Since it’s Science Week, we wanted to find some great books to get elementary school kids excited about science – nonfiction and fiction please!
It’s never too young to start understanding the world around us from all sides. This includes a brief introduction to some of the principles of everyday science around us.
The way science is presented in books ranges from the approach of textbook or home use to the use of stories to bring the subject to life and make it easier to understand.
Understanding the living world is the easiest component of science to master. It’s also something kids really need to learn from an early age, given the threats to our planet.
Dear Greenpeace, It has been 25 years since Simon James’ classic picture of the environment was first published. Just reposted this month, showing that its lessons still have to be learned! An eco-fantasy, Dear Greenpeace is a letter to Greenpeace from a little girl who worries about whales living in a pond. Greenpeace explained that whales need more space and they are migratory, which means they travel long distances every day. Emily’s fictional stories to herself and Greenpeace’s scientific answers to her provide the perfect basis for asking questions about the environment, especially animals and freedom. Learning about how everyday plants and trees grow, and how they provide habitat for a variety of creatures or the types of creatures that live on the coast, provides a vibrant experience for kids who may not be familiar with the outdoors every day.
Nicola Davies’ A First book of Nature takes kids outdoors to see everything from the stars to the beach, and a more familiar world of woods and ponds. Mark Hearld’s beautifully illustrated and poetic text embraces science rather than lightly focusing on celebrating nature and its beauty.
With so much space exploration in the news, Michelle Robinson’s Goodnight Spaceman (illustrated by Nick Easter) is a fantasy story about two crazy space boys who are taken to space as a bedtime adventure to start exploring Great place for this topic. The book includes a message from Tim Peake that adds a touch of authenticity.
While still full of pictures, Dominic Wallyman and Professor Ben Newman’s Astrocat Atomic Adventure contains a bit more science, this time, as the title surmises, it’s physics. Just as Nicola Davies made nature a part of everyday life, Professor Astro Cat explained that physics is all around us. The wind and the sun, the forces we use to push and pull, energy from many sources, magnetism, light and darkness and how they are created – all explained in busy illustrations and short explanations.
Closer to home, understanding the human body is always worthwhile. Beyond that, the more you know about your body, the more likely you are to be taken care of. The Completely Amazing Human Body by Robert Winston is full of scientific information in a fun and entertaining way. There are flaps to lift and slides to pull to reveal what’s going on inside the body and what major organs do. There are also popups to help understand the complex structure of it all. Interactive presentations make finding fun and make information easier to understand.
Studying bones may seem a little scary, but teenager Jack McGowan-Lowe became a bone detective at a very young age and put his knowledge of his amazing bone collection in Jack’s Bones. Jack’s excellent introduction to skeletons includes photos from his own collection, showcasing some of his favorites, such as the skeletons of Vulpy the fox and Oscar the hedgehog. Jake also looked at dinosaur bones, a way to find long-extinct creatures as accurately as possible.
While dinosaurs seem to be the eternal favorite, there are some creatures that are seldom loved. Beetles are among them. But that could all change with MG Leonard’s brilliant new novel The Beetle Boys. The arrival of this huge and clever beetle named Baxter changes the life of the hapless Dacus forever, and it’s a wonderful adventure, but it may also give all readers a new look at the beetle. It will definitely teach them something about the very special and important role that beetles play in the world.
Are there book recommendations on this topic?tell us on twitter@GdnChildrensBks Or email email@example.com and we’ll add your thoughts to this blog. You can use the same email address to ask Book Doctor questions about books.