Whether we are snuggled up at home, or out on a long road trip, we are always surrounded by books! I travel with my nerdy geology library, Jed loves a good story of survival, and Maddie enjoys books with animals, birds and puzzles. Below I have listed some of our favourites to inspire your young family.
STEM Books For Young Children
I LOVE STEM! Our little Maddie is naturally curious and I am so glad that she seems to find so much enjoyment in the little puzzles she finds in the world. At only two years old she follows stories of evolution, volcanoes and clouds in the science Children’s books we read. Of course, I don’t think she understands any of it, but introducing these words and concepts at a young age can never do any harm. Below I have listed some of our favourite inspirational books to keep those curious little minds wondering…
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By Chris Ferrie
This whole series is incredible! I am not going to lie, some of them I didn’t fully understand myself so I guess you could say I learned from them too (should I be admitting that??).
By Philip Bunting
This really is one of our favourite – especially the stages of development towards the end. This has been a good one to read to Maddie now we are pregnant with baby number two.
The (unauthorised) biography of you, and the story of all of us. Charting from the Big Bang to birth, Philip Bunting takes us on a journey back to the start of time (in about the time it takes to eat your breakfast!) A hilarious, and beautifully illustrated book, designed to raise more questions than it answers.
By Jeanette Winter
There may not be a greater role model for young girls…
Acclaimed picture book biographer Jeanette Winter has found her perfect subject: Jane Goodall, the great observer of chimpanzees. Follow Jane from her childhood in London watching a robin on her windowsill, to her years in the African forests of Gombe, Tanzania, invited by brilliant scientist Louis Leakey to observe chimps, to her worldwide crusade to save these primates who are now in danger of extinction, and their habitat. Young animal lovers and Winter’s many fans will welcome this fascinating and moving portrait of an extraordinary person and the animals to whom she has dedicated her life. The Watcher was named a Best Book of the Year by the Boston Globe, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and the Bank Street College of Education.
By Steve Tomecek
Rocks and Minerals – YAY! So many different colours and textures to incorporate into sensory play.
Targeted to rock-crazy kids, this bold book is more energetic, more visually exciting, and more fun than anything else on the market–and with more information, too! Youngsters become geology experts as they browse eye-popping photos and absorb layers of information made extra fun through a humor-infused presentation. National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources.
By Tish Rabe, Illustrated by Aristides Ruiz
“It is fun to have fun but you have to know how” – very true words by The Cat In The Hat and he brings the wonders of space to life in his own special way.
This title and others form part of a series of books that takes an off-beat look at nature and natural sciences through a fun combination of Seussian rhymes and zany illustrations. Aimed at early readers – from four to seven year olds – the books are designed to bridge the gap between concept books written for preschoolers and more formal non fiction titles that require fluent reading skills. By presenting the facts in a lively and rhythmic manner, they provide the critical foundation upon which complex facts and ideas can eventually be built.
By Kobi Yamanda, Illustrated by Mae Besom
This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. As the child’s confidence grows, so does the idea itself. And then, one day, something amazing happens. This is a story for anyone, at any age, who’s ever had an idea that seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult. It’s a story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it some space to grow, and to see what happens next. Because your idea isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s just getting started.
By Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts
Iggy Peck and Rosie Revere have earned their places among the most beloved children’s characters and have inspired countless kids and adults to follow their passions. Determined Ada Twist, with her boundless curiosity for science and love of the question “Why?,” is destined to join these two favourites. Like her classmates Iggy and Rosie, Ada has always been hopelessly curious. Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? She embarks on fact-finding missions and conducts scientific experiments, all in the name of discovery. When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada knows it’s up to her to find the source. But, this time, her experiments lead to trouble.
By David Macaulay
Explainer-in-Chief David Macaulay updates the worldwide bestseller The New Way Things Work to capture the latest developments in the technology that most impacts our lives. Famously packed with information on the inner workings of everything from windmills to Wi-Fi, this extraordinary and humorous book both guides readers through the fundamental principles of machines, and shows how the developments of the past are building the world of tomorrow. This sweepingly revised edition embraces all of the latest developments, from touchscreens to 3D printer. Each scientific principle is brilliantly explained–with the help of a charming, if rather slow-witted, woolly mammoth.
By Roma Gans & Holly Keller
Holly Keller has created vivacious new paintings for this favorite Reading Rainbow title about geology. Readers follow two enthusiastic rock hounds around the globe as they add to their collection. Along the way they will learn how sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks are formed. From the Egyptian pyramids to Roman roads, from the diamond ring on your finger to the pebbles under your feet’rocks are everywhere!
