26 Top Science and STEAM Books for Kids

The world of STEAM is full of hands-on activities and experiments, but it doesn’t have to stay in the lab or classroom. Parents can foster a love of science, engineering, and math just by stocking the bookshelves at home and visiting their local libraries.

There are dozens of great children’s books with STEAM-related themes to choose from, but if you’re looking for the best, start here: 26 books about science, science fiction, and other STEAM topics that your kids will love.    

Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space by Dr. Dominic Walliman

Dr. Dominic Walliman is a physicist who works on Quantum computers in Vancouver. He created Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, a book about the feisty Astro Cat who loves exploring our planet, solar system, universe, and everything in between. Each page is packed with information about stars, planets, and physics in a digestible format for kids. Readers are sure to enjoy the ride to the edge of space and back.

Older Than the Stars by Karen C. Fox

Even though your son or daughter is only five, they’re actually older than the universe itself. Older Than the Stars by Karen C. Fox tells the story of the universe and how humans factor into its current timeline. Facts pair with prose in this informative and exciting book. Fox specializes in writing about physics, astronomy, and the history of science for both kids and adults.  

Roaring Rockets by Tony Mitton

Tony Mitton is a poet and children’s book author of many books series. Roaring Rockets is part of the Amazing Machines series (including Terrific Trains and Amazing Aeroplanes) that teach readers how these machines work. Mitton also created the Rap Rhyme series, which takes traditional stories about royalty or monsters and retells them in a fun way through rap. These books are ideal for new readers and parents who want to teach their kids at an early age that reading is fun.  

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

Roz the robot wakes up on a deserted island, unable to figure out how she got there or what her purpose is. She learns to survive on the island and even befriends some of the local animals, until one day her past catches up with her. Author Peter Brown wrote The Wild Robot to show what happens when nature and technology collide. It’s a great science fiction book for kids who love robots and parents who want to help their children connect with the great outdoors.

A girl reading outside

Doug Unplugged by Dan Yaccarino

Doug Unplugged follows the story of a young robot who unplugs himself from his learning program and spends the day exploring the city. Doug believes he can learn more by getting out and interacting with the world instead of just sitting inside. Dan Yaccarino has created this beautifully illustrated book with endearing characters that make you cheer for the little robot.

Robots, Robots Everywhere! By Sue Fliess

If you like to rhyme while learning about the science of robots, then look no further than Robots, Robots Everywhere! by Sue Fliess. This book talks about robots traveling to space, diving into the depths of the ocean, and even helping you in your home. Fliess’ other books are also worth exploring, including The Bug Book and A Gluten-Free Birthday for Me!

Hello Ruby: Adventures in Coding by Linda Liukas

What started as a colorful book to introduce young kids to programming has turned into a movement across the globe. Now in 22 languages, Hello Ruby follows an eccentric character as readers try beginner programming activities and learn new vocabulary. Linda Liukas’ book and method of teaching get kids excited about coding.  

Secret Code by Radseed

In Secret Code, a clever, curious little girl codes a robot to do her chores. When she adds artificial intelligence to the mix, things spiral out of control and she has to save the day. The best part? The protagonist is your girlyour daughter, niece, or friend. Personalize the main character’s name, skin color, and hair style and get your custom Secret Code book in two weeks.

Girls Think of Everything by Catherine Thimmesh

In Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women, Catherine Thimmesh shares stories about women inventors who created some of our most used and loved tools today. From correction fluid to windshield wipers, readers will learn how some inventions came to be and how women were able to achieve them. Thimmesh has written other books including Madam President: The Extraordinary, True (and Evolving) Story of Women in Politics that follow a similar theme to empower the next generation of inventors, leaders, and thinkers.

Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

Though she’s quiet by day, at night Rosie dreams of inventing, creating, and engineering solutions to solve all sorts of problems! When her great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) stops by for a visit, Rosie sets out to build a flying machine to help her aunt achieve her dreams. Will she be able to create a contraption that works? Author Andrea Beaty has continued the Rosie Revere, Engineer series with Ada Twist, Scientist and Iggy Peck, Architect. Her book can be found on the International Space Station.

I Am Jane Goodall by Brad Meltzer

For adults, Brad Meltzer is known for his thrillers that keep readers on the edge of their seats. For kids, he’s the author behind the “I am” series, which introduces historical figures to young readers. I Am Jane Goodall introduces readers to the scientist who worked with chimpanzees and documented their behavior. Readers can also enjoy titles like I Am Albert Einstein, I Am Amelia Earhart, and I Am Martin Luther King Jr.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope is a fascinating book about science, engineering and perseverance. William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi during a severe drought. He had heard about building windmills to conduct electricity and set out to create one despite his mocking neighbors. On top of being a children’s book author and TED speaker, Kamkwamba also works to make his country better through infrastructure projects with the support of readers and fans.

