Beetle Science Books for Kids

We’ve got lists about ants, honey bees, butterflies and moths, and insect-themed poetry. Let’s start a list of beetle science books for kids.

Of all the insect orders, the beetles have the largest number of species by a wide margin. Over 350,000 species have been recognized so far.

This list contains Amazon Affiliate links.

Beginning Readers

It’s a Good Thing There Are Ladybugs by Joanne Mattern

Along with some fun facts, this book also starts and ends with a list of reasons ladybugs are important in nature. Part of the Rookie Read-About Science series.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Childrens Pr (September 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 9780531228302
ISBN-13: 978-0531228302

Beetles by Colleen A. Sexton

Illustrated with colorful stock photographs, the text features controlled vocabulary and bold glossary words, plus short sentences perfect for beginning readers. A brief introduction to the wonderful world of beetles.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Bellwether Media (January 30, 2007)
ISBN-10: 1600140505
ISBN-13: 978-1600140501

 

Picture Books

Bonkers About Beetles by Owen Davey

Owen Davey is a freelance illustrator and his artistic skills make this book a visual treat. The accompanying text is fact-filled and fun, covering topics from beetle anatomy and identification to how to conserve beetles. For older readers than some of the other picture books featured here.

Age Range: 5 – 9 years
Publisher: Flying Eye Books (June 5, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1911171984
ISBN-13: 978-1911171980

A Ladybug’s Life by John Himmelman

Although named ladybugs, these insects are really beetles. Young readers learn about the lady beetle life cycle. Watercolor illustrations by the author.

Age Range: 5 – 6 years
Publisher: Childrens Pr (August 1, 1998)
ISBN-10: 0516263536
ISBN-13: 978-0516263533

A Beetle Is Shy by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by the fabulous Sylvia Long.

The beetle installment from this long-running author/illustrator collaboration is as lovely and beautifully written as the others in the series.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Chronicle Books (April 5, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1452127123
ISBN-13: 978-1452127125

Are You a Ladybug? (Backyard Books) by Judy Allen and illustrated by Tudor Humphries

Another picture book in the Are you a… series that brings young readers into the book by making direct comparisons from humans to insects. These quality books are fun and full of age-appropriate information.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Kingfisher; 1 edition (May 16, 2003)
ISBN-10: 0753456036
ISBN-13: 978-0753456033

Ladybugs by Gail Gibbons

Gail Gibbons knows what questions kids ask, and she provides the answers in a clear and concise way. Illustrated by the author.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Holiday House; Reprint edition (January 7, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0823427609
ISBN-13: 978-0823427604

 

From Mealworm to Beetle: Following the Life Cycle (Amazing Science: Life Cycles) by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Jeff Yesh

Mealworms are grown for pet food and used as bait, but raising them is also a common science project. Learn more about insect metamorphosis by studying the life cycle of this beetle.

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Publisher: Picture Window Books (September 1, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1404849254
ISBN-13: 978-1404849259

Middle Grade

Beetle Busters: A Rogue Insect and the People Who Track It (Scientists in the Field Series) by Loree Griffin Burns and illustrated by Ellen Harasimowicz

Asian longhorned beetles, Anoplophora glabripennis, were first noticed in 1996 in New York City. Because the beetles don’t move far from their emergence site, officials decided the best policy is to destroy all infested trees by cutting them down and chipping them in an effort to eradicate the insects. In her Author’s Note, Loree Griffin Burns admits that she questioned whether attempting to eradicate the beetles was going to be a successful tactic. In an effort to find out more, she gathered the materials that would eventually become the book.

This book is another wonderful addition to the award-winning Scientists in the Field series. Although written at the middle grade level, it will be a valuable resource for older readers, as well. If you live in eastern North America and are interested in nature and science, and particularly in trees, this book a must read.

