In this study, the characteristics of the reading materials in elementary school science textbooks developed under the 2009 revised National Science Curriculum were investigated. The criteria for classifying the reading materials were the types of topic, purpose, students` activity, and presentation. The visual images in the reading materials were also analyzed from the viewpoint of type, role, caption type, and proximity type. The results indicated that the number of the reading materials in the 2009 revised science textbooks decreased compared to that of the 2007 revised science textbooks. It was also found that the frequencies of the reading materials expanding concepts of the text and/or requiring corresponding students` inquiry increased. More visual images were used in the reading materials of the 2009 revised science textbooks. However, several limitations were still found to exist; most visual images were illustration and/or picture; many visual images were presented without a caption; there was a problem in the proximity of visual image to text.