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Inquiring Minds Want to Know: Recommended Reading

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November 22, 2016 - Author:

Youth can enhance their knowledge about science and the world around them in many ways. Reading for pleasure is one of those ways. It encourages young people to continue to explore their personal interests.

The books suggested here are both fiction and nonfiction titles focused on science inquiry. Each book provides an opportunity for children to read and increase their science literacy and offers opportunities to incorporate science concepts into other activities.

The books can be used to start discussions on topics currently being explored or simply for personal enjoyment. Either way, they enhance learning.

Activity Title General Topics
Bean Hunters Animal and plant adaption
Bouncing Bubbles States of matter: mixtures sink and float, things that don't mix
Build a Farm Farm design and environments
Chromatography Butterflies States of matter: Mixtures sink and float, things that don't mix
Cleaning and Shining Pennies Acid/ soap
Cleaning Teeth Human body
Create a Critter Animal and plant adaption
Dancing Kernels States of matter: Mixtures sink and float, things that don't mix
Growing Plastic Beads Water, hydration, weather, water cycle, hot and cold
Incredible Inflating Balloon Acid/ base
Launching Cotton Balls Energy of motion/ engineering/ simple machines
Lava Lamp States of matter: Mixtures sink and float, things that don't mix
Make it Rain Water, hydration, weather, water cycle, hot and cold
Oobleck States of matter: Mixtures sink and float, things that don't mix
Ramp and Roll Energy of motion/ engineering/ simple machines
Soil Tubes Water, hydration, weather, water cycle, hot and cold

Problem solving and science exploration: 

  • Wild Ideas by Elin Kelsey, Owlkids Books Inc. 
  • One Small Square: Backyard by Donald M. Silver, Learning Triangle Press 
  • Usborne First Illustrated Science Dictionary by Sarah Khan, EDC Publishing 
  • Usborne Illustrated Elementary Science Dictionary by Sarah Khan and Dr. Lisa Jane Gillespie, EDC Publishing 
  • Smithsonian Science: A Visual Encyclopedia, DK Publishing

Animal and plant adaptation: 

  • Just Kids: Pictures, Poems and Other Silly Animal Stuff Just for Kids compiled by Bonnie Louise Kuchler, Willow Creek Press 
  • In the Forest, by Gillimard-Jeuesse, illustrations by Pierre de Hugo, Cartwheel Publishing  A Rainbow of Animals by Melissa Stewart, Enslow Publishers, Inc. 
  • Rainbow, by Marion Dane Bauer, Simon Spotlight Publishing  Unbeatable Beaks by Stephen R. Swinburne, Scholastic, Inc. 
  • Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Roaring Book Press 
  • Butterfly, Butterfly: A Book of Colors by Petr Horáĉek, Candlewick Press

Farm design and environments: 

  • The Secret Pool by Kimberly Ridley, Tilbury House Publishers 
  • Old MacDonald by Amy Schwartz, Scholastic, Inc.  True or False: Farm Animals by Melvin and Gilda Berger, Scholastic, Inc. 
  • Trees by Lisa Jane Gillespie, EDC Publishing 
  • How Flowers Grow by Emma Helbrough, EDC Publishing  The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle, Scholastic, Inc.

States of matter: Mixtures, sink and float, things that don’t mix: 

  • Pop! A Book about Bubbles by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, Margaret Miller (photographer), Harper Collins Publishing 
  • Perimeter, Area, and Volume: A Monster Book of Dimensions by David A. Adler, Holiday House 
  • Solids by Jim Mezzanotte, Weekly Reader Early Learning Library 
  • Liquids by Jim Mezzanotte, Weekly Reader Early Learning Library 
  • Gravity by Jason Chin, Roaring Brook Press  Hot and Cold by Gini Holland, Weekly Reader Early Learning Library 
  • Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman, Penguin Group, Inc.
  • Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss, Random House 
  • One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root, Scholastic, Inc.

Energy of motion/engineering/simple machines: 

  • Stop that Ball! by Mike McClintock, Random House 
  • Drummer Hoff adapted by Barbara Emberley, Prentice-Hall; 5th Printing edition (1967) 
  • What Happened? By Rozanne Lanczak Williams, Gwen Connelly (illustrator), Creative Teaching Press  Smithsonian Science: A Visual Encyclopedia, DK Publishing 
  • A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle, Scholastic, Inc. 
  • Roll, Slope, and Slide: A Book about Ramps by Michael Dahl, Picture Window Books 
  • Forces Make Things Move (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, Paul Meisel (illustrator), Harper Collins Publishing 
  • Motion: Push and Pull, Fast and Slow by Darlene Stille, Sheree Boyd (illustrator), Picture Window Books (January 1, 2004) 
  • The Road Builders by B. G. Hennessy, Simms Taback (illustrator), Puffin Publishers

Water hydration, weather, water cycle, hot and cold: 

  • Hello Ocean, Hola Mar by Pam Muñoz Ryan, Scholastic, Inc. 
  • Little Cloud by Eric Carle, Scholastic, Inc. 
  • Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre, Beach Lane Books 
  • Water is Water by Miranda Paul, Roaring Brook Press 
  • Hot Dog, Cold Dog by Frann Preston-Gannon, POW! Publishing

Human body: 

  • Andrew’s Loose Tooth by Robert Munsch, Scholastic, Inc. 
  • My Amazing Body: A First Look at Health and Fitness by Pat Thomas, Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. 
  • Brush, Brush, Brush by Alicia Padron, Children’s Press Publishing 
  • Melvin the Magnificent Molar! by Julia Cook & Laura Jana, Melvin Publisher 
  • Brush Your Teeth, Please by Leslie McGuire, Reader’s Digest

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Tags: 4-h, 4-h science and engineering, early childhood development, msu extension, school readiness, science & engineering

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