Nonfiction Picture Books – grow a beginning collection

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:

Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

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.

Nest Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

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!

 Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Gravity by Jason Chin

Visual story telling, simple text explain a complex concept so that all readers can grasp it.

 Gravity Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Just Ducks! written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino

Gentle narration infused with facts in this beautifully illustrated book about ducks!

Just Ducks Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmond

Explore just how enormous a blue whale really is. Gorgeous.

The Blue Whale Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

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.

 some Bugs Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

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.

HaveYouHeard Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Eggs 1, 2, 3: Who Will the Babies Be? by Janet Halfmann, illustrated by Betsy Thompson

Counting. Guessing. Lovely repetition.

eggs123 Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

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.

Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

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.

My first day Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

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.

Born in the Wild Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

How Big Were Dinosaurs? by Lita Judge

Were all dinosaurs gigantic? If they were walking around today, just how big would they be?

Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

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.

Wild Ideas Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

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 . . . ?

bone by bone Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

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.

Water Is Water- A Book About the Water Cycle Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre

Oh these photographs and this beautiful language. Walking in the rain? You will want to go.

Raindrops Roll Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Lifetime written by Lola Schaefer and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

Math is all around us. Gorgeous illustrations. Fascinating animal facts.

lifetime Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

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 . . .

feathers Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Forest Has a Song poems by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater  and illustrated by Robbin Gourley 

Beautiful poems about the forest – the perfect place to wander.

Forest has a song Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

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.

Mama Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Give books.

Read books.

Share books.

Often.

Monday June 1st, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week.  I love this photo of my student reading to his little K buddy. They were sitting in amongst books behind a bookshelf reading together. Calm, content, engaged. I love this photo 🙂

Monday June 1st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

imwayrYard Sale written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Lauren Castillo

When I first heard about this book, I was so very excited. So many of my all time favourite picture books have been written by Eve Bunting. So many of the books I have loved lately have been illustrated by Lauren Castillo. A book with their combined talents? What could be better? Well, that is a loaded question. Certainly, not much could be better. But, I should have anticipated that this amazing talent combined would also mean a whole lot of emotion captured in a picture book experience. Eve Bunting tells such important and raw stories. Lauren Castillo‘s illustrations have a charming, nostalgic, open feel. This book slowly, gently, beautifully delivers. It managed to knock me over by the time I reached the back cover. Full of love, connection and a child’s need for security, this is a beautiful, important book.

 Yard Sale Monday June 1st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Wish by Matthew Cordell

Becoming a parent was not an easy feat for my husband and me. Infertility. Pain. Longing. All of these things were my world for four years. Finally, our second in vitro attempt was successful and now I have 12 year old twins! Honestly, reading this book made that turmoil feel like yesterday and I am teary each time I read this title. However, despite the sad emotions there is so much hope and celebration here. What a special book.

WIsh-Matthew Cordell Monday June 1st, 2015 There's a Book for That

I so appreciate Matthew Cordell for capturing, so tenderly, the feeling of wishing for that very wanted child.

Water is Water written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin

Lyrical, informative, and beautiful. This nonfiction picture book is the perfect book to launch a study of water. I think it will be one of the first books I share with my new class in the fall along with many hands on water experiments.

Water Is Water- A Book About the Water Cycle Monday June 1st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Hippos are Huge! written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Matthew Trueman

I will be sharing this title along with student reviews later this week. A fantastic nonfiction picture book read aloud.

Hippos are huge! Monday June 1st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret by Bob Shea

I could rave and rave about this little gem. Suffice it to say as soon as I finished reading this title aloud, my class felt compelled to write notes to the author begging for more from Sparkles and Ballet Cat!

 Ballet Cat Monday June 1st, 2015 There's a Book for That

 Monday June 1st, 2015 There's a Book for That Monday June 1st, 2015 There's a Book for That

No 1 Car Spotter by Atinuke

This illustrated chapter book is ideal for younger readers but better still I think, a perfect read aloud for a Grade 1-3 class early in the year. Much to love in this title: the unique characters, the entertaining dynamics and the beautiful setting of Africa. So very, very good.

No1_Car_Spotter Monday June 1st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly

Early on I wasn’t so sure about this novel. There was nasty middle grade interactions that made me absolutely cringe. Cruelty, insensitivity, racism. Miserable stuff. But midway through, I began to love the friendship developing between Apple and Evan. Evan is a kid I wish existed in every school – so many young people need him to help navigate the social world that can be so cruel. He approaches it with wise perspective and personal strength. He’s just plain smart and really right on so many levels. Lots to think about and talk about in this debut novel.

Blackbird Fly Monday June 1st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 27/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 205/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 11/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 44/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 20/50 books read

Up next? I am delighted to be once again reading Deborah Wiles: Love, Ruby Lavender

Nonfiction Picture Book Dreaming: Spring 2015

The last time I made a wish list of nonfiction titles I was coveting, I was not able to buy books (long teacher strike). Now, I am making a list with my book purchasing power back in place. Always, I try to budget (not successfully). And always, I dream (very successfully)! We’ll see how many of these end up on my classroom shelves before summer.

Thanks to all of the bloggers I follow for highlighting these titles and keeping my nonfiction wish list ever growing. Here are ten titles I have my eye on!

And yes, there is a bit of a water and whale theme happening here.

Listed in order of publishing date.

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah written by Laurie Ann Thompson and illustrated by Sean Qualls (January 2015)

Emmanuel's Dream- The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah Nonfiction Picture Book Dreaming: Spring 2015 There's a Book for That

Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre (January 2015)

Raindrops Roll  Nonfiction Picture Book Dreaming: Spring 2015 There's a Book for That

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh written by Sally M. Walker and illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss (January 2015)

Winnie- The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh  Nonfiction Picture Book Dreaming: Spring 2015 There's a Book for That

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon (February 2015)

One Plastic Bag- Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia  Nonfiction Picture Book Dreaming: Spring 2015 There's a Book for That

A Nest Is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long (March 2015)

Nest is Noisy  Nonfiction Picture Book Dreaming: Spring 2015 There's a Book for That

Wandering Whale Sharks by Susumu Shingu (March 2015)

Wandering Whale Sharks  Nonfiction Picture Book Dreaming: Spring 2015 There's a Book for That

The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmond (April 2015) 

The Blue Whale  Nonfiction Picture Book Dreaming: Spring 2015 There's a Book for That

Trapped! A Whale’s Rescue written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Wendell Minor (April 2015)

Trapped! A Whale's Rescue  Nonfiction Picture Book Dreaming: Spring 2015 There's a Book for That

Water Is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin (May 2015)

Water Is Water- A Book About the Water Cycle  Nonfiction Picture Book Dreaming: Spring 2015 There's a Book for That

Woodpecker Wham! written by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Steve Jenkins  (May 2015)

Woodpecker Wham!  Nonfiction Picture Book Dreaming: Spring 2015 There's a Book for That

Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2015. Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction books you need to read!

#nfpb2015