Timeless Thomas by Gene Barretta

Timeless Thomas: How Thomas Edison Changed Our Lives shares the story of Thomas Edison and how he invented devices we use every day. Author Gene Barretta is known for his child-friendly biographies, so readers who like this book can also pick up Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo Da Vinci and Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin.

Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton

Did you know that the Super Soaker was an accidental invention? Inventor Lonnie Johnson was trying to create a system to cool air conditioners and refrigerators and instead invented one of the best selling summer toys of all time. Readers of Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions will enjoy Chris Barton’s telling of Johnson’s life and learn how a fascination with robots and gadgets at a young age led to his career in engineering.

Tracking Trash by Loree Griffin Burns

Loree Griffin Burns is a notable children’s author behind titles like The Hive Catastrophe about honeybees and Citizen Scientists about discovering the animals in your backyard. In Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam and the Science of Ocean Motion, she follows Dr. Curt Ebbesmeyer as he tracks trash and how it travels through currents. This book is recommended for readers 12 and up, but Griffin has books suitable for children as young as four.  

Pedal Power by Allan Drummond

Pedal Power: How One Community Became the Bicycle Capital of the World tells the story of Amsterdam and how it moved from one of the most car-dependent European cities in the 1970s to the haven for bicyclists it is today. Allan Drummond has shared many stories of cities taking greener steps including Green City: How One Community Survived a Tornado and Rebuilt for a Sustainable Future. His series is a must-read for green energy enthusiasts.  

One Well: The Story of Water on Earth by Rochelle Strauss

Rochelle Strauss is the author of One Well: The Story of Water on Earth. Considering our planet is made up of 70 percent water and is the only planet that has this unique liquid, we know surprisingly little about our seas and rivers. Strauss explores water on Earth and how all streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans flow into each other. One Well is part of CitizenKid a collection of books that teach kids about the world and inspire them to be better global citizens.

Evolution: A Colouring Book by Annu Kilpeläinen

Kids will enjoy coloring vibrant sea creatures and strong dinosaurs in Evolution: A Colouring Book. Illustrator Annu Kilpeläinen had more in mind than coloring when she created this piece. Readers solve puzzles and use flaps, die cuts, and stencils as they go, making Evolution one of the more interactive books on the list.

The Slowest Book Ever by April Pulley Sayre

If you’re not in a hurry, sit down and enjoy The Slowest Book Ever by April Pulley Sayre. From fingernails to the Atlantic Ocean, Sayre explores all things slow and shares fun facts about why these plants, animals, and elements refuse to speed up. Other books by this author include Raindrops Roll, Eat Like a Bear, and Woodpecker Wham!

Feathers Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart

Melissa Stewart creates a variety of science books geared toward children, which you can find categorized on her website. Through her books, kids can learn about math, technology, space, Earth science, animals, and more. In Feathers Not Just for Flying, readers learn about sixteen different birds and how they use their feathers, including the sleek Emperor Penguin and beautiful male peacock.

Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman

Writer and illustrator Julia Rothman created Nature Anatomy, which teaches kids about the science of nature with beautiful drawings. On one page, readers might find out about the different types of nests and birds that roost in them, while on the next learn about butterflies or jellyfish. New readers can take the lessons a page at a time, while older readers can find their favorite sections.

The Disgusting Critter Series by Elise Gravel

Meant for readers aged six to nine, The Disgusting Critter Series includes The Worm, The Fly, The Slug, The Head Lice, and The Rat. While discussing what makes each of these animals unique, Elise Gravel periodically has the characters pop up and share their thoughts with readers. At one point in The Worm, a pink earthworm is drawn yelling “I am not disgusting!” in a humorous way to teach kids about animals that might not be as cute as bunnies or kittens.  

Equal Shmequal by Virginia Kroll

Virginia Kroll created the children’s book Equal Shmequal to teach kids a basic mathematical principle. Mouse and her friends want to play tug-of-war but need to figure out how to make both sides even in order for the game to work. This book is sure to stick with kids whether they’re identifying equal numbers in preschool or balancing equations in higher math.

Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford

While adults might be overwhelmed by the concept of infinity, kids can think it’s fun that numbers go on endlessly. In Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford, Uma starts thinking about numbers and keeps trying to figure out how big infinity is. Readers join her as she explores infinity and how to think about big ideas.

The Boy Who Loved Math by Deborah Heiligman

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdös follows the life of young Paul, who could calculate how many seconds people had been alive. The young mathematician travels the world making discoveries and solving problems. Deborah Heiligman created this book for kids four and up, but also offers a variety of books for young adults, including Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith.

Quantum Physics for Babies by Chris Ferrie

Author Chris Ferrie writes that you’re never too young to become a quantum physicist in his book Quantum Physics for Babies, part of a series that discusses the world around us. Pick up these books to learn about energy, movement and gravity all from your baby’s booster seat. Ferrie is also known for his book Goodnight Lab, a parody of the of the beloved classic Goodnight Moon.

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