Science Bibliography for Pre-K to 2nd Grade

Science Bibliography for Pre-K to 2nd Grade
Little Jack's Corner



Cole, J.  (1996).  The Magic School Bus:  Ants in its Pants.

            Scholastic, Inc.:  Broadway, NY

This fictional tale, based on an episode of the same TV series, follows Mrs. Frizzle’s class as they become so tiny they’re no bigger than ants – all in the name of capturing film for their science project!  Their adventure into a real ant bed teaches children about an ant’s habitat, lifestyle, and colony roles such as foraging, guarding, food-carrying, building, and queenship.  This is a great read-aloud for story time or for use near an ant farm learning center.

Brandenberg, A.  (1992).  I’m Growing!.

            Harper Collins:  New York, NY.

This colorfully illustrated book simplifies all of the life changes a child is going through, by capturing a young character’s personal thoughts about himself and his family, enabling the student to understand his own body better.  Many different aspects of human growth is touched upon such as hair, fingernails, organs, and even weight.  The easy-to-read story format makes this an excellent circle time book while the children are studying organisms and life cycles.

Hewitt, S.  (1999).  It’s Science:  The Five Senses.

            Children’s Press:  Danbury, CT.

The Five Senses introduces kids to each of the five human senses – seeing, hearing, touch, smell, and taste – and different ways in which we might use them.  It also compares them with how animals make use of their own senses.  Each page includes interactive questions and activities the child can do such as the experiment with silent communication.  This book would be useful on a bookshelf or as a reference guide during kindergarten lessons on the senses.

 Hart, L.  (2006).  Did Dinosaurs Eat Pizza?

            Henry Holt & Company, LLC:  New York, NY.

This fun, easy to read book introduces kids to the fact that while science can explain many things, there are still much more that we may never know, especially in the case of dinosaurs, who lived millions of years before humans.  For instance, even though we have dinosaur bones, we cannot scientifically tell what color they are.  Neither can we know how exactly they sounded.  Humorous, colorful depictions of dinosaurs and funny theories will make this a must-read-aloud story time favorite.

Kalmon, B.  (2002).  The Life Cycle of a  Butterfly.

            Crabtree Publishing Company:  New York, NY.

This richly illustrated book guides children through each stage of a butterfly’s development from the egg, to the caterpillar, to the chrysalis stage, all the way to butterfly adulthood.  Facts about each development stage and dangers encountered along the way are also detailed.  A vocabulary glossary, easy to read sections and an experiment on how to raise your own butterfly make this a great self-study reference book for a classroom bookshelf.

Paul, T.  (1997).  In Fields and Meadows.

            Crabtree Publishing Company:  New York, NY.

This book covers a wide assortment of animals that are found living in fields and meadows, including deer mice, prairie dogs, owls, and moles.  Each animal’s section shows detailed color drawings and tells how they adapt the field into their home and find food.  Its reference layout and small paragraphs make this an excellent discovery box tool for habitats.

 Polacco, P.  (2003).  The Graves Family Goes Camping.

            The Penguin Group:  New York, NY.

This humorous farce follows the eccentric Graves family as they head in to the woods specimen-hunting, science experimenting camping trip.  Strangely named creatures, such as the Vernicious Knid, weird lunches (Fijian jellyfish, anyone?) and an encounter with a Flatulent Sulphuric Fermious Flying Griffin (a.k.a. Fire-breathing Dragon) provide great belly laughs while experiment methods, specimen collection, and illustrations of many insects, amphibians, and reptiles of the forest will pique interest in exploration.  This would make an excellent read-aloud story time book during lessons on the animal kingdom

Romanova, N.  (1985).  Once There was a Tree.

            Puffin Books:  New York, NY.

This short, easy to read story lets children follow what happens after a tree is cut down and just the stump is left.  Over time, beetles, maggots, ants, bears, birds, frogs and even an earwig made good use of the old stump.  In the end, the question of “Whose stump is it?” is proposed, summing up that it belongs to all, and because of this, it is our job to protect our earth.  This book would be a great read-aloud during lessons on habitats, forest animals, or the environment.

Root, P.  (2001).  Soggy Saturday.

            Candlewick Press:  Cambridge, MA.

This humorous short read follows little Bonne Bumble as she examines her dad’s farm animals one Saturday.  It had rained so hard that morning that everything had turned blue.  She saves the day by painting all of the animals their correct color again, naming them and their roles as she goes along.  This book would be a great story time read-aloud during lessons on animals and their habitats.

Whyman, K.  (2000).  Animal Kingdom: Guide to Vertebrate Classification and Biodiversity

            Stect-Vaughn Company:  Austin, Texas.

This book introduces children to a more in-depth understanding of animal classification.  Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds, and Mammals are all covered, as well as further division into air, water, and land dwelling animals.  A glossary of bolded terms, as well as stunning photographs, help make this a great reference book for children working on animal projects in class.



