33 Superb Children's Books About Scientists

My hypothesis: You've been on the lookout for a list of the best kids books about scientist. Experiment: We created the best list of children's books about scientists. Conclusion: You're in luck! From books about historical figures like Albert Einstein to fictional reads about characters like Ada Twist, these scientific stories are sure to stir up inspiring goals, hopes, and ideas in your little scientists! Who knows, maybe one of these books will spark an interest in learning engineering or astronomy, maybe even one of these bookworms will become the scientist that discovers how to cure cancer or live on Mars!

This list has all the best titles in the category of children's books, but you can easily toggle the list to filter for board books, picture books, or chapter books. Board books are geared for ages 0-3 and a great for small readers, as they're more durable and aim to entertain the earliest of readers. Picture books are generally geared for ages 2-6, so these are your best bet for preschoolers and early-elementary age students--but really, any age can enjoy these (even the parents!). Chapter books are typically geared for ages 8-12, depending on the book and the child's reading level. Within the chapter books on the list, you can check the "recommended age" listed by each book to search even more specifically for your child, as there's a variety of books great for early readers, titles best for middle-grade readers, and books for tween readers.

Some of our favorites on this list are: the board book "This Little Scientist: A Discovery Primer" for even our smallest readers to dream big, the picture book "Stephen Hawking" (from the Little People, BIG DREAMS series) for ages 5-8, and the chapter book " Ellie, Engineer" for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders (or 8-10 year olds).

Let us know if you have any titles you'd add to the list!

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World book
#1
Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World
Written and illustrated by Rachel Ignotofsky
picture book
Recommend Ages: 10-15

It’s a scientific fact: Women rock!

A charmingly illustrated and educational book, New York Times best seller Women in Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from the ancient to the modern world. Full of striking, singular art, this fascinating collection also contains infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary. The trailblazing women profiled include well-known figures like primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as lesser-known pioneers such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon.

Women in Science celebrates the achievements of the intrepid women who have paved the way for the next generation of female engineers, biologists, mathematicians, doctors, astronauts, physicists, and more!

Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code book
#2
Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code
Written by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Katy Wu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Who was Grace Hopper? A software tester, workplace jester, cherished mentor, ace inventor, avid reader, naval leader—AND rule breaker, chance taker, and troublemaker. Acclaimed picture book author Laurie Wallmark (Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine) once again tells the riveting story of a trailblazing woman. Grace Hopper coined the term “computer bug” and taught computers to “speak English.” Throughout her life, Hopper succeeded in doing what no one had ever done before. Delighting in difficult ideas and in defying expectations, the insatiably curious Hopper truly was “Amazing Grace” . . . and a role model for science- and math-minded girls and boys. With a wealth of witty quotes, and richly detailed illustrations, this book brings Hopper’s incredible accomplishments to life.

Hedy Lamarr's Double Life book
#3
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.

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin book
#4
The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin
Written by Julia Finley Mosca and 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!

This Little Scientist: A Discovery Primer book
#5
This Little Scientist: A Discovery Primer
Written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

The whole “This Little…” series so far has been excellent, and this is no exception. Jam-packed with famous scientists and innovators, This Little Scientist does a great job of featuring a broad spectrum of great minds of diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise all throughout history. One of my favorite things about this book is that it teaches real science and history with cadence and rhyme that makes it easy to learn and since it’s enjoyable to read again and again… it starts to stick! Another big plus of this book for me is that depending on a child’s current attention level you can choose to read just the left-hand pages, just the right-hand pages, or both, and the flow is great any way you do it!

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.

  1. Mary Had a Little Lab - Mary is an enterprising young inventor. She wants a pet, but it isn’t one she can easily buy…so she makes one with the Sheepinator! Mary’s pet sheep and her new invention make her popular with her classmates. But when she starts making sheep for her new friends, things go hilariously awry. Can Mary invent a way to fix this mess?

