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Beautiful Children’s Books about Migration


As I research Children’s Books about Migration I quickly became both impressed and intrigued by the amazing children’s books offered at our library and online.

The artwork hands down were some of the most beautiful I had seen from children’s books. The artwork alone gave a testament to how the authors and illustrators truly embraced their subject. The passion was evident. Furthermore, as a parent and an educator, my wonder of these migrating animals flourished beyond my anticipation, which made the learning with my sons all the more authentic and enjoyable to include not only life sciences but ecology and geography as well.  

I reviewed at least 25 books on the topic. The below list includes my favorites for my children ages 5 and 3.5 years old.

Children's Books Migration

Children’s Books about Migration

The Long, Long Journey: The Godwit’s Amazing Migration

This book made me feel like I was part of the story of this young female godwit. The watercolor paintings are close up and truly bring us into the journey. Along the way, the reader learns of the characteristics that make the godwit so unique. There is plenty of life science learning within the pages but also wonderful resources about Godwits at the end of the book.

Swallow Journey

Like the Godwit’s journey, the artwork alone within the pages of Swallow Journey makes the book worth adding to your home or classroom library.

The book tells a story, which I love and of course draws the children into the book, of a swallow migration. The author, Vivian French, does an extraordinary job of weaving in tidbits of information on the geography, habitat, and life of the swallow.

My only criticism is the book has many words, which is great, but I could see my son’s attention starting to stray. So I chose to speak a sentence here and there, mainly discusses the story within the artwork.

Home at Last: A Song of Migration 

This lovely book introduces us to a number of migrating animals. She depicts the wondrous beings as they journey from one home to another home, pointing out the mysteries of how these animals find their way. The book gives us small doses of information about animals igniting our desire to want to learn more. Ms. Sayre gives us a taste only through a paragraph of each animal of the journey migrating from one home to another home. Again, the artwork is beautiful, drawing both adults and children into the pages.

Going Home: The Mystery of Animal Migration

This book that not only introduces us to the spectrum of migration creature but tells us about the animals in a most poetic way. I truly enjoyed reading the pages of Ms. Berkes’ rhythmic verse. I particularly enjoyed the detailed paragraph on each animal included on the pages about each animal.

Although I truly enjoy a book that sings to me, I also appreciate gathering facts and information to take into my learning and my sons’ learning. Finally, I really sunk my teeth into the “Tips from the Author” section at the end of the book including outlining the routes of the animals with resources and activities for children within a wide range of ages.

Is This Panama?: A Migration Story

This story is about an adorable warbler named Sammy. The book reads like a story that captivates young children because in many ways children can relate to this young warbler trying to find his way. Along his journey, he meets several migrators, adaptors, and hibernators opening up questions and discussion for you and children.

In the end, Sammy makes it to Panama. The author, Jan Thornhill, celebrates the wonderful mystery of how this little warbler found his way to Panama. Some things in nature are best left to mystery.

Following Papa’s Song

This book tells the story of a baby and his dad’s journey from the warm waters of Hawaii to the cold waters of Alaska. The author, Giana Marino, successfully teaches a lesson of love and following your instinct. I do wish the author had integrated the mother whale into the journey given the mother-baby relationship is an integral part of that great journey.

With that said, the story is simple and to the point in a sweet way reminding us of the beautiful communication these whales have out there is the great big ocean.

Desert Elephants

One of the amazing facts about migrating animals around the world is the great, long journeys endured by all types. Desert Elephants by Helen Cowcher highlights this fact beautifully with the story and particularly with the illustrations. I enjoyed weaving in various parts of the world into our conversations about migrating animals.

Pulling out our globe to discuss the journey of these particular elephants (to find water, a basic need) was certainly a happy moment for me. Watching my boys connect that basic need to such a long journey made them realize (even if in a small way) how fortunate we humans are for the most part to have so much at our fingertips. There is so much more I could write about this wonderful book but I will let you discover the joy on your own.

I was pleased to be able to include a book about bats in this study. Bats get a bad rap. Little Red Bat is a story
that gives bats a better name and enabled the reader to see these creatures in a different light. The author, Carole Gerber, takes us on an emotional and physical journey of a bat’s decision of what to do during the colder months. As he explores his decision, he meets and discusses with several migrating, adapting, and hibernating animals, giving the readers a wonderful spectrum of animals to ponder. The illustrations are cute, certainly ones that children will enjoy.

The Peregrine’s Journey: A Story of Migration

This gorgeously illustrated book tells the story of a female peregrine’s 8,000 miles plus journey from Alaska to Argentina. Not only does the book depict an amazing feat by this animal, the author, Madeleine Dunphy, also integrates ecological, biological, and geographical facts sure to hook any child, or adult for that matter! A terrific book to introduce the wonders of avian migration to children.

Monarchs and Milkweed

What children’s book list on migrating animals would be complete without one that specifically talks about our beautiful Monarchs and their journey to Mexico. I have vivid memories of fields of milkweed, caterpillars, and chrysalis. This book is fun to read, cute and explains the life cycle of a butterfly well. The book is especially great for younger children ages 3 and up.

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