Early Elementary Books

Theme: Curiosity and Curiosities

A Story for Bear - (ISBN: 978-0152002398)

by Dennis Haseley

A curious bear finds a letter in the woods. Although he has no idea what it is, he guards it with reverence for years until he meets a woman and gets to visit her cabin. His curiosity about her home and its mysterious items lead to a wonderful visit with her. Their friendship grows as she reads to him, lines in a language he cannot understand but somehow enjoys. What do you think the bear will do with the gifts she gives him to take back to his cave?

Before You Arrived - (ISBN: 978-0976957102)

by Adrienne Lance Lucas

If your young child has questions about an upcoming birth in the family, this book has the answers to questions in easy-to-understand text accompanied by great illustrations. Whatever queries they have will find answers in this book, written from the point of view of the pregnant mother as she waits for the birth. When you read it, you can use your child’s name in the title instead of “you.”

Circus Girl - (ISBN: 9780060287832)

by Jack Sendak

Flora, a young circus performer, is very curious about the people who come to see the circus. She imagines their lives and even dreams about visiting the villages where they live. Her questions about them are very concrete; for example, she does not understand how they know who their children are. Ask your children what questions they would like to ask Flora about her life as a performer. Readers will recognize the illustrator of this book, beloved children’s author Maurice Sendak, as he collaborates with his brother who started writing this book at a very young age.

Creepy Crawly Birthday - (ISBN: 9780689857287)

by James Howe

This ready-to-read book features the familiar Bunnicula gang as they attempt to find out the contents of a mysterious seven-part birthday gift. Powered by their curiosity and overactive imaginations, they make deductions galore about new pets they think reside in the gifts. Which, if any, of their ideas turn out to be correct?

Perry’s Baltimore Adventure: A Bird’s Eye View of Charm City - (ISBN: 9780870335402)

by Peter E Dans

When two peregrine falcons start a family, their most curious chick wants to learn everything he can about the city around him. When he is mature enough for the long flight, his father takes him on a grand tour, and Perry learns about Baltimore’s neighborhoods, history, and famous characters. If you could take someone on a bird’s eye view of your city, what would the highlights be?

The Curiosity Shop - (ISBN: 978-1889163062)

by Phyllis Campbell Stephanie K. Burton

<i>The Curiosity Shop</i> includes activities for parents to do with their children, activities that will answer and create more questions about the topics in the book: dinosaurs, the body, growing things, eating, water, etc. The accompanying CD adds music to the fun within the book. Which activity turns out to be your child’s favorite?

The Snoop - (ISBN: 978-0395858219)

by Jane Thomas

Young Ellen’s curiosity gets the best of her during her weekend at her grandmother’s. She cannot resist exploring the drawers, closets, and personal papers she has been forbidden to look at. Although she constantly gets in trouble for her actions, she continues to uncover things of interest about her grandmother’s past. Share a time when you looked where you were not supposed to go.

First on the Moon - (ISBN: 0786804890)

by Barbara Hehner

Little Cliff and the Cold Place - (ISBN: 9780803725584)

by Clifton Taulbert

Mathematical Curiosities: To Cut Out and Glue Together - (ISBN: 978-1899618354)

by Gerald Jenkins Magdalen Bear

School Picture Day - (ISBN: 9780525468868)

by Lynn Plourde

Space Station Science: Life in Free Fall - (ISBN: 978-0590058926)

by Marianne J. Dyson

The Cave Painter of Lascaux - (ISBN: 978-0195215588)

by Roberta Angeletti

The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery - (ISBN: 978-0140561609)

by Graeme Base

Violet Goes to the Country - (ISBN: 9780670061815)

by Melanie Cecka

Activities for this Theme

View a child’s “curiosity” book from the 1700’s. Notice how the letter “S” has changed in appearance. This book is available online in its entirety since it is out of copyright.


Make a mystery box for the curious among your family and friends.


Have your child write and send a “mystery” letter in four parts to good pals and members of the family. Receivers will become very curious about what will be in the yet unsent parts.


With your family, make a list of closed-off spaces you would like to explore together, like the boxes in the attic, or the old photo albums. Turn an expedition into a family exploration.