Science Fiction Picture Books

Instructor: Kimberly Elliott

Kimberly teaches college humanities and has a master's degree in humanities.

Picture books are a wonderful way to inspire children not only to read, but also to seek knowledge and create stories of their own. The genre of science fiction, especially, provides young readers a window into other another world.

Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak

After his mother calls him a 'Wild Thing' and sends him to bed with no dinner, Max sails off to the place where the wild things live. While there, he must tame the wild beasts and become their king. Winner of the Caldecott Medal in 1964, Where the Wild Things Are couples science fiction with fantasy and is a favorite among children of all ages.

The Magic School Bus series, by Joanna Cole

Coupling her love for science with a creative flare, children's author Joanna Cole has written a series of books to captivate young audiences and create enthusiasm for the sciences. Her picture book series, also considered the Classics, include twelve books that span biology, astronomy, earth science, and marine biology. Although based on scientific fact, these books are works of fiction in the fantastical way that Ms. Frizzle and her students travel and investigate these scientific concepts.

Additional Books

Picture books that fall under the science fiction genre are still quite limited in number, but the genre is growing rapidly. Some other books to consider include:

  • Alistair's Time Machine, by Marilyn Sadler
  • Robot Zot! by John Scieszka, illustrated by David Shannon
  • Mars Needs Moms, by Berkeley Breathed
  • The Everything Machine, by Matt Novak
  • There's Nothing to Do on Mars, by Chris Gall
  • Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! I'm Off to the Moon! by Dan Yaccarino
  • The Robot and the Bluebird, by David Lucas
  • Man on the Moon (A Day in the Life of Bob), by Simon Bartram

Building Your Library

Making good selections for your home or classroom can be a daunting experience, but provides a video lesson on how to evaluate picture books. This lesson shows you how to evaluate a book based on its content and its presentation. A quiz follows this lesson to assess your understanding of the main points.

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