Physics and Astronomy Books for Kids

There are so many children's books on Physics and Astronomy, it's difficult to know where start. Here's a list of highly acclaimed books, though by no means comprehensive.

You are Stardust by Elin Kelsey and Soyeon Kim. Every tiny atom in our bodies was originally from a star that exploded long before we were born.

Bang! How we came to be. (2011, by Michael Rubino, Random House, $17.00, ages 13-16). A monumentally ambitious book about what’s happened in the last 16 billion years. The science is up-to-date, and once life emerges on Earth, whatever is being discussed (worm, fish or dinosaur) is always charmingly referred to as "we." The book has nice illustrations that aren’t always adequately captioned—parents may need to be prepared to explain astrophysics and paleontology.

“Beyond the Solar System” 
by Mary Kay Carson, 128 pages, ages 10 to 13.
This book takes readers back to the beginnings of space exploration — thousands of years ago, when people began stargazing — and forward to today’s search for planets in distant parts of the

Milky Way galaxy. Find out about superstars — Isaac Newton, for example — and lesser-known but important scientists such as astronomer Annie Jump Cannon. Along with history lessons, readers get 21 activities, such as making a black hole and creating a model of Albert Einstein’s universe using a T-shirt. The activities are perfect “boredom busters” for cold winter days.

Amusement Park Science. Dan Greenberg. Newbridge (2002). Learn the role science plays in rides such as the bumper cars, carousels, roller coasters, and more.
And Everyone Shouted “Pull!”: A First Look at Forces and Motion. Claire Llewellyn. Picture Window Books (2004). Hop on the cart and join the farm animals as they find out how to take their heavy load on the hilly journey to market.

Day Light, Night Light. Franklyn M. Branley. Scott Foresman (Revised 1998). Branley offers an elementary explanation of properties of light: reflective light, speed of light, and what happens inside an electric light bulb. Sunlight, candlelight, flashlight, campfire, lanterns, and stars are discussed. Simple experiments, such as placing a white plate in a dark room, provide hands-on opportunities for young learners.

Electrical Circuits. Lewis Parker. Perfection Learning (2005). This overview of electricity includes electricity in nature, current electricity, battery power, and how various types of electric circuits work.

Electricity. Karen Bryant-Mole. Heinemann (1998). This non-fiction chapter book explains the basic principles of electricity by using everyday experiences. Includes simple, hands-on activities that children can do themselves.

Energy: Heat, Light, and Fuel. Darlene Stille. Picture Window Books (2004). This nonfiction chapter book is a delightful introduction to energy resources – how energy gets things done, where energy comes from, and how to conserve energy. The cartoonish illustrations and “fun facts” sections enhance the simple, straightforward text.

Essential Energy Series. Robert Snedden. Heinemann Library (2001). Through photographs, charts, captions, and fact boxes, this series looks at renewable and nonrenewable energy resources, how they are used, and how they impact the environment. Titles include: Energy Alternatives, Energy from Fossil Fuels, and Energy Transfer.

Forces (Science All Around Me). Karen Bryant-Mole. Rigby Interactive Library (1997). Vivid photographs, clear text, and a variety of simple experiments help readers explore forces in the world around them. Includes table of contents, glossary, and index.

Forces and Motion. Lisa Trumbauer. Newbridge Educational Publishing (1998). Through full-color photographs and examples from everyday life, this nonfiction book introduces basic concepts of motion. Available in big book format.

Forces and Motion: My World of Science. Angela Royston. Heinemann (2003). Color photographs and simple text provide an explanation of forces and motion and examples from everyday life.

I Fall Down. Vicki Cobb. HarperCollins (2004). Simple experiments introduce the concept of gravity and its relationship to weight.

I See Myself. Vicki Cobb. Harpercollins Juvenile Books (2002). A little girl finds out about vision, light, and reflection by playing with a mirror, a flashlight, and a bouncing ball. This book encourages children to experiment and provides well-written explanations even very young children will understand.

Investigations series: Floating, Pulling, Pushing, Rolling, Sliding. Patricia Whitehouse. Heinemann (2003). This series for primary students takes an inquiry-based approach to helping them make observations about force and motion. Each book consists of five separate experiments related to the titles and includes photographs and headings in the form of questions.

Kids’ Paper Airplane Book. Ken Blackburn and Jeff Lammers. Workman (1996). This activity book provides information on the principles of aerodynamics, suggestions for designing airplanes, and instructions for folding paper planes and doing stunts.

Let’s Try it Out in the Water. Seymour Simon. Aladdin Paperbacks (2001). Presents simple activities and experiments that demonstrate buoyancy by observing why some things sink and others float in water. Helps students learn to classify objects by their physical properties.

The Magic School Bus in the Haunted Museum: A Book about Sound. Linda Beech (1995). From an episode of the TV series The Magic School Bus, Ms. Frizzle’s class visits a haunted museum where they learn about the science of sound.

The Magic School Bus Plays Ball: A Book about Forces. Joanna Cole. Scholastic (1998). On a field trip inside a physics book, Ms. Frizzle’s class plays baseball in a world without friction and learns all about friction and forces.

The Magic School Bus Taking Flight: A Book about Flight. Gail Herman. Scholastic (1997). Ms. Frizzle and her class shrink to fit inside a model airplane and learn about how wings and moving air affect flight.

Magnetic and Nonmagnetic. Angela Royston. Heinemann (2003). This Heinemann First Library series introduces magnetism by way of everyday situations and objects. It contains colorful photos, as well as activities and questions to encourage further exploration.

Magnets. Karen Bryant-Mole. Heinemann (1998). This non-fiction chapter book explains the basic principles of magnetism by using every day experiences. Includes simple, hands-on activities that children can do themselves.

Motion: Push and Pull, Fast and Slow. Darlene Stille. Picture Window Books (2004). This engaging nonfiction chapter book explores how things move, inertia, gravity, and friction. Cartoonish illustrations and fun facts accompany the simple, straightforward text.

Roller Coaster! Motion and Acceleration. Paul Mason. Raintree (2007). This exciting book puts the reader in the shoes of a roller coaster designer. Full-color photographs, bold print words, and insets reveal the forces that affect roller coaster motion.

Sound and Light. Karen Bryant-Mole. Heinemann (1998). This engaging non-fiction chapter book explains the basic principles of sound and light by using everyday experiences. Includes simple, hands-on activities that children can do themselves.

