Weather Books for Kids

Children often become interested in different aspects of weather as they grow older or as they experience different weather extremes.
Science Books for Kids- Weather
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Beginning Reader

Thunder and Lightning (Weather Wise) by Helen Cox Cannons

Amazing, vibrant color photographs of lightning storms accompany simple text in this book for the youngest reader. Also has illustrations to explain how lightning happens.

Be sure to check the “Notes for Parents and Teachers” in the back matter for pre-reading and post-reading activity suggestions.

Age Range: 4 – 6 years
Publisher: Heinemann; Nov edition (July 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1484605586
ISBN-13: 978-1484605585
National Geographic Readers: Weather by Kristin Baird Rattini

This level one reader is packed with information to explain basic weather, such as wind, clouds, thunderstorms, etc. Text accompanied with amazing color photographs.

Age Range: 4 – 6 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (July 9, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1426313489
ISBN-13: 978-1426313486

 

DK Readers: Whatever The Weather (Level 1: Beginning to Read) by Karen Wallace

Illustrations engage the reader by showing a young child observing the weather through a window.

Age Range: 5 – 7 years
Publisher: DK Children; 1 edition (September 6, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0789447509
ISBN-13: 978-0789447500

 

Nonfiction Picture Books

Clouds: A Compare and Contrast Book by Katharine Hall

Young readers explore the concept of comparing and contrasting, while at the same time learning about different kinds of clouds and how to describe them. “For Creative Minds” in the back matter has four pages of interactive activities to reinforce learning. Examples include experiments with evaporation, a cloud match exercise, and information about how clouds are connected to weather prediction.

Ages: 4-8
Lexile Measure: 230L (What’s this?)
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing (September 10, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1628554576
ISBN-13: 978-1628554571

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

It’s Raining! by Gail Gibbons

Covers not only the water cycle and common weather events, but also has information about how to stay safe during severe weather events. Gail Gibbons is a prolific and award-winning author of children’s nonfiction.

Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Holiday House (January 30, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 082343303X
ISBN-13: 978-0823433032

Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre

Riding the line between beginning reader and picture book, this gorgeous title has only a few words or short sentences per two-page spread. The words, however, are beautifully chosen and the photographs tell much more. In the back matter are more detailed explanations of each spread, to help educators field questions or engage readers more fully. Excellent!

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Publisher: Beach Lane Books; 1 edition (January 6, 2015)
ISBN-10: 148142064X
ISBN-13: 978-1481420648

Hurricanes! by Gail Gibbons

Leave it to Gail Gibbons to be able to explain big weather is a way that is both clear and highly informative.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Holiday House; Reprint edition (June 1, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0823422976
ISBN-13: 978-0823422975

Flash, Crash, Rumble, and Roll by Dr. Franklyn M. Branley and illustrated by True Kelley

Learn what happens during thunderstorms and what causes them.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Series: Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2
Publisher: HarperCollins; Revised edition (April 9, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0064451798
ISBN-13: 978-0064451796

Weather Words and What They Mean by Gail Gibbons

Great resource for a unit on weather.

See for yourself:

 

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Holiday House; Reprint edition (January 1, 1990)
ISBN-10: 082340952X
ISBN-13: 978-0823409525

 

Nonfiction Middle Grade

How Could We Harness a Hurricane? by Vicki Cobb.

A2018 Best STEM Book K-12 (National Science Teachers Association and the Children’s Book Council)

Hurricanes have certainly been in the news. This middle grade title is for kids who are looking for a deeper understanding of extreme weather. It not only explains what a hurricane is, but also offers discussions about whether we can stop hurricanes from forming, whether we can harness their energy, and whether we should we even try to “mess with Mother Nature.”

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Publisher: Seagrass Press (August 1, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1633222462
ISBN-13: 978-1633222465

National Geographic Kids Everything Weather: Facts, Photos, and Fun that Will Blow You Away by Kathy Furgang

Illustrated with the high-quality photographs you have come to expect from National Geographic, this weather book is likely to “blow you away.”

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (March 27, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1426310587
ISBN-13: 978-1426310584

Tornado: Perspectives on Tornado Disasters (Disaster Dossiers) by Ben Hubbard

With timelines, maps, and numerous photographs and illustrations, Tornado documents the aftermath of actual tornadoes to help readers learn about these extreme weather events.

Age Range: 11 – 16 years
Publisher: Heinemann (July 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1484601890
ISBN-13: 978-1484601891

Inside Hurricanes (Inside Series) by Mary Kay Carson

With hurricane season well under way, children are likely to be curious about these enormous weather systems. Readers soon learn that as Carson says, “Hurricanes are disasters that have called ahead to say they’re coming.”

Publisher: Sterling (October 2010)
ISBN: 1-4027-7780-9
ISBN13: 9781402777806

 

Navigators: Extreme Weatherby Margaret Hynes

When you think of extreme weather, an image of tornadoes or hurricanes usually comes to mind. Many more aspects of weather can be extreme, however, from temperature (both hot and cold) to rainfall (drought versus the extreme rains of monsoons). Hynes tells the story of all these kinds of weather, rightfully pointing out that all our weather is powered by the sun.

With a very modern look, this book has large color photographs overlaid with smaller glimpses of particular events, along with sidebars and keys to explain some aspects in more detail.

One thing I really like about this book is that the last section describes some things that are being done to mitigate the effects of extreme weather. In the back are suggestions for ways to investigate weather defenses, as well. From building hurricane shelters to planting trees on hillsides, the fact that a few things can be done to make things better gives children some sense of control. Who knows, maybe someday one of the children who read the book will come up with an even better way to help protect us from natural disasters due to extreme weather.

Related hands on activity: Build a weather station

Reading level: Ages 9 and up
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Kingfisher; First Edition (June 21, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0753465787
ISBN-13: 978-0753465783

Young Adult Nonfiction

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Weather by David Ludlum

Although published a number of years ago, this interesting field guide is still pertinent.

