#nf10for10 Nonfiction Picture Book Event!

Screen Shot 2013-02-04 at 11.55.24 PMIt’s the 10 for 10 Nonfiction Picture Book Event! We are joining up with many of our Twitter and blogging friends to participate in this event celebrating nonfiction books. Check out the jog here to see all the other posts sharing favorite nonfiction picture books!

Children love nonfiction. It engages, excites and helps children wonder, reflect and celebrate the world we live in.  Here are a few of our favorites. Enjoy!


Pat’s Picks:

51BL21P6hlL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_Anything by Seymour Simon is so well-researched and beautifully written.  Kids love reading about these animals who have been given a bad reputation.  Simon tells us, “Animals are not bad or evil.  They do what they must in order to survive.”  This one is written in easy-to-read text, but a few pictures might be too graphic for the very young.



6146nrCbOwL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_Yes, it’s been around a long time, but People, by Peter Spier, has always been a favorite of mine.  Of course, it’s perfect for helping kids realize the variations in homes, written languages, games, traditions, and so on, around the world. Not everyone considers the same things as “beautiful”, nor does everyone have the same tastes in foods. I love the message brought home on the last two pages of illustrations. “But imagine how dreadfully dull this world of ours would be if everybody would look, think, eat, dress, and act the same!”  This book pairs nicely with Mem Fox’s Whoever You Are. Both books will lead to great discussions, not only in schools with diverse populations, but in all schools.

512-77Vd+aL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_Steve Jenkins & Robin Page created the wonderful book What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? which is a Caldecott Honor Book.  I’m sure many of you already own this one!  It’s fun to learn what various animals do with their feet, eyes, ears, noses, and tails. I love the big question on a two-page spread (giving time for kids to wonder) and then the way the text is placed in so many different ways when the answers are given.



51M-XAFUa5L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_With only one or two lines of text on each page, I’m amazed at how much information John Himmelman squeezed into his book.  Earthworms are so easy to find and set up for observation in the classroom.  My favorite part is when a little boy picks up the earthworm and moves him to the garden to avoid getting stepped on.  A good book for talking about respect for all creatures.


Here are three other titles that a librarian friend recommended to me that I have yet to find, but certainly will, because she never steers me wrong!



Katie’s Choices:

41kQ77hBvbL._SL500_AA300_Beautiful photographs and equally beautiful language make Step Gently Out a wonderful book to help children notice the world around them.





me-jane-coverMe…Jane is an amazing book that tells the true story of Jane Goodall. It inspires children to follow their dreams and live with wonder. It is written simply and is accessible to our youngest learners – and our older elementary or middle school students will also enjoy the story and the inspiration that Jane gives.



41fphodps0l__sl500_aa300_Press Here is one of the coolest books I’ve read in a while. It holds children spellbound as they interact and use their imagination in this magical book.





9780439666534-1Chameleon, Chameleon is a class favorite! I use this book early in the year as a writing mentor text. The children love the repetitive, yet rich, language and the detailed photographs. It is an excellent nonfiction text to read and reread.




What-s-Up-What-s-Down-9780060297572What’s Up, What’s Down? is a book that is read in a variety of ways – from the bottom up, from the top down, sideways. It takes the reader on an exciting and engaging journey from many perspectives. Children will enjoy this fabulous celebration of nature as they read and interact with the book.



Thanks to Cathy and Mandy for starting this fun event! What are some of your favorite nonfiction books to read with children? Please share!


  1. Some great titles! Love that some are favourites of mine and others brand new! Katie – Press Here is also such a hit in my room. Kids love it for buddy reading. I am looking for What’s Up, What’s Down – love this idea! Pat – I am also a big fan of Jenkins. Never Smile at a Monkey IS worth a read and then a SHARE Here’s how I used it in my room: http://thereisabookforthat.com/2011/03/23/why-do-you-think-you-should-never-smile-at-a-monkey/

    Thanks for a great list!

  2. Hi Pat and Katie! It’s Leanne from Colorado (CCIRA). I’m still thinking about all the great information you shared at the conference! And guess what, Pat…when I got home our local paper had two articles about fracking. Who knew? This looks like a great list of non-fiction books. I need to get An Earthworm’s Life for my science unit on soils and decomposing.

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