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Science And Nature: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about science and nature?

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

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, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about science and nature, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Some Bugs to popular sellers like The Secret Garden to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Lorax.

We hope this list of kids books about science and nature can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Top 10 Books About Science And Nature

The Secret Garden book
#1
The Secret Garden
Thoughts from The Goodfather

The Secret Garden is one of my favorite stories from my childhood. I love Mary’s self discovery and her help to Colin and ultimately Mr. Craven along the way. I love the way she gains color in her cheeks as she experiences the joy of playing and working outside and nurturing a garden and befriending a robin, joys that Martha and Dickon help her discover. I love that she feels the happiness that comes as she moves from a very self-centered character to thinking of others and putting their needs and wellbeing above her own. She also is lovingly forthright and frank with Colin, which helped him develop, too.

chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

After losing her parents, young Mary Lennox is sent from India to live in her uncle’s gloomy mansion on the wild English moors. She is lonely and has no one to play with, but one day she learns of a secret garden somewhere in the grounds that no one is allowed to enter. Then Mary uncovers an old key in a flowerbed – and a gust of magic leads her to the hidden door. Slowly she turns the key and enters a world she could never have imagined.

The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth book
#2
The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth
Written & illustrated by Chris Burkard
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers

This is an all-time favorite children’s book for me. The artwork is stunning and the entire book is a fantastic celebration of our beautiful Earth. This is the first children’s book by award-winning photographer Chris Burkard, and if you’ve seen his photography (@chrisburkard), it’s no surprise that the message of this book is to take time to explore and enjoy beautiful moments. Children might not appreciate that important reminder as much as adults, but they’ll love the pretty illustrations and the peaceful, calm of this book. The words are simple and direct, but that’s part of what makes it powerful.

picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When a young boy in search of joy asks the Earth where he can find happiness, the Earth responds and agrees to show him the way. The boy rushes excitedly through the landscapes that make the Earth most proud—the ocean, the cliffs, the forest, the desert, the mountains, and the top of the world. But the boy soon realizes happiness is much harder to find than he expected.

Some Bugs book
#3
Some Bugs
Written by Angela DiTerlizzi & illustrated by Brendan Wenzel
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

The illustrations in this book are phenomenal! This book shows a lot of different bugs as well as many different things bugs can do. My favorite part is that the ending encourages you to go find bugs outside, and the last page shows all of the bugs included in the books and their names. So fun!

board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Get the buzz on bugs in this Classic Board Book edition of Some Bugs by bestselling author Angela DiTerlizzi!

Grab your magnifying glass! Find your field guide! And come hop, hide, swim, and glide through this buggy backyard world!

Featuring butterflies and moths, crickets and cicadas, bumblebees and beetles, this zippy rhyming exploration of backyard-bug behavior is sure to have young insect enthusiasts bugging out with excitement!

Ruby Holler book
#4
Ruby Holler
Written by Sharon Creech
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“You are now entering Ruby Holler, the one and only Ruby Holler! Your lives are never going to be the same—“

“Trouble twins” Dallas and Florida are orphans who have given up believing there is such a thing as a loving home. Tiller and Sairy are an eccentric older couple who live in the beautiful, mysterious Ruby Holler, but they’re restless for one more big adventure. When they invite the twins to join them on their journeys, they first must all stay together in the Holler, and the magic of the place takes over. Two pairs of lives grow closer and are changed forever.

Baby Bear Sees Blue book
#5
Baby Bear Sees Blue
Written & illustrated by Ashley Wolff
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is one of my very favorite “color” books—it’s calming, highly re-readable, unique and has amazingly illustrations! Plus, the repetition of the structure is great for little “readers”.

board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Explore the world of color with Baby Bear in this clever and adorable story now available as a Classic Board Book!

Baby Bear has so much to learn about the world! From the moment he wakes until it’s time to curl up and go to sleep, he explores outside with his mama. They see green leaves, blue jays, brown trout, and—best of all—a patch of yummy red strawberries.

From bestselling author-illustrator Ashley Wolff, here is a clever concept book that combines engaging and intricate linocut illustrations with a story that enthusiastically encourages children to identify a variety of vibrant colors. Young readers will delight in this chance to join Baby Bear as he discovers the colorful wonders of his lively, leafy forest home.

You Belong Here book
#6
You Belong Here
Written & illustrated by M. H. Clark
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“The stars belong in the deep night sky, and the moon belongs there too, and the winds belong in each place they blow by, and I belong here with you. So begins this classic bedtime book, richly illustrated by award-winning artist Isabelle Arsenault. The pages journey around the world, observing plants and animals everywhere, and reminding children that they are right where they belong. A beautiful title for new babies, adoptive families, and children of all ages. —————- You are a dream that the world once dreamt, And now you are part of its song. That’s why you are here, in the place where you’re meant, For this is right where you belong.”

Color Wonder Hooray for Spring! book
#7
Color Wonder Hooray for Spring!
Written by Chiêu Anh Urban
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This is a great color book, especially for spring time. I especially love how interactive it is with the spinning wheels that change the colors of the flowers throughout the book!

board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Celebrate the bright colors of spring with this hands-on color-play novelty board book! Wake up ladybug, look what’s here? Spring brings red, march and cheer. Join award-winning artist Chiêu Anh Urban in this inventively visual experience that allows readers to mix and match the colors of vibrant flowers right before their eyes. Turn the wheels to create and change the bold colors of spring in this deceptively simple and thoughtfully layered novelty book that teaches the joy and wonder of color.

Miss Rumphius book
#8
Miss Rumphius
Written & illustrated by Barbara Cooney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A beloved classic is lovelier than ever!

Barbara Cooney’s story of Alice Rumphius, who longed to travel the world, live in a house by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful, has a timeless quality that resonates with each new generation. The countless lupines that bloom along the coast of Maine are the legacy of the real Miss Rumphius, the Lupine Lady, who scattered lupine seeds everywhere she went. Miss Rumphius received the American Book Award in the year of publication.

To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of two-time Caldecott winner Barbara Cooney’s best-loved book, Viking has reoriginated the illustrations, going back to the original art to ensure state-of-the-art reproduction of Cooney’s exquisite artwork. The art for Miss Rumphius has a permanent home in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Green book
#9
Green
Written & illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Illustrations and simple, rhyming text explore the many shades of the color green.

Hedy Lamarr's Double Life book
#10
Hedy Lamarr's Double Life
Written by Laurie Wallmark & illustrated by Katy Wu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

To her adoring public, Hedy Lamarr was a glamorous movie star. But in private, she was something more: a brilliant inventor. Now Laurie Wallmark and Katy Wu, who collaborated on Sterling’s critically acclaimed picture-book biography Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code, tell the inspiring story of how, during World War Two, Lamarr developed a groundbreaking communications system that still remains essential to the security of today’s technology.

Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Science And Nature and...

Books About Science And Nature and History

Diana’s White House Garden
Written by Elisa Carbone & illustrated by Jen Hill
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Diana Hopkins lived in a white house. THE White House.

World War II is in full force across the seas. It’s 1943, President Roosevelt is in office, and Diana’s father, Harry Hopkins, is his chief advisor. And Diana wants to be part of the war effort. After some well-intentioned missteps (her quarantine sign on her father’s office door was not well-received), the President requests her help with his newest plan for the country’s survival: Victory Gardens! From award-winning author Elisa Carbone comes the true story of how Diana Hopkins started her own Victory Garden on the White House lawn under the tutelage of Eleanor Roosevelt. With dedication and patience, she showed the nation that the war effort started first on the homefront.

Marie Curie
Written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara & illustrated by Frau Isa
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Meet Marie, the Nobel Prize winning scientist! New in board book format in the Little People, Big Dreams series, this inspiring and informative little biography follows the life of Marie Curie, from her childhood in Poland to conducting pioneering research on radioactivity and going on to become the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. On a Beam of Light - Follows the life of the famous physicist, from his early ideas to his groundbreaking theories.

  2. Stephen Hawking (Little People, BIG DREAMS) - When Stephen Hawking was a little boy, he used to stare up at the stars and wonder about the universe. Although he was never top of the class, his curiosity took him to the best universities in England: Oxford and Cambridge. It also led him to make one of the biggest scientific discoveries of the 20th century: Hawking radiation. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the brilliant physicist’s life.

  3. Adventures in Space - From the brilliant illustrator, Simon Tyler, comes a wonderful compendium of space, space travel and much more. One day our sun will grow…and grow…and grow…until it ends its life as a red giant 400x its current size. Wonder at facts like these, and much more, in the new illustrated guide to Space. Space is fascinating, and in this book Simon Tyler gorgeously illustrates the planets, meteors, rockets and galaxies - even strange phenomena like the speed of light and solar flares!

  4. Amazing Inventions - 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.

Want to see books about history?

Books About Science And Nature and Conservation

National Parks of the USA
Written by Kate Siber & illustrated by Chris Turnham
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Take a tour of America’s great outdoors and discover the beauty and diversity of its most iconic and majestic national parks. Packed with maps and fascinating facts about the flora and fauna unique to each of the 21 parks portrayed, this lushly illustrated coast-to-coast journey documents in large format the nation’s most magnificent and sacred places—and shows why they should be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Don't Let Them Disappear
Written by Chelsea Clinton & illustrated by Gianna Marino
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted comes a beautiful book about the animals who share our planet—and what we can do to help them survive. Did you know that blue whales are the largest animals in the world? Or that sea otters wash their paws after every meal? The world is filled with millions of animal species, and all of them are unique and special. Many are on the path to extinction. In this book, Chelsea Clinton introduces young readers to a selection of endangered animals, sharing what makes them special, and also what threatens them. Taking readers through the course of a day, Don’t Let Them Disappear talks about rhinos, tigers, whales, pandas and more, and provides helpful tips on what we all can do to help prevent these animals from disappearing from our world entirely. With warm and engaging art by Gianna Marino, this book is the perfect read for animal-lovers and anyone who cares about our planet.

Heal the Earth
Written by Bart Davis and Julian Lennon & illustrated by Smiljana Coh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Take a journey to help the Earth in the second book of the New York Times bestselling trilogy by Julian Lennon! Jump aboard the White Feather Flier, a magical plane that can go wherever you want. This time, Lennon’s interactive book immerses children in a fun and unique journey where they can: Bring medicine to people in need! Dive below the ocean to bleached coral reefs! Visit the city to cultivate green spaces! Help the rain forest return and give its animals a home! Explore the planet, meet new people, and help make the world a better place! The Flier’s mission is to transport readers around the world, to engage them in helping to save the environment, and to teach one and all to love our planet. Just press a button printed on the page, and point the plane up in the air to fly, or down to land it! An inspiring, lyrical story, rooted in Lennon’s life and work, Heal the Earth is filled with beautiful illustrations that bring the faraway world closer to young children. The book includes words to a new, special poem written by Julian Lennon, specifically for Heal the Earth. A portion of the proceeds from book sales will go to support the environmental and humanitarian efforts of the White Feather Foundation, the global environmental and humanitarian organization that Lennon founded to promote education, health, conservation, and the protection of indigenous culture.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Thank You, Earth - Acclaimed children’s book author and photographer April Pulley Sayre’s love letter to Earth is a stunning exploration of the beauty and complexity of the world around us. Remarkable photographs and a rich, layered text introduce concepts of science, nature, geography, biology, poetry, and community. April Pulley Sayre, award-winning photographer and acclaimed author of more than sixty-five books, introduces concepts of science, nature, and language arts through stunning photographs and a poetic text structured as a simple thank-you note. Touching on subjects from life cycles to weather, colors, shapes, and patterns, this is an ideal resource for science and language art curriculums and a terrific book for bedtime sharing. Thank You, Earth is a great choice for Earth Day celebrations, as well as family and group read-alouds. Includes backmatter with kid-friendly ideas for conservation projects information about the photographs, and additional resources.