Cole, J.  (1996).  The Magic School Bus:  Wet All Over.

            Scholastic, Inc.:  Broadway, NY.

It’s time for Mrs. Frizzle to teach her class about the water cycle!  This book, based on the episode from the same TV series, follows the class as they ride the magic school bus into a glass of water where they all turn into actual water droplets.  The kids are then able to personally experience turning into vapor, becoming a cloud, pouring out as rain, and finally landing as water droplets – again and again.  This book can be used as a read-aloud story to introduce children to lessons on the water cycle, clouds, or even condensation.

Brown, M.  (1947).  Goodnight, Moon.

            Harper Trophy:  New York, NY.

Perhaps one of the best known modern children’s books, this book follows a little rabbit as he tries to postpone his own bedtime.  As he seeks out more and more familiar things to say goodnight to, he finds himself getting sleepier – and soon the night races in and darkness falls.  Quiet words and peaceful rhyming make this a perfect book to close out a first grader’s school day after the lessons on the moon.

Gibbons, G.  (1983).  Sun Up, Sun Down.

            Harcourt Brace Jovanovich:  Orlando, FL.

This bright, cheerful book introduces small children to the basic properties and roles of the sun, such as rising I the morning, giving us warmth, providing light, and setting in the evening.  Other subjects, such as shadow casting, sun gases, and earth to sun distance are also touched upon.  Short sentences and a young central character will help keep first graders attention when reading aloud during the Sun and Moon unit.

Hauser, J.  (1998).  Science Play: Beginning Discoveries for 2-6 Year Olds.

            Williamson Publishing Company:  Charlotte, VT.

This book provides teachers with over 65 activities that allow children to discover properties of the sun, wind, air, plants, light, and water.  Projects are child-friendly and utilize every day household objects.  Fun activities include walking in socks to pick up seeds and making water necklaces from empty film canisters.  This would make a terrific science project resource book for teachers throughout the year.

Hutchins, H.  (2004).  How Long is a Hiccup?  A Child’s Book of Time.

            Arthur Levine Books, Scholastic Inc.:  Broadway, NY.

How long is a second?  It’s the time it takes to give mom a kiss!  This adorably illustrated book simplifies units of time, converting them to easily recognized childhood experiences, giving children the feeling of how long each measure truly is.  Units covered include the second, minute, hour, day, week, month, and year.  The sing-song rhythm of the poetry makes this a wonderful read-aloud introduction to the study of time.

Merk, A.  (1994).  The Weather Report:  Clouds.

            The Rourk Corporation, INC.:  Vero Beach, FL.

This book introduces children to the main attributes of clouds – how they form, the different types, how rain gets in them, fog, and even their relationship with the sun.  Useful bolded vocabulary is also included in a glossary.  This would be a great on a reference bookshelf or in a learning center on clouds or weather.

Jacobs, M.  (1999).  The Library of Why:  Why Does it Rain?.

            The Rosen Publishing Group’s PowerKids Press:  New York, NY.

This book gives straightforward, one page answers to some of children’s most curious weather questions about why it storms and what causes it to happen.  Logical question arrangement, beginning with “Where does weather happen?” and concluding with “What is the water cycle?” allows children to build knowledge as they progress in the book.  This would be a very useful self-study reference guide for the bookshelf, or to cover question by question while studying weather changes.

Rockwell, A.  (1999).  Long Ago Yesterday.

            Green Willow Books:  New York, NY.

This collection of ten short stories introduces young children to earth science in a very simplistic way by placing the fictional children into settings the student may already be familiar with in life.  Changes in weather, seasons, air, time, gravity, and day versus night are all lessons that can be gleamed from these stories.  Each story would make a great short read-aloud during circle time when the children can discuss their own personal experiences with each other.

Supraner, R.  (1999).  I Can Read About:  Seasons.

            Troll Communications LLC:  Mahwah, NY.

This book provides young children with a more detailed look into the four seasons.  Colorful illustrations and diagrams depict how seasons happen and what changes we experience in the Northern Hemisphere throughout the year.  Animals, new life, outdoors activities, and plants are just a few of the changes discussed.  This book would make a great addition to the classroom bookshelf during lessons on seasonal change and weather.

Williams, J.  (2005).  Why is it Windy?.

            Enslow Elementary Publishers, Inc.:  Berkeley Heights, NY.

In Why is it Windy?, children are provided with very simple, clear-cut  answers to childhood weather questions such as “What is wind?”, “How does the sun make wind?”, “How fast is the wind blowing?”, and even “Can you see the wind?”.  Rich, photographic images, a shot glossary of terms, and a fun concluding experiment make this a terrific self-study reference guide for children, as well as a useful discovery box tool.



Audrey, Rev. W.  (1995).  Thomas the Tank Engine:  Stop, Train, Stop!.

