I always love sharing good nonfiction books that will grab your children’s attention and keep it — while giving them practice reading informational text. It’s so important to mix it up and not only read fiction.
Here are a variety of new books to tell you about!
New Nonfiction Books, 2021
Look What I Found in the Woods by Moira Butterfield, illustrated by Jesus Verona
I love this picture book of informational text about the woods with interactive questions, engaging writing, and fantastic design. Learn about plants, trees, bark, leaves, nuts, pinecones, and bugs. You’ll appreciate that the last page reminds children to only collect things that they find on the ground.
Mars Is…Stark Slopes, Slivery Snow, and Startling Surprise by Suzanne Slade
SPACE / MENTOR TEXT ORGANIZATION, NONFICTION, SENSORY IMAGES
Use this unique book as a mentor text for nonfiction text structure as well as writing expository nonfiction with sensory images. Not only is the text beautiful but the EPIC close-up photos will immediately draw your attention.
Welcome to Colorado, illustrated by Asa Gilland
GEOGRAPHY / HISTORY
Use this picture book in your classrooms when you study about the state of Colorado. It’s a good overview of the basics — state animal, state bird, state flower, and so forth. Lovely illustrations!
Cars, Signs, and Porcupines! by Ethan Long
GEOGRAPHY / TRANSPORTATION
Travel along through Happy County as the County Mounties try to catch the mischievous porcupines. Each page brings new adventures and information about maps, geography, counting, transportation, and measurements. Entertaining and playful.
Clairnet & Trumpet by Melanie Ellsworth, illustrated by John Herzog
COOPERATION / MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
This is a darling, punny story about friendship and…musical instruments! Trumpet and Clarinet are good friends who make harmonious music together. Until Obo arrives. Now, Trumpet feels left out so he and Trombone get loud and the woodwinds are annoyed. Soon, the two sides (brass and woodwind) collect more instruments for their side. When Saxophone arrives, the two sides see that they’ll sound better together. As you read, be sure to shake the book for some percussion noises!
Strange Nature: The Insect Portraits of Levon Biss by Gregory Mone, photographs by Levon Biss
Stunning photographs labeled with information about cool insects like the tiger beetle, mantis-fly, and the Orchid Cuckoo Bee accompany kid-friendly informational writing with the perfect amount of text to keep readers learning and engaged. Read where each insect lives, their size, and the most important information about the insect. You’ll love this beautiful bug book because both the photos and the writing are AMAZING.
Are You Smarter than a Shark? by David George Gordon, illustrated by Josh Lynch
Funny interactions in the cartoon illustrations and dialogue bubbles provide humor throughout this excellent book about the mighty shark. You’ll read about the basics of anatomy, what makes the shark so smart, what they eat, all about the shark’s teeth, and much more. I LOVE this book and predict it to be a new favorite for elementary-age readers who love sharks or are studying ocean animals.
All About Mermaids by Izzy Quinn
This book explains that mermaids are real and are closely related to us. Then, it elaborates on the characteristics of mermaids and their lifestyles. Beautiful jewel-toned illustrations and interesting information will appeal to readers.
I Affirm Me The ABCs of Inspiration for Black Kids by Nyasha Williams, illustrated by Sof’ya Glushko
BLACK BOY & GIRL AFFIRMATIONS
Positive affirmations remind readers of all they can be and who they are. “C is for Challenge. I am ready for today! I breathe in happiness and release worry. I face my fears and will overcome them. Today, I will take action.” Captivating illustrations show the positivity in Black families and children.
Weird But True! Ocean 300 Fin-Tastic Facts from the Deep Blue Sea by National Geographic Kids
Weird But True books are beautiful, interesting, and they entice readers with the many, many short, digestible factoids! Every page is filled with 2 – 4 facts and accompanying illustrations or full-color photos. Another great thing I love about the Weird But True books is that you can read from any point in the book and in any order! In this book, learn weird and interesting facts like how manatees chirp, how a group of stingrays is called a fever, that the Pacific warty octopuses are wartier the deeper they live in the ocean, and that Hawaii’s white-sand beaches are mostly made from Parrotfish poop. Cool, huh?
