Recently I created a list of 20 picture books to be gifted to new parents/grandparents to begin growing a picture book collection of beautiful books. I purposely did not include any nonfiction titles because I had this list in mind – 20 incredible nonfiction titles that should be on the family bookshelf.
This list includes recent releases and some favourites I have had for some time. I looked for books that inspire wonder and curiosity about nature and the world. On this list are titles that cover specific concepts with rich language and stunning images. None are too lengthy or complex. The books that are more detailed are perfect for sharing in chunks with a parent/adult reader.
Shopping for gift books for a family? Think nonfiction picture books! Here are 20 beautiful titles:
Listed alphabetically by author
A Nest is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long
There are so many different kinds of nests for so many different creatures. This book is a treasure.
On A Beam of Light- A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky
Wonder, curiosity and thinking outside of the box. Accessible Einstein!
Gravity by Jason Chin
Visual story telling, simple text explain a complex concept so that all readers can grasp it.
Just Ducks! written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino
Gentle narration infused with facts in this beautifully illustrated book about ducks!
The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmond
Explore just how enormous a blue whale really is. Gorgeous.
Some Bugs written by Angela Diterlizzi and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel
Will absolutely inspire some bug hunting! And maybe collecting. Break out the magnifying glasses.
Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? written by Rita Gray illustrated by Kenard Pak
Beautiful lyrical text. Will get everyone outside to listen to beautiful and varied bird song.
Eggs 1, 2, 3: Who Will the Babies Be? by Janet Halfmann, illustrated by Betsy Thompson
Counting. Guessing. Lovely repetition.
Creature Features: 25 Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
The format is engaging – each animal is introduced with a mini letter/question and answer.
My First Day by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
What happened on the first day each animal was born? Children love to wonder about animal babies.
Born in the Wild: Baby Mammals and their Parents by Lita Judge
How do mammals care for their babies? Will inspire many conversations about how young children are cared for too.
How Big Were Dinosaurs? by Lita Judge
Were all dinosaurs gigantic? If they were walking around today, just how big would they be?
Wild Ideas: Let Nature Inspire Your Thinking written by Elin Kelsey and illustrated by Soyeon Kim
Will prompt a discussion about perseverance, creativity and inspiration.
Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons written by Sara Levine with illustrations by T.S. Spookytooth
A fun interactive style. What kind of animal would you be if . . . ?
Water Is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin
A beautiful poetic title about the water in our world.
Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre
Oh these photographs and this beautiful language. Walking in the rain? You will want to go.
Lifetime written by Lola Schaefer and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
Math is all around us. Gorgeous illustrations. Fascinating animal facts.
Feathers Not Just for Flying written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen
How do birds use their feathers? For so much more than flying . . .
Forest Has a Song poems by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater and illustrated by Robbin Gourley
Beautiful poems about the forest – the perfect place to wander.
Mama Built a Little Nest written by Jennifer Ward and illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Poetic text showcase all of the different nests birds build for their babies.
I am completely honored that you included FOREST HAS A SONG on this lovely list. Much gratitude! I look forward to reading the other books that I don’t yet know.
Such a pleasure to include your book here! It is so full of wonderful – the language, the illustrations, the forest dreaming . . .
I want to hug every one of these books! Great round-up of titles.
They are titles to be treasured! Glad you agree.
Wonderful list, Carrie. I own some, have read some, still need to get a few, like those by Lita Judge. Her books are wonderful.
They are so wonderful! I agree. So wonderful to share with children.
What a wonderful resources and gift idea. Thank you for sharing this thoughtful list. We added a few to our TBR stack!
Clare and Tammy
Thanks ladies! Love to share the nonfiction love!
Great post and a wonderful collection.
Thank you – so many lovely nonfiction titles to choose from 🙂 It was fun making this list.
I really want to find Water is Water. I’ve held off purchasing it – because I REALLY need to limit my purchasing!!! – but our library still doesn’t have it. It’s mentioned all the time and it makes my fingers itch that I can’t get to it….
I bet limiting this list was hard!!
It was certainly challenging. But all of these titles really felt right. I would happily gift any of these to anyone with children/students 🙂
This list is fabulous. Of course I have nearly every one which just shows I’m very knowledgeable as well (or a book addict). I’m going to share this with two of my friends who just had children!
Book addicts are the very best! Thanks for sharing!
Great list. Just the covers alone make them perfect. I wish more books were faced out!
I have lots of outward facing display shelves in my room. It’s a priority – too beautiful to hide!
So excited to find my book Eggs 1, 2, 3: Who Will the Babies Be? on this great list! Thanks so much and Happy Reading to All!
It is a lovely title for little ones to enjoy! Thrilled to include it here!
I love your lists! This is an excellent collection of books. Thanks for sharing! I just read Wild Ideas this morning. I think it does lend itself to discussion.
Wild Ideas is really gorgeous!! Did you ever see the art my kids did to go with this book?
Thank you for promoting the non-fiction PB a very important genre that too often aren’t championed!
A pleasure! These books enrich my classroom life in such wonderful ways!
This is truly a wonderful resource, Carrie. A few here that are familiar to me, and way too many that I don’t know yet. Thanks again for all that you do.
I am so pleased you see some “new to you” titles. Happy reading!