The 20 Best Science Books for Kids 2017
It’s great when children develop a love of books at a young age, and book choice is always important in developing that love. Give them something boring to read and they’ll quickly lose interest.
But science books specifically written for kids are a sure-fire way to grab their interest.
Discussing and explaining some of the most fascinating phenomenon on the planet (and beyond) no story can match the fascinating true story of nature.
Before we look at each of our 20 recommendations in more detail, if you’re already sold on the idea of science books for your little ones, here’s our 3 favorites:
So without further introduction here is our detailed list of the 20 best science books for kids:
1. Science Encyclopedia: Atom Smashing, Food Chemistry, Animals, Space, and More!
The ultimate book for the curious kid, the Science Encyclopedia covers just about everything in the physical and life sciences. The explanations are concise and full of great information, plus most of them have beautiful photos or illustrations to help demonstrate the concept.
This is a pretty big book, with 304 pages to flip through. There are even DIY experiments and a collection of weird facts the kids can impress their friends with.
This book is intended for the ages of 8-12, and fits that demographic nicely. The information is easy to follow and paragraphs are broken up by beautiful illustrations to help maintain the reader’s interest.
2. National Geographic Animal Encyclopedia: 2,500 Animals with Photos, Maps, and More!
This bestseller not only includes interesting facts about 2,500 different animals, it features over 1,000 beautiful photographs taken by professionals for National Geographic.
The book is organized by type of animal and includes a glossary and index. The information about the animals is well organized, and easy for young readers to follow.
While it is easy for kids ages 7 and up to read through, it doesn’t skimp on information. Details about the animal’s diet, lifespan, habitat, and other special features are included in each section.
There are also special “from the field” reports from different National Geographic explorers who do research on the animals in this book.
3. TIME For Kids Big Book of Science Experiments: A step-by-step guide
For the burgeoning scientist, it doesn’t get much better than this book of experiments. The step-by-step instructions in this guide explain how to execute 100 experiments in physical, life, and earth sciences.
These experiments were created by experts in the field and are inquiry based so the kids are driven to answer the question posed to them.
The experiment guides are in full color and include background information on the topic of inquiry, some fun facts, and explains the science behind the experiment. Intended for the ages of 8-12, this book of experiments is a great way to foster an interest in science.
4. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why
For those with preschool aged kids, this book is a great option. Written for kids aged 3-7, this interactive book delivers information, crafts, games, and other activities in a format that both parents and kids can enjoy.
The explanations are simple, and the activities link to concepts in the child’s surroundings so they can relate.
As with most kids’ science books, the layout follows a question-and-answer format to hold interest without introducing abstract concepts.
There are also plenty of colorful pictures throughout the book to help illustrate the information. This book is a great way to get kids interested in science and help them get ready for school.
5. Child’s Introduction to the Night Sky: The Story of the Stars, Planets, and Constellations–and How You Can Find Them in the Sky
This is the perfect book for your little stargazer. Its 96 pages include the story of our solar system, space exploration, and how to identify starts and planets in the night sky.
Beautiful color illustrations run throughout the book and the layout is such that the reader won’t get overwhelmed by the information.
There is even a special star wheel that makes it easy for readers to locate constellations and planets. This is a thoroughly entertaining book, and is sure to foster an interest in astronomy.
Even though it is intended for ages 8-13, it is interesting to anyone who wants to know more about our solar system.
6. National Geographic Kids Brain Games: The Mind-Blowing Science of Your Amazing Brain
This is a very interesting book for kids that are curious about how their brain works, or are fascinated by riddles and brain teasers. Included are explanations of the different parts of the brain and how they work, plus bizarre facts straight from a neuroscientist.
There are games, optical illusions and riddles throughout the book that are entertaining for the entire family. All of the information presented is based on solid science, and explained in a way that is easy to understand.
The great thing about this book is that the reader doesn’t necessarily need to have an interest in science to enjoy it.
7. National Geographic Kids Everything Rocks and Minerals: Dazzling gems of photos and info that will rock your world
For kids who are rock collectors or who have an interest in geology, this is a great book. Along with the identification of different rocks and minerals, there are explanations of how each are formed in geological processes.
The explanations of geological processes are simplified, as is appropriate for the intended age group of 8-12 years.
This is an easy read with plenty of vivid photos to help in the identification process. Some people have even used this book as a teaching aid in science classes or home school.
While it doesn’t go into too much depth, there is a lot of good information in this book.
8. The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book: Boil Ice, Float Water, Measure Gravity-Challenge the World Around You!
Written by an actual high school science teacher, this book features tried-and-true experiments that help kids understand the world around them.
Covering topics from biology, physics, chemistry, and astronomy, these experiments use household items that are easy to find.
While this book is intended for kids aged 7-12, some experiments do require supervision. This can be a great way to get involved and inspire curiosity in your kids.
Like most science books geared toward kids, there is a question and answer format to help catch and focus their energy into the projects. This book is a great way to keep kids actively learning, even when away from school.
9. National Geographic Kids Everything Weather: Facts, Photos, and Fun that Will Blow You Away
Extreme weather is fascinating to a lot of people, especially kids. While it is scary to think about how dangerous it can be, one can’t help but wonder what drives such powerful events. For those who are interested in weather and extreme geological events, this is a great book.
Explanations of conditions that create hurricanes, tornadoes, and other events are explained in a way that is easy to understand.
Also featured are some experiences shared by real-life tornado chaser Tim Samaras. The book is filled with interesting facts and stunning photographs of severe weather conditions that readers of all ages can enjoy and learn from.
10. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space
It can be a challenge to find a science book that is appropriate for preschool age kids, but this is a great option for little ones who are interested in all things space related.
