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.



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.



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! (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!



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.

Plant Science Books for Children

Below is a list of children’s books that focus on plants and gardening, organized by reading level and genre. They were chosen to support and inspire plant science projects. Be sure to visit our earlier list of children’s books about seeds, as well.

Do you have any favorite plant science books for kids? We’d love to hear your suggestions.


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.



Beginning Readers

Lerner Plant Life Cycles – Pull Ahead Readers Series
pairs nonfiction and fiction titles on the same topic

Let’s Look at Apple Trees by Katie Peters

Have you ever seen an apple blossom? Carefully leveled text and engaging photos show emergent readers what apples look like while they are growing in an orchard. Pairs with the fiction title Baking Apples by Margo Gates and illustrated by Jeff Crowther, which features a father and his daughter using fresh-picked apples to bake a delicious apple tart.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 4 – 7 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Lerner Publications ™ (August 1, 2020)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1541590201
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1541590205

Let’s Look at Pumpkins by Katie Peters

How do small, flat pumpkin seeds become large, round pumpkins? This title uses carefully leveled text and vibrant photos to show younger readers the pumpkin life cycle. Pairs with the fiction title Pumpkin Seeds by Margo Gates and illustrated by Stephen Brown, which shows Mom making pumpkin soup, while Ravi prepares the pumpkin seeds.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 4 – 7 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Lerner Publications ™ (August 1, 2020)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 154159021X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1541590212

Let’s Look at Beans by Katie Peters

Introduce emergent readers to the life cycle of the tiny-but-mighty bean. Carefully leveled text and bright photos show bean plants in all their stages: seed, sprout, flower, and pod. Pairs with the fiction title Bean Soup by Margo Gates and illustrated by Lisa Hunt.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 4 – 7 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Lerner Publications ™ (August 1, 2020)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1541590244
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1541590243

Plants: Real Size Science by Rebecca Rissman

Don’t let the short sentences fool you, this informational book is full of vocabulary and concepts, such as what are roots, stems and flowers. Be sure to read the notes for parents and educators in the back to get the most from the book.

Age Range: 4 – 6 years
Publisher: Acorn (July 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 143297887X
ISBN-13: 978-1432978877

Picture Books

New Books:
Plants Can’t Sit Still by Rebecca E. Hirsch and illustrated by Mia Posada

Although they can’t run around like some animals can, plants can move quite a bit. Sunflowers follow the sun, tendrils can creep around, and seeds can shoot away. A deeper look into the life of plants.

Isn’t the cover beautiful?

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Millbrook Press (September 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1467780316
ISBN-13: 978-1467780315



Flowers (Plant Parts) by Melanie Waldron is the perfect introduction to flowers in the garden. This informational book covers what a flower is, the parts of a flower, how flowers make seeds, and become fruit, etc. It also discusses how flowers attract insect pollinators. Two hands-on activities are included with clear and well-organized instructions to help reinforce learning.

Age Range: 7 – 9 years
Grade Level: 2 – 4
Series: Plant Parts
Publisher: Raintree Perspectives (January 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1410954269
ISBN-13: 978-1410954268


Seeds and Fruits (Plant Parts) is also by Melanie Waldron and is part of the same series as Flowers. It covers variation in seeds and fruits, what seeds and fruit are for, the parts of a flowering plant, how seeds are made, what’s inside a seed, what seeds need to germinate, different types of fruit, methods plants use to disperse seeds, and how humans interact with seeds and fruits. This book contains an activity of finding seeds in fruit and an experiment to investigate germination of bean seeds under different conditions.

These books in the Plant Parts series would work well with a school garden as well as in the classroom for a unit on plants.

Age Range: 7 – 9 years
Grade Level: 2 – 4
Series: Plant Parts
Publisher: Raintree Perspectives (January 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1406274801
ISBN-13: 978-1406274806



Vegetables aren’t the only plants we can study. Weeds Find a Way by Cindy Jenson-Elliott and illustrated by Carolyn Fisher introduces young readers to the wonders of the natural world by exploring these often ignored, deplored plants. Jenson-Elliott’s text conjures up lighthearted word pictures. For example, can’t you imagine seeds coming out of pods “…like confetti from a popped balloon?”  The back matter, however, includes a serious discussion of weeds, why they are interesting and important, and a list and descriptions of some common weeds.Pick up a copy and you will find out, as the author says, “Weeds are amazing!” (Review with activity suggestions at Growing with Science).

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Publisher: Beach Lane Books (February 4, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1442412607
ISBN-13: 978-1442412606


Plant a Pocket of Prairie by Phyllis Root and illustrated by Betsy Bowen is a perfect introduction because it encourages planting of locally-adapted plants in pocket wildlife gardens. The book may focus on the prairies of Minnesota, but it carries a message about preserving habitats that is important anywhere in the world. Get the full scoop at Growing with Science.

Ages 5-10
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press (April 15, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0816679800
ISBN-13: 978-0816679805


Secrets of the Garden: Food Chains and the Food Web in Our Backyard by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld and illustrated by Priscilla Lamont

This creative picture book walks the line between fiction and nonfiction. Although Alice is the narrator, leading the way to her discoveries in her family’s garden, two chickens provide the science concepts in informative sidebars.

Age Range: 5 – 9 years
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; First Printing edition (February 28, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0517709902
ISBN-13: 978-0517709900


Older favorites:


A Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long

This is an absolutely gorgeous and well-researched book. Highly recommended!

Age Range: 5 – 10 years
Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (March 1, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0811855201
ISBN-13: 978-0811855204




Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden by George Levenson, Shmuel Thaler (Photographer)

When I lent this one to someone and never got it back, I knew I had to go out and buy another copy. This book is really one of a kind. The photographs are exceptional, although they do have a flower fly identified as a honey bee, which is a common mistake. The website has good information, too.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Tricycle Press (August 7, 2002)
ISBN-10: 1582460787
ISBN-13: 978-1582460789




Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert

You can see what it is about in this video.


Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (February 28, 1992)
ISBN-10: 0152626107
ISBN-13: 978-0152626105


Middle Grade

Linnea’s Windowsill Garden (Linnea books) by Cristina Bjork, illustrated by Lena Anderson, and translated by Joan Sandin

For fans of Linnea’s Garden (see fiction section below), this gardening how-to is a useful introduction to indoor gardening. It is written in a cozy, journal style.

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Grade Level: 4 – 7
Publisher: R & S Books (October 1, 1988)
ISBN-10: 9129590647
ISBN-13: 978-9129590647


Related Fiction


Picture Books


Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens

Children will learn all about which parts of plants are edible in this folktale retelling. Lovely illustrations explain why this was a Caldecott Honor Book.

Age Range: 4 – 7 years
Publisher: Harcourt Brace; 1st edition (March 29, 1995)
ISBN-10: 0152928510
ISBN-13: 978-0152928513

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart and illustrated by David Small

Lydia Grace Finch isn’t used to living in the city, let alone with her dour uncle. Can she work miracles with a small suitcase full of seeds?

Age Range: 4 – 7 years
Publisher: Square Fish; Reissue edition (May 1, 2007)
ISBN-10: 031236749X
ISBN-13: 978-0312367497

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

This classic picture book reveals how planting flowers can make a difference. A family favorite.

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (November 6, 1985)
ISBN-10: 0140505393
ISBN-13: 978-0140505399


Middle Grade

Our School Garden! by Rick Swann and illustrated by Christy Hale

Discovering the joys of the school garden helps lonely Michael make friends.

Winner, 2013 Growing Good Kids Book Award, Junior Master Gardener & American Horticultural Society

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Readers to Eaters (March 6, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0983661502
ISBN-13: 978-0983661504


Linnea in Monet’s Garden by Cristina Bjork, Lena Anderson (Illustrator), Joan Sandin (Translator)

If you are interested in art, artists, Monet, nature, gardening or traveling to Paris, this is the book for you. Definitely inspires me to want to grow a “Monet Garden” of my own. Beautiful, sweet, and informative, I keep our copy with the art books, but it wants to be with the nature and gardening books, too.

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Publisher: R & S Books; 1st American ed edition (October 1, 1987)
ISBN-10: 9129583144
ISBN-13: 978-9129583144

Grow: A Novel in Verse by Juanita Havill and illustrated by Stansislawa Kodman

Twelve-year-old Kate helps Berneetha turn a vacant lot into a community garden, gathering help and friends along the way. Can they protect the garden when the lot owner decides to build on it?

Age Range: 9 and up
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (April 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 156145575X
ISBN-13: 978-1561455751


Related Resources:

Compost and Decomposition Books


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


Gardening activity books for adults working with children

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


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



30 Space and Astronomy Books for Children

What is more inspiring than space?

If you are doing a science theme about space 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 reading level.


Looking for more specific information? Visit our more recent, specialized lists about:



Beginning Readers- Informational Texts


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 (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: 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


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

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

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

Salas must inspire her illustrators to greatness, because Jaime Kim’s art positively shines.

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

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

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

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

Picture Books about the Planets/Solar System:



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


Picture books About the Lunar Landing:

Footprints on the Moon by Alexandra Siy


Illustrated with photographs, this book documents


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


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

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


One Giant Leap
by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Mike Wimmer

Another book to commemorate the 40th anniversary lunar landing, it is also well done.


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



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

Full review at Wrapped in Foil

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


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 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



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

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



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


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

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


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



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



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

Age Range: 10 and up
Grade Level: 5 – 9
Lexile Measure: 950L (What’s this?)
Series: Scientists in the Field Series
Hardcover: 80 pages
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (June 19, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 054747881X
ISBN-13: 978-0547478814



Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet
by Alexandra Siy


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


A Black Hole Is Not a Hole
by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano

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


Young Adult

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

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

Full review at Growing with Science.

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






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

Are you ready to try science poetry now? Check out our list of space and astronomy poetry books for kids.

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.


21+ Children’s Books about Women Scientists

March is Women’s History Month. To celebrate, we have gathered some children’s book biographies of remarkable women who have made significant impacts in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

The list keeps growing, so now it is 21+ books (last edited 7/2022).

Historically women have been under-represented in STEM fields. Reading these biographies, it becomes apparent that early females interested in STEM faced discrimination. They managed to persevere, however, and make significant discoveries. Their stories are inspiring.

With so many wonderful biographies coming out recently, we started a new list of children’s books about Women Mathematicians.

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


Last Name A-F


Greta Binford


Silk & Venom: Searching for a Dangerous Spider by Kathryn Lasky and her husband, photographer Christopher G. Knight is a middle grade biography of arachnologist, Greta Binford.

This book can work both for the spider squeamish and spider enthusiast because, although it is filled with large photographs of spiders, it isn’t a general book about spiders, but a biography. After reviewing Binford’s path to becoming a spider scientist, the story follows on her journey to the Caribbean to find a certain species of brown recluse.

Reading level: Ages 4-8 (Amazon, this is probably better for 9-12)
Hardcover: 64 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (February 22, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0763642223
ISBN-13: 978-0763642228


Rachel Carson

Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement by Stephanie Roth Sisson reveals how Carson carefully observed natural events during her childhood, which is why she was able to notice things were changing later in her life and sound the alarm.  Extensive back matter.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (August 14, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1626728194
ISBN-13: 978-1626728196

Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World by Laurie Lawlor and illustrated by Laura Beingessner

This picture book biography was written to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking book, Silent Spring.

Lexile Measure: 890L (What’s this?)
Publisher: Holiday House (February 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0823423700
ISBN-13: 978-0823423705

Rachel Carson: Preserving a Sense of Wonder (Images of Conservationists)by Joseph Bruchac and illustrated by Thomas Locker

Encompassing Rachel Carson’s life in a few pages, Bruchac emphasizes her love of nature in this picture book biography. The title refers to Carson’s book, A Sense of Wonder.

Age Range: 4 – 10 years
Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing (May 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1555916953
ISBN-13: 978-1555916954

Middle grade level:
Rachel Carson and Ecology for Kids: Her Life and Ideas, with 21 Activities and Experiments (For Kids series) by Rowena Rae

What could be better than an in depth history combined with hands-on activities to reinforce learning?

