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Click on the image to view a trailer of the new animation of

 It's Up To Us: A children's Terra Carta for People, Nature and Planet

including an introduction by the King

With grateful thanks to Ecoflix, Christopher Lloyd and The Prince's Foundation

Nature writing for children

The Doorstep Library Garden focuses on the importance of books about nature.  Children are instinctively drawn to the living world around them. As they get older that interest often wanes. Yet we live in a time where science is starting to reveal how complex and interconnected our natural world systems are, and  showing the importance of putting nature at the heart of our actions.  We have the chance to make changes, working in harmony with nature, and truly inspiring writing about the natural world helps to keep children's love of nature alive.   On the shelves are a wide variety of brilliant books, from illustrated versions of Charles Darwin's On THe Origin of Species for young children to adventures of plant hunters which teenagers will enjoy.  What all these books have in common is the sense of wonder they inspire. 

Books at The Doorstep Library Garden

We had an Author of the Day at the garden during Chelsea week ready to answer questions about their books and discuss children's literature and nature writing for children in general.  Their books are shown below, with links to purchase.

There were many other wonderful books on the shelves of the Doorstep Library Garden - and a whole pile which we couldn't fit in!  Scroll down to see them all, below our Authors of the Day. 

When Plants Took Over the Planet

by Chris Thorogood, illustrated by Amy Grimes

published by QED Publishing


Discover the incredible story of how plant life grew to cover the surface of planet Earth, from long before human life existed up to the present day.  This large-format, highly illustrated book will guide readers through the key aspects of the life of plants, from early ferns which were most certainly munched on by dinosaurs, to carnivorous plants that snap and 'attack' their prey, or powerful medicinal plants that can heal ailments and boost health. Mysterious and wonderful plants and trees are explored through the diverse habitats they're found in, from the Amazon Rainforest to the Sahara Desert, and through the animals found living on them or amongst them. This book also explores how humans use - and abuse - our precious plants, and how reliant we all are on the survival of our planet's network of botanical life.

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What a Wonderful World

By Leisa Stewart-Sharpe, illustrated by Lydia Hill

Published by Templar Fiction


Our world is WONDERFUL - and it's worth protecting. From the author of the BBC's children's book Blue Planet II, this book takes you on a breathtaking tour of our planet.  From towering mountaintops, through grasslands, jungles, rivers, deserts, polar wildernesses and into the blue ocean - to discover the incredible variety of life that calls it home. Along the way, read the stories of 35 inspiring Earth Shakers - children and adults, from tree-planters to scientists, from all around the world - who have taken action to protect it. Plus, there are lots of practical tips and handy resources inside that give you the tools to make a positive change today. Every budding young activist will be inspired to make a change for a better future. Includes a special foreword from Lee Durrell MBE, of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.

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The Plant Hunter: A Great Adventure

By Thomas Mogford

Published by Welbeck Publishing Group


1867. King's Road, Chelsea, is a sea of plant nurseries, catering to the Victorian obsession with rare and exotic flora. But each of the glossy emporiums is fuelled by the dangerous world of the plant hunters - daring adventurers sent into uncharted lands in search of untold wonders to grace England's finest gardens.


Harry Compton is as far from a plant hunter as one could imagine - a salesman plucked from the obscurity of the nursery growing fields to become 'the face that sold a thousand plants'.

But one small act of kindness sees him inherit a precious gift - a specimen of a fabled tree last heard of in The Travels of Marco Polo, and a map.

Seizing his chance for fame and fortune, Harry sets out to make his mark. But where there is wealth there is corruption, and soon Harry is fleeing England, rounding the Cape of Good Hope and sailing up the Yangtze alongside a young widow - both in pursuit of the plant that could transform both their lives forever.

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A Home for Every Plant: Wonders of the Botanical World

by Matthew Biggs, illustrated by Lucila Perini

Published by Phaidon


Journey across 40 incredible habitats around the world to discover the biggest, boldest, and stinkiest plants

Without plants there would be no life on Earth, but most people are blind to their impact. This stylish and informative introduction to plants sets out to cure ‘plant blindness’ by introducing children to 66 amazing plants from the six major climactic zones around the world. From the smelliest, such as the massive Titan Arum of the Indonesian rainforest, which stinks of rotting flesh to attract insects, to the hardest-working, including peat moss, an overlooked bog plant that helps protect our planet by trapping carbon dioxide, readers will learn about the vital role of plants in Nature through detailed, vibrant illustrations and fascinating facts. Children will also learn how to use their new-found knowledge of the plant’s natural environment to care for the plants around them and at home. Fully researched, written, and vetted by expert botanists from around the world, this book teaches children about plants in the context of their natural environment, and is ideal for geography and biology curricular tie ins, as well as being a book that will inspire children to love and care for the plants around them. This is the perfect compendium for plant-lovers, budding gardeners, and would-be botanists and nature-lovers alike.

Receive 20% off using code PLANTS20

It’s Up to Us: A Children’s Terra Carta for Nature and the Planet

By His Majesty King Charles III, Christopher Lloyd and 33 award-winning artists

Published by What on Earth Books

Join His Royal Highness, author Christopher Lloyd and 33 amazing award-winning artists from around the world on a beautiful, lyrical and thought-provoking voyage through Nature, the threats we face and an action plan for the future.  It’s Up to Us is based on the Terra Carta, a roadmap to sustainability issued by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and his Sustainable Markets Initiative. More than 400 corporations have already signed on, agreeing to put the health of Nature, People & Planet at the heart of their activities. Now it’s up to all of us to make sure our leaders keep their promises.  

