The M in STEM: Women Who Count

What is mathematics and why is it important? Let’s explore the lives of women who love math (and computers).

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 maintain this website.

Let us know if you have any suggestions for this list.

Last Name A – G

Elizabeth Friedman

Code Breaker, Spy Hunter: How Elizebeth Friedman Changed the Course of Two World Wars by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Brooke Smart

Elizebeth Friedman was brilliant at cracking codes, but her story has been unknown for years because her work was classified. When her papers were declassified in 2015, the general public learned that during the years around World Wars I and II she uncovered spy rings, took down smugglers, and created the first cryptology unit for the CIA (at the time called the OSS).

Review and more information at Growing with Science blog

Reading age : 7 – 11 years
Publisher : Harry N Abrams Inc; Illustrated edition (March 2, 2021)
ISBN-10 : 1419739638
ISBN-13 : 978-1419739637

Sophie Germian

Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain by Cheryl Bardoe and illustrated by Barbara McClintock

Nothing would stop Sophie Germian, not her parents taking away her candles so she couldn’t study math at night, not the professor who discovered that the homework that he thought was from a man came from a woman, and not when she tackled a math problem that everyone said would be impossible to solve.

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (June 12, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0316278203
ISBN-13: 978-0316278201

Last Name H – L

Grace Hopper

Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code (People Who Shaped Our World) by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Katy Wu

Grace Hopper enlisted in the Navy during World War II and discovered a love for computers. She rose to the rank of Rear Admiral before her retirement. Among her many accomplishments she is probably best known for naming the “computer bug.”

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books (May 16, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1454920009
ISBN-13: 978-1454920007


Of Numbers and Stars: The Story of Hypatia by D. Anne Love and illustrated by Pamela Paparone

Hypatia, the daughter of a mathematician and philosopher named Theon, studied mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy at a time when few women received an education. She became a scholar and teacher.

Katherine Johnson

Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 by Helaine Becker and illustrated by Dow Phumiruk

Katherine Johnson was a gifted mathematician who was denied a high school education where she lived because of her skin color. Her father decided to move the family to another town where there was a school she could attend. Through persistence and hard work Katherine ended up working for NASA, where she performed the many complicated calculations needed for successful space flight.

This is the kind of biography that makes you want to stand up and cheer at the end. Helaine Becker does a wonderful job of summarizing Katherine Johnson’s life, distilling it to the essentials needed for a picture book. It’s delightful how she plays with Katherine’s love of counting by repetition of the phrase “count on me” through the text.

Age Range: 5 – 9 years
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (June 19, 2018)
ISBN-10: 9781250137524
ISBN-13: 978-1250137524
ASIN: 1250137527

Sophie Kowalevski

Numbers in Motion: Sophie Kowalevski, Queen of Mathematics by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg

Sophie Kowalevski grew up observing the pages of calculus problems her father had used to paper her bedroom walls. The desire to understand the intriguing symbols propelled her to study advanced math. Later she became a prominent mathematician — the first to earn a doctorate at an European university — and professor in a time when women weren’t even allowed to enter many college campuses. Sophie broke down barriers for women who came after her.

Numbers in Motion will inspire budding mathematicians and historians alike. Readers will likely end up wanting to learn more about this remarkable woman. Investigate a copy today.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Creston Books (March 3, 2020)
ISBN-10: 1939547636
ISBN-13: 978-1939547637


Ada Byron Lovelace

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by April Chu, which is the story of a unique and fascinating woman who was years ahead of her time.

Adults may have heard of the British poet Lord Byron, but likely they have missed the story of his inventive math whiz of a daughter, Ada Byron Lovelace. Lovelace overcame a severe childhood illness to write the first computer program. Who knows what she might have achieved if she hadn’t died at a relatively young age and if her collaborator, Charles Babbage, had actually built the analytical machine he had planned.

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine is likely to resonate with kids interested in computers, math, and engineering and inspire some who haven’t yet found their passions. History buffs, particularly those interested in women’s history, will also want to check it out.

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Creston Books (October 13, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1939547202
ISBN-13: 978-1939547200


Last Name M – Q

Danica McKellar

Not only do we have books about women mathematicians, we also have some children’s books by a woman. Danica McKellar, who best known as the actress on The Wonder Years, is not just another celebrity using their fame to hawk children’s books. She is a serious mathematician whose goal is to get kids excited about math through books and videos.

Goodnight, Numbers by Danica McKellar and illustrated by Alicia Padron is for children who are learning their numbers.