Sound (Energy Works! Series) Jenny Karpelenia. Perfection Learning (2004). Explains that vibrations create sound, how high and low pitches are made, how the ear works, and how musical instruments make sound.

Sounds All Around. Wendy Pfeffer. HarperCollins (1999). This book provides a simple explanation of sounds and hearing. It describes how sound waves vibrate through the air, and how tiny bones in the ear vibrate. It also explains how animals hear, and notes that sound waves travel through the solid ground as well as through air and water.

Switch On, Switch Off. Melvin Berger. Thomas Crowell (1989). This book gives a clear introduction to electricity-what it is, what it does, and how it is made. The author explains circuits and generators, light bulbs, and plugs. He also shows how to make electricity using a magnet, a compass, and a piece of wire.

Temperature: Heating Up and Cooling Down. Darlene Stille. Picture Window Books (2004). A blanket isn’t hot. So how does a blanket keep you warm? Find the answer to this and other hot facts in this simple introduction to temperature and thermal energy.

What Makes a Magnet? (Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out Science series, Stage 2). Franklyn M. Branley. HarperCollins (1996). Branley explains how magnets work and includes instructions for making a magnet using a magnet and a compass.

What Makes a Shadow? Clyde Robert Bulla. HarperCollins (1994). With simple words and charming illustrations, this book explains how shadows are produced. Young readers will discover what makes the shadows they see and will be introduced to the fun of making shadows of their own.

Energy: Heat, Light, and Fuel. Darlene Stille. Picture Window Books (2004). This nonfiction chapter book is a delightful introduction to energy resources – how energy gets things done, where energy comes from, and how to conserve energy. The cartoonish illustrations and “fun facts” sections enhance the simple, straightforward text.

The Moon Book. Gail Gibbons. Holiday House (1998). The concise text describes lunar phases, eclipses, tides, and a brief history of lunar exploration. The illustrations offer effective and accessible depictions of the phases of the moon and eclipses.

The Moon Seems to Change. Franklyn Branley. HarperTrophy (1987). Because the moon revolves around the Earth, it seems to grow and shrink. Children can read this Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science book about the phenomena of the moon’s phases and can model with an orange, a pencil, and a flashlight how the moon looks different at different times of the month.

My Place in Space. Robin Hirst. Orchard Books (1992). When a bus driver asks Henry and his sister if they know where they live, Henry responds with a detailed description, locating their house by street, town, country, planet, solar system, galaxy, and universe.

Postcards From Pluto: A Tour of the Solar System. Loreen Leedy. Holiday House (1993). A group of young students is given a guided tour of the solar system by a robot. After each stop, the explorers write postcards back home that contain information about each planet. The text is accompanied by paintings that portray realistic images of each planet.

Spots of Light: A Book About Stars. Dana Meachen Rau. Picture Window Books (2006). Simple text and digitally generated illustrations explains the “birth” of stars, star colors, constellations, and galaxies.

Stars. Steve Tomecek. National Geographic (2003). Offers basic concepts about stars are carefully explained – why they seem to rise and set, what one actually looks like, distance from the sun, etc. Vivid artwork and clearly labeled diagrams help to extend the text.

Sun. Steve Tomecek. National Geographic (2001). This fun, fact-filled book answers many questions about the sun. Colorful artwork and engaging hosts – two kids and a purple cat - help children learn about our nearest star.

The Sun is My Favorite Star. Frank Asch. Harcourt (2000). This book for very young children uses colorful computer-enhanced watercolor illustrations and simple text to teach about our sun. Children learn that the sun is a star that illuminates the moon, dries up the morning dew, and causes shadows and rainbows.

Sun Up, Sun Down: The Story of Day and Night. Jacqui Bailey. Picture Window Books (2004). This amusing title guides readers through a day on Earth, clearly explaining the effect of Earth’s rotation and orbit. Colorful cartoons and insets keep the book lively and engaging. End matter includes “More Great Stuff to Know,” “Try It and See,” a “Fact Hound” website, and a small trivia section.

Stargazers. Gail Gibbons. Holiday House (1992). Simple text and illustrations tell what stars are, why they twinkle, how constellations were named, and how telescopes are used to study stars.

Sun. Steve Tomecek. National Geographic (2001). This fun, fact-filled book answers many questions about the sun. Colorful artwork and engaging hosts – two kids and a purple cat - help children learn about our nearest star.

There’s No Place Like Space (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library). Tish Rabe. Random House (1999). The perfect first space book for early readers, There's No Place Like Space takes young children on a whirlwind tour of the solar system, with a few constellations thrown in for good measure. Cat in the Hat straps on his space suit and rhymes his way among the nine planets, presenting important information along the way. Even older children will be engaged by the abundance of space facts presented in entertaining, Dr. Seuss-style rhymes.

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer. Walt Whitman and Loren Long. Walt Whitman's poem "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" is an enduring celebration of the imagination. Here, Whitman's wise words are beautifully recast by New York Times #1 best-selling illustrator Loren Long to tell the story of a boy's fascination with the heavens. A thought-provoking and imaginative introduction to a unit on astronomy.

When the Moon is Full: A Lunar Year. Penny Pollack. Little, Brown, and Company (2001). Hand-colored woodcuts and lyrical poems portray the twelve full moons of the year. Traditional Native American names, from the Wolf Moon in January to the Long Night Moon in December, follow the monthly path of the moon throughout the year. A question-and-answer section at the end provides information about the moon’s surface, lunar eclipses, the true meaning of a blue moon, etc.

How Do You Lift a Lion? Robert E. Wells. Albert Whitman and Co. (1996). Have you ever tried to lift a lion? Gravity makes it difficult, but you could do it with a lever. Lively text and watercolors engage readers while they learn the function of levers, wheels, and pulleys.

Using Electricity. Angela Royston. Heinemann Library (2003). This Heinemann First Library series introduces electricity by way of everyday situations and objects. It contains colorful photos, as well as activities and questions to encourage further exploration.

Starry Messenger. Peter Sis. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (1996). Help students understand how science and technology have advanced through the contributions of many different people, cultures and times in history with this lushly-illustrated Caldecott Award-winner. Galileo Galilei courageously broke with tradition to explore new ideas and challenge accepted truths. He offered objective evidence that the earth was not the fixed center of the universe but that it and all the other planets revolved around the sun. Galileo kept careful notes and made beautiful drawings of all that he observed. This book tells the story of his discoveries, rise to prominence and final days as a prisoner of the Church.

