“Wait! Stop the presses!”
No do not stop the presses. Keep them going. Picture Books come in both fiction and non-fiction but non-fiction gets the rap for being too educational or boring. Look at this cover, how can you call this boring? Shennen Bersani illustrated both the book above “ACHOO! Why Pollen Counts’ and this book here, ‘Animal Partners’.
Years ago, non-fiction picture books (PB’s) carried the stigmatism of being meant only for educational resources.
It is true, they are often used for educational resources but that makes them even more interesting in their own right. These books get left behind with their fiction counterparts eating up all of the discovery and hoopla. Not fair to the non-fiction book. The book below, ‘Animal Teachers’ does not look like a non-fiction PB but it is and it has a lovely story to go with it. It is written by Janet Halfmann and illustrated by Katy Hudson.
I checked out several non-fiction PB’s recently based on the subject matter I was interested in and lo and behold, was I pleased with my selections. Throughout this article I have added some of my favorite non-fiction PB’s. Their covers drew me in, the writing and illustrations kept me intrigued.
I also checked out several fiction PB’s (I write fiction picture books so I try to keep up with what’s available to children) to compare. However, this post is about the forgotten non-fiction PB so I am not showcasing fiction PB’s here.
My findings are this; I was just as entertained by the non-fiction PB’s as I was the fiction PB’s. The illustrations were top-notch and enticing in both categories. The text was intriguing and illustrious and entertaining in both as well. The only difference between the two for me was that the fiction books let me use my imagination right away and the non-fiction books gave me facts that entertained me which did spark my imagination after I devoured the facts.
I really enjoy reading about people so I recommend these:
In summary, the two book types feed off of each other and the non-fiction PB’s are just as entertaining as their fiction counterparts. I still judged both types of books by their covers and in doing so, I was delighted with both kinds of books. I also happen to love trees so this 2009 book by Jason Chin called to me.
The next time you take your kids to the library, make sure you hit the non-fiction books section, go to the subject choice and pick out a picture book.
From there, let your kids’ imaginations run with what they learn. It makes for great dinner conversation about what they read. Then maybe at bedtime, create a fiction story using the facts you learned from the non-fiction books.
Here are a few more interesting books I found that may interest your children.
So many subjects to read about such as animals, habitats, people, earth, the moon; with all of these to choose from, you should have a good summer reading.
Get to it, visit your library, hit the non-fiction sections and get ready for a few rainy days. But most of all, have fun with your kids.