SCIENCE & NATURE: Our Favorite Picture Book Read-alouds

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I read dozens of picture books every month with my three children (11, 9, 7). This list includes only the very best science and math picture books we've read together (books we gave 4 or 5 stars). Note that some of these picture books are much textier than others (and might be read aloud best over multiple days). We hope you enjoy all of these books as much as we have!

This list is continually updated every 1-2 months. Newest books are at the top within each category. Last updated April 2019.

Ocean Life


Books about Owls by Jim Arnosky (top and open, titled Thunder Birds), Laurence Pringle, and Gail Gibbons

(See this post for a more in depth description of 10 of our favorite picture book read-alouds about birds)



Human Body

Some favorite authors for science and nature books (many of their individual books are listed above):
  • Steve Jenkins (animals and infographics, text amount varies from very little to a lot)
  • Cathryn Sill (animals and habitats, short text with more information for each spread/ illustration in endnotes -- perfect for mixed age groups)
  • Ruth Heller (animals, great for lower and upper elementary and above)
  • Gail Gibbons (all topics, great for lower and upper elementary and above)
  • Jim Arnosky (animals, lots of text - read in multiple sittings)
  • Laurence Pringle and Meryl Henderson (animals, lots of text - read in multiple sittings)
  • Sandra Markle (lots of text - read in multiple sittings)
  • Joanna Cole: Magic School Bus series - (all topics) my kids love these, although they are a little tricky to read aloud because of all the text from dialogue and margin notes. The television series is awesome as well (bonus that the DVD is in English and Spanish!).

Plants/ Botany

Physical Sciences 

Earth Science




*While all of the above books are wonderful, I have starred (*) those books that were special favorites of all four of us. These starred books were picture books we checked out again and again from the library, or eventually purchased for ourselves, and are not to be missed. 

Here are links to all our favorite picture book read-alouds by subject: 

What are your favorites?


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