Non Fiction Books For Preschoolers

Part of learning to read is learning all about why we read. For pleasure, for directions, and for information. Most young children use the words story and book synonymously by introducing them to non fiction books you are opening their minds up to another use for books and print. So next time you are at the library checking out books if you don’t already know where the non fiction books are find out and grab a few . These are some of our favorites.

A Picture Book of Helen Keller (Picture Book Biography) by David  A. Adler tells the story of this great heroine in a simple way without loosing the magnificence of her life.  From her illness as a young toddler, to meeting her “miracle worker” Anne Sullivan and earning the first degree ever awarded to any deaf and blind person all of the amazing things that Helen Keller accomplished are covered. The author doesn’t sanctify Helen though , they talk openly about her tantrums as a child and her naughty behavior.  My son sat for this whole book, it opened up a bedtime talk about blindness to which we turned off the light and experienced a little ourselves. I am hoing reading this book will open more doors of empathy for my son, to recognize that we are all different with different abilities but are all capable of great things.

Imagine You’re a Knight! by Meg Clibbon is a fantastic book for children interested in what being a knight is all about. There are so many great details and answers given that I am eager to read more in tis series. My son loves this book and not just because it answers his many questions about knights but also because it’s the type of book that you can open and close as time permits , reading a little or a lot and still enjoying it. I like the humor and illustrations by Lucy Clibbon. It’s a great choice for 4 and older. 3 year olds might find it to be too much.

Delivering Your Mail by Ann Owen is a simple book about being a mail carrier. The text is to the point and perfect for toddlers and young preschoolers learning about mail carriers for the first time. It focuses on not just what the mail carriers do but how it impacts the reader, which is paramount for young children who see the world through their perspective only. Cute beginner book!


Little Shark by Anne Rockwell is another accessible non fiction book from one of our favorite authors. We follow a shark from birth until it’s full grown in this book filled with fascinating shark facts. I like that it reads like a story because it sucks the reader in instead of just spouting off cold facts about these cool and scary ( to me) animals. I loved that my son was rather shocked that sharks don’t stay with their moms or their many siblings, and are instead solitary. I loved how it explained a little bit about the food chain in the ocean and how we get oxygen from air but fish get it from the water. Add this one to your shelf!

Baby on the Way by William Sears MD, Martha Sears RN and Christie Watts Kelly  has been the very best baby book we’ve found. It explains much of pregnancy from nausea, to aching feet and even nesting. It also describes labor in a really kid friendly non intimidating way. I love that it explains that in mommy’s belly is a baby holder called a uterus. My son has been asking me how my uterus is since reading this daily for the past week. Explaining contractions, that others will likely be taking care of them for a little while and what mommy is doing when she is not with you is all really useful. It also goes on to explain what babies will do , like nursing, crying and what that funny crinkled thing is on it’s belly!  The book also offers many many resources for expectant parents.

Trash And Recycling by Stephanie Turnball is a great book ! I learned more about garbage and the recycling process reading this to my son over lunch than I ever knew! He loved it and despite being a pretty sophisticated book for a 3 year old immediately asked to read it again as soon as I closed it. It explains the whole process from curbside pick up, land fills, incineration and recycling. The idea for today’s activity came from the sorting of  recyclable garbage from this book!

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  1. says

    I loved Baby on the Way. I liked that they showed the mom nursing and used the proper body terms. My daughter also likes to talk about my uterus. I will look for the shark book, I like when there is a story, makes the facts more fun. Thanks for the ideas!

  2. says

    I love the book ideas. Thanks so much! I recently attended a reading workshop for kids 0-5 and they were saying that parents/teachers should be reading 9 nonfiction books to every 1 fiction/story book. It has been a real challenge for me, but I’ve already seen the benefit in my child’s vocabulary. Thanks for sharing.

    • admin says

      Really? Wow i have never heard that. My degree in education is focused on reading and one thing that we studied was the effects of children being exposed to print in various forms ( menus, recipes, instructions for board games, signs…) and how children who are in a print rich environment develop all the skills that lead up to reading ( fluency) with fewer challenges. It does make sense that vocabulary would benefit from more non fiction as well as for readers who are decoding words to get good practice with non fiction since more unfamiliar words would probably be included.

      Thanks – I am going to look into that . Where was this workshop?

  3. Helen says

    I’m curious about the trash and recycling book. How country specific would you say it is? Do you think its suitable for other countries? ie, terminology and processing. I assume the basic procedures are the same but just wondering what you thought.
    Also, have you happened to stumble apon a good non-fiction book about how the telephone works?

    • admin says

      I need to look it up but I know there is a great non fiction book about sound that goes into explaining the telephone too.

      But as far as your first question – the book is great for North America ( as a Canadian I read the book saying garbage instead of trash even though my kid is growing up in the states, I can’t stand the word trash)… but I am not sure if it would be useful in Australia but I am not sure how different the disposal process is. It talks about recycling ( paper, glass, metal), as well as incinerators, water treatment , and dumps that get turned into new green space. Does that help?

  4. says

    I just checked out about 10 books to read to my 7 month old at the library – we’re definitely hoping she’ll grow up with a love reading!

    Always happy to add great books to the list of ones I want to collect for her – thanks for the resource! 🙂

  5. says

    A book about Helen Keller! Yes! Thanks for that. We’ve been talking about her (because we were talking about Alabama). We watched the Disney movie about her on YouTube (the whole thing in 5 minute increments!), and a book would be terrific. I’m going to see if our library has that one.


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