Age Range: 10 – 14 years
Grade Level: 5 – 9
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1st Edition, 1st Printing edition (October 7, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0547792670
ISBN-13: 978-0547792675

 

Teacher’s Guides

If you can find a copy, Ladybugs by Jean C. Echols is a great resource for educators.

Series: Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California at Berkeley
Paperback: 100 pages
Publisher: Gems; Tch edition (September 1, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0924886196
ISBN-13: 978-0924886195

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Popular Chemistry Books for Young Adults

Most of us learn about chemistry from a textbook, but that doesn’t have to be the only way. There are a number of popular science books about chemistry. Many are written for adults, but may be appropriate for young adults as well. If you have any question as to how appropriate a given title might be for your child(ren), be sure to read it yourself first.

popular chemistry books for young adults

Rust: The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman

Breaking into a topic that has gotten very little attention, Jonathan Waldman explores how rust quietly changes our lives.

Like rusty metal, the book is somewhat tarnished by uneven text, although with some skimming it is possible to find bits that will be interesting to young chemists. For example, the story of the Statue of Liberty shows how very little we know about the chemistry of corrosion and is tightly constructed. On the other hand, the author goes on a walkabout by over-describing a visit with rust photographer, Alyssha Eve Csük (that is not to say that Csük’s abstract photographs are flawed, because they are very beautiful and intriguing. They are simply better seen than described.)  Rust also lacks a bibliography and an index, making it less useful as a research tool. Too bad, because with a bit of polish, this could have been an excellent book and those who are deeply interested in chemistry, history, and human culture will find it worthwhile.

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1St Edition edition (March 10, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1451691599
ISBN-13: 978-1451691597

 

Your Atomic Self: The Invisible Elements That Connect You to Everything Else in the Universe by Curt Stager

Although all matter in the universe is made up of atoms, Dr. Stager has chosen to use the human body as his point of reference, which provides general readers with both a way to relate to the information and a sense of scale.

Rather than an in-depth exploration of human biology, however, it is more like a wandering walk using our basic knowledge of ourselves as a trail marker for exploring the world of elements. The “walk” covers topics from why the sky is blue to how the nitrogen atoms from salmon end up in spruce trees in the Pacific Northwest. The text is roughly organized by sections on the most common elements:  carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, etc.

(Note:  The book does contain references to what happens to bodies after death, which may not be appropriate for some younger teens.)

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (October 14, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1250018846
ISBN-13: 978-1250018847

 

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean

This title is also about elements, but is covers the groups in the periodic table as units. How was an element discovered and who discovered it? Why is it useful and what properties does it have? Interesting tidbits, such as the use of gallium by practical jokers to create “disappearing spoons,” keeps the reader engaged and enthralled.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (June 6, 2011)
ISBN-10: 9780316051637
ISBN-13: 978-0316051637
ASIN: 0316051632

Periodic Tales: A Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc by Hugh Aldersey-Williams

As suggested by the title, this book is not so much scientific as a cultural history of how we humans have discovered and use the chemical elements.

Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Ecco; Reprint edition (February 28, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061824739
ISBN-13: 978-0061824739

The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray, with photographs by Nick Mann

Really a photographic wonder, this book is a series of two-page spreads for each of the first 100 elements. The author has found concrete examples of every element in its pure form, giving the reader a visual understanding of their properties. It is intriguing, unique and entirely appropriate for children.

To get an idea what the book and cards below are like, Theodore Gray has his periodic table of element photographs at http://periodictable.com. To look at each element, click on the photograph.

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers; Reprint edition (April 3, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1579128955
ISBN-13: 978-1579128951

The Photographic Card Deck of The Elements: With Big Beautiful Photographs of All 118 Elements in the Periodic Table
by Theodore Gray

 

Same author and photographer as the above book, but in a card format.

Cards: 126 pages
Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers; Crds edition (October 27, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603761985
ISBN-13: 978-1603761987

Napoleon’s Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History by Penny Le Couteur and Jay Burreson

This title probably contains the most “adult” themes of any in this list, but it also differs from the others because it concentrates on molecules rather than elements.The 17 molecules were chosen for their historical importance.

