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Science: Picture Books For Kids

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!

Top 10 Books About Science

Hedy Lamarr's Double Life book
#1
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.

On a Beam of Light book
#2
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.

Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of Engineering book
#3
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.

Professor Astro Cat's Frontiers of Space book
#4
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.

Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of Science book
#5
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
#6
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.

Ada Lovelace book
#7
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!

Charles Darwin's Around-The-World Adventure book
#8
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.

A Nest Is Noisy book
#9
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.

Rube Goldberg's Simple Normal Humdrum School Day book
#10
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.

Books About Science and Inventions

Hedy Lamarr's Double Life book
#1
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.

Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of Engineering book
#2
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.

Rosie Revere, Engineer book
#3
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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Melia and Jo - 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.

  2. Manfish - 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.

  3. Leonardo Da Vinci - Why could Leonardo da Vinci paint the human form so accurately, in all its beauty? How was he educated and trained as an artist? What inspired his most famous work, including The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa? And what fun machine did he invent? Find out about this unique artist and the many areas, from architecture to flight, he drew on and influenced.

  4. Albert Einstein - Join Albert Einstein on his journey of scientific discovery and see how the Nobel Prize winner forever changed how we think about energy, gravity, and the world around us. Kids will learn about Einstein's training, his struggle to find a teaching job, and how he developed his theory of relativity. The book also looks at his personal life, including his family, emigration to America, and love of music.

Want to see more children's books about inventions?

Books About Science and Biography

Ada Lovelace book
#1
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!

Marie Curie book
#2
Marie Curie
Written by Isabel Muñoz and illustrated by Jane Kent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

At a time when women weren't welcome in the world of science, Marie Curie made her mark on history. She was the first woman to become a professor of physics in the Sorbonne and even won Nobel Prizes in two different scientific fields. This fascinating biography explains how Curie and her husband discovered both polonium and radium, and why their pioneering research on radioactivity was so important.

Shark Lady book
#3
Shark Lady
Written by Jess Keating and illustrated by Marta Alvarez Miguens, Jess Keating
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A beautifully illustrated biography of Eugenie Clark, a scientist as impressive as the sharks she studied At nine years old, Eugenie Clark developed an unexpected passion for sharks after a visit to the Battery Park Aquarium in New York City. At the time, sharks were seen as mindless killing machines, but Eugenie knew better and set out to prove it. Despite many obstacles in her path, including trying to break into the scientific field as a woman, Eugenie was able to study the creatures she loved so much. From her many discoveries to the shark-related myths she dispelled, Eugenie's wide scientific contributions led to the well-earned nickname "Shark Lady," as she become a fixture in the world of ocean conservation and shark research.

Honorable Mentions
  1. I Am Jane Goodall - Learn all about Jane Goodall, the chimpanzee scientist.

  2. Stephen Hawking - Known for both his bestselling books and his work on black holes, physicist Stephen Hawking beat the odds and lived with ALS for longer than doctors ever expected. This engrossing biography shows why Hawking is an inspiring example of someone who pursued his dreams in spite of his disability. Follow his path to fame as he formulates his groundbreaking theory, expands our ideas about the universe, and becomes an admired "rock-star scientist."

  3. I Am Albert Einstein - 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.

  4. A Dream of Flight - Years before the invention of the modern airplane, Alberto Santos-Dumont dreamed of flying. As a boy, he was mesmerized by the machinery on his father's coffee plantation in Brazil and went on to study science and engineering in France. Soon his groundbreaking—and sometimes silly—inventions became the talk of Paris, especially after he set his sights on building an airship that could bring the world's people together. His small stature and big ideas earned him the nickname “Le Petite Santos.” This is the story of Santos's successful race for the Deutsche Prize, and his many failures along the way. Chock-full of cool diagrams, charming Parisian scenes, and graphic novel-style spot illustrations, A Dream of Flight will have young readers looking to the sky and scheming up their own aerial inventions.

Want to see more children's books about biography?

Books About Science and Nature

Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of Science book
#1
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.

Caterpillar and Bean book
#2
Caterpillar and Bean
Written by Martin Jenkins and illustrated by Hannah Tolson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Observe the ways plants and insects interact in a gentle introduction to growing for budding scientists. What's that wedged in a crack in the ground, small and hard and wrinkly and brown? A bean seed! Soon it develops roots and leaves. And what's that on the leaf? An egg! The egg hatches a caterpillar, and the caterpillar eats the leaves, getting bigger and bigger until it forms a chrysalis. Meanwhile, the plant is growing, too: it develops flowers, then bean pods, as it reaches up toward the sun. Side by side, plant and insect grow . . . and grow . . . and grow throughout the year, until they come full circle. This fourth book in the First Science Storybook series uses simple, clear language and colorful illustrations to inspire very young readers as they learn about life cycles.