Vinyl Bound: 656 pages
Publisher: Knopf (October 15, 1991)
ISBN-10: 0679408517
ISBN-13: 978-0679408512

 

Fiction Picture Books

 

Bartholomew and the Oobleck: (Caldecott Honor Book) (Classic Seuss) by Dr. Seuss

When the king gets bored with regular weather, trouble ensues.

Age Range: 5 – 9 years
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (October 12, 1949)
ISBN-10: 0394800753
ISBN-13: 978-0394800752

Do you have any suggestions for this list? We would love to hear from you!

 

Ant Books for Kids

Children of a certain age are often fascinated by insects. Given that ants can be found almost anywhere, they are good subjects to study. Do you know some children who are interested in ants? This list of books is just for them!

 

The list is organized by reading level and genre.

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

 

Nonfiction

Beginning Readers

National Geographic Readers: Ants by Melissa Stewart

This informational book is packed with facts about ants, such as what they look like, where they live and what they eat. Illustrated with the quality photographs you would expect from National Geographic.

Age Range: 4 – 6 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (January 12, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1426306083
ISBN-13: 978-1426306082

Busy Ants (Pull Ahead Books) by by Kristin L. Nelson

“These two insects are working together.
What kind of insects are they?
These insects are busy ants.
They are moving leaves to make a nest.”

This small book, with controlled vocabulary and short sentences, introduces beginning readers to basic ant facts.

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group (February 1, 2004)
ISBN-10: 082259885X
ISBN-13: 978-0822598855

Time For Kids: Ants! (Time for Kids Science Scoops)by Editors of TIME For Kids

Falling in the easy reader category, this title gives the basics of ant biology.

Age Range: 6 – 10 years
Publisher: HarperCollins (July 26, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0060576405
ISBN-13: 978-0060576400

DK Readers L3: Ant Antics by Deborah Lock

Designed for beginning readers who are now reading on their own, expect longer sentences and more complex vocabulary.

((As an entomologist, I can tell the photograph on pp. 32-33 was staged. Can you figure out why?))

Age Range: 7 – 9 years
Publisher: DK CHILDREN (August 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 9780756689339
ISBN-13: 978-0756689339

Look Inside an Ant Nest (Look Inside Animal Homes) by Megan Nicole Cooley Peterson

Look Inside an Ant Nest is a straightforward nonfiction book that explores the unseen world of an ant nest. Laid out with large color photographs on the right side page and simple sentences with controlled, subject-specific vocabulary on the left, it is perfect for the beginning reader (first grade reading level). The large size also makes it easy to hold up and read in front of a group of young children.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Capstone Press (July 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1429660783
ISBN-13: 978-1429660785

Picture Books

Just Like Us! Ants by Bridget Heos and illustrated by‎ David Clark

The book is set up as a series of two-page spreads on different topics such as “Sister Cities” and “Bug Eat Bug Job.” You might not be able to see from the image of the cover above, but each spread features a photograph or two of real ants (photographs by Alex Wild) surrounded by cartoons.

Although the cartoon illustrations may make it look like this isn’t a serious book, don’t be fooled. Serious facts and concepts are discussed, but in a lighthearted way that will attract the most reluctant of readers. Throughout the author compares what ants can do to what humans do, making them more relatable.

Age Range: 4 – 7 years
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (October 3, 2017)
ISBN-10: 054457043X
ISBN-13: 978-0544570436

Are You an Ant? (Backyard Books) by Judy Allen and illustrated by Tudor Humphries

The Are you a…? books are always wonderful because the author brings the child into the story by comparing the insects, in this case ants, to humans. You feel like you are inside an ant colony.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Kingfisher; Reprint edition (May 13, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0753458039
ISBN-13: 978-0753458037

Thinking About Ants by Barbara Brenner and illustrated by Carol Schwartz

This older book (1996) is well worth a second look. The illustrations are gorgeous, bringing the reader up close to ants. The text is simple and lyrical, but also packs in all the information needed.

“Food!
What do ants eat?
Some eat meat.
A snack of dead bug.
A hunk of worm…”

A fabulous book for kids!

Age Range: 6 and up
Publisher: Mondo Pub (November 1, 1996)
ISBN-10: 1572552093
ISBN-13: 978-1572552098

 

Ant Cities (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)by Arthur Dorros

Part of the Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series, this title is probably one of the more informative books about ants for this age group. It follows the busy ants of an “ant city” or colony.

Age Range: 5 – 9 years
Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (June 23, 1988)
ISBN-10: 0064450791
ISBN-13: 978-0064450799

The Life and Times of the Ant by Charles Micucci

An excellent introduction to ants, with lively cartoon illustrations to keep the reader interested

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 17, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0618689494
ISBN-13: 978-0618689491

The Life Cycle of an Ant by Hadley Dyer and Bobbie Kalman

The Life Cycle of an Ant has denser text and more complicated vocabulary than some of the previous titles. It is for the student who is interested in delving deeper into ant biology.

Age Range: 6 and up
Publisher: Crabtree Pub Co (November 1, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0778707008
ISBN-13: 978-0778707004

Little Black Ant on Park Street – a Smithsonian’s Backyard Book by Janet Halfmann and illustrated by Kathleen Rietz,

As you would expect with a book labeled with the venerable Smithsonian name, Little Black Ant on Park Street is a quality nonfiction picture book. As with the other books in this series, it also has a fictional flavor. What do I mean by fictional flavor? The author has created a main character, the little black ant, who experiences rising levels of conflict and finally resolution. Overlaying this rich story is amazingly accurate and up-to-date information about the biology of ants.

More extensive review at Wrapped in Foil

Age Range: 4 and up
Publisher: Soundprint; 1 edition (December 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 160727003X
ISBN-13: 978-1607270034

Picture Book Fiction

How To Walk An Ant by Cindy Derby

Be prepared to giggle at the quirky humor in this creative picture book.

The main part is a “nine-step guide” to walking an ant. After explaining how to find the ant and gain its trust, she says you must attach the leash. Things go downhill, or possibly uphill, from there. In fact, the humor can be dark at times and Appendix 1 explains how to carry out an ant funeral. Appendix 2 gives young readers some actual ant facts.

