Children’s Books about Curiosity and Questioning

Children’s Books about Curiosity and Questioning

These children’s books about curiosity and questioning will spark curiosity, enthusiasm and intrigue of the world; inspiring your students to ask questions.

Children’s Books about Curiosity and Questioning

Children’s Books about Curiosity

Curiosity inspires your students to think beyond conventions and push boundaries. It is an important character trait in the classroom, but also as they grow. Curiosity will inspire them to make discoveries and changes, become problem-solvers and inquirers.

In these picture books, your students will see characters who are:

  • Interested in what they see around them
  • Motivated to learn more and find the answers to questions
  • Passionate about certain topics and researching all they can about it.
  • Proactive in asking questions, socially and in the classroom
  • Enthusiastic about new discoveries
  • Interested in reading and learning new things

Questions to Use with Children's Books about Curiosity

  • What is curiosity and how do we become curious?
  • How does being curious help us in the classroom?
  • Is there a link between being curious and being an inquirer? Explain your answer?
  • How can you be more curious?
  • Why is important to be curious?
  • Do you think your curiosity changes as you get older? Explain.
  • How do you know the [character] was curious?
  • What things was the [character] curious about?
  • How was the [character’s] perspective/point of view changed by their curiosity?
  • Why did the [character] become more curious?
  • Did [character’s] curiosity help them answer their questions?

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Children’s Books about Curiosity and Questioning

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty

Ada Twist’s scientific curiosity leads her to question, hypothesise, experiment and figure out how the world works.

Promotes themes of curiosity, inquiry, knowledge and creative thinking.

The Antlered Ship by Dashka Slater

A curious fox, Marco, wants to find the answer to an important question, “What’s the best way to find a friend you can talk to?” When he steps aboard a magnificent ship adorned with antlers he is filled with answers.

Read to discuss questioning, curiosity, overcoming fears, and making friends.

Ask Me by Bernard Waber

An inquisitive girl and her father walk through their local neighbourhood. She is full of questions for her father as they explore their world.

A poetic picture book to explore asking questions and curiosity.

Be a Maker by Katey Howes

Think about how you can make a difference by discovering how many things can you create in a day. Can you make a new friend, a change, a donation or a spaceship?

Read to inspire curiosity, inquiry, creativity and inspiration.

Beyond the Pond by Joseph Kuefler

Curious Ernest D dives into his pond and discovers an unexpected, fantastical world. When he returns to his ordinary life it doesn’t seem quite so ordinary anymore.

Read to discuss curiosity and inquiry.

The Boy and the Sea by Camille Andros

Sat on a beach, a young boy stares out at the sea, thinking and asking questions. As he grows, his questions become more complex, but he still returns to the sea for answers, and to take the time to pause and think.

Use to discuss asking questions, curiosity, perspectives, setting and making connections.

The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter

There are words that make a boy’s heart soar and laugh and also words that make him lonely and sad. He decides to spread words to whoever he thinks will appreciate them.

This book promotes appreciation, communication and inquiry.

Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 by Helaine Becker

Katherine Johnson was one of the real-life heroes of the Apollo 13 moon landing because of her mathematical abilities, curiosity and determination.

This biography shows Katherine’s journey to becoming an important part of NASA and an inspirational woman in STEM.

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

Liam’s curiosity leads him to explore an elevated train track. He discovers dying flowers and begins to nurture them. His dedication pays off when the flowers grow and start spreading over the city.

Promotes the environment, patience and a sense of community.

Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates

Dog loves books so much he opens a bookshop. While waiting for customers he reads all the books so when a young customer asks for a book Dog know exactly which one to recommend.

Promotes a love of reading, curiosity and inquiry.

Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis

Insects surround a new, green shoot and ask “Du iz tak?” They use a ‘ribble’ to climb the stalk and build homes on its branches. The shoot grows into a beautiful flower, but as the seasons change it wilts and the insects say goodbye to their home.