The Street Beneath My Feet book
#3
The Street Beneath My Feet
Written by Charlotte Guillain and illustrated by Yuval Zommer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

This double-sided foldout book takes you on a fascinating journey deep underground. One side of the foldout shows the ground beneath the city, whilst the other side of the foldout shows the ground beneath the countryside. The scenes in the book, by the widely acclaimed illustrator Yuval Zommer, are continuous, so contrasting underground sections, from tunnels and pipes to burrowing creatures, layers of rock to the planet’s molten core, run seamlessly into the next. Mixing urban and rural settings, as well as Geology, Archaeology and Natural History, The Street Beneath My Feet offers children the opportunity to explore their world in a detailed learning experience. And its fold-out, ‘Laperello’ style, which extends to 2.5 metres in length, is great fun to spread out on the floor and really get involved!

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Magic and Mystery of Trees - Learn about the amazing natural science of trees in this illustrated nature and science book. From the highest branch and leaf down to the complex "wood wide web" of roots, every part of a tree plays an important role in its own growth and the habitat of the whole forest or woodland. Did you know that trees take care of each other and that the whole forest is connected? The Magic and Mystery of Trees takes children on a fascinating journey of exploration, showing them just how special these mighty organisms are. Discover how they communicate and warn each other of predators, how they nurture their networks, record the past, and anticipate the future to ensure their survival. Learn unbe-leaf-able tree facts, meet extraordinary trees from around the world and the animals that call them home. Find out what trees do for us and how we are damaging them with pollution and deforestation. But it's not too late to do something about it and you'll find out how you can help with instructions on how to plant your very own tree!

  2. One Day a Dot - One Day a Dot explores the age-old question: Where did we come from? Where did everything come from? Starting with one tiny dot and continuing through the Big Bang to the rise of human societies, the story of our universe is told in simple and vivid terms. But the biggest question of all cannot be answered: Where did that one dot come from? One Day a Dot is a beautiful and vibrant picture book that uses the visual motif of circles as to guide young readers through the stages of life on Earth.

  3. How to Survive As a Firefly - Listen up, larvae! I've been in the trenches for the last year and a half, and let me tell you, there is danger lurking behind every tree and headlight. With my expertise, you'll learn how to hunt your first meal (snail soup anyone?), what makes your abdomen glow (put down the fire extinguisher!), and how to react when your mate wants to eat you for dinner (who knew fireflies could be cannibals?). Buck up, buttercup you're in for the flight of your life! If you know what s good for you, you'll stop goofing around and pay attention to How to Survive as a Firefly, or you might never make it to adulthood! How to Survive as a Firefly provides a unique take on insect science that will entertain and educate in and out of the classroom. Full of opportunities for extended learning, this book includes fun facts hidden throughout the hilarious illustrated story and after, a glossary of important terms and some real firefly photos. If you've ever wondered how these fascinating beetles grow and glow and you like to laugh while you learn this book is for you!

  4. 100 Bugs! A Counting Book - A boy and girl find and count 100 different bugs in their backyard in increments of ten.

Want to see 9 more children's books about science and nature?

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Books About Science and Explorers

Charles Darwin's Around-The-World Adventure book
#1
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.

Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos book
#2
Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos
Written and illustrated by Stephanie Roth Sisson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

For every child who has ever looked up at the stars and asked, "What are they?" comes the story of a curious boy who never stopped wondering: Carl Sagan. When Carl Sagan was a young boy he went to the 1939 World's Fair and his life was changed forever. From that day on he never stopped marveling at the universe and seeking to understand it better. Star Stuff follows Carl from his days star gazing from the bedroom window of his Brooklyn apartment, through his love of speculative science fiction novels, to his work as an internationally renowned scientist who worked on the Voyager missions exploring the farthest reaches of space. This book introduces the beloved man who brought the mystery of the cosmos into homes across America to a new generation of dreamers and star gazers.