Although centered on Rachel Carson’s love of nature, Rowena Rae also highlights Caron’s writing process and the power of the written word. For example regarding the writing process, Carson worked hard on her early pieces to make sure they sounded good when read aloud. To celebrate Carson’s writing, several of the activities for children in the book center on writing and honing writing skills.

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Publisher: Chicago Review Press (February 4, 2020)
ISBN-10: 0897339339
ISBN-13: 978-0897339339

Eugenie Clark

Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating and illustrated by Marta Alvarez Miguens

Lively picture book about how Eugenie Clark became the “Shark Lady,” the scientist who studied sharks even though sharks were unpopular and scary, and women weren’t supposed to be scientists. Contains colorful and imaginative illustrations, including one of sharks swimming in a library.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (June 6, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1492642045
ISBN-13: 978-1492642046

Swimming with Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark by Heather Lang and illustrated by Jordi Solano

Eugenie Clark was an incredible zoologist/marine biologist. This biography focuses on her work on sharks which earned her the nickname “Shark Lady.”

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company (December 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0807521876
ISBN-13: 978-0807521878

Desert Beneath the Sea by Ann McGovern and Eugenie Clark, illustrated by Craig Phillips

This older book about ichthyologist Eugenie Clark has a personal, conversational tone that makes the reader feel like they are underwater with Eugenie. The delicate, pale illustrations by Craig Phillips are delightful. Definitely a book to share with any child interested in becoming a scientist or simply interested in learning more about oceans.

Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: Scholastic; 1 edition (October 1991)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0590426397
ISBN-13: 978-0590426398


Fish Watching with Eugenie Clark (Naturalist’s Apprentice) by Michael Elsohn Ross and illustrated by Wendy Smith

Geared for older audiences than The Desert Beneath the Sea, this biography of ichthyologist Eugenie Clark is more comprehensive as well. The biographies in this series by Michael Elsohn Ross include observation tips and and related hands-on activities.

Age Range: 8 and up
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books (February 2000)
ISBN-10: 1575053845
ISBN-13: 978-1575053844

Anna Botsford Comstock

Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story by Suzanne Slade and illustrated by Jessica Lanan

Anna Botsford Comstock excelled at art and science, plus she encouraged others to explore and love nature. Although not as well known as some others, her works influenced many, including Rachel Carson.

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press (March 15, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1585369861
ISBN-13: 978-1585369867


Marie Curie

Marie Curie by Demi glows. From the gold leaf letters on the cover, to Demi’s beautiful and unique illustrations, to the perfectly composed text, this picture book biography is a gem.

Full review and activity suggestions at Growing with Science blog.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (February 20, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1627793895
ISBN-13: 978-1627793896

Marie Curie for Kids: Her Life and Scientific Discoveries, with 21 Activities and Experiments by Amy M. O’Quinn is a middle grade title that is an important resource for educators as well.

The 21 hands-on activities range from learning about Poland (Marie Curie’s birthplace) to chemistry and physics experiments, such as:

  • Build an atomic model
  • Make a compass with magnets
  • Explore Charles’s Law using soap clouds

I have to say that I love Chicago Review Press books. They combine two of my favorite elements: an in-depth biography and hands-on activities to reinforce learning. Those are a powerful combination on their own. Add that the title is about an outstanding woman scientist, and it is a must have.

Full review at Growing with Science blog

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Publisher: Chicago Review Press (November 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1613733208
ISBN-13: 978-1613733202

Marie Curie: Prize-Winning Scientist (Biographies) by Lori Mortensen and illustrated by Susan Jaekel

Noted for her groundbreaking work with radioactivity, Marie Curie became the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903. Later, she was awarded a second Nobel Prize in chemistry.

Age Range: 5 – 9 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3
Library Binding: 24 pages
Publisher: Picture Window Books (January 1, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1404837310
ISBN-13: 978-1404837317

Marie Curie: Scientist Who Made Glowing Discoveries (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Inventors & Scientists) by Mike Venezia (Author, Illustrator)

Mike Venezia, who made a name for himself with his fun and informative biographies of artists, has expanded to biographies of scientists. Children love his cartoon illustrations and humor, while learning about important historical figures. See his title about Jane Goodall, as well.

Age Range: 6 and up
Grade Level: 1 and up
Publisher: Children’s Press(CT); Reprint edition (March 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 053122208X
ISBN-13: 978-0531222089

Marie Maynard Daly

Marie Maynard Daly is the first African American woman to earn a PhD in Chemistry.

Science Sparks has a fact file and activity suggestions for kids.

Sylvia Earle

Claire A. Nivola’s Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle is a lovely picture book biography of a pioneer of in the field of ocean studies.

Nivola has allowed her subject to tell her own story without excessive crafting. Her delicate and whimsical watercolors are lovely, and they rise to a new level in the underwater scenes, where Sylvia becomes a sea creature herself. Life in the Ocean will be a hit with children who are interested in oceans, in science, in history and/or in conservation. The incredible story of Sylvia Earle’s life is sure to inspire future explorers.

Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (March 13, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0374380686
ISBN-13: 978-037438068

Sylvia Earle: Extraordinary Explorer and Marine Biologist (Great Minds of Science) by Rebecca Rowell

Although the stock photographs give the book a bit of a dated feel, each chapter has a section at the end that asks questions and encourages readers to think deeper about the content. Supports Common Core State Standards.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Core Library (September 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1624038743
ISBN-13: 978-1624038747


Sylvia Earle: Ocean Explorer (Women in Conservation) by Dennis Fertig

Most of us go to the beach and marvel at the the beauty of the ocean, but we rarely get even the smallest glimpse of what is happening under the waves. Sylvia Earle has logged in more than 7,000 hours underwater. Now she shares her passion and knowledge with others.

As appropriate for a children’s book, this biography starts with Earle’s childhood. Sylvia Earle spent her early years on a farm in New Jersey, where she remembers visiting the Jersey Shore at the age of three and discovering the power of the ocean. When she was twelve, Sylvia and her family moved to Dunedin, Florida. Suddenly, she had a beautiful ocean to investigate right in her own backyard. She jumped in and her life was changed forever.

Age Range: 8 – 11 years
Grade Level: 3 – 6
Publisher: Heinemann InfoSearch (July 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 148460475X
ISBN-13: 978-1484604755

Last Name G – L


Jane Goodall

I am Jane Goodall by Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos

Brad Meltzer’s picture book biographies are top notch. Add the captivating chimpanzee behavior scientist, Jane Goodall and how can you go wrong?

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Dial Books (September 6, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0525428496
ISBN-13: 978-0525428497

The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps by Jeanette Winter

This award-winning biography ties Jane Goodall’s childhood to her career as a ground-breaking primatologist and conservationist.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (April 5, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0375867740
ISBN-13: 978-0375867743

Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall by Anita Silvey and foreword by Jane Goodall gives a more detailed overview of Goodall’s accomplishments. It is written for older children, and is illustrated with the high quality photographs you would expect from National Geographic.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books; 1 edition (June 9, 2015)
ISBN-10: 142631518X
ISBN-13: 978-1426315183


Heidi Hammel


Beyond Jupiter: The Story of Planetary Astronomer Heidi Hammel (Women’s Adventures in Science (Joseph Henry Press)) by Fred Bortz

Heidi Hammel is an astronomer who specializes in studying the planets Neptune and Uranus. Bortz fills in some of the details of her childhood, as well as discussing her scientific accomplishments. The strength of this series is that it covers more contemporary women whose stories have not been told for young people.

Age Range: 11 and up
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Joseph Henry Press (December 31, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0309095522
ISBN-13: 978-0309095525

Caroline Herschel

Caroline’s Comets: A True Story by Emily Arnold McCully

This picture book biography explores the life of a famous woman astronomer who lived from 1750 to 1848. Caroline Herschel discovered galaxies, nebulae and was the first woman to discover a comet. Her other claim to fame was that she was the first woman scientist who was paid for her work.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Holiday House (February 28, 2017)
ISBN-10: 0823436640
ISBN-13: 978-0823436644



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

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

Shirley Ann Jackson

Strong Force: The Story of Physicist Shirley Ann Jackson (Women’s Adventures in Science) by Diane O’Connell

Shirley Jackson is a theoretical physicist who studies subatomic particles. Appropriately for a middle grade title, the author reveals details of Jackson’s childhood interest in science, including experiments with bumble bees. Her successes have led her to become the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an advisor to President Barack Obama.

Publisher : Joseph Henry Press (April 30, 2006)
Reading age : 11 – 15 years
ISBN-10 : 0309095530
ISBN-13 : 978-0309095532

Mae Jemison

Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed and illustrated by Stasia Burrington

From a young age, Mae Jemison was a dreamer. She dreamed of seeing the earth from space one day, so her family encouraged her to follow her passion and become an astronaut. That encouragement and her love of learning led Mae to become the first black woman to travel in space.

By the way, Roda Ahmed is a Norwegian author and columnist born in Hargeisa, Somalia. She speaks five languages!

Reading age : 4 – 8 years
Publisher : HarperCollins; Illustrated edition (January 9, 2018)
ISBN-10 : 0062651730
ISBN-13 : 978-0062651730

Mae C. Jemison―The First African-American Female Astronaut by Meeg Pincus and illustrated by Elena Bia

Part of the Women in Science and Technology series, this biography follows the career of a woman who is not only the first African-American astronaut, but also an engineer and physician. And a dancer, too!

Reading age : 6 – 10 years
Publisher : Discovery Library (August 11, 2019)
ISBN-10 : 1731612230
ISBN-13 : 978-1731612236

Henrietta Leavitt


Look Up!: Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Raúl Colón (February 19, 2013), is a picture book biography of the woman who discovered how the brightness of stars had fixed patterns, information that would later be used to measure distances through space. Amazingly, at the time she did her work women weren’t even allowed to use telescopes; she made her observations from photographs.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (February 19, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1416958193
ISBN-13: 978-1416958192

Ada Byron Lovelace

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

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

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

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


Last Name M – Q



Wangari Maathai



Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace by Jen Cullerton and illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler is a picture book about the life of Wangari Maathai, a woman whose story is both uplifting and complex.

When she is a child, Wangari’s mother shows her the mugumo, the wild fig tree, and explains its importance. Later, when her brother tells her of the things he learns at school, Wangari decides she would like to go, too. Although it is unusual for a girl to receive an education, Wangari does go to school. In fact, she goes all the way to study in the United States and becomes a scientist.

When Wangari returns to Kenya, she find many things have changed. She finds the trees have all been cut down and the resulting environmental damage means that people can no longer grow food for themselves. In a move that is in one hand simple, and in the other incredibly insightful, she encourages the women to re-plant the trees. Her tree-planting movement grew and flourished as did the trees themselves, but not completely without hardship. Wangari had to overcome harsh political resistance and was even briefly imprisoned. She was released, however, and in 2004 Wangari became the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Publisher: Lee & Low Books (June 30, 2010)
ISBN-10: 160060367X
ISBN-13: 978-1600603679


Barbara McClintock

Barbara McClintock: Nobel Prize Geneticist (Spotlight Biography)by Edith Hope Fine

Edith Hope Fine has turned her considerable writing ability to chronicle the life of a truly creative, brilliant and persistent scientist. Barbara McClintock discovered the existence of jumping genes, something that few other scientists understood or believed for many years.

This title is only available as an e-book.
For ages 9+
File Size: 1281 KB
Print Length: 104 pages
Publisher: eFrog Press (April 12, 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Barbara McClintock (Women in Science)by J. Heather Cullen, with an introduction by Jill Sideman

Barbara McClintock noticed something odd about the genetics of the corn she was working with. With persistence and creativity, she discovered jumping genes. She was awarded the Nobel prize in 1983.

