Nonfiction books are often considered the inferior cousins to story books, or fiction books. However, for educational reasons, enjoyment, and personal growth, kids need access to a collection of quality nonfiction books. Homeschool families and librarians are well aware of this and they provide kids with nonfiction fun books from some of the best children's publishers.
You don't have to be a homeschooler to get a kid reading an encyclopedia or fact book. Just find them an entertaining, absorbing nonfiction book they'll love.
Topics in Nonfiction Kids Books
There are many fun topics in nonfiction kids books. Here are some popular ones.
- Science, nature, animals, weather, Earth science, geography, field guides.
- Technology, machines, cars, planes, how things work.
- Arts, crafts, and cooking.
- How to books and "survival" guides.
- Record and fact books, reference books (encyclopedias and dictionaries).
- True stories - heroes, history, war, biographies.
- Hobbies, puzzles, magic, and games.
- Sports, dancing, pets.
The two most recognized publishers in children's nonfiction are Usborne and Dorling Kindersley.
Dorling Kindersley Books
Dorling Kindersley is owned by Pearson Publishers. You can read more about Pearson Publishers and the fun book ranges they publish on the adult nonfiction books page. Their kids nonfiction books are high quality, very information packed, and robust. Some of the favorite books pubished by Dorling Kindersley are as follows:
- For the 0-3 years age range: The My First Books are colorful, vocabulary builders; Touch and Feel books have textured patches (many feature cute animals); and Peekaboo Books have touch and feel flaps. These are all board books. Here's a link to Peekaboo Books from Dorling Kindersley at Amazon.com.
- For the 3-6 years age range: Watch Me Grow books explain animal life cycles; Pop-Up Books have a part which slides out; Ultimate Sticker Books are very popular with some children; and Eye Know books are square hardbacks on science topics. Here are the Eye Know Science Books at Amazon.com.
- Books for 6-9 years old include: Eye Wonder paperback books on science topics; DK Young Scientist hardback books on math and physics topics; Eyewitness Project paperback science project books; DK Life Like Mine social studies topics; and a number of different encyclopedias. Check out the Eyewitness Project books.
- For older kids who are independent readers there are: Eyewitness Guides, which are often appreciated by adults; The Way Science Works; Wow! The visual encyclopedia of everything; and field guides, e-books, books with CD, encyclopedias and dictionaries, and books on currently popular topics including Lego.
Usborne is a leading publisher of children's nonfiction books. In the USA the publishing agreement for Usborne is with Educational Development Corporation, who also administer the Usborne Books & More direct selling business. Usborne publish colorful, absorbing, interactive, educational, fun books for kids. They are recognized for their fabulous range of Internet Linked books, which link up with their own custom, maintained website, administered by Usborne Publishing Ltd, a UK owned and operated company.
Usborne books contain similar ranges to Dorling Kindersley, with strengths in books for preschool and elementary ages, and offerings for middle school to adult. Some notable book series published by Usborne include:
- For the 0-3 years age range: That's Not My... robust, board books which teach wonderful language (teachers love them); Find the Duck - very early search book; Look and Say Board Books illustrated by Jo Litchfield, with easy to turn tabbed pages; Lift and Look board books about vehicles; interactive Noisy Board Books about animals and machines; and a variety of washable and wipe-able books for bath and stroller use.
- For the 3-6 years age range: Wind-up Books which combine a story with a wind-up vehicle which goes around tracks on the pages; Jigsaw Puzzle books; sticker books in several ranges - Sticker Dolly Dressing, which girls adore, sticker story books, and sticker scene books (farm, trucks, animals); Jobs People Do - doctor, firefighter, teacher, vet; activities and stencil books; and Flip Flap Board Books.
- In the 6-9 years age range there are early readers, which you can read more about on the kids fiction books page. Popular in this age range are the 1001 Things to Spot range and the Great Searches books. Their art, craft, cookery, and hobby books have outsanding illustrations and easy to follow, step-wise directions. There are several encyclopedia ranges too which focus on history, animals, and science.
- For kids over 9 years old Usborne publishes a True Stories range which boys enjoy and some really high quality encyclopedias and reference books, many of which are internet linked. One of the best sellers is the Illustrated Dictionary of Math. The knowledge in some of these books goes up to college level and the World War books and art and craft books in particular are enjoyed by adults.