Overall, How To Walk An Ant is likely to  appeal to budding myrmecologists and artists alike. It will certainly give you a lot to smile about, think about, and discuss after reading. Investigate a copy today!

Grade Level : Preschool – 3
ISBN-10 : 1250162629
ISBN-13 : 978-1250162625
Publisher : Roaring Brook Press (March 26, 2019)

 

 

Gets Ants in It’s Pants: A Book about Ants (Magic School Bus) by Joanna Cole, and illustrated by John Speirs and Bruce Degen

Follow Ms. Frizzle’s class once more, as this time they make a movie about ants. Walking the line between fiction and nonfiction, this imaginative older book is filled with facts about ants and very bad puns!

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Scholastic (January 1, 1996)
ISBN-10: 059040024X
ISBN-13: 978-0590400244

The Little Red Ant and the Great Big Crumb by Shirley Climo and illustrated by Francisco Mora

In this lively take on a Mexican tale, the ant finds out more about its world as it tries to carry home a crumb that is too large. The text contains some Spanish vocabulary words. The illustrations are vibrant, fun watercolors.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (March 22, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0395720974
ISBN-13: 978-0395720974

Antics! (Paperstar) by Cathi Hepworth

If you liked the puns in the Magic School House book, you’ll love these. There are ant puns galore in this imaginative alphabet book.

Age Range: 2 – 6 years
Publisher: Puffin (April 16, 1996)
ISBN-10: 0698113500
ISBN-13: 978-0698113503

Hey, Little Ant by Phillip M. Hoose, Hannah Hoose and Debbie Tilley

A tale about a boy deciding whether or not to step on an ant, which also gives the ant’s point of view. A Reading Rainbow selection…

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Publisher: Tricycle Press (July 1, 1998)
ISBN-10: 1883672546
ISBN-13: 978-1883672546

Ma Jiang and the Orange Ants by Barbara Ann Porte and illustrated by Annie Cannon

The orange ants in this story are named for the fact they are used to protect orange trees from pests. Ma Jiang and her family experience turbulent times as the men are pressed into service in the emperor’s army. Will the orange ants help those left behind to survive?

Age Range: 6 and up
Publisher: Orchard Books; First Edition edition (September 2000)
ISBN-10: 0531332411
ISBN-13: 978-0531332412

Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg

Two Bad Ants is told from the perspective of two very small and confused ants who have a wild adventure in what turns out to be a standard kitchen.

The illustrations have a bold, graphic look that is unique and intriguing.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (October 24, 1988)
ISBN-10: 0395486688
ISBN-13: 978-0395486689

Crickwing by Janell Cannon

Ants figure prominently in this book with a cockroach as a main character.

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (May 1, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0152050612
ISBN-13: 978-0152050610

Middle Grade Fiction

The Nora Notebooks, Book 1: The Trouble with Ants by Claudia Mills and illustrated by Katie Kath

Fourth grader Nora keeps an ant farm. She also records fascinating facts about ants in a journal, with quotes sprinkled throughout the book. She even does a simple experiment with ants and writes a paper about it. If that was all the book was about it would be good, but author Claudia Mills takes it to the next level by including many layers of story. For more details and a full review, see our sister blog, Wrapped in Foil.

Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (September 22, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0385391617
ISBN-13: 978-0385391610

Children’s Books about Galaxies and Stars

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

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

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

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

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

Nonfiction

Beginning Readers- Informational Texts

 

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

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

stars and constellations

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

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

 

Picture Books

 

Stars by Seymour Simon

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

Middle Grade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

A Black Hole Is Not a Hole by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano

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

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

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

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

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

 

Young Adult

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

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

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

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

Children’s Books about Planets and the Solar System

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

The titles are organized by genre and reading level.

planet-books-button

You might also be interested in:

 

Nonfiction

Beginning Readers- Informational Texts

space

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

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

comets

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

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

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

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

 

eclipses

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

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

Northen Lights

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

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

 

Picture Books

Nerdy Babies: Space by Emmy Kastner.

Follow the “Nerdy Baby” astronauts as they travel into space (floating), orbit around the sun, go back to the moon, then discover each of the planets in the solar system, with one significant fact noted about each.

The pacing, vocabulary, and information presented all work perfectly for preschoolers in the 4-5 year old range.

The only thing that was off-putting was that the author included the Nerdy Baby branding in the text. Preschoolers might not like to be called babies (or nerdy), so decide how you want to deal with that part.

Overall, Nerdy Babies: Space is a sweet, well-paced introduction to our solar system.

Series: Nerdy Babies
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (May 7, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1250312051
ISBN-13: 978-1250312051

Mission to Mars by Mary Kay Carson

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

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

Exoplanets by Seymour Simon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How the Meteorite Got to the Museum by Jessie Hartland

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

Reviewed at Wrapped in Foil

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Reviewed at Growing with Science

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

Middle Grade

solar syatem book

Dr. Maggie’s Grand Tour
 of the Solar System by Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock 
and illustrated by Chelen Écija

Space scientist Dr. Maggie guides the reader around our solar system, supported by incredible visual elements. What’s best about this book is that readers can read in order for a clear, logical progression or they can browse sections for specific topics of interest. The sidebars also break the text into delicious readable chunks.

Dr. Maggie’s Grand Tour
 of the Solar System will enthrall budding astronomers and astronauts alike. Pick up a copy for the ride of your life.

Ages: 8+
ISBN:  978-1-68464-034-8

 

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

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

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

 

Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet by Alexandra Siy

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

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

 

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

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

Full review at Wrapped in Foil

Related activities at Growing with Science

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Fiction

 

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

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

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

 

Related activity: Exploring Space Without a Spacesuit.

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

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

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

________________________

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

_________________________

Nonfiction

Beginning Readers

 

The Secret Life of Trees, Level 2: Beginning to Read Alone</em> (DK Readers Level 2) by Chiara Chevallier

With controlled vocabulary and illustrated with top notch photographs, this reader is for youngsters starting to read alone.

