Read These Books, Then Book An Adventure Pass!

ICPL joins 47 other Iowa libraries this summer in offering Adventure Pass - printable passes that admit up to 2 adults and 2 children to a number of exciting Iowa museums and attractions for FREE with your library card! Log in to the Adventure Pass website using your ICPL library card, select the attraction and date you wish to visit, print the pass, and show it at the door to get in. (You must be 18 or older and a resident of Iowa City, Hills, Lone Tree, University Heights, or rural Johnson County to book an Adventure Pass.) Visit to find out more about how it works, who is eligible, see what attractions and museums you can choose from, and book your pass! While you are waiting for your date to visit, prep your kids for the experience with these books about museums, galleries, zoos, gardens, and more!

What Isabella wanted : Isabella Stewart Gardner builds a museum

Fleming, Candace, author.

j708.009 Fleming

"The true story of Isabella Stewart Gardner's mission to turn her home into a unique art museum"--

Dorothy & Herbert : an ordinary couple and their extraordinary collection of art

Azúa Kramer, Jackie, author.

j708.009 Kramer

"A picture-book biography of renowned art collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, who independently built one of the country's greatest art collections, then donated it to the National Gallery of Art"--

A day at the gallery

Bailey, Susannah, author, editor.

j750.1 Gould

The mice are captivated by Matisse and the cats are exploring the Surrealists' room ... what else is going on in the gallery? This quirky and creative search-and-find book takes children, room by room, through a wonderfully illustrated gallery, where an array of animals are enjoying everything from Impressionism and Surrealism to Pop Art and Cubism. Each room is filled with strange and astonishing works of art, with things for children to spot and information that introduces artists and art movements. There's a cat in a bowler hat, a cheesy Matisse, and plenty more to capture children's imaginations as they enter the gallery for the first taste of the beautiful world of art.

The children's interactive story of art

Hodge, Susie, 1960- author.

j709 Hodge

A fascinating introduction to the world's most famous art and artists. This comprehensive guide provides a first look at art for young readers, and focuses on the collection of paintings housed in The National Gallery, London. The book sets itself apart from the competition as it also includes a free app that allows you to create your own virtual gallery at home.


Willis, K. J., author.

j580 Willis

Showcases dozens of full-color plants from around the world in a gallery format, complemented by identification information and brief descriptions.--

The museum

Verde, Susan.

jE Verde

A young girl tours and twirls through museum galleries experiencing different emotions evoked by different styles of art, and then expresses her energy and inspiration when she finds an empty canvas.

Behind the scenes at the museum : your all-access guide to the world's amazing museums

j069 Behind

Take an exclusive tour of the world's most exciting museums and discover their hidden treasures.

Percy's museum

O'Leary, Sara, author.

jE Oleary

"A young boy moves from the city, where there was always something to do and someone to do it with, to the country. His new home just isn't the same, but at least it's summertime -- flowers are blooming, baby birds are hatching, and caterpillars are transforming into butterflies. Percy tastes wild strawberries, climbs trees and tries to catch fish in the river with his bare hands. Even at night, the garden is full of life. When he gets home, Percy likes to draw pictures of what he has seen that day. He collects interesting leaves and rocks, and insects in jars. Percy discovers that being alone doesn't have to be lonely, but explorers often share their findings. So, Percy creates a way to show his collection... Percy's Museum is a sweet story about embracing change, the excitement of discovery and the wonder of nature and new friends."--

Museum shapes

Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)

jE Metropolitan

Learn the different shapes by looking at pieces of art.

Anna at the art museum

Hutchins, H. J. (Hazel J.), author.

jE Hutchins

"A little girl becomes bored and cranky during a visit to an art museum until she begins to identify with details in the paintings. Suddenly art starts to imitate real life."--

How to build a museum : Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture

Bolden, Tonya, author.

j975.3 Bolden

The first national museum whose mission is to illuminate for all people, the rich, diverse, complicated, and important experiences and contributions of African Americans in America is opening. And the history of NMAAHC--the last museum to be built on the National Mall--is the history of America. The campaign to set up a museum honoring black citizens is nearly 100 years old; building the museum itelf and assembling its incredibly far-reaching collections is a modern story that involves all kinds of people, from educators and activists, to politicians, architects, curators, construction workers, and ordinary Americans who donated cherished belongings to be included in NMAAHC's thematically-organized exhibits. Award-winning author Tonya Bolden has written a fascinating chronicle of how all of these ideas, ambitions, and actual objects came together in one incredible museum. Includes behind-the-scenes photos of literally "how to build a museum" that holds everything from an entire segregated railroad car to a tiny West African amulet worn to ward off slave traders.

How the meteorite got to the museum

Hartland, Jessie.

j523.51 Hartland

"This nonfiction book for elementary-school-age children details the steps that brought a meteor from outer space, across the eastern US, to the roof of a car in Peekskill, New York, and thereafter to be verified, tested, and exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History. Hartland breaks down complex actions and processes in kid-friendly terms and includes pages of fascinating meteor details"--Provided by publisher.