Age Range: 10 and up
Grade Level: 5 and up
Series: Women in Science
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Chelsea House Publications (January 2003)
ISBN-10: 0791075222
ISBN-13: 978-0791075227

Barbara McClintock: Genius of Genetics (Great Minds of Science) by Naomi E. Pasachoff

Age Range: 9 and up
Grade Level: 4 and up
Publisher: Enslow Publishers (April 1, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0766025055
ISBN-13: 978-0766025059


Barbara McClintock: Pioneering Geneticist (Makers of Modern Science) by Ray Spangenburg and Diane Kit Moser

Hardcover: 136 pages
Publisher: Chelsea House Pub (L) (March 2008)
ISBN-10: 0816061726
ISBN-13: 978-0816061723

Barbara McClintock: Pioneering Geneticist (Unlocking the Secrets of Science) by Kathleen Tracy

Age Range: 9 and up
Publisher: Mitchell Lane Pub Inc (October 1, 2001)
ISBN-10: 1584151110
ISBN-13: 978-1584151111


 Maria Sibylla Merian


Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merianby Margarita Engle and illustrated by Julie Paschkis explores the life of a woman who investigates the mysteries of insect metamorphosis during the 1600s. Known for her brilliant paintings, Merian was also a careful, patient observer and scientist.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 1 edition (April 27, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0805089373
ISBN-13: 978-0805089370


Maria Mitchell

Maria Mitchell (Great Women in History) by Anna Butzer

Starting beginning readers out well, this small book distills Maria Mitchell’s life into the important details. It would be a great title for teaching timelines because it has ever expanding timeline at the bottom of every two-page spread.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 1
Publisher: Pebble Books (July 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1491405422
ISBN-13: 978-1491405420



Maria’s Comet by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated Deborah Lanino

Having a picture book format and poetic text, Maria’s Comet fills in details of Maria’s childhood and family.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Aladdin; Reprint edition (February 1, 2003)
ISBN-10: 0689856784
ISBN-13: 978-0689856785



Margaret Morse Nice


Bird Watching with Margaret Morse Nice (Naturalist’s Apprentice)
by Michael Elsohn Ross and illustrated by Laurie A. Caple

Margaret Morse Nice was an ornithologist who studied birds for more than eighty years. Ross does an excellent job of writing about lesser-known women who gave a great deal to their chosen field. Includes suggestions for activities.

Age Range: 8 and up
Lexile Measure: 980L (What’s this?)
Series: Naturalist’s Apprentice
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books (December 1997)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1575050021
ISBN-13: 978-1575050027


Ellen Ochoa


Ellen Ochoa: The First Hispanic Woman Astronaut (Great Hispanics of Our Time) by Maritza Romero

After becoming a pioneer in the field and inventing optical devices used in recognizing images, Ellen Ochoa went to work for NASA where she became the first female Hispanic astronaut in July 1991. Participating in four space flights, Dr. Ochoa was in space over 978 hours. She currently serves as Deputy Director at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. What an inspiring woman!

Lexile Measure: 860L (What’s this?)
Library Binding: 24 pages
Publisher: PowerKids Press; 1st edition (January 31, 2001)
ISBN-10: 0823950875
ISBN-13: 978-0823950874


Caitlin O’Connell

The Elephant Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series)by Caitlin O’Connell and Donna M. Jackson with photographs by the first author and her husband, Timothy Rodwell

The Elephant Scientist is a part of the award-winning Scientists in the Field series. Not a biography, this book follows author Dr. Caitlin O’Connell as she studies elephant social life and communication and at the same time works on ways to prevent elephants from ruining crops planted by local people. She discovers that elephants communicate to one another by detecting vibrations in the ground with their feet and trunks. What better way to learn about what a scientist does than in the scientists own words?

Age Range: 10 and up
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (July 11, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0547053444
ISBN-13: 978-0547053448

Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter, Scientist by Lindsay H. Metcalf and illustrated by Junyi Wu

Like the illustration of young Beatrix Potter on the cover, this book focuses a lens on the children’s author’s lesser-known years as a mycologist (one who studies fungi). Although Potter had no formal schooling in science, she was introduced to mushrooms by a talented amateur named Charles McIntosh. He became her mentor and sent her samples to study. Beatrix made beautiful detailed drawings of each specimen. She also figured out a way to prove that new mushrooms grow from spores, something that wasn’t well known at the time. However, like other women scientists in the 1800s and early 1900s, Beatrix Potter encountered resistance when she tried to share her findings.

After finishing the book, educators and parents will likely want to discuss with young readers the pros and cons of how Beatrix ultimately dealt with the rejection.

Overall Beatrix Potter, Scientist will appeal to both young readers interested in STEM and also those interested in women’s history. Investigate a copy today!

Grade Level : Preschool – 3
Publisher : Albert Whitman & Company (September 1, 2020)
ISBN-10 : 0807551759
ISBN-13 : 978-0807551752

Jeanne Power

Secrets of the Sea: The Story of Jeanne Power, Revolutionary Marine Scientist by Evan Griffith and illustrated by Joanie Stone

Jeanne Power was born in France, but moved to Sicily with her husband in 1818 when she was 23. Formerly a busy seamstress, she was likely not used to staying at home. To pass the time, she began to study the animals and plants of her new surroundings. The ocean intrigued her the most, but how could she observe what was going on in the water? Build one of the first glass-sided aquariums of course!

During her studies, Jeanne Power concentrated on the paper nautilus, which is a type of octopus. At the time, no one was sure whether the nautilus borrowed the delicate shells they carried from other creatures or whether they grew them. Jeanne Power figured out the answer. It wasn’t always smooth sailing, but she was able to publish her findings.

The back matter is extensive, including notes about “Jeanne’s life and legacy,” “The Paper Nautilus, information about “Marine Biology and Conservation,” a “Note on Historical Research,” and a “Bibliography.”

Secrets of the Sea would be a great choice for a science unit on oceans or for Women’s History Month. Explore a copy today!

Reading age : 6 – 9 years
Publisher : Clarion Books (March 9, 2021)
ISBN-10 : 0358244323
ISBN-13 : 978-0358244325

Last Name R – Z

Nancy Grace Roman

Always Looking Up: Nancy Grace Roman, Astronomer by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Louise Pigott and Alex Oxton

Known affectionately as the mother of the Hubble Telescope, Nancy Grace Roman was passionate about studying space from an early age. However, she had to overcome vision problems and stereotypes to achieve her goal. Because she learned how to work hard and be persistent, she was was able to drive the Hubble telescope project to success when countless others doubted the viability of putting a giant telescope in space.

Laura Gehl’s text is lively and includes just the right amount of detail.

Age Range: 5 – 7 years
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company; None edition (October 1, 2019)
ISBN-10: 0807502960
ISBN-13: 978-0807502969

Mary Golda Ross

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

Introduction to Mary Golda Ross, who designed classified airplanes and spacecraft as Lockheed Aircraft Corporation’s first female engineer. Find out how her passion for math and the Cherokee values she was raised with shaped her life and work. Written by Cherokee author Traci Sorell.

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

Vera Rubin


The Stuff Between the Stars: How Vera Rubin Discovered Most of the Universe by Sandra Nickel and illustrated by Aimée Sicuro

Vera Rubin studied where galaxies were found in space and how they moved relative to each other. When she saw the stars within galaxies move at different speeds than she thought they should, she demonstrated there was something in between the stars that we can’t see or detect, something pulling the stars. That “something” had been previously named dark matter and there is a lot of it!

The Stuff Between the Stars is sure to thrill budding astronomers. It would be perfect to accompany a trip to a planetarium, as well as for Women’s History Month discussions. Gaze into a copy today!

Reading age : 6 – 9 years
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers (March 2, 2021)
ISBN-10 : 1419736264
ISBN-13: 9781419736261

Kate Sessions

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.

Kate Sessions came to San Diego to become a teacher, but went on to almost single-handedly transform the city from a barren desert to a tree-filled paradise using her interest in horticulture/botany.


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

Joanne Simpson

Breaking Through the Clouds: The Sometimes Turbulent Life of Meteorologist Joanne Simpson by Sandra Nickel and illustrated by Helena Perez Garcia

Learn about the importance of clouds in determining weather from this wonderful picture book biography.

Joanne Simpson loved clouds and wanted to study them. After some push back from her male professors, she persevered  to become the first woman in the world to earn a PhD in Meteorology.

Breaking Through the Clouds is a perfect choice for Women’s History Month, as well as for budding historians and budding scientists. Get inspired by a copy today!

Full review and activity suggestions at Growing With Science blog.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 6 – 9 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Abrams Books for Young Readers (March 8, 2022)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1419749560
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1419749568


Amy Vedder


Gorilla Mountain: The Story of Wildlife Biologist Amy Vedder (Women’s Adventures in Science (Joseph Henry Press))
by Rene Ebersole (Author)

Following in the footsteps of Dian Fossey, Amy Vedder not only studies gorillas, but must fight to save them. The strength of this series is that it covers more contemporary women whose stories have not been told for young people.

Age Range: 11 and up
Publisher: Joseph Henry Press (December 31, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0309095514
ISBN-13: 978-0309095518

Collections of Biographies

Animal Allies: 15 Amazing Women in Wildlife Research by Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan.

Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan has sorted the animals into five categories: birds, arthropods, sea creatures, reptiles and amphibians, and mammals. Within each category, she has found three amazing female scientists who study those types of animals. For example, Corina Newsome is saving seaside sparrows while Michelle LaRue uses satellites to study Antarctic birds. Lizzy Lowe takes on what many fear in researching spiders, and Erin Ashe lives out the dream of many studying dolphins and whales. Kristen Hecht chases the elusive hellbender amphibian while Enikö Kubinyi uses robots to get information on wolf pups.

As for reading level, the suggested age is 12+, but mature middle graders will probably enjoy it as well.

Animal Allies is a must have collection for young readers who are interested in careers studying animals. It is also a wonderful choice for those interested in STEM, as well as nature lovers. Investigate a copy today!

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 12 years and up
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Chicago Review Press (May 17, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1641606223
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1641606226

No Boundaries: 25 Women Explorers and Scientists Share Adventures, Inspiration, and Advice by two National Geographic Explorers, Clare Fieseler and Gabby Salazar.

The authors gathered an amazing group of women to highlight. They have included diverse women working on a wide range of projects from all around the world, from Linguistic Anthropologist Sandhya Narayanan to Volcanologist Stephanie Grocke. Inspiring!

As you would expect from any book by National Geographic, the illustrations are eye-popping full color photographs.  Even better, we learn about how Visual Storyteller Hannah Reyes Morales and Conservation Photographer Jenny Adler capture some of those amazing images.

No Boundries  is perfect to help girls evaluate potential careers. Discovering what careers are possible and how women achieved their goals is a absolute treasure. Explore a copy today!

Grade level ‏ : ‎ 5 – 9
Publisher ‏ : ‎ National Geographic Kids (February 1, 2022)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1426371764
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1426371769

Black Women in Science: A Black History Book for Kids by Kimberly Brown Pellum, PhD.

A collection of biographies of 15 incredible Black women who pioneered in STEM. Includes biographies of Mae Jemison, Annie Easley, Bessie Coleman, Katherine Johnson, Gladys West, Mamie Phipps Clark, Jane Cooke Wright, and many more.

Publisher : Rockridge Press (October 8, 2019)
Reading age : 9 – 12 years
ISBN-10 : 1641527072
ISBN-13 : 978-1641527071


Wonder Women of Science: How 12 Geniuses Are Rocking Science, Technology, and the World by Tiera Fletcher, Ginger Rue and illustrated by Sally Wern Comport

This middle grade title starts with an introduction by coauthor and Black aerospace engineer Tiera Fletcher, then gives profiles of twelve other prominent female scientists who are still active in their fields. Back matter includes reading suggestions, an index, a glossary, and some surprising ideas for how to get involved in the world of STEM. Exciting!

Reading age : 9 – 12 years
Publisher : Candlewick (March 23, 2021)
ISBN-10 : 1536207349
ISBN-13 : 978-1536207347

Magnificent Minds: 16 Pioneering Women in Science and Medicine by Pendred E. Noyce.

This book is a collection of biographies chronicling the lives of women who made a name for themselves in the areas of STEM and health care, complete with timelines for each woman.

Age Range: 12 and up
Hardcover: 180 pages
Publisher: Tumblehome Learning, Inc. (March 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0989792471
ISBN-13: 978-0989792479


Super Women In Science (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) (Women’s Hall of Fame) by Kelly DiDomenico

Age Range: 9 and up
School & Library Binding: 102 pages
Publisher: Turtleback (January 1, 2003)
ISBN-10: 0613804333
ISBN-13: 978-0613804332


Girls Research!: Amazing Tales of Female Scientists (Girls Rock!) by Jennifer Phillips

This book gives a brief overview of the lives of 56 women scientists and researchers.