Age Range: 2 – 5 years
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers (March 7, 2017)
ISBN-10: 110193378X
ISBN-13: 978-1101933787

Hot X: Algebra Exposed! by Danica McKellar

Don’t let the suggestive title fool you, this is a serious guide to algebra and more. It’s also a call for young people to work hard, particularly at math, in order to attain their dreams. McKellar wants her readers to feel smart and confident, and develop the skills to be successful. It is a very positive message repeated throughout the book.

Although clearly written as a resource to supplement a math course, the tips and exercises could be a useful for instructors or for tutors looking for yet another way to get a point across. There are are additional solutions to problems on McKellar’s Hot X website.

The bottom line is that Hot X is much more than just a pretty face and a clever title. If you are studying or teaching algebra, you should take a look at it.

Hardcover: 876 pages
Publisher: W. H. Freeman (1979)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0716710471
ISBN-13: 978-0716710479

Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape by Danica McKellar

Once again, the cover may give a suggestive message, but it is only designed to get reluctant mathematicians to look inside. There they’ll find ways to master the core concepts of high school geometry, including congruent triangles, quadrilaterals, circles, proofs, theorems, etc.

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Plume; 6.2.2013 edition (July 2, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0452298741
ISBN-13: 978-0452298743

Maryam’s Magic: The Story of Mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani by Megan Reid and illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel

When she was a child, Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani loved to tell stories. She wanted to become a writer. She struggled with math. Once she began to study geometry, however, she could understand it and it excited her. Soon she was using her storytelling to help her solve difficult mathematical problems.

In 2014, Maryam Mirzakhani became the first woman and also the first Iranian to win the prestigous Fields Medal in mathematics. Sadly, she passed away shortly afterwards of breast cancer (a fact that is mentioned in the text).

Educators should read Megan Reid’s lovely “Author’s Note” in the back matter.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 4 – 8 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Balzer + Bray (January 19, 2021)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0062915967
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062915962


Raye Montague

The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague (Amazing Scientists) by Julia Finley Mosca and illustrated by Daniel Rieley

Raye Montague wanted to design ships, but the college she went to wouldn’t allow women into the engineering program. After studying business instead, she landed a job typing for the Navy. Working hard, she learned about computers and devised a program that could design a ship in much less time. Eventually she became an official engineer and took over as head of the department where she had started as a typist.

The rhyming text is supported with eight pages of back matter. An awesome book!

Age Range: 5 – 10 years
Publisher: The Innovation Press (September 4, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1943147426
ISBN-13: 978-1943147427

Emmy Noether: The Most Important Mathematician You’ve Never Heard Of by Helaine Becker and illustrated by Kari Rust

Emmy Noether is a genius at math, but she is born at a time when women are expected to marry and take care of the house. Her passion for math leads her to study math at a university, but she’s only allowed to audit (sit in). Eventually, the professors recognize her talent and allow her to stay. Later she teaches — without pay — and manages to do her own research into some of the most pressing math and physics problems of the day, including helping Einstein with his theory of relativity. Being forced to flee Germany, her work was largely forgotten for many decades.

The back matter has suggestions for further reading.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 6 – 9 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kids Can Press; Illustrated edition (October 6, 2020)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1525300598
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1525300592

Last Name R – Z

Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer by Traci Sorrell and illustrated by Natasha Donovan

Important Note:  Mary Golda Ross was a member of the Cherokee Nation and author Traci Sorrell is also from the Cherokee Nation.

After getting a degree in math and teaching high school, Mary Ross joined the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. Later she was promoted to become their first female engineer. She helped design state-of-the-art airplanes and spacecraft, which means much of her work is still classified (as the title suggests).

Mary Ross’s story will inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists. Share a copy today!

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 7 – 11 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Millbrook Press ™ (March 2, 2021)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1541579143
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1541579149


Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly and illustrated by Laura Freeman

Author Margot Lee Shetterly wrote the original bestselling book, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, for adults. In this picture book for children, she gives a brief summary of each woman’s career, interweaving their stories and at the same time emphasizing their similar struggles as human computers for NASA.

Hidden Figures is a good introduction to these amazing women. It would be a great book to have on hand for both Black History Month and Women’s History Month.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins (January 16, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0062742469
ISBN-13: 978-0062742469

Autumn Science Books for Kids

Fall is more than simply leaves changing color, it is about getting ready for winter. For birds or insects, it might mean migrating south. For other animals, it might mean getting ready to hibernate. For trees and other plants, it might mean dropping leaves. There’s a lot going on in the autumn.

