Top 100 Children's Books:


Compiled by The Children's Literature Nook


Click Title to go to Amazon for details on specific books


Cole, Johanna. The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System. Scholastic, 1990.
Audience: 2-4

Kerrod, Robin. The Children's Space Atlas.

This book is ideal for all junior space explorers and enthusiasts who have questions about our galaxy and the worlds beyond it. The voyage begins with an explanation of how, when, and why our solar system came into being. It ends with an account of telescopes, probes and rockets which help us learn about space with a look at what the future may bring.

Usborne Young Scientist Series. Stars and Planets.
This is a beginner's guide to the universe we live in. Its clear text and detailed pictures take the reader on a journey through familiar sights of the night sky and on to the frontiers of the unknown.

An Usborne Guide. The Young Astronomer.
Designed for the beginning astronomer, this book introduces the fascinating study of the night sky.

Vancleave, Janice. Astronomy for Every Kid.

Yolen, Jane. Mother Earth Father Sky

Yolen, Jane. Owl Moon


Balkwill, Fran. Cells Are Us.

Balkwill, Fran. Cell Wars.

Oxlade, Chris and Stockley, Corrine. The World of the Microscope.

VanCleave, Janice. Microscopes and Magnifying Glasses.


Vancleave, Janice. Earth Science for Every Kid.


Aliki. Digging Up Dinosaurs. Harper & Row, 1981.

Aliki. Fossils Tell of Long Ago.


Brown, Marcia. Stone Soup. Scribner, 1975.
Audience: Primary

Cole, Johanna. The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth.
Audience: 2-6

This book takes the crazy and wonderful Ms. Frizzle and her class on a field trip to the center of the earth.

Cottonwood, Joe. Quake! A Novel. Scholastic, 1995.
Grades 4-8
Description of the earthquake that struck the San Fransisco Bay Area in 1989 as seen through three children who witness the quake and its aftermath.

Hooper, Meredith. A Pebble in My Pocket. Viking, 1996.
Audience; Grades 3-6

An engrossing, fact-laden nonfiction picture book; children are treated to a trip back in geological time to trace a pebble's origin 480 million years ago in a volcanic eruption and then traces its subsequent development.

Kehert, Peg. Earthquake Terror
Audience: Grades 4-7

A peaceful camping trip becomes an exercise in survival for 12-year-old Jonathan. This gripping novel provides a companion to several units including: survival, disasters, geology, and earthquakes.

Seymour, Simon. Volcanoes.
Awe-inspring photographs and easy-to-read text tells the dramatic story of volcanoes.

Stieg, William. Sylvestor and the Magic Pebble. Simon & Schuster, 1969.
Audience: Primary

Usborne Understanding Geography: Earthquakes and Volcanoes.

VanCleave, Janice. Janice Vancleave's Earthquakes.

VanCleave, Janice. Rocks and Minerals.

VanCleave, Janice. Volcanoes.


Barrett, Judi. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. Atheneum Books, 1978.
Audience: K-6

Bauer, Caroline Feller. The Windy Day. Lippincott, 1988.

A collection of facts, stories, and poems about the wind.

Coleride, Sara. January Brings the Snow: A Book of Months
Audience: Primary

Each month brings something unique and exciting in this book with a classic rhyming text and beautiful illustrations about the changing seasons.

Cosgrove, Brian. Eyewitness Weather

How do clouds form? Why does it rain? What causes tornadoes? Aspiring meteorlogists will enjoy these photos and the text desribing different aspects of weather and how it is forecast.

Hulpack, Vladimir. Ahalyute and Cloud Eater. Harcourt Brace, 1996.

Polacco, Patricia. Thunder Cake. Philomel Books, 1990

This book tells the story of how a young girl's fear of thunder is removed through her grandmother's help.

Reddix, Valerie. Dragon Kite of the Autumn Moon. Lothrop, 1991.
Audience: All Ages
In this magical picture book, Tad-Tin must set free the beautiful dragon kite his grandfather made him.

Robbins, Ruth. How the First Rainbow Was Made. Parnassus, Press, 1980.
The people ask the Old Man above for a sign that the rain will end soon.

Shaw, Charles G. It Looked Like Spilt Milk. Harper & Row, 1947.