Age Range: 9 – 13 years
Library Binding: 64 pages
Publisher: Savvy (January 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 147654056X
ISBN-13: 978-1476540566

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World written and illustrated by Rachel Ignotofsky

The illustrations in this book are very modern. Check out Rachel Ignotofsky’s website for examples.

Ages 10 & up
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Ten Speed Press; Gift edition (July 26, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1607749769
ISBN-13: 978-1607749769


Other lists of children’s books about women in STEM:

Women in Science – Trailblazers Before the 20th Century at Kidlit Celebrates Women’s History Month 2012

Women in Science – Trailblazers of the 20th Century at Miss Rumphius Effect

Biographies of Women Scientists: For Girls and Young Women at Library of Congress

Looking for subject ideas for a biography about a woman in STEM? Try this list of Women in STEM from the National Women’s History Project.





Taking Flight: Children’s Books About Bird Migration

Fall and spring are wonderful times to introduce children to the idea that birds migrate.


Pair some great nonfiction with fiction to celebrate the seasonal flights of birds.

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


Nonfiction Picture Books

Warbler Wave by April Pulley Sayre with contributions by Jeff Sayre

Photographer and award-winning author April Pulley Sayre and her husband Jeff Sayre have been observing warblers during their annual spring migration for years. Now they share their experiences with this gorgeous book for children.

Warblers are tiny and elusive birds, but the Sayres have captured many wonderful photographs to fill the pages of the book. As she explains on her website, they chose photographs of birds in action to give children the experience of viewing live warblers in nature, rather than choosing those that are simply posed well.

Warbler Wave is simply wonderful. It is likely to inspire children to take up birdwatching as a hobby or maybe even as a career!

Age Range: 3 – 8 years
Publisher: Beach Lane Books (February 13, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1481448293
ISBN-13: 978-1481448291

How Do Birds Find Their Way? (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) by Roma Gans and illustrated by Paul Mirocha

The Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series offers consistently high quality children’s science books. This title covers what starts birds on their migrations and some of the common migration pathways.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins (January 18, 1996)
ISBN-10: 006445150X
ISBN-13: 978-0064451505

Red Knot: A Shorebird’s Incredible Journey by Nancy Carol Willis

red-knotAlthough the bird in this nonfiction book migrates long distances, one important stop on the way is Delaware Bay were it refuels on horseshoe crab eggs. Same type of bird that s featured in the middle grade book Moonbird (see below).

Age Range: 7 – 9 years
Grade Level: 2 – 4
Publisher: Birdsong Books (May 1, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0966276159
ISBN-13: 978-0966276152

The Peregrine’s Journey: A Story of Migration by Madeleine Dunphy and illustrated by Kristin Kest

The-Peregrine's-JourneyFlying from Alaska to Argentina, the peregrine makes an 8,000 mile journey during its migration. Based on the flight of an actual bird followed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Age Range: 5 – 9 years
Publisher: Web of Life Children’s Books (January 28, 2008)
ISBN-10: 097775393X
ISBN-13: 978-0977753932

The Flight of the Snow Geese by Deborah King

snow-geeseDid you know that snow geese fly from their Arctic nesting ground to the New Mexico desert where they spend the winter?

Age Range: 4 and up
Publisher: Orchard Books (NY) (September 1998)
ISBN-10: 0531300889
ISBN-13: 978-0531300886

The Long, Long Journey: The Godwit’s Amazing Migration by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Mia Posada

the-long-long-journeyFollow the flight of the bar-tailed godwit from Alaska to New Zealand. Some of the birds fly an amazing 7000 miles without stopping! Perfect nonfiction to pair with Baba Didi and the Godwits Fly below.

Library Binding: 32 pages
Publisher: Millbrook Pr Trade (January 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0761356231
ISBN-13: 978-0761356233


Middle Grade Nonfiction

Belle’s Journey: An Osprey Takes Flight by Rob Bierregaard and illustrated by Kate Garchinsky

Dr. Rob Bierregaard ( Dr. B. as he calls himself in the book) studies osprey migrations. One August he captured an osprey he named Belle on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. He fitted her with a radio transmitter. After he released her, the transmitter sent her location data to a computer so he could study where she went. That fall, Belle flew all the way to the rain forests of Brazil.

In the forward Dr. B. explains that “this is a mostly true story.” Belle really made the flight to Brazil and he knew her location at different times, but he used creative nonfiction techniques to fill in details about her experiences and the dangers she faced. His descriptions of her daily activities are lush and detailed. Readers learn a lot about all the places Belle visits.

Belle’s Journey is likely to appeal to youngsters who enjoy reading fiction as well as to those who want to find out more about ospreys and bird migration.

Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge (May 15, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1580897924
ISBN-13: 978-1580897921

Snowy Owl Invasion!: Tracking an Unusual Migration by Sandra Markle

In 2013, large numbers of white owls started showing up in lower Canada and along the east coast of the United States where they weren’t normally seen. Why were snowy owls migrating to new places?

Sandra Markle used her research skills to track down experts and find the answers. What she discovered was that the snowy owls were experiencing an irruption, which means they migrating beyond their usual range, because their populations had swelled the previous summer. She also found out why, which I won’t reveal here. Like Belle in the story above, some of the scientists used GPS transmitters to follow the birds.

The book is filled with amazing photographs of beautiful snowy owls.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Millbrook Pr (January 1, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1512431060
ISBN-13: 978-1512431063

Flight of the Golden Plover: The Amazing Migration Between Hawaii and Alaska by Debbie S. Miller and illustrated by Daniel Van Zyle


An older book, it tells the story of the Pacific golden plover, which is a tiny shorebird that migrates from Alaska to Hawaii.

Age Range: 9 and up
Publisher: Alaska Northwest Books; First Edition edition (June 1, 1996)
ISBN-10: 0882404741
ISBN-13: 978-0882404745

On the Wing: American Birds in Migration by Carol Lerner


In addition to illustrations of birds flying, this book also includes colorful maps of migrations and ranges.

Age Range: 8 and up
Grade Level: 3 and up
Publisher: HarperCollins (June 5, 2001)
ISBN-10: 0688166490
ISBN-13: 978-0688166496


Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 (Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor (Awards)) by Phillip Hoose

The bird of the title or “Moonbird” is also known as B95 because that was the number he was banded with in South America in 1995. A male shorebird commonly called a red knot, he is called “Moonbird” because he has been documented to have flown an estimated 350,000 miles – over the distance to the moon and halfway back – in his lifetime!

Age Range: 10 – 14 years
Grade Level: 4 – 8
Series: Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor (Awards)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (July 17, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0374304688
ISBN-13: 978-0374304683


The Man Who Flies With Birds (Israel) by Carole G. Vogel and Yossi Leshem

Yossi Leshem studied bird migrations over Israel, in part to prevent bird strikes on airplanes.

Age Range: 10 and up
Grade Level: 5 and up
Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing (September 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0822576430


Nonfiction Video



Winged Migration (2003)
Jacques Perrin (Actor), Philippe Labro (Actor), Jacques Perrin (Director), Jacques Cluzaud (Director) | Rated: G | Format: DVD

Amazing footage of geese and other birds flying through the air, filmed using ultralights that are moving right with the birds. If you like birds, this one shouldn’t be missed.

Fiction/Informational Fiction:

Waiting for a Warbler by Sneed B. Collard III and illustrated by Thomas Brooks

The story is told in two separate strands. The main text shows two children, Owen and his sister, as they watch for birds to return to their area. They particularly anticipate the arrival of the Cerulean warbler whom they had briefly spotted the year before.

The second strand follows a group of migrating birds as they take the harrowing journey north across the Gulf of Mexico. It is intense and fraught with danger.

The story switches back and forth between the two story lines before converging. Along the way, readers learn about the importance of providing habitat for birds.

Reading age : 6 – 8 years
Publisher : Tilbury House Publishers (February 2, 2021)
ISBN-10 : 0884488527
ISBN-13 : 978-0884488521

All Eyes on Alexandra by Anna Levine and illustrated by Chiara Pasqualotto

In All Eyes on Alexandra, young Alexandra Crane is terrible at following her family in their flying Vee. She can’t help it that the world is so full of interesting distracting sights! When it’s time for the Cranes to migrate to Israel’s Hula Valley for the winter, Alexandra is excited but her family is worried. Will Alexandra stay with the group, and what happens if a dangerous situation should arise? Might Alexandra—and the rest of the flock—discover that a bad follower can sometimes make a great leader?

Age Range: 3 – 8 years
Publisher: Kar-Ben Pub (August 1, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1512444391
ISBN-13: 978-1512444391

Baba Didi and the Godwits Flyby Nicola Muir and illustrated by Annie Hayward with a foreword by Former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark

godwitsBaba Didi of the title is the narrator and Isabella’s grandmother. When they discover brown shorebirds called bar-tailed godwits feeding on the beach near their home in New Zealand, Baba Didi explains how the birds make a migration flight all the way to Alaska each year. The reader soon learns Baba Didi made an equally perilous journey when she and her husband left Croatia when they were young and sailed all the way to New Zealand.

Series: Searchlight Books
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group (August 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1467715522
ISBN-13: 978-1467715522

Flute’s Journey: The Life of a Wood Thrush by Lynne Cherry

flutes-journeyFlute is a wood thrush that migrates from Maryland to Costa Rica and back.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 2
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (February 15, 1997)
ISBN-10: 0152928537
ISBN-13: 978-0152928537

Welcome, Brown Bird by Mary Lyn Ray and illustrated by Peter Sylvada


Also following a wood thrush, the story centers on a boy in New England and a boy in Central America, each of whom treasure their experiences with the same bird, but don’t know the other exists.

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 1
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 1, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0152928634
ISBN-13: 978-0152928636

The Far-Flung Adventures of Homer the Hummer by Cynthia Furlong Reynolds and illustrated by Catherine McClung

homer-the-hummerJust one look at the cover, and you know this is a special children’s book. It follows a ruby-throated hummingbird’s migration from Michigan to Costa Rica.

Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Ann Arbor Editions (August 1, 2005)
ISBN-10: 158726269X
ISBN-13: 978-1587262692



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.

Books About Bees For Kids

Bees are important insects because they pollinate many of our important food crops.



Let’s take a look at some wonderful children’s books about bees.

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.


Beginning Reader

National Geographic Readers: Bees by Laura Marsh

Learn about bees in this level 2 reader. Illustrated with the high quality photographs you would expect from National Geographic.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 5 – 8 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ National Geographic Kids; Illustrated edition (January 12, 2016)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 142632281X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1426322815

Look Inside a Bee Hive (Pebble Plus: Look Inside Animal Homes) by Megan Nicole Cooley Peterson

Written for young children interested in learning more about honey bees. The book consists of two-page spreads with a full-page color photograph on the right and on the left are simple sentences with controlled vocabulary written at the first grade level. Children learn vocabulary words such as queen bee, worker bee, and comb.

Age Range: 4 and up
Series: Pebble Plus: Look Inside Animal Homes
Publisher: Capstone Press (August 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1429660759
ISBN-13: 978-1429660754



How Bees Make Honey (First Facts: Big Picture: Food) by Louise A. Spilsbury

Discusses honey bees foraging, their dances and how they make honey, with large color photographs.

Age Range: 6 and up
Publisher: Capstone Press (January 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1429655364
ISBN-13: 978-1429655361




Bees by Rebecca Rissman

For the youngest set, combines large color photographs with simple rhyming text. “Do you hear that sound? Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! It’s a bee! Covered in black and yellow fuzz!”

The cover shows a bumble bee.

Reading Level: PreK-K
Publisher:  Raintree (2013)
ISBN:  9781410948021 / 1-4109-4802-1


Picture Books

Begin with a Bee by Liza Ketchum, Jacqueline Briggs Martin, and Phyllis Root, illustrated by Claudia McGehee

The three authors follow a single rusty-patched bumble bee queen through her life, starting with the bee overwintering in a hole under the ground.

“What else waits all winter under the ground?”