  2. Me . . . Jane - Readerly Mom - In his signature sweet-and-simple illustrative style, Patrick McDonnell tells the story of a young girl named Jane who is very curious about the natural world around her. It doesn’t give a lot of information on Jane Goodall’s life or work, but it does serve as a gentle introduction to who she is and would be great for sparking the curiosity of toddlers or preschoolers. The illustrations are simple, but each page has lots of little details to examine, and the book has a perfect words-to-page ratio. I’m always a sucker for children’s books that are nonfiction but read like a story, and this one is a great addition to our collection.

  3. 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.

  4. Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist - 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.

I am Jane Goodall book
#10
I am Jane Goodall
Written by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Learn all about Jane Goodall, the chimpanzee scientist.

Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom book
#11
Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom
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”—

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race book
#12
Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
Written by Margot Lee Shetterly and illustrated by Laura Freeman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Based on the New York Times bestselling book and the Academy Award–nominated movie, author Margot Lee Shetterly and illustrator Laura Freeman bring the incredibly inspiring true story of four black women who helped NASA launch men into space to picture book readers! Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at math…really good. They participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America’s first journeys into space. And they did so during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But they worked hard. They persisted. And they used their genius minds to change the world. In this beautifully illustrated picture book edition, we explore the story of four female African American mathematicians at NASA, known as “colored computers,” and how they overcame gender and racial barriers to succeed in a highly challenging STEM-based career. “Finally, the extraordinary lives of four African American women who helped NASA put the first men in space is available for picture book readers,” proclaims Brightly in their article “18 Must-Read Picture Books of 2018.” “Will inspire girls and boys alike to love math, believe in themselves, and reach for the stars.”

Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing book
#13
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.

11 Experiments That Failed book
#14
11 Experiments That Failed
Written by Jenny Offill and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“This is a most joyful and clever whimsy, the kind that lightens the heart and puts a shine on the day,” raved Kirkus Reviews in a starred review.

Is it possible to eat snowballs doused in ketchup—and nothing else—all winter? Can a washing machine wash dishes? By reading the step-by-step instructions, kids can discover the answers to such all-important questions along with the book’s curious narrator. Here are 12 “hypotheses,” as well as lists of “what you need,” “what to do,” and “what happened” that are sure to make young readers laugh out loud as they learn how to conduct science experiments (really!).

Jenny Offill and Nancy Carpenter—the ingenious pair that brought you 17 Things I’m Not Allowed to Do Anymore—have outdone themselves in this brilliant and outrageously funny book.

  1. Ada Lovelace - The Notorious RAD - This book helps inspire the next generation of great mathematicians. It shows young people that all are capable of doing great things.

  2. Rosie Revere, Engineer - Readerly Mom - Little Rosie Revere dreams of becoming a great engineer, but she’s plagued by embarrassment and disappointment when things don’t go quite right. This rhyming book tells a sweet story about perseverance and the power and importance of being willing to take chances and make mistakes. The illustrations are fun, and Rosie’s inventions will make both parents and children chuckle. Even though it’s a bit long, this is one of my pre-schooler’s most requested books. We love Rosie!

  3. Ada Twist, Scientist - 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.

  4. Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor - 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.

Stephen Hawking (Little People, BIG DREAMS) book
#19
Stephen Hawking (Little People, BIG DREAMS)
Written by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Matt Hunt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

Mae Among the Stars book
#20
Mae Among the Stars
Written by Roda Ahmed and illustrated by Stasia Burrington
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An Amazon Best Book of the Month A beautiful picture book for sharing, inspired by the life of the first African American woman to travel in space, Mae Jemison. A great classroom and bedtime read-aloud, Mae Among the Stars is the perfect book for young readers who have big dreams and even bigger hearts! When Little Mae was a child, she dreamed of dancing in space. She imagined herself surrounded by billions of stars, floating, gliding, and discovering. She wanted to be an astronaut. Her mom told her, “If you believe it, and work hard for it, anything is possible.” Little Mae’s curiosity, intelligence, and determination, matched with her parents’ encouraging words, paved the way for her incredible success at NASA as the first African American woman to travel in space. This book will inspire other young girls to reach for the stars, to aspire for the impossible, and to persist with childlike imagination.