All Aboard The Discovery Express book
#3
All Aboard The Discovery Express
Written by Tom Adams, Emily Hawkins and illustrated by Tom Clohosy Cole
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Welcome on board the Discovery Express! The year is 1937 and a conundrum is afoot: a professor on the verge of a brilliant discovery has disappeared. Can you help to solve the clues on this time-travelling adventure and track down the missing scientist? On your voyage, you'll travel the world, see some of the most important moments in the history of transportation, meet the most brilliant engineers of all time, and ultimately unveil the design of the world’s first jet engine! ?This interactive lift-flap adventure is sure to spark the imaginations of aspiring scientists and engineers everywhere.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Karl, Get Out of the Garden! - Do you know what a Solanum caule inermi herbaceo, foliis pinnatis incises, racemis simplicibus is?* Carolus (Karl) Linnaeus started off as a curious child who loved exploring the garden. Despite his intelligence—and his mother’s scoldings—he was a poor student, preferring to be outdoors with his beloved plants and bugs. As he grew up, Karl’s love of nature led him to take on a seemingly impossible task: to give a scientific name to every living thing on earth. The result was the Linnaean system—the basis for the classification system used by biologists around the world today. Backyard sciences are brought to life in beautiful color. Back matter includes more information about Linnaeus and scientific classification, a classification chart, a time line, source notes, resources for young readers, and a bibliography. *it’s a tomato!

  2. Feathers and Hair, What Animals Wear - At first glance, a wild animal’s appearance may seem simple. But there is fascinating science behind every part of an animal’s physique—from its nose to its toes! Celebrated author Jennifer Ward explores different kinds of fur, feathers, skin, and scales in this nonfiction picture book that’s truly like no other. From porcupines and polar bears to octopuses and owls, you’ll never see animal outerwear the same way again!

  3. When Sparks Fly: The True Story of Robert Goddard, the Father of US Rocketry - Robert Goddard may be known as the father of US rocketry, but back in the 1880s, he was just a kid in Worcester, Massachusetts. Even as a youngster, his eyes glimmered with scientific interest and the thrill of discovery. With BAMS! POPS! BANGS! he experimented time and time again with one mission: make his rockets fly! Join Kristen Fulton and Diego Funck as they take you on one explosive journey about a young kid who shot for the moon, never gave up, and let his creative sparks of curiosity burn bright.

Want to see more children's books about explorers?

Books About Science and Math

Grace Hopper book
#1
Grace Hopper
Written by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Katy Wu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

This is a children's book biography of Grace Hopper, who played a prominent role in the early days of computers.--

Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of Math book
#2
Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of Math
Written by Bob Cooper and illustrated by Greg Paprocki, Bob Cooper
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

"Introduces kids to many of the basic concepts of mathematics, including their connection with so many things in our everyday lives."--Back cover.

Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing book
#3
Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing
Written by Dean Robbins and illustrated by Lucy Knisley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A true story from one of the Women of NASA! Margaret Hamilton loved numbers as a young girl. She knew how many miles it was to the moon (and how many back). She loved studying algebra and geometry and calculus and using math to solve problems in the outside world. Soon math led her to MIT and then to helping NASA put a man on the moon! She handwrote code that would allow the spacecraft’s computer to solve any problems it might encounter. Apollo 8. Apollo 9. Apollo 10. Apollo 11. Without her code, none of those missions could have been completed. Dean Robbins and Lucy Knisley deliver a lovely portrayal of a pioneer in her field who never stopped reaching for the stars.

Honorable Mentions
  1. What's the Matter with the Three Little Pigs? - What's the matter with the three little pigs? They're being tormented by a hungry wolf! And no matter what kind of matter they use to build their homes, it doesn't matter. The STEM-savvy, rhyme-loving wolf in this fractured fairy tale always seems to spoil the day. A glossary and critical thinking questions support the story's physics content.

  2. Snowman - Cold = Puddle - Math is all around us, and in this clever and enlightening picture book, readers see how math, nature, and poetry intermingle and collaborate . . . well, naturally. Each clever equation is a tiny, perfect poem that prompts readers to look at the ordinary and see the miraculous. Can you look at an egg in a nest and see a jewelry box? How are sunlight and heat like an alarm clock? Engaging sidebars reveal the science behind the signs of spring.

  3. That's a Possibility! - Combines colorful photographs and interactive examples in an introduction to the science and math of probability that provides comprehensive explanations about games of chance and various easy-to-understand scenarios. By the author of Great Estimations.

  4. What in the World? - Discover nature by the numbers in this gorgeous, innovative counting book. The natural world is full of sets of numbers: from birds’ wings in twos and clover leaves in threes to deer hooves in fours and octopus arms in eights. This book uses playful rhyming text to explore these numerical sets in vibrant detail, ending with the stars in the sky—a number set too big to count!