Paleontology Books for Kids

Paleontology Books for Kids

Here is a short list of paleontology books to help kids develop their interest in science.

How the Dinosaur Got to the Museum by Jessie Hartland (ages 6 to 9)
By following a Diplodocus from its discovery to its eventual display in the Smithsonian Institution, Hartland has created a lovely tribute to all of the people who help to make a museum’s dinosaur exhibit possible.

“Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled” by Catherine Thimmesh, 58 pages, 
ages 9 to 12.
When you see a drawing or a model of a dinosaur, or watch one running around in the movies, do you wonder how anybody knows what they look like? After all, no one has seen a living dinosaur.

This book explains how paleo-scientists and paleo-artists (“paleo” means “ancient”) work together to re-create dinosaurs. For 100 years, they have used fossils to help figure out muscles, skin and even expressions. As scientific discoveries have been made, the models have changed. (Deinonychus replicas once were scaly; now they have feathers.) Scientific tests may one day reveal what a dinosaur’s coloring was, but for now artists have to use their imagination to determine how these Jurassic giants looked.

Dinosaur Valley. Mitsushiro Kurokawa. Chronicle Books (1997). Recreates the behavior and life cycles of several different kinds of dinosaurs. Uses a terrific fold-out of a dinosaur excavation that gives children an accurate idea of the work of paleontologists.

Fossils Tell of Long Ago. Aliki. HarperTrophy (1990). The imprint of an ancient leaf in a rock, the skeleton of a stegosaurus, or any object that has been preserved can tell us about life on Earth millions of years ago – every one is a fossil. Aliki discusses fossils that can be seen by children in museums.

Earth Science and Meteorology Books for Kids

Earth Science and Meteorology Books for Kids

Here is a list of great books for kids on Earth Science and Meteorology. Start with one. Or two. You can't go wrong.

The Cloud Book. Tomie de Paola. Holiday House (1985). Introduces the ten most common types of clouds, the myths that have been inspired by their shapes, and what they can tell about coming weather changes.

Cloud Dance. Thomas Locker. Silver Whistle (2000). This masterful blending of art and science takes readers on a journey up to the heavens, through thick cumulous clouds that bring snow, wispy cirrus clouds that flutter in the wind, and wide stratus clouds that blanket the sky. Basic scientific information sheds light on the altitude, shape, and color of clouds, and Thomas Locker's luminous paintings and poetic text create an inspiring and enlightening book for everyone to enjoy.

A Cool Drink of Water. Barbara Kerley. National Geographic (2002). This striking picture book combines National Geographic photographs with poetic text to show that people all around the world are unified by their common need to use and conserve water.

Dirt. Steve Tomecek. National Geographic (2002). Informative text and playful illustrations explain how soil is made, how soil changes if you dig deep enough, what each layer of soil is called and its importance as a natural resource that living things need to survive.

Down Comes the Rain. Franklyn M. Branley. HarperTrophy (1997). How do raindrops get inside clouds? What is water vapor? What does the inside of a hailstone look like? These questions about

Earth's water cycle are answered in this title from the Let's-Read-And-Find-Out -Science series. Included are hands-on activities that children can do themselves in the classroom or at home.
Down the Drain: Conserving Water. Anita Ganeri and Chris Oxlade. Heinemann-Raintree (2005). Explains why we need water, how much water we use, where water comes from, how we can save water, and why clean water is so important.

Drip! Drop! How Water Gets to Your Tap. Barbara Seuling. Holiday House (2000). JoJo and her zany dog, Willy, explain the water cycle and the water treatment process. In the back of the book there are simple experiments about filtration, evaporation, and condensation.

A Drop Around the World. Barbara Shaw McKinney. Dawn Publications (1998). A clever poem follows a drop of water on the “Jet Stream Express” from a cloud near Maine. Symbols appearing throughout the book illustrate the different phases and transformations that the drop goes through on its journey. Also available is the teacher’s guide by Bruce and Carol Malnor.

Earth: Our Planet in Space. Seymour Simon. Simon and Schuster (2003). Stunning color photographs of Earth in space highlight the text which details how Earth’s unique position in relation to the sun makes it hospitable to life.

Earthquakes. Ellen Prager. National Geographic (2002). From the Jump into Science series, this colorful book provides basic information about earthquakes: what they are, why and where they occur, how they affect buildings, and what children should do when they feel the earth shake. The scientific facts are well focused and simply explained. The last double-page spread presents a simple activity simulating an earthquake with a pan of sand and a brick or rock.

Earthquakes. Franklyn M. Branley. HarperTrophy (1994). This Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science book includes information about how earthquakes occur, what happens during an earthquake, how it feels to be in an earthquake, and what safety measures to take.

Everybody Needs a Rock. Byrd Baylor. Aladdin Paperbacks (1985). Everybody needs a rock -- at least that's the way this particular rock hound feels about it in presenting her own highly individualistic rules for finding just the right rock for you. Not just any rock, Baylor is careful to note, but “a special rock that you find yourself and keep as long as you can--maybe forever.” Follow the reading by asking students to find their own rocks and then observe, describe, measure, sort, and classify the rocks.

Feel the Wind. Arthur Dorros. HarperCollins (1989). This Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out book explains what causes wind and how it affects our environment. It also includes instructions for making a weather vane.

Flash, Crash, Rumble and Roll. Franklyn M. Branley. HarperTrophy (1999). This Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science book (Stage 2) explains how and why a thunderstorm occurs and gives safety steps to follow when lightning is flashing.

Fossil. Claire Ewart. Walker and Company (2004). Claire Ewart’s inviting text and dramatic artwork transport readers back to the age of the dinosaurs to take flight with a majestic pterosaur that once soared through North American skies. The rich, rhyming text lyrically describes a typical day for the female pterosaur, following it from sunup to sunup. And when the pterosaur finally lives out its natural life, layers of Earth and layers of time work to transform this creature into a fossil-an amazing transformation that happens over millions of years.

*Grand Canyon: A Trail Through Time. Linda Vieira. Walker and Company (1997). The wonders of the Grand Canyon are depicted in detailed illustrations by Christopher Canyon that feature fluorescent shades of pink, orange, and purple. The text reveals the history in each boulder and butte and how numerous species thrive in this harsh terrain. The author makes it clear that the canyon continues to change, day by day and over millions of years. Endpapers give names and dates of rock layers and a timeline provides an additional frame of reference. A good general introduction to the subject.