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Jeremy P Tarcher; Reprint edition (May 24, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1585423319
ISBN-13: 978-1585423316

 

The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry by Larry Gonick and Craig Criddle

 

Cartoon guides like this one are a great way for visual learners to grasp complicated material. Might also draw in older reluctant readers who are intimidated by textbooks.

Series: Cartoon Guide To…
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Collins Reference; 1 edition (May 3, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0060936770
ISBN-13: 978-0060936778

Nature’s Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements by John Emsley

The serious chemistry student may enjoy reading this book from cover to cover, but it also serves as an excellent handy reference to the elements.

Paperback: 720 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press; New Rev Up edition (October 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0199605637
ISBN-13: 978-0199605637

 

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any suggestions for this list.

 

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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.

Popular Chemistry Books for Kids

Most of us learn about chemistry in high school and usually from a textbook, but that doesn’t have to be the only way. Children will enjoy learning about chemistry from these popular books.

popular-chemistry-books-for-kids

 

Beginning Readers

 

What Are Atoms? (Rookie Read-About Science) by Lisa Trumbauer

With short sentences and controlled vocabulary, this is an introduction to atoms for the youngest reader.

Age Range: 6 and up
Publisher: Childrens Pr (March 2005)
ISBN-10: 0516246658
ISBN-13: 978-0516246659

What Is Density? (Rookie Read-About Science) by Joanne Barkan

What does a baseball and a birthday party balloon have in common? Although they are the same because they are both made of matter and take up space, young readers will also find out that they don’t have the same density.

Age Range: 6 and up
Publisher: Children’s Press(CT) (September 1, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0516246607
ISBN-13: 978-0516246604

 

 

All about Matter (Science Builders) by Mari Schuh

With only 151 words, this beginning reader book still manages define matter and explore the three states of matter:  solids, liquids, and gases. As you can see from the cover, it is illustrated with big, colorful photographs.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Pebble Plus (August 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 142967105X
ISBN-13: 978-1429671057

 

Elementary/Picture Books

 

What Is the World Made Of? All About Solids, Liquids, and Gases (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 2) by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld and Paul Meisel

In a gently humorous way, this book introduces children to the idea the world is made of matter and that matter occurs in three states:  solid, liquid, or gas. You can never go wrong with any of the Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series books.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Series: Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2 (Book 1)
Publisher: HarperCollins (August 8, 1998)
ISBN-10: 0064451631
ISBN-13: 978-0064451635


The Solid Truth about Matter (LOL Physical Science) by Mark Weakland and illustrated by Bernice Lum

Humor is also the target of the books in the LOL Physical Science series, but that doesn’t mean the science is not serious. For example, you can find out all about more advanced concepts such as friction and viscosity on page 16 in the book.

Age Range: 8 – 10 years
Grade Level: 3 – 4
Publisher: Fact Finders (August 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1429693029
ISBN-13: 978-1429693028

Molecule Mayhem Pop-Up Chemistry Chaos by Tom Adams and illustrated by Thomas Flintham.

The winner of the 2013 ALCS Educational Writers’ Award, this title from the UK combines the interactivity of pop-ups, pull tabs and booklets with the answers to some chemistry mysteries (“Why do onions make us cry?”) and suggestions for hands-on activities.

Age: 7+
Hardcover: 18 pages
Publisher: Templar (August 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1848772920
ISBN-13: 978-1848772922

 

Solids, Liquids and Gases (Starting with Science) by Ontario Science Centre, illustrated by Ray Boudreau

Tested at the Ontario Science Centre, these 13 experiments exploring solids, liquids, and gases are sure to be hits with younger scientists. Illustrated throughout with bright, lively photographs.

