When I was in first and second grade, I was really into books that explained different scientific phenomena or natural events. (Why does the moon change shape? Where do fish go in the winter? How do birds fly?) Of course I can’t remember the titles of these books, but they were a nice introduction to science. Similarly, Just a Second by Steve Jenkins is a cool combination of science facts and great illustrations based around what can happen in nature in just a second. The review at Brain Pickings shares some images from the book, like this one:
Books like Just a Second impart information, but I think they’re most valuable as tools to get kids excited about science and the world around them. I see this image and immediately focus on the whale because, come on, whales are freakin’ amazing. Maybe someone else will see this and think “Light is intense!” and investigate more about physics. I wish I could have added this one to my book collection in first grade!