Most of us love reading
cute fiction books with our kids on a regular basis, but every now and then it would be nice to slip in something a little different, wouldn't it? Adding a few nonfiction children’s books to your regular rotation of bedtime stories is a great way to sneak some educational content into the mix. These types of books are great because they are written specifically for kids so they’re engaging and easy to understand (and they don’t read like textbooks).
Admittedly, when I initially started thinking about nonfiction children’s books, my mind went straight to the
National Geographic books I was forced to read as a kid. The books were full of great information, sure, but they were also very dry and did not keep my attention for more than a couple of pages (if that). As it turns out, though, there are some seriously fantastic options for kids today that are both factual and engaging. With brightly colored pictures, age-appropriate script, and some seriously fascinating topics, nonfiction children’s books seem to have come a very long way since I was a kid.
That being said, in order for your kid to really enjoy a nonfiction book, it needs to cover a topic they’re actually interested in, like the science behind rainbows, the origins of fun inventions, or the biography of a person they admire. If you’re not sure where to start looking, here are some great nonfiction children’s books worth adding to your kids’ collection.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Romper's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. 1 On Taking Care Of The Planet
There’s no more messing around when it comes to taking care of our planet, and
What A Waste is a great way to talk about the topic with your kids. The book is full of information and facts that are shared in kid-appropriate ways. For example, readers will learn about what kind of trash decomposes and what doesn’t (spoiler: toothbrushes don’t) as well as why it’s important to recycle and use renewable energy. Kids will learn about the different things they can do to keep protect our planet as well as what experts around the world are doing on larger scales. The book is full of fun, vibrant pictures, and is great for kids with questions and curiosity about our planet and the environment. 2 For Dino Enthusiasts
If your kid loves all things dinosaurs, then they will be thrilled to add this book to their library. It’s packed full of real facts about every dinosaur from the Triceratops to the T. rex to the lesser-known dinos like Shanag and Rugops. Each dinosaur gets its own page full of details from real-life experts. The book also includes a dinosaur timeline that details which dinosaurs lived at different points in time as well as an overview on how the earth changed over the course of millions of years. This book is filled with dinosaur facts and illustrations that are kid-appropriate and engaging.
3 Mini Biographies Of 14 Amazing Women is both informational and interactive. It includes the profiles of 14 world-changing women as well as a button for each one that actually plays the sound of the woman’s voice for readers to hear. Some of the women featured in the book include Dr. Jane Goodall, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Leymah Gbowee, Malala Yousafzai, Temple Grandin, and more. The book shares snippets of these women’s stories and is written using language that is meant to inspire readers to speak up themselves so that they, too, can change the world for the better. She Spoke: 14 Women Who Raised Their Voices and Changed the World 4 A New Perspective On Flies
This book has a nice blend of being both a story and non-fiction. It follows “Fly” who is, well, a fly, and who is tired of all of the attention going to things like butterflies and ladybugs, because he knows that flies are cool, too. Throughout the book, Fly explains all of the ways flies are amazing creatures, and how they’re so much cooler than other bugs. For instance, did you know that flies flap their wings 200 times in a single second? Fly doesn’t stop there, though, he also details some of the grosser things about his species, which bug enthusiasts will actually probably find very entertaining. It’s full of fun pictures, is written in an engaging way, and features a very funny fly narrator.
5 A Look Into Architecture
For kids who love nothing more than building things or who are fascinated with all things engineering,
From Mud Huts to Skyscrapers belongs in their personal book collection. The book takes readers back in time to show them the evolution of architecture, from the earliest mud huts to today’s mind-blowing skyscrapers. Each type of building has a double-paged spread that includes an illustration of the structure as well as facts, features, and descriptions. The book is laid out chronologically and includes tons of facts about architecture well as the evolution of civilization from all over the world. Kids (and probably grown-ups) will love it. 6 The History & Importance Of Juneteenth
Opal Lee is an activist who has made it her mission to celebrate and raise awareness about Juneteenth. In real life, she’s organized walks in Washington, DC, and hosted community celebrations for the holiday for more than 40 years. Suffice to say, she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to Juneteenth, and she put that knowledge to work when she wrote
Juneteenth: A Children’s Story. The book introduces the history of slavery and freedom in the United States using age-appropriate language for kids. It’s not only a good resource for kids on the history of Juneteenth, but it’s also a great way for parents to start the conversation about the topic in general. 7 The Science Of Snow
Sure we all love snow, but how is it made, and is it true that every single snowflake is unique? In the Smithsonian book,
Curious About Snow, kids will learn the answers to so many questions about snow like why is it white and when does it snow? This book is full of photos of different snowflakes (proof that no two snowflakes are alike), information on the science behind snow, as well as all kinds of fun facts on things like record-setting blizzards. Oh, and in case your kids didn’t already know how to play and have fun in the snow, the book also provides a few ideas for that, too. 8 Why Bees Are So Important
We’ve all heard the warnings about protecting bees at all costs, but this book actually explains why that is (and it does it in a kid-friendly way).
