I’ve been saving up my nonfiction books so I could batch-review them. I’ll have biographies in another post. Here are 24 new-ish nonfiction books you’ll want to know about for your homes, classrooms, and libraries.
New Nonfiction for Ages 3 – 8
My Cup of Art by Katerina Karolik
What would a famous artist’s depiction of a cup look like? Find out in this sturdy pop-up board book. Cups from Kazimir Malevich, Egon Schiele, Edward Hooper, Yayoi Kusama, and others. I was disappointed that only one female artist was represented.
Whose Egg Is That? by Darrin Lunde, illustrated by Kelsey Oseid
Guess whose egg by seeing the illustration and a description. Turn the page and learn the answer! Plus, read a little bit about the animal who laid the egg– ostrich, robin, killdeer, and four more animals. Simple yet informational, this is the perfect nonfiction read aloud for preschoolers.
Octopuses Have Zero Bones by Anne Richardson, illustrated by Andrea Antinori
STEM / COUNTING
Is this an octopus fact book? No, it’s an oversized unconventional counting book with fun facts for each number –like an avocado contains one seed, your heart has four chambers, and the earth has five oceans. Pour over the random facts and beautiful illustrations.
Deep, Deep Down The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench by Lydia Lukidis, illustrated by Juan Calle
Sensory descriptive writing takes us on a submarine deep, deep down into the Mariana Trench with its bone-chilling cold, earthquakes, monstrous fish, and unique plants. Both lyrical narration and informational expository text teach readers about the murky depths. I adore everything about this gem of a nonfiction book!
Luminous Living Things That Light Up the Night by Julia Kuo
Learn about bioluminescence in this atmospheric picture book with enthralling illustrations on black backgrounds, a narrative story, and sidebars of informational text. A child and adult discover creatures who can make their own light, like a firefly, vampire squid, or crown jellyfish. These creatures use their light to call for help, distract enemies, or hide in plain sight. Just imagine if you could do that, too!
Darwin’s Super-Pooping Worm Spectacular by Polly Owen, illustrated by Gwen Millward
Charles Darwin knew that earthworms were special–he just had to prove it. So he used the scientific method to hypothesize, test, and observe the worms. He realized that the worms were special because of their poop. Worm poop helps plants grow and that is poop-tastic! Who knew!? This book is sure to be popular with kids and adults — it’s fun and informative.
All Through the Night by Polly Faber, illustrated by Harriet Hobday
Amazing, atmospheric illustrations show the city at night and the busy workers who are wide awake and doing their jobs; workers like delivery workers, band members, office cleaners, grocery store clerks, new parents with babies, and paramedics. When you wake up, say thanks to Mom and everyone who works at night.
Do Bears Poop in the Woods? by Huw Lewis Jone, illustrated by Sam Caldwell
Earthy, charming illustrations, appealing kid-design, and interesting bear information make this informative picture book a hit! I loved learning so much about bears — the different kinds, bear poop, the food bears eat, habits, skills, color, sleep, stories, and more. (I did want to know what the right thing to do would have been if say, if you saw a brown bear sitting on your hiking trail in Boulder, Colorado. Because the only reason we didn’t scare that darn bear was my daughter in the baby backpack was screaming, “Down, down, down.” That was scary.)
Caring For Earth by Sandra Laboucarie and Sarah Reynard, illustrated by Julie Mercier
This colorful book makes learning about nature fun with pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, and fold-outs. Observe a tree and the animals that live around it in the forest. Create layers of a forest garden, explore a garden, and learn about other environments, too.
This Is the Planet Where I Live by K.L.Going, illustrated by Debra Frasier
Based on the famous poem, “This is the House That Jack Built,” this version shows nature’s interconnectedness — from the fields to the animals, birds, trees, and clouds. The unique collage illustrations pop with life and vibrancy.
If You Were a Princess by Hillary Homzie, illustrated by Udayana Lugo
What if you were a princess? What would you do? Learn about actual princesses of the world who rap, code, invent, and stand up for others, among other activities. Information about princesses and their accomplishments accompany descriptions of princesses’ actions. Inspiring and interesting.
Fashionista Fashion Your Feelings by Maxine Beneba Clarke
What a fun-to-read book! This book with cool collage illustrations will appeal to artists and fashionistas who like to express themselves through clothing and style. “A fashionista digs fashion. That means they think it’s cool fun to DRESS UP, STEP OUT, and SHOW OFF looks they love.” Will you wear hats, socks, and feathers; patterns and stripes, jeans and leggings?