Promotes communication, a sense of community, vocabulary and inference.

Flotsam by David Wiesner

A young boy loves the jar full of fireflies he has just caught, but when their light starts dim he sets them free to keep them alive.

Use to discuss visualizing, summer, inference, making connections, freedom, first-person narration, responsible decision-making.

The Girl with Big, Big Questions by Britney Winn Lee

A young girl asks lots of big questions to everyone she meets, but when her classmates ask her to stop, she stays silent. When there is a crisis in her community, she understands how important her questions are to solving problems and making a difference. 

Read to discuss curiosity, questioning, research, persistence, inquiry and problem-solving.  

Going Places by Peter H Reynolds

The Going Places contest involves building a go-kart and racing it, but Maya has a different idea. Her curiosity and open-mind help her find a unique way to cross the finish line.

The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers

Unsure of how to cope with the death of her grandfather a girl puts her heart in a bottle. She loses all her curiosity and wonder until she meets a small child filled with the wonder she once had. She places her heart back where it belongs, rediscovering her curiosity and love of the world.

Reinforces themes of wellbeing, grief and reflection.

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers

Travel over mountains and oceans, space and constellations, and the animals and people who populate the Earth. The handwritten facts throughout the book are a gentle plea to care for the planet and each other.

If... by Sarah Perry

The book uses nature and limited text to encourage creative thinking with the ‘what if…’ scenarios. Promotes discussion and questioning about the curious and imaginative illustrations.

The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse by Patricia MacLachlan

The artist Henri Matisse was influenced by early experiences. He grew up in a dreary French town, so his mother filled their home with colour. Henri mixed his mother’s paints for the plates she painted with meadows, birds, and trees. She covered the walls and floors of their home with red rugs. Another influence was the iridescence colours of pigeons which changed depending on the light.

Read this biography to discuss influences, curiosity and second-person point of view.

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

Travelling home with his abuela, Julian sees three spectacular ladies dressed in mermaid costumes. At home, he creates a mermaid outfit and proudly shows it off to his abuela. She takes him to the parade, joining others in their fabulous costumes.

Promotes identity, creativity, self-awareness and open-mindedness.

Just Because by Mac Barnett

At bedtime, a curious child asks her dad random questions. Rather than answering ‘just because’ he gives the most fantastical replies. Her last question is, “Why do we have to sleep?” He tells her, “Because there are some things we can only see with our eyes closed.”

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña

A grumpy CJ and his nana ride a city bus full of wonderful characters. He wonders aloud why he doesn’t have the things his friends do and why they have to volunteer at the soup kitchen every week. His nana’s straightforward and positive responses help CJ see and appreciate what he has and what he can give.

Read to promote discussions on community, poverty, volunteering, kindness, and optimism.

A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna

After a weary day exploring Paris, a lion finds the perfect place to call his new home – on the plinth where the real lion statue, at the Place Denfert-Rochereau, stands today.

Promotes a sense of belonging, curiosity and loneliness.

Little Mouse and the Red Wall by Britta Teckentrup

Little Mouse, Scaredy Cat, Old Bear, Laughing Fox, and Lion Who Had Lost His Roar live in a grey village surrounded by a large red wall. The thought of what is beyond the wall fills cat, bear and lion with fear. Mouse filled with curiosity and courage, steps beyond the wall, finding a world of beauty and freedom.

The Mermaid and the Shoe by K. G. Campbell

According to Neptune, Minnow isn’t ‘remarkable’ like her 49 sisters. She is a curious mermaid with a thirst for knowledge. She wants to know what is beyond her father’s kingdom. When she comes across a red shoe, she finds the opportunity to answer all her questions.

Use to promote curiosity, questioning, knowledge and exploration.

Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña

Another picture book about curiosity from Matt de la Peña. Milo watches people from a train and sketches the lives he imagines they live. Nervous and excited, he visits his mother in prison, where he shows her sketches of their family eating ice cream outside their home.

