Supporting Inquiry, Reasoning and Problem-Solving

Carefully selected books to support these critical thinking skills

Young children are active learners who love to experiment, solve problems, and figure out why things happen. This series of books is designed to foster observation and investigation skills in interesting and exciting ways.

Paletero Cover

Be a Friend

Paletero Man

Written by Lucky Diaz and illustrated by Micah Player, this story follows a boy as he races through his city looking for his favorite treat.
I wonder book cover

I Wonder

Written by K.A. Holt and illustrated by Kenard Pak, this book is filled with fanciful questions about the way the world works.
Max and the Tag Along Moon Book page

Max and the Tag-Along Moon

Written and illustrated by Floyd Cooper, this story includes a boy who wonders about the moon following him as he travels back home.
Everybody in the Red Brick Building Book Cover

Everybody in the Red Brick Building

Written by Anne Wynter and illustrated by Oge Mora, this story invites the reader to connect together a noisy chain of events that wakes a building of sleeping neighbors late one evening.
Amy Wu Book Page
Problem Solving

Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao

Written by Kat Zhang and illustrated by Charlene Chua, this story features a girl’s persistence as she attempts to make her favorite food, Bao.
Saturday book cover
Problem Solving


Written and illustrated by Oge Mora, this story shows that when plans change suddenly, some creative thinking can make the day brighter.
Everything Grows

Nosotros Means Us

Written by Raffi and illustrated by Nina Mata, this story follows a brother and sister around a farm as they notice all the living things around them.

Everything Grows

Written by Raffi and illustrated by Nina Mata, this story follows a brother and sister around a farm as they notice all the living things around them.

Opposite Zoo Page

The Opposite Zoo

Written and illustrated by Il Sung Na, this books follows the animals at the opposite zoo, who are ready to be compared and contrasted from night until day.
Wind Blows Book Page


Written and illustrated by Carol Thompson, this book is about children finding out what can happen when things get swept up on a windy day.
Marta! Big and Small page image

Marta! Big and Small

Written by Jen Arena and illustrated by Angela Dominguez, Marta is “una niña” who thinks about how she is the same and different from the animals she encounters in the forest.
Cold Feet Book Page
Problem Solving

Solutions for Cold Feet and Other Little Problems

Written and illustrated by Carey Sookocheff, this story shows that there are many solutions to the little problems we face in everyday life.
Stop Bot Page
Problem Solving

Stop Bot

Written and illustrated by James Yang, this story follows a community effort of thinking creatively to retrieve a lost toy.


Key Takeaways

Books can empower children to be problem-solvers

Books can present problems in fun, whimsical, and captivating ways. Having opportunities to share solutions, big and small, shows children they have what it takes to be problem-solvers!

Books offer children opportunities to share their thinking

Using stories, we can support children’s reasoning skills by prompting them to consider cause and effect, brainstorm what might happen next in a story, and consider a character's motivation.

Books can inspire a love for science and engineering

Young children are natural scientists. They want to know why things happen and how things work. Books make it possible to explore and ask questions about the wonders of our world!