The Giverny Award for Children's Science Picture Books

shelved under Children's Books and Award Winners

The Giverny Award is an annual award established in 1998 by Dr. James H. Wandersee and Dr. Elisabeth Schussler for the 15 Degree Laboratory, currently based at Louisiana State University. The award is given to the best children’s science picture book. Some of the criteria for the award are that the award is given to both the author and illustrator of the chosen book, the book must be written in English, and the book must teach its young reader at least one important scientific principle. Enjoy!


The Prince of Butterflies (2008)

by Bruce Coville, illustrated by John Clapp

This modern day fable about a small boy and his life being forever changed by his encounter with monarch butterflies.


The Snail and the Whale Big Book (2007)

by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler

A tiny marine snail wants to explore beyond his area in the harbor so he hitches a ride on a humpback whale. This clever, text-rhyming book with bright vivid pictures is such a treat. There's also closure, which children love, when the little snail that could, makes it back home.


Daniel And His Walking Stick (2006)

by Wendy McCormick, illustrated by Constance Rummel Bergum

This is a sweet tale of a young girl named Jesse whose own grandfather is deceased, but is taken under the wing by an older gentleman named Daniel who was friends with her grandfather. On their daily walks, he teaches Jesse about nature, and he always carries his walking stick. I really enjoy the whole aspect of the young gaining wisdom from their elders.


Squirrel and John Muir (2005)

by Emily Arnold McCully

This book is loosely based on historical accounts. A little girl whose nickname is Squirrel lives with her parents in their hotel in Yosemite Valley, California, 1868. Her father hires a handyman named John Muir. John Muir teaches Squirrel all about plants, geology and animals. Of course, we all know that John Muir became a famous conservationist and founder of the Sierra Club. The emotive watercolor illustrations that accompany the text are delightful.


Lonesome George, the Giant Tortoise (2004)

by Francine Jacobs, illustrated by Jean Cassels

This true story is about a tortoise named George. George is a Pinta Island giant tortoise. Pinta Island, near Galapagos Island, was over run with introduced goats. Game wardens who were trying to clear the island of the goats ended up finding George and transported him to Santa Cruz Island, the location of the Charles Darwin Research Station. The book goes on to tell you about George’s life there and the researchers' attempts to find him a mate. The book is fun, informative, and loaded with facts about the Galapagos. I guarantee that both you and your children will fall in love with George.


The Hidden Forest (2003)

by Jeannie Baker

This is the story of a very rash young boy named Ben. Ben lives near a bay and one day he sets out to figure out a way to exploit the fish in the bay for profit. He ends up losing his net in the bay, and a diver friend comes to his aid by taking him to see the magical world “beneath the waves.” The illustrations are so lush the reader feels as if they could reach into the tidal pool and pull out a starfish. This would be a great book for those who find it easier to learn visually.


Rare Treasure: Mary Anning and Her Remarkable Discoveries (2002)

by Don Brown

This is the true story of a little girl named May Anning who grew up to become the first female paleontologist. This is an informative picture book biography that I think will also educate the adult who has the privilege of reading this to their little one.


Henry Hikes to Fitchburg (2001)

by D.B. Johnson

This is the story of two friendly bears who on a warm summer day decide that they would like to see more of the countryside and decide to go to the town of Fitchburg, which is about 30 miles away. Henry decides to walk to Fitchburg, while his friend decides to take a bunch of odd jobs to earn the train fare to Fitchburg. This very charming story with delightful illustrations, with a touch of Thoreau as a basis, will warm your heart, as well as your child’s.


A Log's Life (2000)

by Wendy Pfeffer, illustrated by Robin Brickman

Simple text accompanied by lush illustrations tell the tale of a giant oak that has fallen in the woods and how it becomes a host to many creatures great and small. The illustrator did an incredible job in making each illustration extremely realistic. Your child will learn about important scientific tenets like the food web, the life cycle of an oak tree and the ecological community.