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Science books for kids cover many different fascinating topics. There are informational nonfiction books that delve into topics ranging from animals to weather to outer space (and more). There are biographies of important scientists to inspire young readers. There are also fictional stories where science-loving kids can see themselves in the characters and learn more about the scientific process. There are even books to start teaching little ones computer programming! Here is a list of 20 science books for kids that are perfect for a classroom library or bedroom shelf.
Science Books for Children: Blackboard Writing
Chris Ferrie’s Baby Bayesian Probability
Chris Ferrie’s Baby University Books is a whole thing. They are fun and informative. From quantum physics to organic chemistry, he breaks down difficult scientific concepts for young children. This is his latest title and, in my opinion, one of his most esoteric titles. But all of his titles are the cornerstones of future STEM talent.
Babies Love Quarks, by Ruth Spiro, by Irene Chan
Full disclosure, I didn’t fully understand what a quark was until I read the book. With a lot of self-awareness, the book begins to explain the basics of particle physics and chemistry. In addition to quarks, it defines protons, neutrons, atoms and molecules. All of these fit into the daily routine of a baby’s life. Other fun books in the Baby Loves Science series include Baby Loves Coding, Baby Loves Structural Engineering, and more!
The Adventures of John Muir by Kate Coombs, by Seth Lucas
Introduce babies and toddlers to the “Father of National Parks.” This biographical blackboard tells the story of John Muir’s commitment to nature. It explains how his advocacy for land conservation has led to many of our national parks, especially Yosemite. A perfect book for little ones (and their parents!) who are outdoorsy.
Baby password!Music by Sandra Horning, illustrations by Melissa Croton
The Girls Who Code boardbook series makes coding an accessible concept by applying computer language to familiar concepts. The book uses musical experiences such as beating a xylophone or listening to songs from your phone. Isn’t it kind of silly to try to teach a kid who can’t walk to program? Maybe. But it’s an interesting series that also often challenges gender norms.For example, in Baby password!musicthe father is the primary caregiver.
Bathtime Mathtime by Danica McKellar, illustration by Alicia Padrón
A counting book about bath time! It teaches numbers, but also reinforces concepts like sorting, patterns, and basic arithmetic. It also helps to teach all of this using a naked baby, two feet, three friends, four ducks, and more. And rhymes!
Jill Macdonald’s Backyard Bugs
This nifty whiteboard book uses collage-style illustrations to teach kids the names of bugs they might find in their backyard. It observes bees, dragonflies, spiders, grasshoppers, crickets, ladybugs, ants, worms, caterpillars and butterflies. There is even a suggested interactive activity at the end of the book. Jill McDonald’s Hello World series explores other non-fiction themes in nature, such as dinosaurs, weather, and marine life.
Science Books for Kids: Picture Books
Zoe Persico’s Terrific Color Experiments in Georgia
Georgia wants to be a scientist. And to be a scientist, she must create an experiment. Her family of artists kept giving her advice, but Georgia firmly believed that art and science should not be confused. After many failed attempts, she learned to listen to her family. As a scientist, she can blaze her own path, but even science has room to create. It’s a great primer on the scientific process, while reinforcing important lessons like the many benefits of collaboration.
Suzanne Slade’s Computer Katherine, illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison
This nonfiction picture book tells the story of Katherine Johnson. As a child, Katherine was a math prodigy, but because she was a black woman, she was not given the same opportunities or respect as her classmates. She knew it wasn’t right. When she grew up, she joined NASA and created the computing that helped the first man into space.
Jurassic Farts: A Watcher’s Guide to PU Rippley, by Evan Palmer
This book about dinosaur facts is informative and interesting. Each page helps readers learn more about a different dinosaur. Different sound effects also mimic each dinosaur’s fart sound – which is sure to make readers giggle. A battery-powered book must be a little silly. But it’s also full of real scientific information about dinosaurs. And I can’t think of a more fun way to learn!