Beginning Readers

How Do You Know It’s Fall? (Rookie Read-About Science) by Lisa M. Herrington, Randy C. Bilik, Jeanne M., Ph.D. Clidas

Explores what happens to the weather, plants and animals with simple sentences. Includes suggestions for a related activity.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Childrens Pr (September 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0531225755
ISBN-13: 978-0531225752

Exploring Fall by Terri DeGezelle

See how fall brings changes for weather, people, plants, and animals.
The book is part of the Exploring the Seasons Series.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Capstone Press (February 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 9781429679084
ISBN-13: 978-1429679084
ASIN: 1429679085

Count Down to Fall by Fran Hawk and illustrated by Sherry Neidigh

Told in rhyme, the book counts down from ten to one things found outside in autumn. The back matter has suggestions for related science and math activities.

Age Range: 5 – 6 years
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing; Reprint edition (March 5, 2013)
ISBN-10: 9781607188650
ISBN-13: 978-1607188650
ASIN: 1607188651


Picture Books


Summer Green to Autumn Gold: Uncovering Leaves’ Hidden Colors by Mia Posada.

Have you ever wondered how and why leaves of certain trees change color in the fall? This book gives the answers. Mia Posada combines gorgeous –gorgeous! — cut paper collage and watercolor illustrations with a succinct explanation of the science behind all those brilliant colors.

The extensive back matter includes a glossary and links to hands-on experiments.

Summer Green to Autumn Gold is a perfect combination that will appeal to both budding artists and scientists.

Age Range: 5 – 10 years
Publisher: Millbrook Press TM (August 6, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1541528999
ISBN-13: 978-1541528994

Full of Fall by April Pulley Sayre

The author pairs her own gorgeous photographs with gentle, lyrical text. The back matter is full of scientific information about leaves changing color. Wonderful!

Age Range: 3 – 8 years
Publisher: Beach Lane Books (August 29, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1481479849
ISBN-13: 978-1481479844


Awesome Autumn by Bruce Goldstone

As you can see from the cover, Goldstone’s beautiful photography celebrates the vibrant color of fall leaves. He also has pages about how autumn feels, how autumn tastes, how it sounds and although he doesn’t have a page for it, you definitely get an idea of the smells of autumn as well, from decaying leaves to Thanksgiving dinner. He even points out some autumn shapes.

He ventures on to talk about the fall migrations and hibernation. At the end are instructions for fall activities such as roasting pumpkin seeds. If you are ready to jump into a pile of colorful autumn leaves, then you are ready for this book!

Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (August 7, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0805092102
ISBN-13: 978-0805092103

Why Do Leaves Change Color? (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) by Betsy Maestro and illustrated by Loretta Krupinski

What is photosynthesis and why do leaves change color? What are some different kinds of leaves? Answers to those questions, plus instructions for making a leaf rubbing.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Publisher: HarperCollins; Revised edition (August 4, 2015)
ISBN-10: 9780062382016
ISBN-13: 978-0062382016
ASIN: 0062382012

Butterfly Tree by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Leslie Wu

A short introduction to the idea that monarch butterflies migrate in the fall.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (September 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 9781561455393
ISBN-13: 978-1561455393
ASIN: 1561455393

Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber and illustrated by Leslie Evans

Beautifully illustrated, Leaf Jumpers allows children to explore different kinds of tree leaves and learn why leaves change color in the fall.

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge (July 1, 2004)
ISBN-10: 1570914974
ISBN-13: 978-1570914973


Middle Grade

The Acadia Files: Book Two, Autumn Science by Katie Coppens and illustrated by Holly Hatam

The books in The Acadia Files series are hybrids between chapter books and laboratory notebooks. The chapters start off with a story, complete with characters and dialogue. The story reveals detailed scientific information.

After the story, each chapter has a few pages of illustrations and text formatted like a laboratory notebook. The illustrations are delightful and really make the book. Educators will appreciate this section as a jumping off place for related activities. Most of the topics may loosely tie to the season, but could be relevant all year around.

The bottom line: The Acadia Files: Book Two, Autumn Science is an appealing way to introduce science to kids who might be put off by more traditional informational text. Why not give it a try?

See our full review and activity suggestions at Growing With Science blog.

Grade Level: 4 – 7
Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers; 1 edition (September 18, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0884486044
ISBN-13: 978-0884486046

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

Amazing, Misunderstood Bats by Marta Magellan with photographs by Merlin Tuttle.

Author Marta Magellan starts by explaining all the ways that bats are helpful, including that bats:

  • Pollinate plants
  • Disperse seeds
  • Eat tons of insect pests
  • Make a source of fertilizer (guano)

Then she explodes some of the common bat myths, such as bats are not blind at all. Finally, she explains why bats are fun.