  2. I Can Save the Earth! - A new “green” series!: Little Green Books will educate children on what they can do to be more eco-friendly. The books in this line will be made from recycled materials, and the storylines will cover subjects such as improving the environment, learning about endangered animals, recycling, and much more. Meet Max the Little Monster. He is a cute, furry green monster who is an environmental nightmare. Among other things, he leaves on all the lights, keeps his computer plugged in, blasts the TV, hoards his old toys and uses so much toilet paper it clogs the toilet until finally, his excessive ways cause a power outage. With no TV to watch, computer to play on, video games to play with, Max finds there is a whole big world outside that he can make a difference in the environment. Kids can follow Max the Little Green Monster’s journey to environmental awareness and learn tips on how they can become little green monsters themselves. A kid-friendly glossary of terms is included in the back of the book. This 8x8 paperback is perfect bound and will be printed on 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper with soy-ink. The paper is FSC certified.

  3. Extinct: An Illustrated Exploration of Animals That Have Disappeared - A gorgeously illustrated tribute to animals that no longer live on our planet, paired with information on how we can save future species This exploration of animals that we have lost over the past century, from the California grizzly to the Persian tiger, aims to create awareness and inspire children to act responsibly toward their environment. Each animal’s story of how it came to extinction is told through graphically stunning illustrations and information packed spreads. Further scientific resources and profiles of animals that have been rediscovered or successfully reintroduced into the wild empower children with the knowledge and tools necessary to aid in conservation and encourage sustainability.

Books About Science And Nature and Birds

Mrs. Peanuckle's Bird Alphabet
Written by Mrs. Peanuckle & illustrated by Jessie Ford
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

From the albatross to the zebra finch, Mrs. Peanuckle pulls out her binoculars and introduces toddlers to 26 species of birds from all around the world. Described by a single interesting fact or defining characteristic, each bird proves to be as unique and surprising as the one before. Ever wonder why flamingoes are pink? It’s all those shrimp they eat. Are there birds that can fly backward? Yes, but hummingbirds are the only ones! With colorful, dynamic art, and attention-grabbing text, Mrs. Peanuckle’s birds fly off the page, and in some cases, into the parks and backyards of the children and adults reading this book. Mrs. Peanuckle’s Bird Alphabet is the fifth title in a series of board books celebrating the joy of nature at home and in the backyard, from fresh fruits and vegetables to birds, bugs, and trees.

Hooray for Birds!
Written & illustrated by Lucy Cousins
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

In an exuberant display of color, Lucy Cousins invites little ones to imagine themselves as brilliant birds.

Birds of all feathers flock together in a fun, rhyme-filled offering by the creator of Maisy. From the rooster’s “cock-a-doodle-doo” at dawn to the owl’s nighttime “tuwit, tuwoo,” the cheeps and tweets of many bright and beautiful avian friends will have children eager to join in as honorary fledglings. This day in the life of birds will hold the attention of even the smallest bird-watchers, whether at storytime or just before settling into their cozy nests to sleep.

Shh! We Have a Plan
Written & illustrated by Chris Haughton
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

“A masterful delight, this crafty caper has huge kid appeal and a title/refrain that will easily sneak into the family lexicon: ‘Shh! We have a plan.’ ” —School Library Journal (starred review) Four friends creep through the woods, and what do they spot? An exquisite bird high in a tree! “Hello birdie,” waves one. “Shh! We have a plan,” hush the others. They stealthily make their advance, nets in the air. Ready one, ready two, ready three, and go! But as one comically foiled plan follows another, it soon becomes clear that their quiet, observant companion, hand outstretched, has a far better idea.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Nest That Wren Built - Nature lovers and poetry fans alike will be drawn to this lyrical picture book depicting how Carolina wrens build a nest for their young. This is the bark, snippets of twine,
    spidery rootlets, and needles of pine
    that shape the nest that Wren built.
    In the rhyming style of “The House That Jack Built,” this poem about the care and specificity that Carolina wrens put into building a nest is at once tender and true to life. Papa and Mama Wren gather treasures of the forest, from soft moss for a lining to snakeskin for warding off predators. Randi Sonenshine’s lilting stanzas, woven with accurate and unexpected details about Carolina wrens, and Anne Hunter’s gentle, inviting illustrations reveal the mysterious lives of these birds and impart an appreciation for the wonder of the life cycles around us. Back matter includes a glossary and additional interesting facts about wrens.

  2. Ivy Bird - “An enchanting portrayal of one girl’s delight in a creature and the many ways they can engage and inspire.” — ALA Booklist Ivy spends her day with the birds—sipping nectar and splashing in the pond in this joyfully written celebration of birds and imaginative play from an award-winning author-and-illustrator team. Ivy Bird is a celebration of the natural world and the joy found in imaginative play. Perfect for reading aloud, this book will delight children with its search-and-find elements, bright illustrations, and exuberant story. A nonfiction element, two pages bursting with colorful bird illustrations, encourages readers to seek out birds in their own neighborhoods. Printed on FSC-certified paper with vegetable-based inks.

  3. Bird Count - A young girl eagerly identifies and counts the birds she observes around her town during the New England Christmas Bird Count. Young Ava and her mother prepare to participate as “citizen scientists” in the Christmas Bird Count. She is excited when Big Al, the leader of their team, asks her to record the tally this year. Using her most important tools―her eyes and ears―and the birding ID techniques she’s learned, Ava eagerly identifies and counts the birds they observe on their assigned route around the town. At the end of the day, they meet up with the other teams in the area for a Christmas Bird Count party, where they combine their totals and share stories about their observations. This informative story by author Susan Edwards Richmond, coupled with Stephanie Fizer Coleman’s charming depictions of birds in their winter habitats, is the perfect book to introduce young readers to birdwatching. The text offers simple explanations of the identification methods used by birdwatchers and clear descriptions of bird habitats, and a section in the back provides more information about the birds featured in the book and the Christmas Bird Count.

  4. Little Owl's Night - It’s evening in the forest and Little Owl wakes up from his day-long sleep to watch his friends enjoying the night. Hedgehog sniffs for mushrooms, Skunk nibbles at berries, Frog croaks, and Cricket sings. A full moon rises and Little Owl can’t understand why anyone would want to miss it. Could the daytime be nearly as wonderful? Mama Owl begins to describe it to him, but as the sun comes up, Little Owl falls fast asleep. Putting a twist on the bedtime book, Little Owl’s Night is sure to comfort any child with a curiosity about the night.

Want to see books about birds?

Books About Science And Nature and Water

Let's Dive: Into the Ocean
Written by Timothy Knapman & illustrated by Wesley Robins
board book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Search, find, and swim under the sea with this nonfiction adventure! Dive deep into the ocean in a fun, layered seek-and-find! Visit a colorful coral reef, explore shipwreck, and swim to the deepest parts of the ocean with this nonfiction treasure. Turn the pages and learn all about different ocean habitats as you search for fun surprises on every spread. This interactive undersea adventure will keep you informed and entertained!

Over and Under the Pond
Written by Kate Messner & illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In this gorgeous companion to the acclaimed Over and Under the Snow and Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal bring to life a secret underwater world. In this book, readers will discover the plants and animals that make up the rich, interconnected ecosystem of a mountain pond. Over the pond, the water is a mirror, reflecting the sky. But under the pond is a hidden world of minnows darting, beavers diving, tadpoles growing. These and many other secrets are waiting to be discovered…over and under the pond.

Paper World: Planet Earth
Written & illustrated by Bomboland
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

This guide to our planet shows paper being engineered like never before. Paper World: Planet Earth uses ingenious paper cutouts to reveal the amazing details of our planet, from bubbling volcanoes to rushing rivers to the boiling hot interior of the Earth. With detailed art by studio Bomboland, a fact-filled text, and flaps and die-cuts on every spread, this one-of-a-kind novelty book will appeal to readers of all ages.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Rivers: A Visual History from River to Sea - This breathtaking journey along the most important rivers in the world takes us from the Nile to the Amazon, the Mekong Delta to the Mississippi, the Murray to the Waikato. Our seas and rivers tell a compelling story about our planet. Through tracking the life source of people, animals and the land itself, Peter Goes brings alive our history and our lives today. Each illustration includes major events and historical figures connected with its river, but also favorite stories and icons. This absorbing, playful book shows who we are, how we live and the myths we weave around our people and places.

  2. O Is for Ocean - A is for anemone B is for barracuda C is for clown fish . . . With F for the flounder, K for kelp, and T for tide pool, going from A to Z has never been more fun! Take an alphabetized voyage under the sea and discover the plants, animals, and places that make the ocean so amazing!

  3. Hey, Water! - Splash! A spunky little girl plays a spirited game of hide-and-seek with water, in this gorgeously illustrated nonfiction picture book.

  4. Nerdy Babies: Ocean - In Nerdy Babies: Ocean, follow our intrepid infants into the watery depths. Check out animals, plants, and fish that live in the ocean. Plus, learn about the unique ecosystem in this simple text written in question and answer format. With bright artwork and an engaging design, this will be a book that the very littlest nerds will want to return to again and again. Stay curious. There’s more to learn about everything!

Want to see books about water?

Books About Science And Nature and Action And Adventure

Vernon Is on His Way
Written & illustrated by Philip C. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Today is a very nice day. There has never been a day so nice as this, except for maybe yesterday. Join Vernon and his friends Skunk and Porcupine on a series of three enchanting adventures entitled Waiting, Fishing, and Gardening, as they comb the forest floor for trinkets and go fishing in their own unconventional way. Award-winning author Philip Stead’s calming text and playful, sincere illustrations will charm and entertain many times over.

Stick and Stone
Written by Beth Ferry & illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

When Stick rescues Stone from a prickly situation with a Pinecone, the pair becomes fast friends. But when Stick gets stuck, can Stone return the favor? Author Beth Ferry makes a memorable debut with a warm, rhyming text that includes a subtle anti-bullying message even the youngest reader will understand. New York Times bestselling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld imbues Stick and Stone with energy, emotion, and personality to spare.

    In this funny story about kindness and friendship, Stick and Stone join George and Martha, Frog and Toad, and Elephant and Piggie, as some of the best friend duos in children’s literature.
The Little Green Girl
Written & illustrated by Lisa Anchin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Mr. Aster, who likes routine, is happy to care for Little Green Girl when she arrives in his garden, but not interested in helping her see the world beyond its walls.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Yellow Kayak - A child and his beloved best friend go on a grand sea adventure in this magical picture book by the author and artist who created If I Had a Little Dream. You just never know what a new day will hold if you are brave enough to find out. On one quiet afternoon, a boy and his special friend’s unexpected adventure bring joy and excitement and sights never imagined. And the best part of any adventure is returning home with stories to tell and you best friend at your side.