Age Range: 6 – 8 years
Publisher: DK Children (October 25, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0789447606
ISBN-13: 978-0789447609

Picture Books:

Stretch to the Sun: From a Tiny Sprout to the Tallest Tree on Earth by Carrie A. Pearson and illustrated by Susan Swan

How do you start a story about the tallest tree in the world? If you’re Carrie Pearson, you start it with a bang!

Creak! Crack! Kaboom!
A giant tree falls, broken,
and the forest floor trembles.

And with that dramatic event comes the opening needed for another tree to be born, one that will live over 1200 years and grow to about 380 feet tall. That’s about as tall as a 35 story building. Amazing!

Susan Swan’s illustrations are equally amazing. The trees are the central characters, of course, but she also features many animals of the Redwood National park, giving young readers hidden treasures to search for on every page.

The back matter shines as well. Besides an Author’s Note that explains how the book came about, there are many remarkable facts about coast redwoods, a bibliography, as well as information about where you can learn more and what you can do to help preserve redwoods.

Stretch to the Sun is a one-of-a-kind book about a one-of-a-kind tree. Get lost in a copy today!

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 5 – 8 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Charlesbridge; Illustrated edition (October 9, 2018)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1580897711
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1580897716

Be a Tree! by Maria Gianferrari and illustrated by Felicita Sala

The book is hard to categorize, walking the line between fiction and nonfiction.

First the author grabs the young readers with a gentle second person narrative, making them feel like they are a tree.

Stand tall.
Stretch your branches to the sun.
Let your roots coil in the soil to ground you.

Half way through, the point of view shifts to first person plural, the voice of the trees.

Our roots twine with fungi,
joining all trees of the forest together.
We talk…

In the last spread, it all comes together, urging us to care for one another.

Reading age : 4 – 8 years
Publisher : Harry N. Abrams (March 30, 2021)
ISBN-10 : 1419744224
ISBN-13 : 978-1419744228

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Middle Grade

Can You Hear the Trees Talking?: Discovering the Hidden Life of the Forest by Peter Wohlleben

Peter Wohlleben is the well-known author of the bestselling popular science book for adults, The Hidden Life of Trees.  Now he’s applied his eye-opening approach to understanding trees in this book for young readers. He asks kid-friendly questions, such as “How do trees drink?” and answers them using current scientific knowledge and appropriate vocabulary. Even if you already know a lot about trees, be prepared to say, “Wow!”

Can You Hear the Trees Talking? is a must-have resource that is likely to awe and inspire readers, young and old. Seriously!

Age Range: 8 – 10 years
Publisher: Greystone Kids; Reprint edition (October 1, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1771644346
ISBN-13: 978-1771644341

 

Ultimate Explorer Field Guide: Trees by Patricia Daniels

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

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

 

Activity Books:

 

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

 

Fiction/Poetry About Trees

 

Under My Tree by Muriel Tallandier illustrated by Mizuho Fujisawa and translated by Sarah Klinger

Young Susanne tells the reader — in the first person — how she found a special tree in the forest near her grandparents home. She returns to the tree again and again throughout the summer to discover the life that depends on the tree and how it changes from season to season.

Although fiction, leaf-shaped sidebars on many of the pages add nonfiction interest through questions, activity suggestions, and tree facts.

Spending time in nature is important. For children who might not be able to talk a walk in the woods, reading this quiet, gentle book that celebrates trees might be the best alternative. Get lost in a copy of Under My Tree soon!

Age Range: 3 – 8 years
Publisher: Blue Dot Kids Press (April 14, 2020)
ISBN-10: 1733121234
ISBN-13: 978-1733121231

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

Books for Gardening Together with Children

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

 

books-for-gardening-with-children

 

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

Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood by Tony Hillery and illustrated by Jessie Hartland – nonfiction picture book

When Mr. Tony (Tony Hillery) spotted an abandoned lot across from a school in Harlem, he had an idea. Getting help from the community, he cleaned it up and invited children to help him plant a garden. Through trial and error a farm emerged.

The benefits of gardening with children are many. From getting outside for healthy exercise, to learning patience, to appreciating the taste of fresh vegetables, gardening is a win-win-win activity. Harlem Grown is about making it happen. Share a copy today and you will be glad you did.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 4 – 8 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books; Illustrated edition (August 18, 2020)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1534402314
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1534402317

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

Science curriculum for grades K-4

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

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

success-with-school-gardens

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

roots-shoot-buckets-boots

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

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

 

Growlab: Activities for Growing Minds by Eve Pranis

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

Related Resources:

Find books to share with children in these two lists:

 

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

 

Plant Science Books for Children

Gardening activities inspired by children’s books:

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

 

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

 

Pinterest-gardening-right

Math Books for Pi Day and Every Day

Kids tend to get excited for Pi Day, which is observed on March 14 (3/14) as a nod to the fact that pi is 3.14… What a great opportunity to pull out some math books for kids to share.

pi-day-books

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.

And now we have a list of children’s books by and about women mathematicians.

Pi Day Books

The classic Pi Day book is Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi (A Math Adventure) by Cindy Neuschwander and illustrated by Wayne Geehan.

This is the second of a very popular series that turns common math concepts into memorable stories. When Sir Cumference turns into a dragon, can his family and friends use math to save him?

Although it looks a bit like a picture book, this is actually written for middle grades.

See some of the other titles in the series in the middle grade section below.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge (February 1, 1999)
ISBN-10: 1570911649
ISBN-13: 978-1570911644

Why Pi? (Big Questions) by Johnny Ball

Why Pi? is not just about pi, but is a general history of all things math. It covers how humans have used numbers and measured things from the past all the way to the present. Pages are bright colors, some contrasted with black like the cover. This is a follow-up book to the award-winning title, Go Figure, by the same author (see middle grade level below), which contains information about why all the world’s phone numbers appear in pi.

Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: DK Children; Revised edition (January 19, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1465443878
ISBN-13: 978-1465443878

 

Piece of Pi: Wit-Sharpening, Brain-bruising, Number-Crunching Activities with Pi (Grades 6-8) by Naila Bokhari and illustrated by S. O’Shaughnessy

Not only does this book explain what pi is and how it came about, it also has some great hands-on activities to help students learn how to apply it.

Grades 6–8
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: Prufrock Press (January 1, 2005)
ISBN-10: 1593631200
ISBN-13: 978-1593631208

 

Popular Books About Math and Mathematicians:

Board Books

Brilliant Baby Does Math by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Jean Claude, part of a series at little bee books.

 

Using a compelling rhyme, Laura Gehl introduces young children to math concepts and vocabulary found in everyday activities.

Jean Claude’s brightly-colored illustrations are not only cute, but also contain much to explore. For example, ask young readers to point out the shapes they find in each scene. Some of the shapes are subtle, such as hidden in the pattern of a rug. Others are called out in the text.

Overall, Brilliant Baby Does Math isn’t about how to do math, but instead is an age-appropriate introduction to what math does. Investigate a copy today!

Reading age : 2 – 5 years
Publisher : little bee books (February 2, 2021)
ISBN-10 : 1499811195
ISBN-13 : 978-1499811193

Counting Books

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

Danica McKellar 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. Her first books were for middle and high school aged kids. Now she’s writing for the youngest set.

You can see what she has to say in this book trailer:

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

Mice Mischief: Math Facts in Action by Caroline Stills walks young readers through all the ways 1 through 9 can add up to 10.

Age: 3-6
Hardcover: 24 pages
Publisher: Holiday House (January 14, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0823429474
ISBN-13: 978-0823429479

Edible Numbers by Jennifer Vogel Bass combines counting, colors, and yummy fruits and vegetables into one delightful adventure.

Age Range: 2 – 5 years
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (May 26, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1626720037
ISBN-13: 978-1626720039

 

Taking Away with Tigers (Animal Math) by Tracey Steffora helps young readers learn how to subtract.

Illustrated with photographs of live tigers in various poses, the concepts are made concrete enough to help the curious child master them. Want to take the lesson to the next level? Obtain some tiger figurines, toy tigers and/or plush tigers to use as manipulatives. Count and move the tigers guided by the text. Then have some fun by playing hide and seek. Take turns hiding the figurines and then “hunting” for them like real tigers.

Full review at Wrapped in Foil

Age Range: 4 – 6 years
Publisher: Heinemann (July 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1432975706
ISBN-13: 978-1432975708

 

Picture Books/Early Elementary

I’m Trying to Love Math by Bethany Barton

Know young people who aren’t sure about the value of learning math? This humorous title is likely to help them find out how useful it is for everyday life. Knowing why something is important often helps to motivate students.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (July 2, 2019)
ISBN-10: 0451480902
ISBN-13: 978-0451480903

Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford and illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska

Infinity and Me is an amazing nonfiction picture book that brings a difficult abstract concept into focus for young children. Hosford doesn’t tell the reader the definitive answer of what infinity is, but instead gently shows how each person can search for his or her own answer. Where they take it from there is, well, potentially infinite.

Reviewed at Wrapped in Foil.

Curriculum Guide available in pdf

Age Range: 5 – 10 years
Publisher: Carolrhoda Picture Books (August 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0761367268
ISBN-13: 978-0761367260

Equal Shmequal by Virginia Kroll

Mouse and her animal friends explore the concept of what it means to be equal.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge (July 1, 2005)
ISBN-10: 1570918910
ISBN-13: 978-1570918919

 

Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late (Bedtime Math Series) by Laura Overdeck and illustrated by Jim Paillot

 

This is the first book in an innovative and fun series in which Laura Overdeck suggests number riddles and challenges that can easily be “added” to the bedtime routine. Over 100 riddles, each with three different levels for families with several children. Check the Fun Nightly Math section of the Daily Math website to see examples of the leveled challenges, including some for pi day.

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (June 25, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1250035856
ISBN-13: 978-1250035851

 

 

Bedtime Math: This Time It’s Personal (Bedtime Math Series) by Laura Overdeck and illustrated by Jim Paillot

In this second book from the Bedtime Math series, Overdeck shows children how to use math to investigate how their bodies work, personal habits, etc.

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Series: Bedtime Math Series
Hardcover: 96 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (March 11, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250040965
ISBN-13: 978-1250040961

 

Bedtime Math: The Truth Comes Out (Bedtime Math Series) by Laura Overdeck and illustrated by Jim Paillot

In the third book in the series, Overdeck has assembled math challenges relating to the wild questions that children love to investigate. Example: how many eyelids does a camel have? See more at the Bedtime Math website.

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Series: Bedtime Math Series
Hardcover: 96 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (March 3, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250047757
ISBN-13: 978-1250047755

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos by Deborah Heiligman and illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Heiligman’s book explores the life of a boy who thinks about math all day.

Messages I love from this book:

  • Math can be exciting and interesting
  • It is okay to be different from everyone else

The Boy Who Loved Math is as special, lovable, and one-of-a-kind as its subject. “Added plus”: the illustrator has incorporated a great deal of math in the illustrations.

Age Range: 3 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 2
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (June 25, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1596433078
ISBN-13: 978-1596433076

 

Lemonade for Sale (MathStart 3) by Stuart J. Murphy and illustrated by Tricia Tusa

Love using reading to explain math? Using a story of four children and a parrot running a lemonade stand to set the stage, this book shows children how to understand bar graphs.

Be sure to look for other titles in the MathStart series by Stuart J. Murphy that explain many different early math concepts.

Age Range: 6 – 10 years
Grade Level: 2 and up
Publisher: HarperCollins; MathStart 3 edition (December 18, 1997)
ISBN-10: 0064467155
ISBN-13: 978-0064467155

 

Math Curse by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Lane Smith

This is wildly popular introduction to math by the genius pair of Scieszka and Smith. Although it is included in the picture book category, it may also be appropriate for older kids.

