A place to share cool science ideas for storytime!

Archive for the ‘General Science’ Category

Panda Power!

The Panda Problem by Deborah Underwood

A narrator’s story is disrupted by the main character (Panda) who refuses to play the part.

Flo by Kyo Maclear

While the other pandas try to rush her from one activity to another, Flo enjoys relaxing, stopping to smell the roses, and really seeing the world around her.

Queen Panda Can’t Sleep by Susanna Isern

When Queen Panda can’t sleep, animals from all over the world come to help her.

Amy the Red Panda is writing the best story in the world by Colleen A. F. Venable

Amy the Red Panda is trying to tell a story to her best friend, Mervin the Sloth, but the enthusiastic contributions of other animals threaten to spoil it.

Where My Feet Go written and illustrated by Birgitta Sif

A young panda uses his feet as a way to explore his imagination.

I’ll Wait, Mr. Panda written and illustrated by Steve Antony

Mr. Panda is making something, and all of his animal friends are interested–but only Penguin is willing to wait to see what it is.

Panda-monium at Peek Zoo by Kevin Waldron

Peek Zoo is holding an animal parade to celebrate the birth of their baby panda. But when the day arrives, nothing is ready. As Mr. Peek races around preparing, he leaves a trail of chaos. Thank goodness Mr. Peek’s son, Jimmy, is there to save the day and ensure the crowd gets the best animal parade ever.

Chengdu Could Not, Would Not, Fall Asleep by Barney Saltzberg

High in the trees in the middle of the night, all of the pandas are sleeping except for Chengdu, who tries everything and still cannot fall asleep until he finds the perfect spot–atop his brother, Yuan.

Two Shy Pandas by Julia Jarman

Panda and Pandora live next to each other but never speak or play together because they are much too shy.

Xander’s panda party by Linda Sue Park

Xander Panda’s plan to host a panda party falls through, since he is the only panda at the zoo, but when he extends the invitation to all of the bears, complications ensue. Includes author’s note on the wonders of the animal kingdom and the international effort to save pandas from extinction.

Mrs. Harkness and the Panda by Alicia Potter

Traces the story of a 1930s female adventurer who brought America its first panda bear, describing how she inherited a seemingly impossible expedition from her explorer husband and defied period conventions to travel up the Yangtze River and into the wilderness to bring back an adorable panda cub she named Su Lin, which means “a little bit of something cute.

If You Were a Panda Bear by Florence Friedmann Minor

Pictures and rhyming text present some of the many extraordinary things bears can do. Includes facts about bears as well as related websites.

Non fiction

Baby Panda goes Wild by David Salomon

This book’s “up close and personal” photographs of pandas and its array of panda facts will captivate young nonfiction lovers. Readers will learn how one mother and her cub are being protected and raised in a Chinese panda reserve, which seeks to help this vulnerable species survive.

Camp Panda : Helping Cubs Return to the Wild by Catherine Thimmesh

A riveting, timely account of panda conservation efforts in China, perfect for budding environmentalists and activists.

Red Pandas by Josh Gregory

This book details the life and habits of red pandas.

My Whiskers are Long and White by Jessica Rudolph

What has a striped tail, red fur, and long, white whiskers? If you guessed a red panda, you’re right! This book introduces early readers to a mystery animal by describing its features, one by one, using short simple sentences and eye-popping full-color photos.

National Geographic Kids 10 facts about pandas: https://www.natgeokids.com/uk/discover/animals/general-animals/ten-panda-facts/

Red pandas: https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/red-panda

Paper plate panda mask craft: https://www.kixcereal.com/kix-cereal-4-fun-zoo-themed-party-crafts-for-kids-and-1-for-mom/

Farm Life

Grandpa Cacao : a Tale of Chocolate, from Farm to Family written and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon.

As a little girl and her father work together to make her birthday cake, he tells the story of her Grandpa Cacao, a farmer from the Ivory Coast. Includes author’s note and a cake recipe.

Thunderstorm by Arthur Geisert

Presents an illustrated account of a storm that moves through a Midwestern farming region over the course of several hours that is documented by a timeline and images of atmospheric changes and human response.

Summer Supper by Rubin Pfeffer

Follow the creation of a family meal from the farm to the picnic table on a warm sunny day. Told entirely in words beginning with S, this lively book will help children appreciate where their food comes from.

Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter by Eugenie Doyle

It is December, and there are many things for the family to do around the farm to get it ready for winter.

The Farm Life by Elizabeth Spurr

From its opening lines, “Red barn, red barn, what are you keeping? One rumbling tractor ready for reaping,” this innovative concept book is off at a trot, teaching basic colors and numbers from 1 to 10 while exploring a traditional family-run farm.

I Spy on the Farm by Edward Gibbs

An interactive introduction to farm animals invites youngsters to make animal noises and practice color and letter recognition while peeping through a spy hole on every page and observing clues to guess which animal will be revealed next in the story.

Farm by Elisha Cooper

Describes the activities on a busy family farm from the spring when preparations for planting begin to the autumn when the cats grow winter coats and the cold rains begin to fall.

Big bug by Henry Cole

Beginning with a bug, various objects are revealed as being big and small in comparison with other objects on a farm under the big, big sky.


Life on the farm by Teddy Borth

This title introduces little readers to the daily life of a farmer. Complete with a More Facts section and bolded glossary terms. Readers will gather basic information about farm life through easy-to-read, simple text alongside beautiful full-bleed photographs.

Farm animal printable coloring sheets: https://www.messylittlemonster.com/2018/01/farm-animal-printable-colouring-pages.html#more

Farm science activities with corn: https://perpetualpreschool.com/farm-science/

Making butter in baby food jars and playing egg detective: https://www.theclassroom.com/science-activities-relating-farm-animals-preschoolers-47275.html

Rocks and Stones

A Rock Can Be by  Laura Purdie Salas

Rocks may seem like boring, static objects–until you discover that a rock can spark a fire, glow in the dark, and provide shelters of all shapes and sizes.

Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour

Lubna’s best friend is a pebble. Pebble always listens to her stories. Pebble always smiles when she feels scared. But when a lost little boy arrives in the World of Tents, Lubna realizes that he needs Pebble even more than she does.

Petra written and illustrated by Marianna Coppo

A little rock who believes she is a mountain has her perspective changed by a series of movements, including a dog playing fetch, a bird’s nest, a pond, and a little girl.

A Stone Sat Still written and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

Told in rhyming verse, a stone is considered from a variety of environmental and emotional perspectives, as it sits where it is, surrounded by grass, dirt, and water, an unchanging certainty in the world.

The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt

You’ve played the game. Now read the legend of how it all began…Long ago, in an ancient and distant realm called the Kingdom of Backyard, there lived a warrior named ROCK. Meanwhile in the Empire of Mom’s Home Office, a second great warrior sought the glory of battle. And his name was PAPER. At the same time, in the Kitchen Realm, in the tiny village of Junk Drawer, lived a third warrior. They called her SCISSORS. These three were the strongest, smartest, and fastest in all the land.

Additional activities: https://www.harpercollins.com/childrens/rockpaperscissor/

Charlotte and the Rock by Stephen W. Martin

When Charlotte receives a pet rock for her birthday, she doesn’t expect it to become her best friend, and she really doesn’t expect what happens next.

Ricky, the Rock that couldn’t Roll by Jason I. Miletsky

She thought, as she watched her friends play on the hill, that there’s always a way if there’s also a will.

If Rocks Could Sing : a discovered alphabet by Leslie McGuirk

Displays photographs of rocks that resemble the letters of the alphabet and objects represented by each letter.

Bring Me a Rock! Written and illustrated by Daniel Miyares

A tiny insect king demands a rock with which to build his throne.

A Stone for Sascha Written and illustrated by Aaron Becker

A young girl, still reeling from her dog’s death, finds solace while picking up stones on the beach during her family’s vacation.

The Bell in the Bridge by Ted Kooser

When Charlie visits his hardworking grandparents in the summer, he often is left to himself, and he is lonely. So he goes out to play by the stream, with a tin can for tadpoles, a special weed-whacking stick, and stones to drop from the iron bridge. One day he notices that when he strikes the bridge with a big stone, it rings with a bong like a church bell and echoes into the valley.

Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry

Stick and Stone are both lonely until Pinecone’s teasing causes one to stick up for the other, and a solid friendship is formed.

Stones for Grandpa by Renee Londner

After a year of missing his grandfather and remembering things they did together, a young boy and his family unveil Grandpa’s tombstone, place stones on it, and share stories, knowing the memories will never be lost.

