I’m always on the lookout for picture books with characters my daughter can really identify with. As she’s someone who has a big interest in science, I was on the hunt to find books featuring girls who also love science and experiments.
Here are three great picture book finds with science superstars who know how to have fun while learning about the scientific method and participating in the science fair. (Didn’t think that was possible, did you?)
11 Experiments That Failed by Jenny Offill, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
If you’re looking for a book that shows how fun science can be, look no further! The nameless scientist shows that experiments don’t have to be limited to a laboratory. The backyard, a closet, even the car on the way to school can be a place to run an experiment.
What I love even more is that it shows not every hypothesis is correct and not every experiment is a success. Does that deter our plucky experimenter? Never! She does make some bad choices with her behavior (flinging bologna at school is obviously not a good idea), but you can use the chance to start a conversation about what the right choice could have been.
Mad Margaret Experiments With the Scientific Method by Eric Braun, illustrated by Robin Boyden
Jasper recruits his friend Margaret for her help in solving a mystery using the scientific method. The colorful book walks the reader through each step of the scientific method, from the question to testing the hypothesis, in terms kids can understand.
Margaret is a bright, bold character who’s likely to capture the interest of any young kid who also has an interest in science.
Oh No! Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Dan Santat
This picture book is more mad science than science, telling the wacky tale of a young genius’s science fair project on the loose. It feels like an homage to Japanese monster movies, complete with the giant robot rampaging through the city, so this is a tongue-in-cheek, entertaining read (with no nonfiction elements focusing on the scientific method itself). Pick this one up if you or your kids are fans of Godzilla or other mad scientist flicks.