We can all remember our teachers, parents, or our school librarians reading picture books to us as we all sat captivated, waiting to see what was on the next page. And while most of these books were fiction, there are many captivating non-fiction picture books as well. Continue reading to discover amazing non-fiction picture books!
Nonfiction Picture Books for Preschool and Elementary Grades
1. National Geographic Look and Learn: Baby Animals
National Geographic has a wonderful series of board books, and this one does not disappoint! Children will delight in looking at and learning about these adorable baby animals and their moms.
2. Shapes All Around
Through vivid illustrations, children can learn about shapes and their relationship to the world around us--like the relationships of hexagons to beehives and triangles to mountains!
3. If Animals Kissed Good Night
This cute bedtime book explores how animals and their parents say good night to one another. Like a wolf howling, every animal would has its unique way to show one another they are loved.
4. My First Book of Planets: All About the Solar System for Kids
Written by a planetary scientist, this book is full of amazing real-life images of planets and our solar system. Get any kid interested in the world beyond our planet with this book! Check out Dr. Bruce Betts on Amazon for additional resources!
5. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site
Delight in this book for kids about all the different heavy equipment--from bulldozers to dump trucks--used on construction sites.
6. ABC for Me: What Can She Be? Girls can be anything they want to be, From A to Z
Equality for women doesn't start when they are adults--it starts by planting the seed in young girls' minds that they can be anything they want, and there is no better place to start this journey than in this picture book about all of the different occupations women can take part in.
7. All About Weather: A First Weather Book for Kids
This engaging book with colorful illustrations introduces children to all different types of weather--from sunshine to snowstorms--and encourages them to explore the world around them.
8. It's OK to be Different: A Children's Picture Book About Diversity and Kindness
Children need to learn that our differences are what makes us all special, and this book does just that by discussing the ways in which we are all different and celebrating these differences.
9. Let's Build a Farm: A Construction Book for Kids
What better way to introduce the topics of engineering and construction to young children than through building a farm! This book details all of the steps needed to have a farm, from building a barn to plowing fields.
10. This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer
From American woman Rosa Parks to French-born Coco Chanel, this book celebrates women who made a positive change in the world.
11. Actual Size
How big is the world's biggest spider? Which animal has a tongue that's two feet long? Learn these neat facts and more in this cool book!
12. Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles
Children can learn all about how Joan Procter's love of reptiles led to her having a career as a curator of reptiles and eventually designing the Reptile House at the London Zoo!
13. Fauja Singh Keeps Going: The True Story of the Oldest Person to Ever Run a Marathon
Most of us cannot imagine running a marathon in our prime, let alone our later years. Students will delight in this story of the oldest man to complete a marathon when he was over 100 years old!
14. Go for the Moon: A Rocket, a Boy, and the First Moon Landing
Take children through every step of the moon landing, from designing the spacecraft to stepping foot onto the moon's surface!
15. Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist
Eugenie Clark became known as the "Shark Lady" after earning multiple degrees and teaching people that sharks should be admired, not feared. Read this teacher's pick to your children!
16. The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons
What child doesn't love crayons? Learn all about the Crayon Man, Edwin Binney, and his journey to creating the Crayola crayon.
17. Skulls! by Blair Thornburgh, illustrated
Skulls are often depicted as things to be feared, but in this delightfully illustrated picture book, students will learn about how cool these crucial parts of our bodies really are!
18. The Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball
This picture book biography tells the story of Elgin Baylor, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, who was often discriminated against off the court and thereby became a champion for civil rights. The bravery and determination of his one-man protest caught the attention of the world.
19. RESPECT: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul
Another of the most well-known African Americans of our time, Aretha Franklin touched the hearts and lives of many through both her music and her fight for civil rights. The amazing illustrations within this book are an artistic inspiration for any young budding artist!
20. It Began With a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way
Telling true stories to children of individuals who persevered, regardless of obstacles they faced, is not only important--it is crucial to their successes later in life. And nowhere better can you find a story of triumph than in this story of illustrator Gyo Fujikawa, a woman who fought for racial diversity in children's books.
21. Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
This is the fascinating story of four black women who worked at NASA as "human computers" during the Space Race. This is an important book to read when discussing equality for women with children.
22. A Picture Book of George Washington Carver (Picture Book Biography)
This is the first picture book biography of George Washington Carver. It is written as a narrative from George's perspective and highlights his childhood, his later life at Tuskegee, Alabama, and his achievements through the years.
23. What Do You Do With a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan
Among many powerful biographical nonfiction picture books comes the story of Barbara Jordan--a girl born into poverty in rural Texas who not only conquered law school--she became a part of the United States Congress.
24. I'm Trying to Love Spiders
It can sometimes be hard to get kids interested in nonfiction books, but that is not so of Bethany Barton's cute, entertaining books about the world around us. This endearing book about our eight-legged friends--spiders--will have children looking at these interesting creatures in a different, less scary, light.
25. Dinosaur Encyclopedia for Kids: The Big Book of Prehistoric Creature
Learn about 90 different types of dinosaurs in this wonderfully illustrated book that teaches all about these prehistoric creatures!
26. Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free: The True Story of the Grandmother of Juneteenth
Teach your children the values of determination, perseverance, kindness, and bravery as they learn about the real history of Juneteenth in this important nonfiction picture book.
27. 5-Minute Really True Stories for Bedtime: 30 Amazing Stories: Featuring frozen frogs, King Tut’s beds, the world's biggest sleepover, the phases of the moon, and more
From stories about King Tut's tomb to grizzly bears hibernating, this interesting nonfiction picture book will capture any child's attention.
Nonfiction Picture Books for Middle School and Higher
28. Jars of Hope: How One Woman Helped Save 2,500 Children During the Holocaust (Encounter: Narrative Nonfiction Picture Books)
Irena Sendler was a brave woman who saved many children from the Warsaw ghetto during the Holocaust. Teach your child about this amazing hero!
29. Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions & How They Came to Be
Teach children about things that were invented by accident--from x-rays to sandwiches and everything in between!
30. The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A. with 50 fact-filled maps!
In this book full of wonderful illustrations, children can learn fun facts about every state, like where to find ghost towns to which state has the best bacon donuts!
31. World History for Kids: 500 Facts! (History Facts for Kids)
Non-fiction books about history can sometimes be boring, but not this one! Children will learn 500 interesting facts from all over the world, starting in ancient Mesopotamia and ending in the modern-day!
32. LeBron James: The Children's Book: The Boy Who Became King
Students will delight in this story that follows the life of LeBron James and how he came "king of basketball" despite humble beginnings.
33. Frida Kahlo: The Artist in the Blue House
Through beautiful reproductions of Kahlo's artwork, children will learn about the life of Frida Kahlo, important relationships within her life, and her passion for art.
34. History Smashers: Plagues and Pandemics
This picture book about plagues covers everything from the bubonic plague to COVID-19, all while busting myths and giving facts!
35. Superpuppy: How to Choose, Raise, and Train the Best Possible Dog for You (How to Choose, Raise, and Train the Best Possible Dog for You)
Teach children how to train your new puppy with these book-filled ways to relate to your dog based on its personality!
36. A Bowl Full of Peace: A True Story
After the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, the only thing left intact of Sachiko Yasui's home was a green leaf-shaped bowl. Readers will learn about surviving the bombing and finding peace in this touching story.
37. Discovering Nature's Laws: A Story About Isaac Newton
Controversy oftentimes surrounded Isaac Newton, as even though he made brilliant discoveries that forever changed the scientific community, he never felt the need to publish his findings. Read this interesting biography picture book to learn all about his life and discoveries.
38. Hedy's Journey: The True Story of a Hungarian Girl Fleeing the Holocaust
Follow 16-year old Hedy as she travels across Europe on her own, hoping to make it to the United States.
All children will be brought into the world of riding on the transcontinental railroad in this beautifully illustrated book.
40. Survivors of the Holocaust: True Stories of Six Extraordinary Children
Through haunting illustrations, students will learn the accounts of what six children went through during the Holocaust. This touching book also includes pictures and recent updates about the individuals included.
In this graphic memoir, young readers will learn the story of Sophia, an American who doesn't feel like an American because she has lived in so many countries. When she learns her parents are working for the CIA, her whole world turns upside down.
Another graphic memoir is the touching story of a young Jewish Hispanic boy while he tries to lose weight and focus on his health, all with the help of his imaginary friend.
43. The Wall: Growing Up behind the Iron Curtain
This teachers' pick follows the life of a young man growing up in Communist Russia who has won many, many awards.
44. Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, killing one thousand eight hundred and thirty-three people. Read this riveting graphic novel to learn even more facts about Hurricane Katrina.
45. The Dumbest Idea Ever
This graphic memoir follows Jimmy through middle school as he struggles with missing school because he is very sick. But this unexpected time at home leads him to think of the dumbest idea ever, which turns out to be the best thing that's ever happened to him!
46. Red Cloud: A Lakota Story of War and Surrender
Told from the point of view of Red Cloud, a powerful Lakota leader, young readers will learn many things, including how his people were the only ones to ever win a battle against American soldiers on American land and how he eventually surrendered to the white man.
47. Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday and the Power of a Protest Song
Along with Abel Meeropol, the son of Jewish immigrants, Billie Holiday creates a powerful song about injustice. Read this to find how this story helped paved the way for the Civil Rights movement.
48. The Tapir Scientist: Saving South America's Largest Mammal
Join scientists as they search Brazil for the ever-elusive tapir!
49. Grand Canyon
Learn how the terrain of the Grand Canyon changed over hundreds, even millions of years, in this beautifully illustrated picture book.
50. Evicted! The Struggle for the Right to Vote
Learn about the events that led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 through poignant stories from black families who were forced to live in tents and were shunned by the white community in Tennessee.
51. For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai's Story
Learn how one brave girl forever changed the world in her fight for the right to an education.
52. They Called Us Enemy
Follow beloved George Takei as he details his experiences of living in internment camps as a boy.
53. In the Shadow of the Fallen Towers
Through individual stories of people who lived through the 9/11 attacks, this nonfiction picture book shows the way in which this tragic event shaped our country.