Sharing Science: Books for Babies and Toddlers
It is never too early to start sharing books and having conversations with your child. You can start sharing science vocabulary and processes with your littlest one right now.
Here are a few aspects to look for when selecting appropriate and engaging science picturebooks for our youngest learners. Each aspect is accompanied by a recommended title.
Look for interactive features such as lift-the-flaps like in I (heart) Science… or pop-up pictures like in Summer … or the wheels in Watch Me Grow. Look for touch and feel options or other ways the topic of the book is made three dimensional. You Are Light uses a transparent paper to allow light to shine through different colored circles on each page.
Look for labels in the illustrations and other text that brings attention to the meaning of the scientific words. Botany for Babies labels kinds of plants as well as plant parts. I Love Frogs changes the font style as well as size when it uses words like “climb” and “sticky.”
Look for illustrations that clearly demonstrate the concept of the text. Rocket Science for Babies and Baby Loves Quarks were excellent with using illustrations to explain the text … and gosh did I myself learn a lot from them!
Look for photographs of real objects. Books by National Geographic Kids like Bugs are great examples.
Look for text that is concise and asks questions. Can You Eat is a fun one to start talking about what humans eat, and what we don’t. 8 Little Planets is simple and engaging with its rhyming text and cut out pages, but still gets the message out about which planet is the coldest, which is the densest…and more.
ABCs of Space is an example of a science book that can be shared in multiple ways as your child ages. You can read the letter part (“C is for Comet”) to your youngest child, then add the bold sentence in color for extra information: “A comet is a clump of ice and rock in a very big orbit around the sun.” When your child is ready or asks a question, you can read the text that is smallest and longest: “Comet orbits are often very elliptical…”
Look for other recommended titles here: Science Books for Babies and Toddlers.
Hayley is a Librarian in the Poland Unit of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County. She loves the art in children’s picturebooks … and follows the Marantz style of melding the word “picturebook” into one art form ever since her graduate assistant experience at the Reinberger Children’s Library Center.