Nonfiction Picture Books

Here you'll find two dozen nonfiction picture books published over the last few years. I'm loving all of the informational content that is available for our youngest readers now! Be sure to check out these titles and more informational picture books at ICPL!

Whose bones are those?

Takeuchi, Chihiro, 1971- author, illustrator.

j599.947 Takeuchi

"Can you guess the animal by looking at its bones? Each vibrant spread of this book features the skeleton of a different animal. Use the colors and visual clues to determine whose bones are portrayed throughout in this engaging introduction to vertebrate animals." --

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I love this one for lap sit and storytime use! It's great as a group guessing game. Look for the follow-up "Whose Dinosaur Bones are Those?" coming soon.
- Casey


Beckerman, Nell Cross, 1973- author.

j551.44 Beckerman

"A masterful exploration of one of nature's most curious ecosystems, Caves is a magical journey into subterranean wonders perfect for fans of Jason Chin. Using evocative storytelling, Nell Cross Beckerman urges children to explore one of nature's most curious ecosystems. Dramatic, poetic language guides kids through different caves around the world while nonfiction text allows for deeper understanding"--

Cubs in the tub : the true story of the Bronx Zoo's first woman zookeeper

Fleming, Candace, author.

jE Fleming

"Readers are told the story of Helen Martini's care for lion and tiger cubs, and her emergence as the Bronx Zoo's first woman zookeeper"--

Crossings : extraordinary structures for extraordinary animals

Duffield, Katy, author.

jE Duffield

"A non-fiction exploration of animal crossings built by animal lovers around the world to help animals cross over, under, around, and through human construction"--

How to be an elephant : growing up in the African wild

Roy, Katherine, author, illustrator.

j599.67 Roy

"This nonfiction picture book follows an elephant's growth from a newborn calf to a full-grown adult in one of the most socially and structurally complex family groups on earth."--

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This nonfiction picture book is stunning! Don't miss Roy's "Neighborhood Sharks" which is equally beautiful and informative.
- Casey

Dinosaur lady : the daring discoveries of Mary Anning, the first paleontologist

Skeers, Linda, author.

j560.92 Skeers

"This is the story of a woman who dared to dig, explore, and discover. This is the story of Dinosaur Lady. Marry Anning loved scouring the beach near her home in England for shells and fossils. She fearlessly climbed over crumbling cliffs and rocky peaks, searching for new specimens. One day, something caught Mary's eye. Bones. Dinosaur bones. Mary's discoveries rocked the world of science and helped create a brand-new field of study;paleontology. But many people believed women couldn't be scientists, so Mary wasn't given the credit she deserved. Nevertheless, Mary kept loking and learning more, making discoveries that reshaped scientific beliefs about the natural world. Includes a timeline of Mary Anning's life and fantastic fossil facts!"--Dust jacket.

How to find a fox

Gardner, Kate (Children's author), author.

j599.775 Gardner

"Taking kids on an imaginary trek through different landscapes and seasons, How to Find a Fox celebrates one of our planet's most graceful and enchanting creatures: the red fox. Ossi Saarinen's stunning wildlife photos and Kate Gardner's lively and informative words capture the magical and profound connection between animals and humans. Readers will be inspired to get outside and make their own discoveries--maybe with a camera in-hand, just like Ossi"--

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The real photographs of foxes are incredible!
- Casey

Seeds move!

Page, Robin, 1957- author, illustrator.

jE Page

Every seed, big or small, needs sunlight, water, and an uncrowded place to put down roots. But how do seeds get to the perfect place to grow? This exploration of seed dispersal covers a wide range of seeds and the creatures that help them move, from a coconut seed floating on waves to an African grass seed rolled by a dung beetle, to a milkweed seed floating on the wind.

We are still here! : Native American truths everyone should know

Sorell, Traci, author.


"A group of Native American kids from different tribes presents twelve historical and contemporary time periods, struggles, and victories to their classmates, each ending with a powerful refrain: we are still here"--

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This book is essential reading for all elementary students and their parents. The audiobook is also stellar, especially when shared with the picture book.
- Casey

Your place in the universe

Chin, Jason, 1978- author, illustrator.

j530.8 Chin

"A non-fiction introduction to the massive scale of the known universe"--

Bessie the motorcycle queen

Smith, Charles R., Jr., 1969- author.

j796.7 Stringfield

"Hop on the bike with Bessie Stringfield, the motorcycle queen of Miami, in this powerful picture book from Coretta Scott King medalist Charles R. Smith, Jr. and debut picture book illustrator Charlot Kristensen. In 1929, 18-year-old Bessie Stringfield hopped on her motorcycle and headed out on an adventure, an unusual choice for a young Black woman at the time. Paying her way by winning motorcycle races, she criss-crossed the country through small towns, big cities, and wide open spaces. But not everyone was happy to see Bessie's brown face peeking out from underneath her helmet. And more than once, Bessie found herself making some quick exits on the back of her bike to escape Jim Crow. A trailblazer in the world of women's racing and motorcycling, Bessie Stringfield was a figure who will inspire all children to pursue their dreams"--

Mushroom rain

Zimmermann, Laura K., author.

