I’m exploring our world today through eight beautifully illustrated nonfiction books. I’m always on the lookout for books that teach my kids geography; they never seem to know where countries are located and often get even the continent wrong. Until they can world travel — my oldest is planning on taking a gap year after high school — we are armchair traveling via books.
I’m giving five of them away to five winners. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.
How about you? What nonfiction picture books have caught your eye lately?
Great Nonfiction Books to Explore Our World
The Earth Book: A World of Exploration and Wonder by Jonathan Litton, illustrated by Thomas Hegbrook
This beautiful nonfiction picture book is broken out into four sections: physical earth, life on earth, earth regions, and the human planet. Each section then has one or two page spreads that then give a detailed overview of each “chapter.” For example, earth regions are broken down into oceans, islands, rainforests, poles, deserts, and extreme earth. This book does a good job presenting a lot of information in a readable day. Rainforests use the illustration to show the different layers of the rainforest; it includes ten animals found in the rainforest, and it includes rainforests in different geographic areas, as well as a summarized paragraph about the current state of rainforests. Browse this book with your child to discover the earth and all its wonders. [nonfiction picture book, ages 7 and up]
This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World by Matt Lamothe
Flowering Minds‘s loves this book too: “In this wonderful non-fiction book, we get to peek into the lives of seven kids from around the world and see how different and similar their lives are.” I was both struck by the beautiful illustrations and the information that includes what each child eats using their native words which can be looked up in the glossary in the back. She noticed that “all the families are nuclear – mother, father, kids. In many parts of the world, families will include a grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, uncle all living under a single roof. I feel that the opportunity to show diversity in families was lost.” I think that’s a great point. Darshana has further resources for those who want to compare and contrast or do a book extension such as cooking a recipe from the book.
I would also suggest What The World Eats which I think is fascinating. It shows the groceries that a family eats in the course of a week. Not only do you see the groceries each family uses for the week’s meals but also the members of each family. [nonfiction picture book, ages 5 and up]
Boys Dancing: From School Gym to Theater Stage by George Ancona
I’m adding this book to my Top 10 Multicultural Dance Picture Books because you just never really see dance books that focus on boys. Four boys — Ely, Raptor, Logan, and Ryan — train with teachers from the National Dance Institute of New Mexico. From ballet to musical theater, tap dance, and sword fighting, the boys are part of five hundred students that will perform more than twenty dances inspired by children’s books. It’s a message of reading and dancing for all. [nonfiction picture book, ages 5 and up]
Animal Journeys by Patricia Hegarty, illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle
It’s a pocket-sized book but it packs a lot of information about animal migrations of both animals, fish, and insects. With enticing illustrations, this book draws readers in covering just the right amount of information on the page. The beautiful layout of the book makes this a great choice for reluctant readers. Pair this with Things That Grow by the same publisher.[nonfiction picture book, ages 7 and up]
A River by Marc Martin
I’m excited by hybrid picture books that read like fiction but have accurate and plentiful information about a topic like a nonfiction book. It’s a nice way to get kids who tend towards fiction into nonfiction and vice versa. In this case, the reader enjoys an imaginary journey in a silver boat in a river that starts in a city and meanders down through fields and farms, hills and valleys, rainforests and mangroves, before going out to sea. The illustrations and prose give the book the feel of a story, but it’s an accurate story of the geography of a river. [picture book, ages 5 and up]
Things That Grow by Libby Walden, illustrated by Becca Stadlander
It’s interesting how this publisher has a consistent look and feel of a series but uses different authors and illustrators for its books. Things That Grow, Animal Journeys, and The Earth Book: A World of Exploration and Wonder all are beautifully illustrated and laid out with just the right amount of information on the page. Things That Grow covers Plants and Trees, The Animal Kingdom, and The Universe. These books beg to be browsed. They are a good fit for kids who like National Geographic Kids books. [nonfiction picture book, ages 7 and up]
Atlas of Miniature Adventures: A Pocket-Sized Collection of Small-Scale Wonders by Emily Hawkins, illustrated by Lucy Letherland
Like Things That Grow and Animal Journeys, Atlas of Miniature Adventures is appropriately a small book that has a charm of its own. The story is a kind of scavenger hunt around the world for tiny marvels that include the world’s smallest primate, the world’s smallest postal service, and the world’s smallest sea horse. Because this book is an Atlas, the focus is on where the miniature marvels are located and maps are conveniently provided at the start of each chapter with each wonder tagged. Science and geography are combined to catch the interests of kids who like Ripley’s Believe It or Not type of books. I like how this book helps kids get a better sense of where countries are located. There’s also a gaming aspect to this book, hidden throughout the pages are things to find. Try this book with your gamer! [nonfiction picture book, ages 6 and up]
Curious Constructions: A Peculiar Portfolio of Fifty Fascinating Structures by Michael Hearst, illustrated by Matt Johnstone
The illustrations in this book are not as appealing as the rest of the books on the page, and I wish there were photographs included of each of the fifty structures. Still, future architects will like learning about structures that are eye-catching. [nonfiction advanced picture book, ages 8 and up]
5 Nonfiction Book Giveaway
I’m giving away 5 books to 5 winners. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below and also list your first, second, and third choice in the comments below. I can only ship to U.S. addresses due to the high cost of shipping.
- Things That Grow
- Animal Journeys
- A River
- Boys Dancing
- Curious Structures
To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.
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p.s. Related posts:
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.