What If There Were No Bees teaches kids about grassland ecosystems, which can be found all over the world, and the chain reaction of events that would happen if the honey bees went extinct. It’s also full of facts about the bees, like how despite its small size the bee works harder than most big animals as it buzzes from plant to plant all day long, rarely stopping to rest. This non-fiction children’s book is good for kids with an interest in bugs or in keeping our planet safe. 9 All Things Space
Written especially for younger kids who are still learning how to read,
Space: Planet, Moons, Stars, and More! is perfect for little ones who are fascinated with all things space. It’s full of photos straight from NASA and tons of facts about the many plants, stars, moons, and solar systems in the galaxy. Kids seem to really love the book, especially early readers. One Amazon reviewer wrote, “This is the perfect reading level for [my son]. He handles the words really well with little help. The pictures are very nice, the print is big, and the information is right at his level. A few facts about each of the plants and other topics.” 10 A Famous Funny Lady
If your kid doesn’t already know who Mindy Kaling is, this book is the perfect opportunity for you to introduce them. The biography book is written for kids between 4 and 8 years old and tells the story of Mindy’s rise from a theater kid in college to the creator of an off-broadway production to a writer, producer, and character for
The Office. This book is part of the Little People BIG DREAMS series of books that profile people who have done amazing things, including Mindy who has never been shy to discuss how she fought her way into Hollywood as an Indian-American woman. 11 Where Bubble Gum Comes From
Who doesn’t love blowing a great big bubble the size of their head with their bubble gum? If you didn’t do this (and end up with gum stuck on your face) as a kid, did you even have a childhood? If your kid has a similar love or fascination with gum, then this is the book for them.
Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum chronicles the evolution of bubble gum from its creation in 1928 by an accountant at Fleer Gum and Candy, who happened to have some spare time for experimenting with recipes, to how Double Bubble made it pink to where it stands today. 12 The Story Of Eugenie Clark
Perfect for aspiring marine scientists, fans of trailblazing women, or shark enthusiasts,
Shark Lady tells the kid-friendly story of Eugenie Clark, a scientist who dramatically changed people's minds. Eugenie fell in love with sharks as soon as she saw her first one during a trip to an aquarium, but at the time the species were thought to be too perilous (and ugly) and women were not to be scientists. That didn’t stop her, though, because she pushed forward and dedicated her life to science, with a specific focus on sharks. She paved the way in shark research and it is because of her that sharks are now more admired than feared. 13 The Origins Of Famous Inventions
We always tell kids that it’s okay to make mistakes, but this book takes that wisdom a step further and proves that not only is it okay to make mistakes, but that mistakes can lead to fantastic things. In
Mistakes That Worked, kids will learn the origins of 40 popular inventions, such as potato chips, which a chef made in spite after a customer complained that his fried potatoes weren’t cut thin enough, and the sandwich which was invented by a man who needed to eat his meal with one hand so that he could keep the other one free to gamble. 14 A Guide To Constellations
Written for kids between 6 and 9 years old, this book offers a guide to help kids not just stargaze, but to identify major constellations with ease. It covers 25 different constellations and includes steps for how to find each one but also fun facts and the mythology behind their names. The book is written in a beginner-level language and all of the guides are short and simple to follow. This is a great book for kids who want to learn more about the stars, and it offers a fun activity for grown-ups to do with their kids (plus, they get to learn the fun facts about each constellation, too).
15 The Story Of A Legend
Fans of basketball will love this kid-friendly biography of LeBron James. The book is fully illustrated and tells the story of LeBron’s journey from childhood to becoming the NBA superstar he is today. Kids will discover how LeBron was raised by a dedicated single mom and how it was her love and the support of one of his coaches that he grew to love basketball. Readers will learn all about his rise to the top, and how his struggles from childhood have inspired him to help others who are struggling in the same ways today. It’s such a sweet story that will teach kids about one of their favorite athletes in an age-appropriate way.
If your kiddo isn’t interested in any of these topics, don’t worry because these are just some of the many fantastic non-fiction children’s books available today. The most important thing to remember when shopping for one of these books is to really think about what it is your kid finds interesting because they’ll enjoy nothing more than taking a deeper dive into something they already love.