By Helaine Becker, Illustrated by Dow Phumiruk
I remember in my younger years being absolutely transfixed by the Apollo 13 movie and the story of how those three astronaughts survived and made it back to Earth. Now, after way too long, we know how significant this incredible woman and other African American women were to a successful re-entry. Let’s bring up the next generation knowing about ALL the incredible people in history.
The bold story of Katherine Johnson, an African-American mathematician who worked for NASA during the space race and was depicted in the film Hidden Figures. You’ve likely heard of the historic Apollo 13 moon landing. But do you know about the mathematical genius who made sure that Apollo 13 returned safely home?As a child, Katherine Johnson loved to count. She counted the steps on the road, the number of dishes and spoons she washed in the kitchen sink, everything! Boundless, curious, and excited by calculations, young Katherine longed to know as much as she could about math, about the universe.
By Steve Breen
By the time she’s two years old, Violet Van Winkle can fix nearly any appliance in the house. And by eight she’s building elaborate flying machines from scratch – mind-boggling contraptions such as the Tubbubbler, the Bioycopter, and the Wing-a-ma-jig. The kids at school tease her, but they have no idea what she’s capable of. Maybe she could earn their respect by winning the blue ribbon in the upcoming Air Show. Or maybe something even better will happen – something involving her best-ever invention, a Boy Scout troop in peril, and even the mayor himself!
By Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld, Illustrated by Paul Meisel
Can you make an ice cube disappear? Put it on a hot sidewalk. It melts into water and then vanishes! The ice cube changes from solid to liquid to gas. This Level 2 Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out picture book is a fascinating exploration of the three states of matter.
Children’s Books About Nature
Mother Nature provides a child’s best playground. We can encourage a love of nature and conservation along with their instinctive play.
By Maria Dek
A Walk in the Forest is a stunning invitation to discover the woods as a place for both imaginative play and contemplation: collect pinecones, feathers, or stones; follow the tracks of a deer; or listen to the chirping of birds and the whisper of trees. Build a shelter and play hide-and-seek. Pretend the woods are a jungle, or shout out loud to stir up the birds! The forest comes alive in all its mysterious glory in Maria Dek’s charming watercolour images and poetic text.
By Dr Seuss
I remember the first time I read this book being surprised by the strong environmental message woven into the story. We must listen to the wise Lord for he speaks for the trees.
Long before saving the earth became a global concern, Dr. Seuss, speaking through his character the Lorax, warned against mindless progress and the danger it posed to the earth’s natural beauty.
By Tish Rabe
… and I just discovered there is another Lorax book! Cannot wait to get into this one!
The star of The Lorax by Dr. Seuss makes his Step into Reading debut in this rhymed reader that offers kids easy suggestions for going green! After explaining how the trash in a wastbasket ultimately ends up in a landfill or incinerator, the Lorax suggests realistic ways children can reduce waste, such as by carrying a lunch box, donating old clothes and toys, sharing magazines with friends, recycling cans and bottles, and using rechargeable batteries. He also explains how they can save energy around the home by turning off lights, taking shorter showers, donning sweaters to stay warm, and much, much more. All in all, this is a great introduction to helping the Earth and helping kids step into reading!
By Jennifer Thermes
This book reminds me of a lovely lady we know called Wendy who hiked part of the AT and is a huge part of the Western Australia hiking community. Someone needs to write a book about Wendy on the Bibbulmun Track.
Emma Gatewood’s life was far from easy. In rural Ohio, she managed a household of 11 kids alongside a less-than-supportive husband. One day, at age 67, she decided to go for a nice long walk . . . and ended up completing the Appalachian Trail. With just the clothes on her back and a pair of thin canvas sneakers on her feet, Grandma Gatewood hiked up ridges and down ravines. She braved angry storms and witnessed breathtaking sunrises. When things got particularly tough, she relied on the kindness of strangers or sheer luck to get her through the night. When the newspapers got wind of her amazing adventure, the whole country cheered her on to the end of her trek, which came just a few months after she set out. A story of true grit and girl power at any age, Grandma Gatewood proves that no peak is insurmountable.
By Megan Wagner Lloyd, Ilustrations by Abigail Halpin
A lovely, lyrical picture book with gorgeous illustrations that explores the ways the wild makes itself known to us and how much closer it is than we think. There are so many places that wild can exist, if only you know where to look! Can you find it? Two kids set off on an adventure away from their urban home and discover all the beauty of the natural world. From the bark on the trees to the sudden storm that moves across the sky to fire and flowers, and snowflakes and fresh fruit. As the children make their way through the woods and back to the paved and noisy streets, they discover that wild exists not just off in some distant place, but right in their own backyard.
A Little Piece of Australiana
I moved to Australia in 2012 and fell in love with the country. Everything about it captivates me. Now I can enjoy Australian stories even more with my little Aussie family.