  2. There Is a Tribe of Kids - If Lane Smith’s Caldecott Honor Book Grandpa Green was an homage to aging and the end of life, There Is a Tribe of Kids is a meditation on childhood and life’s beginning. Smith’s vibrant sponge-paint illustrations and use of unusual collective nouns such as smack and unkindness bring the book to life. Whimsical, expressive, and perfectly paced, this story plays with language as much as it embodies imagination, and was awarded the 2017 Kate Greenaway Medal.

  3. The Dumpster Diver - Once a month—every week in the summer—Steve the electrician dons special gear and, with the help of youngsters who live in his building, dives into a dumpster seeking useful objects that they can transform into imaginative new ones.

  4. Boil Line - Camp Clearwater is home to best friends Nate, Owen and Mercy. They practically grew up on the Starling River. But the summer they turn sixteen an incident forces the camp to close its doors. Mike Elliot, the river guide who taught the teens everything they know, is lost to the rapids. A tragic accident, everyone agrees. Except for Nate. Mike was the best kayaker he’d ever met. The smartest. The safest. He respected and loved the river, and as far as Nate is concerned, the river loved Mike back. If his instructor was pulled under by the Starling, then Nate is sure foul play was involved. To find the truth, Nate must face his greatest fears as he retraces Mike’s final run through the Black Hole, the most treacherous waters on the Starling.

Books About Science And Nature and Self-esteem

Greta and the Giants: inspired by Greta Thunberg's stand to save the world
Written by Zoe Tucker & illustrated by Zoe Persico
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

This inspiring picture book retells the story of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg—the Swedish teenager who has led a global movement to raise awareness about the world’s climate crisis—using allegory to make this important topic accessible to young children. Greta is a little girl who lives in a beautiful forest threatened by Giants. When the Giants first came to the forest, they chopped down trees to make houses. Then they chopped down more trees and made even bigger homes. The houses grew into towns and the towns grew into cities, until now there is hardly any forest left. Greta knows she has to help the animals who live in the forest, but how? Luckily, Greta has an idea… A section at the back explains that, in reality, the fight against the “giants” isn’t over and explains how you can help Greta in her fight. This book has been printed sustainably in the US on 100% recycled paper. By buying a copy of this book, you are making a donation of 3% of the cover price to 350.org.

The Second Sky
Written by Patrick Guest & illustrated by Jonathan Bentley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An inspiring story about finding your true element

Ever since he first hatched, Gilbert has wanted to fly. But with his big, clumsy feet and small, fluffy wings, learning to fly is a bigger challenge than Gilbert anticipated. His fellow penguins tell him to give up, but Gilbert is sure that if he keeps trying, he’ll be able to soar…

Young readers will fall in love with this sweet, motivating story about overcoming obstacles and discovering your hidden talents.

Day at the Beach
Written & illustrated by Tom Booth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A day at the beach becomes a lesson in sibling bonding for Gideon in this magical picture book.

Every summer, Gideon and his younger sister Audrey build a sand castle—together. But this summer, everything changes. Gideon is going to build the most spectacular sandcastle anyone on the beach has ever seen. And he’s going to do it on his own—without any help from his sister.

But much to his surprise, Gideon discovers that building together is more fun and that everyone has their own unique talent when it comes to creativity and imagination, even Audrey.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Little Gardener - There was once a little gardener and his garden meant everything to him. He worked hard, very hard, but he was just too little (or at least he felt he was). In this beautifully gentle tale, Emily Hughes, the celebrated author of Wild, once again transports us to a world not unlike our own, but still brimming with fantasy and wonder.

  2. On the Night You Were Born - On the night you were born, you brought wonder and magic to the world. The moon stayed up till morning. Polar bears danced. Here is a book that celebrates the one and only ever you! Now available in its entirety in board book format, Nancy Tillman’s masterpiece is perfect for acknowledging the special people in our lives that they are loved.

Books About Science And Nature and Spring

Spring
Written & illustrated by David A. Carter
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Just in time for spring, this is the second book in the Carter pop-up book series about the seasons. Each spread has a very brief verse and depicts common springtime flora and fauna. All things pictured are labeled (robins, water lilies, deer and fawns, cherry trees, etc.). The text is simple for very young readers to understand and enjoy.

And Then It's Spring
Written by Julie Fogliano & illustrated by Erin E. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Simple text reveals the anticipation of a boy who, having planted seeds while everything around is brown, fears that something has gone wrong until, at last, the world turns green. By the Caldecott-winning artist of A Sick Day for Amos McGee.

My Mama Had A Dancing Heart
Written by Libba Moore Gray & illustrated by Raúl Colón
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A ballet dancer recalls how she and her mother would welcome each season with a dance outdoors

Honorable Mentions
  1. Hop - Baby bunnies go on a spring day adventure in this delightful Classic Board Book from acclaimed artist and author Jorey Hurley. A perfect gift for your little one’s Easter basket! Listen. Follow. Hide. Snuggle. A quiet spring day holds unpredictable adventure when a mother rabbit leads her three bunnies out to explore. Their world seems playful at first, but it can suddenly turn dangerous. The natural world holds unpredictable adventures for them at every turn. Celebrate the beauty of spring with this vibrant Classic Board Book that’s a perfect read-aloud for parents and little ones to share.

  2. When Spring Comes - The award-winning, bestselling husband-and-wife team of Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek collaborate for the first time since their acclaimed picture book Birds. Before spring comes, the trees are dark sticks, the grass is brown, and the ground is covered in snow. But if you wait, leaves unfurl and flowers blossom, the grass turns green, and the mounds of snow shrink and shrink. Spring brings baby birds, sprouting seeds, rain and mud, and puddles. You can feel it and smell it and hear it—and you can read it! Kevin Henkes uses striking imagery, repetition, and alliteration to introduce basic concepts of language and the changing of the seasons. And Laura Dronzek’s gorgeous, lush paintings show the transformation from quiet, cold winter to the joyful newborn spring. Watch the world transform when spring comes!

Want to see books about spring?

Books About Science And Nature and Outer Space

Moon! Earth's Best Friend
Written by Stacy McAnulty & illustrated by Stevie Lewis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From writer Stacy McAnulty and illustrator Stevie Lewis, Moon! Earth’s Best Friend is a light-hearted nonfiction picture book about the formation and history of the moon—told from the perspective of the moon itself…

Meet Moon! She’s more than just a rock—she’s Earth’s rock, her best friend she can always count on. Moon never turns her back on her friend (literally: she’s always facing Earth with the same side!). These two will stick together forever. With characteristic humor and charm, Stacy McAnulty channels the voice of Moon in this next celestial “autobiography” in the Our Universe series. Rich with kid-friendly facts and beautifully brought to life by Stevie Lewis, this is an equally charming and irresistible companion to Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years and Sun! One in a Billion.

If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon
Written by Joyce Lapin & illustrated by Simona Ceccarelli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Blast off to an extraterrestrial birthday celebration where young partygoers get to romp in a low-gravity playground; discover that candles and balloons behave weirdly in the lunar atmosphere; and learn why the “moon angels” they make in the dust will last for millennia. This cool picture book combines fun and facts to explain the science behind each surprise in terms children can easily grasp.

Stars
Written by Mary Lyn Ray & illustrated by Marla Frazee
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Celebrate all of the glittering stars in the sky in this tender Classic Board Book by acclaimed author Mary Lyn Ray and Caldecott Honor winner Marla Frazee!

A star is how you know it’s almost night. As soon as you see one, there’s another, and another. And the dark that comes doesn’t feel so dark. What if you could have a star?

Look very closely in this lovely Classic Board Book for all kinds of stars both near and far…because stars are everywhere. Not just in the sky.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Heart on Pluto - Love is everywhere, even in the fartherst reaches of the Solar System. On NASA’s first-ever mission to Pluto, the New Horizons satellite discovers that even when you’re far from home, you are loved. New Horizons was the first NASA satellite to visit and take close-up images of Pluto. And though the journey was long and challenging, New Horizons discovered a message of love in the heart-shaped nitrogren ice lake on Pluto’s surface.

  2. Where's the Astronaut? - Celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing with little ones by lifting the felt flaps to discover four hidden space-themed friends. Then find the mirror under the final flap! Parents love these books because they are simple yet robust, and little readers adore them because they’re fun and easy to play with.

  3. National Geographic Kids Little Kids First Board Book: Space - National Geographic spins off its best-selling Little Kids First Big Book series into engaging new board books to introduce even the littlest kids to high-quality nonfiction. These sturdy pages explore the basics of the solar system with amazing photographs, super-simple facts, and lively, age-appropriate language to keep babies and toddlers—and their grown-ups—fascinated by every colorful page. With stunning photos of the Earth and other planets, this beautiful book introduces the very youngest explorers to the wonders of the space, beginning right here on Earth and expanding into the universe beyond. Designed to be the stepping stone to the Little Kids First Big Book series, the National Geographic Little Kids First Board Books take similar subjects and drill them down to the simplest nonfiction concepts for the youngest audience. Not only will readers learn about planets and our solar system, they can also find recurring shapes and patterns in the design; occasional callouts will add humor for adults, and sidebar text offers additional learning for older siblings or those ready for more complex information.With their square shape, bright and playful design, awesome photography, clear text, and cues to encourage interactive learning, the Little Kids First Board Books mirror the beloved First Big Books while taking a fresh new approach to excite a baby’s sense of wonder and make learning about nature and science fun.

  4. Spectacular Space - Aspiring astronauts will love discovering wonderful trivia about outer space, from the first flower grown out there to the fact that Saturn could float in water! There are fun tidbits about tortoises orbiting the Moon, Martian rocks, and lightning bolts longer than our galaxy! Also, you’ll laugh out loud when you see the funny illustrations of Einstein surfing a gravitational wave and pizza floating through space!

Books About Science And Nature and Feelings And Emotions

From Tree To Sea
Written by Shelley Moore Thomas & illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From a child’s point of view, this lyrical picture book looks at the relationship of nature to the human world and the place we call home.

From the edge of the sea to a high mountain top, everything has its place in the world and all living things are connected. The world around us has a lot to tell us if we take the time to look and listen. This tender and comforting picture book celebrates the wisdom in many of the things great and small that make up our wonderful world.

The Pout-Pout Fish Cleans Up the Ocean
Written by Deborah Diesen & illustrated by Dan Hanna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Mr. Fish and his friends have noticed something strange in their ocean—a big, big MESS! How did it get there? What can they do about it? The closer they look, the more they see where the mess came from . . . and they’ll have to work together to get rid of it. This newest jacketed hardcover in the New York Times–bestselling Pout-Pout Fish series will teach little guppies how to take responsibility for their actions and for the environment.

Happy Happier Happiest
Written by Corina Fletcher & illustrated by Natalie Marshall
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

How are you doing today? This charming pull-tab novelty book explores different feelings! Who’s shy? Happy? Silly? Come to the ocean to see how the animals are feeling—and learn about superlatives, too. No fish in the crowded school is lonely, but a solitary, slow swimmer is. Another fish, even further behind, is lonelier still, and a third, far away from everyone, is loneliest of all. The book ends with the sweetest, sleepiest seal, whose eyes shut as you pull the tab.

