Bat Science Books for Young Readers

Around Halloween may seem to be the perfect time to study bats. On the other hand because they are important mammals that eat insects, pollinate plants and disperse seeds, any time is a good time to learn more about bats by reading a good children’s book.

 

Beginning Readers

Bats: Nocturnal Flyers by Rebecca Rissman

With short sentences and controlled vocabulary, Rissman uses a question-and-answer format to introduce beginning readers to bats. Find out what a bat is, what they eat, and where they go in the winter.

Age Range: 4 – 7 years
Publisher: Heinemann (July 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 9781484603154
ISBN-13: 978-1484603154

National Geographic Reader Bats by Elizabeth Carney

Bats is a reader level 2, for children 4 to 8 years old. It is full of gorgeous full-color photographs, accurate scientific information, and at the top of some pages are silly riddles and jokes that kids will love. The photograph of baby fruit bats all cuddled in blankets at a bat rescue nursery is too cute for words. This book is a great way to find out more about bats!

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (September 14, 2010)
ISBN-10: 9781426307102
ISBN-13: 978-1426307102

Picture Books

The Secret Life of the Little Brown Bat by Laurence Pringle and illustrated by Kate Garchinsky

Follow Otis the bat pup as he grows into an adult bat. Explore how he feeds, learns about dangers, finds a place to hibernate, and even how he lands upside down.

Although the text appears to be deceptively simple, it is full of detailed scientific information dressed up in an easy-to-follow story. Plus, Garchinsky’s pastel illustrations are mesmerizing.

The Secret Life of the Little Brown Bat is a perfect introduction to bats for young readers.

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press (September 11, 2018)
ISBN-10: 9781629796017
ISBN-13: 978-1629796017

 

A Place for Bats by Melissa Stewart  and illustrated by Higgins Bond

In addition to facts about bats, the author discusses how humans effect bat populations. She offers suggestions how we can protect and encourage bats.

Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers; Revised Edition  (April 1, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1561457639
ISBN-13: 978-1561457632

The Bat Book by Conrad Storad and illustrated by Nate Jensen and Tristan Jensen

Little Boy Bat lives under the famous Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas. He decides to write a book to help humans learn bats are not frightening. The result is both enlightening and fun.

The Bat Book is full of passion about bats and that enthusiasm is sure to spill over to the reader. Don’t be “scared” to pick a copy up today. Reviewed at Growing with Science.

Bats by Gail Gibbons

Gail Gibbons always knows what kids are curious about for a given topic. She describes different kinds of bats, as well as their physical characteristics, behaviors, and life cycle.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Holiday House (January 1, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0823416372
ISBN-13: 978-0823416370

Zipping, Zapping, Zooming Bats (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) by Ann Earle  and illustrated by Henry Cole

Explore where bats live, how mothers raise their pups, and how bats hunt for food. Backmatter includes a plan for a building a bat house.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins (March 31, 1995)
ISBN-10: 006445133X
ISBN-13: 978-0064451338

Middle Grade

Bat Citizens by Rob Laidlaw

The “bat citizens” from the title are young people from around the world who study bats and let others know how they can help conserve them. Meet Truth Miller from New York, Dara McAnulty from Northern Ireland, and Eleanor and Samson Davis from Australia, among others.

In between the descriptions of the kids and their projects are interesting facts about bats. The center features a fold-out illustration of the anatomy of a hoary bat. The back matter includes lists of 14 ways you can help bats and organizations that help bats.

Bat Citizens introduces young ambassadors for bats in a way that is likely to inspire others to get involved in science and conservation efforts. It is a great choice for budding scientists and conservationists alike.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Pajama Press (May 11, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1772780391
ISBN-13: 978-1772780390

The Bat Scientists by Mary Kay Carson and photographs by her husband, Tom Uhlman

Author Carson accompanies bat scientist Merlin Tuttle into a cave in Texas to find out what studying bats in like. Immediately the reader learns that this field is not for the squeamish. Why would anyone wade through bat guano teeming with insects while breathing through a respirator in a smelly cave at temperatures of 100° F? They do it because it turns out that bats are pretty important in the scheme of things. By learning more about them, hopefully we can protect these fragile and misunderstood little creatures before it is too late.

Reviewed at Wrapped in Foil.

Combining Fact and Fiction

The Magic School Bus Going Batty: A Book About Bats by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen

It’s always tricky to know where to place these delightfully imaginative books. Although the story flies off into the realm of science fiction, readers are sure to learn a lot of science facts.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; First Edition edition (October 1, 1996)
ISBN-10: 0590738720
ISBN-13: 978-0590738729

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

Readers learn a lot from a mixed up bat who thinks she’s a bird. A classic.

Age Range: 4 – 7 years
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Oversize edition (February 15, 1997)
ISBN-10: 015201540X
ISBN-13: 978-0152015404

Books about Pollinators for Kids

Just in time for National Pollinator Week we have a list of children’s books about the importance of pollinators and how to protect them.

Check out the links below to our lists of books about:

These posts contain Amazon Affiliate links.

Beginning Reader

Animal Pollinators by Jennifer Boothroyd

Emphasis is often put on the importance of insect pollinators like bees and butterflies, but learn how animals like hummingbirds, mice, and bats also help pollinate plants. Simple text is perfect for beginning readers.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group (January 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1467760692
ISBN-13: 978-1467760690

 

Picture Books

Flower Talk: How Plants Use Color to Communicate by Sara C. Levine and illustrated by Masha D’yans.

Narrated by the snarky purple cactus you see on the cover, Flower Talk explores why plants “talk” to animals via their flowers and how they entice the animals to carry their pollen from place to place. Levine goes into details about how the different flower colors attract different kinds of pollinators. She also notes that plants with green flowers, like grasses, “aren’t talking to anyone.” They are wind pollinated.

Masha D’yans’ amazing digitally-enhanced watercolor illustrations add just the right amount of fun to keep kids entranced.

Flower Talk is perfect for kids who love fiction as well as for kids who prefer nonfiction. Pick up a copy and find out what the “talk” is all about.

Age Range: 7 – 11 years
Publisher: Millbrook Press TM (March 5, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1541519280
ISBN-13: 978-1541519282

Bees, Bugs, and Butterflies: A Family Guide to Our Garden Heroes and Helpers by Ben Raskin

A fun mix of facts and activities.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Roost Books (March 13, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1611805538
ISBN-13: 978-1611805536

Flowers Are Calling by Rita Gray and illustrated by Kenard Pak

With lightly-humorous, rhyming text, the author encourages children to compare kinds of animals that are attracted to flowers and serve as pollinators with animals that are not likely to be pollinators. Is a snake a pollinator? “No, not a snake, for goodness sake!” For a full review of the book see Wrapped in Foil.

Age Range: 4 – 7 years
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (March 3, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0544340124
ISBN-13: 978-0544340121

 

What Is Pollination? by Bobbie Kalman

Shows not only how important pollination is, but also how pollinators are threatened.

Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Publisher: Crabtree Publishing Company (October 1, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0778733068
ISBN-13: 978-0778733065

The Reason for a Flower: A Book About Flowers, Pollen, and Seeds (Explore!) by Ruth Heller

Written in rhyme and illustrated with Heller’s unique, vibrant art. Older, but enjoyable for kids of all ages.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Puffin Books; Reissue edition (February 15, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0698115597
ISBN-13: 978-0698115590

Middle Grade

The Clover & the Bee; A Book of Pollination by Anne Ophelia Dowden

This classic title is amazing in its details. It is like an easy-to-read college textbook about plants and insects in condensed form.

In addition, the illustrations by the author are fabulous.

Age Range: 10 and up
Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (May 1, 1990)
ISBN-10: 0690046774
ISBN-13: 978-0690046779

Children’s Science Books About Eclipses

The August 21, 2017 solar eclipse that will be visible from much of North America is generating a lot of interest in Astronomy. Now is a perfect time to introduce children to the science of eclipses.

Note:  This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.

Beginning/Easy Reader

Beginning reader books typically have short sentences and carefully-controlled vocabulary.

Eclipses (Amazing Sights of the Sky) by Martha E. H. Rustad

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 1
Publisher: Capstone Press (August 1, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1515767590
ISBN-13: 978-1515767596

Eclipses (The Night Sky: and Other Amazing Sights in Space) by Nick Hunter

This title includes information about both solar and lunar eclipses. There’s also an activity suggestion and viewing tips.

(The date of the 2017 will be August 21, not August 17.)

Age Range: 6 – 8 years
Grade Level: 1 – 3
Series: The Night Sky: and Other Amazing Sights in Space
Publisher: Heinemann (July 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 143297520X
ISBN-13: 978-1432975203

 

Picture Books

The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons

Gail Gibbons has an incredible knack for knowing exactly what young children want to learn and how to explain it to them. Although about the moon, it includes explanations of eclipses.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: National Geographic School Pub (January 1, 1997)
ISBN-10: 0823413640
ISBN-13: 978-0823413645

The Big Eclipse by Nancy Coffelt

All you’ll need to learn about the eclipse. There’s also an accompanying activity book available.

Paperback: 16 pages
Publisher: Orbit Oregon; 1st edition (2016)
Language: English
ASIN: 1945170859

 

Middle Grade

When the Sun Goes Dark by Andrew Fraknoi and Dennis Schatz

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Publisher: NSTA Kids (May 1, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1681400111
ISBN-13: 978-1681400112

 

Go See The Eclipse: And Take a Kid with You by Chap Percival


Go See the Eclipse explains what an eclipse is, and gives specific advice on where to go, what to take, and how to prepare. Also contains personal anecdotes about the thrill of viewing a total eclipse.

Paperback: 148 pages
Publisher: Bee Ridge Press; 1a edition (April 24, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0986197521
ISBN-13: 978-0986197529

Adult eclipse books

American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World 1st Edition by David Baron

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Liveright; 1 edition (June 6, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1631490168
ISBN-13: 978-1631490163

Sun Moon Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets by Tyler Nordgren (Author)

Hardcover: 264 pages
Publisher: Basic Books; 1 edition (September 13, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0465060927
ISBN-13: 978-0465060924

Fiction

The Eclipse: A Guatemalan Folktale by Nicholas Beatty and illustrated by Antonio Ixtamer

Paperback: 42 pages
Publisher: Goops Unlimited (May 5, 2013)
ISBN-10: 098348659X
ISBN-13: 978-0983486596

 

Do you have a favorite book about eclipses? We’d love to hear about it.

#Kidlit Science Poem Books for Children

April is Poetry Month. What better time to promote both science and poetry? For budding scientists, hearing science poetry might increase their interest in language arts. For budding poets, reading science poetry will make them realize that any topic can be fodder for a poem. It’s a winning combination.

This list is not organized by reading level like some of the others here because poems are often enjoyed by readers of a wide range of ages.

Note: Post contains affiliate links to Amazon.

 

Poetry Books Featuring Animals

Animal Ark: Celebrating our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures (National Geographic Kids) by Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess, Deanna Nikaido, and photographs by Joel Sartore

Animal Ark is an amazing combination of image and text. Full of vibrant verbs, the poems leap off the page. But the words aren’t all that make this a powerful book. The photographs by National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore are incredible, too. Every detail stands out crisp against simple black or white backgrounds. How do you fit over 100 gorgeous photographs into one children’s book? The secret is fold out pages. In the back, a fold shows the name of each animal in the book, as well as its IUCN status.

Animal Ark is so moving, it just might leave you breathless. Perfect to share the main pages for story time with a class, or cuddle up with at bedtime with kids and go through the fold outs. At the very least, expect children to want to go back to it again and again.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (February 14, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1426327676
ISBN-13: 978-1426327674

Leaf Litter Critters by Leslie Bulion and illustrated by Robert Meganck

Written as a series of poems and with cartoon-like illustrations, this serious text might just entice some readers who prefer fiction to explore a less-than-glamorous ecosystem.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (March 1, 2018)
ISBN-10: 156145950X
ISBN-13: 978-1561459506

National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry: 200 Poems with Photographs That Squeak, Soar, and Roar! compiled by J. Patrick Lewis

For this book, Lewis combines some of the best poems written about animals with phenomenal photographs, many from National Geographic’s own archives. Starting with a chapter called “Welcome to the World” and moving through “the big ones,” the little ones,” “the winged ones,” etc., Lewis has arranged the poems in such a way that they feel like a coherent whole, even though they are by poets as diverse as D.H. Lawrence, Ogden Nash, and Jane Yolen.

In the back are two pages about writing poems the describes the various forms with humorous examples and encourages children to write their own poetry.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (September 11, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1426310099
ISBN-13: 978-1426310096

What’s for Dinner?: Quirky, Squirmy Poems from the Animal World by Katherine B. Hauth and illustrated by David Clark

A Junior Library Guild selection, this book features 29 poems in a variety of formats. The theme is what animals eat and food chains.

Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge; 1 edition (February 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1570914729
ISBN-13: 978-1570914720

General Science Poetry Books

What Is Science? by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa

As an expansion of a poem originally featured in the next book, Spectacular Science, it gives an overview of scientific fields for the youngest reader.

Age Range: 5 – 7 years
Publisher: Square Fish; Reprint edition (June 14, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1250079497
ISBN-13: 978-1250079497

Spectacular Science: A Book of Poems compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Virginia Halstead

Hopkins has selected 15 poems by a variety of poets and about a variety of science-related topics. Probably best for grades 2-3.

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (July 1, 2002)
ISBN-10: 0689851200
ISBN-13: 978-0689851209

Science Verse (Golden Duck Awards. Picture Book (Awards)) by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Lane Smith

Get that wacky author-and-illustrator pair together and you know it’s going to be a funny book.

Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers; Library Binding edition (September 2004)
ISBN-10: 0670910570
ISBN-13: 978-0670910571

 

Series by Authors

This section features children’s author-poets who have been prolific and popular. We just picked two examples, look for many more titles by each.

Douglas Florian is well known for his poetry books for children that feature nature and science.

For example, try Poetrees.

Florian includes poems about trees from around the world like the banyan and monkey puzzle, not just common North American ones. The layout consists of vertical, two-page spreads, giving the feel of looking at a tall tree. Florian’s illustrations are intriguing and unconventional.

Age Range: 6 – 10 years
Publisher: Beach Lane Books; 1 edition (March 9, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1416986723
ISBN-13: 978-1416986720

lizards, frogs, and polliwogs by Douglas Florian

Example Excerpt:

I am a frozen frogsicle.
I froze beneath a logsicle.

But I don’t care, I feel at ease,
For I am full of antifreeze.

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 1, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0152052488
ISBN-13: 978-0152052485

 

Joyce Sidman writes some wonderful science and nature poetry books. Here are just two of her titles.

Ubiquitous:  Celebrating Nature’s Survivors by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beckie Prange

In this book, Sidman features the species that survived rather than went extinct. Each of the 14 creatures she has chosen is shown in a two-page spread. On one page is a lovely, creative poem and opposite is a page of exquisitely condensed scientific information, including scientific names.

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (April 5, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0618717196
ISBN-13: 978-0618717194

Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold (Junior Library Guild Selection) by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Rick Allen

Again features poems and then sidebars with scientific facts about how animals survive winter.

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (November 4, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0547906501
ISBN-13: 978-0547906508

Although her books are older and some are out of print, Ruth Heller also has a series of nonfiction picture books told in lively rhyme. Here are two of her titles:

How to Hide an Octopus and Other Sea Creatures (Reading Railroad) by Ruth Heller

A lively introduction to camouflage in the animal kingdom that also introduces a number of novel sea creatures, like pipefish and red sea dragons. The bright illustrations by the author are unique and eye-catching, and looking for the animals hiding in each spread is great fun. This classic is well worth revisiting.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap (April 29, 1992)
ISBN-10: 0448404788
ISBN-13: 978-0448404783

The Reason for a Flower: A Book About Flowers, Pollen, and Seeds (Explore!) by Ruth Heller

Although for the most part still accurate, this older book does include fungi with plants. The two groups are know organized into separate kingdoms.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Puffin Books; Reissue edition (February 15, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0698115597
ISBN-13: 978-0698115590

Tish Rabe at The Cat in The Hat’s Learning Library has a series of outstanding books with rhyming text on a variety of science topics.

Oh Say Can You Say What’s the Weather Today?: All About Weather (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library) by Tish Rabe and illustrated by Aristides Ruiz

What better way to learn about weather phenomena and vocabulary than through bouncy rhymes with the Cat in the Hat? This unique series encourages children to explore complex concepts in a painless way. The best part is, in spite of the cartoon illustrations, they are well-researched and informative.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; English Language edition (May 25, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0375822763
ISBN-13: 978-0375822766

Inside Your Outside: All About the Human Body by Tish Rabe and illustrated by Aristides Ruiz

Another example of the books in this fabulous series.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (August 26, 2003)
ISBN-10: 0375811001
ISBN-13: 978-0375811005

For Educators

The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science (Teacher’s Edition): Poems for the School Year Integrating Science, Reading, and Language Arts by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong

Why stop at just Poetry Month? This anthology contains poems and activity ideas for an entire school year. Both teacher and student additions by grade level are available.

Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: Pomelo Books (February 28, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1937057976
ISBN-13: 978-1937057978

Related Lists:

You may want to visit these related lists of poetry books from Science Books for Kids, too:

Poetry-book-about-insects-for-childrenPoetry books about insects for children

poetry-books-for-children-about-spacePoetry books about planets and space for children

 

Children’s Books About Polar Habitats

Rather than focus on a certain kind of animal, sometimes children want to investigate the groups of living organisms found in a particular habitat. For this post, we are going to focus on animals found around the North and South Poles.

polar-habitats

Note: this post contains affiliate links to Amazon.

Beginning Reader

National Geographic Readers: Polar Bears by Laura Marsh

National Geographic Children’s books pair top quality photographs with clear, age -appropriate informational text. Polar bears are in the news today, and this book is a great introduction for the youngest reader.

Age Range: 4 – 6 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (April 9, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1426311044
ISBN-13: 978-1426311048

Amazing Arctic Animals (Penguin Young Readers, Level 3) by Jackie Glassman and illustrated by Lisa Bonforte

 

Grouped by whether they occur on the land, in the sea, or in the air, this book features many of the key animals found in the Arctic.

Age Range: 6 – 8 years
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers (September 16, 2002)
ISBN-10: 044842844X
ISBN-13: 978-0448428444

Picture Books

 

About Habitats: Polar Regions by Cathryn Sill and illustrated by John Sill

The Sills are a talented couple who have been collaborating on books in the About Habitats series. If you have seen their work before, you know what to expect. John Sill’s gorgeous watercolor illustrations catch the readers’ eyes. Then they turn to Cathryn Sill’s clear, uncomplicated language. In remarkably few words she explains the scene and draws readers into it.

Age Range: 4 – 7 years
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (August 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1561458325
ISBN-13: 978-1561458325

 

Polar Bears by Mark Newman

The photographs in the book are the author, Mark Newman, who is a famous wildlife photographer. Need I say more?

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Square Fish; First Edition edition (November 17, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1250069556
ISBN-13: 978-1250069559

 

Where Do Polar Bears Live? (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) by Sarah L. Thomson and Illustrated by Jason Chin

The Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series books are always well-researched and informative. Add illustrations by award-winning author-illustrator Jason Chin and you have a treat.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (December 31, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0061575178
ISBN-13: 978-0061575174

 

Polar Bears by Gail Gibbons and Megan Lloyd

Gail Gibbons is the queen of children’s nonfiction. She always seems to know what questions children ask.This book covers the life of polar bears in detail.

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Publisher: Holiday House; Ill edition (September 1, 2002)
ISBN-10: 0823417689
ISBN-13: 978-0823417681

 

Polar Bears and Penguins: A Compare and Contrast Book by Katharine Hall

Ever see a picture or cartoon with penguins and polar bears in the same scene? This book carefully explains why that is incorrect and covers the life of each animal.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing (February 10, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1628552182
ISBN-13: 978-1628552188

Animal Planet Polar Animals (Animal Bites Series) by Laaren Brown

As you can see from the images on the cover, this books deals with animals in cold places from polar bears in the Arctic to penguins in the Antarctic. In fact, maps of the two poles are included, as well as a sidebar with the average summer and winter temperatures in both regions.