Age Range: 5 – 9 years
Publisher: Kids Can Press (August 12, 1995)
ISBN-10: 1550744011
ISBN-13: 978-1550744019

make-it-change-book

Make It Change! (Whiz Kid Science) by Anna Claybourne, and illustrated by Kimberly Scott and Venetia Dean introduces some easy-to-do hands-on chemistry activities that are sure to intrigue and inspire kids. Are these unique, groundbreaking experiments? No, you can probably find instructions for the twelve experiments that are included throughout the Internet. The difference is the instructions are clear, there are suggestions for troubleshooting, the science behind the experiment is revealed in a concise and accurate way, and suggestions for extending the activities are included.

Grade Level: 2 – 4
Publisher: Raintree (July 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1410967468
ISBN-13: 978-1410967466

 

Middle Grade

Your Guide to the Periodic Table by Gill Arbuthnott and illustrated by Marc Mones

After a brief introduction to the periodic table, Arbuthnott delves into over 70 of the 92 elements.Common elements warrant a two page spread, whereas less common are covered in a page or less. Lively illustrations and photographs add interest. It is a good first introduction/overview.

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Publisher: Crabtree Publishing Company (April 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0778722538
ISBN-13: 978-0778722533

 

Fizz, Bubble & Flash!: Element Explorations & Atom Adventures for Hands-On Science Fun! (Williamson Kids Can! Series) by Anita Brandolini and illustrated by Michael Kline

Don’t be fooled by the cover, this book really is written for older kids. Organized by chemical families, it introduces the everyday elements, such as boron, bismuth, and calcium and gives instructions for hands-on activities to explore them. There is some serious science hiding behind the less-than-serious cartoon illustrations.

Age Range: 9 and up
Series: Williamson Kids Can! Series
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Williamson Pub; First Edition edition (May 2003)
ISBN-10: 188559383X
ISBN-13: 978-1885593832

Cool Chemistry Concoctions: 50 Formulas that Fizz, Foam, Splatter & Ooze
by Joe Rhatigan and Veronika Gunter, with illustrations by Tom La Baff

This book gives the instructions for 50 experiments kids can do with materials generally found around the house. In addition to explaining “What You Do,” each experiment is accompanied by a “Why It Works” section explaining the science behind it. Most of the experiments are classics, but there are a few fresh ones.

Age Range: 8 and up
Paperback: 80 pages
Publisher: Lark Books (March 1, 2007)
ISBN-10: 1579908829
ISBN-13: 978-1579908829

How to Make a Universe with 92 Ingredients: An Electrifying Guide to the Elements by Adrian Dingle

Once readers have a good idea that everything is made up of the same 92 elements, they can flip through and find the elements that intrigue them the most. Wacky illustrations and blasts of humor make it easy to read.

Age Range: 10 – 14 years
Publisher: Owlkids Books (October 15, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1771470089
ISBN-13: 978-1771470087

 

 

Why Is Milk White?: & 200 Other Curious Chemistry Questions by Alexa Coelho and Simon Quellen Field

In this interesting project, 11-year-old Alexa Coelho came up with the questions and science writer Simon Field answered them. Readers can skip to questions that interest them, which is an added plus for reluctant readers. Those fascinated by chemistry, however, won’t be able to put it down.

Age Range: 9 and up
Grade Level: 4 and up
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Chicago Review Press; 1 edition (January 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1613744528
ISBN-13: 978-1613744529

 

Chemical Chaos (Horrible Science) by Nick Arnold and illustrated by Tony De Saulles

The books of the Horrible Science series try to be gross and irreverent, but many, like this one, turn out to be much more educational than crass. Chemical Chaos has history, facts and hands-on activity suggestions all rolled into one. The cartoon illustrations and sidebars are great for visual learners. Members of our family read it again and again.

Age Range: 10 and up
Publisher: Scholastic (September 1998)
ISBN-10: 0590108859
ISBN-13: 978-0590108850

Chemical Chaos (Horrible Science) is also available in Kindle format.

