My two-year-old now wants definitions of everything. "What's American flag?" "What's is that cloud?" I know that the whys can't be far behind. Fortunately, we'll have a little help.
Since he was a year old we've been reading the marvelous "Let's-Read-And-Find-Out Science"(HarperTrophy) books. This vast series has two tiers. Stage 1 books are for preschoolers and kindergarteners (age 3 to 6), but with some occasional editing, you can read these books to toddlers, too. Stage 2 books are for kids in elementary school.
My son's first favorite was "From Seed to Pumpkin." This lovely book follows the plant's growth, culminating with Halloween and pumpkin pies. Unlike some other science books for kids, this series often puts the information in a narrative, which is appealing for little kids.
There are oodles of these books and they explain just about everything from "Our Puppies are Growing" to "My Five Sense." Some of our other favorite Read-And-Find-Out Science books:
- Ducks Don't Get Wet
- A Nest Full of Eggs
- What's it Like to be a Fish?
- Animals in Winter
That last book is the reason my two-year-old says he's going to "migrate" from one pillow den to another. The fish book stars a goldfish--handy if your kid has one. It also offers instructions on setting up a fishbowl. Other titles include "From Caterpillar to Butterfly," "A Tree is a Plant," "What Makes a Shadow," "From Tadpole to Frog," and "Sleep is for Everyone."
We also love "About Amphibians: A Guide for Children" (Peachtree Publishers). It's part of a series that has even simpler text, suitable for very young children. More complex information is found in an afterword. The chief virtue of these books, aside from the simplicity, are the gorgeous illustrations. They were written by Cathryn Sill and illustrated by her husband, John Sill, a prize-winning wildlife artist. We also own their "About Fish: A Guide for Children."
Finally, a word of praise for Aliki, the prolific author of many books for children (including some of the Read-And-Find-Out Science series). Her "Quiet in the Garden" is beautifully illustrated. This simple text about animals (and a boy) eating in a garden is perfect for babies and toddlers.
More great books for little kids.