Jason Chin’s Gravity
Jason Chin’s beautiful illustrations explain the importance of gravity in small situations, like objects on Earth, and in the cosmic realm, like moons and planets. His description of a universe without gravity is full of humor. But the illustrations also help to visually explain the complex concept of gravity.
Tiny Creatures: The Microbiological World of Nicola Davis, illustrated by Emily Sutton
Of course I didn’t know what microbes were when I was a kid. I know there are bacteria, but don’t fully understand what they are – or that there is such a thing as good bacteria. This book makes microbes easy to understand in many different contexts. It explains how they don’t just make you sick. Microbes also help make yogurt. They help make the air easier to breathe. A really cool exploration of this relatively dense topic!
Above and Below the Pond by Kate Messner, by Christopher Silas Neal
This picture book explores two sides of the same ecosystem. Birds and moose drink from the edge above the pond, and the water reflects the sky. But below the pond, just as much happened. There are tadpoles growing, fish swimming, and beavers diving. All elements of a pond are interdependent – they are all threatened by pollution and habitat loss. This is a peaceful book with good information and important information. On a similar theme, the duo also wrote Over and Under the Snow and Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt.
William Kamkwamba The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind with Bryan Mealer, by Elizabeth Zunon
This picture book tells the true story of William Kamkwamba trying to power his Malawi village during a drought. After going through all the books in the library, William made a windmill out of scraps from the junkyard. This read will teach children the power of science while exploring culturally and economically difficult issues.
Cece Loves Science by Kimberly Derting & Shelli R. Johannes, illustrated by Vashti Harrison
Cece loves to ask questions and find answers. So when her teacher told the class to do an experiment, she and her friend Isaac had a lot of ideas. After deciding whether itchy bears could be dangerous, they decided to find out if the animals were eating vegetables. But their only participant, Cece’s dog, wasn’t cooperative at first. As a scientist by training with his own treehouse lab, Cece refuses to give up. She and Isaac get creative and work together to perfect their experiments and get the answers they want. The publisher is well connected in the activity of reading the book in the classroom, and the final pages of Cece’s Science Facts are sure to appeal to other young experimenters.
Ada Twist, Scientist Andrea Beaty, Illustration by David Roberts
With delightful rhythm, this book introduces Ada Twist, a curious girl who, if you try hard enough, knows that every question has an answer. So when her house was filled with disgusting, mysterious odors, she conducted a series of experiments to find the source of the stench. When some of her tests resulted in more odors, her parents weren’t too happy about it. But after they both spent some time thinking about it, they decided to help support her curious scientific mind.For others in the stem series, read Iggy Pike, architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer!
Science Books for Kids: Chapter Books
The Trouble Next Door by Karen English, illustrated by Laura Freeman
Calvin is a third grader who wants to win a school science fair. But he wasn’t sure what to do when his data didn’t support his hypothesis. When the school bully moves to the foster home next door, how should he focus on science? As Calvin learns more about his new neighbor Harper, he may have to admit that there are more important things than winning the science fair.
Who is Jane Goodall?Robert Edwards, by John O’Brien
This illustrated biography tells the story of Jane Goodall: from an animal-fascinated child who grew up in London to a determined woman scientist who moved to Africa to study chimpanzees. A great book for young readers who love animals, this story also highlights how much patience and determination Jane needs to carry out her research.
Mad Scientist Academy: Matthew McElligott’s Dinosaur Disaster
Taught in an illustrated novel style, Mad Scientist Academy is a little different from most schools. First, the school pet is a dinosaur named Oscar. On the first day of school, Dr. Cosmic created a scavenger hunt to find Oscar through the robotic dinosaur exhibit he made for the students over the summer. But chaos ensues when the robots begin to come back to life. This series is basically the magic school bus, just raised a few notches.
Science Comics: The Brain: Tory Woollcott’s Ultimate Thinking Machine, illustrated by Alex Graudins
Fahama has been kidnapped by an evil scientist who wants to steal her brain for his zombie assistant. If she doesn’t learn about the brain soon, she won’t be able to escape without losing one of her most vital organs. Other topics covered in the Science Comics series include plagues, dogs, coral reefs, and even more science topics.