Chemistry (Experimenting With Science) by Antonella Meiani

The layout of the text is clean and serious, with specific instructions for experiments and clear explanations of what is happening. Could be used with a range of ages.

Age Range: 9 and up
Publisher: Lerner Pub Group (L) (September 2002)
ISBN-10: 0822500876
ISBN-13: 978-0822500872

 

Science Fair Projects: Chemistry by Bob Bonnet and Dan Keen, illustrated by Frances Zweifel

Starting with instructions for 47 interesting hands-on experiments and activities, the reader is then invited to expand them into science fair projects. Best for the beginner who needs to learn the scientific method. Although the cover has a gorgeous full-color photograph, the illustrations inside are black and white drawings.


Age Range: 9 and up
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Sterling (June 30, 2001)
ISBN-10: 080697799X
ISBN-13: 978-0806977997

 

 


Basher Science: Chemistry: Getting a Big Reaction by Simon Basher and Dan Green

Do you know a child who is interested in science but finds the traditional nonfiction books a bit too tame and lame? Looking for something a little edgy with a bite of humor (“You have to keep your ‘Ion’ this bunch…”)? Then you might want to take a look at the Basher series science books. Each concept is illustrated in Basher’s unique style.

Full review at Wrapped in Foil

Age Range: 10 – 15 years
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Kingfisher; Pap/Pstr edition (July 6, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0753464136
ISBN-13: 978-0753464137

 

 

The Periodic Table: Elements with Style! by Simon Basher and Adrian Dingle

Once again, Basher’s humor and first person narratives are not for everyone, but just might be the ticket for a reluctant reader.

Age Range: 10 – 15 years
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Kingfisher; Pap/Pstr edition (May 23, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0753460858
ISBN-13: 978-0753460856

 

 

Do you have any favorite chemistry books? We’d love to hear about them!

 

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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.

Bird Books for Kids

Birdwatching is a popular hobby and a great way to introduce children to science and nature.

The linked titles go to Amazon. Please see the disclosure below.

childrens-books-for-young-birdwatchers

 Beginning Readers

Great Horned Owls by Melissa Hill and Gail Saunders-Smith, PhD (Consultant Editor) is part of a new series that feature common species of owls. Early readers explore where owls live, what they eat, and their life cycle, while learning new vocabulary words. Did you know that owls do not build their own nests?

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 1
Publisher: Capstone Press (August 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1491460539
ISBN-13: 978-1491460535
  Burrowing Owls by Melissa Hill and Gail Saunders-Smith, PhD (Consultant Editor) is another title from the new Owls series. Burrowing owls are small owls that live in tunnels in the ground. They are commonly found in the desert.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Capstone Press (August 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1491460466
ISBN-13: 978-1491460467

Peregrine Falcons by Melissa Hill and Gail Saunders-Smith, PhD, Consultant Editor

Did you know that peregrine falcons are the fastest animals on the planet? They can reach speeds of over 200 mph when diving. They are found throughout the world, except at temperature extremes (hot tropics and coldest polar regions). Learn more about these incredibly fascinating birds with informational titles in the Birds of Prey series for beginning readers.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Capstone Press (February 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1491423102
ISBN-13: 978-1491423103

Brilliant Birds (Read Me!: Extreme Animals) by Isabel Thomas is a beginning reader with a bright pink cover that is sure to catch a child’s eye. Part of the Extreme Animals series, this book looks at unusual birds, such as regal eagles, helicopter hummingbirds, noisy Kakapos, and cunning crows. Illustrated with big, bright color photographs and with plenty of high-interest facts in the sidebars, it is likely a child will want to pick this title up again and again.

Reading level: Grades 1-3
Publisher: Heinemann-Raintree (August 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1410946843
ISBN-13: 978-1410946843

Can You Find These Birds? (All about Nature) by Carmen Bredeson and Lindsey Cousins

This guide to birds for the beginner reader features a controlled vocabulary and short sentences, but still manages to pack in a lot of information about birds. Check out the preview at the Enslow website.

