Book Reviews, Boys, Early Readers, Middle Grades, Nonfiction, Picture Books, Resources
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More Favorite Science Books (Ages 4-12)

Welcome back to Science September at Redeemedreader!  Last week, we heard from Janie on Science Biographies, as well as Betsy on some of her favorite Science Picture Books.  Today, I’ll share three of my favorites, but I want to begin by introducing a guest reviewer who was kind enough to share one of her most recommended books.

Since 1999, Aurora Lipper has been helping families learn about science on her website,  As a pilot, astronomer, mechanical engineer and university instructor, Aurora is highly qualified to instruct young minds…but as a mom and teacher, she is also very good at bringing things down to a level kids can understand.  Her science videos and resources are very hands-on, and they look like a lot of fun.  (I’m particularly interested in her summer virtual camps, for instance.)

At any rate, when I told her about our science focus this month, she graciously submitted this book review for us.  So, thanks Aurora!

The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray and Nick the elementsMann.  Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers; paperback edition, 2012.  240 pgs.  Ages 6-up.  (This is actually an adult book, but its photos make its content accessible to almost any kid.)

I originally checked this book out from the library for my son who was starting to get interested in chemistry. I was amazed at how interesting the book was to both of us! Not only does he read it by his nightlight but his younger siblings do also. I really like it because it’s choked-full of sharp photos and real information for each element, especially the more interesting ones which are normally skipped or glossed over. The information for each element is more than enough for kids to get their interest going for the elements, especially the real-world examples they show for each.

We also got the game Elementeo Chemistry Card Game V2 (which was designed by a 5th grader, and it’s really great game to play) so they use both the book and the game to have fun with chemistry. I love the questions my kids are asking after reading this book, especially when they tell me to wait while they go look up their own answers.

Worldview/Moral Value: 3.75 out of 5

Literary/Artistic Value: 4.5 out of 5

Thanks again to Aurora for the contribution!  For my own recommendations today, I have three series that you can find in many libraries.  All three have been hugely important for my family.

The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body by Joanna Doel and Bruce Degan.  Scholastic Press, 1990.  40 pgs.  Ages 4-8.

The_Magic_School_Bus_Inside_the_Human_BodyThis series has been around a long time, and for good reason.  The picture books are chocked full of science content as well as kid-friendly humor, and the chapter books are some of my girls’ favorites.  The concept is simple–Ms. Frizzle and her school kids take a trip in the Magic School Bus, and always wind up shrinking, enlarging, or otherwise making their way inside/through some interesting place, thing, or scientific phenomenon (i.e. the human body or the solar system, etc.).  There isn’t a lot of evolution in these books (though I believe there is some), and they have also been made into a TV Series which at least recently has been available for instant streaming on Netflix.  Highly recommended.

Worldview/Moral Value: 4 out of 5

Literary/Artistic Value: 4.5 out of 5

Let’s Read and Find Out Science: What Is the World Made Of? All About Solids, Liquids, and Gases (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld and Paul Meisel.  Harper Collins, 1998.  32 pgs.  Ages 4-8.

what is the world made ofThis is another fantastic series for your young readers.  These are books that my kids, now 6 and 7, will read on their own.  The concepts are simple, and they engage kids’ curiosity with traditional illustrations and easy to read explanations.  Because they cover so many topics, my kids and I try to read one a week from the library, and this will make up much of our science content for the year.  Evolution is not a focus of these books usually.  Be aware that the books come in two stages: Stage One for the earliest readers and Stage Two for a little more complex thinkers.

Worldview/Moral Value: 4 out of 5

Literary/Artistic Value: 4.5 out of 5

About Mammals: A Guide for Children by Cathryn P. Sill and John Sill.  Peachtree Publishers, 2000.  48 pgs.  Ages 4-up.

This series is perfect for any budding naturalist.  The text is super simple, which keeps kids from feeling bogged down in about mammalstoo much detail.  However, slides in the back offer more information for those who are interested.  The art is also critical to the series, as it’s realistic as well as beautiful and engaging.  There is usually a page or two at the end that gives a conservationist approach to nature, helping kids make the connection that we are stewards of Creation.   And as the authors are Christians of some stripe, there is little to no evolution here as well.

Worldview/Moral Value: 4 out of 5

Literary/Artistic Value: 5 out of 5






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  3. Jillian says

    Thank you so much for these wonderful reviews! I just stumbled onto your website (followed your interview with Meghan Cox Gurdon) and am thrilled to have found such a great resource! Added some of these books to my Amazon wishlist for the kiddos – wonderful!

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