Don’t Forget About the Lions, Tigers and Bears (Oh My!)

Non-fiction Books

image credit: Becky Bibbs

You go to the library and your children are drawn to Dora the Explorer and Disney classics. But don’t forget about the wonderful world of non-fiction! I encourage my girls to choose non-fiction books each week. I think about animals they love, or activities they enjoy like riding a bike or baking a cake. We find a book to take home that teaches the skill or describes the animal. There are certain features of non-fiction books that even young toddlers and preschoolers can learn; I’ve listed them below. I also created a basic list of some non-fiction books to check out for different age levels. The Scholastic Reading Club is a wonderful place to order high quality non-fiction books at a low cost.

Important features to discuss when you and your child are reading non-fiction text:

  • The Table of Contents
  • Headings
  • Sub-headings
  • Photographs (what’s the difference between photographs and illustrations?)
  • Captions
  • Index
  • Types of print (bold, italic, highlighted)
  • Maps
  • Diagrams
  • Graphs

Non-fiction reading ideas by age range:

Toddlers: The National Geographic Look & Learn Series

Preschoolers: National Geographic Little Kids Magazine

Grades K–2: Books published by Usborne are great for children of this age. They’re also available directly through Amazon.

Grades 3–5: Non-fiction can be broken down into a few different categories for this age level: literary non-fiction, reference and informative fiction. Try the What Was…? series for this grade level.

— Maria Dismondy, mother of two, reading specialist, fitness instructor and bestselling children’s author living in Southeast Michigan

1 Response to “Don’t Forget About the Lions, Tigers and Bears (Oh My!)”


  1. 1 Anonymous April 24, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Thanks for the great reminder, Maria! Especially appreciate your “important features to discuss” and the non-fiction reading ideas. 🙂


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