The best part is the amazing photographs used to illustrate the book, many by famous bat scientist Merlin Tuttle.

Ages: 6-10
Publisher : Eifrig Publishing (January 9, 2020)
ISBN-10 : 1632332116
ISBN-13 : 978-1632332110

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

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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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

No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart, Allen Young, and illustrated by Nicole Wong

Young readers learn that cacao trees need the help of a menagerie of rain forest critters to survive: a pollen-sucking midge (previous post at Growing with Science), an aphid-munching anole lizard, and brain-eating coffin fly maggots. Reviewed at Wrapped in Foil.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 5 – 8 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Charlesbridge; Reprint edition (July 3, 2018)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1580892884
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1580892889

POLLEN: Darwin’s 130-Year Prediction by Darcy Pattison and illustrated by Peter Willis

Reveals how long it may take for science to find an answer to a problem. In 1862, naturalist Charles Darwin received a box of orchids. When he saw one of the flowers, the Madagascar star orchid, he wondered how insects could pollinate it, and he made some predictions that it was a moth.

Fast forward 130 years. In 1992, German entomologist, Lutz Thilo Wasserthal, Ph.D. traveled to Madagascar. By then, the moths were rare. He managed to capture two moths and released them in a cage with the orchid. Would they pollinate the orchid as Darwin had predicted?

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 6 – 9 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Mims House; Illustrated edition (April 23, 2019)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1629441201
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1629441207

13 Ways to Eat a Fly by Sue Heavenrich and illustrated by David Clark

Although it is more about who and what eats flies, this book features some flies that pollinate plants (previous review).

Reading age : 4 – 8 years
Publisher : Charlesbridge (February 16, 2021)
ISBN-10 : 1580898904
ISBN-13 : 978-1580898904

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

Know Your Pollinators: 40 Common Pollinating Insects including Bees, Wasps, Flower Flies, Butterflies, Moths, & Beetles, with Appearance, Behavior, & How to Attract Them to Your Garden by Tim Harris

The title says it all. A series of two-page spreads featuring an eye-popping photograph of an insect (use the ‘look inside” feature on Amazon to see what I mean) and details of its behavior, distribution, etc. Includes 40 insect pollinators such as bees, butterflies, flower flies, beetles, moths, and wasps.

Note: If you are not familiar with the publisher, Old Pond Books specializes in books in the general area of agriculture.

Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Old Pond Books (March 17, 2020)
ISBN-10: 1912158558
ISBN-13: 978-1912158553

Pollinators: Animals Helping Plants Thrive (Team Earth) by Martha London

Visually appealing with large color photographs, this book explains the importance of pollination and discusses the specific animals that help pollinate. Includes activity suggestions.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Core Library (December 15, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1532191006
ISBN-13: 978-1532191008

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



Check the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign for a free 126 page pollinator curriculum (download) for Grades 3-6.

Nonfiction Children’s Books About Dogs

Dogs are always popular, but we have even more reason to celebrate because 2018 is the Year of the Dog. It is a great time to share some nonfiction children’s books about our furry friends, dogs.

Note: Post contains Amazon Affiliate links.


Beginning Readers

Capstone’s Dogs, Dogs, Dogs series features a number of beginning reader titles about common dog breeds, like:

All about German Shepherds by Erika L. Shores

Featuring short sentences and controlled vocabulary, these informational books help young children learn about dogs while learning to read.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Capstone Press (August 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1429687258
ISBN-13: 978-1429687256

Picture Books

It’s a Puppy’s Life by Photographer Seth Casteel

As we would expect from National Geographic, the photographs are fantastic, funny and cute. The author/photographer of the wildly popular Underwater Dogs (see below), Seth Casteel obviously has a passion for his subjects. We see puppies playing, sniffing, making a mess, and sleeping.

Where’s the science? In the back matter are 32 thumbnails of the photographs used in the book with captions that identify each by breed. The puppies range from basset hounds to Yorkshire terriers, allowing readers to explore the concept of inheritance and variation of traits, a Next Generation Science standardOpens in a new window.

Even the most reluctant reader is going to enjoy It’s a Puppy’s Life. It is an obvious choice for anyone who is a dog enthusiast, plus would be a great choice to share for National Puppy Day, March 23.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (March 20, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1426330693
ISBN-13: 978-1426330698

Underwater Dogs by Photographer Seth Casteel

Age Range: 3 – 6 years
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; First Edition edition (October 23, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0316227706
ISBN-13: 978-0316227704

Middle Grade

Dog Science Unleashed: Fun Activities To Do With Your Canine Companion by Jodi Wheeler-Toppen and with photographs by Matthew Rakola

Jodi Wheeler-Toppen has come up with over 20 fun and appropriate hands-on science activities for kids to discover more about dog biology and behavior. For example, they can learn more about what colors dogs see by hiding different colored balls in a grassy lawn and watching how easy it is for the dog to find them.