Seeds and roots of plants! By explaining that plants are also important for the bee’s survival by supplying food, young reader’s learn how different living things depend on each other.

Begin with a Bee is a picture book that will appeal to nature lovers of all ages. Investigate a copy today!

See related activity suggestions at Growing with Science blog.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 4 – 9 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Univ Of Minnesota Press (May 25, 2021)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1517908043
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1517908041

Honeybee Rescue: A Backyard Drama by Loree Burns and photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz

Find out how a beekeeper removes wild honey bee hives from people’s homes. Photographs are detailed and close-up, so the reader feels like they are standing right there throughout the process.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 5 – 8 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Charlesbridge (May 10, 2022)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1623542391
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1623542399

Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Eric Rohmann

The concept of the book is straightforward enough, follow the life of a single adult worker honeybee from emergence from the pupal chamber, starting with:

One summer morning deep in the nest,
a brand-new honeybee
chews through the wax cap of her solitary cell and into…

Just because the story follows an adult, doesn’t mean that the life cycle is missing stages. The worker becomes a nurse bee and tends to the eggs and larvae, so the full life cycle is represented.

Eric Rohmann’s illustrations knock it out of the ballpark. The detailed close-ups make the reader feel like they are right in the hive with the bees. The gatefold-spread section of the honeybee going on her first flight is beyond breathtaking.

Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera is a multi-award winning book about these fascinating and important creatures. You don’t want to miss this one!

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Publisher: Neal Porter Books (February 4, 2020)
ISBN-10: 0823442853
ISBN-13: 978-0823442850

Some older picture books:




The Life and Times of the Honeybee by Charles Micucci

Written and illustrated by Micucci, this lovely book gets high marks for both accuracy and ability to hold the reader’s interest. Covers many aspects of bees, including their life cycle and behavior.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (August 25, 1997)
ISBN-10: 039586139X
ISBN-13: 978-0395861394



The Honey Makers by Gail Gibbons

Also illustrated by the author, this text highlights honey production and beekeeping. Gail Gibbons books are uniformly high quality and children enjoy them immensely.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (April 5, 2000)
ISBN-10: 0688175317
ISBN-13: 978-0688175313


Are You a Bee? (Backyard Books) by Judy Allen check illustrator: Tudor Humphries

Are you a Bee? is an intriguing book that compares humans and honey bees in an informative and gently humorous way.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Kingfisher; Reprint edition (May 13, 2004)
ISBN-10: 9780753458044
ISBN-13: 978-0753458044



Brilliant Bees by Linda Glaser and illustrated by Gay Holland conveys information about the honey bee life cycle and concepts like pollination using a few well-chosen words. The back matter has questions for deeper understanding.

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Millbrook Press (September 3, 2003)
ISBN-10: 0761326707
ISBN-13: 978-0761326700


The Bumblebee Queen by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne

This lovely layered picture book follows a simple story in bold typeface, with sidebars of facts in regular font on some pages. There are also ideas for encouraging bees in the back matter.

Age Range: 4 and up
Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing; Reprint edition (July 1, 2006)
ISBN-10: 1570913633
ISBN-13: 978-1570913631


Honey in a Hive (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) by Anne Rockwell and illustrated by S. D. Schindler

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 4
Series: Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2
Publisher: HarperCollins (May 3, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0064452042
ISBN-13: 978-0064452045


The Magic School Bus Inside a Beehive
by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Scholastic; Reprint edition (January 1, 1998)
ISBN-10: 0590257218
ISBN-13: 978-0590257213



The Bee: Friend of the Flowers (Animal Close-Ups) (Animal Close-Ups)by Paul Starosta has excellent full-color photographs. As well as important facts about honey bees, it also wasps, bumble bees and carpenter bees.

Age Range: 4 and up
Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing; Tra edition (June 2005)
ISBN-10: 1570916292
ISBN-13: 978-1570916298



Middle Grade

The Beekeepers: How Humans Changed the World of Bumble Bees by Dana L. Church

After briefly describing the history of studying and keeping bumble bees, Church discusses the business of selling bumble bees to pollinate plants in greenhouses. She explains that the bumble bee you see in your yard may be a native one or may be an import that has escaped from a nearby tomato-growing operation.

Later chapters explore some marvels of bumble bee behavior, before revealing how some species of bumble bees are waning in numbers and on the brink of disappearing. The last chapter summarizes some of the things that are being done to protect and encourage bumble bees.

If you are looking for a book about bumbles bees that the whole family might enjoy, check out the middle grade title, The Beekeepers: How Humans Changed the World of Bumble Bees by Dana L. Church.

Reading age : 8 – 12 years
Publisher : Scholastic Focus (March 2, 2021)
ISBN-10 : 1338565540
ISBN-13 : 978-1338565546

The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe (Scientists in the Field Series) By Loree Griffin Burns and photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz.

This book examines colony collapse disorder or CCD – the problem with honey bees disappearing that has been in the news – by going right to the beekeeper who first noticed missing bees. Dave Hackenberg runs a large company, Hackenberg Apiaries. He moves thousands of hives around the country. When he found 400 empty hives in Florida, he knew something big had gone wrong and he sounded the alarm. Burns then introduces us to four bee scientists who are at the front lines of CCD research, and explains their roles in the investigation.

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (April 16, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0544003268
ISBN-13: 978-0544003262

My Review



The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees: A Scientific Mystery
by Sandra Markle is a fabulous new book about the mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in honey bees. Organized in a beautifully logical way, Markle introduces honey bees and why we should care about them. She then presents the case for different causes of the disorder, revealing how complicated it all might be. The visual lay out of the book is also appealing. It adds bold interest without overwhelming the text. Some of the close-up photographs are astonishing.

Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group (August 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1467705926
ISBN-13: 978-1467705929


Nonfiction appropriate for Young Adults



Honey Bees: Letters from the Hive by Stephen Buchmann

A noted expert on bees, Buchmann is a passionate and informed author. He does, however, write using complex sentences and vocabulary. If in doubt whether it is age appropriate, check the excerpt on the Amazon page for idea of the reading level.

Age Range: 11 and up
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (June 8, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 038573770X




Honeybee: Poems & Short Prose by Naomi Shihab Nye

Using honey bee metaphors to explore various aspects of living.

Age Range: 8 and up
Publisher: Greenwillow Books; First Edition edition (February 26, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0060853905
ISBN-13: 978-0060853907

UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings, by Douglas Florian

This collection of poems goes into more scientific detail than some of Florian’s other books of poetry. The reader comes away with an appreciation of bees and how they live.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 5 – 8 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Beach Lane Books; Illustrated edition (March 6, 2012)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1442426527
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1442426528

Lessons Featuring Honey Bees


Buzzing A Hive (Old Edition) by Jean C. Echols, illustrated by Lisa Haderlie Baker. Published by Great Explorations in Math and Science, University of California, Berkeley. 1987.Great ideas for hands on activities for young children.

Paperback: 146 pages
Publisher: GEMS-Regents of the Univ of CA (March 1996)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0912511125
ISBN-13: 978-0912511122


Be sure to also visit our growing list of children’s books about pollination.


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 Spiders

Looking for books for a unit on spiders? Wanting something to read to put your children in the mood for Halloween? Then you’ve come to the right place.



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.



Beginning Readers



Tarantulas (Pebble Plus) by Jeni Wittrock will help young readers learn more about the anatomy, life cycle and behaviors of tarantulas. With carefully controlled vocabulary and short sentences, the child can gain confidence reading while at the same time increasing their understanding of the natural world.

Review and related activities at Growing with Science.

Reading Level: K-1
Publisher: Capstone Press (August 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1476524580
ISBN-13: 978-1476524580


National Geographic Readers: Spiders by Laura Marsh

All these National Geographic readers feature amazing color photographs, and age-appropriate facts and concepts. For example, in this title, readers learn where spiders make their homes and that there are many different kinds.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (August 23, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1426308515
ISBN-13: 978-1426308512

Super Spiders (Read Me!: Walk on the Wild Side) by Charlotte Guillain

Read to find out what spiders look like, what they eat, and how they spin their webs. Colorful photographs show close-ups of many different kinds of spiders. Life cycle information included.

Reading Level:  1-3
Series: Read Me!: Walk on the Wild Side
Publisher: Raintree (August 14, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1406260886
ISBN-13: 978-1406260885


Picture Books

Scurry! The Truth About Spiders by Annette Whipple and illustrated by Juanbjuan Oliver and Franco Rivolli

Have you ever wondered how spiders make silk, why they are so hairy, or what they eat? Scurry! has all the answers. After explaining what characteristics a spider has and introducing a few common types, Annette Whipple delves into their life cycles, behavior, and answers to common questions.

The books in Reycraft’s Truth About … series are visually exciting. They are illustrated with high-quality stock photographs. This title has an added feature of a cartoon sidebar on the right of each spread with additional tips and information. Fun!

In the back is a hands-on challenge to create a spider web, a longer list of different types of spiders, and a glossary.

Overall, Scurry! is a wonderful introduction to the world of spiders.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 6 – 11 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Reycraft Books (September 30, 2021)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1478870230
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1478870234

Spiders!: Strange and Wonderful by Laurence Pringle and illustrated by Meryl Learnihan Henderson

Setting the stage with, “As you read these words, there is probably a spider nearby,” Pringle does an excellent job of introducing young readers to all the many different kinds of spiders.

Henderson’s watercolor and pencil illustrations are beautifully done and tie the book together in a way stock photographs can not. Lovely!

Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press (October 10, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1629793213
ISBN-13: 978-1629793214

Nefertiti, the Spidernaut: The Jumping Spider Who Learned to Hunt in Space by Darcy Pattison and illustrated by Valeria Tisnes

| 2017 NSTA CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book

No one knew what to expect when a jumping spider was sent to the International Space Station. If it jumped for its food like it did on Earth, would it float away?

The good news is the little spider learned to adapt, and survived for the trip back to Earth.

Age Range: 6 – 12 years
Publisher: Mims House (September 15, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1629440604
ISBN-13: 978-1629440606


A House Spider’s Life (Nature Upclose) by John Himmelman

John Himmelman’s larger-than-life illustrations make this description of the life cycle of a house spider worth a second look.

Age Range: 5 and up
Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
Series: Nature Upclose
Publisher: Children’s Press(CT) (March 1, 2000)
ISBN-10: 0516265369
ISBN-13: 978-0516265360



Creep and Flutter: The Secret World of Insects and Spiders  by Jim Arnosky

Jim Arnosky is a naturalist, a writer, and an artist. He has written many nonfiction children’s books about animals and the natural world. His illustrations include real size silhouettes.

Reading level: Ages 6 and up
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books (April 3, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1402777663
ISBN-13: 978-1402777660


Sneaky, Spinning Baby Spiders by Sandra Markle

As you can tell from the cover, this book has fantastic close up photographs. It covers spiders from throughout the world. Look for my in depth review at Wrapped in Foil,  Bouncing Baby Spiders

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Walker Childrens (October 28, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0802796974
ISBN-13: 978-0802796974


Up, Up, and Away by Ginger Wadsworth and Patricia J. Wynne (Illustrator)

This beautifully-illustrated book describes the life cycle of a type of garden spider. It has a totally different feel from Baby Spiders, although it covers a similar topic.

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing; 1st edition (July 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1580892213
ISBN-13: 978-1580892216

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

Covers the basics of spider biology. Illustrated with high quality photographs.

Age Range: 6 – 10 years
Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (January 4, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0060576340
ISBN-13: 978-0060576349

Are You a Spider? (Backyard Books)
by Tudor Humphries

These books are always wonderful, and I love how she brings the child into the story by comparing what humans do to what spiders do.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Series: Backyard Books
Publisher: Kingfisher; Reprint edition (May 16, 2003)
ISBN-10: 0753456095
ISBN-13: 978-0753456095


Spinning Spiders (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) by Melvin Berger and S. D. Schindler

How do spiders spin such intricate webs? Spiders produce special silk that can stretch from branch to branch. In this book the reader will learn about the silk spiders produce, the webs they spin, and the prey they capture. Even learn how to make a web of your own!