I Face the Wind. Vicki Cobb. HarperCollins (2003). From the Science Play series, this engaging book encourages children to observe, experiment, and learn about wind and air. The illustrations are eye-catching, and the combination of information and experimentation is appealing. This book from the Let’s-Read-and-Find- Out Science series explains how and why a thunderstorm occurs and gives safety steps to follow when lightning is flashing.

I Have a Friend. Keiko Narahashi. Aladdin (1998). A small boy tells about his friend who lives with him, who follows him, who sometimes is very tall, but who disappears when the sun goes down – his shadow.

If You Find a Rock. Peggy Christian. Harcourt Brace (2000). Poetic text and thoughtfully composed, hand- tinted photographs combine to explore the variety and purposes of rocks. A good selection for introducing primary geology units or setting the mood for creative writing.

Let’s Go Rock Collecting. Roma Gans. Harper Collins (1997). Children collect rocks and learn about the formation and characteristics of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks in this Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science book.

Me and My Place in Space. Joan Sweeney. Dragonfly (1999). Where is the earth? Where is the sun? Where are the stars? This book takes on the simplest questions about the universe and gives answers that young children can easily understand. Using clear language, drawings, and diagrams, space unfolds before a child's eyes. With our world as the starting point, we are taken on a tour past each planet and on to the stars--all through the eyes of a young girl. A glossary, included for further information, helps to provide an enjoyable, easy-to-read, and easy-to-use introduction to the universe.

Ohio Thunder. Denise Dowling Mortensen. Clarion Books (2006). Lyrical verse and stunning illustrations vividly bring to life the speed and drama of a summer storm on a midwestern farm. This remarkable pairing of word and pictures conveys a sense of wonder about the natural world and makes for a picture book any child who has ever been frightened by a storm will respond to.

On the Day You Were Born. Debra Frasier. Harcourt Brace (1997). This book celebrates the cycle of birth and the human connection to the earth. In the final pages, each illustration and theme in the book (migrating animals, gravity, glowing moon, rising tide, etc.) is explained in simple and direct language tat can be used to teach older children how nature works on our planet, and how Earth works in the universe.

Planet Earth, Inside Out. Gail Gibbons. Morrow Junior Books (1998). From its red-hot core to the highest mountain peak, come see Earth as you’ve never seen it before in a colorful introduction to the powerful forces shaping our home.

Rain. Manya Stojic. Crown Books for Young Readers (2000). When rain comes to the parched African savanna, the animals use all their senses to track the storm. The porcupine smells rain in the air. The zebras see lightning. The baboons hear thunder. The rhino feels the first drops. And the lion tastes the cool water. For a time, the grasslands abound with new green leaves, juicy fruits, and fresh pools of water. But soon the hot sun dries out the land, and the animals must again wait for the next big rain.

Recycle! A Handbook for Kids. Gail Gibbons. Little, Brown, and Company (1992). This NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children selection illustrates the contents of a landfill and how to recycle various products to cut down on the need for landfills--for which space is already in short supply. Describes how to recycle, why it's necessary, and its benefits. The plea is to make our planet a safer and healthier place to live with a habit that is fun and easy--recycling.

Rocks: Hard, Soft, Smooth, and Rough. Natalie Rosinsky. Picture Window Books (2003). Simple text and cartoonish illustrations provide information on igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks.

Rocks and Minerals Series. Melissa Stewart. Heinemann Library (2002). This seven book series includes rock types, mineral composition, and fossil fuels. Includes titles such as: Igneous Rocks, Metamorphic Rocks, Sedimentary Rocks, and Minerals.

Seasons series: Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter, Seasons 123, Seasons ABC. Patricia Whitehouse. Heinemann (2003). This series examines seasonal changes from a child-centered point of view. Each book focuses on things that children notice in their environment, including the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of each season.

Snow. Manya Stojic. Crown Books for Young Readers (2002). As autumn blends into winter, and then snow begins to fall, Moose, Bear, Fox, and other forest creatures prepare for the long winter ahead. A gentle story describing how animals adapt to changing seasons.

Soil. Chris Oxlade. Heinemann (2002). A simple presentation of information about soil, including its composition, properties, and some of its uses. It includes fascinating photographs and a helpful glossary.

Soil: A True Book. Christin Ditchfield. Children’s Press (2002). Labeled pictures, clear text, and full-color photographs describe properties, soil types, uses, conservation, and fun facts. Includes a glossary, additional resources, index, and meet the author.

Somewhere in the World Right Now. Stacey Schuett. Dragonfly (1997). Maps, paintings, and text chronicle simultaneous activities around the world as one child goes to bed in Boston. The book makes a charming introduction to the concepts of day/night, time zones, and rotation of the earth.

Thundercake. Patricia Polacco. The Putnam and Grossett Group (1990). When the air get heavy and dark clouds drift low over the fields of Grandma’s farm, her frightened granddaughter hides under the bed. But Grandma insists that this is Thunder Cake baking weather and the two are soon scrambling to gather the ingredients to bake a cake – and get it into the oven before the storm arrives. Includes the formula for determining the distance of a storm.

Volcanoes. Ellen Prager. National Geographic (2001). A fire-breathing dragon takes children on a grand adventure to learn more about volcanoes in this colorful book from the Jump into Science series. Venturing into an active volcano, kids discover how magma inside the Earth begins to bubble and push its way upward, causing steam to escape through cracks overhead. Young readers will travel to active volcano sites around the world to discover the different characteristics and behavior of various volcanoes.

Water. Frank Asch. Voyager Books (2000). This books points out to very young students that water is everywhere on earth from high in the sky to deep in the ground.

Water Dance. Thomas Locker. Harcourt Brace & Company (1997). This poetic, artistic, and unusual introduction to the water cycle features a free-verse narrative illustrated by landscape and seascape paintings that show water in various forms referred to in the text: "I am the waterfall," "I am the clouds," or "I am the thunderhead." At the end of the book each picture appears in miniature accompanied by a paragraph explaining that particular phase of the water cycle.

We Use Water. Robin Nelson. Lerner Publications (2003). This non-fiction book for very young readers shows the many ways people use water. Children will see themselves making ice cubes, washing their hands, fighting fires, and running on the beach.

