Booklist: Children's Books about Rocks, Soils and Fossils

Rocks, Soils and Fossils

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The study of rocks is known as geology and is a component of the science curriculum in primary schools. From rock cycles and different soil types to exciting discoveries of important fossils, learning about how the ground beneath our feet can tell us more about the world is a fascinating topic. We've put together a list of recommended children's books to support the topics of rocks, soils and fossils...

Victorians children's books: Hetty Feather
The Rock Factory: A Story About Rocks and Stones
Jacqui Bailey & Matthew Lilly
Non-fiction

This series uses cartoon-style illustrations and humorous narrative text to make key topics in Science and Geography accessible and engaging. This approach encourages children to read about and understand complex ideas. This is the story of how a special sort of stone formed deep inside the Earth, and came to the surface thousands of millions of years later.

The Rock Factory looks at how minerals turn into rock crystals, how the Earth is structured and how volcanoes happen. This book also contains an experiment, useful websites and an index

Victorians children's books: Hetty Feather
Everyday STEM: Geology
Emily Dodd & Robbie Cathro
Non-fiction

Discover how geology is part of our daily lives with Everyday STEM Science - Geology. Explore the wonders of Earth and see how geology is all around us, from natures materials that are used to build roads and buildings to the minerals found in your mobile phone and drinks can. Witness a volcanic eruption, find out if there is water on Mars, unearth a dinosaur and meet the geologists and scientists who brought geology to life.

Victorians children's books: Hetty Feather
Under Your Feet
RHS & DK
Non-fiction

Under Your Feet delves beneath the Earth's surface and explores the diverse wonders hidden there. Encounter creatures of the deep and marvel at the mind-boggling size of the humongous fungus - the biggest organism in the world. Learn how one handful of ordinary soil contains more organisms than there are people on Earth, and carry out experiments using dirt from your own back garden.

Victorians children's books: Hetty Feather
Soil
Kirsty Holmes
Non-fiction

There's so much to see up here on the street, but it's even more interesting under our feet!

This informative title looks at our ancestors, and what their ancient bones tell us about the living, breathing people they were. From stone age man to a terracotta army, we know ourselves because we know the people under our feet.

Victorians children's books: Hetty Feather
Lightning Mary
Anthea Simmons
Chapter book

Winner of the middle grade STEAM Book Prize, this chapter book is based on the life of fossil hunter Mary Anning.
One stormy night, a group of villagers are struck by lightning. The only survivor is a baby - Mary Anning. From that moment on, a spark is lit within her. Growing up poor but proud on the windswept Dorset coast, Mary follows after her father, hunting for fossils uncovered by waves and landslips: ancient creatures, turned to stone. Ignoring other people's taunts, Mary faces danger to bring back valuable treasures to help feed her family. But tragedy and despair is never far away. Mary must depend upon her unique courage and knowledge to fulfil her dream of becoming a scientist in a time when girls have no opportunities for such ambitions.
With a factual section about Mary Anning, her life, and the discoveries she made.

Victorians children's books: Hetty Feather
Blue John
Berlie Doherty & Alexandria Neonakis
Short chapter book (dyslexia friendly formatting)

The Queen of Darkness lives deep underground beneath a mountain with her child, Blue John, a boy she made from the blue of the glacier and the hot yellow light of the sun. 

Blue John is forbidden to leave his mother's side, but the lure of the light above is too strong. When a singing, dancing girl comes to the caves, Blue John must make a choice between darkness and light. 

A heart-warming story that embraces the beauty and colours of the natural world, with a link to the geology of the semi-precious 'Blue John' flourite mined from caves in Castleton in Derbyshire.

Victorians children's books: Hetty Feather
The Pebble in my Pocket: A History of Our Earth
Meredith Hooper & Chris Coady
Non-fiction

A very popular non-fiction text that has detailed and engaging illustrations.  This book tells the story of a pebble, from its origins in a fiery volcano 480 million years ago to a busy, modern landscape. Topics include rock formation and erosion. This is a classroom essential!

Victorians children's books: Hetty Feather
The Rock Factory: A Story About Rocks and Stones
Jacqui Bailey & Matthew Lilly
Non-fiction

Part of a popular series called 'Science Works', this book uses simple but engaging cartoons to explain concepts about rock formation, including volcanoes and crystallization. The book includes experiments and links to websites for extra information. 

Victorians children's books: Hetty Feather
A Rock Is Lively
Dianna Hutts Aston & Sylvia Long
Non-fiction

This is the perfect accompaniment to a rocks and soils topic. This beautifully illustrated non-fiction text showcases different types of rocks and gemstones in all their splendour, using the stunning pictures as a way in to explaining the science behind how they appear. If it never occurred to you to appreciate how beautiful rocks can be, it will after reading this! 

Victorians children's books: Hetty Feather
The Street Beneath My Feet
Charlotte Guillian & Yuval Zommer 
Fold-out non-fiction

I'd like to recommend this beauty. I recently used it to introduce Class 3's 'Under Our Feet' topic and there were gasps from the children. Sublimely illustrated, its concertina-style pages fold out into a long cross section of the Earth: in one side and out the other. It contains a wealth of information and opportunities for further questions from curious young minds. Just stunning. (Recommended by Louise Gall (@mrsgclass3), Year 3 teacher).

 

Also features on: favourite non-fiction books

Victorians children's books: Hetty Feather
Stone Girl Bone Girl
Laurence Anholt & Sheila Moxley
Picturebook

This book tells the true story of Mary Anning, who was made famous by discovering a fossilised sea monster when she was a little girl. This compelling story with its bright illustrations will engage your pupils and inspire them to become fossil hunters!

Victorians children's books: Hetty Feather
Under Earth, Under Water
Aleksandra Mizielinski & Daniel Mizielinski
Non-Fiction

A highly-recommended non-fiction text all about what lies beneath the surface. The book can be flipped open in two directions, with one side exploring different things that exist underneath the earth and the other side exploring under the sea. The information is presented in a visually appealing way and is accompanied by engaging illustrations. A popular choice for KS2.  There are also accompanying activity books from the same authors (available here). 

More ideas...
Click each book cover to view on Amazon.
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