Many elementary school curriculum programs encourage kids to read narrative nonfiction (writing that tells a fact-based story) and informational texts. You can inject more facts and concepts into kids’ “reading diets” by enlisting the help of treasured storybook characters.
A newly-published series is Curious George Discovers, in which our beloved monkey learns all about the sun, our senses, rainbows and more.
Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library is a series of nonfiction picture books featuring everyone’s favorite feline. Through funny and friendly storytelling, your child can learn about chimpanzees, reptiles, butterflies and trees, accompanied by the irrepressible Cat. Continue reading
Captain Underpants has its own special kind of charm and place in a young reader’s literary diet. However, if you find yourself wanting to round out your little reader’s digestive system, a good way to start is to trick…I mean encourage…your kiddo to mosey around nonfiction.
One method is what I personally like to call the “something shiny” persuasion; ebooks! The change in format can serve not only as a reason for kids to sniff around some new titles, but working with different platforms for searching also increases technological literacy. Plus, eBooks and eAudiobooks can’t be lost, become overdue, get left at Disney World, chewed on by the dog, etc. If that weren’t reason enough to check them out, we recently rolled out our new child-usage friendly eReading Room for Kids in OverDrive and it has an fantastic amount of titles available. Continue reading
I remember looking at the National Geographic magazine when I was little. There was always a copy on my grandmother’s coffee table. I would flip through the pages and look at the vivid pictures that somehow seemed brighter and more clear than any pictures I had ever seen in the TV Guide or Ladies’ Home Journal (the other magazines my grandmother subscribed to).
Today, I look around and notice that distinctive yellow border on lots of things: DVDs, books, magazines and more. I was under the impression that National Geographic was just for adults. How wrong was I? They publish all kinds of media for kids too! Nonfiction is very important for kids to read; it helps them learn about their world. I enjoy nonfiction in small doses. When I check out a nonfiction book (for me and my kiddo), I pick a section of the book that we are interested in ,and read that section. Isn’t that awesome? You don’t have to read nonfiction from cover to cover in order to understand it. Continue reading
Did you know that octopuses, or octopi (as I like to call them), have beaks? They are also very good at hiding. Sea stars don’t have eyes; they have eye spots. Where did I find these fascinating facts? I learned this information and much more from two nonfiction books on our new books shelf at the library. The Life Under the Sea series has six titles written by Cari Meister:
The colorful pictures and the easy-to-read text make it a snap for younger kiddos to learn facts about life in the ocean. The books even include a picture glossary at the end to explain more about what was just read. A simple table of contents and an index at the end of each book introduce kiddos to using these important parts of nonfiction books. Sea life not your thing? Try the Animals on the Farm series and see what you and your kids can learn! (We have a soft spot for the baby goats – so cute!)
If you have a 3-year-old like I do, you get asked “why” on a nonstop basis. Why do I have to take a bath? Why do dogs bark? Why do the leaves fall? For that last question, let me recommend “Awesome Autumn” by Bruce Goldstone. Fall is a season of transformation, and this image-filled, informative book explains these changes in a simple and age-appropriate manner for kids in preschool though third grade.
Each page has a big bold heading, like “Days Get Colder” or “Leaves Change Color,” that signals what that page will be about. Goldstone presents information to encourage young readers to explore the season with all of their senses, describing what autumn tastes, feels and smells like. The end of the book is my favorite part because it provides instructions for traditional autumn activities–from making leaf rubbings to roasting pumpkin seeds–that will remind you of your own childhood. Turkeys made from handprints, anyone?