Best Kids Books About Non-fiction

46 Kids Books About Non-fiction

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Amazing Animals book
#1
Amazing Animals
Written by and illustrated by Peter David Scott
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Discover the incredible diversity of the natural world through Peter David Scott’s stunning illustrations of animals in their native habitats. Peter David Scott’s richly detailed and colorful artwork brings the beauty of the natural world into your hands in this collection of amazing animals from around the world. From the western gorilla of the African rain forests to the colossal squid that resides deep beneath the sea, animals from every habitat are featured on these pages. A field guide—complete with pencil sketches of each animal—presents the reader with more facts about these creatures.

And Then what Happened, Paul Revere? book
#2
And Then what Happened, Paul Revere?
Written by Jean Fritz and illustrated by Margot Tomes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

A true American story for young readers by the Newbery-Honor winning author! Everyone knows about Paul Revere’s midnight ride. But not everyone knows the harrowing details and narrow escapes that occurred along the way. This timeless and witty book highlights little-known facts about patriot Paul Revere.

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."

Sea Creatures book
#11
Sea Creatures
Written and illustrated by Chorkung Kung
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

FIRST EXPLORERS: With cool things to push, pull, and slide on the cover and every spread for interactive fun, this chunky board book gives children their first enticing taste of nonfiction! Swim through coral reefs, rock pools, and deep blue seas to see what lives in and near the ocean! As kids push, pull, and slide their way through the pages, they'll encounter some amazing creatures: scuttling crabs, tentacled jellyfish, slippery eels, and penguins, seals, and giant whales that like icy-cold water. From pretty starfish to fierce sharks and octopuses, each one is fantastic.

In the Jungle book
#12
In the Jungle
Written and illustrated by Jenny Wren
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

FIRST EXPLORERS: With cool things to push, pull, and slide on the cover and every spread for interactive fun, this chunky board book gives children their first enticing taste of nonfiction! Travel deep into the jungle and what will you see? Exciting creatures in all shapes and sizes, from fluttering butterflies and chameleons to tigers, leopards, and elephants! With scenes to push and pull, bright illustrations that convey fun facts, and an invitation to spot animals on every page, this is a magical introduction to the natural world.

Baby Penguin's First Waddles book
#13
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
#14
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
#15
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
#16
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
#17
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
#18
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
#19
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
#20
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
#21
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.

Zoo Day book
#22
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.

I, Fly book
#23
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
#24
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
#25
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.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.