Tree Hole Homes by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Amy Hevron
What would it be like to live inside a tree hole? Learn about the animals who rest, play, build a home, or rest at night or in the day; animals like bats, owls, a fisher, raccoons, birds, and iguanas. A lyrical poem describes the tree holes accompanied by informational text about different animals’ relationships to the tree holes.
Coyote Moon by Maria Gianferrari, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
It’s a night in the life of a coyote who is searching for food to feed her cubs. I love the descriptions and verb choices that set the mood. “Twigs crack. Rabbit freezes. Ears twitch. Coyote lunges. Rabbit leaps. Shadows blur. Coyote is fast, but Rabbit is faster, skittering under the slide to safety.”
Footprints Across the Planet by Jennifer Swanson
Stunning photographs show animal and people feet and footprints of all shapes and sizes. We see footprints from dinosaurs, the astronauts on the moon, and footprints of people who stood up for change.
Moving Words About a Flower by K.C. Hayes, illustrated by Barbara Chotiner
Shape poetry is beautifully arranged through the pages to help readers understand a dandelion’s life cycle from seeds to pollination to growth. Use this in your plant and poetry curriculum as both informational text and a writing mentor text example.
Awe-Some Days: Poems about the Jewish High Holidays by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte
Singer celebrates the Jewish holidays throughout the year with poems for each including weekly Shabbat. Starting with apples dipped in honey for Rosh Hashanah and continuing with Yom Kipper with more seriousness and prayer, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah, Hanukkah, and many more high holidays. Informational sidebars share the meaning and background of each holiday.
All the Insects in the World by David Opie
Different than the usual bug book. It’s written in one long exposition without the usual nonfiction text features, which was a different reading experience for me. Would you like a book like this? The illustrations pop!
New Nonfiction for Ages 8 – 12
Around Antarctica Exploring the Frozen South by Tania Medvedeva, illustrated by Maria Vyshinskaya
Travel with journalist Tom as he goes to Antarctica to live and study. Learn about the ice, glaciers, weather, and sea life. Dialogue bubbles of conversation between the humans that live on the base, plus a ton of information about the illustrations. This is one book you’re meant to pour over because it’s got it all — story, information, illustrations, and visual appeal.
The Red Ear Blows Its Nose by Robert Schechter, illustrated by S. Federico
Silly, fun poems about many different topics like winter, dogs, aliens, popcorn, imagination, and more with pen and ink illustrations. Read a tongue-twister poem “A chorus of Doris” or a reflection on words in “I’m Igserious!” If you like whimsical, rhyming poetry that makes you laugh, you’ll love this book.
Every Word Tells a Story by Tom Read Wilson, illustrated by Ian Morris
ALPHABET WORD BOOK
Will your kids love this playful, colorful, illustrated etymology dictionary? I’m not a kid but I love it! For each letter, dive deeper into four unique words that begin with that letter. One of the words includes a featured poem, and all the words include their etymology and definitions. The book is decidedly British with words like bobby and hoover, which is a fun experience for American kids.
If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It by Colleen Nelson and Kathie MacIssac
Adults always ask kids what they want to do when they grow up, and this book will give them more ideas than they’ve ever thought of! Read about 25 individuals and their careers. Jessie Anderson works as a barber, Neijae Graham-Henries works as a make-up artist, and Brenda Hsueh works as a farmer. As you read about each person and their career, learn what the person likes about their job, how they got interested the job, their education, and other related jobs. For example, food scientists, environmental engineers, and arborists are related to farmers. The authors explain what skills are most useful (and used) in each career. In Mark Robinson’s career as a meteorologist, he must have strong speaking and communication skills. Readers will want to reflect on their interests, possible career paths, and what they would have to study to get there.
The Power of Architecture: 25 Modern Buildings from around the World by Annette Roeder, illustrated by Pamela Baron
I shared this book at the dinner table with my family because I found the buildings to be so cool. It’s well-written and cleanly illustrated, any child would want to read this whether or not they have an interest in architecture.
Spin to Survive: Deadly Jungle by Emily Hawkins, illustrated by R. Fresson
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
A choose your own adventure kind of story, in this book, you spin the spinner to choose your next moves through the Amazon Rainforest where you’re searching for the Lost City of the Jaguar God. You’ll face rivers, jaguars, rival treasure hunters, waterfalls, cliffs, snakes, etc. Can you survive? What will you eat? The book will give you the story as well as survival tips, like how to make a fish trap and what plants are poisonous. Read short biographies of other survivors and creature features.