Quarto Press’s series Little People Big Dreams by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara and illustrated by various artists is a nonfiction first biography picture book series that can not just be read-aloud books for preschoolers but also nonfiction reading choices for readers ages 6 to 9.
When I worked as a literacy trainer in K-12 classrooms, the hardest books to find for students and teachers were good, beginning nonfiction books for early readers
Which is why I want to make sure you know about the Little People, Big Dreams series.
This fills a big gap for early readers — and for preschoolers who want to learn about famous people, too.
For primary-age students, now they can read a variety of biographies at their reading level! Whether or not they’re writing a report, I predict that students will enjoy learning about other people’s lives.
Plus, it’s essential that kids are reading a balance of nonfiction and fiction–not just fiction.
Because nonfiction is a different kind of text and requires different comprehension skills.
Yes, you have to read the words but you also have to determine importance, understand details and opinions versus main idea and facts, use the text features to support understanding, ask questions, summarize, and synthesize.
But reading nonfiction biographies also exposes kids to the lives of people who have made a difference in the world! Whether it be a poet like Amanda Gorman, an artist like Pablo Picasso, or an athlete like Michael Jordan. At the current moment, I believe there are 99 titles from which to choose!
Little People, Big Dreams Biographies
Little People, Big Dreams (https://littlepeoplebigdreams.com/) are first biographies for kids.
It’s a picture book series for ages 4 and up, colorfully illustrated by different artists with one or two sentences of text per page.
The writing begins with the famous person in childhood then continues to share important facts about each famous person as well as their contribution to the world. In other words, sharing what made them famous.
What I like about the writing is that it’s clear and understandable to children without being dumbed down. The author gets to the gist of each person’s life and contributions in a way that is kid-friendly.
I also like the illustrations that beautifully support the biographical information. For example, on the Nelson Mandela page about apartheid being unfair, the illustrator Alison Hawkins shows a crowd of black and brown people with protest signs.
Also, at the back of each book, you’ll find a timeline with photographs and a more detailed, informational biography written at a higher reading level. This gives additional information and context which helps support readers, particularly if they’re using these books to write reports.
Author Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara is a writer and creative director who begin this series for her nieces but it’s grown into a huge series of books.
Take a look at some of the most recent titles from this series…