Do you notice bees, butterflies, and insects on nature walks and garden explorations? There’s so much to learn about pollination and the vital roles of active insects all around us. Read on for some favorite books about pollination, and also check out our ideas for how you can beautify your own community and help pollinators.

The Basics on Pollen

The Reason for a Flower: A Book about Flowers, Pollen and Seeds by Ruth Heller

This classic explains all about flowers, pollen, pollinators, and seeds in rhyming text, with lots of examples kids will recognize, along with some unexpected ones (bats!). This book offers a good foundation for learning about plants and pollination.

Animals Help Plants by Mary Lindeen

This educational life science book introduces young readers to the concept of animals helping plants. Photos of animals in action illustrate the many different ways animals (including human beings!) aid plants by pollinating, moving seeds to new places, hiding seeds, helping plants grow, and more.

Pollinator Spotlight

unBEElievables: Honey Bee Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian

These beautiful, approachable poems, each accompanied by a painting and facts about bees, cover everything from bee anatomy to the types of bees to honey, and of course, pollen. This book offers wide appeal and multiple entry points for readers. Whether you are drawn to the poems, factual blurbs, or whimsical art, this book provides great info on bees and their role in nature and pollination.

A Butterfly is Patient by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Sylvia Long

Did you ever think about how humans share some qualities with butterflies? We are both thirsty, helpful, and protective. Without these qualities, butterflies would not be such excellent pollinators. This book shows us an impressive variety of butterflies, explains their role in pollination, and shows how they are remarkable travelers--flying great distances at high altitudes in some cases!

What If There Were No Bees? A Book about the Grassland Ecosystem by Suzanne Slade and illustrated by Carol Schwartz

This book helps the reader understand how even a seemingly small creature like a bee plays an essential role in a larger ecosystem. With illustrations showing what our environment would look like without bees pollinating, the reader can better imagine how impoverished we would be in a world without bees. Helpful sidebars throughout the book provide additional compelling information about these creatures we too often take for granted.

Pollinator Mysteries

Pollen: Darwin’s 130 Year Prediction by Darcy Pattison and illustrated by Peter Willis

This is a fascinating story looking at the discovery of the insect that pollinates the star orchid in Madagascar. The star orchid has a very long and very narrow passage known as the “nectary,” where flowers make nectar. What kind of insect can reach 11.5 inches to drink the nectar? Charles Darwin never saw one, but he predicted there must be a giant moth who could do it! More than a century later, with special night vision cameras and other equipment, a German entomologist captured footage of a hawk moth drinking nectar from the orchid. This book shows us the scientific process in action, and reveals how a puzzling mystery was finally solved.

Winged Wonders: Solving the Monarch Migration Mystery by Meeg Pincus and illustrated by Yas Imamura

Following scientists, backyard gardeners, students, adventurers, and farmers, this book gives the reader a sense of how the work of many led to the solving of the mystery of how monarch butterflies migrate thousands of miles. Highlighting how scientific discoveries are often collaborations, this book also emphasizes why monarch butterflies are at risk and encourages readers to help monarchs make their remarkable journeys.

To see more of my favorite cooking and gardening books for kids, please join me @thepicturebookcook on Instagram. And please dig into more of my book picks for Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter!

Kate Rowe loves picture books, reading, gardening, cooking, and talking about all these things! She shares picture book recommendations paired with food adventures @thepicturebookcook on Instagram. She is a writer, editor, and parent of two book-loving garden helpers.