Safety is first with all these activities. The author remind kids to watch for signs the dog is upset or uncomfortable, and to quit the activity if the dog is unhappy. Also, make sure the dog has access to water and plan lots of breaks even if the dog is enjoying himself.

The bottom line is that Dog Science Unleashed is a great choice for dog lovers, as well as budding zoologists and veterinarians.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (August 7, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1426331533
ISBN-13: 978-1426331534

Inside of a Dog — Young Readers Edition: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know by Alexandra Horowitz and illustrated by Sean Vidal Edgerton

A guide to how dogs perceive the world written by an animal behaviorist and dog lover. Get to know how dogs’ unique sense of smell changes their world.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (March 21, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1481450948
ISBN-13: 978-1481450942


Dog Days of History: The Incredible Story of Our Best Friends (Animals) by Sarah Albee

Albee starts with a discussion of where dogs might have come from. Progressing in chronological order, the following chapters explore the relations of people and dogs in the ancient world, middle ages, etc., through modern times. Albee features famous dogs through history, like Lewis and Clark’s dog, Seaman. The final chapter wraps up with the role of dogs in modern culture and a glimpse of the future of dogs.

The back matter is extensive, including “A Note About the Research,” which explains that many stories about dogs seen on the Internet may be exaggerated or fabricated. She includes a fun list of the words used in various languages to represent the sounds dogs make, from “arf-arf” or “bow-wow” in English to “wff-wff” in Welsh. As appropriate for a history book, there is an extensive three-page “Bibliodography” (too cute), plus references for all the quotes.

Dog Days of History will thrill both dog lovers and history buffs. It is a handy reference young readers are likely to return to again and again.

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (March 27, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1426329717
ISBN-13: 978-1426329715

How to Speak Dog: A Guide to Decoding Dog Language by Aline Alexander Newman and‎ Gary Weitzman

With the lively photographs we have come to expect from National Geographic, this books helps kids understand their dog’s behaviors, both sound communication and body language. Cool!

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (September 10, 2013)
ISBN-10: 142631373X
ISBN-13: 978-1426313738

Sniffer Dogs: How Dogs (and Their Noses) Save the World by Nancy Castaldo

With their great noses, dogs have been trained to help with everything from alerting people to medical issues to helping scientists find rare animals. Shows where dog lovers and science intersect.

Age Range: 10 – 12 years
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (July 11, 2017)
ISBN-10: 0544932595
ISBN-13: 978-0544932593

Children’s Science Books About the Moon and The Lunar Landing

Young children often go through a phase when they are fascinated by the moon. You’ll want to have these books ready to satisfy their scientific curiosity.

And see our related lists of children’s books about:

Note:  Post contains Amazon Affiliate links.


Beginning Readers

The Moon (Space) by Martha E. H. Rustad

This book contains focused science vocabulary and short sentences to explain basic facts about the moon. Test accompanied by carefully chosen photographs and illustrations.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Capstone Press; Reprint edition (January 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 149148327X
ISBN-13: 978-1491483275


Picture Books about the Moon

Moon! Earth’s Best Friend by Stacy McAnulty and illustrated by Stevie Lewis.

Although the sweet Moon face on the cover and the fact Moon! is narrated by the Moon (in first person) might make you think this picture book is for the youngest reader, in fact it is for older children.

Inside you will find some big numbers and complex scientific concepts. For example,

Average distance between Earth and me: 238,855 miles.

There’s also a summary or the most recent ideas about how the moon formed when a planet-like rock the size of Mars crashed into the Earth.

Moon! is for serious young readers who enjoy learning science facts. However, it might also be a good choice for older reluctant readers who will be sucked in by the less serious aspects.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (June 11, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1250199344
ISBN-13: 978-1250199348

If You Were the Moon by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Jaime Kim

Combining spare, imaginative text on one level with denser scientific explanations, this book has potential for a multitude of uses. It can be a lovely bedtime book, the basis for a language arts lesson, or a great accompaniment to a lesson on the solar system.

If You Were the Moon is a must have for budding astronomers and poets everywhere.