Go Wild! Sea Turtles by Jill Esbaum for National Geographic Kids
Use this new Go Wild! series with your early elementary readers to learn how to read nonfiction text for information. Full color photographs, labels and captions, and colorful and readable text.
Go Wild! Pandas by Margie Markiarian
This book is a beautiful way for younger readers ages 6 to 9 to learn about pandas with easier text and plenty of photo support and captions.
A Brief History of Underpants by Christine Van Zandt, illustrated by Harry Briggs
It’s true– even people in ancient times wore underwear! Whether it was an Inuit in caribou skin underwear or Egyptian loincloths or quilted, padded underpants of European knights, kids will read all about the history of underwear, inventions like the sewing machine that changed the world of underwear, and plenty of fun facts about underpants! Well-written with punny humor, facts, and comic illustrations, this little nonfiction book for young readers is a delight! (Here’s a joke from the back of the book… Q: Why does a pirate wear underpants? A: To hide his booty.)
Little Kids First Big Book Rocks, Minerals, and Shells by Moira Rose Donohue
I highly recommend this oversized book that explores rocks and minerals with colorful photographs, fact boxes, interactive questions, and comprehensible text written for early elementary readers in grades 1 to 4. You’ll learn about specific rocks, minerals, and shells like basalt, quartz, and cowrie with well-written, important information and beautiful related photographs. This book is a must-own for schools and libraries and would be a fantastic addition to your home library as well.
The Magnificent Book of Horses by Tom Jackson and Diana Ferguson, illustrated by Simon Mendez and Val Walerczuk
Each two-page spread features a horse breed with a gorgeous, large illustration, interesting facts, and a fact file inset with the basic information of the group, height, and colors. So many cool breeds are featured like the Percherons, Lippizaners, Mustangs, and Akhal-Tekes. A must-own for horse lovers.
A Magnificent Book of Birds by Tom Jackson, illustrated by Walerczuk
Beautiful illustrations show different breeds of birds on brown-colored pages plus an inset fact file of where the bird lives, their habitat, length, wingspan, weight, lifespan, and diet plus other interesting facts. Learn about birds like the American white pelican, California condor, Victoria crowned pigeon, great hornbill, and many others. Gorgeous and informative!
So You Want to Be a Knight? by Takayo Akiyama and Hannah Pang
HOW TO / KNIGHTS
Three kids and YOU learn all about being a knight from Geoffroi de Charny who gives them helpful tips on what they need, which order to join, famous knights, suits of armor, horses, battle, and much more. Heavily illustrated with cartoons and easy-to-read narration, this is an engaging and often silly historical manual.
Soccer Atlas: A Journey Across the World and Onto the Soccer Field by James Buckley Jr., illustrated by Eduard Altarriba
This encyclopedic book will teach readers all about football/soccer starting with the basics of the field to FIFA and the World Cup to soccer around the world, the superstars of the sport, and much more. Illustrated with some photos and cool layouts that will appeal to readers.
The Encyclopedia of Unbelievable Facts by Jane Wilsher, illustrated by Louise Lockart
Kids who love facts will want this large volume of questions and answers about 10 topics like the human body, animals, space, history, and jargon. Filled with bright illustrations.
Unconventional Vehicles by Michael Hearst, illustrated by Hans Jenssen
If you like vehicles and want to learn about the kind-of-weird but very cool vehicle inventions that you’ve never heard about — this will be a book that you devour. Featuring planes, automobiles, ships, trains, and more — these are some crazy contraptions! If you’re interested in a personal helicopter, you might like to read about the HA-1 Aerocycle. Or maybe if you lived in the late 1800s, you would love a Monowheel — a person sits inside a wheel and drives. Filled with illustrations, facts, and lots of cool inventions!