Honorable Mentions
  1. My Mindful Walk with Grandma - When a girl walks through the woods with her grandma, she’s so excited about reaching their destination that she misses out on what’s around her. But with Grandma’s help, she learns how to breathe, be peaceful, and notice the little surprises along the way. Find mindfulness in nature through this gentle story.

  2. Something Extraordinary - Amazing things are happening all around you. You just need to know where to look—and this whimsical picture book is the perfect place to start. Have you ever wished for something extraordinary? Like the ability to fly? Or to breathe underwater? What if you could talk to animals? It’s fun to wish for amazing things. But take a look around, and you just might find that the most “ordinary” things…can be extraordinary.

  3. A Way with Wild Things - Poppy’s not flashy, but she stands out in her own way. This charming book about a girl who loves nature celebrates quieter kids. Poppy Ann Fields loves bugs—sitting in the grass singing with cicadas, carrying on conversations with ladybugs—and feels much more at home outside with six-legged friends than with other people. Inside, Poppy prefers to disappear into the background. Some might call her a wallflower. But when Grandma Phyllis turns 100, Poppy must go to the party. She wears a dress that blends into the garden setting, so she’s almost invisible, until a very special bug lands on Grandma Phyllis’s cake. Poppy can’t resist popping out to see it. Soon, the rest of the party guests notice this beautiful wild thing—Poppy and the dragonfly! With a gently poetic text from newcomer Larissa Theule and wildly charming illustrations by Sara Palacios, this story shows that sometimes a wallflower is actually a wildflower.

  4. Starcrossed - A resonant story of two friends trying to maintain their relationship from afar with dazzling results, filled with wishes, curiosity, and bravery. From award-winning author-illustrator Julia Denos. She was made of blood and bones, and he was made of space and stars.  Back in a time when there were still students of the stars, there were two friends, Acamar and Eridani. Eridani was a star pupil studying the night skies, and Acamar . . . well, he was made of the stuff she studied. In a star-crossed twist of fate, these long-distance friends find they’ve wished themselves into unexpected new worlds. Filled with stardust and moonglow, this cosmic adventure shows us how even the most brilliant wishes can have a mind of their own—and that true friendship can endure, despite time and space.

Books About Science And Nature and Trees

Tap the Magic Tree
Written & illustrated by Christie Matheson
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The acclaimed interactive picture book about the changing seasons. “Like Hervé Tullet’s Press Here, Matheson’s Tap the Magic Tree proves you don’t need apps for interactivity,” praised the New York Times.

Every book needs you to turn the pages. But not every book needs you to tap it, shake it, jiggle it, or even blow it a kiss

The Night Gardener
Written & illustrated by Eric Fan and Terry Fan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Everyone on Grimloch Lane enjoys the trees and shrubs clipped into animal masterpieces after dark by the Night Gardener, but William, a lonely boy, spots the artist, follows him, and helps with his special work.

Little Tree
Written & illustrated by Loren Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

For graduates, for their parents, for anyone facing change, here is a gorgeously illustrated and stunningly heartfelt ode to the challenges of growing up and letting go. A story of the seasons and stepping stones as poignant for parents as for their kids, from the creator of Otis the tractor and illustrator of Love by Matt de la Pena.

“Long’s gentle but powerful story about a young tree who holds tight to his leaves, even as everyone else lets theirs drop, takes on nothing less than the pain and sorrow of growing up. . . . As in Long’s unaccountably profound books about Otis the tractor, a pure white background somehow adds to the depth.”—The New York Times Book Review

In the middle of a little forest, there lives a Little Tree who loves his life and the splendid leaves that keep him cool in the heat of long summer days. Life is perfect just the way it is.

Autumn arrives, and with it the cool winds that ruffle Little Tree’s leaves. One by one the other trees drop their leaves, facing the cold of winter head on. But not Little Tree—he hugs his leaves as tightly as he can. Year after year Little Tree remains unchanged, despite words of encouragement from a squirrel, a fawn, and a fox, his leaves having long since turned brown and withered. As Little Tree sits in the shadow of the other trees, now grown sturdy and tall as though to touch the sun, he remembers when they were all the same size. And he knows he has an important decision to make.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Mrs. Peanuckle's Tree Alphabet - Whether they’re short or tall, pruny or smooth, full of berries or flowers or nuts, the 26 types of trees in this alphabet primer are sure to surprise and delight the youngest of readers (and their parents). After all, trees do more for us than sway in the wind. Did you know incense Cedars are perfect for making pencils? (So we can practice writing our ABCs.) Or that Katsura trees are great for climbing? (So we can discover more about trees!) With playful text, bright illustrations, and pages as strong as an oak, Mrs. Peanuckle’s trees will engage toddlers and take them on an alphabet adventure through the natural world. Mrs. Peanuckle’s Tree Alphabet is the sixth and final title in a series of board books celebrating the joy of nature at home and in the backyard, from fresh fruits and vegetables to birds, bugs, and trees.

  2. A Tree is Nice - “Trees are very nice,” says Janice May Udry in her first book for children. She goes on to explain that even one tree is nice, if it is the only one you happen to have. Some of the reasons why trees are so good to have around are funny. Some are indisputable facts. But in all of them there is a sense of poetic simplicity and beauty which will be sure to entrance any young child. Whether he knows one tree or many, he will relish the descriptions of the delights to be had in, with, or under a tree. Marc Simont’s joyous pictures, half of them in full color, accentuate the child-like charm of the words. And each painting of a tree or trees shows just how very nice they can be.

  3. The Lorax - Celebrate nature with Dr. Seuss and the Lorax in this classic picture book about protecting the environment! I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. Dr. Seuss’s beloved story teaches kids to speak up and stand up for those who can’t. With a recycling-friendly “Go Green” message, The Lorax allows young readers to experience the beauty of the Truffula Trees and the danger of taking our earth for granted, all in a story that is timely, playful, and hopeful. The book’s final pages teach us that just one small seed, or one small child, can make a difference. Printed on recycled paper, this book is the perfect gift for Earth Day and for any child—or child at heart—who is interested in recycling, advocacy, and the environment, or just loves nature and playing outside. Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. “Pretty much all the stuff you need to know is in Dr. Seuss.” –President Barack Obama

  4. Oliver's Tree - A board book about three adorable best friends! Oliver, Charlie, and Lulu love to play outside together. Their favorite game is hide-and-seek, but it’s not fun for Oliver when his friends hide in the trees—he can’t reach them! So the friends set off to find a tree that Oliver can play in. But there’s a reason we don’t see elephants in trees, and just when Oliver is ready to give up the search, Charlie and Lulu surprise him with the perfect tree for them all to play in together!

Want to see books about trees?

Books About Science And Nature and Female Scientists

Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles
Written by Patricia Valdez & illustrated by Felicita Sala
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Back in the days of long skirts and afternoon teas, young Joan Procter entertained the most unusual party guests: slithery and scaly ones, who turned over teacups and crawled past the crumpets…. While other girls played with dolls, Joan preferred the company of reptiles. She carried her favorite lizard with her everywhere—she even brought a crocodile to school!

When Joan grew older, she became the Curator of Reptiles at the British Museum. She went on to design the Reptile House at the London Zoo, including a home for the rumored-to-be-vicious komodo dragons. There, just like when she was a little girl, Joan hosted children’s tea parties—with her komodo dragon as the guest of honor.

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin
Written by Julia Finley Mosca & illustrated by Daniel Rieley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

If you’ve ever felt different, if you’ve ever been low, if you don’t quite fit in, there’s a name you should know… Meet Dr. Temple Grandin—one of the world’s quirkiest science heroes!

When young Temple was diagnosed with autism, no one expected her to talk, let alone become one of the most powerful voices in modern science. Yet, the determined visual thinker did just that. Her unique mind allowed her to connect with animals in a special way, helping her invent groundbreaking improvements for farms around the globe!

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin is the first book in a brand new educational series about the inspirational lives of amazing scientists. In addition to the illustrated rhyming tale, you’ll find a complete biography, fun facts, a colorful timeline of events, and even a note from Temple herself!

Me . . . Jane
Written & illustrated by Patrick McDonnell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In his characteristic heartwarming style, Patrick McDonnell tells the story of the young Jane Goodall and her special childhood toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. As the young Jane observes the natural world around her with wonder, she dreams of “a life living with and helping all animals,” until one day she finds that her dream has come true. One of the world’s most inspiring women, Dr. Jane Goodall is a renowned humanitarian, conservationist, animal activist, environmentalist, and United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 1977 she founded the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), a global nonprofit organization that empowers people to make a difference for all living things. With anecdotes taken directly from Jane Goodall’s autobiography, McDonnell makes this very true story accessible for the very young—and young at heart.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Tree Lady - Unearth the true story of green-thumbed pioneer and activist Kate Sessions, who helped San Diego grow from a dry desert town into a lush, leafy city known for its gorgeous parks and gardens. Katherine Olivia Sessions never thought she’d live in a place without trees. After all, Kate grew up among the towering pines and redwoods of Northern California. But after becoming the first woman to graduate from the University of California with a degree in science, she took a job as a teacher far south in the dry desert town of San Diego. Where there were almost no trees. Kate decided that San Diego needed trees more than anything else. So this trailblazing young woman singlehandedly started a massive movement that transformed the town into the green, garden-filled oasis it is today. Now, more than 100 years after Kate first arrived in San Diego, her gorgeous gardens and parks can be found all over the city. Part fascinating biography, part inspirational story, this moving picture book about following your dreams, using your talents, and staying strong in the face of adversity is sure to resonate with readers young and old.

  2. I am Jane Goodall - Learn all about Jane Goodall, the chimpanzee scientist.

  3. Dinosaur Lady -

Books About Science And Nature and Marine Life

The Sea Knows
Written by Alan B. Havis and Alice B. McGinty & illustrated by Stephanie Laberis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Dive in and explore the wonders of the ocean and its inhabitants in this lyrical, fact-filled ode to the sea! This beautifully illustrated picture book features extensive nonfiction backmatter for further exploration.

We are young. The sea is old. The sea has secrets to unfold. The sea knows.

In this playful, rhyming celebration of the marine world, readers can explore all of the wondrous things the sea knows. It knows huge whales and small krill; it knows short crabs and tall giant kelp; it knows brightly colored starfish in shallow pools; and in the inky depths it knows the alluring jewel of an anglerfish’s glowing lure.

Discover all of the strange and magnificent underwater creatures in this accessible tribute to the power and mystery of the ocean.

The Fisherman & the Whale
Written & illustrated by Jessica Lanan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Jessica Lanan’s dreamy and dramatic watercolor paintings bring to life a wordless story about wonder in the natural world. A fisherman takes his son for a trip out on the water. When they encounter a whale entangled at sea, they realize a connection that transcends the animal kingdom.