Use in the classroom to discuss bias, judgement, observation, curiosity, and visualizing.

Neighbors by Kasya Denisevich

A girl moves into a new apartment and wonders who her neighbours are and what they are doing. Her mind is full of possibilities as she falls asleep. These possibilities expand when she leaves her new home for her new school.

Use to discuss curiosity, moving home, perspectives, making connections, and asking questions.

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne

A boy with a brilliant mind imagines evolutionary ideas. This boy grows into Albert Einstein who revolutionised our understanding of the universe.

This biography promotes science, creativity, inventions, perseverance, questioning and curiosity.

On a Magical Do-Nothing Day by Beatrice Alemagna

Another picture book about curiosity from Beatrice Alemagna. It’s pouring with rain and a girl wants to play computer games. She rushes outside when her mother tries to take the game off her, only for her to drop it in a freezing cold pond. Despite her disappointment, she curiously explores the surrounding nature feeling like “the whole world seemed brand new as if it had been created right in front of me.”

Papa's Mechanical Fish Candace Fleming

Papa is a persistent inventor, though he has had little success in making anything that works. A family trip to Lake Michigan sparks an idea that ends with him creating a submarine the family can use. Based on a true story.

Rocket Says Look Up! by Nathan Bryon

Rocket dreams of being an astronaut like Mae Jemison. She tells everyone in town about an upcoming meteor shower and even persuades her brother to look up from his phone in time to see it.

Promotes a sense of community, enthusiasm, observation and curiosity.

The Secret Garden by Claire Freedman

After the death of her parents in India, a young girl is sent to live in Yorkshire at the home of her uncle. Alone and bad-mannered, she explores the estate and discovers a neglected and secret garden. With the help of a young gardener, she makes new friends and returns the garden to its former glory.

Reinforces themes of curiosity, determination, loneliness, and friendship.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

A young boy is captivated by the first snowfall of winter. He walks around the city, wondering how he can capture the wonder he feels. Promotes curiosity, retelling a story and making connections.

The Suitcase by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros

A tired stranger arrives in a new place with its suitcase. It is met with suspicion and curiosity from the local animals. When it falls asleep, the animals break open the suitcase to find a broken teacup and an old photograph. The stranger wakes from a dream about finding safety to find the animals have fixed the teacup and recreated its home from the photograph.

Use in the classroom to discuss immigration, kindness, empathy, trust, asking questions, and inference.

The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi

In the snow, Kikko carries a pie to her grandma’s house. In the distance, she sees a figure approaching a strange house. Inside, Kikko finds a tea party of woodland animals who welcome and share their food with her.

Reinforces themes of kindness, curiosity, and questioning.

That Neighbor Kid by Daniel Miyares

In this wordless book, a girl watches with curiosity as her new neighbour makes a treehouse in his back garden. When she finds the courage to say hello the boy invites her into the newly made den and she makes a new friend.

There’s a Tiger in the Garden by Lizzy Stewart

There’s a Tiger in the Garden by Lizzy Stewart

When her grandma mentions to a bored Nora that she’s seen a tiger in the garden, Nora is sceptical. That is until she comes face to face with the “extraordinarily friendly” tiger. Is it real?

This book reinforces the themes of curiosity, imagination, nature, open-mindedness and creative thinking.

The Tunnel by Anthony Browne

Two siblings discover a tunnel. The brother rushes in, dismissing his sister’s fears. When he doesn’t return she finds the courage to follow him. 

Promotes themes of facing our fears, cooperation, curiosity, responsibility and being a risk-taker.

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox

A boy named Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge lives next to an old people’s home. His favourite resident is Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper. When Wilfrid finds out she has lost her memory he goes on a journey to discover what memories are so he can help Miss Nancy find hers.

Promotes a sense of community, friendship, compassion and different perspectives.

What Next?

Do you have any favourite questioning and curiosity books? Let me know about them in the comments.

Further Reading

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Children’s Books about Curiosity and Questioning

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