Picture Books with a Scientific Edge
Non Fiction for Beginners
Posted: 2012-01-10 13:20:48 By:




2011 Award
I Spy with My Little Eye
(by Edward Gibbs, Candlewick $14.99 Score: )

Don't be fooled by the title. This is quite different from the many wonderful I Spy books by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wicks, that we recommend for older kids. It's wonderful in its own way.

I Spy With My Little Eye is designed for much younger kids who are somewhat beyond beginner games of peek-e-boo. It's also a science book that gives very young kids a nugget of information about the animal that will be revealed as you go from the cut-away detail to the image of the whole creature. In some ways this is a bit more like Eric Carle's Polar Bear and Brown Bear "knowing and naming" books. That said, the illustrations are fresh and full of vitality and the playful format will no doubt appeal to older toddlers and preschoolers. Printed on sturdy stock it is well designed to withstand the page turning of inexperienced little hands.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.




2011 Award
Wow! Ocean!
(by Robert Neubecker, Hyperion $17.99 Score: )

Newest in his "Wow!" series, Robert Neubecker's dynamic illustrations give kids a whirlwind look at life in the ocean. His colorful images swim across the pages. Some pages open wide for long double spreads of sea creatures in the tide pool, on the coral reef, in the deep and beyond. There are labels on some pages, but no story as such. The vibrant images on the page will provide much to talk about and ponder. This is a science book, an art book, a fun to look at together-and-alone kind of book. Most of all it says look at all the wondrous life that is under the water just beyond the sand shore! Wow! Indeed!

Play It!

Magic Art
You'll need: a wax candle or a white waxy crayon, white or manilla construction paper, blue and greenish water color paint and brush.
Step 1. Draw lots of fish—big and small on the white paper. They will hardly be visible.
Step 2. Make a light wash of blue and or greenish blue watercolor paint.
Step 3. Use a big brush to paint over the waxy drawing and abracadabra the drawings will appear.

Wow! Shells !
On your next trip to the beach take a photo of your child gathering up plenty of small shells to bring home for crafts. Wash the shells in sudsy water and let them dry on the sun. Kids can paint them or leave them as they are in a natural state. Bring home and inexpensive plastic picture frame and white glue. Together paste the shells around the border of the frame. When they dry in place put the photo in the frame and you have a double Wow! A happy memory!

       A few years ago we published several books with suggested books and follow-up games that extend the book experience. One collection Read It Play It is for playing with babies and toddlers. The other is for preschool and early school years children. We also did a collection in Spanish, featuring books that were in Spanish or were bilingual. 

Click to buy Read It! Play It!

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.




2011 Award
North, The Amazing Story of Arctic Migration
(by Nick Dowson. illus. Patrick Benson, Candlewick $16.99 Score: )

Breathtaking art fills the pages of this oversized picture book that follows the migration of creatures heading north on their annual journey to the Arctic. They start with a whale leaving Mexico and then follow as it passes L.A., San Francisco, Vancover Island, Anchorage and onto the Arctic Circle. Nick Dawson writes lyrically as well as informatively. An ideal choice for young listeners who are hungry for real facts. They will be hypnotized by the combined beauty of the text and illustrations. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.




2011 Award
Suryia & Roscoe, A True Story of an Unlikely Friendship
(by Bhagavan Doc Antle with Thea Feldman/ illus. , Henry Holt $16.99 Score: )

At an animal preserve in South Carolina, a stray dog wanders into the world of far more exotic animals. Most of them are endangered species. Few would expect that an orangutan and a stray dog would become such good friends, but that is what happens. Told with a series of full color photographs, this is a short but sweet true story. Along the way it introduces young readers to the importance of wildlife conservation and protecting endangered species. Though it is not written in the format of an easy to read book, it would be a good choice for level 3 readers or as a read aloud for younger listeners.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.




2011 Award
How the Weather Works: A Hands-On Guide to Our Changing Climate
(by Christiane Dorion/illus. by Beverley Young, Candlewick $17.99 Score: )

School aged kids often go through a weather phase!  Here's a perfect opportunity to get them engaged in reading about different aspects of weather.  How the Weather Works is chock full of pop-ups and information about all types of weather events including hurricanes and tornadoes as well as discusses the possible causes of climate change. It's the type of book that kids love to pour over! 

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.


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