New Nonfiction Books, October 2021

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Check out these new children’s nonfiction books about all sorts of interesting subjects. Read about cars, fish, pollution, the water cycle, the desert ecosystem, folktales, Star Wars poems, and more!

New Nonfiction Books, October 2021

Odd Beasts Meet Nature’s Weirdest Animals
by Laura Gehl, illustrated by Gareth Lucas
ages 2 – 5
Cute rhymes and illustrations provide a playful introduction to unique and cool animals in a darling board book.  “This spider has two horns.”  Back matter shares factual information about each creature like the Long-Horn Orb-Weaver Spider.

One Moment in Time: Children All Over the World
by Ben Lerwill, illustrated by Alette Straathof
ages 4 – 8
A thought-provoking, beautiful glimpse of children’s lives around the world during the same hour. This book will help readers think about the similarities and differences of children in different countries and consider time zones. For example, at 8 in the morning in New York City, Kyla is getting ready for school and at the same time it’s noon in Ghana and Esther is lining up in her schoolyard for lunch and at exactly the same time, Yusef in Turkey is borrowing a book from the library.

Over and Under the Canyon
by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
ages 4 – 8
A mother and son take a hike in a desert canyon where animals shelter from the hot sun. Overhead the kestrels glide and eagles dive, along the walls tarantulas creep and geckos scoot. The pair see a roadrunner devour rattlesnakes, a mule deer gallop away, and wildflowers blossom. When the sun fades for the day, mom, dad, and son eat supper and crawl into their tent while coyotes howl and the insects sing a desert-night lullaby. Informative while being interesting and magical.

Ducks Overboard: A True Story of Plastic in Our Oceans
by Markus Motum
ages 4 – 8
Narrated in the first-person point of view, a yellow rubber duck on a boat gets swept overboard in a terrible storm along with thousands of other rubber ducks. As the ducks drift on the ocean in currents in different directions and towards different areas of the world, this introduces children to both sea currents and the problem of pollution. Good back matter explains information further.

All the Fish in the World
by David Opie
ages 4 – 8
Trout explains to Mudskipper what makes a fish — that it’s not just having gills and fins. In as such, Trout and Mudskipper take a colorful, illuminating journey to see the ocean’s fish. Along the way, we learn from Trout all about fish including fins, cartilage, and even the largest fish in the world. Back matter provides a key that shows what each fish is called.

How to Be an Art Rebel
by Ben Street and Jay Daniel Wright
ages 8 – 12
A cat named Leo narrates this book in a conversational tone to tell readers about movements and individuals who made rebellious art (for their times) like Ori Gersht who froze real flowers then blew them up to take a photograph. Or Yayoi Kusama who invited people to collaborate on a stickered room. Comics, photographs, and illustrations create a visually appealing, easy-to-read book all about artists who dare to think outside the box.

I Wish I Had a Wookie and Other Poems for Our Galaxy
by Ian Doescher, illustrated by Tim Budgen
ages 8 – 12
So cute and fun, this playful book of poems will delight Star Wars fans with poems all about kids and their relationship to (and love for) Star Wars. I honestly adore these poems — and there are SO many to read. For example, “Counting Jawas” is a new take on the counting sheep bedtime ritual. “My Room’s the Millennium Falcon” shares how much the boy loves his room and imagines adventures there as if he’s flying in the Millennium Falcon.

For Every Little Thing Poems and Prayers to Celebrate the Day
poems selected by June Cotner and Nancy Tupper Ling, illustrated by Helen Cann
ages 4 – 12
I adore this faith-filled book of gratitude filled with prayers, poems, and blessings written by new and familiar writers. The poems begin in the morning then move towards the night with blessings, kindness, the world, family, and friends in between. These are poems that you’ll cherish with sweet reminders about the simple joys of daily life and our connection to God.

Let’s Go for a Walk
by Ranger Hamza, illustrated by Kate Kronreif
ages 4 – 8
Ranger Hamza invites you to go for a sensory nature walk! He asks you to notice the colors and then to find things that are red, big and small things, different shapes, bugs, and letters and numbers. Then, he asks you to feel the textures, smell the smells, and so forth. Brightly colored illustrations and text scattered around the pages, this book really engages readers and will teach them to notice the world with all their senses.