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers; Library Binding edition (October 1, 1995)
ISBN-10: 0670861944
ISBN-13: 978-0670861941

How Much Is a Million? 20th Anniversary Edition (Reading Rainbow Books) by David M. Schwartz and illustrated by Steven Kellogg

Some adults may question whether young children are interested in big numbers, but often they are. This book makes big numbers understandable and relatible.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins; Reissue edition (December 28, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0688099335
ISBN-13: 978-0688099336

 

“Quirky Math”

 

What do I mean by quirky math? These are unique books that introduce math concepts in ways that don’t always align with school standards and aren’t easy to assign age categories. Because of that, they may not be a good fit for everyone. On the other hand, for the right reader, they can open doors to a whole new way of thinking about the world.

 

Anno’s Math Games by Mitsumasa Anno

The brilliance of Anno’s books can be really hard to explain, but I will try. They are use imaginative, creative, and unusual illustrations and stories to encourage children to explore math concepts ranging from basic to highly advanced. These are books that children will want to return to again and again as their understanding increases.

Age Range: 5 and up
Hardcover: 104 pages
Publisher: Philomel; 1st edition (September 21, 1987)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0399211519
ISBN-13: 978-0399211515

Anno’s Math Games 2 by Mitsumasa Anno

In the first section of this book, Anno introduces concepts children will use in algebra with a “magic machine.” The characters put things into the machine and they change when they come out. For example, a chicken becomes a chick. The children are challenged to figure out what is happening in various scenarios and to make up their own examples.

Hardcover: 103 pages
Publisher: Philomel (September 6, 1989)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0399216154
ISBN-13: 978-0399216152

Anno’s Math Games III by Mitsumasa Anno

Exploring the most advanced concepts yet, Anno takes on topology, mazes, and Euclidean geometry. It is literally about thinking outside the box.

Hardcover: 103 pages
Publisher: Philomel (March 28, 1991)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 039922274X
ISBN-13: 978-0399222740

STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and math. This is Not Another Math Book by Anna Weltman and ilustrated by‎ Charlotte Milner is a perfect choice for older kids who want to explore art as a way to understand math.

Author Anna Weltman has created an imaginative series of hands-on projects that include exploring symmetry by drawing kaleidoscopic patterns, growing a forest of fractal trees, and assembling five-square pentomino shapes into pictures.

Ages: 9+
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Kane Miller Books / EDC Publishing; First American edition (2018)
ISBN-10: 1610675975
ISBN-13: 978-1610675970

 

Life of Fred: Apples, Elementary Math Book, Math As Serious As It Needs to Be (Life of Fred, Volume 1) (Life of Fred, Volume 1) by Stanley F. Schmidt, Ph.D.

Life a Fred is a series of math books ranging from elementary to high school levels. Some people absolutely love their quirky uniqueness, and others find it off-putting. I have to say that underlying the stories (and frankly somewhat odd illustrations) is carefully-thought-out math presented in such a way to make it understandable and memorable.

See the Life of Fred website and check this .pdf sample to get an better idea of what it is like.

 

Middle Grade

Cool Math: 50 Fantastic Facts for Kids of All Ages by Tracie Young and Katie Hewett

Organized as a series of two-page spreads, this small book packs in a king-sized number of tips, games, cool facts, and tricks that will interest even the most math adverse. Examples range from tips for quick multiplication to how to make a magic square. Tucked in are practical refreshers, like how to calculate area and volume.

Although designed for middle school, the title is correct; it could be fun for adults as well. You could read it cover to cover, but Cool Math is so easy to browse. Glance through the table of contents or thumb through the book. Either way, something will catch your attention and before long you’ll grab a pencil to figure out how it works. Plus, the practical tips will make you want to return to it again and again.

Cool Math is a fun, painless way to hone those math skills. Explore a copy today!

Age Range: 12 – 16 years
Publisher: Pavilion Children’s (March 3, 2020)
ISBN-10: 1843654482
ISBN-13: 978-1843654483
Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature by Sarah C. Campbell and photographs by Richard P. Campbell

This gorgeous book is at the interface between picture book and middle grade level. It starts simply, with common shapes found in the environment, giving the impression of a picture book for youngsters. Step-by-step the shapes become more complex, until we are seeing the repeating patterns called fractals, revealing exciting concepts for older students. Then readers are taken through examples of fractals that range in scale from Queen Anne’s lace flowers to mountain ranges. Amazing!

In the back is an activity to make a type of fractal called a Sierpinski triangle, perfect to reinforce learning. The afterword by Michael Frame summarizes the life of Benoit Mandelbrot, who named fractals, as well as proposing some practical and potential uses for fractals.

Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature is a great introduction to complex patterns and is sure to inspire students, particularly reluctant ones, to investigate math in greater depth.

Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press; SEW edition (April 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1620916274
ISBN-13: 978-1620916278

The expert team of Hilary Koll and Steve Mills have developed a unique series of math books illustrated by Vladimir Aleksic. Each feature gritty, real world applications of math with problems to solve embedded within the story. The challenges vary in difficulty and math skills needed.

In Solve a Crime (You Do the Math) Alex, an undercover police detective, shows how math can help catch a criminal. For example, on one page the reader is asked to use co-ordinates to map the evidence and then look on a grid to calculate the distance between certain items. These problems will require a pencil and piece of paper to do the work.

The graphic-style illustrations are bold and serious, adding to the true-to-life feel.

Age Range: 6 – 8 years
Publisher: QEB Publishing (April 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 160992732X
ISBN-13: 978-1609927325

Fly a Jet Fighter (You Do the Math) follows pilot Katie as she handles data, interprets tables, and reads dials and scales. The goal is to create a squadron of jet fighter aces and complete the mission.

Age Range: 6 – 8 years
Publisher: QEB Publishing (April 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1609927311
ISBN-13: 978-1609927318

Launch a Rocket into Space (You Do the Math) follows each stage of the space mission to make sure the rocket blasts clear of the atmosphere and returns safely. It features astronaut Michael who helps the reader compete the math exercises and learn about everything from fractions to timelines. A few problems will require a protractor to measure angles.

