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 May 27th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

 

Join Jen and Kellee’s meme and share all of your reading from picture books to young adult reads! Such a fantastic way to learn about “new to you” titles by exploring all of the blog posts shared! Share your own reading on twitter via the hashtag #IMWAYR

My picture book obsession has continued and so again I have many books to share. Like the last few weeks, I will keep it to my ten favourites.

Brief Thief written by Michael Escoffier and illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo Absolutely hilarious. Dare you to read this and not laugh. Or at least smile. Definitely smirk. My daughter called it disgusting when I read it to her which made me love it all the more. So of course I had to share it with my students. The first three pages each have one sentence. On page three, we find out that the main character (a likeable lizard) has to go poo. Well, of course,  . . . that got everyone’s attention. One child even shared that he often had a meal, went to play and then (like the lizard) had to run back in and take a poo! Oh thank goodness, we have created an environment where connecting is valued 🙂 Anyway, I don’t want to give much of the plot away as this book really does need to be experienced. I will say though that the “briefs” on the cover are stolen to deal with a toilet paper crisis, there is a battle with a “conscience” and in the end, heroes (of sorts) win out. That’s all I’m saying (Except – Go read the book!)

 It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

My New Shirt written by Cary Fagan and illustrated by Dusan Petricic This pair work so wonderfully together. Their recent Mr. Zinger’s Hat is one of my favourite picture books of 2013. My New Shirt came out in 2007 and I happened upon it at my public library today. This isn’t a book for those that don’t like a longer picture book. It is on the lengthy side and would likely be best shared with readers 8 and up just so that the length can be managed and the humour appreciated. It is basically about a young boy who is gifted a new white dress shirt every year on his birthday by his grandmother. This year when his “Bubbie” gives him the shirt, he has a sort of “out of body” experience (that involves an image of endless white shirts floating towards him) and the shirt ends up getting dropped out the window. What happens from there is an amusing romp through the neighbourhood and around the eclectic neighbours as the chase is on after the shirt (keenly held in the pet dog’s teeth)! Maybe this book especially appeals to me because I have “gift receiving anxiety” It’s a lot of pressure to receive a gift gracefully – especially one you might not like – although I have never thrown anything out of the window!

It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

The Big Question written and illustrated by Wolf Erlbruch A simple little picture book that tackles a huge life question: “Why am I here?” Turning the pages allows us to hear many answers to this big question. “You’re here to kiss the clouds,” says the pilot. “You are here to obey,” the soldier states. “So that you many learn patience,” the gardener shares. The book takes us through many answers from people and animals alike. It ends with the wisdom that as you grow, more answers will reveal themselves and includes a place in the back to make notes for when answers are discovered. This book won the Bologna Ragazzi award in 2004. Original edition is in German.

The Big Question It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

Backbeard and the Birthday Suit written and illustrated by Matthew McElligott All about fun and ridiculous pirate fashion. One of the best pirate books out there. Backbeard is the quintessential pirate – hairy, stinky, and full of pirate swagger.

It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

Puffin Peter written and illustrated by Petr Horacek Absolutely stunning illustrations. A story about friendship, the similarities and differences in birds and the importance of being specific. And whoa . . . a gorgeous whale page!

It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping written and illustrated by Melanie Watt When I shared this book with my class, we had to pull out every Scaredy Squirrel book in the room and these books travelled from child to child during independent reading time. Scaredy Squirrel is the most wonderfully anxious, eccentric character out there. How can you not love a squirrel who dons a survival kit to bring an extension cord to a power outlet so that he can watch TV shows about camping in the safety of his own tree? (Think I just summarized the book in one very long and exhausting sentence) Hilarious!

Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

The Princess and the Pig written by Jonathan Emmett and illustrated by Poly Bernatene This lovely little read manages to link to many classic fairy tales while telling a great original story and poking fun at just about everything! A pig and a princess switch places and the happy ending is not what you might predict.

The Princess and the Pig It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

Not your Typical Dragon written by Dan Bar-el and illustrated by Tim Bowers What happens when a little dragon is born into a long line of wonderful fire breathers and can’t manage to even produce a little puff of smoke? A story about diversity, acceptance and realizing what you need.

It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

Little Red Riding Hood written by Lari Don and illustrated by Celia Chauffrey I have been collecting many fairy tales for our class collection and loved the illustrations in this version. Some twists from the original tale. A Barefoot Books book so just beautifully done and contains a story CD. 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

Just Ducks! written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino I love the gentle narration infused with facts in this beautifully illustrated book about ducks! And I love ducks. This book would have been a treasure to my childhood self.

Just Ducks! It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

In other reading, I finished two fantastic middle grade novels.

Bigger than a Breadbox written by Laurel Snyder So powerful. A sensitive story about a young girl coping with the separation of her parents. Captures emotions and thinking that is so personal and raw. The magic in this book is really well done. It seems possibly impossible and I’m sure would entice young readers to continually ask themselves, what would they do in Rebecca’s place? While this book is about the break up of a marriage and what it does to a family, it also handles all of the emotions of moving to a new place and new school so well. Important and real family moments. Friend anxiety. A perfect middle grade selection.

It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

Hold Fast written by Blue Balliett This is the first Balliett title I have read. I was very curious about this novel. I have seen people rave about it and others have some pretty specific criticism. I was quickly captured by the brilliant word/literacy reverence and the rhythms of language. What held me was the power of family and faith and the desire for home. Such an important book.

Hold Fast It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

What’s next? Homesick by Kate Klise. This was a recommendation made to me by another blogger from the #IMWAYR community, Ms Yingling, when she saw I had read another title about a child of a hoarder. Will be interesting to see how this topic is handled in this novel.