2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

Narrative Nonfiction Picture Books-Spring 2023

Narrative nonfiction picture book recommendations are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.*

Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book Cover of Finding Family: The Duckling Raised by Loons with a fuzzy little duckling riding the back of a loon in the water

Finding Family: The Duckling Raised by Loons 

by Laura Purdie Salas (Author), Alexandria Neonakis (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Millbrook Press ™ . 2023. Grades PreK-2. Hardcover Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1728442990.

Brief summary: A mother and father loon raise a mallard duckling. The duckling learns the ways of the loons, like eating minnows and taking food from them.

This story in verse is based on a true story in 2019 in a Wisconsin Lake as part of the Loon Project, where researchers observed a loon pair taking care of a duckling. What makes this unique is that loons usually drive away mallard ducks.

The back pages include sections such as Is This Story True?, The Intruder, and Very Different Birds(with a Venn Diagram).

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 📗📗📗📗

Rise to the Sky cover of the narrative nonfiction book that tells about tall trees with tall trees with deer eating grass underneath

Rise to the Sky: How the World’s Tallest Trees Grow Up 

by Rebecca E. Hirsch (Author), Mia Posada (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Millbrook Press ™. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1728440873.

Brief summary: Young readers will learn about a tree’s life cycle from a tiny sprout to a tall tree.

Back sections include How Does a Tall Tree Grow?, Where Do the Tallest Trees Live?, and two activities.

The illustrations are cut-paper collages with watercolor but have photographs of the tallest trees in the back of the book.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 📗📗📗📗

Special Delivery cover with sky blue background with various means of transportation all done in cartoon style

Special Delivery: A Book’s Journey Around the World 

by Polly Faber (Author), Klas Fahlén (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Candlewick Press. 2023. K-3. Hardcover Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book. Publisher ‏ : ‎ Candlewick Press.

Brief summary: A book is made and journeys in various forms of transportation across the city, sea, and through the country until it reaches Pip’s Bookshop, where it is bought and sent to a grandson.

The back has Special Delivery Numbers of interesting statistics about the book’s journey.

Full, detailed illustrations with bright colors. I stopped and looked at each page to get more details of the transportation story from them.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4.5/5 📗📗📗📗1/2

Cover of Yoshi with a little green turtle swimming in the ocean with other fish and plants

Yoshi, Sea Turtle Genius: A True Story About an Amazing Swimmer 

by Lynne Cox (Author), Richard Jones (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Anne Schwartz Books. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593425688.

Brief summary: A Loggerhead hatchling finds her way across the Australian beach when the moon is full. She swims for the first time in the Indian Ocean, encountering many marine and land animals and fish on her journey.

The turtle is tangled in a net until a fisherman rescues her and helps her return to good health. Unable to keep the turtle, the fisherman gives her to an aquarium, where she is released into the sea with a tracking device. People can watch where she swims in the ocean. Will she make it back to her home?

This is a true story with more information in the Author’s Note.

I kept reading to find out more about Yoshi and if she was going to be okay or not.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 📗📗📗📗

Cover of Poop for Breakfast with various animals around a kitchen table with pile of poop on a plate

Poop for Breakfast: Why Some Animals Eat It 

by Sara Levine (Author), Florence Weiser (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Millbrook Press ™. 2023. Grades 1-4. Hardcover Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1728457963.

Brief summary: Young readers will learn about why some animals eat feces. One can read a simple narrative or include a more correlating detailed description as the story continues teaching readers everything they need to know, including the correct terminology of why animals eat poop.

Well, I learned a lot from reading this book and recommend it to children and adults who desire to learn more about this topic, which was done in a very tasteful manner (excuse the pun).

The back sections include The Scoop on Poop, Be a Book Detective, By Any Other Name, and Further Reading.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 📗📗📗📗

Jumper: A Day in the Life of a Backyard Jumping Spider 

by Jessica Lanan (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Roaring Brook Press . 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250810366.

Brief summary:  As soon as I open the book, I meet the main character as big as bean, Jumper, a jumping spider. Jumper is hungry and goes hunting for food in the family’s backyard. She jumps without worry as her silk is a safety line. Vibrations help the spider know if a predator or prey is nearby. Will Jumper ever find dinner, or will she become dinner?

Excellent back sections with more details about his spider, with close-ups illustrated by hand. A few other spiders are discussed, along with the life cycle of a jumping spider. There is a Glossary, Author’s Note, Finding and Identifying Spiders, and Resources sections.

This book begins and ends on the paste-down end pages. There is a fold-out demonstrating how a spider sees with eight eyes.

This book asks readers questions to pause and reflect upon the spider’s life. Dialogic reading.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 5/5 📗📗📗📗📗

The Forest Keeper– The True Story of Jadav Payeng 

by Rina Singh (Author), Ishita Jain (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ NorthSouth Books. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover Narrative Nonfiction Biography Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0735845053.

Brief summary: Jadav Payeng, a tribal boy living in India, went to the elders in 1979 when the Brahmaputra River took large parts of the islands’ land mass away when it flooded. He wanted them to help him plant trees on an island called Majuli to help prevent the island from disappearing.

The forest department gave him bamboo seedlings and told him to plant the forest himself. So, he did. Has the past thirty years of his hard work helped the area and animals?

The front and end pages give more details about this passionate individual whose hard work and dedication completely changed Mujuli Island and the Molai Forest(named after him). It can take just one person to make a significant impact in a positive way.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 📗📗📗

Nobody Likes Frogs: A Book of Toadally Fun Facts 

by Barbara Davis-Pyles (Author), Liz Wong (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Little Bigfoot. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1632173355.

Brief summary: A turtle narrates how much it does not like frogs while learning all about them as the story progresses. Does the turtle have a change of heart? Will the reader?

The back sections are Frog Facts and Be Somebody Who Likes Frogs by Helping Them!. The pasted-down end pages are full of different types of frogs.

This is a general book about frogs. I learned that frogs can live as long as twenty years.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 📗📗📗

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