Let’s take a peek at some terrific children’s non-fiction titles! Reviews of kid’s non-fiction titles have been interspersed among the fiction reviews, but it’s been A WHILE since a true round-up! So without further adieu, let’s turn our attention to some of the great non-fiction books that have caught my attention. Just a note that your library may catalogue certain titles in children’s non-fiction or in picture books, etc.- it really depends on how your library has decided to categorize them.
In no particular order, here are the titles: Bringing Back the Wolves: How A Predator Restored an Ecosystem by Jude Isabella, illustrated by Kim Smith, is an exemplary, compelling and enlightening read that delves into the extraordinary ecological impact that the reintroduction of gray wolves had to Yellowstone National Park. This is one of my top environmental/animal non-fiction reads of the last year or so- not only one I have reread a few times, but also one that afforded me a newfound wonder of wolves. How to Solve a Problem: The Rise (and Falls) of a Rock-Climbing Champion by Ashima Shiraishi and illustrated by Yao Xiao is a unique non-fiction sports title. Part biography of young champion rock climber Ashima Shiraishi and part sports psychology, it details how Ashima takes on a boulder (called a ‘problem’ in rock climbing): with smart planning and visualization, climbing, falling (safely) and trying again and again, Ashima strives to rise to the top. While some of the details and illustrations of tactics are quite intricate, the metaphor and Ashima’s narrative voice are winning. Fungus Is Among Us! by Joy Keller, illustrated by Erica Salcedo, is a zippy, accessible and educational look at the kinds of fungi that exist around us- and why we shouldn’t be afraid of it! While the main narrative of the book is told in bouncy rhymes, there are blocks of informational details on each page, as well as a cool short interview with mycologist Dr. Sara Branco at the book’s end. Perfect for fans of Elise Gravel’s The Mushroom Club! Flying High: The Story of Gymnastics Champion Simon Biles by Michelle Meadows and vibrantly illustrated by Ebony Glenn, brings readers a rhyming, whirling introduction to the incredible, record-breaking athlete. The crisp rhyming text is bright and offers a positive, can-do message (all while noting hardships and struggles). More information and details are provided at the book’s end about Biles’ family, her journey to the 2016 Olympics, signature moves, and wins. Last but not least, Elise Gravel’s Puppy in My Head: A Book About Mindfulness talks to readers about overwhelming emotions, feelings of anxiety, and steps to take to help center oneself. With its straightforward layout, approachable metaphor, and Gravel’s signature buoyant and sweetly fun artwork, Puppy in My Head is a welcome, helpful introduction to the related subject matter. Happy reading to you all!