If you had to give up one of your senses, which one would you pick? Our five senses play a big role in how we experience the world. Help children learn about each of their senses through these cool picture books and science books about the 5 senses and then do some hands-on explorations.
Books About the Five Senses
Here are lots of book choices broken down into ones that cover multiple senses to those that explore an individual sense in depth.
Books That Explore Multiple Senses
Explore the science of the senses in Lift-the-Flap First Questions and Answers How Do I See?
Me and My Senses by Joan Sweeney is a fun and playful look at each of our senses.
My Five Senses by Margaret Miller is an older book with photographs. It’s a basic introduction to the senses.
The animals all use different senses to sense the rain is coming in Rain by Manya Stojic.
I Hear a Pickle by Rachel Isadora introduces to our five senses by giving examples of things we can discover using each sense. She not only highlights the pleasant things we discover through our senses but also the unpleasant. For example, “We hear the music. We dance. I hear the drums. Too loud!”
Hello Ocean by Pam Munoz Ryan has a rhythm when you read that you would expect to experience sitting on the seashore. All five senses are experienced as you take in the sights, sounds, tastes, feels, and smells of the sea.
Explore the senses of sight, sound, and feel in I Feel a Foot! by Maranke Rinck. It the dark of night, a group of animals try to identify a sound they hear through their sense of touch. All the animals are convinced that the mysterious object is someone just like them, but they are in for a big surprise.
Eat Like a Bear by April Pulley Sayre is the story of how bears find their food throughout the year. Different seasons require different tactics for finding food. But no matter what the season, bears always have to rely on their senses to help them. This is an interesting read about bears and also fun for having children infer which senses the bear is using throughout the story.
Books About Smell
Baby Loves The Five Senses Smell! by Ruth Spiro explores the science behind our sense of smell. It’s a board book. It features a baby but the content definitely works for preschoolers and up. The other four senses are also available in this series.
Gladys is lured out of the zoo for lunch my some tantalizing smells in Gladys Goes Out to Lunch by Derek Anderson.
It’s a little absurd and will definitely generate giggling fits. Sigfried’s Smelly Socks! by Ben Foley will have kids wrinkling up their noses and saying, “Eewww!” Sigfried is trying to determine the awful smell. Could it be an old potato, a rotten banana, or perhaps pee? Well, just read to see.
Ummm…scratch-and-sniff…Yes, please! Llama Llama Yum Yum Yum!: A Scratch-and-Sniff Bookwill have kids clamoring to sniff the book.
Books About Taste
Similar to using a story to introduce a sense like Brown Bear and Polar Bear, try The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. This caterpillar tastes a LOT of different foods throughout the book.
Imagine books that include recipes so you can cook and taste. Yes! Check out our list of Books That Inspire You to Cook with Kids.
For more books about children who are adventurous eaters, check out our Books For Picky Eaters List.
Books About Touch
Touch-and-feel books are a great way to talk about the sense of touch. Each page spread usually has a texture to feel.
Cottage Door Press also has several well-done touch & feel books. I particularly like A New Toy Truck where a grandpa puppy and little pup build a toy in a woodshop. My kids loved the sticky glue page.
I especially like Spiky, Slimy, Smooth: What Is Texture? (Jane Brocket’s Clever Concepts) for the photographs. Short text supports the neat pictures.
Books About Sight
You can use the classic, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr to introduce your discussion on sight as the animals see different colored animals throughout the book.
Learning how different animals see is fascinating when you read They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel. This is such an interesting book to explore with the kids.
What you see depends on your perspective. Explore seeing things from different perspectives in Look What I See by Judi Barrett.
Eye doctors are vital for helping us maintain our eyesight. Learn about an amazing woman doctor named Dr. Patricia Bath in The Doctor with an Eye for Eyes by Julia Finley Mosca.
Books About Needing Glasses
At age 8 I needed help with my sight and the wonderful world of being able to see with glasses began for me. But getting glasses isn’t always sunshine and roses. Sometimes kids have a tough time with the newness of having to wear them. These books can help with getting glasses to see.
Douglas, You Need Glasses by Ged Adamson is the story of a pooch who doesn’t know he needs glasses. That’s a pretty common experience that children have too. It’s a fun and silly book to help get over that hump of not being able to see clearly.
Arlo Needs Glasses by Barney Saltzberg is an interactive book about discovering your need glasses all the way to picking out your favorite frames.
Some kids need glasses and a patch. Learn all about amblyopia in The Patch by Justina Ched Headley.
For more books about kids needing glasses, check out the list from Imagination Soup.—>Kids Needed Glasses
Books About Hearing
Just like Brown Bear above, use Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr to jumpstart your talk on hearing.
The Listening Walk by Paul Showers is a classic used in many early childhood classrooms. After reading, you will want to head outside fo your own listening walk.
Clang! Clang! Beep! Beep!: Listen to the City by Robert Burleigh takes us on a walk through the city to explore all the different sounds. Lots of onomatopoeia in this book.
What Sound is Morning? by Grant Snider invites us to wake up to sound from the hissing sprinklers on the lawn to the fip of the light switches turning on. Through descriptive language you can “hear” each sound turn on for the day.
Learning to listen is a skill that we often practice in the early grades. Check out our list, Books to Help Promote Positive Behaviors.
Printable 5 Senses Book List
Grab a printable book list of the books shared above. It’s great for taking to the library or tucking in your lesson plan binder.
More Five Senses Literacy Resources
Take the learning deeper with our Healthy Habits Preschool Literacy Unit. Get it here.—> Healthy Habits Literacy Unit
Enjoy helping students learn about their 5 senses with these books.