50+ Arctic Animal Books
As winter weather becomes colder I find myself looking for more indoor activities and play ideas. This year we are using our indoor winter time to begin to explore Arctic Animals and what better way to introduce it than through books!
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Books about Arctic (or Antarctic) Animals
Board books are perfect for youngest readers. The author uses clues to help the kids guess which arctic animal it is talking about.
Polar Animal Adaptations by Lisa Amstutz
How do animals survive in freezing cold arctic & antarctic habitats? Check this book out for some amazing animal adaptations!
Wonderful beginning arctic book! It is prefect for preschoolers AND early elementary age children. It incorporates counting, rhyming and kid science (arctic animals, habitat, etc.). There is also a find the hidden animals activity within the book!
Animal research is a great use for this book (the reading level is appropriate for 2nd/ 3rd grades). It has great information and beautiful illustrations.
Trapped by the Ice: Shackleton’s Amazing Antarctic Adventure by Michael McCurdy
This book gives me chills (pun intended)! Seriously though it is an incredible book based on real life events! The 1914 Shackleton Expedition a group of men were trapped at sea for 9 months. There expedition ship, the Endurance was simultaneously trapped and being destroyed by the surrounding ice. I am not going to spill the beans on this one but it is a MUST READ! It is most appropriate for second grade and up although any Antarctic enthusiast would enjoy this suspenseful adventure!
Better suited for preschool to 2nd grade this book has beautiful Illustrations and engaging text incorporates rhyming, counting and positional vocabulary.
Adapted from “this is the house that Jack built” using the chorus “the ice that floats in the Arctic waters”. This book has great illustrations and talks about polar bears, walruses, seals, narwhals and beluga whales. It is great for preschool through 1st grade.
Great information and photographs! The kindle version is VERY affordable on Amazon at 99 cents. I am super old fashioned when it comes to books and I need to hold them in my hand and turn a page (ESPECIALLY if I’m reading to a child). I would use the Kindle for travel though.
Amazing illustrations and story to show children that the Arctic Tundra is not simply just ice but it has it’s own ecological system that supports many plants and animals.
A wonderful reference book. It contains animal facts for penguins, polar bears, puffins, walruses, and more. The realistic illustrations are beautiful and it includes an illustrated glossary and index.
I LOVE the photos in this book. This is a must have for any library! It is chalk-full-of amazing polar animal information in simple and engaging text. This is better suited for younger children wanting to learn more about the Arctic Habitat and animals or beginning supplementary research. Text features include illustrated maps of polar regions, Infographics and “Quick Bites” side bars that have “cool” animal facts.
This is an excellent choice for early elementary school (first or second grade) research on Polar Animals. It is full of great information yet presented in a simple engaging way. The photographs are wonderful as well.
Excellent Non-Fiction reference that includes both Arctic and Antarctic biomes. It has WONDERFUL non-fiction (real) photographs which is great for curious animal enthusiasts.
Best for toddlers or preschoolers. It has great close up non-fiction photographs and a guessing game for kids “Who is my mommy?”.
Beautiful photographs and lots of information about Arctic and Antarctic animals. I love that it includes both regions and discusses why there are more animals in the Arctic Tundra. This is another great book if you are researching habitats.
Arctic and Antarctic by Barbara Taylor
Another great reference book for your home library. Wonderful photographs and introduces both the Arctic and Antarctic Tundras. This book is packed with a lot of information, but for some animals it would need to be used for supplementary research.
Arctic Tundra by Donald M. Silver and Patricia Wynne
The realistic illustrations do a nice job of relating information about the arctic tundra to a variety of ages. It is a great homeschooling book or would complement any elementary school library.
How do humans adapts to living in the Arctic? This book is less about arctic animals (although it includes great photo vocabulary pages of some arctic animals) and more about people living in the Arctic. It’s a great read and perfect for preschool – 1st Grade.
