A list of story time books compiled by the Science & Technology librarian at NYSCI that feature:
Most of the books are geared for Pre K – 3. There are a few that are also good for older grades, as noted. The annotations include the publisher’s blurb, librarian remarks and recommended websites.
These books are not for circulation.
For more information on recommended reading please contact Rebecca Reitz at,
Discusses and gives examples of the size and weight of various animals and parts of animals. Beautiful illustrations. Measure your room so you can say that the tiger can jump from that bookcase to that door. Who weighs 50 pounds? The elephant would equal 280 of you.
Second grade and up.
Author’s essay on science: www.stevejenkinsbooks.com
An interview with Steve Jenkins: www.teachingbooks.net
Depicts how A was in an avalanche, B was badly bitten, C was cut to ribbons, and the other letters of the alphabet suffered similar mishaps. Some of the vocabulary is too hard for little kids. Second graders and up get the jokes.
Teacher’s Guide: www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com
At New York City's Central Park Zoo, two male penguins fall in love and start a family by taking turns sitting on an abandoned egg until it hatches. This is a true story.
A school librarian’s blog listing picture books about the experience of knowing or having a gay parent, family member or friend: www.booksforkidsingayfamilies.blogspot.com
During the Iraq War of 2003, librarian Alia Muhammad saves thirty thousand new and old books in her Basra library from destruction. Not much science, but celebrates a heroic librarian.
Interview with the author: www.harcourtbooks.com
These two books about Wangari Maathai tell the same true story, in different writing and illustration styles. Wangari was an environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for leading the movement to replant trees in Kenya.
The official site of the Green Belt Movement and its founder, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai: www.greenbeltmovement.org
A true story of two red-tailed hawks, Pale Male and Lola, who made their home atop an apartment building in New York City and sparked a protest by those who loved them when the apartment board had their eight-foot-wide nest cleared away.
News story about the documentary, The Legend of Pale Male: www.abcnews.go.com
Great photos of Pale Male: www.palemale.com
Pictures of animals wearing clothes show why this would be a ridiculous custom for them to adopt. Visually funny.
A little bird asks animals, planes, and boats, "Are you my mother?" until he finds his own mother. A good example of how a species can only give birth to its own kind.
Benny sets off in the morning with five shiny new pennies to spend and eventually buys something for his mother, brother, sister, dog, and cat. Very simple math.
Mr. and Mrs. Bird search for a place to build a new nest only to discover their old one is better.
Two dogs are opposite in every way but are the very best of friends. Listeners can help by telling what is opposite.
Throughout the day and into the night various birds sing their songs, beginning with the woodpecker who taps a pole ten times and counting down to the hummingbird who calls once.
Otto the worm is shocked to discover that his best friend Bob is actually a caterpillar who emerges one day as a butterfly.
Classroom Activity guide: www.flcenterlitarts.com
A mother kangaroo and various woodland animals coach her joey as she attempts her first jump. Great ending with a pop-up finale.
Children see a variety of animals, each one a different color.
Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art: www.carlemuseum.org
Despite everyone's dire predictions, a little boy has faith in the carrot seed he plants. Quick read, but great for illustrating tenacity and botany!
A wonderful article about the author by Maurice Sendak: www.hbook.com
Celebrates the creatures of the earth, from spiders dangling in their webs to owls hooting and hunting out of sight, and asks that we respect and care for them.
Guide to discussion: www.learningtogive.org
List of books that inspire compassion: www.humaneeducationteacher.org
Photographs of familiar outdoor scenes illustrate pairs of opposites.
Die-cut pages show the transformations of various animals and objects, such as a seed to a flower, paint to a picture, and a caterpillar to a butterfly.
Author bio: www.studiolvs.com
List of nature picture books: www.authorsforearthday.org
Pull the tabs to see animals use their senses to learn about the world around them. Best for a small group who can take turns.
Books about the human body: www.hbook.com
An unobservant zookeeper is followed home by all the animals he thinks he has left behind in the zoo. Good for a fun read and if you are planning a trip to the zoo.
The reader examines a boxed illustration of part of an animal's body and tries to guess the identity of the animal, which is revealed by the complete illustration on the next page.
Henry finally finds a purpose for the "Incredible, Amazing Machine" that he built.
A child paints the beginning of a picture and goes outside to wait for a bird to approach and a special thing to happen.
A frog and a turtle watch the rain turn their puddle into an ocean before the sun comes along and returns things to normal. Good for vocabulary of puddle, pond, pool, lake, sea, ocean.