Usborne Science & Experiments: Weather & Climate. Usborne. The Usborne Book of Weather

Van Allsburg, Chris. The Stranger
Audience: 4-6

VanCleave, Janice. Weather.


Allison, Linda. Blood and Guts.

Includes information and activities that explain how the human body works.


The Animal Kingdom

Aesop. Aesop's Fables

Bancroft, Henrietta. Animals in Winter

Carle, Eric. Eric Carle's Animals, Animals
Audience: All Ages

A compilation of over fifty poems illustrated by Carle.

Yolen, Jane. Alphabestiary
Animal Poetry


Lobel, Arnold. Frog and Toad Are Friends.
Audience: Primary

This delightful book contains five short stories about the amusing adventures of Frog and Toad. A winner of the Caldecott Honor Award.

Schertle, Alice. Advice for a Frog


Bonners, Susan. A Penguin Year. Dell, 1981.

Hamilton, Virginia. When Birds Could Talk and Bats Could Sing. Scholastic, 1996.

Collection of eight folktales centering around birds and bats.

Heller, Ruth. Chickens Aren't the Only Ones. Scholastic, 1981.

McLerran, Alice. The Mountain That Loved a Bird. Picture Book Studio, 1985.

Stanley, Diane. Birdsong Lullaby. Morrow, 1985.

Insects and Spiders

Carle, Eric. The Very Busy Spider. Philomel. 1984.

Carle, Eric. The Grouchy Ladybug. Crowell, 1977.
Audience" Primary

Carle, Eric. The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

This is the classic story of a small and very hungry caterpillar who eats and eats and eats and eventually becomes a beautiful butterfly through the process of metamorphosis.
Concepts: The life cycle of a butterfly and metamorphosis

Carle, Eric. The Very Lonely Firefly

Carle, Eric. The Very Quiet Cricket

Duncan, Lois. The Magic of Spider Woman. Scholastic, 1996.

White, E.B. Charlotte's Web. Scholastic, 1952.
Audience: Grades 3-6

Charlotte the Spider saves the life of her friend Wilbur the pig by weaving words in her web. When Charlotte dies and is replaced by her children, Wilbur's young owner learns of the cyclical nature of life and death.


Baylor, Byrd. Amigo. Collier Books, 1963.

Brown, Margaret Wise. Big Red Barn. Harper & Row, 1989.

Byars, Betsy. Midnight Fox.

Byars, Betsy. Wanted...Mud Blossom.

Heinz, Brian J. The Wolves. Dial, 1996.
Grades 2-5

Illustrated with somber moonlit oils; follow Pahtow and his pack of wolves as they hunt down elk

Kipling, Rudyard. Just So Stories.
Audience: All Ages

Kipling, Rudyard. The Jungle Book
Audience: Grades 4-8

London, Jack. The Call of the Wild.
Audience: Grades 4-12

London's tale of survival in the Klondike. A German Shepard is stolen from his home and transported north, having fell victim to the cruelty and greed incited by gold fever. With the help of his new owner, he adapts to the harsh life of a sled dog and overcomes the hazards posed by nature, man, and beast to fulfill his ultimate destiny as the leader of a wolf pack.

London, Jack. White Fang.
Audience: Intermediate-High School

The tale of a ferocious wolf-dog's transformation from a creature of the wild to tyhe faithful companion of a caring and compassionate young man. Set amongst the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897-1898 in Canada's Yukon Territory, the story touches on the timeless themes of human-animal friendship and human-nature interaction.

Paulsen, Gary. Dogsong.

Seymour, Simon. Animal Fact, Animal Fable Crown, 1979.
Audience: Grades 3-6

Yolen, Jane. All in a Woodlawn, Early

Ocean Life

Carle, Eric. A House for Hermit Crab

Hesse, Karen. The Music of the Dolphins. Scholastic, 1996.
Grades 5-8

Rescued from the sea, Mila, raised by dolphins after her family's plane was lost at sea; she attempts to
being with humans yet longs to return to her dolphin past.

Lionni, Leo. Swimmy.
Audience: Primary

This beautifully illustrated book pictures life in the sea through the eyes of one little fish who devises a plan to survive in his undersea world.

