14 Picture Books about the National Parks

We love exploring the parks! We have traveled to several of the National Parks over the years. Sometimes traveling across the country isn’t always an option, though. We can still travel to these parks through books! Plus, you can learn even more with Rabbit Trails through the Parks. Here are 14 picture books about the National Parks to read in your home.

14 Picture Books about the National Parks. Read about the National Parks in your homeschool! National Parks homeschool curriculum. National Parks lessons. National Parks books. #homeschool #nationalparks #picturebooks

The Camping Trip that Changed America by Barb Rosenstock

When I read this book, I instantly knew it had to be in the first lesson we wrote about National Parks. Not only are the illustrations beautiful, but it shares the story of how John Muir influenced Theodore Roosevelt’s decision to save the vanishing wilderness. Find out more about National Parks in Rabbit Trails through the Parks: Journey Through the Parks.

National Parks Maps: Illustrated Maps of America’s 62 National Parks by Abby Leighton

When I first started writing curriculum, I knew I wanted to do National Parks lessons. So when I found this book, I had to get it. I was not disappointed! We love to sit and look through all the different animals, plants, and other features of each park. This book is packed with tons of information that will help your family explore the parks even when you can’t travel.

If I Were a Park Ranger by Catherine Stier

One of my children’s favorite parts of visiting national parks is getting the Junior Ranger badges. If you haven’t done this yet, you need to. Each park has a booklet full of activity pages about the park. Many of them can be found online. Once you have finished the booklet, you return it to the visitor center and your child will be sworn in as a Junior Ranger. This book will teach your children about what jobs park rangers are responsible for. It also helps them learn how to protect the animals and environment.

The Great Smoky Mountain Salamander Ball by Lisa Horstman

We have visited The Great Smoky Mountains many times. It is such a beautiful place to go hiking. Since the park is the salamander capital of the world, we had to use a book about salamanders. Not only is it a fun book, but it also teaches children to leave salamanders in their natural habitats. Find out more in Rabbit Trails through the Park: Great Smoky Mountains.

Grand Canyon by Jason Chin

If you have never read one of Jason Chin’s books, you will definitely want to check this one out. The detail in the illustrations is just phenomenal! You learn about all the different layers in the Grand Canyon, what has been discovered there, and what lived there a long time ago. This book does mention things being created or living millions of years ago, but use this as a great opportunity to teach about what the Bible says about creation. Rabbit Trails through the Parks: Grand Canyon lesson will help you learn even more about this park.

Volcano Dreams: A Story of Yellowstone by Janet Fox

Janet Fox uses poetry to share the about the Yellowstone ecosystem and also about its past. You will learn about the animals that live in the park and about the “sleeping giant” underneath the surface. In the back of the book, you will find a glossary to help children understand some of the harder vocabulary words, more information about Yellowstone, and a map of the park. Explore more rabbit trails with our Yellowstone National Park lesson.

Amazing Impossible Erie Canal by Cheryl Harness

Many folks thought the building of the Erie Canal couldn’t be done. There was just no way you could connect the Great Lakes to the Hudson River. But De Witt Clinton proved them wrong. It took eight years, but the task was completed. It made it possible to travel by water from the prairie to Europe! Whenever I see a book by Cheryl Harness, I know it will be full of beautiful artwork and tons of information. We loved learning about this part of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The Little Island by Margaret Wise Brown

On our journey up the east coast, we explored several national parks. One of my favorites was Acadia National Park. Margaret Wise Brown would escape New York City every summer and venture over to Maine. She purchased a home that she nicknamed the Only House. From her window, she could see an island and that’s where the inspiration for this novel came from. Explore Acadia National Park with our Rabbit Trails through the Parks lesson.

Appalachia: The Voices of Sleeping Birds by Cynthia Rylant

This book gives you a beautiful glimpse into life in Appalachia, which is where Shenandoah National Park is located. That’s what this park is all about- beautiful views from the Blue Ridge Mountains. Cynthia Rylant grew up in this area with her grandparents. Find out more in Rabbit Trails through the Parks; Shenandoah National Park.

The Sequoia Lives On by Joanna Cole

The Sequoia Tree is such an amazing wonder. They only grow in California’s Sierra Nevada. They are so large and live for way longer than us humans. The largest Sequoia is General Sherman. General Sherman is 275 feet tall and over 36 feet in diameter. You will find this tree and many more in Sequoia National Park. 

Buzzy and the Red Rock Canyons: Utah’s National Parks by Melissa C. Marsted

As I was working on writing a lesson about one of Utah’s National Parks, I discovered this book that covered all of the Mighty Five. I decided to use it and make the lesson cover all of them. Buzzy the bee will take you around Utah and you will learn about Arches, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, and Zion National Parks. He introduces you to the animals, arches, hoodoos, and spires. Learn more about these five parks in our Utah Parks lesson.

A Voice for the Everglades: Marjory Stoneman Douglas by Vicki Conrad

Oh my goodness! The illustrations in this book are gorgeous! Vicki Conrad does an amazing job of sharing Marjory Stoneman Douglas’s story of perseverance. She worked tirelessly to show people how amazing and important the Everglades were and why we needed to protect them. You will find more information about the park and all the animals in the author’s note. Travel down the rabbit trail with our Everglades National Park lesson.

Disappearing Lake: Nature’s Magic in Denali National Park by Debbie S. Miller

The illustrations in this book are so detailed they look like real life! As the snow melts in Denali National Park, it forms a vernal lake that attracts many different animals. As the summer drags on, the lake slowly disappears. It will soon be covered with snow again and start this process all over again. You will learn more about this lake and how they are critical to the animals in the park. 

Redwoods by Jason Chin

This is Jason Chin’s first book! I wasn’t disappointed in this one after discovering the Grand Canyon book. It is just as beautiful. A young boy travels through a redwood forest. As he travels, we learn about these natural wonders. As you read it, you will feel like you are in the forest with him.

Picture Books About the National Parks

What are you favorite National Parks? Let us know in the comments or in our online homeschool community. Make sure to grab your copy of Rabbit Trails through the Parks to learn even more about the National Parks in your home!

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