Our Amazing World | Natural Science Series Nonfiction

These collected titles are a celebration of the beautiful, wild world around us that seek to whet one's curiosity while also bringing joy in what is found.

Science books are a gateway to wonder, and one is a new door opening to show something astounding from a far corner of this vast existence that our minds have not yet explored. This novel excitement and delight continue to bring back readers of all ages who want to snatch a glimpse of something simultaneously fabulous and true, like the painted spots of an African dog lounging on a page. Such is the beauty of capturing an entire life in a few dozen pages, from start to finish. These collected titles are a celebration of the beautiful, wild world around us that seeks to whet one’s curiosity while also bringing joy in what is found.



Ali, Nadia. Animals Communicate. ISBN 9780756571764.
––––. Animals Have Families. ISBN 9780756571849.
––––. Animals Have Jobs. ISBN 9780756572006.
––––. Animals Live in Homes. ISBN 9780756571924.
ea vol: 32p. (Animal Societies). Capstone/Pebble. Jan. 2023. Tr. $29.32.
Gr 2-4 –Real photographs of animals connect children to the wild worlds around them. These titles focus on how people and animals are alike, through shared concepts like communication, where they live, and what it means to work. A real highlight of this series is that it teaches social-emotional learning with animals as a high-interest gateway to the topic. The human connection is addressed at the end of each title, with explicit, respectful separation between the wild spaces of animals and our own spaces. VERDICT An excellent series for animal ­lovers that explores the biological and sociological aspects of how humans and animals exist in the world.

Anthony, William. Butterfly. ISBN 9781538389911.
––––. Chicken. ISBN 9781642824377.
––––. Flower. ISBN 9781642824452.
––––. Frog. ISBN 9781642824414.
ea vol: 24p. (How Things Grow). Rosen/PowerKids. Dec. 2022. Tr. $25.27.
PreS-Gr 1 –Using illustrations that connect to picture book styles, young readers can get excited by the life cycles of animals and plants around them. Sentences are short and simple, keeping reading levels in line with the expectations from the vibrant art. In a lovely yet light touch, there are also diverse depictions of children with different abilities included in a normalized, inclusive way. ­VERDICT Concise and visually enticing enough that librarians could easily incorporate these titles into story times alongside ­classics like The Very Hungry Caterpillar to tuck in some core STEM concepts.

Denega, Danielle. Animals: A Colony of Rabbits. ISBN 9781338853377.
Fitzgerald, Stephanie. Animals: A Pack of Dogs. ISBN 9781338853421.
Geron, Eric. Animals: A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies. ISBN 9781338853346.
caprioli, Claire. Animals: A Swarm of Bees. ISBN 9781338853315.
ea vol: 32p. (Learn About). Scholastic. Mar. 2023. Tr. $25.
Gr 2-4 –Using real photographs is the standard these days for children’s animal books, but the exploration of global biodiversity is what makes these titles so novel. There is an interconnection between wild rabbits from all over the world, one’s backyard, and even the bunnies seen in pet stores. The core of this series is exploring more about animals that readers may think they know and introducing new relatives to spark their biological curiosity. VERDICT A fun addition for classrooms looking to add complexity to their animal titles. Cute animals will win over reluctant readers, and their fascinating global variations will captivate them.

Emminizer, Theresa. Do Natural ­Disasters Change Ecosystems? ISBN 9781978532779.
––––. Does Climate Change Affect Ecosystems? ISBN 9781978532731.
––––. Food Chains and Food Webs. ISBN 9781978532618.
––––. Predators and Prey. ISBN 9781978532656.
––––. What Are Invasive Species? ISBN 9781978532694.
––––. What’s a Habitat? ISBN 9781978532571.
ea vol: 24p. (Eye on Ecosystems). Enslow. Dec. 2022. Tr. $24.27.
Gr 2-4 –In a time of climate change and serious weather impacts from it, these titles address the current state of ecosystems and how they have been impacted in an easy-to-read way. The paragraphs are shorter, with larger text, and each is paired with real images of the subjects discussed, such as invasive species. While one of the main themes of this series is climate change, there is still hope woven into the text that anyone, but especially children, can make a difference for the future. VERDICT A welcome addition for school libraries looking to build up their environmental and climate-themed collections, these titles treat the topics seriously without being overly bleak.

Johnson, Robin. Cotton to Clothing. ISBN 9781039806597.
––––. Oil to Plastic. ISBN 9781039806603.
––––. Rocks and Minerals to Aluminum. ISBN 9781039806610.
––––. Trees to Paper. ISBN 9781039806627.
ea vol: 24p. (Where Materials Come From). Crabtree/Seedlings. Jan. 2023. Tr. $27.93.
Gr 1-3 –A visual reader collection that looks at the sourcing of materials of objects we use every day, from aluminum foil to plastic bags. The explanations of polymer science for young audiences are particularly well done here and really dig into the fossil fuel questions younger readers may have. The text is light with vocabulary scaled to match readers’ levels, but inclusive of critical ­science literacy terms for growth. For fans of the “Beginning to End” series, this will be a nice read-alike in the same style, looking at everyday objects rather than foodstuffs. VERDICT A good addition to libraries looking to expand their environmentalist collection related to sourcing to bridge younger generations.