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Series: Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2
Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (May 6, 2003)
ISBN-10: 0064452077
ISBN-13: 978-0064452076


The Magic School Bus Spins A Web: A Book About Spiders by Joanna Cole, Jim Durk (Illustrator), Bruce Degan (Illustrator)

Those familiar with the Magic School Bus series will recognize how Cole manages to walk the line between fiction and nonfiction and engage children in an unique learning adventure each time.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (November 1, 1997)
ISBN-10: 0590922343
ISBN-13: 978-0590922340


Spiders by Gail Gibbons

Gail Gibbons is the queen of children’s nonfiction. You can’t go wrong with any of her books.

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Holiday House (April 1, 1994)
ISBN-10: 0823410811
ISBN-13: 978-0823410811


Nic Bishop Spiders (Sibert Honor Book) by Nic Bishop

Nic Bishop is an award-winning photographer and his passion for his subjects shines through.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Nonfiction; First Edition edition (September 1, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0439877563
ISBN-13: 978-0439877565



A Spider’s Life (Science Slam: Animal Diaries: Life Cycles) by Ellen Lawrence

A young child follows a jumping spider, recording how it hunts, feeds, and its mating activities in her diary.The narrator also observes the jumping spider’s life cycle, including the development from eggs to babies through molting and becoming an adult spider.

Publisher: Bearport Publishing (January 2012)
ISBN-10: 1617724149
ISBN-13: 978-1617724145


Middle Grade


Spi-ku: A Clutter of Short Verse on Eight Legs by Leslie Bulion and illustrated by Robert Meganck

Author Leslie Bulion has a subtly playful approach to spiders.

All spiders are arachnids
But some arachnids
mite not be spiders.

If you like that kind of word play, you are in for a real treat.

Illustrator Robert Meganck also has a subtle sense of humor. For example, in the front endpapers he shows a fly near a spider web. The back endpapers shows the same spider with a small webbed up package. He leaves it up to the reader to figure out what happened to the fly.

Intermingled between poems of different forms — in spite of the title, not all are haiku — is detailed information about spiders, from what they eat to how they build webs. If the text isn’t enough, there’s extensive back matter as well.

Reading age : 8 – 12 years
Publisher : Peachtree Publishing Company; Illustrated edition (March 1, 2021)
ISBN-10 : 1682631923
ISBN-13 : 978-1682631928




Jumping Spiders: An Augmented Reality Experience by Sandra Markle

Sandra Markle knows her spiders. This updated series contains “augmented reality” in the form of digital enhancements. Illustrated with big, colorful photos. You can preview a few pages at the Lerner website.

Reading age : 8 – 12 years
Publisher : Lerner Publications ™ (January 1, 2021)
ISBN-10 : 1728402697
ISBN-13 : 978-1728402697



Orb Weavers: Hungry Spinners (Arachnid World) by Sandra Markle

Overview of what makes orb weavers unique from other spiders. Includes information on anatomy, life cycles, and about their webs. Sandra Markle has written a number of books about spiders and her passion for them shows through. Just the right amount of information to keep the reader interested.

Age Range:  9 and up
Publisher: Lerner Pub Group (T) (March 2011)
ISBN-10: 0761350392
ISBN-13: 978-0761350392

Uncover a Tarantula: Take a Three-Dimensional Look Inside a Tarantula! (Uncover Books) by David George Gordon

The books in the Uncover series contain a plastic model of whatever organism is being studied right in the middle of the book. As the reader turns the pages, he or she delves deeper inside the tarantula (in this case), like viewing a dissection. Around the central model is an explanation of the inner organs that are displayed at that page, and also detailed information about the biology of tarantulas and spiders in general.


Age Range: 8 and up
Board book: 16 pages
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books (September 29, 2004)
ISBN-10: 159223237X
ISBN-13: 978-1592232376


Stronger Than Steel: Spider Silk DNA and the Quest for Better Bulletproof Vests, Sutures, and Parachute Rope (Scientists in the Field Series) by Bridget Heos and illustrated by Andy Comins

This book highlights scientist Randy Lewis’ quest to find a better way to obtain large quantities of spider silk for innovative new products.

Full review at Wrapped in Foil blog.

Age Range: 10 and up
Hardcover: 80 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (February 26, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0547681267
ISBN-13: 978-0547681269


Silk and Venom: Searching for a Dangerous Spider by Kathryn Lasky and her husband, photographer Christopher G. Knight

This is a biography of arachnologist Greta Binford. It follows Binford on her journey to the Caribbean to find a certain species of brown recluse spider.  She is looking into how spiders of the genus Loxosceles, the brown spiders, may have migrated and evolved.

Full review at Wrapped in Foil blog.

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 64 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (February 22, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0763642223
ISBN-13: 978-0763642228

Adults can find a few good books on spiders, too.

Biology of Spiders, 2nd Edition by Rainer F. Foelix


Spider-related Fiction

The Weaver by Qian Shi

Stanley the spider collects things and stores them in his web. What will he do when a storm comes and his collection is washed away? He comes up with a clever solution.

The Weaver Promo – Collector from Qian Shi on Vimeo.


Age Range: 5 – 7 years
Publisher: Andersen Pr USA (April 1, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1541514548
ISBN-13: 978-1541514546


Bear’s Scare by Jacob Grant

Bear is very neat and tidy. He is beyond bothered when a spider begins building webs everywhere. That is, until the spider shows a hidden talent for fixing things.

Age Range: 3 – 6 years
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books (June 12, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1681197200
ISBN-13: 978-1681197203


Fatima and the Clementine Thieves by Mireille Messier and illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard

Living in Morocco, Fatima’s family has an orchard of clementine oranges. Right before harvest, someone or something destroys some of the crop and breaks the trees. What happened? What can Fatima and her grandfather do to stop it?

At first glance doesn’t the type of children’s picture book that belongs in a list about spiders. However, spiders play an important positive role in the story. See a full review, and suggestions for accompanying math and art activities at our sister blog, Wrapped in Foil and related hands on spider science activities at Growing with Science blog.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Red Deer Press; 1 edition (June 30, 2017)
ISBN-10: 0889955298
ISBN-13: 978-0889955295


Aaaarrgghh! Spider! by Lydia Monks

In this cute picture book, spider wants to be a family pet. Will it work out?

Check it out for yourself in this video:


Age Range: 4 – 7 years
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (September 3, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0618737510
ISBN-13: 978-0618737512



Charlotte’s Web (Trophy Newbery) by E. B. White

Features probably the most popular spider ever, Charlotte.

Age Range: 8 and up
Paperback: 184 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (December 14, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0064400557
ISBN-13: 978-0064400558

Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Harry Bliss

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (January 8, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0062233009
ISBN-13: 978-0062233004

The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

This classic tale is still popular with the preschool set.



Children’s Books About Seeds

Looking for books to teach children about seeds and plants? This list of books emphasizes the role of seeds and describes plant life cycles.


Do you have any favorite books about seeds for kids? We’d love to hear your suggestions.

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.

Edit:  You also might be interested in our new list of children’s books about gardening and plant science.

Updated 8/2019



Beginning Reader


Seeds (Plant Parts series) by Vijaya Khisty Bodach

Simple text and photographs present the seeds of plants, how they grow, and their uses.

Age Range: 4 and up
Publisher: Capstone Press; 1st edition (January 1, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0736896236
ISBN-13: 978-0736896238



Pumpkins (First Step Nonfiction: Plant Life Cycles) by Robin Nelson

Perfect book to guide the beginning reader through the life-cycle of the pumpkin plant. Illustrated with close-up color photographs, this title takes the cycle to completion by showing the seeds in a ripe pumpkin at the end. It also has facts about pumpkins in the back.

Age Range: 4 and up
Publisher: Lerner Classroom (September 2008)
ISBN-10: 076134117X
ISBN-13: 978-0761341178



From Seed to Plant (Rookie Read-About Science) by Allan Fowler

Short sentences and controlled vocabulary make this a perfect choice for the beginning reader.

Age Range: 4 and up
Publisher: Childrens Pr (July 2001)
ISBN-10: 0516273078
ISBN-13: 978-0516273075



From Seed to Pumpkin (Welcome Books: How Things Grow) by Jan Kottke

Guides the beginning reader through the life-cycle of the pumpkin plant. Illustrated with close-up color photographs, the text consists of short sentences and controlled vocabulary. Lack some of the features of Pumpkins by Robin Nelson (above), but very similar.

Age Range: 4 and up
Publisher: Children’s Press (CT) (September 2000)
ISBN-10: 0516235095
ISBN-13: 978-0516235097


One Bean by Anne Rockwell and illustrated by Megan Halsey

Discusses the life cycle of a bean plant. Use it to accompany germinating and growing bean seed activities.

Age Range: 3 – 6 years
Publisher: Walker Childrens (April 1, 1999)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0802775721
ISBN-13: 978-0802775726

Picture Books

A Seed is the Start by Melissa Stewart

Although the word “start” in the title and the pictures of sunflowers germinating on the cover suggests this books is about plant life cycles, with exception of a corn kernel germinating on pages 4-5 and an apple seed growing on pages 30-31, this book is about much more. In fact it is mainly about seed dispersal. Whether it is by wind, water, or animal taxi, author Melissa Stewart reveals the many, many ways seeds get around.

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (February 13, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1426329776
ISBN-13: 978-1426329777


Seeds Move by Robin Page

Written in the increasingly popular two-level text, Seeds Move! explores many of the ways seeds move or disperse. The simpler, “story” text repeats rhythmically from page to page. A paragraph of denser, detailed text explains the specific examples shown in each illustration.

And what beautiful illustrations they are. It is easy to see why Robin Page received a Caldecott Honor in 2004 for What Do You Do With a Tail Like This?

If you are looking for a nonfiction picture book about seed dispersal, look no further than Seeds Move! Young readers will plant themselves in their chairs when they open this book.

Age Range: 3 – 8 years
Publisher: Beach Lane Books (March 19, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1534409157
ISBN-13: 978-1534409156


Pumpkins by Ken Robbins

A photo-essay tour of the life cycle of a pumpkin, with a carving activity included.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press; First Edition edition (August 8, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1596431849



Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden by George Levenson and photographs by Shmuel Thaler

Poetic text accompanies gorgeous photographs showing the life cycle of a pumpkin. I love this book because it isn’t afraid to show rot. See related activities at the book website.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3
Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: Tricycle Press (August 7, 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1582460787
ISBN-13: 978-1582460789



From Seed to Pumpkin (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 1) (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1)  by Wendy Pfeffer and illustrated by James Graham Hale

The Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series is wonderful nonfiction for children. This title includes information about what a pumpkin needs to grow and simple activity suggestions.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins (August 17, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0064451909



Flip, Float, Fly!: Seeds on the Move by JoAnn Early Macken and illustrated by Pam Paparone

As the title suggests, lively action verbs describe how seeds get from place to to place. In the back is a two page visual glossary of age-appropriate botany terms and some notes about why and how seeds move, as well as illustrations of some common seeds.

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Holiday House (March 15, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0823420434
ISBN-13: 978-0823420438


A Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long

This absolutely gorgeous and well-researched book could be considered to be a coffee table at book if it weren’t for children.

Age Range: 5 – 10 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 5
Lexile Measure: 750L (What’s this?)
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (March 1, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0811855201
ISBN-13: 978-0811855204


From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons

Gail Gibbons is the queen of picture book nonfiction. She has a keen sense of what children need to know and how to say it so they will understand.

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Holiday House; Reprint edition (March 1, 1993)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0823410250
ISBN-13: 978-0823410255



How a Seed Grows (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1) by Helene J. Jordan and illustrated by Loretta Krupinski

Another in the Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series, this one reveals how seeds grow into common plants.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins; Revised edition (January 26, 2000)
ISBN-10: 0064451070
ISBN-13: 978-0064451079



The Dandelion Seed  by Joseph P. Anthony and illustrated by Cris Arbo

The story in this book about the seed not wanting to let go is in the realm of fiction, but the details of the life cycle of the dandelion are vivid.

Age Range: 4 and up
Publisher: Dawn Pubns (September 1, 1997)
ISBN-10: 188322067X
ISBN-13: 978-1883220679


A Dandelion’s Life (Nature Upclose) by John Himmelman

Dandelions are so accessible and children love them. They are a perfect plant for children to study life cycles. This book has beautiful illustrations and spot on text.