Do you know what a bergy bit or a growler are? Not only does the book cover animals, but also other unique aspects of the habitat. (Bergy bits and growlers are different types of ice that can be found floating in seawater.)

Polar Animals is an enjoyable introduction to the animals in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. It has something from everyone because it offers both a fast facts and breathtaking photographs for the casual reader, and sufficient in-depth information for the more serious reader.

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Publisher: Animal Planet (March 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 161893161X
ISBN-13: 978-1618931610

Ice Is Nice!: All About the North and South Poles (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library) by Bonnie Worth and illustrated by Aristides Ruiz and Joe Mathieu

The books in the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library series use familiar characters and rhyming text to bring nonfiction to a wider audience. Excellent series!

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (August 10, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0375828850
ISBN-13: 978-0375828850

 

Little Penguin: The Emperor of Antarctica by Jonathan London and illustrated by Julie Olson

Young children will relate to this story about the first few months in a young penguin’s life.

Age Range: 6 – 8 years
Publisher: Two Lions (October 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0761459545
ISBN-13: 978-0761459545

 

Middle Grade

Hopping Ahead of Climate Change by Sneed B. Collard III

Many people have heard about the plight of polar bears, having to swim farther and farther to find food because of the melting sea ice in the Arctic. This book discusses Professor Scott Mills’s research on the effects of climate change on a smaller, cuter animal: the snowshoe hare.

The book is illustrated with color photographs of hares and their habitats, as well as helpful graphs, charts, and maps. Although it may look superficially like a picture book, this is a solidly middle grade title for readers 10 years old and older.

Pick up Hopping Ahead of Climate Change for students interested in environmental issues, animals, or science. You will be glad you did.

Hardcover: 64 pages
Publisher: Bucking Horse Books (November 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0984446087
ISBN-13: 978-0984446087

Save

Children’s Books about Water

Let’s start a growing list of children’s books about water science and the water cycle.

Children's-Books-About-Water

Note: this post contains affiliate links to Amazon.

Beginning Reader

Picture Books

Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Beach Lane Books; 1 edition (January 6, 2015)
ISBN-10: 148142064X
ISBN-13: 978-1481420648

Water Can Be . . . (Millbrook Picture Books) by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Violeta Dabija

Water Can Be… Very Important

Ages 5-8
Series: Millbrook Picture Books
Publisher: Millbrook Pr Trade (April 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1467705918
ISBN-13: 978-1467705912

Water Is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin

Age Range: 6 – 10 years
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (May 26, 2015)
ISBN-10: 159643984X
ISBN-13: 978-1596439849

All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon and illustrated by Katherine Tillotson

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books (March 22, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1416971300

A Drop Around the World by Barbara McKinney and illustrated by Michael S. Maydak

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Dawn Pubns (April 1, 1998)
ISBN-10: 1883220726
ISBN-13: 978-1883220723

Middle Grade

Water Runs Through This Book by Nancy Bo Flood

 

WaterRuns

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing (August 25, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1936218135
ISBN-13: 978-1936218134

Children’s Books about Galaxies and Stars

What is more inspiring than gazing at the stars? How about the amazing photographs of nebulae taken by the Hubble telescope?

stars-books-buttonIn this list of books, we have flown beyond the planets in our solar system and are now exploring the stars, galaxies and other features of the universe. The titles are organized by genre and reading level.

This list is still under construction and we’d love your suggestions!

You might also be interested in our list of space and astronomy poetry books for kids, and our list of children’s books about the solar system and planets.

(Note:  Linked titles go to Amazon for more information. Please see the disclaimer below).

Nonfiction

Beginning Readers- Informational Texts

 

show-me-space
Show Me Space: My First Picture Encyclopedia (My First Picture Encyclopedias) by Steve Kortenkamp is a visually-stimulating way to learn about our sun, the planets, moons and even far away galaxies.

Reading level: 1-2
Ages 4-8
Series: My First Picture Encyclopedias
Publisher: Capstone Press (February 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1620659220
ISBN-13: 978-1620659229

stars and constellations

Stars and Constellations (Heinemann First Library: The Night Sky: And Other Amazing Sights in Space) by Nick Hunter explores what stars are, where they come from, what makes them shine, what people thought of them in the past, and how we study stars today, starting with the nearest star, the Sun. A fun activity is provided along with advice on viewing stars.

Reading Level:  Grades 1-3
Publisher: Heinemann (August 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 143297517X
ISBN-13: 978-1432975173

 

Picture Books

 

Stars by Seymour Simon

Seymour Simon is known for his science books for kids. This text gives an introduction to stars and star cycles. Note: as one reviewer pointed out, the color of a star is related to mass rather than age.

Age Range: 6 – 10 years
Publisher: HarperCollins (May 23, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0060890010
ISBN-13: 978-0060890018

 

Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2 has a whole series of titles about space and space exploration:

 

 

Floating in Space (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) by Franklyn M. Branley and illustrated by True Kelley

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins (January 3, 1998)
ISBN-10: 0064451429
ISBN-13: 978-0064451420

 

The Sky Is Full of Stars (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)
 by Franklyn M. Branley and illustrated by Felicia Bond

This title is about the constellations you can see in the night sky. Because it is illustrated by Felicia Bond (Give a Mouse a Cookie), it has a different look than some of the others that come later in the series.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (March 9, 1983)
ISBN-10: 0064450023
ISBN-13: 978-0064450027

 

The Big Dipper (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1)
 by Franklyn M. Branley and illustrated by Molly Coxe

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins; Revised edition (April 15, 1991)
ISBN-10: 0064451003
ISBN-13: 978-0064451000

 

 

Middle Grade

Inside Stars (Inside Series) by Andra Serlin Abramson and Mordecai-Mark Mac Low

The illustrations in Inside Stars are just amazing, as you can tell from the cover image.  Author Mordecai-Mark Mac Low is a curator at the American Museum of Natural History in the department of Astrophysics, so you know the information is accurate.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Sterling (July 5, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1402781628
ISBN-13: 978-1402781629

Planets, Stars, and Galaxies: A Visual Encyclopedia of Our Universeby David A. Aguilar

Lovely illustrations. Just be aware that although author David A. Aguilar has a good reputation, at least one reviewer found a number of errors in this book. If you are using it as a resource for a report, be sure to double-check your facts with other sources.

Age Range: 10 and up
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books; Reprint edition (October 9, 2007)
ISBN-10: 1426301707
ISBN-13: 978-1426301704

Space, Stars, and the Beginning of Time: What the Hubble Telescope Saw by Elaine Scott

A history of the Hubble Telescope and overview of how the images it has captured have added to the field of astronomy. Although written for middle grades, it is also useful for adults wishing to brush up on the topic.

