Best Kids Books About Non-fiction

44 Kids Books About Non-fiction

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Zoo Day book
#1
Zoo Day
Written by Anne Rockwell and illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Beloved author Anne Rockwell celebrates animals of all kinds with a gorgeous new picture book about a child’s first visit to the zoo! A young boy and his family visit the zoo for the very first time. From gorillas to lions, polar bears to parrots, Anne Rockwell and her daughter, artist Lizzy Rockwell, celebrate a day he will never forget. With simple, lyrical text and bright illustrations that jump off the page, Zoo Day brings the joys of visiting the zoo vividly to life.

Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing book
#2
Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing
Written by Kay Haring and illustrated by Robert Neubecker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Iconic pop artist Keith Haring comes to life for young readers in this picture book biography lovingly written by his sister This one-of-a-kind book explores the life and art of Keith Haring from his childhood through his meteoric rise to fame. It sheds light on this important artist’s great humanity, his concern for children, and his disregard for the establishment art world. Reproductions of Keith's signature artwork appear in scenes boldly rendered by Robert Neubecker. This is a story to inspire, and a book for Keith Haring fans of all ages to treasure.

The Strongest Man in the World book
#3
The Strongest Man in the World
Written by Lucie Papineau and illustrated by Caroline Hamel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The Strongest Man in the World is a true story that reads like a Paul Bunyan tall tale. Cyprien-Noé was born into a poor family in a small village in Quebec, Canada in 1863. At the age of 8 he found a 100-pound calf that was stuck in the mud, lifted it up to his chin and carried it home over his shoulders. At 12, he came upon an injured man in the woods and carried him back to his horse and wagon. News of his strength spread. He changed his name to Louis Cyr, and, at age 18, he began traveling the United States, Canada and Europe, performing increasingly impressive feats of strength. At a performance in Boston when touring with Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circuses, Cyr lifted 350 pounds with one hand. He entered contests, bested other strong men, and eventually became known around the globe as the “Strongest Man in the World”.

The Elephant book
#4
The Elephant
Written and illustrated by Jenni Desmond
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this, Jenni Desmond's third nonfiction children's book about one of the large, endangered animals of Earth, we join a young boy as he learns about The Elephant. From Africa to Asia, the elephant makes its home. Light on their feet, despite their great weight, these magnificent creatures appear light and graceful because they're always walking on their tip-toes. They have excellent hearing and can detect the rumblings of other elephants from six miles away. And, just like humans being right handed or left handed, elephants can be right tusked or left tusked! The recipient of the 2016 New York Times Best Illustrated award for her book The Polar Bear, Desmond creates illustrations that are scientifically accurate, strikingly detailed, and beautifully rendered in collage, paint, and colored pencil.

The Blue Whale book
#5
The Blue Whale
Written and illustrated by Jenni Desmond
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An introduction to the world of the giant blue whale combines engaging facts with evocative illustrations that compare the whale's enormous size to objects in the everyday world.

Rhino in the House book
#6
Rhino in the House
Written and illustrated by Daniel Kirk
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

"This is a nonfiction picture book for young children. It tells the true story of Anna Merz, a wildlife protector in Africa, and Samia, a black rhinoceros she saved after it was abandoned by its mother."--

Ballots for Belva book
#7
Ballots for Belva
Written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and illustrated by Courtney A. Martin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

A timely true tale for the 2008 presidential election In 1884, when men were the only people allowed to vote in national elections, Belva Lockwood took a bold but legal step: She ran for president! Women did not have the same rights as men, but Belva went on undeterred—and she got votes! Her run for office was based on experience and merit: Unlike many women of the time, she went to college, then to law school, and even argued cases before the Supreme Court. Though her campaign was difficult, Belva never wavered in her commitment to equality, earning the respect of many fellow citizens. A little-known but richly deserving American historical figure, Belva is an inspiration for modern-day readers. Despite all the changes in society since Belva’s time, there is still a lot to fight for, and Belva shows the way. The book also includes a glossary and a timeline of women’s suffrage events. F&P level: Q

Nurse, Soldier, Spy book
#8
Nurse, Soldier, Spy
Written by Marissa Moss and illustrated by John Hendrix
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

This is the incredible true story of Sarah Emma Edmonds, who dressed as a man and fought in the Civil War. When she was 19, Sarah cut her hair, donned her brother's clothes, and fled from Canada, where her father wanted her to marry an elderly gentleman. In the U.S., she went by the name Frank Thompson and joined the Army to fight the Confederates. She was a nurse working on the battlefield when, because of her heroism, she was asked to serve as a spy. At her death, Edmonds was buried in a military cemetery, in a plot reserved for Civil War veterans--the only woman to have this honor.