Visit Laurie Purdie Salas’s website for downloadable teaching guides (long and short versions) and other goodies.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Millbrook Press (March 1, 2017)
ISBN-10: 146778009X
ISBN-13: 978-1467780094


The Moon Seems to Change (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)
by Franklyn M. Branley and illustrated by Barbara & Ed Emberley

This explanation of the phases of the moon incorporates a demonstration using an orange and a flashlight right in the text. It is all young readers will need to explore this concept in enough different ways to gain understanding.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins; Revised edition (July 24, 1987)
ISBN-10: 0064450651
ISBN-13: 978-0064450652


What the Moon is Like (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 2) by Franklyn M. Branley and illustrated by True Kelley

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins; Ill edition (May 3, 2000)
ISBN-10: 0064451852
ISBN-13: 978-0064451857


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. Includes explanations of solar and lunar eclipses.

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

Now available in a new and updated version!
Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Holiday House; New, Updated edition (May 14, 2019)
ISBN-10: 082344323X
ISBN-13: 978-0823443239

Middle Grade Books About the Moon

Luna: The Science and Stories of Our Moon by David A. Aguilar

Beginning with how the moon is thought to have come about and how the moon compares with Earth, Aguilar then takes the reader on a ride through other moons, as well as moon myths and hoaxes, before settling down for a detailed discussion of moon features. Perfect for lunar landing anniversaries is a section about what the Apollo astronauts discovered.

The pluses:  The book is filled with fantastic illustrations by David A. Agulilar. Also there are three hands-on activities in the back: making a 3D model of lunar craters with Plaster of Paris, using a small telescope to explore the moon, and directions for drawing the moon.

Explore a copy today!

Age Range: 10 – 12 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (June 11, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1426333226
ISBN-13: 978-1426333224

The Moon by Hannah Pang and illustrated by Thomas Hegbrook


Discover the history of mankind’s relationship with the Moon: the science, the myths, the facts, the fiction, and how it affects our everyday lives and the world around us.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Tiger Tales (April 1, 2019)
ISBN-10: 194453024X
ISBN-13: 978-1944530242


Beginning Reader about the Lunar Landing

DK Readers L3: Spacebusters: The Race to the Moon by Philip Wilkinson

Age Range: 7 – 9 years
Publisher: DK Children (January 30, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0756690846
ISBN-13: 978-0756690847


Picture books About the Lunar Landing:

The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon: The True Story of Alan Bean by Dean Robbins and illustrated by Sean Rubin

Pete Conrad and Alan Bean were the third and fourth people to walk on the moon, but they aren’t the household names their predecessors Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong are. This picture book helps correct that omission and bring Alan Bean’s story to the next generation of readers.

As to be expected, the illustrations are amazing. They combine the look of Alan Bean’s art with Sean Rubin’s skillful images. The highlight is a wordless two-page spread of the surface of the moon with the shadows of the two astronauts in the foreground and the blue, spherical Earth in the distance. Wow!

The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon will thrill budding astronauts and artists alike.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Orchard Books (May 28, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1338259539
ISBN-13: 978-1338259537

Footprints on the Moon by Alexandra Siy

Illustrated with stunning photographs, this book documents the human quest to walk on the moon. It covers both history, starting with Galileo and Robert Goddard, and takes the reader through the Apollo missions.

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge (February 1, 2001)
ISBN-10: 1570914095
ISBN-13: 978-1570914096


Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca is an extraordinary book. You can tell the minute you open it and see the front endpapers, which have exquisite, detailed illustrations of Apollo 11.

The story itself begins with a well-grounded view of the moon from the earth. Simple, poetic words start you on your journey, a journey like no other. The first trip to the moon.

Following the astronauts as they get ready, you hear the clicks of their equipment as the pieces snap into place. Before long the earth is shaking, as the rocket takes off. The pace, the number of words and the energy all accelerate as the Eagle is about to land. Wow!

Age Range: 4 – 10 years
Series: Richard Jackson Books (Atheneum Hardcover)
Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books (April 7, 2009)
ISBN-10: 141695046X
ISBN-13: 978-1416950462


One Giant Leap by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Mike Wimmer

In yet another book to commemorate the 40th anniversary lunar landing, One Giant Leap gives a lyrical, imaginative description of the landing itself.

Age Range: 6 – 8 years
Publisher: Philomel (April 2, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0399238832
ISBN-13: 978-0399238833


Look to the Stars by Buzz Aldrin and illustrated by Wendell Minor is remarkable because it is much more than merely an account by the second human being to touch the surface of the moon. Dr. Aldrin shows us how this incredible accomplishment is part of a long history of discoveries and advancements, and how it may lead to many more new things in the future.

