There are a number of reasons why nonfiction picture books are becoming more popular. New Common Core standards are creating more demand, which is prompting writers to approach this genre in a more creative way. This is great!
When I was an elementary student, I rarely visited the nonfiction section of the library (perhaps only for history and science reports). But today, the breadth of a nonfiction section (while still not what it could be) is much more exciting. While my daughters (preschool age) are still drawn primarily to the fiction section at the library, I always manage to pull a few nonfiction titles that they enjoy throughout the week.
Here are a several of our favorites:
Meet Tony Sarg, the puppeteer who invented the upside-down puppets that made the Macy’s Parade what it is today. Sweet’s colorful sketches and mixed media collages make the book especially appealing to young readers.
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein
This is the story of French aerialist Phillipe Petit, who snuck into one of the the World Trade Center towers at night in order to defy authorities and performed high-wire tricks to a stunned and excited audience a quarter mile above the ground the following morning.
Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cordillo
This light-hearted book is a fun introduction to the girl, movie star, and fashion icon.
Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel
This is the unique story of Clara Lemlich, a young immigrant who helped lead the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history. It’s a great reminder of the power of determination and courage.
Locomotive by Brian Floca
An exploration of America’s first railroads and railcars. The illustrations are incredible.
Lastly, the reading specialist in me reminds you that reading children nonfiction from an early age makes them more likely to develop both the interest in and the skills to read nonfiction later in their school age and adult lives.
So visit the nonfiction section of your library, especially the nonfiction picture book section. You may be surprised what you find there.