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Grade Level: 4 – 7
Publisher: Clarion Books (January 24, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0547241895
ISBN-13: 978-0547241890

 

Beyond the Solar System: Exploring Galaxies, Black Holes, Alien Planets, and More; A History with 21 Activities (For Kids series) by Mary Kay Carson

Just as it says in the subtitle, Beyond the Solar System is an amazing history lesson, capturing mini-biographies of many of the key players in the development of our current understanding of space. The reader learns about the contributions of astronomers such as al-Sufi, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Einstein, Caroline Herschel, and Annie Jump Cannon. Each piece builds on the previous sections. It also is a thought-provoking overview of the science of astronomy, moving from early observations of constellations to dark energy and dark matter, and beyond. Seeing the discoveries and concepts unfurl against the backdrop of history really helps put them in perspective and makes it easy to understand and remember.

Add in 21 hands-on activities to reinforce learning and you have a truly stellar book!

Age Range: 9 and up
Publisher: Chicago Review Press (June 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1613745443
ISBN-13: 978-1613745441

 

A Black Hole Is Not a Hole by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano

Using analogies and straightforward language intermixed with more light, conversational tone, Carolyn DeCristofano does a wonderful job of explaining what a black hole is and what it is not. The author’s note in the back matter about fact-checking should be required reading for everyone, not just children.

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge (February 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1570917833
ISBN-13: 978-1570917837

Universe: Journey Into Deep Space by Mike Goldsmith and illustrated by Mark A. Garlick

Imagine you were on a space ship traveling past the moon, out of solar system and through our galaxy to 55,000 light years away, while taking photographs of things you would see on the way. This is the unique premise of this book that delves not only deeply into space, but also into a deep explanation of many space phenomena. Be prepared to learn vocabulary like pulsars, nebulae, supernovas and supermassive black holes, etc.

Age Range: 8 – 14 years
Publisher: Kingfisher; Har/Pstr edition (September 18, 2012)
ISBN-10: 075346876X
ISBN-13: 978-0753468760

 

Young Adult

It is often difficult to find good nonfiction science books for young adults. By the time readers reach their teen years, if they are interested in science they are often forced to resort to reading books written for adults. That is why we were excited to find Our Universe Revealed: A Cosmic Exploration by E. L. Strauss, which targets this under-served age group.

The illustrations in the book are amazing. They include a selection of photographs and artist’s renditions of that are wondrous to behold, as well as numerous detailed charts and tables. Instead of a simple illustration of the Scientific Method, Strauss gives a much more complex and realistic “Process of Investigation” flow chart. What scientist hasn’t wandered “down a few dark alleys” as Strauss explains?

Although – as the book summary states – Our Universe Revealed is “aimed at bright, gifted, curious and creative teens,” it is also likely to appeal to adults who want a clear understanding of some of the most cutting-edge concepts in astronomy today. Nothing expands your mind like exploring the cosmos and this book is a wonderful way to start.

Disclaimer: Just so you know, I am an affiliate with Amazon. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the title links, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you, the proceeds of which will help pay for maintaining this website.

Children’s Books about Planets and the Solar System

If you are doing a science theme about planets or the solar system and are looking for books for children, you’ve come to the right place. (Note:  Linked titles go to Amazon for more information. Please see the disclaimer below).

The titles are organized by genre and reading level.

planet-books-button

You might also be interested in:

 

Nonfiction

Beginning Readers- Informational Texts

space

Space (Smithsonian Little Explorer) by Martha E. H. Rustad is a quick introduction to topics ranging from the moon and planets to the Big Bang. Colorful photographs and eye-catching illustrations help keep interest and put things in perspective. See how many Earths placed on top of each other would equal the height of the sun. Fascinating!

Reading Level grades 1-2
Publisher: Capstone Press (November 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1476535515
ISBN-13: 978-1476535517

comets

Comets (Heinemann First Library: the Night Sky and Other Amazing Sights in Space) by Nick Hunter explains how these bits of dust and ice orbit the sun in our solar system. Starting with ancient records of comets, Hunter describes some of the most famous comets and how they were discovered, He concludes with an activity using balls and a playing field to help children conceptualize the vastness of space.

Reading Level:  Grades 1-3
Publisher: Heinemann (August 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1432975196
ISBN-13: 978-1432975197

show-me-space
Show Me Space: My First Picture Encyclopedia (My First Picture Encyclopedias) by Steve Kortenkamp is a visually-stimulating way to learn about our sun, the planets, moons and even far away galaxies.

Reading level: 1-2
Ages 4-8
Series: My First Picture Encyclopedias
Publisher: Capstone Press (February 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1620659220
ISBN-13: 978-1620659229

 

eclipses

Eclipses (Heinemann First Library: The Night Sky: And Other Amazing Sights in Space) by Nick Hunter (Author) examines both solar and lunar eclipses, as well as eclipses on other planets. The book covers what an eclipse is, what eclipses can look like, how they happen, what people thought of eclipses in the past, and how they are studied today. He concludes with an activity, along with advice on viewing eclipses.

Reading Level:  Grades 1-3
Publisher: Heinemann (August 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1432975153
ISBN-13: 978-1432975159

Northen Lights

Northern Lights (Heinemann First Library) by Nick Hunter covers some of the coolest phenomena we can see without a telescope: the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights.  He explains what they are, what they look like, where they can be seen, and how they are caused. Readers also learn about the significance of solar storms, the Southern Lights, what people thought about auroras in the past, and how they are explored today. As with the others in this series, he concludes with a fun activity.

Reading level:  Grades 1-3
Publisher: Heinemann (August 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1432975161
ISBN-13: 978-1432975166

 

Picture Books

Mission to Mars by Mary Kay Carson

With interest in travel to Mars expanding, Carson makes a detailed comparison between Mars and the Earth while describing the history of Mars exploration, right up to the recent Mars rovers.

Age Range: 6 and up
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books (February 6, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1454923512
ISBN-13: 978-1454923510

Exoplanets by Seymour Simon

What are exoplanets? Exoplanets are planets found outside our solar system. The first confirmed exoplanet was discovered in 1992, but many, many are now known.

Seymour Simon talks about his inspiration for the book in this video:

Age Range: 6 – 10 years
Publisher: HarperCollins (March 27, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0062470574
ISBN-13: 978-0062470577

Saturn Could Sail (Did You Know?) by Laura Lyn DiSiena and Hannah Eliot, with illustrations by Pete Oswald and Aaron Spurgeon

Do you know what the title Saturn Could Sail refers to? It turns out Saturn is less dense than water and could float in it if one could find a container of water large enough. Given our experience has mostly been with our own rocky planet, which is much denser than water, the fact a something as huge as a planet could float is very surprising to think about.

This books is full of the kind of thought-provoking facts that a certain type of child is going to soak up like a sponge and then bring up every chance he or she gets, usually prefaced with the words, “Did you know…?”

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Little Simon (December 16, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1481414283
ISBN-13: 978-1481414289
meteorite-to-museum

How the Meteorite Got to the Museum by Jessie Hartland

In her usual lightly humorous style Hartland reveals how a piece of the Peekskill meteorite ended up on display at the American Museum of Natural History. This book is the third in a series in which Hartland uses a cumulative story technique borrowed from “The House that Jack Built.” Here she explains where the meteorite came from, who saw it, and what the owner of the car did when she discovered the damage, etc.