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Children’s Press (CT) (March 1999)
ISBN-10: 0516264028
ISBN-13: 978-0516264028



How a Plant Grows (Crabapples) by Bobbie Kalman

Be prepared for a factual, scientific description of seeds and plants, including the parts of plants and stages of the life cycle. It is illustrated with a mixture of color photographs and drawings. Text is probably for 2nd -3rd – 4th graders, with vocabulary words such as photosynthesis, chlorophyll and glucose.  Suggestions for hands-on activities in the back.

Series: Crabapples
Publisher: Crabtree Publishing Company (March 15, 1997)
ISBN-10: 0865057281
ISBN-13: 978-0865057289


Seeds by Ken Robbins

Visually-appealing guide to different seeds and how they disperse. The illustrations are photographs shot with a white background (the cover gives you an idea).

Age Range: 6 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (January 6, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0689850417
ISBN-13: 978-0689850417


The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds: A Book About How Living Things Grow by Patricia Relf and illustrated by John Speirs,based on series by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degan

Walking the line between fiction and nonfiction, the Magic School Bus takes Ms. Frizzle’s class deep into the world of seeds.



Oh Say Can You Seed?: All About Flowering Plants (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library) by Bonnie Worth and illustrated by Aristides Ruiz

The Cat in the Hat might not be the first book/character that comes into mind when you think of science, but it should be. Take a look at Random House’s The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library® and you will find a whole new way to introduce science to preschoolers and beginning readers.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Lexile Measure: 530L (What’s this?)
Series: Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (March 27, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0375810951
ISBN-13: 978-0375810954


Planting the Wild Garden by Kathryn O. Galbraith and illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin

Planting the Wild Garden is a lively picture book that would work equally well as a read aloud for a group or a quiet cuddle in a chair. This book is a wonderful, gentle introduction to the topic of seed dispersal.

Age Range: 6 and up
Grade Level: 1 and up
Lexile Measure: 490L (What’s this?)
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers; 1 edition (April 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1561455636
ISBN-13: 978-1561455638

How Does a Seed Sprout?: And Other Questions About Plants (Good Question!) by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Carol Schwartz

Melissa Stewart is a prolific author of children’s nonfiction, and she does a great job with this newer title. It is written in a question-and-answer format that is great for reluctant readers or for those last minute research projects. If you’d like to learn more, see our full review at Wrapped in Foil blog.

Age Range: 7 and up
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books (January 7, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1454906715
ISBN-13: 978-1454906711

Activity Books


Junior Scientists: Experiment With Seeds (Science Explorer Junior) by Susan Heinrichs Gray

Briefly discusses the scientific method and then gives instructions for three experiments:

  1. Do seeds need air to germinate?
  2. Exploring the seed coat.
  3. Which way do roots grow?

The book also encourages children to come up with their own experiments.

Age Range: 7 and up
Publisher: Cherry Lake Publishing (August 2010)
ISBN-10: 1602798354
ISBN-13: 978-1602798359


Middle Grade




The Seed Vault by Bonnie Juettner


Learn about how seed banks are being set up around the world to help protect plant diversity and our food crops.

Lexile Measure: 860L (What’s this?)
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: Norwood House Press Classroom (August 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603570756
ISBN-13: 978-1603570756


Wordless Book


The Giant Seed (Stories Without Words) by Arthur Geisert

Geisert’s wordless books follow the adventures of a community of cartoon pigs. In this version the pigs are threatened by the eruption of a volcano. The arrival of a giant dandelion just might save the day. Can you guess how?

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Series: Stories Without Words
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books (May 8, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1592701159
ISBN-13: 978-1592701155



Fiction Picture Book


Anno’s Magic Seeds (Paperstar Book) by Mitsumasa Anno

Gardening requires math skills. As with many of his books, Anno walks the line between fiction and nonfiction when he intertwines a story about a wizard giving Jack some seeds with math challenges.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Puffin Books (June 21, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0698116186
ISBN-13: 978-0698116184

The Carrot Seed 60th Anniversary Edition by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Crockett Johnson

Will the carrot seed the boy planted ever grow? This classic picture book was first published in 1945!

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (December 28, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0064432106
ISBN-13: 978-0064432108


Sunflower House by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt

After planting sunflower seeds in a large circle in his yard, a young boy gets to experience the life cycle of the plants. Once the plants grow up, he and his friends play games inspired by their sunflower fort. One day, however, the sunflowers start to tip over. Is the house gone forever? Fictional story with many facts about seeds and plants.


Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1st Voyager Books Ed edition (April 19, 1999)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0152019529
ISBN-13: 978-0152019525


Dandelion Adventures (Holiday Crafts for Kids) by L. Patricia Kite

Illustrated with delicate watercolors, the story follows what happens to seven dandelion seeds after they are scattered by the wind.

Age Range: 4 and up
Publisher: Millbrook Press (April 1, 1998)
ISBN-10: 0761300376
ISBN-13: 978-0761300373


The Empty Pot (An Owlet Book) by Demi

In this lovely picture book, the Emperor is having a competition to find who can grow the seeds he gives them. Can Ping make the seeds grow in time?


Age Range: 4 and up
Publisher: Square Fish; Reprint edition (September 15, 1996)
ISBN-10: 0805049002
ISBN-13: 978-0805049008




Miss Maple’s Seeds by Eliza Wheeler

Miss Maple gathers up seeds that haven’t found a place a grow and keeps them safe over the winter. In the spring she sends the seeds out to meet their destinies.

Miss Maple’s Seeds has all the ingredients to become a classic children’s book. It has a message about growing up that will resonate both with children and the adults who read to them, saying the biggest of trees come from small seeds. It also subtly incorporates the changes of the seasons to reinforce the theme.

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books (April 4, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0399257926
ISBN-13: 978-0399257926



Moth and Butterfly Books for Kids

Originally compiled in honor of National Moth Week, this list of children’s books about moths and butterflies has been growing steadily. The books are organized by genre and by reading level.

Why celebrate moths as well as butterflies? Because, as the website mentions, moths are numerous, diverse and successful, yet often ignored.



Board Books

The Butterfly Garden by Laura Weston

For the youngest reader, this lift-the-flap book has colorful life stages of the monarch butterfly hidden among black-and-white images of milkweed plants (contrast catches the eye of the youngest set). Lift the flap and discover the insect. It is very simple with only a few words.

Age Range: 2 – 5 years
Board book: 12 pages
Publisher: Big Picture Press; Reissue edition (April 11, 2017)
ISBN-10: 0763693170
ISBN-13: 978-0763693176


Beginning Readers:


National Geographic Readers: Caterpillar to Butterfly by Laura Marsh
Published in April 10, 2012, this book for 4 to 6-year-olds explains how a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly.  It also includes some information about poisonous caterpillars, which is something children should be aware of. As to be expected of a book published by National Geographic, it is illustrated with large, high quality color photographs. There are a few activities in the back to reinforce learning.



Moths (Bugs Bugs Bugs)
by Fran Howard

Big color photographs are accompanied by simple, controlled-vocabulary text.

Reading Level: K-1
ISBN:  9780736836449 / 0-7368-3644-6
Publisher:  Capstone Press – Pebble Plus (2005)


Moths (Insects) by Helen Frost

An introduction to some of the features of moths, including their colors, what their wings look like, and how they scare predators.

Reading Level: K-1
ISBN:  9780736808521 / 0-7368-0852-3
Publisher:  Capstone Press- Pebble (2001)


Picture Books:


The perfect picture book to accompany National Moth Week is You’re Invited to a Moth Ball: A Nighttime Insect Celebration by Loree Burns and photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz.

Come meet some of the more than 150,000 species of moths by having a party. However, the party needs to be after dark, so you will have to stay up later than usual. Learn how to make a moth bait that will attract more buggy guests (recipe included). Or you can attract more moths by hanging a sheet over a line with a light shining through (instructions included). Then wait for the guests to arrive!

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 5 – 8 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Charlesbridge; Illustrated edition (April 7, 2020)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1580896863
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1580896863

Jerry Pallotta’s Not a Butterfly Alphabet Book: It’s About Time Moths Had Their Own Book!, illustrated by Shennen Bersani.

Don’t let the name “alphabet book” dissuade you. Although they are wryly humorous (as you can tell from the title) and full of quirky facts, these are serious nonfiction books that use the alphabet as a way to organize information. This one highlights 26 different species of moths, from the giant Atlas moth to the gorgeous zigzag moth (you’ll see immediately how it got it’s name). Along the way readers learn about aspects of moth biology, such as facts about their mouthparts, wing scales, and life cycles.

Shennen Bersani’s amazing illustrations explode the myth that moths are drab or boring. You are likely to say, “Wow!” with every page turn. They are gorgeous. Seriously!

Not a Butterfly Alphabet Book will thrill budding entomologists and artists alike. Pick up a copy and find out why moths deserve their day in the sun.

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge (November 5, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1580896898
ISBN-13: 978-1580896894


Why include Not a Bean by Claudia Guadalupe Martínez and illustrated by Laura Gonzalez in a list of books about moths and butterflies?

It might be clearer when you find out the bean in question is a Mexican jumping bean. Still not clear? The Mexican jumping bean moves around because there is a tiny moth larva (caterpillar) inside.

Claudia Guadalupe Martínez starts the story with the plant that produces the bean and explains how the larva gets inside. Next she shows how the caterpillar within the bean behaves under natural conditions. When children find the bean, they use it for a simple racing game. After the bean stops jumping (because the caterpillar has pupated), the children abandon it. Later a moth emerges and the life cycle continues. Throughout she includes Spanish vocabulary words.

Because Not a Bean is multifaceted, it could be used either for a lesson on Spanish language and Mexican culture, or for a science unit on insects (or both!) Plus, who isn’t intrigued by a bean that jumps? Investigate a copy today!

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge (November 5, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1580898157
ISBN-13: 978-1580898157

Night Life of the Yucca: The Story of a Flower and a Moth

by Katherine B. Hauth and illustrated by Kay Sather

An older book which may be hard to find, but the story of the relationship between the yucca and the yucca moth is fascinating. See Gardening for Moths for an introduction to yucca moths.

Luna Moths: Masters of Change (Insect World)
by Sandra Markle

Reading level: Ages 7 and up
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: Lerner Classroom (September 1, 2007)


A Luna Moth’s Life (Nature Upclose) by John Himmelman

Reading level: Ages 5 and up
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Children’s Press(CT) (September 1, 1998)


Crinkleroot’s Guide to Knowing Butterflies and Moths
by Jim Arnosky

Ages: 5-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing; 1st edition (May 1, 1996)



A Butterfly Is Patient by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Sylvia Long

The team of Aston and Long have written and illustrated other award-winning books, such as An Egg is Quiet and A Seed is Sleepy. This new addition is even better, if that is possible. How do you top perfection? They found a way.

Start with the front endpapers, a collection of vibrant caterpillars with names like “Moonlight Jewel” and “Hieroglyphic Flat.” Skip to the back endpapers and you will find equally vibrant illustrations of the butterflies that come from those caterpillars. You can spend hours studying the endpapers alone.

Although it is beautiful, it is not lightweight. Aston has obviously done her research. She packs some hard science into the text, using words such as pollination, camouflage, predator, and migration.

At one point, the author writes, “A butterfly is spectacular!” The reader will immediately want to echo, “This book is spectacular, too!”

My full review at Wrapped in Foil blog

Related Science activities


Nic Bishop: Butterflies and Moths by Nic Bishop

Nic Bishop is an award-winning photographer and his books are a visual treat. The information is accurate and well written.

Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Nonfiction (March 1, 2009)



What’s the Difference Between a Butterfly and a Moth? (What’s the Difference? (Capstone))by Robin Michal Koontz and Bandelin-Dacey

This is a beautifully-illustrated picture book describes the differences between butterflies and moths clearly. (Google books has a preview). It also would be useful for units on life cycles.

