Here’s a list of our favorite books we used for our preschool polar unit study. We used these for ages 3 and 4.5 but they could easily be enjoyed by older and even younger kids. We found all of these books at our local library. They’re also available on Amazon (links provided below for your convenience- these are not links we are in any way paid to promote).
Arctic Tundra (Food for Life)
by Kate Riggs (link)
This book talks about the food chain in the Arctic, from plants to wolves. I found the content interesting and the kids liked the pictures. This wasn’t one of the favorites as they are a little young for the concept of food chains, but I enjoyed reading it to them and they enjoyed listening.
Endangered Animals of Antarctica and the Arctic (Save Earth’s Animals!)
by Marie Allgor (link)
The title of this book is pretty self-explanatory. This was another book that my kids mostly enjoyed for the pictures.
Alone in the Arctic: Can Science Save Your Life? (Science to the Rescue)
by Gerry Bailey (link)
This book follow a scientist who gets stuck in the Arctic alone. He draws on his knowledge of the Arctic elements and animals to keep himself safe in various exciting situations.
About Habitats: Polar Regions
by Cathryn Sill (link)
This book caught my kids’ attention with simple language and is beautiful illustrations by John Sill. It was a wonderful book to start our unit with as it explores both the Arctic and Antarctic regions.
Here is Antarctica (Web of Life)
by Madeleine Dunphy (link)
My kids loved this book. With its rhyming and repetition, it read almost like a song. By the last page, my kids were saying the words, “Here is Antarctica” along with me. Another book with beautiful artwork.
Snow (Weather Wise)
by Helen Cox Cannons (link)
While this book doesn’t specifically focus on the polar regions, it explains what snow is, how it is formed, and different types of weather involving snow or ice (blizzards, ice storms, and more).
Who Needs An Iceberg? (Ecosystem Series)
by Karen Patkau (link)
While most of the books in our polar unit study touched on global warming at least a little bit, this one went a little more in detail than some of the others. In our polar unit study, we didn’t delve into the topic of global warming with our kids, so my kids mostly enjoyed this book for the pictures.
Little Polar Bears (Born to be Wild)
by Valerie Guidoux (link)
My kids loved this book. It follows two polar bear siblings born in the Arctic and the challenges and lessons they learn as they grow up with their mother. We read it at the same time as the book below, A Pair of Polar Bears.
A Pair of Polar Bears: Twin Cubs Find a Home at the San Diego Zoo
by Joann Ryder (link)
We read this book at the same time as the book above, Little Polar Bears. It follow two polar bear cubs who grow up in a zoo. My kids were able to see the stark contrast between the two polar bear cubs growing up in their natural habitat vs. the polar bear cubs in the zoo environment, and it inspired some interesting conversations with them.
Little Penguin: The Emperor of Antarctica
by Jonathan London (link)
My kids enjoyed this story of an emperor penguin growing up in Antarctica.
About Penguins: A Guide for Children
by Cathryn Sill (link)
Another beautiful, interesting, and easy-to-understand book written by Cathryn Sill and illustrated by John Sill.
Seals (Baby Animals)
by Alice Twine (link)
My kids enjoyed seeing the cute pictures in this book. The idea of camouflage was introduced when we read about how baby harp seals have white fur to help them blend in to the snow.
Arctic Foxes (Nature’s Children)
by Vicky Franchino (link)
This book was all about Arctic Foxes and was another good one for talking about camouflage, as the foxes’ fur changes from brown in the summer to white in the winter to help them blend in to the landscape.
Killer Whales: Built for the Hunt (Predator Profiles)
by Christine Zuchora-Walske (link)
This book was a bit on the dramatic side, painting orca whales as hunters and killers. While orca whales are hunters, they’re also highly sociable and intelligent animals, which was less of a focus in this book. However, my kids didn’t seem to mind the focus on hunting and really enjoyed what they learned from this book.
The Blue Whale
by Jenni Desmond (link)
This was a favorite with my kids. It’s a fiction story about a boy who dreams about blue whales, with plenty of interesting facts about these beautiful whales. The illustrations and story were beautiful and captured my kids’ imaginations.
The Incredible Life of Balto
by Meghan McCarthy (link)
This book talks about the true story of Balto, the sled dog, and his run to Nome, written in story-form. The kids both loved reading about his story from fame to obscurity to legend.
Inuit (Spotlight on Native Americans)
by Jayson Chesterfield (link)
While this book was a bit above the understanding level of my kids, I simplified it down a bit and they enjoyed learning and asking questions while looking at the pictures.
The Inuit (True Books: American Indians)
by Andrew Santella (link)
Another book that the kids and I enjoyed mostly discussing while looking at the pictures rather than reading.
To read more about our Polar unit study for preschoolers, click here.