            Random House:  New York, NY.

Thomas the Tank Engine is tired!  He is tired of having to stop during long trips.  One day he decides to take matters into his own hands.  Off he goes, speeding all the way to the last stop – with no breaks in between!  Along the way, passengers fall down, food spills, and a general ruckus ensues.  In the end, Thomas decides it is best for all if he kept to his old stop and go schedule.  This is a great read-aloud for helping introduce 1st graders to motion.

Cole, J.  (1998).  The Magic School Bus:  Stuck In the Arctic.

            Scholastic, Inc.:  Broadway, NY.

This book, based on an episode of the same TV series, follows Mrs. Frizzle’s class as they travel to the Arctic.  After the bus freezes, the children encounter many predicaments caused by the cold, such as no jackets, getting trapped on an ice floe, and encountering a polar bear.  Along the way, they discover various heat retention methods such as warm-bloodedness, use of thermoses, paper insulation in their shirts, animal fur, and finally blubber.  This will make a fun read-aloud during lessons on the mechanics of hot and cold.

Kleven, E.  (1994).  The Paper Princess.

            Dutton Children’s Books:  New York, NY.

The paper princess needed hair!  Should the little girl give her fluffy cotton or soft yarn hair?  Before she has time to decide a puff of wind blows the paper princess away.  The paper doll is carried away on many adventures.  Multitudes of textures and item properties are described throughout the different adventures.  In the end, the paper doll is reunited with her creator where she receives her hair.  This book would make a fun read-aloud when introducing the different properties and textures of matter to kindergarteners.

Murphy, S.  (2004).  Mighty Maddie.

            Harper Collins Children’s Books:  New York, NY.

Maddie has a mess!  When ordered to clean up her toys by mom, her alter-ego Mighty Maddie zooms around picking up toys and describing how each toy feels.  Heavy, teeny, jumbo, feather light, and lightest are just some words she uses during her mad dash to pick up bears, toy cars, and dolls.  This would be a fun read for the classroom book shelf or as a read-aloud to introduce weight and matter.

Lewis, K.  (2006).  Tugga-Tugga Tug Boat.

            Hyperion Books for Children:  New York, NY.

This adorable book follows a little tugboat’s journey as he races to save a burning barge.   Bouncing, bobbing, floating, and propelling are just a few words used to accurately describe the mechanics behind how the boat is working.  In the end, the boat turns out to be a play toy of a little boy in a bath tub.  Easy rhyming lines and a sing-song rhythm make this a terrific read-aloud for introducing beginning physics of movement and hydraulics.

Parsons, A.  (1992).  What’s Inside Boats?.

            Darling Kindersley, Inc.:  New York, NY.

What’s Inside Boats? gives children a fascinating peeled-away look into the mechanics behind eight different boats, including a rowboat, cargo boat, and racing yacht.  Diagrams with simplified explanations describe what each part does, along with actual boating terminology.  This book would work as a good tool to pique kindergarteners interest during lessons about properties of floating.

Smith, C.  (1996).  How to Draw Trucks and Cars.

            Gareth Stevens Publishing:  Milwaukee, WI.

This book’s simplistic method of using circles, triangles and squares, along with basic colors, will pique children’s interest in vehicular design, automobile roles, and motion.  Nine fun automobiles are depicted, including a sedan, jeep moving van, and even a cement mixer.  This book can be displayed on the classroom bookshelf during first grade lessons on motion.

Stewart, D.  (1996).  Gift of the Sun.

This easily read African tale follows Thulani on his farm as he searches for the right way to create an outstanding farm, while still being able to bask in the sun’s warmth.  He finally discovers a plan that helps him achieve an abundant life on the farm – all thanks to the warmth and light from the sun he loved so much.  This would be a good story to read aloud before lessons that discuss heat and light.

Ward, A.  (1992).  Project Science:  Light and Color

            Franklin Watts, Inc.:  New York, NY.

This activity book covers twelve areas of light science, including light waves, bending of light, color mixing, and lights in the sky.  Three to four simple projects are found in each area, as well as fun facts on why and how it all happens.  Making a water prism, exploring the moon’s light phases, and making shadow puppets are just a few of the activities that make this an excellent classroom activity resource for teachers.  Simple instructions and colorful illustrations make this a great learning center tool as well.

Wood, R.  (1989).  Physics for Kids:  49 Easy Experiments with Mechanics.

            Tab Books:  Blue Ridge Summit, PA.

This reference book provides numerous experiments that help young children learn about fluid and solid mechanics.  Making pulleys, pouring water through a handkerchief, and finding the center of gravity for a stack of books are just a few fun experiments included.  A few of the activities are not suggested for the youngest children as they involve the use of nails, hammers and razor blades.  The illustrations and activity information is gears towards an older audience, and at this stage should only be used as an activity reference for teachers.

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