The non-fiction section at the library contains so much that it is hard to choose something that would catch my kids’ interest. Researching the books online is helping us to bring home nonfiction books that my kids enjoy a lot. I will post them here as we read them.
You may have an older kid at home or perhaps we don’t read a certain type of nonfiction books your children like. Or maybe you would like to read the books before I post them here (I certainly have a list of books tha are worth checking out but we can only manage to read a few every week) If you’d like to find very good nonfiction books for all ages on your own, here are two blogs to help you.
Sniffer DogsHow Dogs (and Their Noses) Save the World Recommended age is 10 and up and I would agree with that because the chapters were too long and too scientific for both my kids even though I did the reading. As soon as we started it was clear that even the vocabulary was too difficult for them. I think it is great book but good for older kids for independent reading. I went page by page scanning the text and basically telling my kids the most important message of each chapter, showing them the pictures. So now they know what I even didn’t that there are dogs trained to save kids suffering from diabetes by warning them or their family members if their blood sugar level changes. You can find videos to this book here.
I will be adding books to the nonfiction section every time we read one we like because I don’t want to post here books we have not tried ourselves. Check back for any updates.
Some books about famous people are also about a certain period in history so check also the section Books About History.
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers Then we watched a short part of the documentary about Philippe Petit on Netflix. My kids, especially my daughter are always curious about what everything we read about looks like in real. If your child is interested, you can watch a short video on Youtube.
The following two books about Helen Keller were both good. We had them home at the same time. We read just one and then scanned the other one and read just whatever piece of information was not in the first one. Then we watched the movie (the newer version) The Miracle Worker on Youtube. My son (6) thought the movie was okay and asked some questions. My daughter (8) was fascinated both by the books and the movie.
Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker (a bit too long for our taste, boring for my son in 1st grade but an interesting story, suitable for grades 3 and up I think). We went on Youtube afterwards and watched a few of her dances.
I am Abraham Lincoln (Ordinary People Change the World). Look for more books like this on Amazon under this title.
!! Not exactly picture books but I was afraid you could miss this series. They are about famous people so they kind f belong in this category anyway. My daughter (in 3rd grade) loves this series that we discovered this year. Jim Trelease suggests grades 2 – 5 as a read-aloud. It is called Who Was … or Who Is …? For a completelist of books in this series click here.
The following books are not exactly picture books like the other ones; they are thin paperbacks for elementary school kids full of pictures though. To see more books and CDs about musicians visit my entry Music.
Vincent van Gogh I think a child younger than my son would not enjoy this book, it is geared toward elementary school kids (6 and up). My kids, especially my 8-year-old liked it a lot because there were a lot of interesting facts in this book (but simply said).
Lives of the Musicians We read a chapter about Beethoven and learned interesting facts about him (very well written for kids).
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart I had not known about Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists series by Mike Venezia until I began looking for biographies for children. We really liked it because it is written in a simple language, very understandable and interesting. We appreciated the pictures, drawings that showed Mozart and his family, places Mozart visited. What we disliked a lot were the cartoons that were trying to make the book funny. My son (6) did not understand half of the jokes and they just didn’t feel right. I would still recommend this book–just ignore the cartoons.
If the World Were a Village We read it with both our kids (now 6 and 8) and they enjoyed looking at the map and talking about the world’s people. To see almost 400 ratings and other reviews click here.
Amelia Bedelia My daughter fell in love with her in kindergarten and still likes to go back to these books. Click here for a complete list.
Arthur Just in case you were ever wondering what kind of animal he is; I recently found out because we never knew exactly—he was some type of mouse to me, but no, he is an aardvark. Click here for a complete list.
I didn’t know what to do about those books most people are aware of. I would hate to omit them but then I would not want you to waste your time on something you already know. Then I thought that maybe some moms who came to the US from a different country will be in the same shoes as I was ten years ago. I had no idea about Harold and the Purple Crayon or Olivia until my kids were born. So, for all of you who would have to start from scratch, here are some pictures books you should not miss.
I have just found a 14-page pdf file listing children’s classics. I noticed that some of them are in my “Our Favorites” category and not here. Well, I really didn’t care when we read the books if it was a classic or a new book. Since I didn’t grow up here, it’s sometimes hard for me to tell which one is a classic and which one isn’t. I didn’t create this site to categorize every book we have read. I just want all parents to have books worth reading in one spot without having to click away on twenty websites or blogs.
Where the Sidewalk Ends This is not a picture book but it is a great poetry book everybody knows. My kids love the poems. By the way, I had to include it here because Jim Trelease (author of The Read-Aloud Handbook) mentioned that if librarians and teachers had to name one book that disappeared most, it was this book.
La sorciere a le blues (French Edition) We got this book as a gift from a friend from Europe and have enjoyed it for years. It is a beautiful wordless picture book so it doesn’t really matter that it is in French. It’s about a witch who wants to play with children but they are afraid of her and run away. Gradually they lose their fear and become friends. The book has no reviews on Amazon because nobody knows about it here in the US I think. Give it a try.
The books are in no particular order but we liked them all. We mostly check them out from our library. We enjoyed them all. I will add more titles as I remember them. It was not easy to think of all the books we have read and loved in the past years.
The Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book: World Folk Tales Especially for Reading Aloud This is not a typical picture book. It’s about 40 stories, 2 – 4 pages each, with illustrations. My kids loved them. I noticed there is a newer versionon Amazon now.
The Book That Eats People This book was a huge hit—I try to snap their fingers and hands (and heads) while reading this book and I think it was extra fun. My daughter is eight and really enjoyed this one too.
Wumbers My kids enjoyed this one a lot, took turns reading it. I think, however, that kids who cannot read yet or are just starting to read would not enjoy it as much. My kids are almost 7 and 8 now and it was just right for them.