Weather series: A Cloudy Day, A Rainy Day, A Snowy Day, A Sunny Day, A Windy Day. Robin Nelson. Lerner Classroom. Focusing on five different kinds of weather, this engaging series show emergent readers the basics of weather using short, simple, repetitive sentences.

Weather Words and What They Mean. Gail Gibbons. Scholastic (1990). This book offers simple explanations and colorful illustrations that teach children key words involved in weather forecasting.

What the Animals Were Waiting For. Jonathan London. Scholastic Press (2001). In simple, stirring verse, this stunningly illustrated picture book tells the story of how important rainfall is to the cycle of life on the African savannah.

What Makes Day and Night? Franklyn M. Branley. HarperCollins (1986). Branley offers a simple explanation of how the rotation of the earth causes day and night in this Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science book.

What Shapes the Land? Bobbie Kalman. Crabtree (2009). Presents various landforms and the processes that shape them, some rapid like volcanic eruptions, and some slow, like erosion and weathering. Includes labeled photographs, glossary, table of contents, and index.

What Will the Weather Be? Lynda Dewitt. Scott Foresman (1993).Clear prose and brightly-colored, cartoonish illustrations explain how forecasters predict the weather. Includes many vocabulary terms such as meteorology, barometer, anemometer, wind vane, and hygrometer. A good introduction to a complex topic.

Where Does the Garbage Go? Paul Showers. HarperCollins (1994). Explains how people create too much waste, and how waste is recycled or put into landfills.

Garbage. Robert Maass. Henry Holt and Company (2000). An informative photo-essay about the ways in which we dispose of garbage, and about the benefits of recycling. The last two pages contain a longer text, which discusses disposal of hazardous waste and creating compost heaps. An attractive book that will be useful for introductory units on garbage and recycling.

Just a Dream. Chris Van Allsburg. Houghton Mifflin (1990). Young Walter is a litterbug who believes sorting trash is a big waste of time. What’s more, he thinks his friend’s birthday present, a tree, is the most ridiculous gift he’s ever seen. When he has a dream about a future Earth devastated by pollution, Walter begins to understand the importance of taking care of the environment.

The Lorax. Dr. Seuss. Random House (1971). Published in 1971, The Lorax is an ecological warning that still rings true today amidst the dangers of clear-cutting, pollution, and disregard for the earth's environment. Seuss’ brilliantly whimsical rhymes and delightfully original creatures tell the cautionary tale of the Once-ler’s greedy harvesting of Truffula Trees against the warnings of the Lorax (who speaks for the trees “for the trees have no tongues”).

A River Ran Wild. Lynne Cherry. Houghton Mifflin (1992). This book follows the story of the polluting of the Nashua River to its cleanup, brought about by the determination of a local woman. Each double spread examines one period or topic in the life of the river and includes a brief, informative text, attractively bordered with miniature illustrations of significant wildlife, artifacts, and events. This book can inspire children to take part in environmental stewardship- they really can make a difference.

Biology Books for Kids (Ages 10 and Up)

Biology Books for Kids Ages 10 and Up

Here are some biology books for your pre-teen to help foster her love of the biological sciences.

Extreme Biology: It's Life but Not as We Know It (2013) by Simon Basher (ages 10-15). The smallest, the toughest, the ickiest microbes. Kids won’t notice they’re learning things because of the cartoony illustrations and gross-out facts.

The Snake Scientist (1999) by Sy Montgomery (ages 10 and up). The book discusses the communal -hibernation of garter snakes in Canada, with many startling photographs of tangles of hundreds of snakes. The snake pictures will excite any child, but the book is uniquely good at explaining how scientists do their job and why.

10 Plants that Shook the World. (2013) by Gillian Richardson (ages 10 and up). This book discusses 10 economically or historically important plants in a chatty episodic format. It covers a lot of information in an edgy style (with edgy illustrations) that sarcastic children will enjoy, and mentions many important plant pathogens along the way.

Biology Books for Kids (Ages 9 and Up)

Biology Books for Kids Ages 9 and Up

Cells and Systems. Holly Wallace. (Ages 9 and Up) Heinemann Library (2001). Cells and Systems looks at how every living thing, no matter how big or how small, is made up of cells. It explains how the specialized cells make up the important tissues and organs like skin and bone, and how the heart and lungs keep us alive.

Far from Shore: Chronicles of an Open Ocean Voyage by Sophie Webb (ages 9 to 12)
Webb, a naturalist and artist, documents a four-month research voyage in the Pacific on the NOAA ship McArthur II with fascinating diary entries (marked by latitude and longitude so readers can map out her journey for themselves) and beautiful illustrations of the creatures she saw along the way.

Micro Mania: A Really Close-up Look at Bacteria, Bedbugs & the Zillions of Other Gross Little Creatures That Live In, On & All Around you! (revised 2011) by Jordan D. Brown (ages 9 and up). This a good inexpensive book on general (or even “random”) biology in an encyclopedia format good for continued perusal. It has a high gross factor for kids who like that, but also discusses molecular biology techniques.

Journey Into the Invisible by Christine Schlitt (ages 9 to 12). If you have used a magnifying glass, you know that a speck of dust or a leaf looks a lot different when it’s magnified. The author of this book explains what microscopes do and then shows what happens to things around the house when looked at with this amazing scientific tool. A salt crystal magnified 30 times looks like a super-modern apartment building. The bacteria that live in your mouth, when magnified 20,000 times, look a bit like swimming pool noodles. Fascinating photos are paired with suggestions about how you can learn a lot about the world around you, just by looking a little closer.

Biology Books for Kids (Ages 8 and Up)

Biology Books for Kids Ages 8 and Up

Check out these titles to support your Rocket Girl's interest in biology.

Aliens from Earth: When Animals and Plants Invade Other Ecosystems (2003) by Mary Batten (ages 8 and up). Explores how and why plants and animals enter ecosystems to which they are not native, as well as the consequences of these invasions for other animals, plants, and humans.
Cells Are Us. Fran Balkwill. (Ages 8 and Up) Carolrhoda Books (1990). Amusing, fact-filled text and clever cartoons explain the functions of the cells in the human body.

