NOTE: I will be going back and adding thumbnail book covers and links for all of these books over the next several days. Busy, busy, busy me!
Since I'm participating in a Philcon panel on the topic of Science Fiction for children, I thought I'd provide the list I created. Here's the panel description:
Sun 2:00 PM in Plaza III (Three)—SF & F Books To Give To Your Kids [Family Friendly] (3534)
What's up and coming in YA fiction, what classics are an absolute must, and how do you gauge what's appropriate for your child's maturity level?
Vikki Ciaffone (mod), Russ Colchamiro, Scheherazade Jackson, Chris Kreuter, Muriel Hykes, Alyce Wilson
Since my son, nicknamed Kung Fu Panda (or KFP) online, was a toddler, I've been keeping a spreadsheet of the library books we read. That way, if he'd liked a particular author or book, I'd have the information on it, should I want to buy it or share it with a friend later. I went through the spreadsheet yesterday and this morning, copying the ones that have a Science Fiction or Fantasy theme. It's too long to share in its entirety at the panel, so here it is, in all its glory, along with the original notes I made about each book. They are roughly in the order that we read them, starting with picturebooks and concluding with chapter books and middle-grade fiction.
"Imagine That! Poems of Never-Was"
selected by Jack Prelutsky; ill. by Kevin Hawkes (Poems about monsters and mythical beings. It started out just silly, but many of the poems near the middle took a sinister turn and could give older children nightmares, I'm certain! I'm really not anxious to instill the fear of monsters lurking under beds or in closets.)
"Andrew's Amazing Monsters"
Kathryn Hook Berlan; ill. Maxie Chambliss (A boy draws monsters who come to life and throw him a party. KFP has been talking about monsters lately and asking for his crayons a lot, so this was a hit!)
"I Know I'm a Witch"
David A. Adler; Ill. Sucie Stevenson (Cute story about a little girl who's certain she's a witch, even though her parents say no.)
"Mungo and the Spiders from Space"
Timothy Knapman, ill. Adam Stower (Retro-looking space story where a boy writes his own ending to a comic book. Funny w/great art. Encourages creativity.)
"If You Decide to Go to the Moon"
Faith McNulty; ill. Steven Kellogg (Imaginative introduction to space travel.)
David Jefferis - nonfiction Robozones books about robots
"Cosmo and the Robot"
Brian Pinkney (A family living on Mars when the boy's favorite robot goes wonky.)
"Pirates Don't Change Diapers"
Melinda Long; ill. David Shannon (A boy left watching his baby sister gets help from some reluctant pirates. Silly.)
"Blast Off! Poems About Space"
ed. by Lee Bennett Hopkins; ill. Melissa Sweet (A selection of poems about space with full-page illustrations. Held his interest.)
"The Robot Book"
Heather Brown (Colorful heavy-weight board book with moving parts. He loved moving the gears, even though it's below his level.)
"Zombie in Love"
Kelly DiPucchio; ill. Scott Campbell (A zombie tries to find love but is too different from everyone until he finds someone like him. Actually didn't scare KFP despite graveyard humor.)
"Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct"
Mo Willems (Edwina, everyone's favorite dinosaur, doesn't know she's extinct, but one know-it-all is determined to tell her.)
"The Three Aliens and the Big Bad Robot"
Margaret McNamara; ill. Mark Fearing (A space-age take on the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf.)
"Alice the Fairy"
David Shannon (A young girl tells how she's a temporary fairy.)
"Doug Unplugs on the Farm"
Dan Yaccarino (A robot boy learns about farm life by helping a farm girl with her chores.)
“Boy + Bot”
Ame Dyckman (A boy and robot meet in the woods and play. They learn about each other’s differences and decide to remain friends.)
"Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great"
Bob Shea (Cute book about a goat jealous of the new kid in school: a unicorn.)
"Robot, Go Bot!"
Dana Meachen Rau; ill. Wook Jin Jung (A girl builds a robot friend, who gets angry when she works him too hard.)
David Milgrim (Great early reader book! A cute robot crashes onto Earth and befriends some monkeys.)
"From Bug Legs to Walking Robots"
Toney Allman (Nonfiction book about how bugs and the way they walk have inspired scientists building the next-generation robots.)
Judy Schachner (Based on a true story of her daughter, getting really into Vikings and managing to get someone to give her a Viking boat.)