The explanations are simple and presented in a way that is easy for beginning readers to understand and read out loud.
The book itself is organized in a way that gradually introduces concepts, starting with Earth. It goes on to explore the rest of the universe and beyond with beautiful, colorful illustrations to hold interest.
At 128 pages long, this book is just the right size to present good information without being overwhelming to the young learner.
11. My First Human Body Book
Anatomy and physiology can be a tough subject to break into as a child. It’s full of complex systems to understand, unfamiliar words, and it’s just difficult to explain.
This book is perfect for laying the groundwork for the eventual learning and understanding of the complicated systems that comprise the human body.
Along with information, there are fun coloring projects that illustrate the digestive, nervous, skeletal, muscular, respiratory, and immune systems.
The kids also learn about DNA, which is a difficult concept to explain.This book has been used as teaching aids in preschools and at home with success.
12. Ultimate Oceanpedia: The Most Complete Ocean Reference Ever
As far as kids’ books go, this one lives up to its name. Sure, it isn’t as comprehensive as a university level marine biology textbook, but it covers some serious ground.
With 272 pages of interesting facts, photos, and diagrams, this book is sure to please any kid interested in ocean life. It goes even further than marine biology. Explanations of events like tsunamis, storms and the impact oceans have on our climate are also included.
All of the information on the life, science, and ecosystem of the oceans is vetted by experts in the field. Last but not least, there is emphasis on the dangers posed by pollution, overfishing, and other destructive behaviors.
13. My First Book About the Brain
This fun, informative coloring book explains the workings of the brain with 25 illustrations the kids can color. Each illustration explains important functions carried out by the brain.
This book explains how the brain controls bodily functions, makes it possible for us to see, hear, smell, and feel, and so much more.
The brain is difficult for adults to understand, let alone children, which is probably why this book won the Bronze Moonbeam Children’s Book Award in 2014.
While it is meant for children ages 8-14, it has been used as study aids by college students and adults who are fascinated by the workings of the brain.
14. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of How
National Geographic has already published an excellent book addressing the “why’s” of life, and has followed with one for the “how’s” as with the First Big Book of Why, this book is intended for preschool aged kids.
With simple, concise explanations and over 100 photos, this book is easy to follow.
The format follows the question and answer layout that has been successful with this age group. This way, the reader is encourage to ask more questions, thus continuing the learning process.
Topics include animals, human bodies, and machines to name a few. Books like these are a great way to foster curious minds.
15. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of the Ocean
Another hit from National Geographic is this ocean reference book for little kids. This 128 page book covers familiar animals like dolphins and penguins, plus it introduces several lesser-known marine animals.
Along with each animal profile are photos of National Geographic quality, plus facts about the animal.
This book is appropriate for the intended audience, so don’t expect a comprehensive book about all aspects of marine biology. It is, however, a hit with kids who are interested in ocean life and even adults enjoy it.
This is a great bedtime read, or downtime book, and can also be used as a teaching aid.
16. Outdoor Science Lab for Kids: 52 Family-Friendly Experiments for the Yard, Garden, Playground, and Park
This book of experiments is a great way to foster curious minds at home. The 52 experiments that are featured in this book have different themes in physics, chemistry, and biology.
All of the experiments can be done in your own backyard. While these experiments are safe, it is always best to supervise young children.
The activities are fun for individuals, but even better for play groups. Supplies are easy to find, and most are regular household items. Instructions are laid out in a way that is easy to follow while doing the activity.
This book is the perfect solution to summer boredom, plus it keeps the kids learning year round.
17. First Human Body Encyclopedia
For kids who have a keen interest in human biology, a coloring book that goes over the basic concepts might not cut it. For these budding doctors and biologists, you’ll need something more comprehensive.
This book is definitely a more comprehensive guide to the workings of the human body than the coloring books or material intended for preschoolers.
This reference covers the human skeleton, muscles, circulatory system, digestive tract, and much more. There are prompted activities in each section to help reinforce what was just learned, plus quiz questions to help remember important facts.
While this book is easy to follow, it is definitely meant for the more serious learner.
18. Engineering: Feats and Failures
For the mini engineering buff, this is a fun and interesting read. This book covers some amazing engineering feats like the Hoover Dam and some failures like the Titanic and Hindenberg.
While these feats and failures are interesting, this book doesn’t stop there.
There are engineering facts that explains how these marvelous feats worked or failed, along with photos and illustrations. This book is also great for engaging readers with mathematical problems that help explain the engineering concepts.
This is definitely not just a picture book, the information presented will keep curious minds busy.
19. Kitchen Science Lab for Kids: 52 Family Friendly Experiments from the Pantry
Composed by the same author that wrote Outdoor Science Lab for Kids, this collection experiments use kitchen items for indoor activities.
This book can be used as a teaching aid for science classes, or as a companion for the outdoor book for bad weather days. The experiments explore concepts in biology, physics, and chemistry using cheap pantry supplies that most of us have on hand.
The activities are great for individuals or groups, and the instructions are easy to follow. There are experiments everyone can enjoy in this collection. With this book of experiments, there is no reason to be bored!
20. Ask a Science Teacher: 250 Answers to Questions You’ve Always Had About How Everyday Stuff Really Works
A unique concept among kids’ science books, this is a collection of 250 of science teacher Larry Scheckel’s favorite questions. This science teacher loves to figure out and explain how things come to be and function, and over the years he has heard all kinds of questions from his students.
Covering topics like human biology, geology, chemistry, zoology, and more, this book is laid out in a question and answer form that goes into detailed explanations.
This is definitely a comprehensive book, at 368 pages just full of information. While this may not be ideal for smaller children, it is fantastic for the more serious learner.