Crawdad Creek. Scott Russell Sanders. (8-12 Years) National Geographic (1999). Exquisitely detailed paintings capture the beauty of the wild, natural world waiting to be discovered. The book encourages readers to go outside; find moving water; and open their eyes, ears, and hearts to the wilderness everywhere. A wonderful book to encourage young readers to observe all the details of the world around them.

Great Migrations. Elizabeth Carney. (8-12 Years) National Geographic (2010). Based on the National Geographic t Channel’s special, this book follows the migrations of 8 different animals, this book is filled with stunning photographs, migration maps, and interesting facts.

The Secret World of Whales by Charles Siebert, illustrated by Molly Baker (ages 8 to 12)
A comprehensive look at the whale world, including whales in literature, the history of whaling and highlights of current whale science. For example, one page mentions the work of Hal Whitehead, who was featured in the recent Smithsonian story about sperm whales.

Biology Books for Kids (Ages 7 and Up)

Biology Books for Kids Ages 7 and Up

North: The Amazing Story of Arctic Migration by Nick Dowson, illustrated by Patrick Benson (ages 7 to 10)
Dowson follows birds, whales, caribou and other animals as they migrate from as far away as New Zealand to the Arctic in the spring, and sees them through fall, when the weather turns for the worse.

Ultimate Bugopedia
by Darlyne Murawski and Nancy Honovich (age 7 and older). If you’re always on the lookout for beetles and butterflies, this book is for you. Hundreds of color photos of common and unusual insects fill this hefty hardcover. There are fascinating stories related to the photos. For example, did you know that a moth called a Lobocraspis griseifusa feeds on the tears of Asian cattle? Have you heard of the tarantula hawk? It’s not a bird; it’s a wasp that preys on the hairy spiders. There’s a question-and-answer section with an entomologist (that’s an insect scientist) and advice on how to help preserve insects that are endangered.

Butterflies Fly. Yvonne Winer. (Ages 7 and Up) Charlesbridge Publishing (2001). This feast for the eyes presents a painting of a single butterfly species and accompanying verse on one page, with a full-page illustration on the facing page that shows the butterflies in their natural habitats. The pictures are strikingly detailed, and the poetry is a tribute to the insect's beauty. An identification guide at the end provides information about each butterfly and emphasizes that habitat destruction is the main threat to these lovely creatures.

Creepy, Crawly Caterpillars. Margery Facklam. (7 and Up) Little, Brown, and Co. (1996). This strikingly-illustrated book begins by describing how caterpillars’ bodies are structured and how the larval stage fits into moth and butterfly metamorphosis. Following is an in-depth look at 13 caterpillars found in various parts of the world, most of them native to North America. Each double-page spread displays a greatly enlarged, dramatically-colored caterpillar; along the bottom of the illustration runs a line of smaller drawings of the stages of growth -egg, caterpillar, pupa, and adult moth or butterfly. Each caterpillar's interesting, sometimes bizarre, behavior is discussed, thus showing the reader how fascinating these tiny creatures can be.

Forest Explorer: A Life-Size Field Guide. Nic Bishop. (7-10 Years) Scholastic Press (2004). Explore the mini-wilds of the forest with this unique photographic nature guide. This book features seven dramatic life-size habitat scenes capturing more than 130 tiny animals just as they appear in nature. Fascinating field notes help young naturalists identify commonly found animals and the tricks and habits they use to survive through the seasons.

A Handful of Dirt. Raymond Bial. (7-10 Years) Walker & Company (2000). Soil may not be alive, but amazingly, multitudes of microscopic creatures live there, battling it out in an eat-or-be-eaten world. This book reveals the tiny creatures, invisible to our eyes, that provide food for the insects that in turn feed the animals that live in and above the soil. Also explains how to make compost and the importance of preserving Earth’s soil.

How Do Animals Adapt? Bobbie Kalman. (7 and Up) Crabtree (2000). This book examines the ever-changing world of animal adaptations. It explains why animals need to adapt; how animals use camouflage and mimicry to protect themselves; and how wild animals have adapted to habitat loss and learned to live in cities.

If You Hopped Like A Frog. David Schwarz. (7-10 Years) Scholastic (1999). A fun look at ratio and proportion as it applies to the animal world reveals that a kid with the strength of an ant could lift a car over her head, and a kid who could eat like a shrew could pack away seven hundred plus hamburgers each day. Playful illustrations show what such feats might look like, while an afterword explains the nitty-gritty of the math.

Biology Books for Kids (Ages 6 and Up)

Here are recommended books on biology topics for rocket girls aged 6 and up,

Coral Reef Animals. Francine Galko. (6-8 years) Heinemann (2003). Describes coral reefs, where they can be found, the animals that inhabit them, and how to protect them.

Nature’s Adventures by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom (ages 6 to 9)
The authors give simple advice to budding naturalists about what to look for at home, at the beach, or in a forest.

Biology Books for Kids (Ages 5 and up)

Biology Books Ages 5 and Up

Check out these informative and entertaining reads for children ages 5 and up.

Animal Lives: The Barn Owl. Sally Tagholm. Houghton Mifflin (2003) (ages 5-8). This beautifully illustrated picture book describes the physical characteristics, hunting, feeding, nesting, mating, and molting of the barn owl. Includes information on owl pellets.

Ant, Ant, Ant! An Insect Chant. April Pulley Sayre. NorthWord Books for Young Readers (2005). (ages 5 to 8) An ant and 59 other American insects appear in a catchy chant. Although the bright, digitally produced caricatures are not always scientifically accurate, this book is a fun survey of insect names.

Baby Animals Books: A Tiger Cub Grows Up, A Flamingo Chick Grows Up, A Harbor Seal Pup Grows Up, A Kangaroo Joey Grows Up. Joan and Richard Hewett. (Ages 5 and Up) Carolrhoda Books (2001-2002). These books follow animals that live on nature preserves from birth to independence. They show how the different types of animal babies grow, change, and resemble their parents.

Beaver at Long Pond. Lindsay Barret George. Harpercollins Juvenile Books (2000). Beautifully detailed illustrations combined with an educational, scientifically-accurate storyline about a beaver’s adventures make a good introduction to this fascinating mammal. The Beaver was once extirpated from Ohio, but is now making a comeback and is an excellent example of an Ohio animal that depends on plants for food and shelter.

Birds Build Nests. Yvonne Winer. Charlesbridge (2002). Poetic text accompanies lush illustrations of birds’ nests, from delicate hidden pouches to vast tower-like structures. This book highlights 15 interesting nests. Includes a nest identification guide.

