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Best & Brightest Nonfiction Books of 2018

Description

This Best & Brightest list was created by Denver Public Library librarians to celebrate our favorite recently published children's nonfiction books. Enjoy!

More of the Best & Brightest Books of 2018

I Want To Be A Doctor
Driscoll, Laura, author.
Kindergarten-3rd grade. The My Community series offers an introduction to a refreshingly diverse cast of community helpers for developing readers. Each title looks at specific positions in a field. I Want to be a Veterinarian, for instance, shares information about wildlife and aquatic vets among others. This narrative nonfiction series has strong supportive elements, such as large font and visual clues which are helpful for beginning readers. A glossary rounds out each title offering additional explanation about the careers.
I Want To Be A Police Officer
Driscoll, Laura, author.
Kindergarten-3rd grade. The My Community series offers an introduction to a refreshingly diverse cast of community helpers for developing readers. Each title looks at specific positions in a field. I Want to be a Veterinarian, for instance, shares information about wildlife and aquatic vets among others. This narrative nonfiction series has strong supportive elements, such as large font and visual clues which are helpful for beginning readers. A glossary rounds out each title offering additional explanation about the careers.
I Want To Be A Veterinarian
Driscoll, Laura, author.
Kindergarten-3rd grade. The My Community series offers an introduction to a refreshingly diverse cast of community helpers for developing readers. Each title looks at specific positions in a field. I Want to be a Veterinarian, for instance, shares information about wildlife and aquatic vets among others. This narrative nonfiction series has strong supportive elements, such as large font and visual clues which are helpful for beginning readers. A glossary rounds out each title offering additional explanation about the careers.
What A Wonderful Word
Edwards, Nicola, author.
3rd-6th grade. Could you ever imagine needing to use a word describing the distance a reindeer can walk before it needs to use the bathroom? In Finland, such a word makes complete sense as reindeer are vital to their country. This idea of words being tied to a specific way of life is the premise behind Nicola Edward’s playful book. Pick any page from this title to learn interesting facts about a unique word and the culture and language that created it. Uribe masterfully translates various aspects and nuances surrounding these terms into energetic and inviting illustrations, deepening readers’ understanding of the specificity of language.
Earthrise : Apollo 8 And The Photo That Changed The World
Gladstone, James.
Kindergarten-3rd grade. In 1968, astronaut Bill Anders took the very first photo of planet Earth from space, a photo that to this day is a symbol of hope and unity. From the vastness of space there are no countries, no borders—as the crew of the Apollo 8 mission put it, Earth “really is one world.” This timely picture book coincides with Apollo 8’s 50th anniversary and tells the story from several different perspectives: the anxiously awaiting crowds, the engineers in Mission Control and a young girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut. With gorgeous vintage-inspired illustration and text that creates a sense of awe, Earthrise offers a crucial message to readers of all ages.
Water Land : Land And Water Forms Around The World
Hale, Christy, author, illustrator.
Preschool-1st grade. Water Land can be used as an introduction to new vocabulary, as well as an effective visual to solidify an understanding of the land and water forms presented. The high contrast illustrations, created using printed textures and digital layering, are centered around shapes of sparkling blue and sandy yellow. Utilizing various die-cuts throughout, readers get an interactive look at land and water opposites, such as lakes and islands. Hale’s creative use of die-cuts brings portions of one scene into the following as readers make their way through the book. A person playing near a lake is suddenly trapped on an island with the turn of a page. Hale shares definitions, as well as a giant fold-out of a world map detailing where these forms appear, at the rear of the book.
A History Of Pictures For Children : From Cave Paintings To Computer Drawings
Hockney, David, author.
3rd-6th grade. This large trimmed book gives readers a fresh look at art from two artists’ perspectives, exploring the intriguing similarities and connections between different works throughout history. Formatted as a conversation between the two authors, it’s as if the reader is eavesdropping on a conversation between friends as they share personal interpretations of the art. In addition to paintings and sculpture, readers will appreciate reading about other artforms: photography, film, animation and computer graphics. Enticing cartoons and engaging layouts are well-designed reproductions of famous works of art. All these elements combine to provide a lighthearted, yet insightful, approach to introducing and exploring artistic concepts including light, shadows, movement and more.
Bird Builds A Nest
Jenkins, Martin, 1959- author.
Preschool-1st grade. How exactly do birds engineer their nests? Find out as Bird builds hers in this installment of the A First Science Storybook series. Starting off the day with a hearty breakfast of a worm for energy, readers follow Bird through the creation and completion of a nest and the hatching of five speckled eggs. This eyecatching picture book is engaging, as well as educational. Using clear text and mixed media illustrations featuring simple shapes and earthy textures, this title provides an introduction to physical forces, such as pushing, pulling, lifting and gravity, for the youngest readers. Perfect for reading aloud, a brief introduction includes kid-friendly definitions of physics concepts, and the book concludes with an index and simple questions to promote further discussion between children and caregivers or educators.