Maloney, Brenna. Big and Small Animals: ­Amphibians. ISBN 9781338853469.
––––. Big and Small Animals: Birds. ISBN 9781338853506.
––––. Big and Small Animals: Fish. ISBN 9781338853537.
––––. Big and Small Animals: Mammals. ISBN 9781338853568.
––––. Big and Small Animals: Reptiles. ISBN 9781338853599.
ea vol: 32p. (Wild World). Scholastic. Mar. 2023. Tr. $25.
Gr 2-4 –Travel beyond the amphibians and fish you know to discover new, unusual newts and giants of the ocean deep. A few familiar snakes and such are sprinkled throughout these collections of animals, but many are unfamiliar with new stories to tell. Packed with high-interest facts and eye-catching color photographs of wild animals in their natural environments, readers can be carried away on the currents or get lost in deep forests. Perhaps the most fun part is the size comparisons of each animal to common household objects to help readers grasp just how big or small an organism is. VERDICT Fantastic fun for animal lovers, and a good addition to any school-age collection.

Murray, Julie. Animals of the Rain Forest. ISBN 9781098280086.
––––. Conservation of the Rain Forest. ISBN 9781098280093.
––––. Layers of the Rain Forest. ISBN 9781098280109.
––––. Plants of the Rain Forest. ISBN 9781098280116.
––––. Purpose of the Rain Forest. ISBN 9781098280123.
––––. Weather of the Rain Forest. ISBN 9781098280130.
ea vol: 24p. (Rain Forest Life). Abdo Zoom/Dash! Jan. 2023. Tr. $31.36.
K-Gr 2 –Step into the visual feast of the rainforest; page after page of beautiful side-by-side images of plants and animals in their vibrant glory. Themes of conservation and the importance of this fragile ecosystem are included in a light way to add weight, without tilting into climate anxiety. The splendor of the rainforest and appreciation of its creatures are set up as that crucial first step in appreciating an ecosystem for its future protection. VERDICT Perfect for public libraries and home collections that appeal to budding environmentalists and nature lovers.

Pettiford, Rebecca. How Do Rainbows Form? ISBN 9798885240505.
––––. What Are Clouds Made Of? ISBN 9798885240536.
––––. Why Does the Sun Shine? ISBN 9798885240567.
––––. Why Is the Sky Blue? ISBN 9798885240598.
ea vol: 24p. (Science Questions). Jump!/Bullfrog. Jan. 2023. Tr. $26.99.
PreS-Gr 1 –For young readers who often ask “why?” and “how?”, these subjects are explained in an easy-to-comprehend way, with simple sentences and visual references. There are real pictures of familiarly questioned concepts, such as blue skies or rainbows, paired with their scientific counterparts, with a breakdown of the colors in an age-appropriate way. The highlight in each title is its visual glossary, which not only helps clarify terms, but also reinforces what was read afterward, to promote discourse. VERDICT These simple science books can fit into classrooms and school libraries for beginner readers full of questions.


Upper Elementary to Middle School

Emminizer, Theresa. Wildfires. ISBN 9781499473605.
Harris, Beatrice. Blizzards. ISBN 9781499469585.
Keppeler, Jill. Earthquakes. ISBN 9781499469493.
Klatte, Kathleen A. Droughts. ISBN 9781499469462.
––––. Hurricanes. ISBN 9781499469554.
––––. Tornadoes. ISBN 9781499469615.
Lombardo, Jennifer. Tsunamis. ISBN 9781499473575.
Proudfit, Benjamin. Floods. ISBN 9781499469523.
ea vol: 48p. (Rosen Verified: Natural Disasters). Rosen Young Adult. Dec. 2022. Tr. $33.47.
Gr 3 Up –There seem to be an unprecedented number of unusual meteorological and other natural disasters in the wake of global warming. Aiming to help demystify these sometimes scary topics, these titles offer examples of real natural disasters, show real people living through them, and explain the start-to-finish of each. Time is spent on the after effects and human aspects of disasters in a neutral way, in keeping with the same tone as the scientific explanations of the phenomena. VERDICT A vital series for public and school libraries, covering crucial questions like how natural disasters occur, alongside safety and preparedness tips for families.


Animals are a bridge between people and the wild worlds around us. With a focus on the natural world and experiences in it, series like “Rainforest Life” (Abdo Zoom) bring the pop of verdant color into readers’ hearts and homes. Staying with animals, “Wild World” (Scholastic) connects readers with less well-known animals, like the sunfish and pocket-sized frogs, giving a scale of how people size up to the other creatures on Earth. Curious readers will enjoy the collections that answer those burning questions, such as where rainbows come from in “Science Questions” (Jump!) There is much to be gained from delving deeper into understanding the natural world and all it has to offer, as the titles this season show.

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