If you have older readers, visit New Nonfiction Middle-Grade Books for Ages 8 – 12 .
Also, I’m finally doing something I’ve thought about for months — adding a Bookshop link to my posts. (It will be a work in progress updating all my older content.) Bookshop is an online bookstore that supports independent bookstores.
Nonfiction Picture Books for Ages 2 – 8
ABC Animals by Christopher Evans
Beautiful artwork of animals plus a stylized letter with texture emulating the animal’s color or texture starting with alpaca and going to zebra.
Underground: Subway Systems Around the World by Uijung Kim
CITIES OF THE WORLD
Not only does this book show famous subway systems from international locals like London, Mexico City, and Bejing but it’s also a search-and-find book. Kids will love the bright, colorful cartoon illustrations. I know I do!
Make Yourself at Home by Signe Torp
HOMES OF THE WORLD
Take a tour of houses around the world with a combination of first-person stories and facts. Treehouses, igloos, a castle, skyscraper, and more! Which homes would you want to live in?
Teatime Around the World by Denyse Waissbluth, illustrated by Chelsea O’Byrne
FOODS OF THE WORLD
Pour a cuppa as you read through the different flavors of tea around the world. Matcha green tea from Japan. Zavarka black tea from Russia. Bubble tea from Taiwan. Sip and read through this quiet book of all things tea.
Woodland Dreams by Karen Jameson, illustrated by Marc Boutavant
ECOSYSTEM – WOODS
A little girl and her dog walk through the woods, saying goodnight to each of the woodland creatures. Similar poetic text structure and soothing wordplay, “Antlered swimmer / Pond-weed skimmer / Daylight’s fleeting — wade ashore / Bed down in the great outdoors.” Rich, earthy illustrations give this book a warm, cozy feel.
Over and Under the Rainforest by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
ECOSYSTEMS – RAINFOREST
A child narrates what he experiences during a rainforest hike. The child notices the wildlife living up in the canopy and down below on the ground; animals like capuchin monkeys, leaf-cutter ants, sloths, and parrot snakes. Descriptive imagery plus beautiful illustrations transport readers to this verdant ecosystem. “High in the canopy, a furry dark shadow clings to a branch.”
The Story Orchestra: Carnival of the Animals by Katy Flint, illustrated by Jessica Courtney Tickle
What a magical, musical picture book! Take an immersive journey with two brothers who journey through a magical kingdom. They swim under the ocean fly with beautiful birds, explore a dusty old museum, all the while, their adventures are accompanied by orchestra music. Gorgeous illustrations, fully interactive and imaginative, this is a wonderful way to create an atmospheric reading experience.
A Vote Is a Powerful Thing by Catherine Stier, illustrated by Courtney Dawson
VOTING / ELECTIONS
Callie’s class is learning about elections. Students get to vote on their next field trip, either the cookie factory or the wilderness park, and she campaigns for the wilderness park. She makes posters, writes a speech, and the kids vote with the park winning! I like that this is relatable to kids. It’s a good stepping stone to understand the process without the drama or ugliness of politics.
Yoga Animals In the Forest by Christiane Kerr, illustrated by Julia Green
This is the story of a Bear’s day. Follow along as his animal friends show him yoga moves. When he’s sleepy, Rabbit shows him how to take deep breaths. Snake shows him how to warn others when he wants to be alone. Each two-page spread has an inset that says, “Can You Do It, Too?” with directions for kids for emulating the moves. Kids will enjoy the bear’s story and following along with the different poses.
One of a Kind: A Story About Sorting and Classifying by Neil Packer
This enormous book shows thinking maps and graphic organizers to sort and classify information about everything, for example, musical instruments, cars, families, cats, and even apples. Helpful for thinking deeply about how to organize and categorize information. Use at home and in the classroom.
Remembering Barkley by Erin Frankel, illustrated by Aboo Yang
This story shows the process of grieving and remembering a beloved dog who has died. The boy and the dog who loved their friend Barkley walk by the lake and the tree that Barkley loved. They try other paths. They return to Barkley’s favorite tree often, letting their memories come and go. Eventually, they’re able to play and laugh again, thinking fondly of their beloved friend. It’s a tender story that reminds us that grief lasts for a long time and eventually gets less intense.
No Reading Allowed: The Worst Read-Aloud Book Ever by Raj Haldar, illustrated by Bryce Gladfelter
Introduce children not homophones and homonyms with this silly book that shows you two sentences, almost identical, but with completely different meanings. For example: “The new deli clerk runs a pretty sorry store. // The New Delhi clerk runs a pretty sari store.” Illustrations support readers discern the meanings.
Creature Features Dinosaurs illustrated by Natasha Durley
Colorful pages filled with dinosaurs! For each two-page spread, you’ll be asked to notice a particular feature of dinosaurs like horns, teeth, wings, beaks, armor, and more. Read the question that asks you to differentiate even further such as, “Which animal also has flippers?” or “Which creatures also have a long neck?” The dinosaurs are all labeled.