I am a big advocate of having Non Fiction books readily available for children to read. They are great learning tools that often don’t make the reader feel like they are learning because they are having so much fun… yes, learning can be fun. These 4 books below are some of my favourite from this year so far and encourage children to think, create, gain knowledge, go on adventures and encourage the use of their imagination.
100 Scientists Who Made History
by Andrea Mills & Stella Caldwell Published by DK Books Date: 29 January 2018 R.R.P. $29.99
Do you have a budding scientist at your house? If you do they will be charmed by this magnificent book of scientists from around the world that have encouraged generations to become innovators and pioneers.
This book explores philosophers, biologists, chemists, physicists and innovators from as early as 342 bce through to our current day. This book celebrates both women and men in the scientific world, many I had not heard about before, but their stories are fascinating and gave me an appreciation of all that goes into the scientific field.
There are lots of little interesting parts in this book that make it a great resource, in particular at the bottom of some of the pages it has a section were it says, who came before and who came after a specific scientist. It gives you a bit of a timeline so you understand that scientists place in history and what else was being worked on at the time.
The book is colourful and the facts are split up into small sections so it doesn’t become too overwhelming to read. This is something that DK books do well, it allows for the struggling reader to read the books they would normally skip. There is a good ratio of picture to text, and the picture of the scientists are a little funny because of their half hand drawn illustration and the photographic head.
This book will give your child an understanding of the world around us and I recommend this for each classroom and home library.
Outdoor Maker Lab
By Robert Winston Published by DK Books 19 March 2018 R.R.P. $29.99
As we continue with the science theme, Outdoor Maker Lab is a book full experiments for the outdoors that will teach the reader about the natural world. What makes this book great is that it is also fun, the creator|author wants children to enjoy science as much as he did as a child and I believe he has achieved it.
The experiments in this book are innovative and smart, with projects such as: making periscopes while learning about bouncing light, making a wormery to create compost, and a spinning whirlpool which I remember making as a child.
Your young scientist will be thrilled by the photography in the book and the step-by-step instructions that have been written in detail. The explanations of how each experiment works gives detailed background information to read and the taking it further sections encourage the reader to think further about the experiment and where else it can be taken scientifically.
This must have book for your budding scientist uses everyday materials to create scientific projects. Its instructions are clear, the templates are provided at the rear of the book, and the layout on each page is familiar and easy to read. Overall, I recommend this book and its fun experiments.
What’s Weird On Earth
Published by DK Books Date: 26 February 2018 R.R.P. $29.99
Do you have children who love facts? What’s Weird on Earth is perfect for a child that loves poring over unique and strange facts. It’s full of fun maps that share with us the weirdest phenomena, curious people, history and places from across the world. With maps about Funky Fungi, Bizarre Buildings, and Wackiest World Sports, the reader will be engaged with information that is out of this world…literally.
Visually showing the facts on maps is a wonderful way to make the information easily understood, especially if your child is challenged by reading. The small pockets of information makes the digestion of it less daunting than paragraphs of reading, while still captivating the reader.
The children will particularly love topics such as Unusual Schools, which lists schools such as Australia’s school of the air, Elf school in Iceland, and a floating school in Nigeria that was destroyed in 2016. My favourite page is Island of the…which shares with us places in the world where animals have taken over, such as giant tortoises in Seychelles and puffins on Runde Island in Norway.
This book is a visual feast for curious minds for both children and adults alike. I found it a real learning experience and feel like I could continually learn from this book no matter how many times I were to pick it up.
Healthy Kids Cookbook
Published by DK Books Date: 27 November 2017 R.R.P. $24.99
You need to eat a balanced diet made up of a variety of different foods, so that you can grow, stay healthy, and have lots of energy for life.
Children can gain much confidence through cooking, so books like Healthy Kids Cookbook that take your child step-by-step through the recipes are great for them to have a go at cooking a meal or a snack. This book has recipes for breakfast and main meals, soups, salads, and light bites, sweet treats and bread, and party time. Such a lot of variety has been packed into this book, and while it concentrates on healthy food, the recipes are far from boring.
The author gives the reader a good understanding of what equipment they need, and how to do certain preparations, such as making breadcrumbs and dicing vegetables. The recipes are set out with cooking time, how many it serves, the equipment needed, ingredients and step-by-step instructions with pictures. Some of the recipes have a exclamation mark in a red triangle to remind the cook to take extra care when making this recipe.
This is one of the more comprehensive children’s cookbooks I have seen, and what makes it so is because the recipes are not only nutritious, but packed full of flavour. The recipes are’t limited to basic ingredients but challenges the child’s palate with olives, leek, sweet chilli and ginger.
I want to encourage all the parents and caregivers to cook with their children. It teaches them valuable life skills, gives them confidence, extends their reading and motor skills, and teaches them how to follow instructions. It is not simply just about the process of cooking – although your child probably won’t recognise that they are learning through the experience.
I recommend this for all young chefs and their parents.
Thanks to Penguin Books|DK Books for the opportunity to honestly read and review these books.