This article is brought to you by Man Therapy
Here at Harvesting Nature, we know how important it is to share your passion for the outdoors with your young children. A great way to begin imparting that at an early age, as well as introduce observational skills, hard-to-talk-about themes, and awareness of other cultures who cherish wild foodways, is by reading books that cover these elements to your young ones.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 excellent books for kids aged 2-8 that will help introduce hunting, fishing, foraging, tracking, nature observation skills, indigenous culture, and the importance of passing down family traditions.
Bring one (or all!) of them home for your own children, or consider them as a gift for the hunters, anglers, and foragers in your life in the upcoming holiday season.
#1. Wild Game A to Z by Justin Townsend
Justin found the motivation to write this book while teaching his two children, Zoe and Remi, about hunting, fishing, cooking, and the outdoors. He created an engaging book that was both educational and could introduce kids to the culinary side of hunting.
‘Wild Game A to Z’ is a delightful children’s book that takes readers on a fun-filled and educational alphabet adventure. The book introduces wildlife, hunting, cooking, and the outdoors through vibrant photos and fascinating food facts about animals, their sounds, and their tracks.
This book is perfect for family bonding and learning. Kids of all ages will learn about the calls of creatures like the majestic elk and the stealthy alligator while discovering the unique tracks they leave behind. Each page contains a food-focused fact, introducing children to the world of wild meat. Parents can use ‘Wild Game A to Z’ as an engaging tool to teach young ones about hunting, wild food, and conservation while fostering a deep love for nature. The ebook version even includes the ability to play the animal sounds on some devices!
#2. Grace Goes Bowhunting by Shasta Sitton (Author), Marvin Teeples (Illustrator)
Follow along with Grace as she goes on her first whitetail bowhunt with her parents. In this exciting journey, Grace’s morals, hunting intelligence, and bowhunting skills are put to the test as she experiences firsthand what it takes to be a sportsman.
If you are a parent or grandparent who wants to keep the tradition of hunting alive, this is the perfect book for you. It is an enjoyable way for children to learn about hunting, respect, and the glories of being outside.
#3. Fishing with Grandma by Susan Avingaq (Author), Maren Vsetula (Author), Charlene Chua (Illustrator)
Adventure begins when Grandma takes her two grandchildren out for a trip to the lake in Nunavut. After showing the kids how to prepare for a fishing trip, Grandma and the kids enjoy a day of jigging in the ice for fish. Grandma shows them every step they need to know to complete a successful fishing trip, from what clothes to wear, to how to drill and clear holes in the ice, to how to make a traditional Inuit jigging rod. By the end of the day, the kids have a yummy meal of Arctic char, and they have also learned everything they need to know to go out on the lake on their own.
Try our Delicious Wild Fish and Game Spice Blends!
#4. Bear for Breakfast by Robert Munsch (Author), Jay Odjick (Illustrator)
Donovan is hungry for a special kind of breakfast . . . BEAR!
It’s breakfast time and Donovan knows exactly what he wants this morning! Not eggs, not pancakes, not cereal. No, what he wants is BEAR, just like his grandfather used to eat for breakfast!
This story was inspired by Donovan, a first-grader in in La Loche, Saskatchewan, a Chippewan community in northern Saskatchewan that Robert Munsch visited in January 1990. When Robert asked what the kids liked to eat, Donovan said that he liked to eat BEAR!
#5. Mason Goes Mushrooming by Melany Kahn (Author), Ellen Korbonski (Illustrator)
This first-of-its-kind foraging story, Mason Goes Mushrooming takes us on a woodland treasure hunt. We follow a young boy and his four-legged pal, Buddy, to hunt edible mushrooms through lush Vermont landscapes, morels in springtime, chanterelles in summer and black trumpets in autumn. Curious about mushroom foraging or how you can hear the sound of the ocean without leaving the forest? Mason teaches us it’s never too early to learn, and never too late to start.
#6. Conner’s Spring Gobbler by Shawn Meyer (Author), Reed Sprunger (Illustrator)
This book chronicles a father and son’s adventure while in pursuit of spring gobblers. Conner manages to learn an important lesson along the way with the help of his father. The story in this book is a great example of how father and son hunting trips can often be a vessel for some of life’s greatest lessons.
#7. Berry Song by by Michaela Goade
On an island at the edge of a wide, wild sea, a girl and her grandmother gather gifts from the earth. Salmon from the stream, herring eggs from the ocean, and in the forest, a world of berries.
Through the seasons, they sing to the land as the land sings to them. Brimming with joy and gratitude, in every step of their journey, they forge a deeper kinship with both the earth and the generations that came before, joining in the song that connects us all. Michaela Goade’s luminous rendering of water and forest, berries and jams glows with her love of the land and offers an invitation to readers to deepen their own relationship with the earth.
#8. The Hike by Alison Farrell
The Hike is a delightful field guide for young outdoor enthusiasts, rich with everything from instructions on how to make a leaf basket for foraged berries to scientific labels and tips for identifying animal tracks, constellations, and moon phases. The illustrations represent a multiracial female cast of burgeoning botanists and naturalists enjoying the outdoors, including one particularly beautiful spread where the girls release collected bird feathers into the wind. – Booklist
#9. Trout, Trout, Trout!: A Fish Chant by April Pulley Sayre
This hilarious fish chant has had fish lovers laughing since 2004. The jaunty text begs to be chanted out loud. Wacky, bold illustrations add even more humor, yet accurately depict dozens of freshwater fish. This unique concept teaches kids the names of fish in an entertaining way. This picture book is more than just laugh-out-loud fun!
#10. Hunting Adventures with My Daddy by Ben Brookhart
Join an adventure across the United States to learn about animals while having fun finding and identifying them in their natural habitat. This is a rhyming read that lets young children have fun hearing or reading the words and making fun sounds.
Looking for the perfect wild game cookbook? Check out the Eat Wild Game Cookbook by Justin Townsend!