Want to see more children's books about math?

Books About Science and Female Role Models

Me . . . Jane book
#1
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
#2
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.

Queen of Physics book
#3
Queen of Physics
Written by Teresa Robeson and illustrated by Rebecca Huang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

"When Wu Chien Shiung was born in China 100 years ago, girls did not attend school. But her parents named their daughter "Courageous Hero" and encouraged her love of science. This biography follows Wu as she battles sexism at home and racism in the United States of America to become what Newsweek magazine called the "Queen of Physics" for her work on how atoms split"--

Honorable Mentions
  1. Always Looking Up - This empowering picture book biography tells the story of Nancy Grace Roman, the astronomer who overcame obstacles like weak eyesight and teachers who discouraged women from pursuing astronomy to lead the NASA team that built the Hubble Space Telescope. A testament to women in scientific careers and a record of an important NASA milestone.

  2. Little Guides to Great Lives: Marie Curie - Marie Curie was a brilliant scientist who coined the term 'radioactivity', discovered polonium and radium, and helped develop treatments for cancer. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, but her dedication to physics ultimately caused her death from radiation. From artists to aviators and scientists to revolutionaries, Little Guides to Great Lives is a brand new series of small-format guides introducing children to the most inspirational figures from history in a fun, accessible way. Launching with Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie, Nelson Mandela, and Amelia Earhart, Little Guides to Great Lives tells the stories of the most amazing people from all over the world and across history, with full-color illustrations and fresh design to bring their incredible stories to life.

  3. The Bluest of Blues - 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.

  4. Professor McQuark and the Oojamaflip - One day a fantastic idea pops into Professor McQuark’s head to create an ‘Oojamaflip’ but what is one and will it win her first prize at the town science fair? A fast-paced, rhyming tale superbly written by first-time author Lou Treleaven and illustrated by the talented Julia Patton.

Want to see 6 more children's books about science and female role models?

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Books About Science and Animals

Over and Under the Pond book
#1
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.

Badir and the Beaver book
#2
Badir and the Beaver
Written by Shannon Stewart and illustrated by Sabrina Gendron
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

I t’s Ramadan, a time to focus on good deeds and to fast, and Badir and his brother, Anis, are out for a walk one evening while they wait for their iftar meal. In the park Badir sees a rat. A very, very large rat. He soon learns it’s actually a beaver, an animal that doesn’t live in Tunisia, the country Badir and his family have emigrated from. It turns out that some of the neighbors who enjoy the park think this beaver is a bit of a pest, but Badir thinks it’s wonderful and learns everything he can about the iconic Canadian animal. When a petition is started to remove the beaver, Badir, who knows firsthand how difficult it is to leave your home behind, rallies his classmates to save it. And with a little help from new friends, the kids learn that collaboration and faith can change the way we think about the world.

Water Sings Blue book
#3
Water Sings Blue
Written by Kate Coombs and illustrated by Meilo So
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Come down to the shore with this rich and vivid celebration of the ocean! With watercolors gorgeous enough to wade in by award-winning artist Meilo So and playful, moving poems by Kate Coombs, Water Sings Blue evokes the beauty and power, the depth and mystery, and the endless resonance of the sea.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Butterflies in Room 6 - Kindergarteners raise butterflies from egg to adult in this close-up look at the insect life cycle. Follow a classroom of real kindergartners as they participate in a popular activity: raising butterflies. Astonishing photographs show the life cycle of the painted lady butterfly, from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to adult. Engaging text captures the children's wonder and explains the science behind metamorphosis.

  2. Seashells - Prolific, award-winning nonfiction author Melissa Stewart reveals the surprising ways seashells provide more than shelter to the mollusks that inhabit them. Young naturalists discover thirteen seashells in this elegant introduction to the remarkable versatility of shells. A dual-layered narrative highlights how shells provide more than a protective home. The informative sidebars underscore characteristics specific to each shell. Elegant watercolor illustrations create a scrapbook feel, depicting children from around the world observing and sketching seashells across shores.

  3. The Crab Alphabet Book - With his signature humor and amazing facts, best-selling author Jerry Pallott a offers a decapod for every letter of the alphabet. From A is for Arrow Crab to Z is for Zebra Hermit Crab, young scientists learn about a vast variety of crab species, their body parts, where they live, what they eat, and more. Did you know that the Imocaris is a fossil that scientists believe was the first crab to inhabit the earth?

