non fiction

The Sun is Kind of a Big Deal by Nick Seluk

The sun is Kind of a Big Deal book cover: illustration of a sun on a red carpet with various planets cheering behind a rope in the background“That’s why [ the sun’s ] been employee of the month for 4.5 billion years and counting.”

It can be hard to explain things that we don’t interact with everyday especially things that happen all the time without us noticing. That bright ball in the sky is Earth’s best friend and does so much to help us. Nick Seluk makes concepts like the changing of seasons, how large our solar system is, and the water cycle accessible for younger readers in K-2nd. This book relates such large concepts to everyday activities and objects with cartoonish visuals that younger readers will be able to relate too.

Find The Sun is King of a Big Deal in the Library

Anna, Kids World

The Magician and the Spirits by Deborah Noyes

The Magician and the Spirits book cover: photogragh of Harry Houdini in chains"Good, honest, educated people... had 'surrendered themselves to belief in the most monstrous fiction.'"

Harry Houdini is arguably the best escape artist and one of the most famous magicians in America's history. Magic and ghosts- one would think they would go hand in hand, but Harry Houdini proved they are a combustive mix.  Brokenhearted at the death of his mother, Houdini sought to understand the afterlife, and so began his fascination with mediums and believers of Spiritualism. However, his fascination became a zealous pursuit of frauds, which led to the severing of friendships. "If convincing evidence is brought forward I will be the first to acknowledge my mistake."

There have been many biographies on Houdini for readers of all ages. What makes this particular work so unique and interesting is that it focuses on Houdini's investigations of ghosts and mediums. The book delves into the history of Houdini and the rise (and falls) of Spiritualism, with side notes and relevant photographs of the time.

This nonfiction work is perfect for upper elementary and middle school readers who are interested in investigation processes or ghosts in general. It also serves as a great reminder in this digital age that you cannot always believe what you see and keeping an open mind does not mean turning off your mind.

Find The Magician and the Spirits in the Library

Celeste, Kids World

Eyewitness Plant by David Burnie

Eyewitness Books: Plant book cover featuring a close up image if a flower patter“The oldest seed known to botany comes from North American Arctic lupine plant and is thought to be about 10,000 years old.”

We are surrounded by them, our existence depends on them, yet we never care to notice them. Plants are at the core of all living things, so it is safe to say that we should know something about them. “Plant” by David Bernie gives a well-balanced introduction to this fascinating world of plants. The book is rich in photographs which show in great detail the beauty and complexity of a wide variety of plants and their structures.

This book is a good nonfiction read geared towards 4-6th   independent readers. The vocabulary is at times challenging as new scientific concepts are being introduced, but the book in general does not rely heavily of scientific terminology.

Find Eyewitness Plant in the Library

Jerry, Kids World

Whose Butt? by Stan Tekiela

Whose Butt? book cover: photographs of the butts of various animals including a bird, forest animals, and animals from Africa"I love taking pictures of animals...Sometimes the animals run or fly away... I only get pictures of their butts..."

And so begins this humourous animal trivia book formatted into a "Guess that butt" game. For each photograph of a butt, the reader is invited to look at the photograph and its clues (tail, feathers, fur, coloration, size) and see if they can recognize the animal it belongs to. The next page will display a photograph of the whole animal along with a short informational paragraph about the animal (and how they use their behind).

Children ages 2 through 9 will find the vocabulary and length right up their alley, but this nonfiction title is perfect for both, the young and old, who enjoy a bit of fun thrown in with their facts. The large photographs and game show style makes this the perfect read-a-loud for larger groups as well as one-on-one sharing. This is the book animals lovers didn't even know they have been waiting for.

Find Whose Butt? in the Library

Celeste, Kids World