"Snow Games: A Robot and Rico Story"
Anastasia Suen; ill. Mike Laughead (An easy reader book about a robot and his friend playing in the snow.)
"Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich and Other Stories"
Adam Rex (Collection of silly stories/morals about monsters. Some a little scary but didn't bother KFP.)
"Romping Monsters, Stomping Monsters"
Jane Yolen; ill. Kelly Murphy (Monster brothers and their mommy go to a park to play and explore. Lots of good action words and colorful illustrations.)
"Good Night, Good Knight"
Shelley Moore Thomas; ill. Jennifer Plecas (A knight has to help three little dragons get to bed. Repetitive but cute.)
"Frank was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance"
Keith Graves (Silly book about a Frankenstein-type monster bent on showbiz. Lots of somewhat gory jokes.)
Joanna Cole; ill. Jared Lee (A monster has to learn how to behave "properly"... for a monster.)
Bruce McCall (Retrofuturistic world where everyone is an inventor. Inspired him.)
Emily Gravett (Super cute. About a dragon who doesn't want to go to bed.)
"The Moon Might Be Milk"
Lisa Shulman; ill. Will Hillenbrand (A little girl asks everyone what they think the moon is made of. Sweet with great pictures.)
Jane Yolen; ill. Derek Anderson (A young knight must wake sleepy dragons, who are his ride to Knight School.)
"How to Draw a Dragon"
Douglas Florian (A class full of children each draws a dragon from different inspirations.)
"Commander Toad & the Dis-Asteroid"
Jane Yolen; ill. Bruce Degen (Commander Toad, a space hero, has to find a way to help a seagull people who don't speak toad.)
Jason Chin (An easy-to-understand book about the scientific principle of gravity with lovely illustrations.)
"I Will Chomp You"
Jory John; ill. Bob Shea (Very silly book where a monster threatens to bite you if you keep reading.)
"Seven Scary Monsters"
Mary Beth Lundgren; ill. Howard Fine (A boy scares off nighttime monsters. Good introduction to subtraction.)
Eoin Colfer; Oliver Jeffers (An imaginary friend meets the right boy and becomes permanent. Well-written and evocative.)
"Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters: A Lullaby"
Jane Yolen; ill. Kelly Murphy (Putting some monsters to bed with a lullaby. Lots of great verbs.)
You Can't Ride a Bicycle to the Moon!"
Harriet Ziefert; ill. Amanda Haley (Easy to understand science book about the solar system and space travel. KFP read it to himself and remembered facts!)
David Wiesner (Comic-style artwork; few words. A cat plays with an alien spaceship. The aliens befriend household bugs, who help them escape.)
Emma McCann (A little monster gets the better of a big monster... by eating him!)
"The Usborne First Encyclopedia of Space"
Paul Dowswell; ill. Gary Bines & David Hancock (Easy to understand book about space, with lots of information and illustrations.)
"Stella: Fairy of the Forest"
Marie-Louise Gay (Stella and Sam explore the forest, looking for faeries. Imaginative.)
Jack Prelutsky; ill. Peter Sis (Poems about imaginary animals who are combinations of other animals. Very clever! KFP was fascinated.)
"The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby" George Beard and Harold Hutchins (Dav Pilkey) (Graphic novel about a baby superhero. Crude humor but very funny.)
"Binky the Space Cat" Ashley Spires (Graphic novel about a cat who believes he is an astronaut and plans to build a rocket.)
"How to Potty Train Your Monster" Kelly DiPucchio; ill Mike Moon (Funny look at potty training from POV of monsters.)
"Ninja Bunny: Sister Vs. Brother" Jennifer Gray Olson (Ninja bunnies team up to steal a super carrot. Cute!)
"Incredible Fact Book" Mary Pope Osbourne and Natalie Pope Boyce (A book crammed full of scientific facts about humans, animals, and the world.)
"Superman Family Adventures" Art Baltazar & Franco (Superheroes as young teenagers)
"Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. The Uranium Unicorns from Uranus" Dav Pilkey; ill. Martin Ontiveros (Comic by the author of Captain Underpants.)
"Guinness World Records: Remarkable Robots" Delphine Finnegan (Easy reader book of facts about robots.)