Reviewed at Wrapped in Foil

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Grade Level: 1 – 4
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Blue Apple Books (October 8, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1609052528
ISBN-13: 978-1609052522

Destined for Space: Our Story of Exploration (Smithsonian) by Don Nardo

Don Nardo is foremost a historian and he brings a historical perspective to the human exploration of space. Starting with the observations of the earliest humans, he gives a fast-paced overview of what we have learned and accomplished in our quest to figure out, “What’s out there?”

Ages: 7-11
Publisher: Capstone Press (January 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1429680245
ISBN-13: 978-1429680240

 

 Pluto’s Secret: An Icy World’s Tale of Discovery by Margaret Weitekamp and David DeVorkin, illustrated by Diane Kidd

With the the change in 2006 from having nine planets in the solar system to only eight, children may be wondering what happened to Pluto. Why isn’t it a planet any longer?  Pluto’s Secret: An Icy World’s Tale of Discovery by Margaret Weitekamp, with David DeVorkin, and illustrated by Diane Kidd uses a whimsical approach to explain the discovery of Pluto, its history and how scientific classifications change as we uncover more information about the world around us.

Reviewed at Growing with Science

Age Range: 5 – 9 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 4
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (March 12, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1419704230
ISBN-13: 978-1419704239

 

13 Planets: The Latest View of the Solar System by David A. Aguilar

Explains the most recent view (2011) of the planets in our solar system, with eight planets in the classical sense and five dwarf planets.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (March 8, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1426307705
ISBN-13: 978-1426307706

 

National Geographic Kids First Big Book of Space by Catherine D. Hughes and illustrated by David A. Aguilar

At 128 pages, this is a big book! Even though it exceeds the usual length, let’s keep it in the picture book section because of the fabulous illustrations and the reading age level.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (October 9, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1426310145
ISBN-13: 978-1426310140

 

Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2 has a whole series of titles about space and space exploration:

The International Space Station (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)
 by Franklyn M. Branley and illustrated by True Kelley

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins (September 19, 2000)
ISBN-10: 0064452093
ISBN-13: 978-0064452090

 

 

Mission to Mars (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)
by Franklyn M. Branley and illustrated by True Kelley

Explores the premise that someday people may visit, and even live on, Mars.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins (September 3, 2002)
ISBN-10: 0064452336
ISBN-13: 978-0064452335

 

Middle Grade

 

The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity (Scientists in the Field Series) by Elizabeth Rusch

As with other in the excellent Scientists in the Field series, The Mighty Mars Rovers focuses on the work of Steven Squyres, professor of astronomy at Cornell University and lead scientist on the mission.

Age Range: 10 and up
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (June 19, 2012)
ISBN-10: 054747881X
ISBN-13: 978-0547478814

 

Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet by Alexandra Siy

Follow the twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, as they explore Mars. Learn how scientists determined that there was once water on Mars and how the NASA team resolved problems with the rovers from afar in order to prolong the mission.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge; New edition (July 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1570914621
ISBN-13: 978-1570914621

 

Planet Hunter: Geoff Marcy and the Search for Other Earths
by Vicki Oransky Wittenstein

Have you ever wanted to visit the laboratory of a ground-breaking research scientist? Now you can, because Planet Hunter: Geoff Marcy and the Search for Other Earths by Vicki Oransky Wittenstein will allow you to feel like you are standing right next to Dr. Geoff Marcy in his quest to find extrasolar planets (planets that revolve around stars other than our sun).

Full review at Wrapped in Foil

Related activities at Growing with Science

Age Range: 10 – 14 years
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press (March 1, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1590785924
ISBN-13: 978-1590785928

 

Is There Life on Other Planets?: And Other Questions About Space (Is That a Fact?)
by Gregory L. Vogt and illustrated by Colin W. Thompson

Another in the Is That a Fact? series, this one investigates some silly myths as well as serious, such as, “Is the moon made of green cheese? and “Do astronauts wear diapers?”

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Library Binding: 40 pages
Publisher: Lerner Publications (March 2010)
ISBN-10: 0822590824
ISBN-13: 978-0822590828

Spacecraft (Machines Close-Up) by Daniel Gilpin and illustrated by Alex Pang

Full color cut-away illustrations show the ins and outs of space vehicles past, present and future.

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Publisher: Benchmark Books; 1 edition (September 2010)
ISBN-10: 1608701123
ISBN-13: 978-1608701124

 

 

 

Fiction

 

You Are the First Kid on Mars by Patrick O’Brien

Illustrator/author O’Brien takes the reader on an imaginary trip to a colony on Mars in the future. Scientific details and photorealistic illustrations, as well as second person narration, draw the reader into the story. It is not 100% accurate, but is a 100% thrilling ride.

Age Range: 5 and up
Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (May 14, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0399246347
ISBN-13: 978-0399246340

 

Related activity: Exploring Space Without a Spacesuit.

Disclaimer: Just so you know, I am an affiliate with Amazon. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the title links, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you, the proceeds of which will help pay for maintaining this website.

A Giant, Redwood-Sized List of Tree Books for Kids

Children interested in trees? Thinking of doing a tree study unit? Here are some great books about trees for children just in time for Arbor Day.

________________________

Disclaimer: Just so you know, I am an affiliate with Amazon. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the image or title links, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you, the proceeds of which will help pay for maintaining this website.

_________________________

 

Nonfiction Picture Books:

Tall, Tall Tree by Anthony D. Fredericks and illustrated by Chad Wallace

Look for animals way up in the redwood trees, while learning to count from one to ten.

Age Range: 2 – 5 years
Publisher: Dawn Pubns (September 1, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1584696028
ISBN-13: 978-1584696025

The Life Cycle of a Tree by Bobbie Kalman, Kathryn Smithyman, and illustrated by Barbara Bedell has beautiful photographs and full-color illustrations. The chapters cover such topics as what is a tree, what is a life cycle, and how seeds move.

Age Range: 6 and up
Publisher: Crabtree Pub Co; Ill edition (June 2002)
ISBN-10: 0778706893
ISBN-13: 978-0778706892

 

Branching Out: How Trees Are Part of Our World by Joan Marie Galat and illustrated by Wendy Ding describes a particular species of tree, how it used by humans, and what animals depend on that particular kind of tree in a series of four-page spreads. The 11 species of trees highlighted range from red maples and downy birches to pau brasil and cork oaks.

Filled with color photographs and sidebars, this title takes a serious and scientific tone. The introduction about why trees are important is particularly well done.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Owlkids Books (October 14, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1771470496
ISBN-13: 978-1771470490

 

 

Celebritrees: Historic and Famous Trees of the World by Margi Preus and illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon consists of a series of two-page spreads telling the stories of 14 famous, tall and exceptionally-old trees from around the world, the back matter gives more information about the trees and a number of suggestions about what the reader can do to help and encourage trees.

