Story-telling has an important role to play in reading, both reading to children and encouraging them to read along, but non-fiction books are also great for readers of all ages. Not only do they encourage children to keep reading by involving something they have a keen interest in, they help to build vocabulary and develop new hobbies. Here are a few examples of non-fiction books that children love that you can easily find online or on the high street.
Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes. (Red Fox)
Cooking is undoubtedly a life skill and something that children can get involved with from an early age. This collection of child-friendly recipes is based on some of Dahl’s best loved stories and characters such as an Enormous Crocodile sandwich centre piece and the chocolate cake that Bruce Bogtrotter was forced to eat in front of the whole school in Matilda. Fun fact; Roald Dahl was a massive chocolate fan himself and kept a ball made out of old chocolate bar wrappers in his famous Writing Hut.
Horrible Histories (Scholastic)
The Horrible Histories books have been teaching children about world history in a fun and interesting way since 1993 and are still popular! From the Aztecs and Saxons to the Victorians and World Wars, there are plenty of books to choose from and they include all the funny and gory tidbits. Their creator, Terry Dreary, created them with an aim to amuse children whilst teaching them so their interest is instantly piqued.
8000 Things you Should Know (Miles Kelly)
This is definitely more of a reference book than one to sit and read cover to cover but it is great for homework and projects for an easier and more succinct way of doing research. It is divided into 800 subjects, each with a clear photo and 10 easy to learn facts. This and the other ‘8000 things’ books are also great if your child is really interested in facts and statistics.
Red Ted Art (Margarita Woodley)
Red Ted Art is a hugely popular blog full of creative ideas for parents and caregivers and the creator of it has now published a book of projects using a vast array of materials including egg cartons, stones and even peanut shells. It’s handy to have around for rainy day ideas and for children to pick their own DIY project to work on. The bright, glossy photos help to give extra guidance to the instructions.
The Marvel Encyclopedia (DK)
Got a comic book mad child? The Marvel Encyclopedia has everything they need to know about their favourite heroes and is full of graphics. This book teaches them everything they need to know about the Marvel universe and all the characters, even the very minor, obscure ones. Although it may not seem traditionally educational, it will keep them amused for hours.
So, next time you’re in a bookshop or browsing online, try a non-fiction book to keep kids reading and to teach everybody something new and interesting.