A Woman in the House (and Senate) book
#9
A Woman in the House (and Senate)
Written and illustrated by Ilene Cooper
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A chronicle of women's contributions to politics in the United States traces the period between the women's suffrage movement and the 2012 election, and includes portraits of such luminaries as Hattie Caraway, Patsy Mink, and Shirley Chisholm.

Rickie & Henri book
#10
Rickie & Henri
Written by Jane Goodall and illustrated by Alan Marks
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Rickie the chimpanzee lived happily with her mother in the rain forests of Central Africa, warm and safe until the day the hunters came and took Rickie away to sell at a Congolese market. Fortunately, she was rescued by a kind man who adopted Rickie and cared for her. Best of all, he provided an unexpected friend in his dog Henri. This true story of friendship is heart-warmingly brought to life by renowned scientist, conservationist and peace activist Dr. Jane Goodall."

Baby Penguin's First Waddles book
#11
Baby Penguin's First Waddles
Written and illustrated by The American Museum of Natural History
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-9

What happens after a baby penguin emerges from her egg? Follow her journey and find out! Meet a penguin chick and see how she grows. Developed in tandem with the American Museum of Natural History, and featuring stunning photography in the penguin's Antarctic home, this nonfiction picture book captures the first few months of a baby penguin's life and her transformation into adulthood. With fun and engaging text, Baby Penguin's First Waddles is sure to delight animal-loving kids.

Can an Aardvark Bark? book
#12
Can an Aardvark Bark?
Written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Steve Jenkins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-8

From award-winning author Melissa Stewart and Caldecott honoree Steve Jenkins comes a noisy nonfiction exploration of the many sounds animals make. Can an aardvark bark? No, but it can grunt. Lots of other animals grunt too… Barks, grunts, squeals—animals make all kinds of sounds to communicate and express themselves. With a growling salamander and a whining porcupine, bellowing giraffes and laughing gorillas, this boisterous book is chock-full of fun and interesting facts and is sure to be a favorite of even the youngest animal enthusiasts.

A Chicken Followed Me Home! book
#13
A Chicken Followed Me Home!
Written and illustrated by Robin Page
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Why did the chicken cross the road? To follow you home! Learn all about a not-so-basic bird in this delightful nonfiction picture book. What’s that? A chicken followed you home? Now what do you do? Celebrated author-illustrator Robin Page leads a step-by-step, question-and-answer-style journey through the world of chickens. Along the way you’ll explore different breeds, discover different types of coops, and learn everything there is to know about chicken reproduction and hatching. Gorgeous, playful, and filled with facts, this engaging nonfiction picture book shines new light on a very familiar fowl!

A Con Artist in Paris book
#14
A Con Artist in Paris
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

While in Paris, France, Frank and Joe Hardy witness an elaborate fireworks display that was set off to conceal the theft of a priceless artifact.

Pocket Full of Colors book
#15
Pocket Full of Colors
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From her imaginative childhood to her career as an illustrator, designer, and animator for Walt Disney Studios, Mary Blair wouldn't play by the rules. At a time when studios wanted to hire men and think in black and white, Mary painted the world in color. Full color.

Sylvia's Bookshop book
#16
Sylvia's Bookshop
Written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Katy Wu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Meet the trailblazer and book lover who started the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris, France, in this beautifully illustrated picture book that celebrates stories, reading, and the importance of sharing ideas. “Books are my treasures—the best that I’ve got.” Books are like rivers that flow through my head. Books are like roads,” she just might have said. “Roads that connect my old self to my new. Unlocking our hearts to what’s noble and true.” Told by the bookstore itself, Sylvia’s Bookshop tells the story of the legendary Shakespeare and Company, its owner Sylvia Beach, and the many great writers who gathered there to meet, read, and remind us that books are more than the words on the page.

Hand Book book
#17
Hand Book
Written and illustrated by Jeff Newman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Hands reach. Hands teach. Hands tell stories of life and love.

You're On Your Way! book
#18
You're On Your Way!
Written and illustrated by Brian D. Clark
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

You're on your way... but to where?! You may not have all of life's answers yet, but you'll have fun figuring them out with this unique book from Mad Libs. Our first-ever illustrated hardcover Mad Libs is an instant classic! It's the perfect gift for recent grads—it doesn't matter if it's elementary school, high school, med school, or NOUN school! Anyone celebrating a milestone will love filling in the blanks of this one-of-a-kind book that honors life's ADJECTIVE achievements. Buy it as a gift or buy it for yourself and have fun filling in the blanks of your own story.

