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Science Books for Preschoolers
Discovery is synonymous with early childhood. The first step is to explore the outside world; then to learn about relationships; and finally, children are ready to look at themselves in relation to others.
Dr. Laura Gehl highlights each of these experiences with compassion and humor in her new May books. In Baby Scientist: Oceanographer & Baby Scientist: Astronaut (HarperFestival/HarperCollins, Ages: 0-4), Dibs!, (Carolrhoda/Lerner, Ages 4-9), and Except When They Don’t (little bee books, Ages: 4-8); Gehl provides fun reading and great jumping off points for discussion about new experiences and feelings.
Baby Scientist: Oceanographer & Baby Scientist: Astronaut are the first books in a series that makes science jobs fun and accessible for preschoolers – next up are botany and paleontology. In each, a toddler “scientist” names the things he or she observes in the world they explore – in the ocean, dolphins, fish, an octopus, and algae; and in space, the moon, stars, a space station, and planets. Baby Scientist: Astronaut is just in time for this year’s celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the first moon landing, July 20, 2019.
Baby Scientist books – illustrated by Daniel Wiseman
Baby Oceanographer • Written by Laura Gehl • Illustrated by Daniel Wiseman • Ages 0-4 • HarperFestival/HarperCollins • ISBN: 978-0062841339 • $8.99 Hardcover.
“A cute infant-scientist offering…tuned to its audience.” —Kirkus
Baby Scientist is an adorable board book series that brings fun, accessible science concepts to baby’s world using simple language, recognizable settings, and vibrant art. Read them all with your baby scientist!
Baby Oceanographer explores the oceans. With his snorkel and mask, he looks at the animals and plants under the sea.
What creatures are found deep down?
Are waves in the ocean like waves in the bathtub?
Find out with Baby Oceanographer!
Baby Astronaut • Written by Laura Gehl • Illustrated by Daniel Wiseman • Ages 0-4 • HarperFestival/HarperCollins • ISBN: 978- 0062841346 • $8.99 Hardcover
Baby Astronaut explores the stars and planets in space. She wears her space suit and helmet and rides in a space craft.
Can ants live in space?
Can plants grow in space?
Find out with Baby Astronaut!
Don’t miss the other books in this series, including Baby Oceanographer!
More About the Books from Dr. Laura:
Dibs! – illustrated by Marcin Piwowarski
The siblings in Dibs! can get in on that anniversary too. In this book, with a rivalry that will be familiar to many families, Julian claims territory by declaring “dibs” on everything he wants – which works fine until his baby brother, Clancy, catches on and makes “dibs” his first (and, it seems, only) word. This escalates until Clancy calls dibs on NASA and blasts off into space. When Julian realizes the value of having a baby brother, he needs to harness the power of dibs himself in order to rescue Clancy.
Marcin Piwowarski is a self-taught artist in traditional and digital illustration and has created illustrations for hundreds of books. His artwork is inspired by nature, daily life, and music, mixing magical and mysterious ambiance with down-to-earth elements of everyday reality. Marcin lives in Portugal.
Except When They Don’t – illustrated by Joshua Heinsz
Children are often told by many different people about what toys they’re supposed to play with, what interests they should have, and who they should be simply because of their gender. This stereotype-breaking book invites children to examine what they’re told “boy” and “girl” activities are and encourages them to play with whatever they want to and to be exactly who they are! This book is published in partnership with GLAAD to accelerate LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance.
Exploring different passions and different aspects of one’s identity is what Gehl explores in her fourth book, Except When They Don’t. Here girls and boys are at first shown in gender-stereotypical scenarios. But, the real learning is when Gehl points out, “You might think you need to choose/dolls or robots, pinks or blues…Except that you don’t.” The book concludes, “be exactly who you are!”. Except When They Don’t is published in partnership with GLAAD (formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), and a portion of the sales will go to “accelerate LGBTQ acceptance”. June is Pride Month.
Joshua Heinsz is the illustrator of A Paintbrush for Paco. He has a love for bright and whimsical imagery with a flair for the fantastical and an air of nostalgia. He currently lives in Chicago. See more of his work at www.joshuaheinsz.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Laura Gehl is the author of popular picture books, including One Big Pair of Underwear, I Got a Chicken for My Birthday, and the Peep and Egg series. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Yale and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Georgetown. Laura has taught reading to little kids and biology to big kids. Laura has four children. She lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Visit her online at www.lauragehl.com.
Something To Do
Laura’s books have excellent discussion questions, but since June is Pride Month, we thought we would share some great conversation encouraging Qs for the book Except When They Don’t.
- Make a list of “boy” stereotypes and “girl” stereotypes. Then write a story with the main character who does not fit with these gender stereotypes. Maybe you will write a story about a girl who is a football star, or a boy who has the lead role in a ballet. Maybe you will write about a boy who loves wearing necklaces to school, or a girl whose favorite toys are cars. Remember: your character should have lots of sides to his or her personality, just like every real person does! A girl who loves football might also love pink and be great at math and have five pet cats. A boy who loves wearing necklaces might also be the president of the school student government and play soccer at recess and play the drums in the school
- Can you think of a time in your own life when you felt like you couldn’t do something because of your gender? Maybe you couldn’t get the sparkly red shoes at the shoe store because they were “girl shoes.” Or maybe you couldn’t sign up for wrestling because “that’s for boys.” Or if you can’t think of a memory like that, imagine that you have a friend coming to you with a secret. Your friend wants to paint his nails, but he is embarrassed to ask his mom to borrow her nail polish because nail polish is just for girls. Or maybe your friend wants to cut her hair really short, but she is worried everyone will say she has a “boy” haircut. What advice would you give your friend? How could you help?
Download the rest of the discussion questions here.