from the first roots grown by newly evolved plants and trees, through blazing fires and climatic changes, to an explosion of flora and fauna as the rainforest blossoms with life. Travel right up to the modern-day, as humans arrive in the lush habitat, changing the rainforest and its inhabitants forever...
Perfect for readers aged 7+ who want to find out more about how this huge biome develops, and the different animals that call it their home over millions of years.
The Rainforest Book
Step inside the fascinating world of tropical rainforests where you'll encounter an enormous variety of flora and fauna! This gorgeously illustrated picture book is a wonderful way to introduce children to the world of nature and conservation. In this colour non-fiction text, you'll discover amazing rainforest animals, learn about the diverse range of life-giving plants, and find out why the Amazon rainforest is known as the "lungs" of our Earth.
Journey to the River Sea
Winner of the Smarties Book Prize Gold Award, this is a very popular choice for KS2. It tells the story of a small girl called Maia, who journeys down the Amazon River with her strict governess, making friends and enemies along the way. It is rich in descriptive language in both its depiction of the Brazilian jungle and in its descriptions of complex characters that will stay with you long after you close the book.
Over and Under the Rainforest
Kate Messner & Christopher Silas Neal
Award-winning duo Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal take readers on a thrilling tour of one of the most diverse ecosystems on planet earth: the rainforests of Central America.
Discover the wonder that lies hidden among the roots, above the winding rivers, and under the emerald leaves of the rainforest. This genle picturebook features animals like the slender parrot snake to the blue morpho butterfly. Readers can explore the canopies, where toucans and pale-billed woodpeckers chatter and call. Other animals include capuchin monkeys who swing from vines and slow-moving sloths who wait out daily thunderstorms.
Where the Forest Meets the Sea
If you are looking for a book to stimulate discussion and debate about the effects human beings can have on the natural world, this if the one for you. The illustrations are so incredibly detailed (there is also a big book edition available on Amazon that is perfect for detail-spotting) that you might be forgiven for thinking that some of them are photographs. The book has won multiple awards and is sparking deep consideration of the past, present and future of the rainforest.
Also features on:
The Secret Explorers and the Rainforest Rangers
Short chapter book
In this fact-filled story, we follow rainforest expert Ollie on an exciting mission to rescue a lost baby orangutan in the steamy rainforest of Borneo. Accompanied by engineering expert Kiki, they set out in a glider to search for the friendly ape.
Along the way, they encounter greedy plantation owners who are plotting to destroy the forest to expand a palm oil plantation! They also learn about the threat that endangered animals and plants face due to deforestation. Kids will love turning the pages to find out if the Secret Explorers manage to succeed in their mission!
Packed with lots of information on animal and plant life, this epic adventure book gives them a thrilling introduction to nature.
Amazon Adventure: Unfolding Journeys
Stewart Ross& Jenni Sparks
This visually appealing book from Lonely Planet Kids unfolds as you read it into a 16-panel long wall frieze. The pages take the reader on an informative journey down the Amazon river, snaking through the deepest rainforest and the surrounding geographical regions and cities. The journey map is packed with illustrations, icons, labels and facts. On the reverse of the frieze, there are paragraphs of further information about different points of interest from the journey, including rainforest animals and tribal villages.
Expedition Diaries: Borneo Rainforest
A scrapbook-style diary of a rainforest expedition. Simon is flying to the island of Borneo in the South China Sea. He plans to travel by boat and plane, and trek through one of the world's oldest rainforests to find orangutans in their natural equitorial habitat. He'll be sketching some of the island's thousands of species of tree, mammal and bird along the way.
Simon Chapman, winner of the Blue Peter Book Award, brings geography to life, and his Expedition Diaries are a great way to introduce the world's biomes and habitats to children, direct from someone who's actually been in them - sometimes up to his neck! Also available in the same series is Expedition Diaries: Amazon Basin.
My Name is River
Dylan's mum thinks he's on the school Geography trip. Dylan's teacher thinks he's at home with the flu. In fact he's 30,000 feet up in th air on the way to Brazil. When Dylans' farm is snatched away by a huge global company, he can't just sit back and watch. But the journey to rescue his home takes him deep into the heart of the Amazon. With Floyd, a friend he's not sure of, and Lucia, a street kid armed with a thesaurus and a Great Dane puppy, he uncovers dark and dangerous secrets which learns some surprising truths.
Tree of Wonder
Tree of Wonder is an exciting introduction to the biodiversity of the rainforest biome. From two Great Green Macaws to 1,024 Leaf-cutter Ants, readers will delight in counting each animal that makes a home in the heart of the rainforest, where life multiplies again and again in the shade of just one almendro tree.
Deep in the forest, in the warm-wet green, one almendro tree grows, stretching its branches toward the sun-in and under those branches, all sustained by one tree, thousands of rainforest creatures are living.
Count each one as life multiplies again and again in this book about the rainforest's abundant beauty, and the wonderful multiplicity of life.