Octopuses One to Ten
Written by Ellen Jackson & illustrated by Robin Page
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-8

“A fascinating counting journey through the amazing and mysterious world of octopuses”—

Honorable Mentions
  1. Who's Hiding at the Beach? - There are lots of creatures at the beach. Where are they hiding and what are they doing? In this innovative lift-the-flap book, little ones can pore over the beautiful collaged pages and explore under rocks, shells, and seaweed to find out lots of interesting facts about seaside wildlife. This is the perfect introduction to the outdoors.

  2. The Ocean - A highly designed and comprehensive look at the watery wonders of the world. Oceans cover more than 70% of the earth’s surface, and so much science is lurking just underneath! This survey-style book is packed with facts and anecdotes about the creatures and plants that populate these waters—and also features a critical look at why, now more than ever, people need to work to protect them. Filled with fascinating facts and stunning artwork, this flippable nonfiction book has an extra-large trim size and is perfect for science lovers, environmentalists, and child and adult fans of gift books like Maps, The Fifty States, and Animalium.

  3. Hello, World! Ocean Life - All young children love to play in the waves at the beach. Now here’s a Hello, World! board book that teaches them all about oceans and the creatures and plants that live there.

Books About Science And Nature and Flowers

Plant the Tiny Seed
Written & illustrated by Christie Matheson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

There is magic in every tiny seed. The seeds that come in little paper packets and those that fall from flowers and plants. In every garden and every flowerpot, magic can grow. With a little sunlight, a little water, and a little help from birds and worms and bees, a tiny seed sprouts, a plant grows, and a beautiful f lower blooms. There is magic in every tiny seed. And in this book, you become the magician. How? Press the seed into the ground, wiggle your fingers to add water, clap to bring the sun. And then . . .turn the page. What can grow from one tiny seed? Press, tap, wiggle, and jiggle to start the magic! Press the seed—don’t be shy! Wiggle your fingers to add some water. Clap your hands to bring the sun. Wow! A beautiful flower!

One Whole Bunch
Written by Mary Meyer & illustrated by Sara Gillingham
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

In this new book illustrated by award-winning artist and designer Sara Gillingham, a boy gathers a bunch of flowers for a beautiful bouquet for his mother in this simple and sweet story that features a counting element: 10 to 1.

Norton and Alpha
Written & illustrated by Kristyna Litten
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-7

Battered wheels, rusty cogs, broken springs: Norton, an adorable robot, collects this junk and uses it to create amazing inventions. But one day he and his dog Alpha find something they ve never seen before: a flower! At first, they re baffled . . . but when a seed blossoms into a flowery field, the two discover the true magic of nature. Includes a big, stunning gatefold!”

Honorable Mentions
  1. Mrs. Peanuckle's Flower Alphabet - From the aster to the zinnia, Mrs. Peanuckle introduces very young children to 26 types of flowers from across the globe. For each one, she offers a single defining characteristic, some of them very surprising. Did you know that there are twice as many orchid species as bird species? It’s true! Do flowers taste good? Birds, bees, and butterflies sure think so! You’ll even find flowers in certain teas. With bold, colorful pages, strong graphic art, and exciting design, these flowers are certain to be remembered by the children and adults who share this book. Mrs. Peanuckle’s Flower Alphabet is the third title in a series of board books celebrating the joy of nature at home and in the backyard, from fresh fruits and vegetables to birds, bugs, and trees.

  2. The Night Flower: The Blooming of the Saguaro Cactus - An exquisitely illustrated nonfiction picture book about a desert flower that blooms for just one night a year As the summer sun sets over the Sonoran desert in Arizona, wildlife gathers to witness a very special annual event. The night flower is about to bloom. For a few short hours, the desert is transformed into a riot of color and sound as mammals and insects congregate for this miracle of nature. Explore the fascinating desert ecosystem, from pollinating fruit bats to howling mice and reptilian monsters, in this beautiful nonfiction picture book.

  3. Sun Flower Lion -

  4. Miss Maple's Seeds - Fans of Miss Rumphius will adore this gorgeous picture book which introduces the kind, nature-loving Miss Maple, who celebrates the miracle in each seed. Miss Maple gathers lost seeds that haven’t yet found a place to sprout. She takes them on field trips to explore places to grow. In her cozy maple tree house, she nurtures them; keeping them safe and warm until it’s time for them to find roots of their own, and grow into the magnificent plants they’re destined to become. Eliza Wheeler’s luminous paintings feature gorgeous landscapes, lush foliage and charming details. Her tender story celebrates the potential found in each seed—since even the grandest tree and most brilliant flower had to grow from the smallest of seeds. Celebrate every season with Miss Maple, from Earth Day to graduations to harvest festivals.

Want to see books about flowers?

Books About Science And Nature and The World

The World Shines for You
Written by Jeffrey Burton & illustrated by Don Clark
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

A gorgeous keepsake book that shines with emotion and foil on every spread, The World Shines for You is full of illumination and hope—perfect for the youngest readers in your life. There is a tree in the forest There are leaves on the wind There are clouds in the sky There are snowflakes drifting down A simple story connects the world, the seasons, change, and everything that shimmers in life with show-stopping foil, embossing, and spot UV on every page. This artistic and heartwarming first book truly says what every parent wants to share with their little ones: The World Shines for You.

Landmarks
Written & illustrated by Katie Wilson
board book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

Applying the tactile features of Montessori teaching, this innovative board book uses enhanced spot UV treatments to teach little ones about famous monuments from around the world, including the Eiffel Tower, The Statue of Liberty, and the Great Wall of China. One-of-a-kind colorful illustrations, sturdy board pages, and no moveable parts make this a unique addition to an early learning collection.

Inside Outside
Written by Anne-Margot Ramstein & illustrated by Matthias Aregui
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the creators of Before After comes another striking book of opposites, this time exploring the concepts of within and without with bright, bold graphics. Safe inside its shell, a baby bird prepares to brave the world. A spelunker descends into a wide and glittering cavern while fellow explorers cluster around a crack in the earth. Fire-red ants march busily around their anthill, oblivious of a hungry anteater waiting above. Smart and stylish, this oversize art book takes a unique approach to the concept of inside and outside, offering clever and unexpected examples that will delight readers and spark conversations about context and perspective. Inside Outside is sure to find a place in collections, on coffee tables, in classrooms, and anywhere curious minds can be found.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Most of the Better Natural Things in the World - A tiger carries a dining room chair on her back. But why? Where is she going? With just one word per page, in lush, color-rich landscapes, we learn about the features that make up our world: an archipelago, a dune, an isthmus, a lagoon. Across them all, the tiger roams. This enigmatic investigation of our world’s most beautiful places from bestselling author Dave Eggers is beautifully illustrated by debut artist Angel Chang.

  2. What a Waste - Everything you need to know about what we’re doing to our environment, good and bad, from pollution and litter to renewable energy and plastic recycling. This environmental book will teach young ecologists about how our actions affect planet Earth. Discover shocking facts about the waste we produce and where it goes. Did you know that every single plastic toothbrush ever made still exists? Or that there’s a floating mass of garbage twice the size of Texas drifting around the Pacific Ocean? It’s not all bad news though. As well as explaining where we’re going wrong, What a Waste shows what we’re doing right! Discover plans already in motion to save our seas, how countries are implementing schemes that are having a positive impact, and how your waste can be turned into something useful. Every small change helps our planet!

  3. Our World Is Relative - Size, speed, weight, direction, distance We think of space and time as fixed and measurable. But these measurements—our experience of space and time—they are relative. Our world is relative. With simple, engaging text and vibrant art imbued with light and movement, Our World Is Relative offers a child’s-eye view of time, space, and the vast role that relativity plays in comprehending our world. It’s an introduction to Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, perfect for any curious young scientist.

  4. Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years - Prepare to learn all about Earth from the point-of-view of Earth herself! In this funny yet informative book, filled to the brim with kid-friendly facts, readers will discover key moments in Earth’s life, from her childhood more than four billion years ago all the way up to present day. Beloved children’s book author Stacy McAnulty helps Earth tell her story, and award-winning illustrator David Litchfield brings the words to life.

Want to see books about the world?

Books About Science And Nature and Culture

Chirri and Chirra, In the Tall Grass
Written & illustrated by Yuki Kaneko and Kaya Doi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-8

In their second adventure to reach the US market, Chirri & Chirra become very small, and so are able to explore the magical world hidden away in a mound of tall grass. Filled with friendly, industrious bees and equally inventive bugs, this is a book that brings the lovely particularity of life in Japan––marked by food and nature––to young readers here.

Good Night Outer Banks
Written & illustrated by Mark Jasper and Adam Gamble
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Good Night Outer Banks highlights the Duck Town Boardwalk, North Carolina Aquariums, Jennette’s Pier, Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Carova Beach and wild horses, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Currituck Beach Lighthouse, pirates, ghost crabs, and more. This book is part of the bestselling Good Night Our World series, which includes hundreds of titles exploring iconic locations and exciting, child-friendly themes. Many of North America’s most beloved regions are artfully celebrated in these board books designed to soothe children before bedtime while instilling an early appreciation for the North America’s natural and cultural wonders. Each book stars a multicultural group of people visiting the featured area’s attractions as rhythmic language guides children through the passage of both a single day and the four seasons while saluting the iconic aspects of each place. This charming and educational board book takes young readers on an unforgettable tour of the Outer Banks. From beaches and lighthouses to fishing and sea turtles, no seashell is left unturned!

Stella Diaz Never Gives Up
Written & illustrated by Angela Dominguez
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

From award-winning author Angela Dominguez, comes the novel Stella Diaz Never Gives Up, a novel about a shy Mexican-American girl who becomes an environmental activist and makes a difference in her community. Stella gets a big surprise when her mom plans a trip to visit their family in Mexico! Stella loves marine animals, and she can’t wait to see the ocean for the first time . . . until she arrives and learns that the sea and its life forms are in danger due to pollution. Stella wants to save the ocean, but she knows she can’t do it alone. It’s going to take a lot of work and help from old and new friends to make a difference, but Stella Díaz never gives up! This is the second middle-grade novel from award-winning picture book author and illustrator Angela Dominguez. Based on the author’s experiences growing up Mexican-American, this infectiously charming character comes to life through relatable story-telling including simple Spanish vocabulary and adorable black-and-white art throughout.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Dive in: Swim with Sea Creatures at Their Actual Size - A scuba diver encounters exquisite coral reef creatures in this clever introduction, which includes a gatefold of a reef shark, to one of world’s most alluring—and threatened—habitats. Luminous spreads of true-to-size sea life, from a brilliantly colored rainbow parrotfish to a venomous southern stingray, and a surprise gatefold fit together into one scene in this meticulously illustrated nonfiction picture book. Accompanying the vibrant artwork are descriptions of the 29 creatures that reveal their intriguing habits and more about the Caribbean coral reef they call home. A key included in the back matter shows how the pages smartly fit together. An index, a map, and a section on protecting coral reefs are also included. Budding conservationists will love learning about this vital ecosystem of coral reefs around the world.

  2. Old MacDonald Had a Farm in Oregon - Old MacDonald had a farm . . . in Oregon! In this delightful Oregon twist on the familiar farm tune, the sea lion goes bark bark here, the beaver goes chuck chuck there, and everywhere’s there’s lots of Oregon pride. This chunky layered board book cleverly reveals each Oregon animal and, when closed, forms an adorable pickup truck! Friendly Oregon animals and scenery fill the pages of this irresistible book for kids.

