With the recent 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, here are some books on that subject, as well as other remarkable non-fiction books that kids of all ages can learn from and enjoy.
882 1/2 Amazing Answers to your Questions About the Titanic, by Hugh Brewster and Laurie Coulter, answers many questions concerning the building, launching and ultimately sinking of this largest ship of its day. The layout is most interesting with pictures, drawings, actual photographs, graphs and statistics found throughout, along with a kid friendly text that has just enough information to draw the reader in. This 96 page picture-book sized book takes you through many of the events, and the back of the book concludes with the aftermath – what happened to some of the survivors, exploration of the wreck and a glossary.
Titanic: Disaster at Sea, by Martin Jenkins, and illustrated by Brian Sanders, is a shorter and more condensed book with just 31 pages and is written with a documentary flair. The presentation of this book has more information with each example or illustration even though there are fewer pages. The timeline of the final events of the sinking is especially interesting and most dramatic.
Titanic: Voices From the Disaster, by Deborah Hopkinson, reads like a novel as you follow the memories and writings of some of the survivors. The “voices” include crew members as well as passengers, from children to stewards. There are black and white photos, and documents are sprinkled throughout, as you become involved in the stories of these people and the tragedy that awaited them. The book is well written and designed, and will surely entice and involve even the reluctant reader! There is also statistical information found at the back of the book.
Extreme Weather, by Margaret Hynes, is part of an outstanding new "Navigators" series published by Kingfisher. Every page in this extraordinary book is filled with kid friendly information, incredible photos and colorful drawings illustrating the fascinating variety of weather that we experience. This book could just be the beginning of a future meteorologist.
Planet Earth (Explorers Series), by Daniel Gilpin, is wonderfully illustrated with bright photos and drawings that fill the pages, along with kid-friendly information that will surely draw readers into the entire 31 pages. Some of the eight sections include Earth and its position in space, volcanic eruptions, deep into the sea and rainforests.
Planet Earth (Discover Science Series), by Deborah Chancellor, is another excellent book rich with color and information kids will glean and learn. There are also fun projects to make, like a volcano and a windmill, found at the back of the book.
The Elements (Scholastic Discover More Series), by Dan Green, answers the question of what an element is with the simplicity of extracting the definitions with amazing illustrations. The vivid drawings and photos bring what could be boring elements to life by making them very interesting. The book is divided into five sections beginning with meeting the elements and moving on to the main metals and gases and ending with the history of how the elements were discovered. Every concept discussed on the double-pages helps create a brilliant image. This book could invite a new scientist in your family!
My Body (Scholastic Discover More Series), by Andrea Pinnington, and designed by Penny Lamprell, has an inviting lay-out that invites kids to learn about the internal workings of their bodies. The pages are thicker card stock, the font is large and the illustrations are bright, making this book an invitation to all who open it. The glossary found at the back is also easy to grasp.
Human Body: A Book with Guts!, created by Basher, and written by Dan Green, covers the basic parts of the human body from cells to blood to bones and muscles. This smallish sized book is easy to flip through and read sections of interest as each subject is written about on one side of the open-page spread and the other side has the illustration. There is a poster of the circulatory system found at the back of the book. This is part of a series of scientific books which includes biology and planet earth.
Everything You Need to Know: An Encyclopedia for Inquiring Young Minds, published by Kingfisher, is quite a thick book (with over 300 pages) but each category is easy to grasp and is brightly illustrated. The sections span from history, science and living organisms. It's also an easy reference book to help children locate subjects of interest.
8 Spinning Planets, by Brian James, and uniquely illustrated by Russell Benfanti, has the eight planets protruding out from the board pages with die-cut holes showcasing where they fit in our solar system. (I must admit, however, I still miss Pluto – as the now defunct 9th planet.)
Stars and Planets, by Carole Stott, and Planets, by Penelope Arlon and Tory Gordon-Harris, will give the reader a much more in-depth look at space, travel, the planetary system and the many moons near some of the planets.