Each of the books has a glossary and the answers for all the questions are in the back matter.

Although recommended for ages 6-8, these books could also be useful for older children who are struggling with math concepts or don’t quite see how the math they are learning might be useful.

The entire You Do the Math series would be perfect for homeschoolers and after school math clubs because it can be entirely child-directed reading.

Sir Cumference and the First Round Table (A Math Adventure) by Cindy Neuschwander and Wayne Geehan

In this first of the series, we are introduced to the main characters (and some hilarious puns.) Sir Cumference, his wife Lady Di of Ameter, their son Radius, and the carpenter, Geo of Metry, help King Arthur deal with a neighbor who is threatening war by finding the perfect table. Again, although this may look like a picture book, it is meant for middle grades.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge; First Paperback Edition edition (July 1, 1997)
ISBN-10: 1570911525
ISBN-13: 978-1570911521

Here’s the newest title in the series:

Sir Cumference and the Fracton Faire (A Math Adventures) by Cindy Neuschwander and illustrated by Wayne Geehan

Even though the title says “Fracton,” it’s a sneaky tale to learn about fractions. This one would be best for grades 2 -5.

Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge (March 7, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1570917728
ISBN-13: 978-1570917721

The newest in the series, Sir Cumference Gets Decima’s Point by Cindy Neuschwander and illustrated by Wayne Geehan came out in October 2020.

Follow Decima the ogre baker as she figures out how to divide her deserts for more and more hungry diners. When she thinks she finally has enough, disaster happens. How will she provide equal portions to everyone who wants them?

Hidden in the story of baking antics is a solid background in decimals. The endnote explains how it works in more straightforward mathematical terms.

Books like these that mix fact and fiction can be hard to categorize, but can play an important role in helping children who struggle with certain math concepts. Looking at the problem from a different perspective may be just the ticket to the understanding train.

Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge (October 27, 2020)
ISBN-10: 1570918457
ISBN-13: 978-1570918452

 

Go Figure!: A Totally Cool Book About Numbers (Bccb Blue Ribbon Nonfiction Book Award (Awards)) by Johnny Ball (Author)

An award-winning title packed with math history and concepts, as well as math puzzles, tricks and challenges sure to get kids using math.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: DK (August 15, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0756613744
ISBN-13: 978-0756613747

 

 

Mathemagic!: Number Tricks by Lynda Colgan and illustrated by Jane Kurisu

Mathemagic shows kids how to entertain their friends with number tricks and then explains the math behind the magic. Certain children of the target age are likely to really enjoy activities like “mind reading” and “calculator magic.”

Educators will also want to put this book into their trick toolbox. It will appeal to the math whizzes who play math games anyway, but it might also be useful to those who are struggling math because it makes many aspects of math more concrete, allows children to see math computations from a new angle, lets them see math in everyday life, and may help motivate them to practice the skills that they need for standardized tests.

Full review at Wrapped in Foil

Age Range: 10 – 14 years
Publisher: Kids Can Press, Ltd. (March 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1554534259
ISBN-13: 978-1554534258

 

Math Talk: Mathematical Ideas in Poems for Two Voices by Theoni Pappas

Each subject has its own vocabulary to be mastered. This small book introduces children to math via well-written poetry. Particularly useful for those looking for novel ways to introduce math topics.

Age Range: 7 and up
Publisher: Wide World Publishing, Tetra (January 25, 1993)
ISBN-10: 0933174748
ISBN-13: 978-0933174740

 

Theoni Pappas also offers a yearly mathematical calendar with math problems to solve for every day.

The Mathematics Calendar 2018

High School

Looking for a way to keep teenagers engaged in STEM? Chaos Theory Uncovered: How chaos and fractals shape our world by E L Strauss might be just the ticket. It reveals how math can be used to help us understand and make predictions about large, complex events in a beautiful way.

When you first open the book the computer-generated illustrations might just give you chills, particularly the swirling brightly-colored lines against a black background that are visual representations of chaos. The images of fractals are stunning as well, particularly the Mandelbrot set. Magic happens when art meets math.

The best part about the book is it is not watered down for kids. To get the most out of it, the reader should probably have a working understanding of at least algebra, and an inkling of beginning calculus would be helpful.

Chaos Theory Uncovered: How Chaos and Fractals Shape Our World is sure to help young adults and adults to understand complex math. It might also help some to discover an astonishing new passion.

 

Mathematics: The Science of Patterns: The Search for Order in Life, Mind and the Universe (Scientific American Paperback Library) by Keith Devlin

Meant to appeal as a popular math book, Keith Devlin’s text reveals that math is about much more than numbers. Many people rave about the illustrations as well as the text.

Series: Scientific American Paperback Library
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Scientific American Library; 1st edition (1997)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0716760223
ISBN-13: 978-0716760221

Elementary Algebra by Harold R. Jacobs

Excellent title for homeschooling or self-study, the explanations by Jacobs are especially easy to follow and helpful. Although this title is out of print, it is well worth trying to dig up a copy if you are interested in learning algebra.

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

 

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 hip 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

 

Desert Books for Kids

Desert habitats are unique and fascinating. Time to find out more through some great books.

________________________

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.

_________________________

 

desert-books-button

Nonfiction:

The Night Flower by Lara Hawthorne is a great place to start.

Lara Hawthorne is an illustrator so it is no surprise this book is an incredible visual treat.

The book starts with an informational paragraph about the saguaro cactus. From there gentle rhyming text takes the reader on a journey through one day and night in the desert. Along the way readers meet many different animals and learn about the role the saguaro plays in their lives.

The Night Flower is a beautiful introduction to a unique plant and its habitat. It is perfect to accompany a unit on deserts or plants, or to prepare for a trip to Arizona. Poke around in a copy today!