  3. Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom - When Wu Chien Shiung was born in China 100 years ago, most girls did not attend school; no one considered them as smart as boys. But her parents felt differently. Giving her a name meaning “Courageous Hero,” they encouraged her love of learning and science. This engaging biography follows Wu Chien Shiung as she battles sexism and racism to become what Newsweek magazine called the “Queen of Physics” for her work on beta decay. Along the way, she earned the admiration of famous scientists like Enrico Fermi and Robert Oppenheimer and became the first woman hired as an instructor by Princeton University, the first woman elected President of the American Physical Society, the first scientist to have an asteroid named after her when she was still alive, and many other honors.

  4. Southwest Sunrise - From Children’s Literature Legacy Award winner Nikki Grimes and highly-acclaimed illustrator Wendell Minor comes a stunning picture book about the beauty of the natural world and finding a new place to call home. The beauty of the natural world is just waiting to be discovered . . . When Jayden touches down in New Mexico, he’s uncertain how this place could ever be home. But if he takes a walk outside, he just might find something glorious. Flowers in bright shades . . .
    Birds and lizards and turtles, all with a story to tell . . .
    Red rock pillars towering in the distance . . .
    Turquoise sky as far as the eye can see . . .
    Perhaps this place could be home after all. Gorgeously poetic and visually stunning, this story from acclaimed creators Nikki Grimes and Wendell Minor celebrates the beauty of the Southwest as a young boy sees it for the very first time. Acclaim for One Last Word
    A Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Winner
    A New York Times Editor’s Choice

Want to see books about culture?

Books About Science And Nature and African Americans

Come On, Rain
Written by Karen Hesse & illustrated by Jon J Muth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A young girl eagerly awaits a coming rainstorm to bring relief from the oppressive summer heat.

The Bear's Garden
Written by Marcie Colleen & illustrated by Alison Oliver
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Inspired by the true story of a community garden in Brooklyn, New York, The Bear’s Garden by Marcie Colleen is a testament to how imagination and dedication can transform communities and create beauty for everyone in unexpected places.

A little girl sees an empty lot in a city and imagines what it can be.

She sees a place to grow, a place to play, and a place to love.

With the help of her stuffed bear, the girl brings her community together to create a beautiful garden.

An Imprint Book

Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood
Written by Tony Hillery & illustrated by Jessie Hartland
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“An inspiring picture book for youngsters with meaningful ties to the environment, sustainability, and community engagement.” —Booklist
“Hartland’s gouache illustrations wobble endearingly, colorfully capturing the children’s triumph, and the kinetic energy and colorful vibrancy of the city neighborhood.” —Publishers Weekly

Discover the incredible true story of Harlem Grown, a lush garden in New York City that grew out of an abandoned lot and now feeds a neighborhood.

Once
In a big city called New York
In a bustling neighborhood
There was an empty lot.
Nevaeh called it the haunted garden.

Harlem Grown tells the inspiring true story of how one man made a big difference in a neighborhood. After seeing how restless they were and their lack of healthy food options, Tony Hillery invited students from an underfunded school to turn a vacant lot into a beautiful and functional farm. By getting their hands dirty, these kids turned an abandoned space into something beautiful and useful while learning about healthy, sustainable eating and collaboration.

Five years later, the kids and their parents, with the support of the Harlem Grown staff, grow hundreds of pounds of fruits and vegetables a year. All of it is given to the kids and their families. The incredible story is vividly brought to life with Jessie Hartland’s “charmingly busy art” (Booklist) that readers will pore over in search of new details as they revisit this poignant and uplifting tale over and over again.

Harlem Grown is an independent, not-for-profit organization. The author’s share of the proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to Harlem Grown.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Birds - Brilliant graphic illustrations and a gentle, thought-provoking text pay homage to birds and their wonder-inspiring ways. Birds are like thoughts. They come, stay awhile . . . and then fly away. Birds come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They like to chat with one another as they fly high and low in the sky. Birds make music, with songs that are like the loving words of a friend, and we are lucky enough to enjoy those sweet melodies. But best of all, birds are capable of flying wherever they please — they just let their hearts guide them. And we can do that, too, if we use our imaginations. In a lyrical ode to our winged friends, the creator of Trees turns her eye to a diverse class of creatures that has much to teach about transcending the barriers that lie between us.

  2. The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver - 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.

Books About Science And Nature and Environmental Science And Ecosystems

Why Oh Why Are Deserts Dry?
Written by Tish Rabe & illustrated by Aristides Ruiz and Joe Mathieu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Learn about deserts, what they are, and what animals live in them with the Cat in the Hat.

In the Woods
Written by David Elliott & illustrated by Rob Dunlavey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A New York Times best-selling author shares his love for woodland animals in a revealing, beautifully illustrated collection of verse for poetry lovers and budding naturalists.

The animals in the dark woods are secretive, their inner lives a mystery. The stealthy bobcat, the inquisitive raccoon, and the dignified bear waking up from his winter nap are just a few of the glorious animals featured in this clever collection of poems and woodland scenes. This companion to In the Sea, In the Wild, and On the Farm is the first collaboration between David Elliott and Rob Dunlavey, whose colorful, expressive art pairs with the author’s charming poems to create a love letter to the animals of the forest.

Why Should I Recycle?
Written by Jen Green & illustrated by Mike Gordon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Uses color illustrations and simple text to explore the importance and benefits of recycling bottles, cans, plastic, clothes, and paper. Original.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Baby Loves Green Energy! - Big, brainy science for the littlest listeners. Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book explores the climate of our planet and the need to protect it for all babies. Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby’s sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two as well!

  2. Tiny Bird - A narrative nonfiction picture book following a hummingbird’s daunting journey south for the winter, with stunning art. When the last summer flowers open their petals to the slanting sun, it’s time for a tiny hummingbird to dip its beak into the heart of each flower, extracting as much nectar as possible before the hard trip ahead. Today is the day Tiny Bird begins its amazing journey south for the winter, traveling as fast as thirty miles an hour for hundreds of miles on end. The trip is long, with savaging weather and many predators along the way, but Tiny Bird is built for this epic journey and eventually arrives at its winter home. This inspiring and informative story celebrates the important role of a small but mighty creature. For animal enthusiasts, future environmentalists, and fans of Katherine Roy’s How to Be an Elephant.

Books About Science And Nature and Botany

Mrs. Peanuckle's Fruit Alphabet
Written by Mrs. Peanuckle & illustrated by Jessie Ford
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Mrs. Peanuckle’s Fruit Alphabet introduces babies and toddlers to the colorful foods that will help them grow up to be healthy and strong. Children and parents alike will want to devour the fun facts and charming illustrations of fruits from the familiar banana to the not as familiar yumberry.

Mrs. Peanuckle’s Fruit Alphabet is the second in a series of board books celebrating the joy nature brings to young children at home and in the backyard, from fresh fruits and vegetables to birds, bugs, flowers, and trees.

The Bluest of Blues
Written & illustrated by Fiona Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

A gorgeous picture book biography of botanist and photographer Anna Atkins—the first person to ever publish a book of photography After losing her mother very early in life, Anna Atkins (1799-1871) was raised by her loving father. He gave her a scientific education, which was highly unusual for women and girls in the early 19th century. Fascinated with the plant life around her, Anna became a botanist. She recorded all her findings in detailed illustrations and engravings, until the invention of cyanotype photography in 1842. Anna used this new technology in order to catalogue plant specimens—a true marriage of science and art. In 1843, Anna published the book Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions with handwritten text and cyanotype photographs. It is considered the first book of photographs ever published. Weaving together histories of women, science, and art, The Bluest of Blues will inspire young readers to embark on their own journeys of discovery and creativity.

Baby Botanist
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 Botanist studies plants. In her lab coat, she looks at plants both large and small. She finds plants growing in many places.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Ocean Renegades! - “Determined to show Ronnie just how interesting prehistoric life was BEFORE the age of the dinosaurs, Miss Lernin takes her back in time to the six parts of the Paleozoic era to study the earliest lifeforms on Earth, starting with the rise of the vertebrates”—]cProvided by publisher.

  2. The Bug Girl - 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.

  3. Stay Out of the Basement - With their father conducting strange experiments with plants in the basement, Margaret and Casey begin to investigate and soon discover that their father has begun to resemble a plant.

Want to see books about botany?

Books About Science And Nature and Metamorphosis

Tad
Written & illustrated by Benji Davies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From Benji Davies, the award-winning creator of The Storm Whale and illustrator of the Goodnight Already! series, comes a heartwarming and tender tale about courage and growth, featuring a special tadpole named Tad.

Tad is small. In fact, she is the smallest almost-a-frog in the whole, wide pond. That makes it hard for her to do big things like follow her tadsiblings who swim to other parts of the pond when they outgrow the nest.

As her tadbrothers and tadsisters swim up, up, up, they leave poor Tad by her lonesome. That’s until…Big Blub shows up! He’s not only bigger than Tad, but Big Blub isn’t exactly what a tadpole would consider friendly.

Swimming at her own pace, Tad soon learns how to to be bigger than her fears. Benji Davies creates a memorable and timeless tale that proves sometimes the mightiest creature comes in the smallest package.

The Caterpillar and the Polliwog
Written & illustrated by Jack Kent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Impressed by the proud caterpillar’s boast that she will turn into a butterfly when she grows up, a polliwog determines to watch the caterpillar very carefully and turn into a butterfly too.

First the Egg
Written & illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

WHICH CAME FIRST? The chicken or the egg? Simple die-cuts magically present transformation— from seed to flower, tadpole to frog, caterpillar to butterfly.

The acclaimed author of Black? White! Day? Night! and Lemons Are Not Red gives an entirely fresh and memorable presentation to the concepts of transformation and creatiity. Seed becomes flower, paint becomes picture, word becomes story—and the commonplace becomes extraordinary as children look through and turn the pages of this novel and winning book.

First the Egg by bestselling author and illustrator Laura Vaccaro Seeger is a 2008 Caldecott Honor Book and a 2007 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year. This title has Common Core connections.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Hedgehugs and the Hattipillar - In this sequel to Hedgehugs, Horace and Hattie return for another sweet story of friendship. It’s spring! And everything is colorful—rainbows in the sky and flowers blossoming on trees. When Horace and Hattie Hedgehog see a caterpillar become a butterfly and take flight, they decide to try a transformation of their own. When these two best friends put their minds to solving a problem, nothing can stand in their way!

  2. Hedgehugs and the Hattiepillar - In this sequel to Hedgehugs, Horace and Hattie return for another sweet story of friendship. It’s spring! And everything is colorful—rainbows in the sky and flowers blossoming on trees. When Horace and Hattie Hedgehog see a caterpillar become a butterfly and take flight, they decide to try a transformation of their own. When these two best friends put their minds to solving a problem, nothing can stand in their way!

  3. Summer Birds - Documents the work of a young girl, Maria Merian, who lived during the Middle Ages and disproved the theory of spontaneous generation by observing caterpillars as they spun cocoons and emerged as butterflies and moths in the spring. By the author of the Newbery Honor Book, The Surrender Tree.