j579.6 Zimmermann

"Through lyrical text and colorful detailed artwork, the mysterious and sometimes bizarre world of mushrooms is explored. Back matter includes a glossary and science facts"--

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This one will be our StoryWalk at WillowCreek park in the next few weeks, just in time for morel hunting season!
- Casey

Swirl by swirl : spirals in nature

Sidman, Joyce.

jE Sidman

Giant panda : a first field guide to the bamboo-loving bear from China

Hull, Vanessa, author.

j599.789 Hull

"A beautiful first guide to giant pandas, written by professor of pandas Vanessa Hull"--

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This whole series is great!
- Casey

Lovely beasts : the surprising truth

Gardner, Kate, author.

j590 Gardner

The author lists several animals that many people would consider scary (sharks), ugly (bats), or creepy (spiders) then explains how they benefit their biological niche, and humans!

Whose track is that?

Tekiela, Stan, author.

j591.479 Tekiela

Spotting animals in the wild is tricky, but they leave plenty of clues behind--especially tracks. Examine the evidence. Study the animal tracks. See if you can guess "Whose track is that?" Then turn the page to discover the answer.

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I love this whole series for group and lap sharing. Another one that makes a fabulous guessing game!
- Casey

Rock, Rosetta, rock! Roll, Rosetta, roll! : presenting sister Rosetta Tharpe, the godmother of rock & roll

Bolden, Tonya, author.

jBIOGRAPHY Tharpe, Rosetta

"Award-winning author Tonya Bolden and acclaimed illustrator R. Gregory Christie deliver an inspiring true story about the life, career, and impact of 20th-century blues and gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who was a trailblazer for rock-and-roll. Includes a timeline of Sister Rosetta Tharpe's life, author's note, and a list of sources. Before there was Elvis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Johnny Cash, there was Sister Rosetta Tharpe. The godmother of rock & roll started as a little girl from Arkansas with music in her air, in her hair, in her bones, wiggling her toes. With a big guitar in hand and a big voice in her soul, she grew into a rock & roll trailblazer in a time when women were rarely seen rocking out. Her guitar picking was like nobody else's!"--Publisher marketing.

When the sky glows

Beckerman, Nell Cross, 1973- author.

j551.565 Beckerman
Picture Books, Nonfiction

"Sunrises and lightning storms, rainbows and volcanoes, meteors and fireflies-these beautiful, and sometimes frightening, events that light up the sky might seem like magic."--

Water land : land and water forms around the world

Hale, Christy, author, illustrator.

jE Hale

Based on Montessori teachings, die-cut pages identify and contrast types of water bodies and their corresponding land masses to help young readers understand how connected the earth and the water really are.

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This book is amazing! If you have yet to see this ingenious representation of the relationships between water and land formations be sure to check it out. It never fails to get some "ooooh"s during the page-turn reveals.
- Casey

Hiders seekers finders keepers : how animals adapt in winter

Kulekjian, Jessica, author.

j591.56 Kulekjian

"When winter comes, animals seem to know just what to do. From frogs to deer to dragonflies, whether they're hiding, seeking or simply staying put, many animals have found ingenious ways to survive the cold. In this poetic exploration of just how they do that, expressive text and non-fiction sidebars seamlessly combine to carry young readers through late fall to early spring. Readers learn about all the different kinds of hibernation, how animals migrate to warmer places, and which animals stay behind in the snow. Non-fiction sidebars inform about animal adaptations, like how box turtles can slow down their heartbeats and ladybugs pack themselves together in large colonies to keep warm. Detailed illustrations show each animal's special tricks and skills, with stunning close-ups of migrating monarch butterflies, playful foxes, and more. Readers can follow the slow fade of winter into spring via the artwork, making for a secondary visual storyline to follow the evocative text."--

Child of the flower-song people : Luz Jiménez, daughter of the Nahua

Amescua, Gloria, author.

jBIOGRAPHY Jimenez, Luz

A fictionalized account of a Nahua woman who grew up in Mexico during the early 1900s, became a model for artists, worked with scholars to preserve Nahuatl language and stories, and was known as the "soul of Mexico." Includes author's note, timeline, and glossary.

In between

Sayre, April Pulley, author.


"We all go through awkward phases-even animals! Award-winning author and photographer April Pulley Sayre shines a light on nature's relatable in-between moments."--

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I love all of April Pulley Sayre's books and use them often in storytimes. Every time I see one slated for publication, I know it will be a winner! In Between is her upcoming, second, posthumous title, look for it on the new shelf soon!
- Casey

Sister Corita's words and shapes

Winter, Jeanette, author, illustrator.

jE Winter

"A picture book biography of the woman known by some as the Pop Art Nun: Sister Corita Kent, who gained acclaim for her bold, graphic pop art that calls for peace, equality, and justice"--

Over and under the canyon

Messner, Kate, author.

jE Messner

"This book takes readers on a journey through the wonders concealed in the curves of the canyon, and all the secret life hidden in its arms"--

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Another wonderful series of nonfiction picture books! Be sure to check out Kate Messner's and Christopher Silas Neal's Over and Under books.
- Casey