How Kids Live Around the World
by Helena Harastova and Pavla Hanackova, illustrated by Michaela Bergmannova
ages 4 – 8
There are all kinds of houses that kids can live in. Learn about the different houses like a hogan, skyscraper, igloo, farm, tent, yurt, house on stilts, and a machiya. Each two-page spread introduces you to a child and where they live. Read the information around the outside of the illustration. For example, Abdul lives in a riad in Morocco. See the fountain, garden, small windows, lemon tree, rooftop living, satellite dish, the Koran, and ornamentation. How wonderful is this book?

Blue Floats Away
by Travis Jonker, illustrated by Grant Snider
ages 4 – 8
This circular story is about the water cycle and a metaphor for change. Cool torn paper collage art shows Blue, a baby iceberg getting dislodged from his big parents. He floats away and sees many new things and makes new friends. As he floats, he gets smaller and turns into liquid then evaporates into a cloud, seeing more new things. Soon he gets colder and colder until he becomes snow that falls onto his parents.

What If You Could Sniff Like a Shark?
by Sandra Markle, illustrated by Howard McWilliam
ages 6 – 12
Despite the busy layout, this is an engaging, informative, and relatable book of facts about ocean animals filled with photos, illustrations, and graphic designs. On the Australian Box Jellyfish page, it explains where they live and how they use their tentacles to sting, and other fascinating facts. Then it suggests that if you could sting, too, you’d be a crime-fighting superhero.

Everything Awesome About Space and Other Galactic Facts!
by Mike Lowery
ages 8 – 12
I love the layout and design of this book, it’s a feast for the eyes and makes this informational book fun to read. Plus, readers will learn a lot about space including stars and space exploration.

Water: A Deep Dive of Discovery
by Christy Mihaly, illustrated by Mariona Cabassa
ages 8 – 12
A gorgeous tome that shares water information along with folktales. Learn about the water cycle, salt water, fresh water, the power of water and more. Plus, lift the flap on the “Deeper Activities” for hands-on activities to apply what you’ve learned. Read stories like Where the Water Grows from Zimbabwe about Hippo who helps Water find new plants. Beautiful borders and illustrations make this an eye-catching, appealing book that will be essential for homeschool libraries, school libraries, and classrooms.

Breathe Like a Bear
by Kira Willey, illustrated by Anni Betts
ages 6 – 12
30 mindful activities for children encourage calm, focus, energy, relaxation, and imagination along with darling illustrations of animals. Hot chocolate breathing, bunny breaths, and kitty cat stretches are just some of the helpful ways for children to learn mindfulness.

Strange Planet Activity Book
by Nathan W. Pyle
ages 8 – 12
Quirky! Blue aliens are everywhere in this visually appealing activity book with unique puzzles, games, comics, and more! Learn to draw a blue alien step by step, try a crossword puzzle, solve the math problems, draw the end of a comic strip story, or match the weird alien words to common household objects (like what is a spinblaster and a sustenance preserver?). My daughter loved this book so much, she took it on her international airplane ride to the UK!

Polar Animals
by Sandra Laboucarie, illustrated by da-fanny
ages 8 – 12
Get interactive with your fascinating polar animal facts — pull the tabs, lift the flaps, unfold the pages, and see the animals pop up. You’ll learn about underwater creatures like seals, orcas, and whales. Read about the tundra and the animals that live there like the arctic fox, lemming, and raven then see how they appear in both winter and summer. But there are more animals who live on the ice — and the polar bear is the biggest of them all.

Lore of the Wild Folklore & Wisdom from Nature
by Claire Cock-Starkey, illustrated by Aitch
ages 6 – 10
Even though I dislike the typeface, I like the format of featuring animals and stories about those animals in folktales. For example, Horses and Donkeys is one section and another is Magpies, Ravens, and Crows.

