As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I have a deep love of all things picture books. I used picture books as an elementary teacher to teach multiple content areas and I’ve continued to use picture books in my work with preservice and inservice teachers.
Here are my Top 10 Science Picture books for 2022. To be clear, some of these books were not published in 2022 but I “discovered” all of these in 2022. I hope you enjoy the list. Let me know what you might add in the comments.
Animal Allies: 15 Amazing Women in Wildlife Research by Elizabeth Pagel- Hogan
This book describes 15 women and their outdoor research on biodiversity and conservation.
Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Adapted by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt)
I have been a huge fan of the original Braiding Sweetgrass for several years. I use excerpts from the book in professional development and in courses I teach. So when I learned that the book had been adapted for youth- I was thrilled. This book is a gift from Dr. Kimmerer that shares stories of Indigenous ways of thinking and Indigenous relationships with the natural world. Maybe not technically a “picture book”…but I felt it was more than worthy of sharing here. If you have never read the original Braiding Sweetgrass this might actually be a great entry point.
The Dirt Book: Poems About Animals That Live Beneath Our Feet by David L. Harrison, illustrated by Kate Cosgrove
Some people I work with are surprised to learn how much I love poetry. (I guess “science” people aren’t supposed to appreciate literacy?) This fabulous little book uses 15 poems to describe soil and the living things that thrive within the soil. Excellent book for primary students.
Disasters by the Numbers: A Book of Infographics by Steve Jenkins
There are a lot of reasons why I love this book- but the primary reason is that it provides a great way for students to engage with the science practice of Analyzing and Interpreting Data. This practice tends to be a challenge for students at all levels and having a set of infographics on a compelling topic is highly useful. The book provides multiple ways of representing data and helps make the case that representing data doesn’t have to be boring and static- but that thoughtful data representation helps tell a story.
Inside In: X-Rays of Nature’s Hidden World by Jan Paul Schutten, illustrated by Arie ‘t Riet
This is a wonderful book that shows how art and science can be combined. The beautiful and haunting x-ray images provide an invitation to consider structure and function (on of our Crosscutting Concepts) in the natural world.
Wonder Women of Science: Twelve Geniuses Who Are Currently Rocking Science, Technology, And the World by Tiera Fletcher; Ginger Rue, illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
It is no coincidence that there is another book on this list to feature women in science. One of my goals is to always promote and elevate the work of women in science. And this book does just that by sharing about 12 current women in STEM fields. This book also provides ideas for how to get involved with STEM.
The Mystery of the Monarchs: How Kids, Teachers, and Butterfly Fans Helped Fred and Norah Urquhart Track the Great Monarch Migration by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Erika Meza
I was listening to a story about monarch butterflies on NPR a few months ago and really got captured by the story. I thought that I knew a bit about monarchs and their migrations…but I realized I only knew a bit. This book not only provides information about monarchs but also tells a “citizen science” story of how school children collaborated with scientists to learn about butterflies. Great stuff!
Narwhal: The Arctic Unicorn by Justin Anderson, illustrated by Jo Weaver
I mean, what more do I need to say besides narwhal…the arctic unicorn? Lovely book.
Watercress by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Jason Chin
Watercress is a book that many people might not see as a “science” book- but it is a beautiful book about culture and the natural world and plants. If you don’t know about this award winning book then I highly recommend you check it out.
The Vanishing Lake by Paddy Donnelly
This final book is another that might not be considered a true science trade book, but I would argue that this story poses a phenomenon (a vanishing lake) and describes the everyday ideas that a grandfather and granddaughter have about the phenomenon.
I hope you enjoyed this list and discovered at least one book that might be useful for your work with students or for you personally.
Leave a comment for other books that you would nominate. Thanks.
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