21 Picture Books About Science That Your Kids Will Love

Updated Mar. 26, 2019

With all the current emphasis on STEM and STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Math), it's no wonder that in recent years there has been an explosion of kid-friendly books on science, and it's absolutely amazing! Now more than ever, children can have exposure to rather complex scientific concepts almost from birth, providing opportunities for their interest to be piqued across a variety of fields from biology and botany to physics and engineering. Many of these stories include the narratives of famous scientists as well, and their personal journeys to persevere against incredible odds to follow their passions and discover new things. Want to feed your burgeoning scientists' mind and introduce them to a variety of scientific disciplines? Without further ado, check out these awesome science titles!

On a Beam of Light book
#1
On a Beam of Light
Written by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Follows the life of the famous physicist, from his early ideas to his groundbreaking theories.

Rosie Revere, Engineer book
#2
Rosie Revere, Engineer
Written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from 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!

Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal—to fly—Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt’s dream come true. But when her contraption doesn’t fly but rather hovers for a moment and then crashes, Rosie deems the invention a failure. On the contrary, Aunt Rose insists that Rosie’s contraption was a raging success: you can only truly fail, she explains, if you quit. From the powerhouse author-illustrator team of Iggy Peck, Architect comes Rosie Revere, Engineer, another charming, witty picture book about believing in yourself and pursuing your passion. Ada Twist, Scientist, the companion picture book featuring the next kid from Iggy Peck's class, is available in September 2016.

Ada Twist, Scientist book
#3
Ada Twist, Scientist
Written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Ada is such a fun, curious character! I really love that the story shows her growing up and developing her passion for learning--along with a supportive family. If you have toddlers who ask a lot of questions, this book might feel a little familiar. :) This book is a great intro to science and includes some simple scientific vocabulary (like hypothesis) and talks about how science involves asking questions. I also really appreciate the diversity and strong female role model this book provides.

Ada Twist is a very curious girl who shows perseverance by asking questions and performing experiments to find things out and understand the world.

Over and Under the Pond book
#4
Over and Under the Pond
Written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from Readerly Mom

This book walks the line between fiction and non-fiction in a way that is perfect for reading and learning with little ones. The illustrations are darling and make the book feel like it has a narrative; the over and under concept likewise makes it very approachable. At the same time, it provides a lot of concrete information about the animals that live in and around a pond. It's informative, but brief enough and cute enough to be very readable, even for toddlers. We used it for a preschool lesson and it was a hit!

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.

Me . . . Jane book
#5
Me . . . Jane
Written and 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.

The Tree Lady book
#6
The Tree Lady
Written by H. Joseph Hopkins and illustrated by Jill McElmurry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

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.

Manfish book
#7
Manfish
Written by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Eric Puybaret
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Poetic text and full color paintings combine to create a portrait of the internationally known oceanographer as a curious little boy whose love of the ocean inspired him to grow up to become a champion of the seas.

Melia and Jo book
#8
Melia and Jo
Written and illustrated by Jennifer Oxley, Billy Aronson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Art and science, dancing and inventions combine in this cute story about friendship that quickly develops in place of some initial frustration following the well-known adage that two heads are better than one. The illustrations are cute, spunky and a little child-like and perfectly complement the creative nature of the story.

Melia is scientific and loves to create things in her backyard laboratory, but something is missing. Her inventions just aren’t quite right. Enter Jo, her new friend with an artistic spirit. When you add the arts to sciences, something magical happens! This whimsically illustrated picture book is the perfect introduction to the benefits of STEAM-focused curriculum.

Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea book
#9
Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea
Written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Raul Colon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is definitely on the longer side, so is better suited to children with longer attention spans, but is a wonderful story of the contribution of Marie Tharp to our understanding of the world and particularly the ocean floor. A great read for burgeoning scientific minds encouraging us to keep asking questions and never give up!

Filled with gorgeous illustrations by acclaimed artist Raúl Colón, this illustrated biography shares the story of female scientist, Marie Tharp, a pioneering woman scientist and the first person to ever successfully map the ocean floor. Marie Tharp was always fascinated by the ocean. Taught to think big by her father who was a mapmaker, Marie wanted to do something no one had ever done before: map the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Was it even possible? Not sure if she would succeed, Marie decided to give it a try. Throughout history, others had tried and failed to measure the depths of the oceans. Sailors lowered weighted ropes to take measurements. Even today, scientists are trying to measure the depth by using echo sounder machines to track how long it would take a sound wave sent from a ship to the sea floor to come back. But for Marie, it was like piecing together an immense jigsaw puzzle. Despite past failures and challenges—sometimes Marie would be turned away from a ship because having a woman on board was “bad luck”—Marie was determined to succeed. And she did, becoming the first person to chart the ocean floor, helping us better understand the planet we call home.

Cece Loves Science book
#10
Cece Loves Science
Written by Shelli R. Johannes, Kimberly Derting and illustrated by Vashti Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Cece loves science! In this STEM-themed picture book, Cece asks one of life’s most pressing questions: Do dogs eat vegetables? Cece and her best friend, Isaac, head to the lab to find out. This picture book is perfect for fans of Ada Twist, Scientist, and anyone who enjoys asking questions. Cece’s parents say she was born curious. She asks: Why? How? What if? When her teacher, Ms. Curie, assigns a science project, Cece knows just what to ask—do dogs eat vegetables? She teams up with her best friend, Isaac, and her dog, Einstein, to discover the answer. They investigate, research, collect data, and analyze, using Einstein as their case study. Their final conclusion is surprising, and a lot of fun! Illustrated by Vashti Harrison, whose Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History is a New York Times bestseller and an NAACP Image Award winner. Cece Loves Science is just right for fans of Rosie Revere, Engineer; What Do You Do with an Idea?; and anyone who loves learning.

Star Stuff book
#11
Star Stuff
Written and illustrated by Stephanie Roth Sisson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

"A biography of Carl Sagan focusing on his childhood and culminating in the Voyager mission and the Golden Record"--Provided by publisher.

I Am Albert Einstein book
#12
I Am Albert Einstein
Written by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Presents the life of the world-renowned German scientist, describing how his life-long curiosity and ability to question accepted theories led him to develop his famous theory of relatvitiy and win the Noble Prize for Physics.

Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of Engineering book
#13
Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of Engineering
Written by Bob Cooper and illustrated by Greg Paprocki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of Science book
#14
Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of Science
Written by Bob Cooper and illustrated by Greg Paprocki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Animalium book
#15
Animalium
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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

Hedy Lamarr's Double Life book
#16
Hedy Lamarr's Double Life
Written by Laurie Wallmark and 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.

Rube Goldberg's Simple Normal Humdrum School Day book
#17
Rube Goldberg's Simple Normal Humdrum School Day
Written by Jennifer George and illustrated by Ed Steckley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Follows a young Rube Goldberg from morning until night as he uses one complicated invention after another to "simplify" his life.

A Nest Is Noisy book
#18
A Nest Is Noisy
Written by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Sylvia Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

"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.

Professor Astro Cat's Frontiers of Space book
#19
Professor Astro Cat's Frontiers of Space
Written by Dominic Walliman and illustrated by Ben Newman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

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.

Charles Darwin's Around-The-World Adventure book
#20
Charles Darwin's Around-The-World Adventure
Written and illustrated by Jennifer Thermes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

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

Ada Lovelace book
#21
Ada Lovelace
Written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Zafouko Yamamoto
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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!

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!