This NY Times blog article documents the declining connection with nature in children's books. Looking at top award wining books, such as those receiving the Caldecott prize, they show that images of natural environments or wild animals have declined over the years and now, basically do not occur at all. All big prize winners are set in urban environments.
I wanted to share about a book going very much against this trend - called "Where Snow Leopard Prowls" it is a book with beautiful paintings of wildlife from the Tibetan Plateau. It offers personal portraits of the animals which helps form a connection to them, and learn about them. You can watch a video about this book which is part of a kickstarter campaign currently from Dancing Dakini Press, and you can pre-order or support them in other ways.