Reading level: Ages 7 and up (really grades K-3)
Library Binding: 24 pages
Publisher: Picture Window Books (August 1, 2009)


Wings of Light: The Migration of the Yellow Butterfly
by Stephen R. Swinburne and illustrated by Bruce Hiscock

We all know about the migration of the monarch butterfly, but there are other butterflies and moths that disperse or migrate over long distances. This particular book follows the migration of cloudless sulfur butterfly from the rainforests of Central America into the U.S. Long distance flight by such fragile creatures is amazing.

Age Range: 7 – 9 years
Grade Level: 1 – 4
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press (March 3, 2006)
ISBN-10: 1590780825
ISBN-13: 978-1590780824


From Caterpillar to Butterfly (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 1) by Deborah Heiligman and illustrated by Bari Weissman

This book is an account of a classroom caterpillar that undergoes metamorphosis into a beautiful painted lady butterfly. The Let’s Read and Find Out Science books are uniformly high quality and this title was named as a NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins; Revised edition (August 4, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0062381830
ISBN-13: 978-0062381835



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

Part of Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries’ wonderful nonfiction series, asking the question “Are you…?” Are You a Butterfly? Are You a Grasshopper? Are You an Ant? All are beautifully done and well-researched books. The child is brought into the story in a creative way.

Reading level: Ages 5 and up
Paperback: 28 pages
Publisher: Kingfisher (May 16, 2003)


My, Oh My–A Butterfly!: All About Butterflies (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library)
by Tish Rabe and illustrated by Aristides Ruiz and Joe Mathieu

Done in rhyme, these Cat in the Hat science books are very informative and fun to read.

Reading level: Ages 5 and up
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (March 27, 2007)



Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert

This picture book for the youngest set is bright, bold and beautifully done. It traces the life cycle of a butterfly very simply, and then has a bit more in depth information about butterflies and flowers at the end. There’s even a page of information about butterfly gardening.


Butterfly or Moth?: How Do You Know? (Which Animal Is Which?) by Melissa Stewart (2011) uses color photographs to explore whether an insect is a butterfly or moth.  For example, by asking, “Knobs or no knobs?” Stewart points out that butterflies often have knobs on the tips of their antennae, whereas moths often have feathery antennae.

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Enslow Elementary (July 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1598452355
ISBN-13: 978-1598452358


It’s a Butterfly’s Life by Irene Kelly.

This nonfiction book has many lovely illustrations. If you are looking for a book for beginning reader, be aware that the font looks like hand lettering and the sentences wave up and down across the page, almost like the pattern of a butterfly flying. This looks lovely, but may be hard for a struggling reader to read. It has many interesting facts, and covers the butterfly life cycle in detail.

Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Holiday House (April 15, 2007)


Where Butterflies Grow (Picture Puffins) by Joanne Ryder and illustrated by Lynne Cherry

This older book follows the life cycle of a black swallowtail butterfly step by step. Includes suggestions for growing a butterfly garden.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3
Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (June 1, 1996)
ISBN-10: 0140558586
ISBN-13: 978-0140558586


Newer picture books:

Butterflies in Room 6: See How They Grow by Caroline Arnold

Follow along with the children in Mrs. Best’s kindergarten class as they hatch painted lady caterpillars from eggs, feed them a special diet, and wait patiently for the butterflies to emerge from their chrysalids.

Caroline Arnold is both the author and photographer for the book and she has captured some fun and incredible images of both the insects and the children.

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge (March 12, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1580898947
ISBN-13: 978-1580898942

Life Story of a Butterfly (Animal Life Stories) by Charlotte Guillain explores the life stages of the monarch butterfly with bright, colorful close-up photographs. The reader will learn what the parts of a butterfly are called, how the young are different from the adults, how long they live, and where they go in the winter.

Age Range: 6 – 8 years
Publisher: Heinemann (July 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1484604873
ISBN-13: 978-1484604878


When Butterflies Cross the Sky: The Monarch Butterfly Migration (Extraordinary Migrations) by Sharon Katz Cooper and beautifully illustrated by Joshua S Brunet looks and reads like a fiction picture book. Don’t be fooled though, because it is filled with concepts and facts, especially relating to the migration of a female monarch south and back again.

Age Range: 5 – 9 years
Grade Level: 2 – 3
Publisher: Picture Window Books (February 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1479561045
ISBN-13: 978-1479561049


Handle With Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey (Junior Library Guild Selection) by Loree Griffin Burns and with photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz is a lovely book for youngsters that will surely inspire a trip to a butterfly exhibit. It explains that the tropical butterflies seen in local butterfly exhibits come from butterfly farms, and then visit such a farm in Costa Rica. You will want to use it to accompany units on life cycles, farming, and insects. Read it and watch children’s imaginations take flight!

Full review and suggested activities at Growing with Science

Age Range: 6 – 10
Series: Junior Library Guild Selection (Millbrook Press)
Publisher: Millbrook Pr Trade (January 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0761393420
ISBN-13: 978-0761393429

How Does a Caterpillar Become a Butterfly?: And Other Questions about Butterflies (Good Question!) by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Annie Patterson

Formulated in a question and answer format, the reader can quickly find information to write a report or satisfy curiosity. For example, do you know why the larval stage of a butterfly or moth is called a caterpillar? As Stewart points out, the word caterpillar comes from French words meaning “hairy cat.” Isn’t that so much more poetic than some other scientific terms?

Also, Stewart includes detailed information about how a butterfly is different than a moth on page 24, with a gorgeous photograph of a luna moth to accompany it.

Age Range: 7 and up
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books (January 7, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1454906669
ISBN-13: 978-1454906667


Middle Grade

The Monarchs Are Missing: A Butterfly Mystery by Rebecca E. Hirsch.

Illustrated with large color photographs and clever illustrations, this book delves into all the reasons that monarch butterfly populations have been on the decline. Hirsch goes beyond the loss of habitat in the monarchs’ overwintering sites in Mexico.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Millbrook Pr (January 1, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1512452505
ISBN-13: 978-1512452501
face-to-face-with-caterpillars face-to-face-with-butterflies

Face to Face with Caterpillars (Face to Face with Animals)(2009) and Face to Face with Butterflies (Face to Face with Animals)(2010) by Darlyne Murawski

Darlyne Murawski is an award-winning photographer, as well as writer and biologist. Her expertise is evident in the bright full-color photographs in both these books from National Geographic’s Children’s Books. The caterpillar book starts with a close-up photograph of an Australian caterpillar eating an ant larva. Then we see a photograph of the author laying down under a sheet of plexiglass taking the shot. The book covers where to find caterpillars, their life-cycles, defenses, and a brief discussion of the differences between butterflies and moths.


DK Eyewitness Books: Butterfly and Mothby Paul Whalley

Filled with awesome illustrations and just enough information, it is all you’ve come to expect from DK Books.

Reading level: Ages 8 and up
Hardcover: 72 pages
Publisher: DK Publishing (2012)


Hands-On Activity Books (For Mixed Ages):

Butterfly Papercrafts: 21 Indoor Projects for Outdoor Learning by Sal Levinson and illustrated by Danielle Levinson.

This book introduces children to both art and science in an integrated way. Topics covered include the differences between butterflies and moths, butterfly life cycles, butterfly gardening, puddling behavior, migration, camouflage and more. To explore these topics, children make finger puppets, flip books, paper airplanes, and even a butterfly-shaped kite.

The layout consists of a series of two-page spreads with instructions and information about a given butterfly-related topic on the left page and the reproducible template for the craft to make on the right hand page. Also included are black and white photographs of completed projects or activity suggestions. What a wonderful way to learn about butterflies and moths!

Butterfly Papercrafts would be a great resource to have on hand for STEAM festivals, units on insects, to accompany a trip to a butterfly house, or for a rainy day craft project at home. A must have for children who love butterflies.

Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 7, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1508695377
ISBN-13: 978-1508695370

Caterpillarology (Backyard Buddies)

by Michael Elsohn Ross and illustrated by Darren Erickson and Brian Grogan is for children who are interested in science and doing science experiments with caterpillars. This book (and the others in the “-ology” series) are chock full of great information and fun activities. Although they are older, these books are truly unique and worth picking up.

Age Range: 7 and up
Grade Level: 2 and up
Library Binding: 48 pages
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books (November 1997)
ISBN-10: 1575050552
ISBN-13: 978-1575050553


The Family Butterfly Bookby Rick Mikula

Very popular book with projects and activities to do.

Reading level: Gr 5 up
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (October 11, 2000)
ISBN-10: 158017292X
ISBN-13: 978-1580172929


Field Guide/ Family suggestions:


The Life Cycles of Butterflies: From Egg to Maturity, a Visual Guide to 23 Common Garden Butterflies by Judy Burris and Wayne Richards

Too many times books concentrate on adult insects and forget about all the other stages an insect goes through. This book remedies that by giving the the full life cycles of 23 different butterflies. Illustrated with photographs of each stage, this book is truly unique.

Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (April 1, 2006)
ISBN-10: 1580176178
ISBN-13: 978-1580176170

Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History (Princeton Field Guides) by David L. Wagner

Series: Princeton Field Guides
Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Princeton University Press; 1St Edition edition (August 14, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0691121443
ISBN-13: 978-0691121444



Caterpillars in the Field and Garden: A Field Guide to the Butterfly Caterpillars of North America (Butterflies [Or Other] Through Binoculars) by Thomas J. Allen, James P. Brock, and Jeffrey Glassberg

Series: Butterflies [Or Other] Through Binoculars
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press; First Edition edition (June 2, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0195149874
ISBN-13: 978-0195149876



Peterson First Guide to Caterpillars of North America by Amy Bartlett Wright and edited by Roger Tory Peterson

Age Range: 11 and up
Grade Level: 6 and up
Series: Peterson First Guide
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2nd edition (May 15, 1998)
ISBN-10: 0395911842
ISBN-13: 978-0395911846

Butterflies in Your Backyard downloadable .pdf from NC State University (link is in the bottom of text)


Related Fiction for Children:

Hurry and the Monarch by Antoine O Flatharta and illustrated by Meilo So

Hurry the tortoise lives in Wichita Falls, Texas. One fall, Monarch stops for a moment on his back. Hurry learns all about the migration of monarch butterflies when Monarch returns in the spring.

Meilo So’s illustrations are absolutely amazing. They are beyond delightful. If you go to Amazon, be sure take a look inside the book.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Dragonfly Books; Reprint edition (February 10, 2009)
ISBN-10: 038573719X
ISBN-13: 978-0385737197


Gotta Go! Gotta Go! (Sunburst Book) by Sam Swope and illustrated by Sue Riddle

The “creepy-crawly bug” is impatient to go to Mexico, but how?

Age Range: 3 – 6 years
Publisher: Square Fish; Reprint edition (March 1, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0374427860
ISBN-13: 978-0374427863


Inch by Inch
by Leo Lionni

It is an adorable tale of an inchworm that escapes from some hungry birds in a clever way. A classic, it won a Caldecott Honor. This book could also be useful as an introduction to measuring.



The Girl Who Loved Caterpillars: a twelfth-century tale from Japan adapted by Jean Merrill and illustrated by Floyd Cooper.

It is hard not to love a book that is so beautifully written and illustrated. The overall tale is of a lovely young Japanese girl who defies the traditions of her time. She prefers caterpillars and centipedes to butterflies, and collects and raises them. This story is incredibly complex, and even makes adults who read it think deeply about it. One issue is the fact that the story is probably only the first chapter of a much longer tale, but the rest has been lost. Some people may wonder why the author didn’t construct her own ending. Rather than detracting from the book however, for me it only made it more interesting.

Age Range: 6 – 10 years
Grade Level: 1 – 5
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Philomel; 1st edition (October 21, 1992)
ISBN-10: 0399218718
ISBN-13: 978-0399218712



Project Mulberry
by Linda Sue Park is a fiction chapter book about two children who decide to raise silkworms for a state fair project. Although the story about silkworms is already compelling, the main character and the author also have chats on the side throughout the book that reveal how writing works. Ages 9+

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Yearling; Reissue edition (January 23, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0440421632
ISBN-13: 978-0440421634


Young Adults:


A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter (Author)

First published in 1909, this classic book is about Elnora Comstock, a girl who comes up with a plan to fund her college education by selling moths and other natural objects.

Paperback: 370 pages
Publisher: Porter Press (October 23, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1619492008
ISBN-13: 978-1619492004


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.