  4. Mission Science Club - The after-school science club is just starting, and Beatrice Honey Flinn, who is called Bumble B, and her best friends are joining, but when Mr. Dan separates the students into teams, Bumble B finds herself paired off with two children she does not know, Jasmine and Otto, instead of her friends--and their assignment is to make a list of all the animals, insects, plants, and rocks they find in the playground.

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Books About Science and Outer Space

Our World Is Relative book
#1
Our World Is Relative
Written by Julia Sooy and illustrated by Molly Walsh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

If Pluto Was a Pea book
#2
If Pluto Was a Pea
Written by Gabrielle Prendergast and illustrated by Rebecca Gerlings
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Join two curious kids as they explore their backyard, and contemplate their place within our vast universe in this adorable picture book that’s full of comparisons to help kids understand cosmic size. If Pluto was a pea… the Sun would be like a tent, Mercury would be a marble, and Earth would be a golf ball. Pluto is the smallest planet in our solar system, but how small is small? As it turns out, it only takes the contents of a lunchbox and a backyard to find out.

Destination: Space book
#3
Destination: Space
Written by Dr Christoph Englert and illustrated by Tom Clohosy Cole
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Hop on board the space shuttle and get ready for the ride of your life as you explore deep space with your five fellow space cadets. This journey of discovery takes you through our local solar system and beyond, to galaxies far and wide. With every encounter, learn more about the science behind the stars, planets, meteors and comets in our sky, and the history of our universe.

Honorable Mentions
  1. A Journey Through Space - Take a journey from your doorstep into outer space! Zoom through the Solar System, discovering satellites, comets and asteroids along the way. Explore craters on Mars, moon-hop around Jupiter, and get a close-up view of Saturn's amazing rings. Just don't travel too close to the Sun! Packed with lively illustrations to reveal our amazing universe, this book is perfect for a parent and child to read together or to explore independently. Includes a dust jacket that doubles up as a poster.

  2. Pluto is Peeved! - Who can blame Pluto for being peeved after scientists unceremoniously decide he is no longer a planet? Looking for answers, Pluto heads to the science museum! Kids will take a scientific journey side-by- side with Pluto, as he asks what exactly scientists are interested in. Presented in a graphic novel-inspired format Pluto Is Peeved! transforms the vast universe into a fun and informative introduction to astronomy and the scientific method.

  3. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I Know Exactly What You Are - Teach children about the real science behind the stars using one of the most iconic and recognized childhood classics, 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star' Twinkle, Twinkle, Little StarI know exactly what you are.Opaque ball of hot dense gas,million times our planet's mass,looking small because you're farI know exactly what you areWritten by an expert in astrophysics, this book is the perfect primer for learning exactly what those twinkling little stars are doing way up high in the sky. Each stanza explains what stars are made of and their relationship to the earth in an easy-to-understand way.

  4. When the Sun Goes Dark - This illustrated book is a fun way to get young astronomers ready for August 2017, when millions of North Americans will have the rare chance to witness a solar eclipse. The book tells how two curious children and their grandparents re-create eclipses in their living room using a lamp, a tennis ball, two Hula Hoops, and Ping-Pong balls. Later, in the backyard and around the house, the family explores safe ways to view a solar eclipse and ponders phenomena from sunspots to phases of the Moon. Written by the authors of NSTA’s award-winning book Solar Science, When the Sun Goes Dark gives children and adults hands-on techniques for learning the science behind eclipses of the Sun and Moon.

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Books About Science and Fact Filled

Mama Dug a Little Den book
#1
Mama Dug a Little Den
Written by Jennifer Ward and illustrated by Steven Jenkins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

There are so many different kinds of dens that mother animals make for their babies, from desert burrows to snow caves to elaborate underground tunnels. Jennifer Ward introduces young readers to all sorts of animals and the cozy burrows they call home in this bouncy, rhyming picture book, illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Steve Jenkins.

Mama Built a Little Nest book
#2
Mama Built a Little Nest
Written by Jennifer Ward and illustrated by Steve Jenkins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Illustrations and simple, rhyming text introduce different kinds of birds' nests, from the scrapes that falcons build atop high, craggy ledges to the underground nests that burrowing owls dig. Includes brief facts about each kind of bird.

