7 Children’s Books to Support Equitable Science Learning In Your Elementary Classroom (Or At Home!)

As you know, children’s books have the power to ignite important conversations about equity and the environment for students of all ages.


Compiled by our educators, the following list of children’s books is drawn from recommendations we’ve shared with K – 5th grade teachers in our teacher professional development workshops and courses. The books included in this list support environmental education that connects to place and community, reinforce connections between classroom learning and students’ identities and experiences, and represent individuals from a wide variety of cultural and racial groups.


We hope you find a book (or two, or five!) below to add to your own classroom collection or home! And if you aren’t able to access these books physically, or just want to get a sneak peek at them, click on the links below each title to watch a video reading.


Representation Key:


  • An asterisk (*) indicates that the book Black, Indigenous, or other characters of color.
  • A carrot (^) indicates that the book is written or illustrated by Black, Indigenous, or other creators of color.


Book Recommendations:


  • Every Season by Shelley Rotner and Anne Love Woodhull*
    • Watch a video reading —>
    • “Is spring your favorite, when salamanders crawl out from under messy rocks? Is it winter, when buds are waiting, covered in white? The narrator of this aural and visual treat takes readers on a stunning, cyclical journey through all four seasons. With an eloquent text and spectacular photos, this is a book that will not only inform, but enchant.”
  • Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit: A Book of Changing Seasons by Il Sung Na^
    • Watch a video reading —>
    • “What do the animals do when the snow falls to the ground and all the trees are bare? Some fly long distances, while some swim to warmer waters. Some take a long, warm sleep where they live, while others have a thick, cozy coat and can stay in the snow! Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit is filled with rich illustrations, charming animals, and a simple, lyrical text—all wrapped up in a gorgeous package. It’s a gentle introduction to the ideas of adaptation, hibernation, and migration, and an exuberant celebration of changing seasons.”
  • When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Season by Julie Fogliano and Julie Morstad*
    • Watch a video reading —>
    • “Flowers blooming in sheets of snow make way for happy frogs dancing in the rain. Summer swims move over for autumn sweaters until the snow comes back again. In Julie Fogliano’s skilled hand and illustrated by Julie Morstad’s charming pictures, the seasons come to life in this gorgeous and comprehensive book of poetry.”
  • Eyes that Kiss at the Corners by Joanna Ho and Dung Ho*^
    • Watch a video reading —>
    • “A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers’. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother’s, and her little sister’s. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future. Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self-love and empowerment. This powerful, poetic picture book will resonate with readers of all ages.”
  • The Other Way to Listen by Byrd Baylor and Peter Parnall*^
    • Watch a video reading —>
    • “When you know ‘the other way to listen,’ you can hear the wild-flower seed bursting open. You hear rocks murmuring and hills singing, and it seems like the most natural thing in the world. Of course, it takes a lot of practice, and you can’t be in a hurry. Most people never hear these things at all. This is the story of an old man who had a special way of hearing and of a child who hoped to learn his secrets. Byrd Baylor and Peter Parnall have combined their unique, award-winning talents to celebrate the world of nature.”
  • Dandelions: Stars in the Grass by Mia Posada^
    • Watch a video reading —>
    • “Have you ever wanted to float on the soft, downy tufts of a dandelion blowing in the wind? In Dandelions: Stars in the Grass, Mia Posada brings to life the beauty of the flower better known as a weed and a nuisance. This book invites readers to discover and watch the life cycles of dandelions with lush and softly colored illustrations and with a clear and simple text. The book ends with a brief description of the origin of the dandelion and a section that will get readers excited about studying and discovering interesting facts about the plant on their own. Make and eat your own dandelion salad with the easy-to-follow recipe that’s included!”
  • Little Dandelion Seeds the World by Julia Richardson, Kristen Howdeshell, and Kevin Howdeshell*
    • Watch a video reading —>
    • “Did you know dandelions thrive on all seven continents? The cheery blooms are among the most resilient and adaptable in the world. In this lyrical book, learn how the crafty plant travels on the wind and hitches rides in all manner of ways in order to spread far and wide.”


Looking for more book recommendations? Check out this list from Lee & Low of children’s books by AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) authors that we shared with teachers in professional development courses this year, and this list compiled by our educators to help encourage classroom conversations about race, justice, and equity.


Have recommendations for us? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

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  • Dee says:

    Thank you for sharing some great books and posting a video of the book being read aloud as well.
    I tried clicking on the list compiled by your educators and it said that this page couldn’t be found- thought I would let you know.

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