Reading Level: Ages 3-6
Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Enslow Elementary (July 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1464400725
ISBN-13: 978-1464400728

Why Do Owls and Other Birds Have Feathers? (Animal Body Coverings) by Holly Beaumont is new title that explains how owls and other birds use their feathers to keep warm and to fly, among other things.

Age Range: 5 – 7 years
Publisher: Heinemann (August 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1484625382
ISBN-13: 978-1484625385

 

Picture Books

 

On Gull Beach by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Bob Marstall follows a young boy as he explores a Massachusetts beach. Along the way, he spots a sea star. Before he can reach it, however, a seagull picks it up and flies away. Find out what he discovers as he chases the gull along the beach.

Jane Yolen’s simple, but expertly-crafted rhyming text and Bob Marstall’s exceptional illustrations make a delightful combination. Plus, you can’t go wrong with a bird book published by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

It is a beautiful picture book!

Age Range: 4 – 11 years
Publisher: Cornell Lab Publishing Group (March 27, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1943645183
ISBN-13: 978-1943645183

Two earlier titles in the On Bird Hill and Beyond series:

 

In On Bird Hill (2016) by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Bob Marstall, a boy and his dog find the bird in a nest on a hill.

 

On Duck Pond (2017) by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Bob Marstall follows the same boy and his dog as they visit a serene pond that is filled with birds, frogs, turtles and other creatures. Their arrival causes quite a stir.

 

Woodpecker Wham! by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Steve Jenkins

What better way to learn about woodpeckers then via Sayre staccato-burst prose? Six pages of back matter richly supplement the verb-laden text. Steve Jenkins’ cut and torn-paper collage illustrations aren’t too shabby, either.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (May 12, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0805088423
ISBN-13: 978-0805088427

The Wolf-Birds by Willow Dawson

Why are ravens called wolf-birds? Dawson reveals there is a complex relationship between ravens and gray wolves, particularly in areas with cold, harsh winters. Note:  a book about predators necessarily shows the death of a few animals, but it is tastefully done.

Overall, The Wolf-Birds is perfect for young readers interested in science and nature, particularly animals. It is also likely to appeal to those readers who think they prefer fiction. It is one of those versatile books to pull it out for units on birds, winter, animal behavior, and even art.

Longer review at Wrapped in Foil

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Owlkids Books (September 15, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1771470542
ISBN-13: 978-1771470544

On the Wing by David Elliott and illustrated by Becca Stadtlander

Head over to the poetry section to find this beautiful picture book. Each poem is sure to inspire readers to want to find out more about the fascinating birds inside.

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Publisher: Candlewick (September 9, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0763653241
ISBN-13: 978-0763653248

 

Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen

What is there to learn about bird feathers? It turns out there is a wealth of information. You might already be familiar with how feathers help birds fly or how they keep water birds dry, but Melissa Stewart has found at least 16 different ways birds use their feathers. To make it easy for children to relate to and remember, she compares the uses to common human-made objects with similar purposes, like sunscreen and jewelry.

The text with dual-layer format, with the easy-to-read main text in a large font, and sidebars on each page to fill in the informational details. The watercolor illustrations look like you should be able to pluck them from the page. Nature lovers are going to want this for the illustrations alone.

Look for a complete review and activities to extend the book at Growing with Science blog.

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Grade Level: 1 – 4
Publisher: Charlesbridge (February 25, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1580894305
ISBN-13: 978-1580894302

Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore and illustrated by Susan L. Roth is a lovely new picture book. What catches your eye right away are the mixed-media collage parrots on the cover. What holds your attention is the fascinating story of the history of the Puerto Rican parrot, tied in a unique way with the history of the island of Puerto Rico.