Bug Books series: Ant, Bee, Cockroach, Head Louse, Pillbug, etc. Karen Hartley, Stephanie St. Pierre, Philip Taylor, etc. (5 to 8 Years) Heinemann Library (2002). This comprehensive series includes 24 books about various invertebrates. Close-up, colorful photographs and simple text demonstrate how these creatures grow, feed, move, and reproduce.

Butternut Hollow Pond. Brian J. Heinz. (Ages 5 and Up) Millbrook Press (2000). Daybreak at Butternut Hollow Pond looks peaceful, but there is much going on. The food chain, and the many close escapes involved in animals' attempts to eat one another, provide suspense. Two concepts are demonstrated in this picture book for older readers: the hunter invariably becomes the hunted, and all living things are players in a complex cycle of interdependence that is much more than a simple food chain.

Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones. Ruth Heller. (Ages 5 and Up) Paper Star (1999). Full-color illustrations and informative, rhyming verse show young readers that snakes, lizards, turtles, insects, and amphibians also lay eggs.

City Foxes. Susan J. Tweit. (5 and Up) Denver Museum of Natural History/Alaska Northwest (1997). During a walk through an old Denver cemetery one day, photographer Wendy Shattil discovered a den of newborn red foxes and their parents. With her camera and skilled eye she followed the story of the foxes as the kits grew up amidst the dangers of the city. Includes ecology notes and red fox facts for older readers.

An Earthworm’s Life. John Himmelman. (5 and Up) Children’s Press (2001). Simple text and realistic illustrations describe the daily activities and life cycle of the earthworm. Makes a good nonfiction companion to Diary of a Worm.

An Egg is Quiet. Dianna Aston and Sylvia Long. (5-8 years) Chronicle Books (2006). A beautiful and informative introduction to eggs. From tiny hummingbird eggs to giant ostrich eggs, oval ladybug eggs to tubular dogfish eggs, gooey frog eggs to fossilized dinosaur eggs, this book celebrates the variety of animals that lay eggs.

Eliza and the Dragonfly. Suzy Caldwell Rinehart. (5 and Up) Dawn Publications (2004). When a dragonfly flies through the window and lands on her toothbrush, Eliza takes it to a nearby pond to learn more about these remarkable insects. The last pages of the book provide additional information and resources about dragonflies.

From Seed to Plant. Gail Gibbons. (Ages 5 and Up) Holiday House (1993). Explores the intricate relationship between seeds and the plants that they produce.

Going Home: The Mystery of Animal Migration. Marianne Berkes. (Ages 5 and Up) Dawn Publications (2010). A selection of animals that migrate by air, land, and sea represents the variety and mystery of why and how animals migrate.

Insectlopedia. Douglas Florian. (5-8 Years) Harcourt (2000). This book for emerging entomologists combines clever wordplay with delightful watercolor and collage illustrations of insects. Other animal poetry books by this author: Beast Feast; In the Swim; Lizards, Frogs, and Polliwogs; Mammalabilia and On the Wing.

Biology Books for Kids (Ages 4 and up)

Biology Books Ages 4 and Up

In our many talks with successful scientists, especially Nobel Prize-winning scientists, we learned that books were critical to developing in them a love for science. Here are a number of recommended biology resources for young children ages 4 and up.

Scholastic Discover More: Animal Faces (1996) by Akira Satoh and Kyoko Toda (ages 4 and up). Shows 21 photos of each of 24 species of animal, each one showing a different face. Students can look at seemingly identical faces and then discover how they all differ from each other. Illustrates the tremendous diversity of individuals of the same species.

Animals in Winter (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science). Henrietta Bancroft. (ages 4 to 8) HarperTrophy (1997). Brightly colored paintings bring the text to life through the realistic portrayal of animals, birds, and butterflies in their natural habitats. Readers learn about the variety of responses animals have to the coming of winter.

Be a Friend to Trees (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out, Stage 2): Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series (Stage 2). Patricia Lauber. (4 to 8 Years) HarperCollins (1994). This book shows that trees are something we can’t live without. It describes trees as home and food for various animals, as providers of fruits and nuts for humans, as sources of wood, paper, rubber, and turpentine. Then words and pictures demonstrate the process of photosynthesis, step-by-step: how trees make food in their leaves and how they release the oxygen we need to breathe. A final section gives hands-on examples for recycling paper and shows two youngsters planting a tree.

Big Tracks, Little Tracks: Following Animal Prints (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 1) (1999) by Millicent E. Selsam (ages 4-8). This Let’s- Read-and-Find-Out Science book (Stage 1) shows readers that keeping a sharp eye out for clues like animal tracks and odors can help them infer the identity of the animals that have passed through an area.

Bugs Are Insects (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1). Ann Rockwell. (4-8 Years) Harpercollins Juvenile Books (2001). This book introduces children to the world of insects and, in particular, bugs. Rockwell offers basic factual information in an interesting, easy-to-read format. Common insects are introduced, and the main differences between insects and spiders are explained as well as what makes a bug a bug. The collage illustrations are beautifully rendered with layered colored papers.

Bugs for Lunch. Margery Facklam. (4-8 Years) Charlesbridge (1999). In snappy, lilting verse, Facklam lists a variety of creatures that feast on bugs, including bats and bears, toads and trout – and humans. Each double page spread showcases a beautifully rendered watercolor illustration, with equal attention to realistic detail and artistic composition. A section at the back supplies additional information about each featured eater.

Chirping Crickets. Melvin Berger. (4 - 8 years) HarperCollins (1998). Inside this book children will learn about crickets, and even how to tell the temperature by counting a cricket's chirps.

Come to the Ocean’s Edge: A Natural Cycle Book. Laurence Pringle. (Age 4 and Up) Boyds Mills Press (2003). Poetic text and captivating watercolor illustrations take the reader through a 24 hour period of life at the ocean’s edge.

Crab Moon. Ruth Horowitz. (4-8 years) Candlewick Press (2000). This story about a boy who helps save a stranded horseshoe crab invokes themes of environmentalism and respect for all creatures. One night in June, young Daniel and his mother go down to the beach to see the female horseshoe crabs digging holes in the sand for their eggs and then pulling the males across to fertilize them. The next day, the crabs are gone, but Daniel finds one turned upside down and immobile. He cautiously flips her over, and watches her scuttle back to the sea, “quiet as a queen.” This book encourages readers to seek out the beauty and importance of creatures that might seem alien at first glance. Notes at the end give children more facts about horseshoe crabs.

