Science Journals | Reports | Newsletters | SB&F | Annual Report
Home About AAAS Programs Membership Publications News Career Resources

Science Books & Films

Triple-A S: Advancing Science, Serving Society

Publications of AAAS and Science

sbflogo Sign In | Create Account Advanced SB&F Search
Go Search



Print Article

Science + Poetry Books for Kids

Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April. The month long celebration presents a great opportunity to feature a list of recommended books for children that integrate poetry and science.  

Children are drawn to books with a lyrical verse. And children tend to be fascinated by the world around them. Books of poetry that charmingly blend these two pieces together are often quite successful at holding a young reader's attention and inspiring their curiosity. Books of science poetry also have the benefit of reaching children who may otherwise shy away from science. Artsy students who would normally steer clear of books about trees, for instance, may pick up a book of nature poetry and learn about the life cycle of a tree through poetic verse.  And maybe more importantly the same student may be more apt to reach for a book about trees next time they are perusing the library shelves.

Because science and nature poetry books can be so successful, each year many are published. Some hit the mark and others fall a little short. Below is a list of poetry books that we believe are worthy of a spot on your bookshelf. This list is by no means comprehensive and I encourage you to seek out others that you feel have what it takes to inspire and engage young readers.

Giant Sequoias
from Poetrees by Douglas Florian

Ancient seers
Of three thousand years.
Heavenly high.
Friends to the sky.
Spongy thick bark.
Large as an ark.
Gargantuan girth.
Anchored in earth.
Growing by degrees
To world's tallest trees.
Never destroy a
Giant sequoia.


Recommended Poetry Books for Children

And Then There Were Eight: Poems about Space. Laura Purdie Salas. (Illus.) Capstone Press, 2008. 32pp. ISBN 978-1429612074.

Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow. Joyce Sidman. (Illus. by Beth Krommes.) Houghton Mifflin, 2006. 48pp. ISBN 978-0618563135.

Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars: Space Poems and Paintings. Douglas Florian. Harcourt, 2007. 56pp. ISBN 978-0152053727.

Dear World. Takayo Noda. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2003. 32pp. ISBN 0803726449.

Dinothesaurus: Prehistoric Poems and Paintings. Douglas Florian. Beach Lane Book, 2009. 56pp. ISBN 978-1416979784.

Earthshake: Poems from the Ground Up. Lisa Westberg Peters. (Illus. by Cathie Felstead.) Greenwillow Books, 2003. 32pp. ISBN 978-0060292652.

Faces of the Moon. Bob Crelin. (Illus. Leslie Evans.) Charlesbridge Publishing, 2009. 32pp. ISBN 978-1570917851.

Footprints on the Roof: Poems About the Earth. Marilyn Singer. (Illus. by Meilo So.) Knopf, 2002. 48pp. ISBN 0375810943.

Nest, Nook, and Cranny. Susan Blackaby. (Illus. by Jamie Hogan.) Charlesbridge Publishing, 2010. 49pp. ISBN 978-1580893503.

Ocean Soup: A Book of Tide Pool Poems. Stephen R. Swineburne. (Illus. by Mary Peterson.) Charlesbridge Publishing, 2010. 32pp. ISBN 978-1580892001.

Poetrees. Douglas Florian. Beach Lane Books, 2010. 48pp. ISBN 978-1416986720.

Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors. Joyce Sidman. (Illus. by Pamela Zagarenski.) Houghton Mifflin, 2009. 32pp. ISBN 978-0547014944.

River of Words: Young Poets and Artists on the Nature of Things. Pamela Michael (Ed.). Milkweed Editions, 2008. 320pp. ISBN 978-1571316851.

Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems. Joyce Sidman. (Illus. by Beckie Prange.) Houghton Mifflin, 2005. 32pp. ISBN 978-0618135479.

Spectacular Science: A Book of Poems. Lee Bennett Hopkins, Ed. (Illus. by Virginia Halstead.) Simon & Schuster, 2002. 40pp. ISBN 978-0689851209.

The Tree That Time Built: A Celebration of Nature, Science, and Imagination. Mary Ann Hoberman and Linda Winston. (Illus.) Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2009. 224pp. ISBN 978-1402225178.

Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature's Survivors. Joyce Sidman. (Illus. by Beckie Prange.) Houghton Mifflin, 2010. 40pp. ISBN 978-0618717194.

Volcano Wakes Up! Lisa Westberg Peters. (Illus. by Stephen W. Jenkins.) Henry Holt, 2010. 32pp. ISBN 978-0805082876.

What Is Science? Rebecca Kai Dotlich. (Illus. by Sachiko Yoshikawa.) Henry Holt, 2006. 32pp. ISBN 978-0805073942.

When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer. Walt Whitman. (Illus. by Loren Long.) Simon & Schuster, 2004. 32pp. ISBN 978-0689863974.

A World of Wonders: Geographic Travels in Verse and Rhyme. J. Patrick Lewis. (Illus. by Alison Jay.) Dial Books for Young Readers, 2002. 40pp. ISBN 0803725795.