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Publisher: Big Picture Press (March 12, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1536206164
ISBN-13: 978-1536206166

Get to Know Gila Monsters (Get To Know Reptiles) by Flora Brett

In this book Brett has done a good job of finding facts that will be interesting to children, such as how big are Gila monsters, what do they eat, what is their life cycle, and whether or not Gila monsters are venomous. She also separates the facts (Gila monsters are venomous) from the myths (their bite is not fatal to humans).

The book is illustrated with color photographs. Just a note, there is one photograph of a Gila monster eating a deer mouse that might be too graphic for sensitive youngsters.

Get to Know Gila Monsters is a perfect introduction to a desert creature is unfamiliar to many people. This is a must have for units on deserts and would also be useful for lessons about life cycles.

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Publisher: Capstone Press (January 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1491422459
ISBN-13: 978-1491422458

 

 

A Day and Night in the Desert (Caroline Arnold’s Habitats) by Caroline Arnold

As the words “day” and “night” suggest, this story reveals which Sonoran desert creatures are active through a 24-hour cycle from 6:00 a.m. one morning until 6:00 a.m. the following day. With the distinctive cut-paper collage illustrations and narrative style, Arnold has created a nonfiction book that will appeal to young readers who prefer fiction.

A Day and Night in the Desert is a wonderful book to introduce the concept of time (for youngest readers), the terms diurnal and nocturnal, and also how different desert animals respond to desert habitats.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Picture Window Books (February 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1479560847
ISBN-13: 978-1479560844

 

 

Cactus Hotel (An Owlet Book) by Brenda Z. Guiberson and illustrated by Megan Lloyd

This classic picture book follows all the desert creatures that use the giant saguaro cactus as a home.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Square Fish; 1 edition (October 15, 1993)
ISBN-10: 0805029605
ISBN-13: 978-0805029604

 

Deserts by Gail Gibbons

Gail Gibbons is really the queen of picture book nonfiction. Her books are always impeccably researched. She also creates the illustrations.

Age Range: 6 and up
Publisher: Holiday House (October 1, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0823415198
ISBN-13: 978-0823415199

 

 

Why Oh Why Are Deserts Dry?: All About Deserts (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library) by Tish Rabe and illustrated by Aristides Ruiz and Joe Mathieu

The Cat in the Hat books bring rhyming text to serious science nonfiction. Learn about desert animals from around the world, as well as desert phenomenon such as mirages. Highly recommended.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (January 11, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0375858687
ISBN-13: 978-0375858680

 

 

Desert Giant: The World of the Saguaro Cactus (Tree Tales)
by Barbara Bash

Age Range: 6 – 10 years
Publisher: Sierra Club Books for Children (September 6, 2002)
ISBN-10: 1578050855
ISBN-13: 978-1578050857

 

Southwestern author Conrad Storad has written quite a few books about the plants and animals of the Sonoran desert. Here are just two examples:

Saguaro Cactus (Early Bird Nature) by Conrad J. Storad and photographs by Paula Jansen

Age Range: 7 and up
Publisher: Lerner Publications (September 1994)
ISBN-10: 0822530023
ISBN-13: 978-0822530022

Lizards for Lunch: A Roadrunner’s Tale by Conrad J. Storad and illustrated by Beth Neely and Don Rantz

Age Range: 4 and up
Grade Level: Preschool and up
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Sunbelt Publications (March 1, 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1891795007
ISBN-13: 978-1891795008

 

 

Cactus Desert (One Small Square) by Donald Silver and Patricia Wynne

Another older title that is well worth getting your hands on. What I like about this book is that it includes all the living creatures of the desert, including fungi, protists and plants. Cactus Desert has excellent suggestions for hands-on activities. Although it says 6 and up and it looks a bit like a picture book, I would say the density of text and level of vocabulary would make it perfect for middle grades.

Age Range: 6 and up
Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (September 22, 1997)
ISBN-10: 0070579342
ISBN-13: 978-0070579347

Desert Discoveries by Ginger Wadsworth

This title focuses on the animals found in deserts. The illustrations have hide-and-seek questions to encourage children to observe closely, as well as analog clock images to helps children learn how to tell time using hands. The first page says, “…animals, birds, and insects.” Of course, this is an error because birds and insects are also considered animals (members of the animal kingdom).

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge (February 1, 1997)
ISBN-10: 0881068179
ISBN-13: 978-0881068177

Deserts: An Activity Guide for Ages 6 to 9 by Nancy F. Castaldo

One of the few books to cover deserts found throughout the world, this book also contains hands-on activities such as making a didgeridoo (to celebrate Australian deserts) and growing your own date palm. Fun!

 

Fiction:

Nobody Hugs a Cactus by Carter Goodrich

Hank the Cactus sits all alone in his pot on a windowsill and that’s the way he likes it. Whenever someone tries to visit him, he ignores them. Sometimes he even yells at his neighbors, tortoise and jack rabbit. Over time, Hank realizes his lifestyle is making him lonely. Will he ever find a friend?

Carter Goodrich is an illustrator who is known for his covers on The New Yorker, so it is not surprising that it is the art that strikes you first when you open the book. The colors capture the brilliant light of the desert Southwest. Plus, Hank’s expressions range from silly to enchanting.

In addition to being an introduction to social skills, Nobody Hugs a Cactus would be appropriate to accompany a unit on deserts.  Get a warm, fuzzy feeling from a copy today!

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (April 16, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1534400907
ISBN-13: 978-1534400900

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

 

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

Upper Elementary

Chemical Reactions!: With 25 Science Projects for Kids by Dr. Susan Berk Koch (website) and illustrated by Micah Rauch

You can find tons of so-called chemistry experiments on the internet. The problem is it takes time to find the legitimate ones (in among the ads), and weed out the ones that are not age-appropriate or don’t work. Dr. Koch has done all that for readers ages 7-10, plus added the background and educational materials needed for successful learning.

Chemical Reactions! is perfect for budding chemists and students who love their learning hands on. It would also be a wonderful resource for a unit on chemistry or to develop experiments for an elementary-level science fair. Check out a copy and see what develops.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 7 – 10 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Nomad Press (October 15, 2021)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1619309416
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1619309418

 


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.