Navigating Non-Fiction #5

Looking for some fun books to learn exciting new things in with the children this summer or keen to get a head start on creating your non-fiction list for the school library before returning to work, whatever your reason this is the fifth instalment of #NavigatingNonFiction which gives you worthy titles for each. Fun and Factual – these books each have a brilliant balance between the two and feature amazing illustrations and photographs that will definitely get the children engaged in their learning of the books subject.

The Ultimate Book Of Planet Earth

This non-fiction title all about planet earth features so many tabs to pull, flaps to lift and interactive parts that ensure it is hugely interesting for young readers and older alike. A great book to share at home, use in school for research and for reference and just for fun reading too. This book is extremely informative and fun in equal portions and a great for learning interesting and fun facts about planet earth.

There are sections to learn about the earths core – showing how it relates to the continents, volcanoes, mountains and oceans, volcanoes – with a pop up volcano in all its glory, complete with eruption! and an entire section on the water cycle and sky, clouds and weather and so many more topics on planet earth included too. The pop ups in this book are phenomenal and will undoubtedly entertain children for hours with the attention to detail given to each, the pull tabs are especially good fun and all the tabs with hidden information and pictures are the perfect finishing touch.

Published by Abrams and Chronicle on 27th August 2019, priced at £15.99 (HB)

Monster Maths – Shapes

This KS1 level non-fiction book on shapes has facts for each shape and helps younger readers to recognise them in every day places too. Vibrant pictures help to visualise the shapes and know how to find each shape in whatever you are surround by albeit trees, windows, sandwiches or a balloon. The combination of fact and fun with a relatable feel makes this a winner when looking for early level books on shapes to teach young children. Part of a fantastic series ‘Monster Maths’ which also features Measuring, Counting and Patterns making this a fantastic series to invest in for the school library or at home learning.

Published by BookLife priced at £12.99 – more information can be found here.

Sick and Poo – Animals eat what?!

A surprisingly interesting book to read given the title! this book is full of interesting facts on animals that eat their own poo – or indeed that of others, and why they do it and you will be shocked by what you learn too. Granted we all think of dung beetles in this situation but to read that Panda cubs eat that of their mothers is quite the revelation. The book tells of animals that throw poo as a means to communicate too which is an interesting concept for discussion and all of this first section of the book is worthy debate material with young readers who will no doubt have strong opinions on what they learn. The book moves on to teaching the reader about animals that have benefits for their sick albeit the way that mother birds feed their chicks for example. Very interesting to read that bee’s are sick as part of the honey making process. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book for review and cannot wait to share it with children in school who will be equally interested in what this book has to offer.

Published by BookLife priced at £12.99 – more information can be found here.

World War II

Hugely informative, interestingly designed and featuring photographs, artifacts and original WW2 documents from The National Archives this book has every thing you need to engage in learning about World War II. With high resolution images of actual WW2 paraphernalia on every page that really draw you in and give you a snapshot insight into the topic the page is covering which gives you information and facts at a glance. There is everything from allied forces, treaties, the impact the war had on children, codebreakers, spies, dictators, significant attacks within the war itself such as Pearl Harbor and the consequences these attacks had on the war overall and so many more related topics inside this book.

This would be a perfect addition to a World War II topic box or section in the school library, especially as this is a topic that continues to be significant and with the quality and authenticity of the contents you can rest assured that this book will engage and educate the reader whilst maintaining a suitable level of sensitivity to the subject and the intended audience – which I would advise be KS2 onwards.

Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books priced at £8.99 – more information can be found here.

Where Once We Stood

This book hosts a collection of six stories of the Apollo Astronauts who walked on the Moon from the legendary Neil Armstrong and the Apollo 11 crew through to Gene Cernan and the Apollo 17 crew. Each story features a phenomenal level of detail to the specified moon landing including conversations as they took place and relevant thoughts and feelings from those present which gives such an amazing insight into these exceptional journeys and the significance of them not only to the world but to those that were sent there. There are regrets, damaged spacecraft, arguments and so much more documented in this fascinating book which balances the science with a relatable feel so that you can really imagine each story unfolding and gain a new admiration and appreciation for what each of the astronauts travelling to the moon endured and experienced, and there is even some poetry that is hugely relevant too – it isn’t difficult to understand why the memories these astronauts have of their extra terrestrial experiences are so valuable.

The book is complimented beautifully by the iconic and breath-taking watercolour works adorning each page created by Martin Impey which have been credited by the astronauts themselves as capturing the true essence of their lunar experiences, and there is no better accreditation then that and nor should they be as they truly capture the eerie, lonely, exhilarating, emotional, human accomplishment that is landing on the moon.

Published by Harbour Moon Publishing priced at £19.99 – more information can be found here.

The Nasty Past – War

From remains and artefacts that depict often gruesome fights, battles and wars to details of specific battles such as the battle of Hastings this book is full of interesting and engaging information and images to help readers learn about the origins of battles and what is involved. There is reference to so many interesting and relevant battles and wars in our history which include both world wars and the French revolution and there are also those that may be less notorious such as the great emu war. There are fantastic high resolution images to accompany the information on each page and the information is more of an overview of the battle/war being portrayed which gives readers a bitesize amount of text to take in, and with facts dotted around too you can guarantee young readers won’t feel overwhelmed and will be more likely to read, research and enjoy the information. There is even the chance to discover what happened to the skeletal remains at the start of the book as you read and learn about each battle and work out which battle/war the person died in based on the facts which is a great way of immersing the reader into the book. Brilliant addition to topic boxes that would include WW1 and WW2, and an awesome addition to the school library for those inquisitive readers that enjoy history.

Published by BookLife priced at £12.99. More information can be found here.

Manhattan – Mapping the story of an Island

An extremely interesting insight into the history of Manhattan from its very beginnings, this book will teach you everything there is to know about Manhattans history, like how the first people to call this place their home named it Mannahatta and how it came to be known as New York. You will learn how central park was never in the original city plans but how it came to be the much cherished meeting place for so many today even though it saw homes and churches tore down to make room for it. Reading about the grid system that explains why 5th avenue and 72nd street have their names is inciteful and engaging. The beautiful, highly detailed illustrations of maps and scenes from the different periods of Manhattans history really capture your imagination as the reader and give you such an amazing timeline of how a once natural island has become the bustling city it is today.

Published by Abrams and Chronicle Books priced at £14.99. More information can be found here.

Building a Roman Fort

This book features bitesize chunks of information on the romans and the specific parts to a roman fort such as the walls, watch towers, gates, perimeter and more. The rooms and designated areas within a fort are explained, and this is all at a KS1 level of learning and understanding making this perfect for a ks1 roman topic box. The illustrations help to define each section of a fort that are mentioned within the book which will help ensure children can visualise a finished fort. The glossary at the end of the book lists all the key terms used throughout the pages and will help readers to recall them. This is a fun book to learn roman strategies for defending themselves.

Published by BookLife priced at £12.99. More information can be found here.

This selection of books are worthy of school libraries and topic boxes and I hope shortlisting them has helped you to select those that are relevant to your needs. By giving a glance into the books so that you see the illustrations and images I hope it further guides you as it does me when I can see the quality of the content within. I have shared links to each book at the end of their review so that you can easily find where to purchase them, should you want too.

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