Living Science Books

Simply Charlotte Mason’s recommended living science books have been carefully chosen to be great living books that have good science content, minimal evolution, and minimal environmentalism.

Please note that books were chosen for their content, not for their availability. Some books are out of print and may be hard to find. Some older books may be in public domain and available as free e-books from websites such as gutenberg.org, archive.org, or books.google.com. Our CM Organizer Search will also show titles that other CM moms recommend.

This list is an ongoing project and will have books added to it from time to time.

Reference Books

  • Ellie’s Log: Exploring the Forest Where the Great Tree Fell by Judith L. Li
  • Field Trips: Bug Hunting, Animal Tracking, Bird-watching, and Shore Walking by Jim Arnosky
  • How to Make a Miniature Zoo by Vinson Brown
  • Insect Museum by Sonia Dourlot
  • The Life Cycles of Butterflies: From Egg to Maturity, a Visual Guide to 23 Common Garden Butterflies by Judy Burris and Wayne Richards
  • A Little Guide to Wild Flowers by Charlotte Voake
  • Nature’s Notes by Wayne Richards and Judy Burris
  • Pets in a Jar by Seymour Simon
  • Secrets of a Wildlife Watcher by Jim Arnosky
  • Shelf Pets: How to Take Care of Small Wild Animals by Edward Ricciuti
  • The Tree Identification Book by George W. D. Symonds
  • Underwater Zoos by Millicent Selsam
  • Wild Tracks! A Guide to Nature’s Footprints by Jim Arnosky
  • Your Insect Pet by Richard Headstrom

Grades 1-3

Habitats

  • About Habitats: Wetlands by Cathryn Sill
  • Babies in the Bayou by Jim Arnosky
  • The Brook Book: Exploring the Smallest Streams by Jim Arnosky
  • Butternut Hollow Pond by Brian Heinz
  • Crinkleroot’s Visit to Crinkle Cove by Jim Arnosky
  • The Deer Watch by Pat Lowery Collins
  • A Desert Scrapbook: Dawn to Dusk in the Sonoran Desert by Virginia Wright-Frierson
  • Frog in a Bog by John Himmelman
  • In the Forest by Jim Arnosky
  • Island Scrapbook: Dawn to Dusk on a Barrier Island by Virginia Wright-Frierson
  • Life in a Wetland by Carol Lindeen
  • Looking for Loons by Jennifer Lloyd
  • Mississippi Going North by Sanna Anderson Baker
  • My Visit to the Aquarium by Aliki
  • Night in the Country by Cynthia Rylant
  • Pond and Stream by Arthur Ransome
  • The Raft by Jim LaMarche
  • Squish! A Wetland Walk by Nancy Luenn
  • Wetlands by Ronald Rood
  • Where the River Begins by Thomas Locker
  • Wild and Swampy by Jim Arnosky
  • Wonders of the Pond by Francene Sabin

Plants

  • Cactus Hotel by Brenda Z. Guiberson
  • Crinkleroot’s Guide to Knowing The Trees by Jim Arnosky
  • A Dandelion’s Life by John Himmelman
  • Flip, Float, Fly!: Seeds on the Move by JoAnn Early Macken
  • The Flower Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta
  • Flower Garden by Eve Bunting
  • From Seed To Plant by Gail Gibbons
  • How Do Apples Grow by Betsy Maestro
  • In a Nutshell by Joseph Anthony
  • The Life Cycle of the Dandelion by Paula Hogan
  • Lives of the Trees: An Uncommon History by Diana Wells
  • My Favorite Tree by Diane Iverson
  • Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
  • Planting the Wild Garden by Kathryn O. Galbraith
  • Plants That Never Ever Bloom: A Book About Plants Without Flowers by Ruth Heller
  • A Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston
  • Seeds by Ken Robbins
  • Tell Me, Tree: All About Trees for Kids by Gail Gibbons
  • The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
  • A Tree Is a Plant by Clyde Robert Bulla
  • Wonderful Pussy Willows by Jerome Wexler
  • Zinnia’s Flower Garden by Monica Wellington