Nonfiction books

If You Find a Rock by Peggy Christian

Celebrates the variety of rocks that can be found, including skipping rocks, chalk rocks, and splashing rocks.

Rocks and Soil by Peter D. Riley

Rocks and soil, they’re always underfoot. They’re also in space, inside Earth, and in volcanoes. In this book, readers will discover how rocks, soil, and minerals are formed, and what they’re made of. Activities and questions expand on topics introduced in the text, and stimulate readers to think critically about rocks and soil.

The Rock Cycle by Pam Watts

Learn how sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks form, break apart, and change over time.

Make a rock band craft: https://www.fantasticfunandlearning.com/make-your-own-rock-band.html

Not So Scary Scarecrows

Otis and the Scarecrow written and illustrated by Loren Long

When the farmer places a scarecrow in the cornfield, Otis the tractor and the farm animals try to make friends, but the scarecrow remains silent with a sour look on his face throughout the summer and fall.

Samurai Scarecrow : a Very Ninja Halloween written and illustrated by Rubin Pingk

Yukio gets tired of his little sister, Kashi, questioning and copying him, but on Halloween, when Samurai Scarecrow frightens him and demands candy, Yukio refuses to give up Kashi’s.

The Scarecrow by Beth Ferry

All the animals know not to mess with old Scarecrow. But when a small, scared crow falls from midair, Scarecrow does the strangest thing. He saves the tiny baby crow. Soon a loving bond grows between the two unlikely friends. But is it strong enough to weather the changing of the seasons?

Scarecrow Magic by Ed Masessa

When night falls and the moon appears, magic is in the air and Scarecrow comes alive and plays with all his ghoulish and ghostly friends.

The Little Scarecrow Boy by Margaret Wise Brown

Early one morning, a little scarecrow whose father warns him that he is not fierce enough to frighten a crow, goes out into the cornfield alone.

The Lonely Scarecrow by Tim Preston

A lonely scarecrow with a scary face has trouble making friends with the animals who surround him, until a heavy snowfall transforms him into a jolly snowman.

The Scarecrow and his Servant by Pullman, Philip

A scarecrow and his boy servant, Jack, set off on a dangerous adventure as they try to outwit the crooked Buffaloni family and stake their claim to valuable Spring Valley.

The Scarecrow’s Hat by Ken Brown

Chicken thinks Scarecrow’s hat will make a nice nest, but first she must swap with Badger, Crow, Sheep, Owl, and Donkey.

Waltz of the Scarecrows by Constance W. McGeorge

While staying with her grandparents on their farm, Sarah discovers the secret behind the local tradition of dressing the scarecrows in formal gowns and fancy coats.

Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant

Although made of straw and borrowed clothes, a scarecrow appreciates his peaceful, gentle life and the privilege of watching nature at work.

Nothing at All by Denys Cazet

As the farm slowly comes to life, each animal stirs and speaks in his own distinctive voice, but the scarecrow says nothing until he discovers a mouse in his pants.

All Kinds of Crows!

The Scarecrow by Beth Ferry

All the animals know not to mess with old Scarecrow. But when a small, scared crow falls from midair, Scarecrow does the strangest thing. He saves the tiny baby crow. Soon a loving bond grows between the two unlikely friends. But is it strong enough to weather the changing of the seasons?

Harold Loves His Woolly Hat

Harold is a very special bear who always wears a woolly hat, so when a crow steals the hat from him, he tries to win it back.

Crow Not Crow by Jane Yolen

Tells the story of a child’s first birding expedition on a golden autumn day.

Lila and the Crow written and illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard

Lila is bullied because of her dark skin, but the crows have a solution for that!

Fox and the Crow by Manasi Subramaniam

In this timeless Aesop’s fable, a fox and a crow vie for a piece of bread. The crow has it, but can the fox get it? This breathtakingly beautiful picture book adapted by Manasi Subramaniam and by Culpeo S. Fox is an exploration of this tale. Each page stands alone like a brilliant painting; when the pages come together, they tell us the story like never before.

Little Black Crow by Christopher Raschka

A boy thinks about the life of a little black crow that he sees, wondering where it goes in the snow, where it sleeps, and whether or not it worries like he does.