By P.Crumble, Illustrated by Wendy Binks
This is just about my favourite book for bedtime. The first time I read it I shed a tear. It so wonderfully describes that protect and nurturing instinct we have over our children.
Hush, little possum, don’t you cry, Mama will keep you safe and dry. When the sky starts to rumble and the rain begins to fall, brave Mama possum hurries to find somewhere to keep her baby safe and warm.
By Sheena Knowles, Illustrated by Rod Clement
Tired of his life as an emu, Edward decides to try being something else for a change. He tries swimming with the seals. He spends a day lounging with the lions. He even does a stint slithering with the snakes. But Edward soon discovers that being an emu may be the best thing after all. And so he returns to his pen, only to find a big surprise awaiting him…
And the sequel Edwina the Emu.
By Colin Buchanan & Greg Champion, Illustrated by Glen Singleton
Australians, let us barbecue for summertime is here! The steamy, muggy, hottest part of every Aussie year. So pack away your winter coats, your jumpers and your longs, All you’ll need for weeks and weeks are singlets, shorts and thongs!’ Get ready to throw on your swimmers and enjoy Aussie fun for the whole family. Sing along with the bonus CD to the tune of our national anthem ‘Advance Australia Fair’.
By Jackie French, Illustrated by Bruce Whatley
The life of a wombat as told by a wombat. Critics hailed DIARY OF A WOMBAT as “hilarious…adorable!” “Laugh out loud!” And the Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books gave it a starred review. This magnificently droll autobiography gives new meaning to the word persistent. Young readers everywhere will be begging for one to move in under their house after they meet our girl!
All about hiking and Australian Survival
If you happen to be exploring Western Australia, you need some literary resources to make sure you have the best adventure you can have.
By Leonard Cronin, Illustrated by Marion Westmacott
A great fun game to play when we are out camping is to try and identify all the different birds and animals we see. Great for aspiring little naturalists.
Come on a journey into the world of Australia’s wildlife, exploring all the different habitats, from parched deserts to lush rainforests. DISCOVER the mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and insects that live there. SEARCH for the animals hidden in each habitat scene. FIND OUT about the fish that walks; the sixth sense of the platypus; the deadly venom of the desert death adder; the strange table manners of the sea star. This environmental atlas of Australian animals by an expert team is full of fascinating facts and superb illustrations.
By Graham Pizzey and Frank Knight
The definitive and most respected guide to Australian bird identification, this book is a must for both experts and amateurs. First published in 1980, Graham Pizzey’s Field Guide to the Birds of Australia combines a depth and breadth of knowledge with beautiful, full-colour illustrations by Frank Knight. Comprehensive and fully updated, this 9th edition of the Guide is more user-friendly than ever before. Species entries have been re-ordered and updated to reflect the new taxonomy, and the book has been expanded to include eighteen new species as well as a new section on vagrant species. It also features new information on bird family groups, more than 750 distribution maps based on the most recent bird atlas data, as well as a new Quick Find Index, to assist with quick identification of birds in the field. this is the essential reference for every bird enthusiast.
By Bear Grylls
It’s a wonderful world out there just waiting to be discovered, but are you ready to be an explorer? Do you know how to cope with searing heat and intense cold? Can you find food and water in the wild? Could you avoid deadly diseases and fight back against man-eating beasts? Let Bear Grylls teach you everything you need to know to venture through all of Earth’s terrain, as well as through the air, over the seas, and under the waves in Bear Grylls Survival Camp. The perfect gift for any young adventurers in training.
By David Johnson and Robert Henderson
This book is so wonderful and explains the fascinating geological history of Australia in an easy to understand way. This is another great way to spark curiosity in older children.
This book documents the rich and spectacular heritage of the Australian continent over the last 4400 million years. Now in its third edition, The Geology of Australia provides a comprehensive overview of Australia’s geology, landscapes and Earth resources. Beginning with the Precambrian rocks that hold clues to the origins of life and the development of an oxygenated atmosphere, it goes on to cover the warm seas, volcanism and episodes of mountain building that formed the eastern third of the Australian continent. This illuminating history details the breakup of the supercontinents Rodinia and Gondwana, the times of previous glaciations, the development of climates and landscapes in modern Australia, and the creation of the continental shelves and coastlines. This third edition features two new chapters on geological time and Paleozoic orogenic rock systems and mountain building, and new and updated illustrations and full-colour images.
By Peter Lane & Richard Woldendorp
This book lives in our car! No joke! With a page or two dedicated to each national park in Western Australia, we have some simple yet interesting fun facts about all the incredible landscapes we love to explore.
A view of the global forces that have formed this state’s national parks.
We would love to hear what your favourite inspirational children’s books are! Comment below and let us know 🙂
The Joneses XXXXX