  4. Caterpillar to Butterfly - How does a caterpillar become a butterfly? Open out the petal-shaped pages, one by one, and watch a transformation unfold. First there’s a tiny egg on a leaf, then a caterpillar hatching, just big enough to see. Look at the caterpillar munching away, growing and shedding layers of skin so it can grow some more. Follow as it spins a thread into a green and golden chrysalis, hanging in the sun. Are you ready to see a glorious transformation when all the page turns are done? Cleverly leading readers through each stage of the caterpillar’s life cycle, Caterpillar to Butterfly is sure to set curiosity into flight.

Books About Science And Nature and New Babies

Maple
Written & illustrated by Lori Nichols
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Lori Nichols’ enchanting debut features an irresistible, free-spirited, nature-loving little girl who greets the changing seasons and a new sibling with arms wide open.

When Maple is tiny, her parents plant a maple tree in her honor. She and her tree grow up together, and even though a tree doesn’t always make an ideal playmate, it doesn’t mind when Maple is in the mood to be loud—which is often. Then Maple becomes a big sister, and finds that babies have their loud days, too. Fortunately, Maple and her beloved tree know just what the baby needs.

A Book of Babies
Written & illustrated by Il Sung Na
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

When the flowers begin to bloom and the world starts turning green, animals everywhere are born . . . including the noisy ducklings!

From the creator of A Book of Sleep and Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit comes a beautiful book of baby animals. Travel with the curious duck and visit babies around the world on their very first day of life.

The Boston Globe calls Il Sung Na’s art “so joyous, so jubilantly colorful, it feels celebratory and poetic even when the story is simple and spare.”

Welcome to Your World
Written by Smriti Prasadam-Halls & illustrated by Jaime Kim
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Traverse the animal kingdom for a gorgeous celebration of the joys of a new baby — and the pleasure of introducing that baby to the wide world — in the perfect gift for new parents.

Welcome, little baby,
round your mama curled.
Welcome, little baby.
Welcome to your world.

With lyrical language and stunning illustrations, Welcome to Your World takes readers from ice-capped mountains to the depths of the sea. Tender scenes between animals and their babies encourage families to join in the loving bond that connects them to one another and to the wonders of our planet. This beautiful book is ideal for sharing with new babies, new parents, and children just venturing out in the world, as best-selling author Smriti Prasadam-Halls and acclaimed illustrator Jaime Kim provide both a celebration of nature and a gentle reminder to protect it.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Green on Green - Discover the joys of nature, seasons, family—and the vibrant colors of them all—in this lyrical picture book from the author of the acclaimed Blue on Blue. A child is on a colorful journey through the seasons, filled with yellow flowers and blue coral in spring and summer and orange pumpkins and green pine forests in fall and winter. All the while, there is another colorful change on the horizon—the birth of a new sibling. With gentle, rhyming text and vivid artwork, this book is a heartfelt celebration of family, nature, seasons, colors, and the wonder and magic of them all.

  2. Hundred Feet Tall - Guess How Much I Love You meets Someday in this gentle read-aloud picture book that shows us that with just the right amount of care and support, even the smallest of seeds can grow to stand one hundred feet tall. Thanks for the love that you’ve shown me Right now I’m so very small But with water and light I will keep gaining height And then one day I’ll stand at a hundred feet tall Hundred Feet Tall is a tender ode to the power of unconditional, immutable love. Because no matter how small you are now, with patience and persistence, with encouragement and devotion, you, too, will someday grow strong.

Want to see books about new babies?

Books About Science And Nature and Bugs And Insects

Bonkers about Beetles
Written & illustrated by Owen Davey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Owen Davey’s dynamic art and witty informational tidbits shine a light on the toughest bugs in the insect world: those brawny beetles! Did you know that there are roughly 400,000 different species of beetles? These incredible creatures make up about 25% of all animals on our planet! Beetles are superbly adapted to life in various climates across the world, wherever trees and flowers are found. From the mighty Goliath beetle to the beautiful iridescent scarab beetle, this captivating and stunningly illustrated guide will teach you everything you need to know about these fascinating insects.

The Leaf Men
Written & illustrated by William Joyce
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When an old woman gets sick and her garden begins to die, the doodle bugs call on the Leaf Men to make things right again.

The Honeybee
Written by Kirsten Hall & illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Buzz from flower to flower with a sweet honeybee in this timely, clever, and breathtakingly gorgeous picture book from critically acclaimed author Kirsten Hall and award-winning illustrator Isabelle Arsenault. Bzzz… What’s that? Do you hear it? You’re near it. It’s closer, it’s coming, it’s buzzing, it’s humming… A BEE! With zooming, vibrant verse by Kirsten Hall and buzzy, beautiful illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault, this celebration of the critically important honeybee is a honey-sweet treasure of a picture book.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Secret of the Egg - Discover the delights of nature with zoologist, poet, and top children’s book author, Nicola Davies. Follow the young adventurer as she explores eggs of all shapes and sizes, where they may be hiding and what secrets could be held within. The easy rhymes encourage children to join in. With zoologically accurate, bright, and exciting illustrations by Abbie Cameron, this book explores the huge variety of animal and insect eggs and is one in a series of rhyming picture books which entertain and educate on a wide range of animals.

  2. A Bee's Difficult Search for Food - Animals face scary challenges every day! These narrative nonfiction books focus on describing the changes to animals habitats that affect the animal’s way of life-or even puts their species at risk of dying out! Readers will learn about the reasons for changes in habitats that affect animals and small steps they can take to help protect them. A scout bee is searching for food for the hive, but finds building development where flowers used to be. She must avoid pesticides and swatting humans. Will she find any nectar for the hive? This narrative nonfiction title includes a range map, notes on how to help bees, further resources, and a glossary.

  3. Little Yellow Bee - Introduces animals & environments Encourages use of fine motor skills Entertains with exploration & surprise Explore a colorful garden with Little Yellow Bee. The chunky board book has especially thick flaps for baby to grasp and lift. Simple sentences reinforce future language structure. Illustrations include lots of details to hold baby’s attention. ISBN: 978-1-68052-083-5 5.0”w x 5.0”h 6 lift-a-flap spreads embossed cover with foil

  4. Slide-N-Seek Earth - Explore a new and exciting way to learn about what’s happening underground with this interactive Slide-N-Seek book. With a turn of the wheel, you’ll see colorful images transform before your very eyes. But don’t stop there, look closer and you’ll discover hidden images throughout every page. Kids will love this fun and educational format while learning about fascinating objects along the way.

Books About Science And Nature and Biology

Baby Medical School: Vaccines
Written by Jon Florance and Cara Florance
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

The popular Baby University series has now expanded into Baby Medical School!

Inside your body, you have a lot of little helpers that work together to keep you healthy. And vaccines are super helpers that make your immune system even stronger! But how? And with what? Let’s find out!

Written by experts, the whimsical artwork and humorous text is perfect for enlightening the next generation of geniuses and creating a love for science they will carry for a lifetime!

Empower children with knowledge so they can visit the doctor with courage and curiosity!

Baby Biochemist: DNA
Written by Cara Florance
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Leading medical expert Cara Florance gives kids the tools they need to learn about the ultimate instructor in the body: DNA

Baby Biochemist: Enzymes
Written by Cara Florance
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

The bestselling Baby University series is bringing little geniuses a whole new division of scientific topics, covered by leading medical expert Cara Florance.

Cause a chain reaction of learning in any child by introducing them to the world of enzymatics! Kids will learn through adorably drawn characters just how much work enzymes do to keep us running. Packed with great information and fun, these super helpers are sure to keep any budding scientist turning page after page.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Baby Biochemist: Proteins -

  2. Baby Medical School: Bacteria and Antibiotics - The popular Baby University series has now expanded into Baby Medical School! Bacteria are very small living things.
    Some bacteria are good and some bacteria are bad.
    Luckily, we have a family of medicine called Antibiotics that can get rid of bad bacteria.
    Let’s find out how it all works! Turn getting sick from something scary into an engaging learning experience! In this installment of the new Baby Medical School series, Cara and Jon Florance break down how and why we get sick with the help of merry microbes and big-eyed bacteria. Kids will love following the adventures of bacteria and antibiotics in their bodies! Written by experts, the whimsical artwork and humorous text is perfect for enlightening the next generation of geniuses and creating a love for science they will carry for a lifetime! Empower your kid with knowledge so they can understand their bodies with courage and curiosity!

  3. ABCs of Biochemistry - The bestselling Baby University series is bringing little geniuses a whole new division of scientific topics, covered by leading medical expert Cara Florance. Help kids get into those lab coats a little earlier with the ABCs of Biochemistry! Packed with researched information and adorable art, any child is sure to be swept away into this new world of amino acids, enzymes, and everything in between. Super Scientist Cara Florance has crafted a book that is easy to read and impossible to put down―for parents and children alike!

Want to see books about biology?

Epilogue

32 books that are just too good to leave off of our science and nature list.
  1. Sometimes Rain - Celebrate the four seasons of the year and all of the fun that comes with them with this lyrical, rhyming picture book from the author of I Heart You. Sometimes it rains, sometimes it snows, sometimes the sun shines, and sometimes the trees change color. But no matter what the seasons bring, there is lots of fun to be had! This lyrical exploration of the four seasons and all of the wonder that they bring is illustrated with vibrant watercolors.

  2. The Secret Garden - BabyLit® is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature. With clever, simple text by Jennifer Adams, paired with stylish design and illustrations by Sugar’s Alison Oliver, these books are a must for every savvy parent’s nursery library. This book introduces your toddler to Burnett’s, The Secret Garden.

  3. Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of Engineering - An introductory primer for kids focusing on the “E” portion of “STEAM” engineering. With original Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci as inspiration, this exciting new volume in the Little Leonardo series introduces kids to many of the different types of engineering they can aspire to. Littles will learn how nine types of engineers design and build all sorts of things, from the tiny microcircuitry in your smartphone to large projects like dams and bridges that transform the very face of the planet. Part of the Little Leonardo’s Fascinating World Series. Greg Paprocki works full-time as an illustrator and book designer. He has illustrated several Curious George books, as well as the BabyLit alphabet books and The Big Book of Superheroes. Bob Cooper is a veteran editor whose twenty-year career has found him working on everything from comic books to art, architecture, and children’s titles.

  4. Planting a Rainbow - This educational and enjoyable book helps children understand how to plant bulbs, seeds, and seedlings, and nurture their growth. Lois Ehlert’s bold collage illustrations include six pages of staggered width, presenting all the flowers of each color of the rainbow.

  1. The Snail And the Whale - When a tiny snail meets a humpback whale, the two travel together to far-off lands. It’s a dream come true for the snail, who has never left home before. But when the whale swims too close to shore, will the snail be able to save her new friend?

  2. Professor Astro Cat's Frontiers of Space - Professor Astro Cat explains everything he knows about the solar system and outer space, including the Big Bang, manned missions to the Moon, and the night sky throughout the months of the year.

  3. Because of an Acorn - Because of an acorn, a tree grows, a bird nests, a seed becomes a flower. Enchanting die-cuts illustrate the vital connections between the layers of an ecosystem in this magical book. Wander down the forest path to learn how every tree, flower, plant, and animal connect to one another in spiraling circles of life. An acorn is just the beginning.