Insects and Spiders

  • Are You a Dragonfly? by Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries
  • Bees and Wasps by Sally Morgan
  • Be Nice to Spiders by Margaret Bloy Graham
  • The Bug That Laid the Golden Eggs by Millicent Selsam
  • Bumblebee by J. V. Wilson
  • Bumblebee at Apple Tree Lane by Laura Gates Galvin
  • Caterpillars and How They Live by Robert McClung
  • Flight of the Honey Bee by Raymond Huber
  • The Honeybee Man by Lela Nargi
  • A House Spider’s Life by John Himmelman
  • Ladybug by Robert McClung
  • Ladybug at Orchard Avenue by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
  • The Life Cycle of the Honeybee by Paula Hogan
  • Little Black Ant on Park Street by Janet Halfmann
  • Monarch and Milkweed by Helen Frost
  • A Monarch Butterfly’s Life by John Himmelman
  • Wasps by Margaret Hall
  • Wasps by Martha Rustad
  • Where Butterflies Grow by Joanne Ryder
  • Sphinx by Robert McClung

Other Invertebrates

  • An Earthworm’s Life by John Himmelman
  • Next Time You See a Pill Bug by Emily Morgan
  • Wiggling Worms at Work by Wendy Pfeffer
  • Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator by Sarah C. Campbell
  • Wonderful Worms by Linda Glaser

Birds

  • Adopted By An Owl: The True Story of Jackson the Owl by Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen
  • All Night Near the Water by Jim Arnosky
  • Canada Goose at Cattail Lane by Janet Halfmann
  • Ducks and Their Ducklings by Margaret Hall
  • Ducks Don’t Get Wet by Augusta Goldin
  • The Emperor’s Egg by Martin Jenkins
  • Emu by Claire Saxby
  • A First Look at Ducks, Geese and Swans by Millicent Selsam and Joyce Hunt
  • Flamingo Sunset by Jonathan London
  • From Egg to Robin by Susan Canizares
  • Great Northern Diver: The Loon by Barbara Juster Esbensen
  • Gulls…Gulls…Gulls by Gail Gibbons
  • Henry the Impatient Heron by Donna Love
  • It’s Nesting Time by Roma Gans
  • Little Penguin: The Emperor of Antarctica by Jonathan London
  • Little Swan by Jonathan London
  • Loon by Susan Vande Griek
  • Loon at Northwood Lake by Elizabeth Ring
  • Mallard Duck at Meadow View Pond by Wendy Pfeffer
  • Molly the Owl: The True Story of a Common Barn Owl That Ends Up Being Not So Common After All by Eric Blehm
  • Ookpik: The Travels of a Snowy Owl by Bruce Hiscock
  • Owls by Adrienne Mason
  • The Peregrine’s Journey: A Story of Migration by Madeleine Dunphy
  • Redbird: The Story of a Cardinal by Robert McClung
  • Robins Fly North, Robins Fly South by John Kaufmann
  • The Robins in Your Backyard by Nancy Carol Willis
  • Screech Owl at Midnight Hollow by C. Drew Lamm
  • Seagull by the Shore by Vanessa Birch
  • Swan Flyway: The Tundra Swan by Dana Limpert
  • Tony’s Birds by Millicent Selsam
  • Urban Roosts: Where Birds Nest in the City by Barbara Bash
  • Watching Water Birds by Jim Arnosky
  • Whistling Wings by Laura Goering
  • Wings Along the Waterway by Mary Barrett Brown

Mammals

  • The Adventures of Reddy Fox by Thornton Burgess
  • Build, Beaver, Build: Life at the Longest Beaver Dam by Sandra Markle
  • A Caribou Journey by Debbie S. Miller
  • Chipmunk at Hollow Tree Lane by Victoria Sherrow
  • Chippy Chipmunk Parties in the Garden by Kathy Miller
  • Coyote Raid in Cactus Canyon by Jim Arnosky
  • Crinkleroot’s Book of Animal Tracks and Wildlife Signs by Jim Arnosky
  • Every Autumn Comes the Bear by Jim Arnosky
  • Family Pack by Sandra Markle
  • Fraser Bear: A Cub’s Life by Maggie de Vries
  • Grandfather Buffalo by Jim Arnosky
  • Hungry Coyote by Cheryl Blackford
  • Little Sibu: An Orangutan Tale by Sally Grindley
  • One Whole Day: Wolves by Jim Arnosky
  • Otter on His Own: The Story of a Sea Otter by Doe Boyle
  • Otters Under Water by Jim Arnosky
  • Raccoon Moon by Nancy Carol Willis
  • Saving Squeak: The Otter Tale by Jennifer Keats Curtis
  • Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
  • Waiting for Ice by Sandra Markle
  • Whitefoot: The Story of a Wood Mouse by Robert McClung
  • Winter Harvest by Jane Chelsea Aragon
  • Woodchuck at Blackberry Road by C. Drew Lamm

