Brief reviews of children's literature related to inquiry, joy and wonder!
I'll be including new books as well as old favorites that I use often in my classroom.
For a comprehensive list of children's books aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards, click here.
Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth, by Molly Bang
I've been using Molly Bang's early childhood books (like When Sophie Gets Angry - Really, Really Angry) in my kindergarten classroom for years, but I only recently discovered that she writes amazing science books as well! I LOVE all of them. They explain incredibly complex concepts (like fossil fuels, photosynthesis, and food webs) using simple, beautiful text and illustrations. This one, Buried Sunlight, is one of the few quality books out there that teachers can use to talk about climate change. Most of her books are geared towards slightly older students (2nd grade and up maybe), but she also wrote one called Common Ground: The Water, Earth and Air We Share, that could be used in primary grades.
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
Ah, Peter Brown. Hands down one of my favorite children's book authors. This is an incredible story about a boy who lives in a gray and gloomy city with no green anywhere. He discovers a rogue garden on a rooftop and soon helps it spread throughout the town, with the help of enthusiastic neighbors. A bright and hopeful story of environmental activism for kids.
Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens
I use this book every spring during my garden unit to explore plant parts. It's the story of a lazy bear who wants his rabbit neighbors to do all the work of planting the garden, while he reaps the harvest rewards. But the clever rabbits tell him they'll only let him have the tops of their crop, and when he agrees, they plant carrots, beets and radishes. When he catches onto what they're doing, he changes his harvest portion to the bottoms of the crops - and so the rabbits plant beans and tomatoes. The story goes on in this way, and is a super fun way to talk about plant parts and the value of hard work.