Colossal fossil

Roy, Ron, 1940- author.


"Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose solve a mystery at the Museum of Science"--

Maisy goes to the museum

Cousins, Lucy.

jE Cousins

With her friends by her side, Maisy takes the lead in their exciting tour of the local museum where they get to see exhibits of everything from super-sized dinosaurs and rocket ships to vintage vehicles and even a giant dollhouse!

Who cleans dinosaur bones? : working at a museum

Markarian, Margie.

j069 Markarian

S is for Smithsonian : America's museum alphabet

Smith, Marie, 1951-

j975.3 Smith

A rhyming alphabet that looks at people and things associated with the Smithsonian Museum and provides background information on each one.


Geisert, Arthur.

jE Geisert

During a visit to the art museum, a little piglet and her grandfather investigate the disappearance of several paintings. Clues in the illustrations give readers a chance to solve the mystery along with the heroine.

From the mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Konigsburg, E. L.

jFICTION Konigsburg, E. L.

Having run away with her younger brother to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, twelve-year-old Claudia strives to keep things in order in their new home and to become a changed person and a heroine to herself.

The case of the stolen space suit

Brezenoff, Steven, author.

jFICTION Brezenof Steven

When the spacesuit of famous astronaut Sally Ride disappears from a traveling exhibit, Amal Farah, daughter of the Air and Space Museum's archivist, and her three friends, are determined to find the culprit before the exhibit is cancelled.

Natural history collector : hunt, discover, learn! Expert tips on how to care for and display your collections and turn your room into a cabinet of curiosities

Sanchez, Michael (Museum educator), author.

j508 Sanchez

"This book is full of hands-on, kid-friendly projects for the budding naturalist. The book's drawings and photographs will help kids discover what to look for when they examine feathers, seeds, and minerals (and recognize the difference between sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic). Extra projects focus on display; making shadow boxes, creating collectors' cases from egg cartons and candy boxes, labeling, hanging, and mounting collections"--

Life at the zoo : the secret world of your favorite animals

George, Michael, 1988- author, photographer.

j590.73 George

Provides a behind-the-scenes look at zoo animals and describes how zookeepers care for, train, and interact with the animals who live there.

More life-size zoo : lion, hippopotamus, polar bear and more-- an all-new actual-size animal encyclopedia

Komiya, Teruyuki.

j590.73 Komiya

See life-size photographs of various animals, with fold-out pages and charts of interesting facts.

What do you do if you work at the zoo?

Jenkins, Steve, 1952- author, illustrator.

jE Jenkins

From Caldecott Honor winning team Steve Jenkins and Robin Page comes an early introduction to one of young readers favorite places: the zoo! Just a few things that a zookeeper might do at their job to keep their animals healthy, well fed, and safe would be to brush a hippo's tusks, play soccer with a rhino, or pretend to be a vulture's mother.

A sick day for Amos McGee

Stead, Philip Christian.

jE Stead

Amos McGee, a friendly zoo keeper, always makes time to visit his animal friends, but when he becomes sick and cannot come in to work, the animals pay him a visit instead.

Behind the scenes at the zoo : your all-access guide to the world's greatest zoos and aquariums

Davies, Ben Ffrancon, author.

j590.73 Davies

"Venture behind the scenes to uncover the secrets of the amazing animals and army of staff that make up these awesome attractions and vital conservation centers. Find out what keeps zookeepers busy as they care for hundreds of different animals, from mini meerkats to enormous elephants. Learn how they create the perfect habitats, moreish meals, and fun enrichment activities to keep their animals healthy and happy. Marvel at how courageous zookeepers learn to look after dangerous animals. Learn about the valuable research and conservation efforts that are so crucial for protecting our most vulnerable species. Featuring only the best zoos from around the world, this book takes you on a once-in-a-lifetime trip through zoo life to discover the enormous amounts of ingenuity and care it takes to make safe homes and futures for wild and endangered animals"--

Through with the zoo

Grant, Jacob, 1984- author, illustrator.

jE Grant

"Goat lives in a petting zoo--but doesn't like to be touched!"--

The big book of blooms

Zommer, Yuval, author, illustrator.

j582.13 Zommer

The next installment in the popular Big Book series is a fascinating introduction to some of the most magnificent and surprising flowering plants from around the world.

Flowers are pretty weird!

Mosco, Rosemary, author.

j582.13 Mosco

"Flowers seem pretty in concept, but with each flip of the page readers are welcomed into the side of flowers that is downright weird."--

The Night Gardener

Fan, Terry.

jE Fan

Everyone on Grimloch Lane enjoys the trees and shrubs clipped into animal masterpieces after dark by the Night Gardener, but William, a lonely boy, spots the artist, follows him, and helps with his special work.