You need to have this book on hand because it can be used in so many ways. Obviously it is perfect to accompany art lessons on collage in an art class. Pick it up for units on birds in science class, or for discussions of environmental issues and conservation. It also has an important place in units on U. S. history, because the history of Puerto Rico is also covered in detail. Add darling parrots and an ongoing drama of whether they are going to survive, and it is a real winner.

Ages 6 to 11
Publisher: Lee & Low Books (September 15, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1620140047
ISBN-13: 978-1620140048

 

 


Bird Talk: What Birds Are Saying and Why by Lita Judge

Birds make a lot of different sounds and you may have wondered what they are saying. This lovely picture book will give you an introduction to bird communication. The illustrations are amazing. Note:  Some of the calls are about attracting mates, and Judge does not shy away from this topic.

Reading level: Ages 6 and up
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Flash Point (March 13, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1596436468
ISBN-13: 978-159643646

Birds of a Feather by Bernadette Gervais and Francesco Pittau

All about birds with more than 40 lift-the-flaps and pop-ups.

Hardcover: 18 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books; Pop edition (September 26, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1452110662
ISBN-13: 978-1452110660


For the Birds: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson
by Peggy Thomas and illustrated by Laura Jacques

Inspiring biography of naturalist Roger Tory Peterson, of Peterson Field Guides fame.

Reading level: Ages 8 and up
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press (October 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1590787641
ISBN-13: 978-1590787649

Puffling Patrol by Ted Lewin and illustrated by Betsy Lewin

The Lewin’s based this informational picture book on a trip to Iceland. The Puffling Patrol of the title is a group of people, including children, who rescue pufflings that wander into town.

Hardcover: 56 pages
Publisher: Lee & Low Books (March 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1600604242
ISBN-13: 978-1600604249

Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95
by Phillip Hoose

The Moonbird is a tiny bird who has flown an estimated 350,000 miles – over the distance to the moon and halfway back – in his lifetime! Pair with bird-related citizen science projects that are child friendly, such as the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Reading level: Ages 10 and up
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (July 17, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0374304688
ISBN-13: 978-0374304683

My review

Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird: A True Story by Stephanie Spinner

The title character of this book is an African gray parrot named Avian Learning Experiment. It turns out that Alex lives up to his clever name. His owner finds out that birds are capable of much more complex behavior than originally thought.

Reading level: Ages 8 and up
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (October 9, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0375868461
ISBN-13: 978-0375868467

Bring On the Birds by Susan Stockdale

This brightly colored picture book explores 21 species of birds from around the world. See what Susan Stockdale has to say about her book at STEM Friday.

Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (February 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1561455601
ISBN-13: 978-1561455607

 

 

olivias-birds2

Olivia’s Birds: Saving the Gulf
by Olivia Bouler

Written by Olivia when she was eleven, this book shows children what they can accomplish if they put their mind to it. See an interview with Olivia at Archimedes Notebook.

Reading level: Ages 3 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Sterling; First Edition (April 5, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1402786654
ISBN-13: 978-1402786655

Bird Books with Hands-on Activities Included

Bird-acious (Science with Stuff) by Melissa Stewart.

First of all, the book itself is a fun and educational introduction to birds for young readers. It contains big color photographs and interesting facts. It covers everything from feathers and flying to beaks and eating. There’s even a two-page spread that features photographs of cool bird tongues and describes what the various structures are used for.

But this book offers even more. In the cover image above, do you see the brown mass in the yellow oval to the right, just under the title? That is an actual owl pellet for kids to dissect. A bird book with its own hands-on activity included, how cool is that?

Age Range: 8 and up
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Downtown Bookworks; Nov edition (December 10, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1935703900
ISBN-13: 978-1935703907

Look and Learn Birds (PBS Kids) by Sarah Parvis and PBS KIDS (Editor)

Perfect to accompany a citizen science project like The Great Backyard Bird Watch, this kit comes with a 64-page book, simple-to-use binoculars, a laminated identification sheet with pictures of common birds, and an activity poster. What a great way to encourage the next generation of bird watchers.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Downtown Bookworks; Box Pck Pa edition (August 30, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1941367291
ISBN-13: 978-1941367292

Middle Grade

Woodpeckers: Drilling Holes and Bagging Bugs by Sneed B. Collard III.