NOT specific to the Arctic or Antarctic region, however, this book is included because teaches related concepts about animals in the snow, hibernation, animal adaptations and the seasons and is a perfect addition for preschool to first grade snow/winter animal report or project.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Roger Priddy books! This one is amazing, with transparent pages and an excellent “review” page of all the Arctic animals at the end. It is a perfect beginning vocabulary. It’s simply a photograph of the animals and their names. First we read them to learn the names of the animals that we don’t know or review the animals that we do. Then we use them to do letter a “hunt”.
A beginning book for kids age 4-8. Introduces the arctic habitat and has a simple text so it should be included in an arctic unit. It would be great as one of the read alouds or reference books.
Animals in Winter: Let’s Read and Find out) by Henrietta Bancroft
This book is not about arctic or antarctic animals, however it does discuss relative concepts like animal adaptations for winter survival, hibernation and migration. It could compliment a polar animal unit very well.
Fiction Picture Books with a Polar Theme:
Classic picture book authors Bill Martin Jr & Eric Carle are a great way to introduce your littles to arctic animals.
A fictional favorite polar classic is The Polar Express. This award winning book is a fun family favorite & is less about polar animals and more about Christmas & imagination. (Ok it’s not about polar animals AT ALL but it is a fun book. The movie is usually on cable during the holiday season.)
Sweet preschool bedtime story that stars a polar bear.
Another great related fictional book. Brett’s books have amazing illustrations with hidden pictures within the pictures. This particular book has clues about the story (that help with comprehension) hidden within the illustrations. It’s fun to watch kids discover the “hidden” parts of the photo and make connections.
An exceptional read this retelling of an Intiuit folktale where a woman adopts a polar bear and raises it as she would her own son teaches about reciprocity and compassion, human jealousy & greed.
More about Hanukkah and less about polar animals this story is set in Alaska. Since I included the Polar Express (more of a Christmas book) I wanted to include another holiday related story.
Few authors support the comprehension strategy of using the pictures to help readers understand a story better than Jann Brett. Brett’s use of illustration (in all her books) to help the narrative is sophisticated and beautiful, this one is no exception. Another use for this story could be to compare and contrast the original Goldilocks with this version.
A great book for younger (2-4 years) audiences with shorter attention spans. It has great photos but is very brief and may not hold the attention of older readers.
This book is better suited for grade school kids or a SUPER Arctic Fox enthusiasts! It has excellent photographs, a map of their habitat and a glossary. Although it contains information about the Arctic fox there are other pages dedicated to the animals it shares it’s habitat with (reindeer and polar bear). My inner teacher appreciates that Glossary words within the text are printed in bold so that they are easily referenced in the glossary.
Best suited for school age kids. This book has a lot of great introductory information about the Arctic Fox and it’s habitat. For an extra special gift pair it with an arctic fox stuffy to read with (below).
Follow the arctic fox on it’s incredible journey through the tundra. This is a great book for kids ages 4-6 or are beginning readers.
Great multi-age book discusses this animal’s adaptations and how they survive in the Arctic Tundra.
Best suited for elementary school-age kids. It tells the journey of a young polar bear and it’s simbiotic relationship with a young fox. It also talks about natural predators of the Polar Bear.
Johnathan London is a famous children’s author that has written over a hundred children’s books. He’s best known for his “Froggy” series and does classroom visits (he came to my third grade class)& it was AMAZING!
Polar Bears by Gail Gibbons
Gail Gibbons books are jam-packed with great information just be mindful to break this one up if your child is 5 years or younger.
Super cute story that uses two unlikely friends to demonstrate friendship learn about opposites & great illustrations (that can be used for Who, What, When, Where, Why (& How) questions.
Facts about Arctic Hare
This is a great book to reference information about the Arctic Hare for kids. The photos are great and the paperback version even includes coloring pages.
Great book for an elementary research project or an arctic wolf enthusiast! This book has excellent photos and information about this highly adaptable animal.
This is fiction and not the best book for a research project but it is a fun read aloud!
Books about the Wolverine
This is an excellent reader for beginning research. Kindergarten to Second grade. It has great information and photographs, a glossary and an index.
Polar Animal Videos:
There are two arctic tundras the Arctic and Alpine.