This book has been developed in partnership with The Prince’s Foundation, a charity established by HRH The Prince of Wales to demonstrate how Nature can be put at the heart of human activities. Half of all the proceeds from sales will go directly to the work of the charity, based at Dumfries House in Scotland.



With thanks to Ultimate Library

Treasure chest image:  Yuliya Pauliukevich

Many of these are for younger children, others are suitable for teenagers; all are enjoyable for adults!


A Forest

By Marc Martin

Published by Templar Publishing


Animalium - part of the "Welcome to the Museum" series

Curated by Katie Scott and Jenny Broom

Published by Big Picture Press

Around the World in 80 Trees

Ben Lerwill and Kaja Kajfez

Published by Welbeck Publishing

A Song of Gladness

By Michael Morpurgo and Emily Gravett

Published by Two Hoots

Botanicum - part of the "Welcome to the Museum" series

Curated by Katie Scott and Kathy Willis

Published by Big Picture Press

Can we Really Help the Trees: Yes We Can

By Katie Daynes; illustrated by Roisin Hahessy

Published by Usborne

Caring for Earth

By Sandra Laboucarie and Sarah Reynard, Illustrated by Julie Mercier

Published by Twirl

Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species"

Written by Anna Brett; Illustrated by Nick Hayes

Published by Laurence King

Charles Darwin's "On The Origin of Species"

Adapted and illustrated by Sabina Radeva

Published by Crown



By Mabee Weinstein

Published by Cool Springs Press


By Jess French; illustrated by Alexander Mostov

Published by Ivy Kids

Jane Goodall

By Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Published by Frances Lincoln 

MAPS: Deluxe edition - 66 countries

By Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski

Published by Big Picture Press

My First Garden

By Livi Gosling

Published by DK Children

Nature's Treasures - Tales of more than 100 extraordinary objects from nature

By Ben Hoare

Published by Dorling Kindersley

Our Place in Nature

Edited by Zachary Seager

Published by Macmillan

Look Inside Our World

By Emily Bone; illustrated by Marianna Oklejek

Published by Usborne

Pip and Posy - The Friendly Snail

By Axel  Scheffler

Published by Nosy Crow

Poems About Birds

Edited by H. J. Massingham

Published by Macmillan

Rainforests (A Ladybird Book)

Illustrated by Teo Georgiev

Published by Ladybird


Royal  Botanic Gardens Kew - The Tropical Hothouse: The Book that turns into a Botanical Paradise

By Chris Thorogood

Published by Andre Deutsch

Tell Me About… Plants

By Emily Dodd; illustrated by Chorkung

Published by Templar

That’s Not My Lemur

By Fiona Watt; illustrated by Rachel Wells

Published by Usborne

The Animal Show

By Marcos Farina

Published by Little Gestalten

The Book of Palms - The Complete Plates

By Carl Frierich, Philipp von Martius and H. Walter Lack

Published by Taschen

The Carousel of Animals - a pop-up book

By Gerard Lo Monaco

Published by Little Gestalten

The Little Book of Trees

By Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham

Published by Fine Feather Press

The Lost Rainforests of Britain

By Guy Shrubsole

Published by William Collins

The Mystery of The Golden Wonderflower

By Benjamin Flouw

Published by Little Gestalten

The Secret World of Plants - Tales of more than 100 remarkable flowers, trees and seeds

By Ben Hoare

Published by Dorling Kindersley

The Small and Mighty Book of Bugs

By Catherine Brereton

Published by Hachette

The Tree: The Book that Transforms into a Work of Art

By Steve Marsh

Published by Andre Deutsch

Usborne Little Lift and Look Bugs

By Anna Milbourne

Published by Usborne

When Darwin Sailed the Sea

By David Long and Sam Kalda

Published by Wide Eyed


Wicked Plants

By Amy Stewart

Published by Timber Press

Wild Maps - A Nature Atlas for Curius Minds

Edited by Mike Higgins; illustrated by Manuel Bortoletti

Published by Big Picture Press

We are grateful to independent booksellers South Kensington Books and The Bookshop East Grinstead for their support.

 South Kensington Books is an independent bookshop in the heart of South Kensington's museum quarter.  There has been a bookshop on this site since the 1940s. They continue the tradition of sourcing great books for the local community and the many visitors to South Kensington.

The East Grinstead Bookshop is the quintessential English bookshop located in the heart of rural Sussex. Our shop, nearly 500 years old, is filled to the rafters with wonderful books, new and second-hand, staffed by people working in a business they are passionate about.


Our stock is wide-ranging and eclectic, with signed copies and beautiful gift editions as well as everyday reading. Come and visit us, or our website, to find exactly the book you were looking for - and many which you never knew you needed! Our Staff includes experts in the field of Children's Books, and there is nothing we enjoy more than helping children find a book they want to read.  We also have a wide range of gardening books, and a full programme of Events which this year include a series of events on Climate Change and Nature Writing.

Thank you for visiting the Doorstep Library Garden website!

We hope you feel inspired to support Doorstep Library and to look for local sustainable timbers when you are buying for your garden. 


You can donate or sign up to volunteer on the Doorstep Library page below.

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