Reptiles and Amphibians

  • About Amphibians: A Guide for Children by Cathryn Sill
  • All About Frogs by Jim Arnosky
  • Box Turtle at Long Pond by William George
  • Bufo: The Story of a Toad by Robert McClung
  • Crocodile Safari by Jim Arnosky
  • Dig, Wait, Listen: A Desert Toad’s Tale by April Pulley Sayre
  • Face to Face with Frogs by Mark Moffett
  • Frogs by Gail Gibbons
  • Growing Frogs: Read and Wonder by Vivian French
  • Hip-Pocket Papa by Sandra Markle
  • Into the Sea by Brenda Guiberson
  • Let’s Get Turtles by Millicent Selsam
  • Nic Bishop Frogs by Nic Bishop (Not the Scholastic Reader version.)
  • Nic Bishop Snakes by Nic Bishop (Not the Scholastic Reader version.)
  • One Tiny Turtle by Nicola Davies
  • Salamander Season by Jennifer Keats Curtis
  • Snakes by Donna Bailey
  • Verdi by Janell Cannon

Fish and Other Aquatic Creatures

  • About Fish: A Guide for Children by Cathryn Sill
  • Ellie & Ollie Eel: A Tale of a Fantastic Voyage by Suzanne Tate
  • Leaper: The Story of an Atlantic Salmon by Robert McClung
  • Ocean Seasons by Ron Hirschi
  • Salmon Creek by Annette LeBox
  • Sammy the Brave Stickleback by Paul Duffield
  • Seahorses by Jennifer Keats Curtis
  • Sea Horse: The Shyest Fish in the Sea by Chris Butterworth
  • Sea Star by Robert McClung
  • Star of the Sea: A Day in the Life of a Starfish by Janet Halfmann
  • Think of an Eel by Karen Wallace
  • When Crabs Cross the Sand: The Christmas Island Migration by Sharon Katz Cooper

Human Body

  • Bones by Steve Jenkins
  • The Circulatory Story by Mary K. Corcoran
  • A Drop of Blood by Paul Showers
  • Eye: How It Works by David Macaulay
  • Eyes by Shannon Caster
  • Germs Make Me Sick by Melvin Berger
  • Gurgles and Growls: Learning About Your Stomach by Pamela Hill Nettleton
  • A Journey Through the Human Body by John Halsam and Steve Parker
  • Look, Listen, Taste, Touch, and Smell: Learning about Your Five Senses by Pamela Hill Nettleton
  • Me and My Amazing Body by Joan Sweeney
  • Outside-In by Clare Smallman
  • The Quest to Digest by Mary K. Corcoran
  • Why I Sneeze, Shiver, Hiccup, and Yawn by Melvin Berger
  • Your Skin and Mine by Paul Showers

Properties of Light

  • All the Colors of the Rainbow by Allan Fowler
  • What Makes a Shadow? by Clyde Robert Bulla

Weather

  • Clouds by Anne Rockwell
  • On the Same Day in March: A Tour of the World’s Weather by Marilyn Singer
  • When Winter Comes by Russell Freedman
  • The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins

Water Cycle

  • A Drop Around the World by Barbara McKinney
  • Water Dance by Thomas Locker

Geology

  • Geography from A to Z: A Picture Glossary by Jack Knowlton
  • Julie the Rockhound by Gail Langer Karwoski
  • Dirt by Steve Tomecek

Astronomy

  • Footprints on the Moon by Alexander Siy
  • Moonfinder by Jay Ryan
  • The Sky Is Full of Stars by Franklyn Branley
  • Star Stories for Little Folks by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • Sun by Steve Tomecek
  • Sun Up, Sun Down: The Story of Day and Night by Jacqui Bailey
  • What Makes Day and Night by Franklyn Branley
  • What’s So Special About Planet Earth? by Robert E. Wells

Classification

  • Benny’s Animals by Millicent Selsam

Mechanical Science, Physical Science, Engineering

  • Bridges Are to Cross by Philemon Sturges

General Science

  • A Child’s Book of the Garden by Arthur Ransome
  • A Child’s Book of the Seasons by Arthur Ransome
  • Outdoor Secrets by Margaret Boyle
  • The Popcorn Book by Tomie de Paola

Biographies

  • Into the Deep: The Life of Naturalist and Explorer William Beebe by David Sheldon
  • Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle by Claire Nivola
  • Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau by Jennifer Berne
  • One Giant Leap: The Story of Neil Armstrong by Don Brown
  • Small Wonders: Jean-Henri Fabre & His World of Insects by Matthew Clark Smith
  • A Weed Is a Flower: The Life of George Washington Carver by Aliki

