Favorite Animal Nonfiction Picture Books


In February the Picture Book 10 for 10 Google+ community turns its attention to nonfiction picture books. Here are ten of my all-time favorite nonfiction books about animals. Most of them can be enjoyed by pre-K students, as well as older children. Author information and summaries are included below.

Emu by Claire Saxby and Graham Byrne. The cover alone is reason for this large book to make the list. This book beautifully introduces readers to a male emu, and shows how he cares for his hatchlings as they avoid dangers of the eucalyptus forest in Australia.

Seahorses by Jennifer Keats Curtis and Chad Wallace. Curtis won the Children’s Choice Book Award in 2015 for Kali’s Story, but I prefer this lovely introduction to seahorses. Wallace’s art complements the text, and the book includes a glossary and list of sources.

Finding Winnie: the True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick and Sophie Blackall. Much has been written about this Caldecott winner. I have found that some preschoolers have difficulty following the timeline or the “story wihtin a story” concept, but for older children who can keep the cast of characters straight, this book is a winner!

Little Pink Pup by Johanna Kerby. This delightful book uses photographs to document how Pink, the runt of a pig litter, is adopted by an indoor dachshund mother. Pink’s doggie siblings accept him, as well.

Gorillas by Seymour Simon. I could only choose one book by Seymour Simon, and this is it. Simon’s photographs allow children to get a close look at the gorillas, and to learn about their behavior.

About Marsupials: a Guide for Children by Cathryn Sill and John Sill. This is a good sample from the Sills’s series. Simple text and colorful illustrations provide a great introduction to an interesting infraclass of animals.

Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore. This book, winner of the Siebert Medal, uses text and colorful collage illustrations to describe the history of the Puerto Rican Parrots and ongoing efforts to save the birds.

Hello! Hello! by Miriam Schlein and Daniel Kirk. Describes and depicts how various animals greet each other. Currently available only in paperback, with different cover from the one pictured above.

Look Inside an Ant Nest by Megan C. Peterson. From Capstone Press’s Look Inside Animal Homes series, this book gives children a close-up view of an ant colony.

Lucky Dog –Owney, U.S. Rail Mail Mascot by Dirk Wales and Diane Kenna. This book depicts the true story of a stray dog who became a Rail Mail mascot, riding the rails to help deliver U. S. mail from 1888 to 1896. This makes a great read-aloud for students who are learning about the postal system (or dogs).

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