Small Fry Saturday: Nonfiction Kidlit Mini Reviews

nonfiction kidlit
I always have my eyes open for nonfiction titles I think my daughter will enjoy, especially if I can include them in our homeschooling day. The following two books were big hits. I received a copy of each from Kids Can Press to be considered for an honest review.

If… A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers
written by David J. Smith
illustrated by Steve Adams

Huge concepts are scaled down to help kids wrap their minds around facts such as the age of the earth, the size of our galaxy, etc. To be honest, it can be difficult for adults to fully grasp this degree of enormity. I’m a sucker for living math/science, and the cover art was so gorgeous I couldn’t resist giving it a try with C (age 5), even though it’s geared for ages 8 to 12. Much of it was way over her head, but she was drawn to each page and really seemed to want to figure it out. And there were some pages she could grasp, so I think this will be a great “grow with me” kind of book we can go back to for several years. Not only is the artwork stunning, it supports the ideas presented on the page: Sometimes, if the text was too much for C, the illustrations gave her the basic idea. The author includes teaching ideas at the end. Such a cool book!

Families Around the World
written by Margriet Ruurs
illustrated by Jessica Rae Gordon

This title is geared for ages 3 to 7. The artwork is lovely, very colorful and sweet. I was glad to see a wide variety of families portrayed. There were differences in gender (one child has two  moms), race (including a biracial family), faith, generations and family size, community, and culture. The text itself isn’t especially captivating, but it’s brief and to the point. C liked how each portrait started with a greeting in the child’s native language. There’s a glossary/pronunciation guide in the back, as well as ideas for further enrichment. My mind was swimming with ideas of how to use this book for social studies!

Do you have any favorite nonfiction titles that spark children’s interest and inspire them to learn more?