Juicy non-fiction books are like an Aladdin’s-lamp of magic, discovery and wonder;
fuel for curious minds.
Crack open one of these gems and be amazed at the astounding variety of people, places and things that emerge to tantalize you and your reading circle!
Everything & Everywhere: A Fact-Filled Adventure for Curious Globe-Trotters, written and illustrated by Marc Martin
originally published in Australia; U.S. edition 2018 by Chronicle Books
Exploding with curious tidbits of information, swimming in color, percolating with energy — that’s the feel of this enticing catalogue of cool places on Planet Earth.
Take an around-the-world tour beginning in Antarctica with fourteen more stops along the way. Martin has chosen an eclectic mix of cities from Reykjavik to Rio de Janeiro, and includes several wild or sparsely populated regions such as the Galapagos Islands and the Outback.
At each stop, Martin gives the boot to a staid, tour-book approach, portraying instead whatever strikes his fancy. Thus his pages reflect a more diverse, human, eccentric look at the bewildering variety of life, lifestyles, places, singularities we find across the globe. A real joy to browse, for ages 5 and up.
Sports are Fantastic Fun!, written and illustrated by Ole Könnecke
originally published in Germany in 2017; English edition by Gecko Press in 2018
So. Much. Enthusiasm!
And quirk, and warm humor, and idiosyncrasy dips, dives, swerves, slaloms, dribbles, and clambers through the pages of this off-beat catalogue of Sport.
From football to figure skating, pole vaulting to arm wrestling, these jovial, bustling animals introduce us to their favorite sporting activities. Light on text, the merry spot art and breezy, non-technical explanations whirl us along.
Each one of these pursuits is fun. Fantastic fun. And you’ll have great fun puttering your way through the volume with fun persons ages 4 and up.
National Parks of the U.S.A., written by Kate Siber, illustrated by Chris Turnham
published in 2018 by Wide Eyed Editions
A handsome survey of our grand treasures, the National Parks are presented here by Wide Eyed books, whose attention to aesthetics makes them the perfect folk to create this gem.
I mean — the book itself is lovely. Its hefty cover, creamy, thick pages, and pleasing typography, accent the artwork and subject matter.
Our nation is divided into seven regions, each of which begins with a map showing where the national parks lie in that area of the country. Following that, several of those parks are highlighted with double-page spreads describing some of the specific flora, fauna, and geological curiosities that make these places special and important.
Gorgeous, distinguished artwork in a palette of natural hues dominates these pages, with small bits of text succinctly describing outsized wonders. There is so much to glean and appreciate. I predict this will whet your appetites for adventuring to these glories as well as supporting and protecting them. A beauty for ages 6 through adult.
The People Awards, written by Lily Murray, illustrated by Ana Albero
published in 2018 by Lincoln Children’s Books
Highlighting the lives of 50 people who have changed the world, this is an upbeat celebration of humanity’s thinkers, dreamers, activists, inventors, peacemakers, artists.
There have been quite a few brilliant compendiums of distinguished women published recently, a welcome shake-up of the historically white-male canon. I do like that this book chooses instead a generous mixture of male and female persons from around the world and across time. I like the “we’re all in this together” approach.
From the ancient poet Sappho to current Kenyan long-distance runner Tegla Loroupe; from Korean kings to one of the world’s favorite authors, J.K. Rowling, the span and variety here is truly inspiring. Each one is given an award such as the Fossil Hunter award, the Bad-Tempered Musical Genius award, and the Never Give Up award.
Fascinating accounts of interesting people combined with attractive art and design work make this a superb choice for meandering through, finding people you’d like to know more thoroughly. Ages 8 and up.
City, by Ingela P. Arrhenius
published in 2018 by Candlewick Studio
Wow! I was so surprised when I went to fetch this book from my library. It’s ginormous!!
Let its suave, retro vibe sweep you right in as you and your little ones admire places and things found in the city.
Every eye-popping page sort of begs to be framed. Ingela Arrhenius is a Swedish children’s designer, and once you’ve seen her work, you will want to gobble up everything else she creates. Bold, graphic stylishness for ages 2 and up.