"Zinc Alloy: Super Zero" Donald Lemke (Graphic novel about a boy who uses a robot and becomes a hero.)
"Captain Fact: Space Adventure" Knife & Packer (Comic book superhero exploring facts about space.)
"Invasion of the Mind Swappers from Asteroid 6!" James Howe; ill. Brett Helquist (A meta-story with a puppy writing his own pulp fiction novel.)
"The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner" Terry Pratchett (Humorous short stories set in fantasy settings.)
"Let's Draw Robots with Crayola!" Emily Golden (Directions on how to draw robots.)
"Noodleheads of the Future" Tedd Arnold, Martha Hamilton & Mitch Weiss (Comic where the Noodleheads, who are anthropomorphic pasta, predict what will happen in the future.)
"The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" C.S. Lewis (The classic children's story of magic and family.)
"Usborne Mysteries & Marvels of Science" Phillip Clarke, Laura Howell & Sarah Khan (Nonfiction book on a lot of scientific topics.)
"CatStronauts: Robot Rescue" Drew Brockington (Graphic novel about cats in space.)
"My Weird School Fast Facts: Space, Humans and Farts" Dan Gutman; ill. Jim Paillot (Facts presented in a silly manner about space and the human body.)
"What's Science About?" Alex Frith, Hazel Maskell, Dr. Lisa Jane Gillespie & Kate Davies; ill. Adam Larkum (Illustrated science book packed with facts and fun illustrations.)
“Captain Underpants” Dav Pilkey (This book and its many sequels take an irreverent look at superheros through the eyes of two middle-school comic artists.)
"Space Cows" Eric Seltzer; ill. Tom Dsibury (Easy to read with lots of rhyming. super cute.)
"How to Code in 10 Easy Lessons" Sean McManus (Introduction to computer programming.)
"Science Verse" Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith (Poems about science)
"Bunnicula" Deborah and James Howe (Original tale of the vampiric bunny and his animal friends. We also read all the sequels, which always have a mysterious/scary setting that turns out to be normal. They are always funny.)
"Coding in Scratch for Beginners" Rachel Ziter (Basics on the easy online computing program run by MIT.)
"The Everything Kids' Scratch Coding Book" Jason Rukman (Learn to code and create your own cook games.)
"Marvel Rising" Devin Grayson; ill. Marco Failla (Superheroes Squirrel Girl and Ms. Marvel)
"Robot Workers: All About Machines That Think" David Jefferis (Nonfiction. About robots used in the workplace )
"Robot Brains" David Jefferis (Nonfiction. About robots that have artificial intelligence.)
"Film and Fiction Robots" Tony Hyland (Nonfiction. About robots in films and fiction)
"Robotics Engineering" Ed Sobey (Nonfiction. How to build simple robotics)
"Real-World Robots" Paul McEvoy and Tracey Gibson (Nonfiction. About today's robots and what they do)
"Robot Universe" Lynn Huggins-Cooper (Nonfiction. History and development of robots)
"Star Wars: Millennium Falcon, A 3-D Owner's Guide" Ryder Windham; ill. Chris Trevas, Chris Reiff (Detailed book of plans of the Millennium Falcon with 3-D layers on each page.)
"Frank Einstein and the Bio-Action Gizmo" Jon Scieszka; ill. Brian Biggs (Continuation of the story about a kid scientist.)
"The Powergirl Girls: Picture Perfect" IDW Publishing (Comic based on everyone’s favorite girl superheroes.)
"Neil, Buzz and Mike Go to the Moon" Richard Hilliard (Higher level picture book on the moon landing.)
"The Pathfinder Mission to Mars" John Hamilton (Nonfiction about NASA’s Pathfinder mission.)
"Explore the Cosmos Like Neil DeGrasse Tyson" Cap Saucier (Introduction to space science)
"Party Science" Peter Pentland & Pennie Stoyles (Science related to party activities.)
"So You Want to Be a Comic Book Artist?" Philip Amara (Nuts and bolts of creating comics and eventually turning it into a profession.)
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles - Patricia Wrede (The series starts by following an independent-minded princess as she lives with dragons. Other characters include a headstrong witch, a caring magical king, and dastardly wizards who always try to make trouble.)
"The Wild Robot" Peter Brown (A robot washes up on an island and learns to survive, eventually finding animal friends.)