Vehicles (The Pop-Up Guide)
by Maud Poulain, illustrated by Charline Picard
ages 4 – 8
As you turn the pages, enjoy the pop-ups of vehicles that fit each setting like the city, construction site, fields, and sea.

Prehistoric Pets
by Dr. Dean Lomax, illustrated by Mike Love
ages 4 – 8
Learn about the prehistoric ancestor of modern-day pets and you’ll see illustrations, read about a day in the life, investigate the fossils, and more. For example, the modern pet of a cat’s ancestor was a smilodon while the parakeet’s ancestor was a velociraptor. Lift the page to read about the ancestor and you’ll see the creature pop off the page. A fun fact-filled pop-up choice!

River Stories
by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Ashling Lindsay & Irene Montano
ages 4 – 8
Unfold the multiple pages to read the history, facts, and geography of these famous world rivers — the Nile, the Mississippi, the Rhine, the Yangtze, and the Amazon. Packed with information and lovely illustrations, this will make a good addition to classrooms and homeschool libraries.

The Ultimate Book of Animals
by Anne-Sophie Baumann, illustrated by Eleonore Della Malva
ages 8 – 12
Lift the flaps, pop-ups, fold-outs, and mini-books will engage readers as they learn about different animals including their skeletons and their body coverings, hearing, seeing, and eating, plus other interesting information.

Planet Power Explore the World’s Renewable Energy
by Stacy P. Clark, illustrated by Annalisa Beghelli
ages 4 – 8
Perfect for preschoolers and early elementary each section beginning with repetitive text like “when the wind blows” and “when the sun shines”. Short, punchy text all about renewable energy with illustrations gives a great introduction to readers about renewable energy including hydropower, solar power wind power, geothermal power, and more with supporting backmatter facts about each. “When the tides shift, The minnows run, Darting to and fro Below the setting sun. When the tides shift, Seas fall and rise. Tidal rivers move From lows to highs.

by Claire Saxby, illustrated by Tannya Harricks
ages 4 – 8
Textured paintings and poetic text illuminate the life of the Australian kookaburra bird and her family. The narrative writing is engaging and descriptive, “Together they go nest hunting. / She kookas, / he kookas, / soft murmurings for their ears only.” But there’s more expository text that gives factual information, providing additional depth and information. “Kookaburras mostly partner for life but still court before each nesting season.

Let Liberty Rise!
by Chana Stiefel, illustrated by Chuck Groenink
ages 6 – 12
Do you know the inspiring true story of how the United States raised money to build the base for the French gift of the Statue of Liberty? Read this picture book to learn how Americans contributed to help raise money after Joseph Pultizer offered to print the name of people who contributed money in his newspaper. Great writing and illustration make history come to life — and something you won’t forget.

Rescuing Titanic A true story of quiet bravery in the North Atlantic
by Flora Delargy
ages 8 – 12
Oversized and exquisitely illustrated, each page shares 2 – 3 paragraphs of information that give readers context and the historical sequence of the doomed voyage, disaster, and rescue. You’ll also learn about related topics like Morse Code the navigation tools of the time.

Professor Wooford McPaw’s History of Cars
by Elliot Kruszynski
ages 8 – 12
Cute cartoon illustrations (and just overall cuteness) introduce you to a dog named Professor Wooford McPaw who narrates the history of cars with the help of a little red car named Mrs. Tab. Learn about vehicles powered by steam, Karl Benz’s motorwagon, Henry Ford’s Model T, early cars, how cars work, weird cars, and cars throughout history up to the modern and electric car. This book presents SO MUCH information in an appealing format — I recommend it for car-loving kids and for all school libraries.

Disney Princess Cookbook
by Disney Books
ages 8 – 12
From breakfast to dinner, find delicious recipes inspired by Disney princesses. Choose from Merida’s Scrumptious Scottish Scones, Ariel’s Pasta Shell Salad, Rapunzel’s Pumpkin Hazelnut Soup, The Fairy Godmother’s Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo Magic Wands (cookies), and so much more. Inviting, full-color photographs of each recipe will make deciding which recipe to try first. I like how the recipes are easy-to-follow, step-by-step directions and cartoon illustrations of the Disney characters throughout.