If you’ve never read a book by acclaimed science author Sneed B. Collard III, reading Woodpeckers will send you searching for more of his titles. First of all, he and his son (at fourteen years old!) traveled around North America and took the majority of the stunning color photographs in the book. That alone shows their knowledge about and passion for their subjects. Add the fun, conversational tone of the text, sprinkled with quotes from woodpecker experts and you have one amazing book!

Good for Middle Grade ages on up.

(Check out Fire Birds below, by the same author)

Ages: 9-12
Publisher: Bucking Horse Books (April 1, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0984446095
ISBN-13: 978-0984446094

Look Up!: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette LeBlanc

In an attempt to overcome the “whatever” attitude of the modern child, LeBlanc adopts a conversational style and cartoon illustrations that are sure to attract some new interest in giving birdwatching a try.

Reading level: Ages 8 and up
Hardcover: 64 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (March 12, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0763645613
ISBN-13: 978-0763645618

 

Nat-geo-bird-guide

National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America: The Best Birding Book for Kids from National Geographic’s Bird Experts by Jonathan Alderfer

It may seem like hype to call yourself the best, but this book really does takes kid-friendly bird guides to a whole new level. The book features National Geographic quality photographs and artwork. Plus, it wouldn’t be National Geographic with really nice maps of where many of the birds are found (sneak in a geography lesson here?) Now add a lot of good tips for identification and easily-digestible facts about the different birds. Stir in a few bird-related activities, and you have a fantastic bird guide for kids.

Age Range: 7 – 9 years
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (March 12, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1426310943
ISBN-13: 978-1426310942

Older children will enjoy reading about Fire Birds by Sneed B. Collard III.

Fire Birds reveals the work of biology professor Dick Hutto, who has been investigating what happens to bird species after a forest fire. He found that some kinds of birds increase in number due to increased nest sites and food. He has come up with a list of 15 species that are closely associated with recently burned forests, which he calls “Fire Birds.” Can you guess what they might be?

(This title was previously reviewed at Wrapped in Foil.)

Ages: 8+
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Bucking Horse Books (December 10, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0984446079
ISBN-13: 978-0984446070

Crow Smarts: Inside the Brain of the World’s Brightest Bird by Pamela S. Turner and photographs by Andy Comins

 

Written with light humor (one of the crows is named “Crow we never got around to naming”) and illustrated with birds-eye-view photographs (like the one on the cover). Whether you have read all of books in the Scientists in the Field series or none of them, you are going to want to pick up this one. Perfect for anyone interested in learning, tool use and birds, including budding animal behaviorists, ornithologists, psychologists and educators.

Full review at Growing With Science.

Age Range: 10 – 12 years
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (August 2, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0544416198
ISBN-13: 978-0544416192

Birdology: 30 Activities and Observations for Exploring the World of Birds (Young Naturalists) by Monica Russo and with photographs by Kevin Byron

Birdology gives an introduction to many aspects of bird biology, such as their anatomy and special characteristics, where to look for them, what they eat, bird migratory behavior, etc. In the final section it explores common careers that involve working with birds. Each section reveals information about a topic, such as feathers, and then provides suggestions for hands-on activities to reinforce learning.

The author is very careful to point out that it is illegal to collect or possess feathers, nests or eggs of wild birds. All the activity suggestions keep this important consideration in mind.

(Full review and activities at Growing with Science blog)

Age Range: 7 and up
Publisher: Chicago Review Press (January 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 161374949X
ISBN-13: 978-1613749494

 

Be sure to check our recent list of children’s books about bird migrations, too.

Do you have a book to add to this list? We’d love to hear from you.

 

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