Scientist, Scientist, Who Do You See? book
#21
Scientist, Scientist, Who Do You See?
Written and illustrated by Chris Ferrie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Full of scientific rhyming fun, Scientist, Scientist, Who Do You See? features appearances by some of the world’s greatest scientists! From Albert Einstein to Marie Curie and Ahmed Zewail, and from Charles Darwin to Chien-Shiung Wu and Grace Hopper…and more!

Scientist, Scientist, Who do you see? I see Marie Curie in her laboratory!

Young readers will delight at taking a familiar text and poking fun at it all while learning about scientists and how they changed the world. Back matter includes brief biographical information of the featured scientists. This sweet parody is the perfect inspiration for scientists of all ages!

Baby Oceanographer book
#22
Baby Oceanographer
Written by Dr. Laura Gehl and 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 Oceanographer explores the oceans. With his snorkel and mask, he looks at the animals and plants under the sea. What creatures are found deep down? Are waves in the ocean like waves in the bathtub? Find out with Baby Oceanographer! Don’t miss the other books in this series, including Baby Astronaut!

Baby Botanist book
#23
Baby Botanist
Written by Dr. Laura Gehl and 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.

  1. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind - Japanese edition of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. True story of a boy growing up in an improvised, desolate central Africa. The 14 year old William Kamkwamba learned about electrical windmills at a small library, and after weeks of foraging for junk parts, he did the incredible. In Japanese. Distributed by Tsai Fong Books, Inc.

  2. 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.

  3. Look Up! - Henrietta Levitt was the first person to discover the scientific importance of a star’s brightness—so why has no one heard of her? Learn all about a female pioneer of astronomy in this picture book biography. Henrietta Swan Leavitt was born on July 4, 1868, and she changed the course of astronomy when she was just twenty-five years old. Henrietta spent years measuring star positions and sizes from photographs taken by the telescope at the Harvard College Observatory, where she worked. After Henrietta observed that certain stars had a fixed pattern to their changes, her discovery made it possible for astronomers to measure greater and greater distances—leading to our present understanding of the vast size of the universe. An astronomer of her time called Henrietta Leavitt “one of the most important women ever to touch astronomy,” and another close associate said she had the “best mind at the Harvard Observatory.” Henrietta Leaveitt’s story will inspire young women and aspiring scientists of all kinds and includes additional information about the solar system and astronomy.

  4. Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos - 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.

Stephen Hawking book
#28
Stephen Hawking
Written by Isabel Muñoz and illustrated by Jane Kent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

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.”

Albert Einstein book
#29
Albert Einstein
Written by Jane Kent and illustrated by Isabel Muñoz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

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.

I Am Albert Einstein book
#30
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.

Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World book
#31
Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World
Written by Laurie Lawlor and illustrated by Laura Beingessner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Retells the story of Rachel Carson, a pioneering environmentalist who wrote and published “Silent Spring,” the revolutionary book pointing out the dangerous effects of chemicals on the living world.

Ada Lovelace book
#32
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!

  1. The Girl with a Mind for Math - Meet Raye Montague—the hidden mastermind who made waves in the U.S. Navy! After touring a German submarine in the early 1940s, young Raye set her sights on becoming an engineer. Little did she know sexism and racial inequality would challenge that dream every step of the way, even keeping her greatest career accomplishment a secret for decades. Through it all, the gifted mathematician persisted—finally gaining her well-deserved title in history: a pioneer who changed the course of ship design forever. The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague is the third book in a riveting educational series about the inspiring 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 Montague herself!

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