Bugs Don't Hug book
#3
Bugs Don't Hug
Written by Heather L. Montgomery and illustrated by Stephen Stone
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Meet the mamas and papas of the insect world in this fresh and funny nonfiction look at how bugs are like us from popular science author and teacher Heather Montgomery. Most insects don't take care of their young, but some do--in surprising ways. Some bugs clean up after their messy little ones, cater to their picky eaters, and yes--hug their baby bugs. A fun and clever look at parenting in the insect world, perfect for backyard scientists and their own moms and dads.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Starry Skies - Every night, the sky is filled with stars that tell a thousand tales. Brave warriors, regal queens, fierce beasts -- they all parade across the starry skies each night. In Starry Skies you’ll discover some of the most famous constellations and learn how to find them in the night sky. With brilliant illustrations by Nila Aye, you will see the shapes of each constellation, and imagine what they might look like when you look up into the dark sky above. This introduction to astronomy is all you need to start learning about stars, so get ready, star hunters, and look to the skies!

  2. I, Fly - Fly is fed up with everyone studying butterflies. Flies are so much cooler! They flap their wings 200 times a second, compared to a butterfly's measly five to twelve times. Their babies—maggots—are much cuter than caterpillars (obviously). And when they eat solid food, they even throw up on it to turn it into a liquid. Who wouldn't want to study an insect like that? In an unforgettably fun, fact-filled presentation, this lovable (and highly partisan) narrator promotes his species to a sometimes engrossed, sometimes grossed-out, class of kids.

  3. Many Moons - Many Moons explores every phase of the moon through beautiful illustrations, and compares each phase to a different shape, like a waxing moon and a banana! Many Moons shows young children the different phases of the moon, from the new moon to a waning crescent, with a variety of beautiful, bright illustrations. Each spread features a specific phase of the moon, and compares it to different shapes, such as a cat's tail, a banana, or a brilliant smile. The night sky is vast and beautiful, and to many children, a mysterious thing full of wonder. Why not nurture this sense of early curiosity? Many Moons introduces children to basic astronomy. Understanding the moon is a jumping off point to learning about the stars, space, the ocean tides, and so much more

  4. How to Survive as a Shark - Ahoy, me mateys! Upset your Mom swam away after you were born? Cry me an ocean. You’ve got ME to show you the ropes! Well, at least until I get a craving for baby shark. Swim along and I’ll teach you how to hunt using all six senses (a whole sense more than a human), why you can NEVER stop moving (blimey, no - not even to sleep!), and what your most dangerous threat is (here’s a hint: those sneaky landlubbers don’t even live in our waters!). Aye, me hearties, learning How to Survive as a Shark is not as easy as it sounds! How to Survive as a Shark provides a unique take on fish science that will entertain and educate in and out of the classroom. Full of opportunities for extended learning, this book includes fun facts hidden throughout the hilarious illustrated story – and after, a glossary of important terms and some real photos of great white sharks. If you’ve ever wondered how to think and swim like a shark, and you like to laugh while you learn, this book is for you!

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Books About Science and Technology

Adi Sorts with Variables book
#1
Adi Sorts with Variables
Written by Caroline Karanja and illustrated by Ben William Whitehouse
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

It's time to clean Adi's room! If only a computer could do it for her! That gives Adi and her best friend Gabi an idea-think like a coder! These scientific thinkers put on their computer coding caps and make cleaning up a snap by sorting with variables!

Gabi's If/Then Garden book
#2
Gabi's If/Then Garden
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Gabi's garden needs some help. Where to begin? Gabi and her best friend Adi use if/then statements to decide what to plant, what to water, and what to pick! These scientific thinkers find ways every day to use computer coding concepts to make work and play more fun!

Adi's Perfect Patterns and Loops book
#3
Adi's Perfect Patterns and Loops
Written by Caroline Karanja and illustrated by Ben William Whitehouse
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Best friends Adi and Gabi love to play with Adi's toy train. Round and round it goes-choo choo! Watching it loop the track gives the girls an idea. These scientific thinkers use their computer coding knowledge to put the train to work!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Gabi's Fabulous Functions - Computer coding in the kitchen? Yes! Best friends Gabi and Adi are baking a special birthday treat-and making a recipe is a lot like creating a function in a computer code. These scientifically minded junior programmers are always on the lookout for ways to work coding concepts into their day with Code Play!

  2. Move on Up That Beanstalk, Jack! - When times are tough, you pull yourself up and push yourself to the top ... of a beanstalk ... where you might get schooled in forces and motion by a STEM-loving giant named Dennis. At least that's what happens to Jack in this delicious twist on a classic fairy tale, supported by critical thinking questions and a glossary of key physics terms.

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Did you enjoy our science book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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