Full review at Wrapped in Foil

Age Range: 6 – 8 years
Grade Level: 1 – 3
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (May 14, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0399247211
ISBN-13: 978-0399247217

Middle Grade

Apollo 11 Moon Landing: An Interactive Space Exploration Adventure (You Choose: Space) by Thomas K. Adamson

Although it sounds complicated, it is actually simply very well organized. After reading it, you will wonder why more books aren’t organized this way.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 4
Publisher: Capstone Press (August 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1491481374
ISBN-13: 978-1491481370


Far Side of the Moon: The Story of Apollo 11’s Third Man by Alex Irvine and illustrated by Ben Bishop

This is a unique book for two reasons. First of all, it is presented in a graphic novel style, which may appeal to a different range of readers. Secondly, it’s about astronaut Michael Collins, who commanded the lunar orbiter while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon. His story isn’t mentioned as often.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers; 1 edition (March 28, 2017)
ISBN-10: 0884484521
ISBN-13: 978-0884484523

Science Project Ideas About the Moon by Robert Gardner

This older title contains background information about the moon and a number of detailed experiments, such as watching the moon (observation), building models, and making a simple reflecting telescope. It contains all the instructions the reader will need and no frills.

The illustrations are straightforward and effective line drawings.

Age Range: 9 and up
Publisher: Enslow Pub Inc (October 1, 1997)
ISBN-10: 0894908448
ISBN-13: 978-0894908446


Young Adult

Earthrise: My Adventures as an Apollo 14 Astronaut by Edgar Mitchell, Ellen Mahoney, and with a foreword by Dr. Brian Cox

Fast-paced autobiography of Dr. Edgar Mitchell, who went to the moon in 1971 on Apollo 14. Although obviously a must-have resource for future astronauts, Earthrise is also likely to appeal to those interested in history, science, engineering, and aviation. It is a revealing look at how one man’s sense of adventure took him places that the rest of us can only imagine.

Full review at Growing with Science.

Age Range: 12 and up
Publisher: Chicago Review Press (April 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1613749015
ISBN-13: 978-1613749012

Fiction Picture Book

Maya Moon by Marianne Mitchell

Our family enjoyed this delightful folktale about the phases of the moon.

Paperback: 28 pages
Publisher: Sundance Publishing (June 1, 1995)
ISBN-10: 1568017944
ISBN-13: 978-1568017945

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


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.

Children’s Books About Frogs and Toads

Frogs and toads are amphibians. Summer is a great time to find out more about them by reading some good books organized by reading level. Related activities can be found at Growing with Science blog.

Note: Post contains affiliate links to Amazon.


Beginning /Easy Reader

Beginning readers feature short sentences and controlled, age-appropriate vocabulary.

DK Readers L0: Frogs & Toads by Camilla Gersh and DK

DK books are known for their high quality photographs and well-researched information.

Age Range: 4 – 6 years
Publisher: DK Children (May 19, 2014)
ISBN-10: 146542010X
ISBN-13: 978-1465420107

Scholastic Reader Level 1: From Tadpole to Frog by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld

Watch a tiny tadpole grow into an adult frog in this book full of facts and photographs. Learn what tadpoles eat, how they survive, and how they transform into frogs.

Age Range: 4 – 7 years
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; 1.2.2011 edition (February 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0545273374
ISBN-13: 978-0545273374

National Geographic Readers: Frogs by Elizabeth Carney

Another reader full of gorgeous color photographs, this time from the cameras of National Geographic. Are we seeing a trend here? This one describes the different kinds of frogs, from tiny rain forest frogs to huge bullfrogs.

Age Range: 4 – 6 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (2009)
ISBN-10: 1426303920
ISBN-13: 978-1426303920

Frog (Watch Me Grow) by DK Publishing

DK books are known for their high quality illustrations. This title emphasizes frog development through the life cycle. Appropriate for preschoolers.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: DK Preschool; 1st edition (August 4, 2003)
ISBN-10: 0789496291
ISBN-13: 978-0789496294


Picture Books

A Frog’s Life by Irene Kelly and illustrated by Margherita Borin

When you pick up the book, the first things that catch your eye are the brightly colored frogs on the cover. Margherita Borin’s watercolor, pen and pencil illustrations leap off the page. They are both marvelously accurate and cleverly put together in ways that will make young readers smile.

The text takes readers on a journey into the world of frogs. They will learn what frogs are, where frogs live (their habitats), compare the biggest to the smallest, and find out about their life cycles.

A Frog’s Life will delight young readers interested in nature, animals, and particularly in frogs. Hop on over to your local library or book store, and pick up a copy today!

