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Discoveries: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about discoveries?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to discoveries. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about discoveries.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about discoveries, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Boy, Were We Wrong about the Weather! to popular sellers like Curiosity to some of our favorite hidden gems like This Little Scientist: A Discovery Primer.

We hope this list of kids books about discoveries can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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This Little Scientist: A Discovery Primer
Written by Joan Holub & illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Learn all about scientists who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for inventors-in-training! Asking why. Then making a guess. Asking how. Then proving with tests. Little scientists make great big discoveries. In this follow up to This Little President, This Little Explorer, and This Little Trailblazer now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering scientists in history! Highlighting ten memorable scientists who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this discovery primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.

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Amazing Inventions
Written & illustrated by James Olstein
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Did you know that the ancient Egyptians may have used kites to help build their pyramids? That robots have a hard time learning karate? Covering everything from sneakers made of spider silk to glow-in-the dark cats, this amazing collection introduces kids to inventions made from the natural world, inventions created by accident, green inventions, and just-plain-strange inventions. Plus, it offers cool ideas on what the future may hold.

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The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver
Written by Gene Barretta & illustrated by Frank Morrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The inspirational story of George Washington Carver and his childhood secret garden is brought to life in this picture book biography by the author-illustrator team behind Muhammad Ali: A Champion Is Born.

When George Washington Carver was just a young child, he had a secret: a garden of his own.

Here, he rolled dirt between his fingers to check if plants needed more rain or sun. He protected roots through harsh winters, so plants could be reborn in the spring. He trimmed flowers, spread soil, studied life cycles. And it was in this very place that George’s love of nature sprouted into something so much more—his future.

Gene Barretta’s moving words and Frank Morrison’s beautiful paintings tell the inspiring life and history of George Washington Carver, from a baby born into slavery to celebrated botanist, scientist, and inventor. His passion and determination are the seeds to this lasting story about triumph over hardship—a tale that begins in a secret garden.

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Baby Astronaut
Written by Dr. Laura Gehl & illustrated by Daniel Wiseman
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Baby Scientist is an adorable board book series that brings fun, accessible science concepts to baby’s world using simple language, recognizable settings, and vibrant art. Read them all with your baby scientist! Baby Astronaut explores the stars and planets in space. She wears her space suit and helmet and rides in a space craft. Can ants live in space? Can plants grow in space? Find out with Baby Astronaut! Don’t miss the other books in this series, including Baby Oceanographer!

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I Love Genetics
Written by Allison Wortche & illustrated by Steve Mack
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Spin the wheel, lift flaps, and push sliders in this colorful and shiny board book designed to introduce genetics to very young readers with simple text and bold artwork. For fans of Quantum Physics for Babies and other board books in the Baby University series.

Calling all scientists! Ready to take a closer look at what makes you special and unique? Do you have straight hair? Or is it curly? Why? Take a closer look and learn about genetics! This colorful novelty board book with bold, fun artwork is designed to introduce scientific concepts to the youngest of explorers. Fun novelty elements—such as lift-the-flaps, a spinning wheel, glitter, foil, gatefolds, and more—combine to create an interactive and educational experience.

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  • Gut Garden: A journey into the wonderful world of your microbiome - Within our bodies hides an entire world of organisms called microbes. They boost our immune systems, digest our food, regulate our metabolism and even impact on our mental health. Through Katie Brosnan’s personable illustrations, we follow the digestive process from the moment the food enters our mouths to the moment waste leaves our bodies. Along the way we learn about this fascinating scientific frontier and gain an insight into the vast ecosystem that exists inside us.

  • Women in Physics | A Science Book For Kids! - Can one girl’s questions change the world? The Science Wide Open series invites your child into the breathtaking world of science! Women in Physics follows a conversation between an inquisitive young girl, who wonders why things move the way that they do, and a scientifically astute narrator, whose answers are crafted to be both accurate and approachable to a young mind. In this way, learning the basics of physics becomes a natural outcome of enjoying the story. Concepts covered in the Women in Physics book include: Matter, Mass, Force, Gravity, Atoms, Elements, X-rays, Radioactivity, Observation, Research, Hypotheses, Experiments, …and more! Science Wide Open also tells the stories of influential female scientists throughout history by weaving together the questions of this spunky young protagonist with the underrepresented but true stories of these women of science! Scientists profiled include Emilie du Chatelet, Laura Bassi, Marie Curie, Irene Joliot-Curie, and Chien-Shiung Wu. The Science Wide Open series has been peer reviewed by a team of over 17 PhDs and science educators, along with hundreds of parents! “You have somehow hit a fine balance between age-appropriateness and factual correctness in both the art and the text.” - Bruce Ravel, BA, MS and PhD in Physics “As a Biology teacher I appreciate the science, and as a dad of girls ages 6 and 3, I love its simplicity. The illustrations grab attention and the content is manageable.” - Sean O’Neill, H.S. biology instructor and parent of two young girls

  • Curiosity - Maybe you remember when a little robotic spacecraft landed on a far-off planet. On August 6, 2012, the rover Curiosity touched down on the rocky surface of Mars—and now she’s ready to guide you through her journey firsthand. From idea to creation and beyond, this fact-filled, stylish book introduces readers to Curiosity and her mission: to discover more about the red planet and search for evidence of life. How did Curiosity get her name? What tools does she use to carry out her tasks? In her own voice, the popular NASA rover tells how and why she traveled more than 350,000,000 miles to explore a planet no human has ever visited . . . and what she’s been doing there. In his debut picture book, Markus Motum brings Curiosity’s story to life in vivid color: the deep blues of space set off the warm, rusted hues of Mars’s dusty red surface, marking this lovable rover and her mission as something special—truly a world apart.