Rather than photographs, Rebecca Gibbon created lighthearted, fun illustrations using a mix of acrylic ink, colored pencils and watercolor. The illustrations allow for a more coherent look and also incorporate details of the text in ingenious ways. The look would definitely appeal to young readers who prefer fiction.

Age Range: 6 – 10 years
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (March 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0805078290
ISBN-13: 978-0805078299

A Log's Life by Wendy Pfeffer, and illustrated by Robin Brickman is for young children who enjoy turning over rocks and looking under logs. This book talks about the importance of the tree, and the log that remains after the tree falls, to the community of animals, plants and fungi around it. The illustrations are unique 3D paper sculptures.

 

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Publisher: Aladdin; Reprint edition (March 6, 2007)
ISBN-10: 1416934839
ISBN-13: 978-1416934837

A Tree Is Growing by Arthur Dorros and illustrated by S.D. Schindler is suitable for a range of audiences. It follows an oak tree through the seasons. Along the way are interesting sidebars of other species. Did you know that baobab trees store water in their trunks and actually swell up? The paper is dark and the illustrations are not the bright primary colors associated with picture books, but are very lifelike.

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Scholastic; 1St Edition edition (April 1997)
ISBN-10: 0590453009
ISBN-13: 978-0590453004

 

Be a Friend to Trees (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out, Stage 2) by Patricia Lauber, and illustrated by Holly Keller, is part of the popular Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out-Science series. The emphasis of this book is how useful trees are. Starting with products and foods we use that come from trees, Lauber then devotes several pages to how many animals need trees for food and homes. Finally she moves to less concrete benefits of trees, such as holding soil and water, and producing oxygen. The last three pages are devoted to simple ideas of how you can be a friend to trees through activities like recycling and planting a tree.

Tree of Life: The World of the African Baobab (Tree Tales) is written and illustrated by Barbara Bash. The baobab tree survives in a harsh environment and is leafless for most of the year. In fact, legend says that the tree was planted upside down. From this beginning, Bash relates the story the life cycle of the tree and all the creatures that depend on it. The watercolors are beautiful.

Cactus Hotel (Big Book) by Brenda Z. Guiberson and illustrated by Megan Lloyd discusses the life cycle of a saguaro. It’s easy to forget that a cactus like a saguaro can be a tree. Once again, this book covers the life cycle of a unique plant found in a harsh environment that is home to many creatures.

Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai (Frances Foster Books) by Caire A. Nivola tells the story of Wangari Maathai, who won the Nobel Peace prize in 2004. Maathai returned to Kenya after studying abroad, to find the trees gone and the people struggling. She encouraged everyone to plant trees again to restore their environment. The nice thing about this book is that it is printed on recycled paper.

Tell Me, Tree: All About Trees for Kids by Gail Gibbons
Starting out with general information abut parts of trees, such as seeds, leaves, bark and roots, Gibbons emphasizes identifying trees. She illustrates the overall shape, leaves and bark of sixteen different trees (although she also identifies leaves and trees throughout the earlier pages as well.) At the end she shows how to make your own tree identification book with pressed leaves, and leaf and bark rubbings. The last page is full of unusual and interesting facts about trees, sure to entice children to want to find out more.

Life Cycle of an Oak Tree (Life Cycle of a...) by Angela Royston.

Starting out with an acorn, and following an oak tree through its life cycle until it is hundreds of years old, the young reader learns both about the developmental process and the vocabulary needed to discuss it. The centerpiece of the story is an English oak, which can live for 900 years. What a venerable tree!Illustrated with clear, colorful photographs, and with a timeline on each page, the book is visually appealing.

Trees, Leaves & Bark (Take-Along Guide) by Diane Burns and illustrated by Linda Garrow is useful as a first identification guide to a few common North American trees.

Sky Tree: Seeing Science Through Artby Thomas Locker and Candace Christiansen follows a tree through the seasons. Although frankly more about art than science, this book is likely to lead to discussions of art techniques and the changes that occur during the seasons.

The Tree in the Ancient Forest by Carol Reed-Jones and Christopher Canyon describes how other living things depend on trees and how trees have life cycles.

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Dawn Pubns; 1st edition (April 1, 1995)
ISBN-10: 1883220319
ISBN-13: 978-1883220310

If I Ran the Rain Forest: All About Tropical Rain Forests (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library) by Bonnie Worth and illustrated by Aristides Ruiz follows The Cat in the Hat as he takes Sally and Dick for a ride through the understory, canopy, and emergent layers of a tropical rain forest. The books in this series are uniformly good and deliver more serious science than the cartoon character illustrations might indicate.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (April 22, 2003)
ISBN-10: 0375810978
ISBN-13: 978-0375810978

I Can Name 50 Trees Today!: All About Trees (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library) by Bonnie Worth and illustrated by Aristides Ruiz and Joe Mathieu uses the familiar Dr. Seuss characters and rhyming scheme to teach children how to identify different species from the shape of their crowns, leaves, lobes, seeds, bark, and fruit. The books in this series are well-researched, and deliver more serious science than the cartoon character illustrations might imply.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (February 28, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0375822771
ISBN-13: 978-0375822773

The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever by H. Joseph Hopkins and illustrated by Jill McElmurry is a lovely picture book biography about Kate Sessions, the woman who is considered to be the Mother of Balboa Park in San Diego.

It is astonishing to learn that San Diego was once an almost barren desert, and that one woman’s vision and determination was able to completely transform it.

Age Range: 5 – 10 years
Publisher: Beach Lane Books (September 17, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1442414022
ISBN-13: 978-1442414020

Leaf Jumpersby Carole Gerber and Leslie Evans is a simple, poetic introduction to identification eight types of fall leaves. Leaves shown include ginkgo, sycamore, and basswood. Then the children sweep up leaves and jump into the pile.

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge; 1 Reprint edition (June 1, 2006)
ISBN-10: 1570914982
ISBN-13: 978-1570914980

Middle Grade Tree Guide

Ultimate Explorer Field Guide: Trees by Patricia Daniels

Each description includes a photo of the entire tree, plus close-ups of identifying parts. Fun facts keep the interest level high.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (October 10, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1426328915
ISBN-13: 978-1426328916

 

Activity Books:

Leaf-and-Tree

Backyard Explorer Kit: 3-in-1 Collector's Kit! by Rona Beame is for children who love hands on activities and want to learn more about trees. The kit includes a 3 1/2 by 8 inch Leaf and Tree Guide to trees (that will conveniently fit in a pocket or backpack), a plastic leaf-collecting bag, and an unbound 25 page Leaf Collecting Album. The guide has information about trees, how to identify a number of common species (with color photographs of specimens), and 16 hands-on activities.