Everyday House book
#19
Everyday House
Written and illustrated by Cynthia Rylant
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

By award-winning author-illustrator Cynthia Rylant, Everyday House is a charming story about all of the things that make a house and fill up a home. The Everyday House has a blue front door and a porch with a wide white swing. It has red and pink flowers and a small birdhouse and a bell with a ding-dong ring. From award-winning author-illustrator Cynthia Rylant comes a charming story about all the special touches that make this Everyday House a home.

I, Fly book
#20
I, Fly
Written by Bridget Heos and illustrated by Jennifer Plecas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Fly is fed up with everyone studying butterflies. Flies are so much cooler! They flap their wings 200 times a second, compared to a butterfly's measly five to twelve times. Their babies—maggots—are much cuter than caterpillars (obviously). And when they eat solid food, they even throw up on it to turn it into a liquid. Who wouldn't want to study an insect like that? In an unforgettably fun, fact-filled presentation, this lovable (and highly partisan) narrator promotes his species to a sometimes engrossed, sometimes grossed-out, class of kids.

Neymar: A Soccer Dream Come True book
#21
Neymar: A Soccer Dream Come True
Written by Mina Javaherbin and illustrated by Paul Hoppe
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Just in time for the 2018 World Cup; a non-fiction picture book about the best soccer player in the world—Neymar.

Hawk Rising book
#22
Hawk Rising
Written by Maria Gianferrari and illustrated by Brian Floca
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

"A father red-tailed hawk hunts prey for his family in a suburban neighborhood in this thrilling, fierce, and gorgeous nonfiction picture book"--Amazon.

Pocket Bios: Coco Chanel book
#23
Pocket Bios: Coco Chanel
Written and illustrated by Al Berenger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A colorfully illustrated, pocket-size picture book biography of renowned fashion designer Coco Chanel. Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel, French fashion designer and businesswoman, is famous for founding the famous Chanel brand and for popularizing a new, more sporty and relaxed aesthetic for women's clothing. Follow Chanel's life and accomplishments from her childhood in Saumur to her eventual creation of the successful couture empire she's known for today. These colorful, pocket-size biographies are full of personality, introducing readers to fascinating figures from history with simple storytelling and cheerful illustrations. Pocket Bios titles include men and women from history, exploration, the sciences, the arts, the ancient world, and more.

Great Polar Bear book
#24
Great Polar Bear
Written and illustrated by Carolyn Lesser
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

“Great crystal bear How do you survive on the thick ice Covering the deep Arctic sea?" Journey into the magnificent and mysterious world of the far north in Great Polar Bear, Carolyn Lesser’s poetic and scientifically accurate story about a year in the life of a polar bear. Learn how this impressive animal thrives in one of the harshest -- and imperiled -- environments in the world. Carolyn Lesser also makes her illustrative debut in Great Polar Bear, using collage to capture the bear hunting, swimming, and playing in the far north. Great Polar Bear is a stunning one-on-one reading and sharing title. Originally published in 1996 as The Great Crystal Bear, this stunning edition features all-new artwork from the author. Praise for the previous edition (The Great Crystal Bear): “Lyrical in tone and accurate in zoological detail, the narrative is ideal for one-on-one sharing.”—School Library Journal “In a rolling, poetic text, Lesser wonders about the life of a polar bear....She weaves her gentle musings with solid scientific information, as the bear searches for food, traps and eats a seal, and play fights with younger bears to teach them how to battle for a mate.....for primary-graders, this would make an evocative addition to a unit on the Arctic.”—Booklist “Lesser weaves a surprising number of facts into a lyrical narrative about a year in the life of a polar bear. Readers learn how the bear's hollow white hairs gather sunlight while its black skin absorbs the heat, how it kills and eats and leaves behind meat for other, less able, animals.”—Kirkus Reviews “Great Crystal Bear is exciting, neat and fun to read. It’s a book about a polar bear and how he mates and that he eats seals.....I would recommend this to about anyone who is interested in polar bears.—Taryn Butler, 10, Gold Hill Elementary, Tega Cay, SC, GRP”—The American Scientist, The Scientific Research Society “Great Crystal Bear is a children’s book that will also appeal to adults, providing a lyrical, impressionistic, and yet factual look at the great white bears....the book is sure to become a favorite during storytime in your house.”—San Diego Zoo member newsletter “This is a book children will enjoy hearing and reading over and over which will inform them of the life of one solitary animal in the world of large mammals.”—The Open Book

The Truth About Bears book
#25
The Truth About Bears
Written and illustrated by Maxwell Eaton III
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Did you know that polar bears smell seals through the ice and snow in order to find and eat them? Did you know that when a bear is born, it weighs less than a picture book? Did you know that bears sleep all winter and don't go to the bathroom while they hibernate? Discover these facts and many more in this nonfiction picture-book series that injects humor and bright, vivid animals into popular subjects like bears and hippos.

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