See our full review and activity suggestions at Growing With Science.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Holiday House (May 8, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0823426017
ISBN-13: 978-0823426010

The Hidden Life of a Toad by Doug Wechsler

As you can see from this list, toads often get ignored. This title by biologist and photographer Doug Wechsler helps bring attention to these neglected creatures.

The main text concentrates on life cycle information illustrated with gorgeous photographs by the author. Back matter is filled with more detailed information, including a glossary, toad facts, and suggestions for helping toads..

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge (March 14, 2017)
ISBN-10: 158089738X
ISBN-13: 978-1580897389


Frog Song by Brenda Z. Guiberson and illustrated by Gennady Spirin

Lushly illustrated double-page spreads highlight 11 different species of frogs from around the world.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (February 5, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0805092544
ISBN-13: 978-0805092547

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

Excellent introduction to frogs from an award-winning children’s science author. Includes an ecological perspective.

Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.; Revised Edition edition (April 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 156145902X
ISBN-13: 978-1561459025


See-Thru Frogs (See-Thru Books) by Sherry Gerstein

This spiral bound book has see-through pages that lets the reader see the interior anatomy of frogs. Check out how their skeletons are different from ours.

Age Range: 7 – 9 years
Publisher: Millbrook Press; Spi edition (September 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 160684587X
ISBN-13: 978-1606845875

Face to Face with Frogs (Face to Face with Animals) by Mark Moffett

Mark Moffett is one of my favorite nature photographers. His work is often seen in National Geographic, which published this book. He’s also a top notch biologist with a passion for frogs. It’s a winning combination.

Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (March 9, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1426306261
ISBN-13: 978-1426306266

From Tadpole to Frog (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1) by Wendy Pfeffer and illustrated by Holly Keller

Appropriate for younger readers, this book emphasizes the life cycle of the frog with a bit more information about different types of frogs at the end. The books in the Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series are always high quality.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins; Revised edition (August 4, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0062381865
ISBN-13: 978-0062381866

Frogs by Gail Gibbons, a prolific and award-winning author

Although this older book may be hard to find, Gail Gibbons knows exactly what children want to read about.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Holiday House; Reprint edition (January 1, 1993)
ISBN-10: 0823411346
ISBN-13: 978-0823411344



Upper Elementary/Middle Grade

Amazing Amphibians: 30 Activities and Observations for Exploring Frogs, Toads, Salamanders, and More by Lisa J. Amstutz

If you’ve never experienced one of the Young Naturalists series books from Chicago Review Press, you are in for a real treat. These books are designed not only for children who are independent researchers interested in a topic — in this case amphibians — but also for educators who need information and age-appropriate activity ideas for science lessons.

Lisa Amstutz’s text covers everything readers will want to know:

  • What an amphibian is
  • What animals belong to the different families
  • Amphibian anatomy
  • What amphibians eat
  • Their life cycles
  • Some of the threats to amphibians
  • And much more!

The activities (30 of them!) will keep young scientists engaged for hours. They range from making fake frog eggs from water beads to making your yard more toad friendly.

The bottom line is Amazing Amphibians is an exceptionally well organized and well written introduction to a fascinating group of animals. It is perfect for young naturalists and scientists. It is also a must-have resource for educators. Investigate a copy today!

Age Range: 7 – 9 years
Publisher: Chicago Review Press; First edition (January 7, 2020)
ISBN-10: 1641600721
ISBN-13: 978-1641600729

Frogs!: Strange and Wonderful by Laurence Pringle and illustrated by Meryl Henderson

Although officially for early elementary readers, because it has denser text, higher-level vocabulary, and deeper information this title is perfect for older students who want to learn about frogs in depth.  Camouflage, kinds of frogs, anatomy, and life cycle, this book covers it all.

Age Range: 7 – 9 years
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press (April 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1590783719
ISBN-13: 978-1590783719

Living Wild: Frogs by Melissa Gish

Although probably not for everyone, this title covers frogs from a unique global perspective. It is illustrated with large, colorful stock photographs.

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Publisher: Creative Paperbacks (April 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0898128404
ISBN-13: 978-0898128406

The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra Markle

Why are the golden frogs of Panama dying? Follow the scientists as they search for clues.

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Publisher: Millbrook Pr (October 2011)
ISBN-10: 0761351086
ISBN-13: 978-0761351085



Frog and Toad Storybook Treasury: 4 Complete Stories in 1 Volume! (I Can Read Level 2) by Arnold Lobel


These classic stories will inspire young readers to want to learn more about frogs and toads.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (December 23, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0062292587
ISBN-13: 978-0062292582

#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