Diary of a Worm. Doreen Cronin. (4-8 Years) Joanna Cotler Books (2003). A young worm discovers, day by day, that there are some very good and some not so very good things about being a worm in this great big world. A great introduction to a unit on soil. Also from this author and Diary of a Fly and Diary of a Spider.

Dig, Wait, Listen: A Desert Toad’s Tale. April Pulley Sayre. (4-8 years) Greenwillow Books (2001). A spadefoot toad waits under the sand for rain, hears the sounds of the other desert animals, and eventually mates and spawns other toads.

Ducks Don’t Get Wet. Augusta Goldin. (4-8 years) HarperTrophy (1999). Why don't ducks get wet? This delightful Let’s- Read-and-Find-Out Science book explains how ducks dip and dive, but they have special physical and behavioral adaptations to help them stay dry.

The Extinct Alphabet Book. Jerry Pallotta. (4-8 Years) Charlesbridge (1993). This book is filled with unusual and amazing creatures that are no longer on Earth. Have students point out the extinct animals that resemble organisms alive today.

From Chick to Chicken. Judith Powell. (Ages 4 and Up) Raintree Steck-Vaughn (2001). Large photos and easy text follow a chick’s growth and development to adulthood. Includes how chickens and eggs are raised for food.

The Gift of the Tree. Alvin Tresselt. (4-8 Years) Lothrop, Lee, and Shepard Books (1972, 1992). This exceptionally beautiful book tells the life story of an old oak tree.

Growing Frogs. Vivian French. (4-8 Years) Candlewick Press (2000). Vivian French's simple, amusing text infuses life, humor, and plenty of personality into this environmentally sound, scientifically accurate introduction to frog metamorphosis.

Hello, Fish! Visiting the Coral Reef. Sylvia A. Earle. (4-8 Years) National Geographic (1999). In poetic yet fact-filled text accompanied by eye-catching, large-format photographs, the young reader is given an up-close-and-personal view of a variety of funny, unusual, and beautiful fish, all residents of various coral reefs around the world. Useful for exploring the different kinds of organisms that a coral reef supports.

Honeybees. Deborah Heiligman. (4-8 Years) National Geographic (2002). Children follow the life of a busy worker bee as she moves from job to job in the hive, helping the community in various ways. As a nurse bee, the worker feeds the larvae, nourishing the young into adulthood. As a forager bee, she flies long distances in search of nectar, pollinating plants as she moves from flower to flower. And as a guard bee, the worker warns the hive of intruders and battles honey-stealing robber bees from other hives. The fact-filled text and vibrant art highlight the many activities of these busy insects and their amazing sense of community, while a special experiment encourages kids to dance like a honeybee to learn about bee communication.

Honk, Honk Goose! Canada Geese Start a Family. April Pulley Sayre. (4-8 Years) Henry Holt (2009). This fun read-aloud, follows the mating, nesting, and nurturing rituals of a family of Canada Geese.

How a Seed Grows. Helene Jordan. (4-8 Years) HarperCollins (1992). Accompanied by step-by-step directions on how to plant a seed and care for it as it grows, a simple text and detailed artwork reveal how seeds are transformed into plants and discusses the importance of sunlight, water, and other nutrients.

How to Hide a Meadow Frog and Other Amphibians. Ruth Heller. (4 – 8 Years) Grossett and Dunlap (1995). There are lots of amphibians to discover in this vibrantly colored nature book of hide-and-seek. Ruth Heller shows how toads, salamanders, and other interesting amphibians are experts at camouflage.

I Know How My Cells Make Me Grow. Kate Rowan. (4-8 Years) Walker Books (1999). Sam and his mother talk about the different kinds of cells in his body, how they grow, and how in doing so they help him grow. Simple, accurate text combined with colorful cartoons make this a fun introduction to the cells of the human body.

I Took a Walk. Henry Cole. (4-8 Years) Greenwillow (1998). This richly illustrated read-aloud book takes young listeners through woods and meadows and beside streams and ponds, where they discover, in vibrant, fold-out panoramas, butterflies and box turtles, wildflowers and water birds. After reading, take students on their own walk, as the author suggests, and "find a place to sit and watch and listen."

In the Snow: Who’s Been Here? Lindsay Barrett George. (4-8 Years) Greenwillow Books (1995). Two children on their way to go sledding see evidence of a variety of animal life. The reader must infer from the evidence what animals had been in each location. Each time, the answers are revealed on the next page. Also by this author: Around the Pond: Who’s Been Here? and In the Woods: Who’s Been Here?

Insects Are My Life. Megan McDonald. (4 and Up) Orchard Books (1995). Amanda’s passionate interest in insects, not shared by family and schoolmates, causes problems as other class members begin to ostracize her. All ends well, though, when she finds herself sitting next to Maggie – who loves reptiles. Also by this author: Reptiles are My Life (2001).

Into the Sea. Brenda Guiberson. (Ages 4-8) Henry Holt (1996). Recounts the life of a sea turtle from its days as a hatchling on a sandy beach through its return to the same island as an egg-laying adult many years later. Using vivid prose, the author describes the creature's initial journey into the sea, its growth and travels throughout the ocean, and its narrow escape from a fishing net.

Pond Walk by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace (ages 4 to 7)
This must be how biologists go to the park with their kids–pointing out all the interesting plants and animals, teaching about how these organisms interact, encouraging their children to document it all in drawings and telling silly jokes along the way.

Redwoods. (2009) by Jason Chin (ages 4-8). A boy goes on a magic trip to the redwood forest and learns about its ecology. Very nice book for younger readers. Beautiful illustrations, good up-to-date science.

Rotten Pumpkin: A Rotten Tale in 15 Voices (2013) by David M. Schwartz, (ages preschool-7) A jack-o-lantern slowly rots, and we hear from the squirrels, snails and fungi as they do their job. Good photographs; needs a parent with acting skills to bring out the "15 voices."

You are Stardust by Elin Kelsey (ages 4 and up). You are Stardust takes the approach that every atom inside our bodies originated from a star that exploded before we were born. With its beautiful papercuts and elegant story, we learn to reacquaint ourselves with the natural world.