One Day A Dot
Lendler, Ian, author.
Kindergarten-3rd grade. For as long as people have existed, so has the question of where our world and all the living creatures on it came from. One Day a Dot uses straightforward, brief narration and vivid illustrations to provide a wondrous introduction to the stages and mysteries of life for young readers. A simple dot is full of so much energy it makes the Big Bang, forming new dots that want to play, dance and even eat each other! This leads the way to modern life and humans like us. The brightly colored illustrations, penciled and inked with a Sumi Dry Brush in Clip Studio Paint, are framed by thick charcoal borders, lending a graphic novel feel to the design. The final end papers feature a visual timeline starting with the Big Bang. At the end of this mind-expanding book, readers are left with the biggest, unanswerable question of all: how did the first dot come to be?
Snails Are Just My Speed!
McCloskey, Kevin, author, illustrator.
Kindergarten-3rd grade. The best thing about Snails Are Just My Speed! is that it’s so versatile. This graphic novel could be used as a lesson on snails or gardening or wildlife or even bodily fluids. It could be part of a storytime with a slow animal or gross creature theme. It’s the perfect combination of fun, humor and facts that make it great for home or school. Readers will learn about snail habitats, sizes, what they eat (and what eats them) and many other interesting snail-related tidbits. Published by Toon Books, this slim book is filled with facts galore, all illustrated in McCloskey’s signature colored chalk style.
Curiosity : The Story Of A Mars Rover
Motum, Markus, author, illustrator.
Kindergarten-3rd grade. In 2012 all the world watched as Curiosity, NASA’s most technologically advanced rover to date, landed on the surface of Mars. Told from the perspective of the rover itself, this title explores Curiosity’s mission in depth through simple to read text, large stylized illustrations and diagrams. What type of equipment did Curiosity bring to Mars? How big was the team designing it? And how did it get its name? Find out in this informative and accessible introduction to NASA’s work on Mars. The accessible anthropomorphized rover and the large trim size will draw young readers into this fascinating nonfiction book.
The Secret Kingdom : Nek Chand, A Changing India, And A Hidden World Of Art
Rosenstock, Barb, author.
2nd-5th grade. As the old saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Nek Chand was forced to flee his home in the village of Berian Kalan after the Punjab invaded and the country was divided into Pakistan and India in 1947. Flat, dry and colorless, his new home in Chandigarh, India was nothing like the village he remembered. After discovering a mostly untouched area of jungle, he began collecting items most would consider trash—broken glass bangles, cracked water pots, chipped sinks—and turning them into beautiful works of art to remind him of home. Nek’s kingdom spanned over twelve acres, and he kept it secret for fifteen years. Even under the threat of destruction, he continued to build, gaining the support of his community. With lyrical text and folk-style watercolor illustration, this book offers a powerful example of the difference one individual can make, and the beauty found in all things. Readers are treated to a large photo fold-out featuring images of Nek Chand’s original Rock Garden.
Avalanche Dog Heroes : Piper And Friends Learn To Search The Snow
Rusch, Elizabeth, author.
2nd-5th grade. Filled with adorable photos of real dogs, Rusch’s book explains what it takes to become an avalanche rescue dog, focusing on a border collie and her owner. Captivating photographs move the story along quickly, depicting the hard work (and fun!) involved in rescue training. Fascinating information about avalanches, dogs’ keen sense of smell and training tips are scattered throughout the book. The group discussion suggestions and activities provide natural classroom connections. This is sure to be a hit for animal enthusiasts, as well snow-loving Coloradans.
Pass Go And Collect $200 : The Real Story Of How Monopoly Was Invented
Stone, Tanya Lee, author.
1st-4th grade. Everyone has a special strategy when playing Monopoly, but where did the iconic board game get its start? Lizzie Magie wanted to raise awareness of the extreme financial inequality between landlords and their tenants in the 1800s, so she created a board game called “The Landlord’s Game.” Salesman Charles Darrow decided to use the game’s popularity as an opportunity to transform Lizzie’s idea into the Monopoly readers know and love. But who is the real winner in this story? Find out in this little known history of one of America’s most popular board games. “Monopoly Math” word problems and STEM connections are also included in the back of this fascinating book.
Look At The Weather
Teckentrup, Britta, author, illustrator.
Kindergarten-4th grade. Evocative illustrations pair seamlessly with conversational writing that goes beyond explaining weather phenomena, inviting readers to reflect on weather’s ability to affect mood and conjure memories. Teckentrup has split the book into “Sun,” “Rain,” “Ice and Snow” and “Extreme Weather,” and throughout each section readers will find scientific information, poetic interpretations and questions, such as, “When snow softly covers the world outside, does it make you want to snuggle in a blanket of your own?” The personal element is what makes this work so unique.