A bear who has never experienced autumn before is puzzled by the falling leaves, unsure whether he should try to put them back or use them as a bed for a nap.
Littlebat lives in the library attic and loves to listen to the stories being told in the room below. Mother Bat tells him he has to wait until just the right time to get close enough to hear them better. Good example of the science of seasons and bat life.
Organization for Bat Conservation: www.batconservation.org
Little blue and its best friend Little Yellow hug each other so hard they become green.
A claymation movie of the story: www.youtube.com
After escaping from her cage to see the world, a little red bird finds it difficult to decide whether to stay free or to go home and never fly again.
The little red hen finds none of her lazy friends willing to help her plant, harvest, or grind wheat into flour, but all are eager to eat the bread she makes from it. Good for discussions about harvests.
Mr. and Mrs. Mallard proudly return to their home in the Boston Public Garden with their eight offspring. A classic with a good narrative, lovely illustrations and happy ending.
The reader sees the zoo animals slightly askew through the camera lens and may guess what they actually are before seeing full clear views on succeeding pages.
Defines the earth's land ecosystems through the characteristic plants and animals found in each.
Describes a variety of carnivorous plants, including the Venus fly trap, sundew, pitcher plant, and bladderwort. Dramatic photographs.
Chirpie the bird escapes from her cage and flies into a tree; but a group of poets decide that the best way to entice her down is to create a garden full of seeds, water, hiding places, and materials for building a nest. Good for April, National Poetry month.
A baby kangaroo takes his first tentative hops outside of his mama's pouch, meeting other creatures and growing bolder each time. Perfect for real little ones who are exploring separation from their parents.
Author’s site, displays how he created this book: www.davidezra.com
The animals of the African savanna use their senses to predict and then enjoy the rain.
Presents an interactive adaptation of Eastman's Go, Dog, Go! which introduces children to the world of colors. For a small group where each child can have a turn with flaps and tabs.
A favorite non-fiction read-aloud. This frog found in the rain forest of Central America spends the night searching for food while also being careful not to become dinner for some other animal. Teaches concepts of prey and predator. An afterword provides a good overview of facts on the subject.
Learn more about red-eyed tree frogs: www.animals.nationalgeographic.com
A young boy finds a salamander and thinks of the many things he can do to make a perfect home for it.
San Diego Zoo salamander page: www.sandiegozoo.org
Sam, an owl, meets Gus, a firefly who does skywriting at night and uses his talents to play tricks.
The seating for a family reunion gets complicated as people rearrange the tables and chairs to seat additional guests.
The new Museum of Mathematics: www.momath.org
A young girl and her mother enjoy a ride uptown on a city subway. Good for young ones and train crazy boys and girls.
Author’s site with suggested activities for this book:
Text primarily in English, with some Spanish and Polish. Although the passengers of the D train speak different languages, they work together to rescue a frightened bird and help it to be free.
Presents body parts of eight animals for the reader to guess what the whole animal looks like.
A simple description of a flowering plant's life cycle through the seasons.
Ideas for using this book in the classroom: www.eric-carle.com
Time lapse radish seeds sprouting, top and roots growing, 46 seconds: www.youtube.com
Collects over one hundred poems from various authors that explore the worlds of nature, science, and the imagination, and includes an audio CD of poets performing their own work.
A poor old Chinese farmer finds a magic brass pot that doubles or duplicates whatever is placed inside it, but his efforts to make himself wealthy lead to unexpected complications. Good examples of simple math.
Other math picture books: www.mathwire.com
Math Moments by David Schwartz: www.davidschwartz.com
Describes the birds that make their homes in the heart of the city and examines how they have adjusted to such a harsh urban environment.
A good site about nests and mating: www.birds.cornell.edu
Introduces the different qualities and aspects of living things, including people, other animals, and plants, and covering such topics as breathing, feeding, energy, growth, locomotion, and reproduction.
Readers find what's missing in a picture when the page is turned. Example: a girl depicted pedaling in mid-air is missing a bicycle. Fun with lots of participation.
This is one of my favorites. Includes gatefold pages. Poems with clues prompt readers to guess the identities of 10 camouflaged animals, revealed in gatefolds, and fact pages present information on each species, discussing their camouflage and life cycles. Good for older children. Be careful, they will want to get closer and closer as they search the photos for the hidden creature.
An amazing video of a camouflaging octopus: www.youtube.com