Grades 4-6

Habitats

  • All About Great Rivers of the World by Anne Terry White
  • All About the Jungle by Armstrong Sperry
  • Life in Ponds by Jean Gorvett
  • The Most Beautiful Roof in the World: Exploring the Rainforest Canopy by Kathryn Lasky
  • Nature in the Neighborhood by Gordon Morrison
  • Pond by Gordon Morrison
  • Swamp Life: An Almanac by Glen Rounds

Plants

  • Bulbs, Corms, and Such by Millicent Selsam
  • Catnip by Millicent Selsam
  • Cotton by Millicent Selsam
  • A Little Guide to Wild Flowers by Charlotte Voake
  • Oak Tree by Gordon Morrison
  • Plant Reproduction: How Do You Grow a Giant Pumpkin? by Cath Senker
  • The Tree Book For Kids and Their Grown-ups by Gina Ingoglia

Mushrooms and Fungi

  • Fungi: Mushrooms, Toadstools, Molds, Yeasts, and Other Fungi by Judy Wearing
  • Katya’s Book of Mushrooms by Katya Arnold with Sam Swope

General Animals

  • All About Animals and Their Young by Robert McClung
  • All About Strange Beasts of the Present by Robert S. Lemmon
  • Animal Tails by George F. Mason
  • Tooth & Claw: The Wild World of Big Predators by Jim Arnosky
  • Wildlife at Your Doorstep by Glen Rounds

Insects and Spiders

  • All About the Insect World by Ferdinand C. Lane
  • All Kinds of Bees by Dorothy Shuttlesworth
  • Bramble-Bees and Others by Jean-Henri Fabre
  • The Bug Scientists by Donna Jackson
  • Cicadas!: Strange and Wonderful by Laurence Pringle
  • Discovering What Crickets Do by Seymour Simon
  • An Extraordinary Life: The Story of a Monarch Butterfly by Laurence Pringle
  • The Fiddlehoppers: Crickets, Katydids, and Locusts by Phyllis Perry
  • The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles by Jean-Henri Fabre
  • Grasshoppers and Crickets of North America by Sara Swan Miller
  • Insect Adventures by Jean-Henri Fabre
  • Insect Investigators: Entomologists by Richard Spilsbury
  • Insect Life in Pond and Stream by Francis and Lucy Duncan (F. M. And L. T. Duncan)
  • Insects & Spiders by Noel Tait
  • Jack’s Insects by Edmund Selous
  • Life of the Spider by Jean-Henri Fabre
  • Locusts: Insects on the Move by Sandra Markle
  • Outside and Inside Spiders by Sandra Markle
  • Praying Mantises: Hungry Insect Heroes by Sandra Markle
  • The Secret Lives of Backyard Bugs by Judy Burris and Wayne Richards
  • Spiders by Seymour Simon
  • Stick Insects: Masters of Defense by Sandra Markle

Other Invertebrates

  • Life of the Snail by Theres Buholzer
  • Life in a Bucket of Soil by Alvin and Virginia Silverstein (Pseudonym: Richard Rhine)

Birds

  • The Burgess Bird Book for Children by Thornton Burgess
  • The Kingdom of Mimus: The Story of a Mockingbird by Majorie Rankin Steurt
  • Kōlea: The Story of the Pacific Golden Plover by Marion Coste
  • Thunder Birds by Jim Arnosky
  • Wings Along the Waterway by Mary Barrett Brown

Mammals

  • All About Horses by Marguerite Henry
  • Animals Come to My House: A Story Guide to the Care of Small Wild Animals by Esther Kellner
  • Beaver Business by Glen Rounds
  • The Burgess Animal Book for Children by Thornton Burgess
  • Coyote: North America’s Dog by Stephen Swinburne
  • Outside and Inside Bats by Sandra Markle
  • The Swift Deer by Robert McClung
  • Whitetail by Robert McClung

Reptiles and Amphibians

  • All About Snakes by Bessie M. Hecht
  • Crocodiles & Alligators by Seymour Simon
  • Frog: The Life and Times of a Young Frog by Steve Parker
  • Outside and Inside Snakes by Sandra Markle
  • Snakes: Their Place in the Sun by Robert McClung

Dinosaurs

  • Dinosaurs by Design by Duane Gish

Fish and Other Aquatic Creatures

  • Thor: Last of the Sperm Whales by Robert McClung
  • Whales!: Strange and Wonderful by Laurence Pringle

Human Body

  • All About Great Medical Discoveries by David Dietz
  • All About the Human Body by Bernard Glemser (Caution: Has a chapter on reproduction.)
  • How We Are Born, How We Grow, How Our Bodies Work . . .and How We Learn by Joe Kaufman (Caution: Has a chapter on reproduction.)

