Arctic Animals Books to Read

arctic animals books to read

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

Who’s that Arctic Animals  by Tad Carpenter

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!

 Over in the Arctic: Where the Cold Winds Blow  by Marianne Berkes

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!

 Amazing Arctic Animals by Jackie Glass

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!

Way up in the Arctic by Jennifer Ward

Better suited for preschool to 2nd grade this book has beautiful Illustrations and engaging text incorporates rhyming, counting and positional vocabulary.

 In Arctic Waters by Laura Crawford

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.

 by Speedy Publishing

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.

Related Products:

Arctic Animal Toys

Adventure Set

 Stuffed Animal 

 Avati Arctic Ecology   by Mia Pelletier

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.

The Best Book about Polar Animals by Christiane Gunzi

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.

 Polar Animals by Animal Planet and Lauren Brown

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.

Polar Animal Adaptations  by Lisa J. Amstutz

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.

 Endangered Animals of Antarctic and Arctic by Marie Allgor

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.

 Animal Babies in Polar Lands by editors of Kingfisher

Best for toddlers or preschoolers. It has great close up non-fiction photographs and a guessing game for kids “Who is my mommy?”.

The Coldest Tundra by Baby Professor

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.

 Living in the Arctic by Allan Fowler and Linda Cornwell

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.

 Over and under the Snow Kate Messner

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.

Look Closer into the Arctic by Roger Priddy

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”.

The Arctic Habitat (Introducing Habitats) Molly Aloian

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:

 Polar Bear, Polar Bear What do you Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

Classic picture book authors Bill Martin Jr & Eric Carle are a great way to introduce your littles to arctic animals.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsberg

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.)

 Hush Little Polar Bear by Jeff Mack

Sweet preschool bedtime story that stars a polar bear.

The Mitten by Jan Brett

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.

Polar Bear Son by Lydia Davcovich

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.

arctic animals

Hanukkah in Alaska by Barbara Brown

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.

The Three Snow Bears   by Jan Brett

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.

Arctic Fox

by Emily Rose Townsend

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.

 by Stephen Pearson

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.

by Victoria Blakemore

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).

Arctic Fox Plush Stuffed Animal 

 by Wendy Pfeffer

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.

Maeve T Sisk

Great multi-age book discusses this animal’s adaptations and how they survive in the Arctic Tundra.

arctic books for kids

Polar Bears

Ice Bear and Little Fox by Jonathan London

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!

Little Polar Bear by Hans de Beer

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.

  by Erik Brooks

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.

Arctic Hare

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.

Arctic Hares (animals that live in the Arctic Tundra) by Therese M Shea 

Arctic Wolf 

 Maeve T. Sisk’s Arctic wolf 

Great book for an elementary research project or an arctic wolf enthusiast! This book has excellent photos and information about this highly adaptable animal.


A day in the life polar animals: Narwhal by Katie Marsico

 Narwhal Unicorn of the sea by Ben Clanton

This is fiction and not the best book for a research project but it is a fun read aloud!


National Geographic Readers: Penguins! by Ann Schreiber

Penguins by Jill Esbaum

If you were a Penguin by Florence Minor

Books about the Wolverine

Wolverines by Megan Bogert-Spanoil

This is an excellent reader for beginning research. Kindergarten to Second grade. It has great information and photographs, a glossary and an index.

Super Strong Wolverines by Joyce L. Markovics

Wolverines by Sandra Markle

Welcome to the World of Wolverines by Diane Swanson

Polar Animal Videos:


There are two arctic tundras the Arctic and Alpine.

Arctic Animals Books to Read

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