Pfister, Marcus. The Rainbow Fish
Audience: Primary

Rainbow Fish learns that being beautiful is not as important as the joy of giving and having friends.

Podendorf, Illa. Animals of Sea and Shore. Children's Press, 1982.


Carle, Eric. The Mixed-Up Chameleon. Harper & Row, 1975.
Audience: Primary


Burnett, Frances Hodgson. The Secret Garden.
Audience: Intermediate

A wonderful, spooky story of hope, healing, and spiritual renewal in a haunted house with a withered garden.

Carle, Eric. The Tiny Seed.
Audience: Primary

Dazzling, colorful, collage illustrations and a simple dramatic text tell the story of a flowering plant's life cycle through the seasons. Concepts: Types of seeds; growth cycle of plants

Cleaver, Vera and Bill. Where the Lilies Bloom.
Audience: Intermediate-Middle School

After her father coughs his life away, 14-year old Mary Call Luther struggles to protect her sisters and brothers from adults who would put then in an orphanage. A Newbery-award winning book, this novel depicts how Mary and her siblings try to keep their father's death a secret while "wildcrafting"-gathering medicinal herbs to sell-in North Carolina's Smoky Mountains.

Ehlert, Lois. Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z HBJ, 1987.
Ehlert, Lois. Growing Vegetable Soup. HBJ, 1987.
Audience: Primary

Ehlert, Lois. Planting a Rainbow. HBJ, 1988.

Gibbons, Gail. The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree.
Audience: Primary

This delightful story follows Arnold through the year as he watches the seasons change his favorite apple tree.

Heller, Ruth. The Reason for a Flower. Putnam, 1983.

Silverstein, Shel. The Giving Tree.
Audience: All Ages

The touching story of a tree who loves a boy so much that the boy's happiness is more important than her own. Bring out the hankies-this one is quite moving!

Physical Science

Bender, Lionel. Eyewitness Invention.

This book will captivate and motivate children with creative minds! Bender presents excellent illustrations to challenge the scientists of the future. This volume of photos and text explores such inventions as the wheel, gears, levers, clocks, telephones, and rocket engines.

Caney, Steven. Invention.

Besides featuring projects to start now, plus 35 great American invention stories, this book explains each step of the process of being an inventor. It siscusses the fundamentals of setting up a workshop, building models of invention, creating a name for it, plus record keeping, planning, packaging, and marketing. This book leads children ages 10 and up into the world of creativity.

Clements, Gillian. The Picture History of Great Inventors.
Everything around us was invented by someone. Clements chose 60 inventors who met the challenge of solving problems and who found new or better ways of doing things.

Lionni, Leo. Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse. Pantheon Books, 1969.

Macaulay, David. The Way Things Work.
Also available on CD-ROM, the book comes to life, the CD helps children comprehend the workings of machines, inventions, and technology.

Audience: Grades 3-6

This book presents the priciples and workings of commonly used machines and inventions. Carefully drawn illustrations aids in understanding the text.

Parker, Steve. The Random House Book of How Things Work.

This comprehensive and highly visual guide takes the mystery out of more tahn 300 everyday machines and mechanisms. Filled with hundreds of cutaways, illustrations, and diagrams thattake you right inside each machine and show you how the parts move and what goes where.

Vancleave, Janice. Electricity.

VanCleave, Janice. Machines.

VanCleave, Janice. Janice Vancleave's Magnets.

Verne, Jules. Around the World in Eighty Days.
Audience: 4-8


Cassidy, John. Explorabook.

I received this book from my husband John one Christmas but I had a difficult time keeping it out of the hands of my own children!! This is a 99-page hands-on-science museum designed for kids. It's meant to be interacted with, since it's full of activities and exhibits. It's not just a book-it's a tool; covers a wide-range of science topics.

Headlam, Catherine. The Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia.

This encyclopedia brings today's science principles within the grasp of children's knowledge. A wide-rang of topics is presented in alphabetical order and cross-referenced, this single volume provides an unbelievable reference source for home or school.

Seymour, Simon. Einstein Anderson Tells A Comet's Tale. The Viking Press, 1981.

General Audience: Grades 4-6
Adam Anderson, who has received the nickname Einstein for his intelligence in science, explains scientific facts. Each chapter is a puzzle for children to solve. They then check their conclusions with Einstein's.

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