DSWF Book Club

Teachers, home schoolers and librarians tell us about lots of books on environmental themes they know are popular with young people.

Below is a list of some of them. If you don’t spot your favourite, or have any recommendations you would like to share, then please get in touch and let us know.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

‘Guardians of the Planet’ by Clive Gifford

This environmentally positive book contains everything children need to become guardians of the planet. Kids can learn how to become keepers of the coasts, friends of the forests, home heroes and much more through a mix of compelling facts, creative activities and proactive tips.

Key environmental topics are clearly explained, and the easy-to-follow projects and suggestions help to put the issues in an everyday context. From reusing clothes and composting food to reducing water waste and giving wildlife a helping hand, this book will encourage children to engage with environmental problems and inspire them to take care of our wonderful planet.

This book includes an introduction by ClientEarth, an organization that uses environmental law to protect oceans, forests and other habitats, as well as all people, and a foreword by Brian Eno.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

‘Last: The story of a white rhino’ by Nicola Davies

A rhinoceros is captured by poachers and put in a zoo in the middle of a grey city, where all he can do is pace back and forth. He misses his home in the wild in Sudan, his mother, and the smell of earth and rain. He fears he may be the very last of his kind. Then one day, he is rescued and released back into the wild, to live free with the other rhinos.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

‘Pangolina’ by Dr Jane Goodall

Dr Jane Goodall’s most recent children’s book is a timely story about our planet’s most trafficked animal, the pangolin. After a blissful babyhood Pangolina ventures out alone into the forest but one-day cruel hunters trap her. To the rescue comes a small girl who knows that pangolins have feelings too. In this beautiful book, Pangolina advocates for wildlife conservation through her own tale of survival and hope.

This book not only teaches children many amazing facts about pangolins but also teaches empathy toward all creatures. Full of information and accompanied by adorable illustrations by Daishu Ma, it will be irresistible to animal lovers of all ages.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

‘Fender goes to Africa’ by Victoria Lamond

Fender and Dan are on their long trip through Africa, from Cairo to Cape Town. Come and join them on their exciting adventure…

Eighth in a charming series of Land Rover story books, which are beautifully written and illustrated by Veronica Lamond. The Landybook series engage children in diverse, real life activities through the lovable, animated characters of Landy (1956 Series 1) and Fender (1999 Defender).

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

‘Elmer’ by David McKee

Elmer is different. Elmer is patchwork. The grey elephants all love him, but he soon starts to wonder what it would be like to be just the same as them…

Full of colour, wisdom and pathos, little readers will love this classic tale at bedtime. Deservedly a modern classic, with over ten million copies of his books sold worldwide, Elmer’s subtle message, that it is OK to be different, resonates with children across the world.

Elmer the colourful patchwork elephant has been a nursery favourite since 1989. ‘A deserved favourite with the 2-5s’ – SUNDAY TIMES

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

‘Stuff’ by Maddie Moate

In 2021 Presenter, YouTuber, and podcaster Maddie Moate released her debut children’s book, ‘Stuff’.​ Inspired by her own curiosity about the wonders of the world, this exciting picture book is bursting with incredible facts and insightful stories based on the remarkable ways people around the world, through history and even today, use and reuse ‘stuff’ around them.  You’ll learn fascinating facts, such as how to turn elephant poo into paper and how seaweed can be made into plastic.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

‘Tad’ by Benji Davies

Sometimes the biggest stories come from the smallest beginnings…

Meet Tad. She’s the smallest tadpole in a big pond, and lives there with all her tadbrothers and tadsisters. Although something else lives there too… BIG BLUB! And when everyone else starts to disappear, Tad starts to wonder if Big Blub will get her too…

Or is everyone else going somewhere else; somewhere better?

A big story about a tiny tadpole – about growing up, branching out, and taking a leap into life.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

‘The Big Book of Beasts’ by Yuval Zommer

Why do wolves howl at the moon? Do hyenas really laugh? Why do hippos love the mud? Find out the answers to these and many more beastly questions. Play search and find in the pictures, too. Can you spot all the special paw prints?

Meet all kinds of grizzly, hairy, wild and wonderful beasts from around the world in this first book of animals to share with young children. It’s packed with facts about how different types of wild animals eat, hunt and survive.

Nominated for 2018 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal

Part of the ‘Big Book’ series, a Made for Mums Gold Award winner

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

‘The Big Book of Nature Art’ by Yuval Zommer

From bestselling author Yuval Zommer, The Big Book of Nature Art is packed with twenty-two easy art activities inspired by nature. Each of the activities can be achieved in four simple steps using natural materials combined with recycled or found materials from around the home. Drawing on Zommer’s years of experience running art workshops for children, The Big Book of Nature Art includes his tips for stress-free ways to get creative with kids.

Each nature art activity requires no more than five minutes set-up and five minutes clean-up, making them easy to achieve and fun for everyone involved. The book also encourages children to see the creative potential in the natural and everyday treasures all around us – from twigs, seed pods, petals and leaves through to loo rolls, pencil shavings, takeaway cutlery and kitchen string.

Little nature artists will enjoy making paper-plate birds; leaf bugs; coffee-cup owls; tree bark bats; and seed pod creepy crawlies, as well as scenes for their creatures to dwell in, from watery worlds to underground tunnels.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

‘Always’ by Emma Dodd

One little elephant learns that a parent’s love is unconditional.

There is always love between parent and child, which is the heartwarming message in an exquisite new title from Emma Dodd. Featuring stunning illustrations of an elephant family and with interior pages embellished with foil, this makes a handsome addition to any nursery bookshelf.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

‘The Lost Words: A Spell Book’ by Robert Macfarlane & Jackie Morris



A timeless, beautifully designed book for children and adults alike, The Lost Words will be pored over and cherished for years to come.

All over the country, there are words disappearing from children’s lives. These are the words of the natural world; Dandelion, Otter, Bramble and Acorn, all gone. A wild landscape of imagination and play is rapidly fading from our children’s minds.

The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration – in art and word – of nearby nature and its wonders. With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and illustrations by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book evokes the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

‘The Animals of Farthing Wood’ by Colin Dann

‘We must all find a new home. Now – before it’s too late!’

Farthing Wood is being bulldozed, and there’s a drought. Fox, Badger, Toad, Tawny Owl, Mole and the other animals must band together and set off to a far-away nature reserve. Their journey is full of adventure and fraught with disasters, and the animals must work together to survive.

The Animals of Farthing Wood is one of the most popular animal stories in children’s literature and is still in print nearly 40 years after first publication.

‘The Animals of Farthing Wood always made me very happy’ – Alison Flood, Guardian

If you have a recommendation for the DSWF Book Club, please let us know!

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
Free School Talks

Education is one of the DSWF’s key strategic pillars in our mission to fightprotect and engage on behalf of endangered species across the world. We have been delivering free assemblies, talks and workshops to schools, youth groups and children’s clubs for over 20 years. Find out how to invite DSWF to your school here.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
Education Hub

Access a selection of information, resources, activities designed to support both Educators and Students to better understand biodiversity and conservation.

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Adopt An Animal

All our new adoptions include a personalised certificate, species fact sheet, animal bio sheet & photo. You will also receive a Wildlife Matters magazine and a beautiful sketch print of your animal. You can also opt to receive a unique handmade animal toy. Alternatively you can choose a digital adoption to maximise your conservation impact.

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