  4. ABC's of Science - This alphabetical installment of the Baby University series is the perfect introduction for even the youngest scientists! A is for Amoeba B is for Bond C is for Conductor From amoeba to zygote, The ABCs of Science is a colorfully simple introduction for babies—and grownups—to a new physics concept for every letter of the alphabet. Written by an expert, each page in this science primer features multiple levels of text so the book grows along with your little scientist.

  1. Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of Science - Little Leonardo s Fascinating World of Science introduces kids to the vast and varied areas of science and the different types of scientists they can aspire to become. Whether it s ancient dinosaur bones unearthed by paleontologists, anthropologists studying different cultures around the globe, or new planets discovered by astronomers, there s bound to be something here any child will find fascinating and appealing.

  2. Animalium - Showcases dozens of full-color animal specimens from around the world in a gallery format, complemented by indentification information and brief descriptions.

  3. A Nest Is Noisy - “Fans will rejoice at the first sight of A Nest Is Noisy,” promises School Library Journal, and they’re right. From the award-winning creators of An Egg Is Quiet, A Seed Is Sleepy, A Butterfly Is Patient, A Rock Is Lively, and A Beetle Is Shy comes this gorgeous and informative look at the fascinating world of nests, from those of tiny bee hummingbirds to those of orangutans high in the rainforest canopy. Poetic in voice and elegant in design, this carefully researched book introduces children to a captivating array of nest facts and will spark the imaginations of children whether in a classroom reading circle or on a parent’s lap.

  4. ABCs of Engineering - A new book in the bestselling series with simple explanations of complex ideas for your future genius! It only takes a small spark to ignite a child’s mind! The ABCs of Engineering introduces babies (and grown-ups!) to a new engineering concept for every letter of the alphabet - including entries for various aspects of engineering like mechanical, architectural, and beyond. With a tongue-in-cheek approach that adults will love, this installment of the Baby University board book series is the perfect way to introduce basic concepts to even the youngest mathematicians.

  1. 100 First Words for Little Geniuses - Are you a theoretical physicist? An engineer? A mathematician? Then of course your baby will be a genius too. But where to begin? Introducing 100 First Words for Little Geniuses, a brainy primer for kids learning their first words! Forget apple and dog. Little geniuses are ready for quark, integral, and thermodynamics. From math to physics to philosophy, these are the words every budding genius needs in his or her vocabulary (even at the age of 2). Packed with fun illustrations and 100 words every genius baby should know, 100 First Words for Little Geniuses is the perfect board book for smart families everywhere.

  2. Ada Lovelace - Meet Ada Lovelace, the British mathematician and daughter of poet Lord Byron. New in the Little People, Big Dreams series, this inspiring and informative little biography follows the colourful life of Lord Byron’s daughter, from her early love of logic, to her plans for the world’s first computer program. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

  3. Charles Darwin's Around-The-World Adventure - 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.

  4. Hello, World! Dinosaurs - All young children love dinosaurs. Now here’s a board book that teaches toddlers all about Triceratops, Stegosaurus, T-rex, and many more—with colors, shapes, sizes, and super-simple facts. Hello, World! is a series designed to introduce first nonfiction concepts to babies and toddlers. Told in clear and easy terms (“T. rex’s arms were very small, even though its body was large”) and featuring bright, cheerful illustrations, Hello, World! makes learning fun for young children. And each sturdy page offers helpful prompts for engaging with your child. It’s a perfect way to bring science and nature into the busy world of a toddler, where learning never stops. Look for all the books in the Hello, World! series: Solar System, Weather, Backyard Bugs, Birds, and My Body.

  1. Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters - Rosie Revere is no stranger to flops and fails, kerfuffles and catastrophes. After all, she’s an engineer, and engineering is all about perseverance! But sometimes, Rosie has a really important project to tackle—one that feels much bigger than herself. When Rosie’s beloved Aunt Rose and her pals the Raucous Riveters—a gaggle of fun-loving gals who built airplanes during World War II—need her help, it’s up to Rosie to save the day. Will Rosie be able to invent a contraption to help one of the Riveters paint in the annual mural competition? After one flop . . . then another . . . and another . . . Rosie starts to lose hope. But thanks to some help from her classmates Iggy Peck and Ada Twist, Rosie creates the Paintapolooza! and, along with the Riveters, rediscovers the meaning of Home.

  2. Hello, Mr. Dodo! - Martha loves birds, so one day when she meets and makes friends with a Dodo, a species supposed to be extinct, in the woods behind her house, she resolves to keep him secret to keep him safe—but sometimes it is hard to keep a big secret.

  3. Good Night, World - This Classic Board Book edition of Good Night, World is a charming bedtime book that celebrates the wonders of the natural world. Good night sun and other stars, good night Saturn, Venus, Mars. Elsewhere in the world it’s light, it’s morning there, but here it’s night. As the sun sets from east to west, this soothing board book takes children on a magical round-the-world journey to bid good night to the world’s natural wonders, from plants and animals to mountains, oceans, and wide desert plains. Willa Perlman’s soothing, lyrical text combines with Carolyn Fisher’s sweeping illustrations to paint a vivid picture of everything, everywhere going to sleep—including an imaginative little boy.

  4. Rube Goldberg's Simple Normal Humdrum School Day - If Rube’s inventions are any indication, “normal” means something very different in the Goldberg household. For Rube, up is down, in is out, and the simplest path to accomplishing an everyday task—like brushing his teeth or getting dressed—is a humorously complicated one. Follow Rube as he sets out on a typical school day, overcomplicating each and every step from the time he wakes up in the morning until the time he goes to bed at night. This book features fourteen inventions, each depicting an interactive sequence whose purpose is to help Rube accomplish mundane daily tasks: a simple way to get ready for school, to make breakfast, to do his homework, and so much more.

  1. Maps - Provides an illustrated collection of maps covering the continents and major nations of the world, detailing cities, landmarks, and cultural icons for each.

  2. Before After - Everyone knows that a tiny acorn into a mighty oak grows, and a caterpillar emerges into a butterfly. But in this clever, visually enchanting volume, it’s also true that a cow can result in both a bottle of milk and a painting of a cow, and an ape in a jungle may become an urban King Kong. Just as day turns into night and back again, a many-tiered cake is both created and eaten down to a single piece. With simple, graphic illustrations sure to appeal to even the youngest of children, this smart exploration of the fascinating theme of before and after will please the most discerning adult readers, too.

  3. Every Color of Light: A Book about the Sky - Gentle and lyrical, Every Color of Light is a bedtime story told by the elements. Every Color of Light opens on a lush, green forest in the rain. Illustrated by the masterful Ryoji Arai, the calm is shattered when the wind picks up and lightning cuts the sky. Yet out of this turbulence, the day blooms bright, the flowers open, and raindrops roll and drip down to the forest floor. The sun sets. The moon rises, and in a pool of water we see its reflection. We go to sleep with the forest, sinking into the pool, into the calm reflection of the moon. Harmonizing our human experience to the natural world, Arai invites the reader to hold imaginative space for our oneness with the natural world. Ryôji Arai was born in Yamagata, Japan, in 1956. He has an illustrative style all of his own: bold, mischievous, and unpredictable. Arai studied art at Nippon University. His art is at once genuine and truly poetic, encouraging children to paint and to tell their own stories. He took the Japanese picture-book world by storm in the 1990s. Since then, he has one multiple awards, including the international Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2005. David Boyd is Assistant Professor of Japanese at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His translations have appeared in Monkey Business International, Granta, and Words Without Borders, among other publications.

  4. Fur, Feather, Fin—All of Us Are Kin - There are so many wild and wonderful animals in our world. Some have fur, some have feathers, some have fins, but all are connected. This fact-filled rhyming exploration of the diversity of the animal kingdom celebrates mammals, birds, insects, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and more! It’s a perfect match for budding naturalists and animal enthusiasts everywhere.

  1. Rosie Revere, Engineer - B is for Bookworm - I love this book! The fun and colorful illustrations and rhyme text are wonderful, but the story and message are the best. Rosie’s a great female role-model and I love that she learns the great lesson that “the only true failure can come if you quit.” Even when embarrassment or failure hold her back, she keeps on trying and recognizes that failure is a step towards success!

  2. When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree - “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” In this imaginative take on that popular saying, a child is surprised to receive a lemon tree from Grandma for her birthday. After all, she DID ask for a new gadget! But when she follows the narrator’s careful—and funny—instructions, she discovers that the tree might be exactly what she wanted after all.

  3. Penguin and Pinecone - Geisel Honor-winning author/illustrator Salina Yoon introduces readers to a beloved character in Penguin and Pinecone—a picture book about friendship that will warm your heart! When curious little Penguin finds a lost pinecone in the snow, their friendship grows into something extraordinary! But Grandpa reminds Penguin that pinecones can’t live in the snow—they belong in the warm forest far away. Can Penguin help Pinecone get home? And can they stay friends, even if they’re miles apart? Prolific author/illustrator Salina Yoon’s spare text and bright, energetic illustrations bring to life this endearing story celebrating friendships lost and found, and overcoming the odds to be with the one you love.

  4. The Nature Girls - Aki’s The Nature Girls is a picture book starring an adorable troupe of girls exploring different biomes—the ocean, the desert, the tundra, the grasslands, the forest—and meeting all the cute animals that inhabit them.

  1. Mario and the Hole in the Sky - The true story of how Mexican-American scientist Mario Molina helped solve the ozone crisis of the 1980s and went on to become a Nobel laureate and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His inspiring story gives hope in the fight against global warming. Full color.

  2. Sunrise, Moonrise - Day turns into night and some animals drift to sleep while others spring to life in this beautiful high-contrast board book. Sun rises. Bird sings. And so the day begins in this beautifully simple board book with bold artwork and lyrical text that shows us the passing of time in the day. Fish swim under a blue sky, squirrels dream as the sun sets, the moon rises as stars blink, and an owl hoots when night falls. With word repetition and a single tree that houses both the bird who sings as the sun rises and the owl who hoots after the moon rises, little ones can begin to understand that the day begins and ends in the same way.

  3. The Stars Just Up the Street - A grandpa’s memories of brilliant night skies inspire a little girl to take action in a tale for budding community organizers and star lovers alike. Mabel loves stars. She counts five from her window and thirty-seven from her backyard. But her grandfather tells her that, as a child, he could see thousands. Could it be true? Mabel climbs a hill looking for more stars — only to discover that the glow from the nearby town makes them hard to see. What would it take for her neighbors to turn off their lights, just for one night, so that everyone could see the starlit sky? Sue Soltis’s tale of a young activist and Christine Davenier’s luminous illustrations will leave readers curious about the dark-sky movement — and the wonder that is waiting for them just up the street.

  4. Ocean Meets Sky - It’s a good day for sailing. Finn lives by the sea and the sea lives by him. Every time he looks out his window it’s a constant reminder of the stories his grandfather told him about the place where the ocean meets the sky. Where whales and jellyfish soar and birds and castles float. Finn’s grandfather is gone now but Finn knows the perfect way to honor him. He’ll build his own ship and sail out to find this magical place himself! And when he arrives, maybe, just maybe, he’ll find something he didn’t know he was looking for.

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