Here are my top ten picks for children’s nonfiction this year. Most are picture books and I’ve snuck one in for teens as well. The links below will take you to my full reviews.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba – Autobiographical picture book about a teen boy from Malawi who built a windmill out of scraps. Luminous and compelling reading.
Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau by Michelle Markel – A striking and superb biography of the artist who came to his craft late in life.
Georgia in Hawaii by Amy Novesky – This gorgeous picture book biography takes a look at Georgia O’Keeffe’s trip to Hawaii and how it impacted her art.
Island: A Story of the Galapagos by Jason Chin – Learn about the history of the Galapagos Islands and the wonders of nature and evolution in this incredible read.
The Letter Q by Sarah Moon – (My sneaky way of putting in my favorite teen nonfiction book) This entire book is letters from gay and lesbian authors to their younger selves. It’s an inspirational collection worth lingering over.
Life in the Ocean by Claire A. Nivola – Journey deep under the sea with this inspiring biography of biologist and oceanographer Sylvia Earle.
Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman – A fresh and radiant biography of Abraham Lincoln that manages to be both colorful and playful.
Mrs. Harkness and the Panda by Alicia Potter – A marvelous picture book biography of an unlikely adventurer willing to take amazing risks.
Ocean Sunlight by Molly Bang – Learn about how the sun makes life on earth possible with this winning combination of poetry and science.
Seed by Seed by Esme Raji Codell – This beautiful picture book biography makes the story of Johnny Appleseed resonate with modern readers with his focus on the environment and shared community.