Read Magazines and Non-Fiction Books

time for kids
courtesy of

If your child only reads fiction, it’s time to expand his or her reading horizons.  Try non-fiction this week.  Perhaps a magazine or a short book?

As a teacher, I always encouraged students to read more non-fiction.  Non-fiction structure is different — table of contents, headers, captions and so on.   Familiarize your child with non-fiction text structures so he or she is able to get information from the text without tripping over the structural features.

The weird thing (and annoying to us parents) are those numbers!  What is a 1?  Different publishers rate books differently.  Be aware that the numbers aren’t consistent and can be (=are) misleading.  A 1 might be too easy in one series and too hard in another.  The numbers are only a general guide.  Read the book to determine if it’s a “just right book“.  (Do I need to do a post on how to tell a just right book? 5 finger test? Please let me know.)

Here are some of my favorite non-fiction early reader series: (Oh, and these are great for all ages by the way!)

Wildlife Conservation Society: Great photographs paired with engaging, easy text make this series a good choice for animal lovers.

DK Readers:  Something different about DK readers is that some combine a fiction story with non-fiction facts.  Here’s an example for the book Animal Hospital.

“When Jack and Luke take an injured duck to the vet, it is just the beginning of their adventures at the beginning of their adventures at the animal hospital. Longer sentences and an expanded vocabulary make this series of 48-page books slightly more challenging: Level 2 is appropriate for children who have started to read but still need help.” -Amazon

DK also has books on specific topics, like this one on dolphins.

dolphins cover
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Usborne Early Reading:  Most Usborne titles you must order from an Usborne consultant.  (Google that info.)  Usborne’s beginners nature books are awesome.  They have a good use of non-fiction text features and text is appropriate, yet not too hard. Plus, I love the Internet links at the back of the books.

Time For Kids:  This magazine series has a good sized collection of books including biographies and other popular nature and animal topics.

Recommended non-fiction magazines:

ChickaDee – a magazine for kids ages 6 – 9 with colorful pictures, interesting content, no advertising, puzzles, crafts, cartoons, articles and science experiments.  (sequel magazine to Chirp)

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Your Big Back Yard

From the National Wildlife Federation.  Great photos, simple but interesting stories and articles.


Click is written at different comprehension levels, so it’s good for many ages and levels of reader.  Again they have no ads!  The magazine focuses monthly on a different themes.  You can see a sample magazine here.

Did I miss any of your favorites?  Let me know what they are!!

Attribution Some rights reserved by John-Morgan


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