Crow Call by Lois Lowry

Nine-year-old Liz accompanies the stranger who is her father, just returned from the war, when he goes hunting for crows in Pennsylvania farmland.

The Crow (a not so scary story) by Alison Paul

A dark, creepy shape outside a home might be a pirate, a wizard, or something much less frightening.

Farmer Ham by Alec Sillifant

The crows in Farmer Hams field are very happy. All day long they sit and eat his corn and no matter how often he shouts and waves his arms, they won’t go away. Silly old Farmer Ham. Or is he so silly, after all?


American Crows by Kristin Petrie

Check out the cawing crow! As part of the Backyard Animals series, this book introduces the unique features of this wild animal. The text covers this bird’s habitat, life cycle, physical characteristics, diet, and defenses. Also included are a range map and a body diagram. In the sky or on the ground, backyard animals are all around!

Harvest Time

The Shadow in the Moon: A Tale of the Mid-Autumn Festival by Christina Matula

Two young sisters celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, admire their mooncakes decorated with a picture of a lady in the moon, and listen to their Ah-ma tell the ancient tale of how the holiday began.

From Apple Trees to Cider, Please! By Felicia Sanzari Chernesky

Grab the wagon, it’s a bright autumn day and the trees are full of ripe, red apples! There’s an apple festival underway at the farm and lots of work to do making cider. This visit finishes with a cider doughnut and a cup of freshly pressed cider. DELICIOUS! Told in crisp, action-driven thymes from a young child’s point of view, From Apple Trees to Cider, Please! is a realistic account of how apple cider is pressed, flavored with the charm and vigor of a harvest celebration.

Pumpkin time! By Erzsi Deak

From the day she plants seeds in her garden until she serves a pumpkin pie after harvest, Evy fails to notice any of the strange things the farm animals do as she works, from donkeys sailing through the sky to pigs dancing around a May Pole.

Pick a Circle, Gather Squares: A Fall Harvest of Shapes by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky

Fall is here, with all its wonderful visual delights–not just colors, but shapes! This clever concept book follows a family on a trip to a pumpkin patch and invites children to pick out shapes from the seasonal scenery–apple bushel circles, square hay bales, diamond kites in the autumn sky!

We Gather Together : Celebrating the Harvest Season by Wendy Pfeffer

The fall equinox signals the time of year when we gather our harvests and give thanks for their bounty. With accessible, lyrical prose and vibrant illustrations, this nonfiction picture book explains the science behind autumn and the social history of harvest-time celebrations.

Acorns and Oak Trees

The Little Guys written and illustrated by Vera Brosgol

The Little Guys might be small, but they aim to be mighty. As they head off to find breakfast, they can conquer anything through teamwork—cross deep waters, dig through obstacles, and climb the tallest trees. Nothing can stop them! But as they begin to amass more than they need, the creatures in the forest ponder—what happens when no one can stop the Little Guys?

Because of an Acorn by Lola M. Schaefer

This enchanting and informative picture book explores the vital connections between the layers of an ecosystem, relating how every tree, flower, plant, and animal connect to one another in spiraling circles of life.

Hector the Collector by Emily Beeny

Hector begins collecting acorns of different sizes and shapes and is teased about it when his classmates find out, until their teacher explains about collections and asks who else has one. Includes author’s note about various kinds of collections.

Acorns everywhere! By Kevin Sherry

An energetic squirrel hoards acorns but forgets where he hid them after being distracted by a berry-gathering bear.

As an Oak Tree Grows by Brian G. Karas

This inventive picture book relays the events of two hundred years from the unique perspective of a magnificent oak tree, showing how much the world can transform from a single vantage point. From 1775 to the present day, this fascinating framing device lets readers watch as human and animal populations shift and the landscape transitions from country to city.

Dot & Jabber and the Great Acorn Mystery by Ellen Stoll Walsh

Two mice try to figure out how a little acorn turns into a huge oak tree.

A Friend for All Seasons by Julia Hubery

Robbie the Raccoon and his friends love Father Oak and worry that he is sick when his leaves begin to turn color and fall off, but Robbie’s mother explains what the change means and helps him plant some acorns as a sign of hope for spring.

Simple ideas for fall learning activities using real acorns:https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/acorn-fine-motor-fall-sensory-activities-math-science/

How to dry acorns:https://www.wikihow.com/Dry-Acorns-for-Crafts

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