 

Fiction/Poetry About Trees

Poetrees by Douglas Florian is as the title implies, a book of poems about trees. Florian includes poems about trees from around the world like the banyan and monkey puzzle, not just common North American ones. The layout consists of vertical, two-page spreads, giving the feel of looking at a tall tree. If you are familiar with Florian’s illustrations, you will recognize his unconventional art.

Age Range: 6 – 10 years
Publisher: Beach Lane Books; 1 edition (March 9, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1416986723
ISBN-13: 978-1416986720

 

Leaf Man (Ala Notable Children's Books. Younger Readers (Awards)) by Lois Ehlert is inspiring because the author is such a wonderful artist. In this book, we see leaf shapes with added plant materials that form a funny leaf man. When the wind comes up, who knows where the leaf man is going to go.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Harcourt; First Edition edition (September 1, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0152053042
ISBN-13: 978-0152053048

This Tree Counts! by Alison Formento and illustrated Sarah Snow is a counting book that shows all the creatures that depend on the oak tree behind the Oak Lane School. After counting all the creatures and learning about uses of trees, the children plant “baby trees.”

We Planted a Tree by Diane Muldrow and illustrated by Bob Staake is a picture book with poetic text. It shows two families who plant trees, one in New York City and one in Kenya, then follows with trees growing throughout the world.

Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel and illustrated by David Catrow is a bittersweet story about the loss of a tree that meant a lot to a family. You might want to read this one first if your children tend to be sensitive, to see whether it is appropriate.

 

 

Maple by Lori Nichols is really about a new sibling arriving in a family, but features a girl named Maple whose parents planted a maple tree when she was born. She and the tree grow together.

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books (February 20, 2014)
ISBN-10: 039916085X
ISBN-13: 978-0399160851

 

Books for Gardening Together with Children

Looking for activity ideas to incorporate into home, school or community garden projects? Here’s a “growing” list to help you get started. (Updated 3/2015).

 

books-for-gardening-with-children

 

Note: Linked titles go to Amazon for further information and reviews. Just so you know, I am an affiliate with Amazon. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the links, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you, the proceeds of which will help pay for maintaining this website.

 

Gardening Projects for Kids: Fantastic ideas for making things, growing plants and flowers, and attracting wildlife to the garden, with 60 practical projects and 500 photographs by Jenny Hendy

 

With 60 projects to chose from, how can you go wrong?

Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Southwater; Original edition (February 16, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1780190190
ISBN-13: 978-1780190198

It’s Our Garden: From Seeds to Harvest in a School Garden by George Ancona is a warm and delightful picture book about a school garden at the Acequia Madre elementary school in Santa Fe. Ancona provides both color photographs and samples of the children’s art work to document the changes that occur with the seasons (review Wrapped In Foil).

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Candlewick (January 8, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0763653926
ISBN-13: 978-0763653927

The Nitty-Gritty Gardening Book: Fun Projects for All Seasons (Nonfiction – Grades 4-8) by Kari Cornell

The beauty of this book is that it is geared for year-around fun. Most of the projects can be done in a relatively small amount of space.

Library Binding: 48 pages
Publisher: Millbrook Press (January 1, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1467726478
ISBN-13: 978-1467726474

 

 

Gardening Lab for Kids: 52 Fun Experiments to Learn, Grow, Harvest, Make, Play, and Enjoy Your Garden (Hands-On Family) by Renata Fossen Brown, Vice President of Education at the Cleveland Botanical Garden

 

Although the term “experiments” in the subtitle might suggest scientific trials or investigations, for this book “experiment” is actually used more in the sense of “to try something new.” Gardening Lab for Kids is a lovely collection of hands-on activities for children to do for every week of the year, from designing a garden and making seed tape, to planting a garden in a shoe, growing a pizza garden, and constructing a wind chime. In addition, children will certainly learn some science as they explore parts of plants, investigate soils, try out composting, and learn about watering.

Age Range: 5 – 12 years
Publisher: Quarry Books (April 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1592539041
ISBN-13: 978-1592539048

 

Math in the Garden: Hands-On Activities That Bring Math to Life, Ages 5-13 by Jennifer M. White, Katharine D. Barrett, Jaine Kopp, Christine Manoux, Katie Johnson, and Yvette McCullough

Grades K-8
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: National Gardening Association (2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 091587346X
ISBN-13: 978-0915873463

Botany on Your Plate: Investigating the Plants We Eat by Katharine D. Barrett

Science curriculum for grades K-4

Hardcover: 88 pages
Publisher: National Gardening Association (2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0915873494
ISBN-13: 978-0915873494

Success with School Gardens: How to Create a Learning Oasis in the Desert by Linda A. Guy, Lucy K. Bradley, and Cathy L. Cromell

success-with-school-gardens

Although written with the Southwest gardener in mind, it contains many tips for managing a school garden that could apply anywhere.

Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Arizona Master Gardener Press (September 1996)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0965198707
ISBN-13: 978-0965198707

A Child’s Garden: 60 Ideas to Make Any Garden Come Alive for Children (Archetype Press Books)
by Molly Dannenmaier

The hardcover copy I have has a slightly different title/cover. It says “Enchanting Outdoor Spaces for Children and Parents.” Enchanting is the right word. Mixed with informative text about how children play and how important it is for them to play outdoors, are photos of fairytale settings for children to play in. On pages 158-159 is a photo and list of the plants in the George Washington River farm alphabet garden.

Series: Archetype Press Books
Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Timber Press; Updated Pbk. Ed edition (January 15, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0881928437
ISBN-13: 978-0881928433

 

Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children by Sharon Lovejoy

 

roots-shoot-buckets-boots

This is a classic that deserves to be on every gardener’s shelf.

Series: Gardening together with children
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; First Edition, First Printing edition (May 1, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0761110569
ISBN-13: 978-0761110569

 

Growlab: Activities for Growing Minds by Eve Pranis

 

This book is hard to find, but it is worth the search.

Paperback: 307 pages
Publisher: Natl Gardening Assn (May 1990)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 091587332X
ISBN-13: 978-0915873326

 

Gardening with Children (BBG Guides for a Greener Planet) by Monika Hanneman, Patricia Hulse, Brian Johnson, Barbara Kurland, Tracey Patterson, and illustrated by Sam Tomasello

 

This books gets raves. It is indeed the high quality you would expect from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Series: BBG Guides for a Greener Planet
Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: Brooklyn Botanic Garden; Reprint edition (April 5, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1889538787
ISBN-13: 978-1889538785

 

Do you have any favorite gardening books for working with kids? We’d love to hear your suggestions.

Related Resources:

Find books to share with children in these two lists:

 

childrens-books-about-seeds List of Children’s books about seeds.

 

Plant Science Books for Children

Gardening activities inspired by children’s books:

childrens-garden-weekChildren’s Garden Week Activities at Growing With Science Blog

 

You might also be interested in our Gardening/Science Pinterest Board:

 

Pinterest-gardening-right