  • Accidental Archaeologists: True Stories of Unexpected Discoveries - Science meets real-life mystery in this adventurous look at incredible unexpected finds that changed history.

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How to Become an Accidental Genius
Written by Elizabeth MacLeod and Frieda Wishinsky & illustrated by Jenn Playford
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Don’t be afraid to try! Make connections! Be persistent! Ask questions and never take no for an answer! Learn the secrets and amazing stories of successful inventors! How to Become an Accidental Genius is full of inspiring tales of famous and lesserknown inventors who have changed the world, from George Washington Carver, Mary Anderson (inventor of the windshield wiper) and inventor and actress Hedy Lamarr to Frank Epperson (of Popsicle fame) and Mary Sherman Morgan (The Woman Who Saved the U.S. Space Race). Readers will be amazed at the inventiveness of these geniuses. The book focuses on inventors from North America but includes stories from around the world. Organized into eleven chapters that highlight the qualities inventors have in common, the book also features profiles of inventive kids and teenagers.

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Winged Wonders: Solving the Monarch Migration Mystery
Written by Meeg Pincus & illustrated by Yas Imamura
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-11

For decades, as the monarch butterflies swooped through every year like clockwork, people from Canada to the United States to Mexico wondered, “Where do they go?” In 1976 the world learned the answer: after migrating thousands of miles, the monarchs roost by the millions in an oyamel grove in Central Mexico’s mountains. But who solved this mystery? Was it the scientist or the American adventurer? The citizen scientists or the teacher or his students? Winged Wonders shows that the mystery could only be solved when they all worked as a team–and reminds readers that there’s another monarch mystery today, one that we all must work together to solve.

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World of Discovery
Written by Richard Platt & illustrated by James Brown
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
An essential compendium of some of the most world-changing discoveries and inventions of all time, from the first use of money to antibiotics and artificial intelligence.
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Charles Darwin's Around-The-World Adventure
Written & illustrated by Jennifer Thermes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

In 1831, Charles Darwin embarked on his first voyage. Though he was a scientist by profession, he was an explorer at heart. While journeying around South America for the first time aboard a ninety-foot-long ship named the Beagle, Charles collected insets, dug up bones, galloped with gauchos, encountered volcanoes and earthquakes, and even ate armadillo for breakfast! The discoveries he made during this adventure would later inspire ideas that changed how we see the world.

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The Bug Girl
Written by Sarah Glenn Marsh & illustrated by Filippo Vanzo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Maria Sibylla Merian was fascinated with insects. But when Maria was a girl in the mid-1600s, superstitions about bugs prevented most people from taking a close look. People thought bugs were evil–and anyone interested in such creatures was surely evil too. That didn’t stop Maria. Filled with curiosity, she began to study and paint them. She even witnessed silkworms form cocoons and transform into moths–discovering metamorphosis! Painting and drawing as she studied, Maria pushed the boundaries of what girls were expected to do, eventually gaining recognition as one of the first entomologists and scientific illustrators. This gorgeously illustrated biography celebrates a fascinating female pioneer who broke boundaries in both the arts and sciences.

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Big and Small, Room for All
Written by Jo Ellen Bogart & illustrated by Gillian Newland
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A captivating look at how a child, fits into the great, big universe around us. “Big sky, big sky, what is bigger than the sky?” In this clever concept book for young readers, award-winning author Jo Ellen Bogart explores the size of animate and inanimate objects and their place in the universe. She introduces children to the concept of “we” — that humans are a big part of the world, but a small part of existence. In the vastness of the universe, with galaxies swirling through space, the book begins with simple words printed on the darkness. Moving closer to our world, we see the solar system, our sun at the center. Closer still, we see the huge ball of fire, which is the sun, and the third planet out from it — our blue Earth. From Earth looming huge on the page, young readers view smaller and smaller objects, from mountain to tree to man to child to kitten to mouse to flea to microscopic beings, amazing in their complexity. Accompanied by artist Gillian Newland’s lavish watercolor paintings, Big and Small, Room for All places the immensity and wonder of space in perspective so young readers comprehend they are part of creation, but a small part of all that exists.

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Astronomy (Baby's Big World)
Written by Alex Fabrizio & illustrated by Kat Uno
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
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Destination: Moon
Written & illustrated by Seymour Simon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

An out-of-this-world exploration of the 1969 Moon landing from children’s science expert Seymour Simon! In July of 1969, NASA sent the Apollo 11 spacecraft to the Moon. Inside were three people: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. They went into lunar orbit a few days later. More than a hundred hours after launch, the word came back: “The Eagle has landed!” In this exciting account of the famous 1969 Moon landing, award-winning science writer Seymour Simon tells the story of the Space Race between the US and the Soviet Union; recalls how families across the world sat captivated in front of their TVs to witness humankind’s first steps beyond Earth; and explains much of the science and technology that got our astronauts to the Moon on that remarkable day. Perfect for young scholars’ school reports, Destination: Moon features clear text, vibrantly colored pages, engaging sidebars, and stunning full-color photographs. This book includes an author’s note, a glossary, a timeline, and an index and supports the Common Core State Standards.

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