Weather

  • All About Weather by Ivan Ray Tannehill
  • The Secret Life of a Snowflake: An Up-close Look at the Art & Science of Snowflakes by Kenneth Libbrecht
  • Winter Across America by Seymour Simon

Water Cycle

  • A Drop of Water by Walter Wick
  • Inside the Water Cycle by William B. Rice

Geology

  • All About Our Changing Rocks by Anne Terry White
  • Minerals, Rocks, and Soil by Barbara Davis

Astronomy

  • All About the Stars by Anne Terry White
  • First on the Moon by Barbara Hehner
  • Look to the Stars by Buzz Aldrin
  • The Sun by Seymour Simon

Mechanical Science, Physical Science, Engineering

  • All About Electricity by Ira M. Freeman
  • All About Famous Inventors and Their Inventions by Fletcher Pratt
  • All About Rockets and Jets by Fletcher Pratt
  • Archimedes and His Wonderful Discoveries by Arthur Jonas
  • Machines and How They Work by Harvey Weiss

General Science

  • All About Famous Scientific Expeditions by Raymond Holden
  • All About Sailing the Seven Seas by Ruth Brindze
  • All About Light and Sound by Connie Jankowski
  • All About Undersea Exploration by Ruth Brindze
  • Oceans by Seymour Simon
  • Out of Sight: Pictures of Hidden Worlds by Seymour Simon

Biographies

  • For the Birds: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson by Peggy Thomas
  • Joseph Hooker: Botanical Trailblazer by Pat Griggs
  • Pasteur’s Fight Against Microbes by Beverly Birch
  • The Plant Hunters: True Stories of Their Daring Adventures to the Far Corners of the Earth by Anita Silvey

Grades 7-8

Insects and Spiders

  • The Junior Book of Insects by Edwin Way Teale
  • Social Life in the Insect World by Jean-Henri Fabre

Birds

  • Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat
  • Owls: The Silent Flyers by R. D. Lawrence

Mammals

  • Cry Wild by R. D. Lawrence
  • Wolves by R. D. Lawrence

Human Body

  • The Way We Work: Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body by David Macaulay (Caution: Has a chapter on reproduction.)

Weather

  • Eric Sloane’s Book of Storms by Eric Sloane
  • Eric Sloane’s Weather Book by Eric Sloane
  • The Weather Book by Michael Oard

Geology

  • Footprints in the Ash by John Morris and Steven A. Austin
  • The Geology Book by Dr. John D. Morris

Astronomy

  • The Astronomy Book by Dr. Jonathan Henry

Mechanical Science, Physical Science, Engineering

  • The Brooklyn Bridge: They Said It Couldn’t Be Built by Judith St. George
  • Building Big by David Macaulay
  • The Way Things Work by David Macaulay

Biographies

  • Isaac Newton by Harry Sootin
  • Michael Faraday: From Errand Boy to Master Physicist by Harry Sootin
  • Pasteur and the Invisible Giants by Edward F. Dolan, Jr.

Grades 9-12

General Nature Stories

  • Adventures in Nature by Edwin Way Teale
  • Autumn Across America by Edwin Way Teale
  • Journey into Summer by Edwin Way Teale
  • North with the Spring by Edwin Way Teale
  • Wandering Through Winter by Edwin Way Teale
  • The Zoo That Never Was by R. D. Lawrence

Insects and Spiders

  • From Darkness to Light to Flight: Monarch — the Miracle Butterfly by Jules H. Poirier
  • The Strange Lives of Familiar Insects by Edwin Way Teale

Fish and Other Aquatic Creatures

  • Voyage of the Stella by R. D. Lawrence

Mammals

  • In Praise of Wolves by R. D. Lawrence
  • Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat
  • Paddy by R. D. Lawrence
  • Secret Go the Wolves by R. D. Lawrence
  • Trail of the Wolf by R. D. Lawrence
  • The White Puma by R. D. Lawrence

Astronomy

  • Our Created Moon: Earth’s Fascinating Neighbor by Don DeYoung and John Whitcomb
  • The Stargazer’s Guide to the Night Sky by Dr. Jason Lisle
  • The Stars: A New Way to See Them by H. A. Rey

Weather

  • The Weather Book: An Easy-To-Understand Guide to the USA’s Weather by Jack Williams

Mechanical Science, Physical Science, Engineering

  • The Art of Construction: Projects and Principles for Beginning Engineers & Architects by Mario Salvadori

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