A Day in the Life of a Poo, a Gnu, and You A Laugh Out Loud Guide to Life on Earth
by Mike Barfield and Jess Bradley
ages 8 – 12
What child doesn’t like to read comics? Learn a lot about many things in this book of comics, diagrams, and secret diaries that explain topics like body parts, animals, and plants using cartoon panels and first-person narration mixed with “bigger picture” expository information. For example, read “A day in the life of” things like the eye, heart, a bee, anglerfish, and a toadstool. Or read “The secret diary” of a tornado.

Art of Coloring Walt Disney World 100 Image to Inspire Creativity From the Most Magical Place on Earth
by Kevin M. Kern and Fabiola Garza
ages 10+
Preorder this adult coloring book today for your Disney-loving friends! I love that the pages give us a wide variety of illustration styles from different artists! But which to pick first? It includes theme park concept art, posters, and maps!

Space and Sky
by Virginie Loubler, illustrated by various
ages 8 – 12
Learn about features in the sky, the solar system, the universe, and space. Illustrations with labels plus basic facts in readable sentences, and sidebars answer the questions posed. Great for elementary students.

The Weather Pop-up Book
by Maike Biederstaedt
ages 8 – 12
Impressive pop-ups show a storm tossing a cargo boat in white-capped waves, a large tornado, rain coming down from clouds, cacti in a hot desert, and ice crystals that form snow. A paragraph of informational text describes each pop-up illustration and the back matter explains climate change.

Hoop Kings 2 New Royalty
by Charles R. Smith Jr.
ages 8 – 12
Filled with movement, these lyrical poems extol the strengths of individual basketball players illustrated with photographs and graphics. “Buckle your seat belts / cleared for takeoff, Blake Griffin on the runway / ready to liftoff.” The poems are filled with interesting wordplay. Kids who love basketball will love these poems!

The Ultimate Art Museum
 by Ferren Gipson
ages 8 – 12
WOW — this is the MOST impressive, well-organized, and beautifully designed art history book for children that I’ve EVER read. It’s a curated book that takes children chronologically through 18 galleries from geographical regions and cultures such as the Far East, Ancient Egypt, Medieval Europe, and Byzantine period. Colorful borders and design, photographs and paintings with descriptions. Gorgeous — I highly recommend this incredible book!

Courageous Creatures and the Humans Who Help Them I Survived True Stories
by Lauren Tarshis
ages 8 – 12
Superb! Four compelling stories of animals and humans will keep readers engaged. From carrier pigeon hero of WW I to cheetah cubs adopted by a human, these will share true stories for any animal lover. Filled with lots of black and white photographs and factual information that supports each story. For example, read about echolocation related to the dolphin story and general information about marine animals. Highly recommended.

Fairy Tale Land
by Kate Davies, illustrated by Lucille Clerc
ages 4 – 8
Ever want fairy tales to be updated? These are. In this Little Mermaid story, Liberty trades her voice so she can meet the prince but in the end, returns home to her family. Or Cinderella tells the prince maybe one day she will marry him but asks to stay in a spare room for now away from her horrible family. And some of the stories seem close to the originals. The reimagined stories all include detailed, lavish illustrations and a setting map for each one.

Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright: An Animal Poem for Each Day of the Year
by Fiona Waters, illustrated by Britta Teckentrup
ages 8 – 12
This is a hefty and impressive book of kid-friendly poetry with earthy illustrations and poems for each day of the year about animals of all kinds!

Treasury of Magical Tales From Around the World
by Donna Jo Napoli, illustrated by Christina Balit
ages 8 – 12
This incredible tome packed with beautifully illustrated, magical folk tales and traditional stories from Italy, Angola, Palestine, Korea, China, Australia, and many other countries from around the world will keep your kids in stories for weeks and months. Setting this treasury of stories apart from the rest are the sidebars of factual information, the global stories that represent diverse cultures and countries, and mesmerizing illustrations.



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