8 Magma-Nificent Volcano Books For Kids
Like quicksand, volcanoes were something that child me thought I’d encounter a lot more of as I grew up. I remember being fascinated by this natural phenomenon at school, particularly the story of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and the eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed both towns. Projects on volcanoes were a major part of my early-level geography assignments, and I’d draw pictures of fountains of lava flowing down the side of a mountain. Volcanoes seemed primal, dangerous, and exciting, and the more I learned about them — particularly the different kinds of eruptions that can happen — the more interesting they became.
While the likelihood of having to deal with a volcanic eruption in real life is dependent on which part of the world you live in (and, being in the south of England, I was never really at risk), volcanoes are still popular topics in children’s books. In fiction, the drama of a volcanic eruption can make for high stakes and an action-packed story. Nonfiction volcano books for kids are packed with facts and information, and can draw on multiple periods in history, or even look at volcanoes under the sea or on other planets. If you have a volcano-loving young reader in your life, here are some of the best volcano books for toddler to elementary-aged children to try.
Going to the Volcano by Andy Stanton, Illustrated by Miguel Ordonez
This cute picture book aimed at very young readers is a great way to explain and engage with the idea of volcanoes. A group of friends travel by a number of different methods on an adventure to visit the volcano, with unexpected results. The funny rhyme scheme and bright illustrations make this a great read for little ones and their adults.
Volcanoes: National Geographic Readers by Anne Schreiber
National Geographic are always a great resource for information related to the natural world, and this book on volcanoes is a comprehensive but accessible read for young children interested in this part of nature. Full of photos showing exciting aspects of volcanic eruptions, Volcanoes is the perfect introduction to this topic for younger readers.
Eruption!: The Story of Volcanoes by Anita Ganeri
Eruption! is a fantastic resource for children who like to take a more interactive approach to their learning. As well as being full of information about volcanoes, with plenty of pictures to back it up, this book also contains quizzes to build knowledge and instructions on how to make a model volcano.
Volcanoes and Earthquakes: Geo Detectives by Chris Oxlade and Anita Ganeri, Illustrated by Paulina Morgan
Part of the Geo Detectives series, Volcanoes and Earthquakes follows Ava and George, who explore and investigate natural phenomena. Readers can follow their journey to find out exactly what happens when a volcano erupts, and do at-home experiments to give context to what they’ve learned.
Look Inside Volcano by Dorling Kindersley
Young readers who are interested in the ins and outs of how volcanoes work will love this book, which is full of photos and illustrations showing how these natural phenomena form, and exactly what happens during an eruption. Suitable for small children and a great resource for school projects, Look Inside Volcano gives information on a huge number of volcanoes.
Maribel Versus the Volcano: A Mount St. Helens Survival Story by Sarah Hannah Gómez, Illustrated by Jane Pica
Part of the Girls Survive series, Maribel versus the Volcano is an action-packed historical novel that young readers will love. Set in the 1980s, it follows Maribel, who must fight for her own survival after she goes back home during an evacuation and is caught in the eruption of Mount St. Helens.
Into the Volcano by Jess Butterworth
Mixing the two worlds of nature and humanity, and looking at the dangers of both, Into the Volcano tells the story of Vivi and Seb, two children who are both affected by a mass shooting. Seb travels to Yellowstone National Park to find a volcanic rainbow pool that he believes has the power to heal his injured friend; Vivi, whose grandmother died in the same shooting, decides to help him.
The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
The debut novel by acclaimed author Kiran Millwood Hargrave is already a classic, following young Isabella, a girl living on a beautiful volcanic island and negotiating life under a new colonising regime. When her best friend disappears, Isabella ventures out into the parts of the island that have been declared out-of-bounds to find her, and also discovers that the legends she grew up with are real.
If your young reader wants to learn more about all kinds of areas of history, geography or science, try our rundown of 50 Must-Read Nonfiction Books for Kids. Want to learn some science facts yourself? Check out Get Smarter With These 25 Popular Science Books.