Take a look at your classroom or personal library. Chances are it is lacking in one big area- informational or nonfiction books. I’m making it easier for you to find the best nonfiction books for preschoolers today.
Researcher, Nell Duke, found that 96% of the information found on the internet is informational text and 85% of material read by most people is nonfiction.
BUT, think about the read-alouds you share with your preschoolers. I would wager that over 90% of what we read to students is fiction. We are lacking when it comes to sharing nonfiction informational books with our students. Let’s change that.
Best Nonfiction Books for Preschoolers
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It can be challenging to find great nonfiction for preschoolers that make good read-alouds. First, they aren’t always in the nonfiction section of the library. Second, many titles aren’t engaging or short enough for three, four, and five-year-olds.
But, this list will help you. I’m always seeking out the best books to share with you that will work for your needs. Plus, you can grab a printable book list below.
Books About Animals
Beware of the Crocodile by Martin Jenkins has awesome illustrations and lots of crocodile facts for young listeners.
Hello, I’m Here! by Helen Frost is filled with photographic details of the birth of a sandhill crane from the moment it pecks out of its shell. Also, check out Frost and Lieder’s book, Wake Up.
Are You a Bee?- Backyard Books Series by Judy Allen is super neat because it invites the kids into the book to pretend they are a bee. Children get to envision themselves living the life of a bee. Other books in the series include ant, ladybug, spider, and butterfly.
Prickly Hedgehogs by Jane McGuinness is an informational book packed with information about these cute little creatures. Travel through a day of a hedgehog and learn lots of interesting facts. Did you know that hedgehogs don’t exist in the wild in North America?
Wolf Pups Join the Pack shows children how wolf pups hunt, explore, and grow into grown wolves. Lots of photographs accompany lots of facts about these creatures. There is a little more text in this one making it a good pick for a read-aloud later in the school year.
What Do They Do With All That Poo?by Jane Kurtz will capture the interest of students because it’s all about poop. Yep, I said it- POOP. Kids will learn why poop comes in different shapes and sizes. And, what do zoos do with all the poo?
Birds Make Nests by Michael Garland is great for preschoolers because it’s short but very informative as we learn about all the different places birds build their nests. After reading it would be fun to go on a nest walk.
Young children love lifesized things especially when they can compare the things to part of their own bodies. That is just what they’ll do in Lifesize by Sophy Henn. Children will get to measure their handprint with the paw of a polar bear and see how long a toucan’s nose is compared to their own.
Steve Jenkins is an author/illustrator to know for nonfiction children’s books. He has lots of them. One of my favorites is What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? It explores how animals use their tales, noses, mouths, eyes, ears, feet, etc. to help them live. Children will have fun guessing which animal all those parts belong to.
Jenkins also illustrated Can An Aardvark Bark?by Melissa Stewart. You’ll see another Stewart book below. In this book, we explore how animals communicate. Kids will enjoy trying to sound like different animals.
Who knew that learning about hippos could be so fascinating. But, Hippos are Huge! by Jonathan London will captivate your group of preschoolers. It’s packed with interesting facts, danger, and huge everything.
Chomp: A Shark Romp by Michael Paul introduces us to the differences among sharks. For example, some prefer company and some would rather be solo. Some sharks like the whale shark are gentle and others like the bull shark can be fierce. Simple text and bright bold pictures make this a good introduction to sharks.
The Truth About Dolphins by Maxwell Eaton III is a fun look at about these marine animals. Reading all the text on the pages can be a little much for the preschool crowd, but it’s easy to pick and choose what to read based on the attention span of your audience. There are other books in the series including The Truth About Bears and The Truth About Elephants.
Octopuses One to Ten by Ellen Jackson works for preschoolers because you can skip or come back to the sidebar descriptions later in another reading of the book.
Books About Flowers, Plants, and Seeds
Bloom Boom! by April Pulley Sayre showcases beautiful photographs featuring all the amazing flowers in bloom. Check out Sayre’s other amazing books for young children including Thank You, Earth, Raindrops Roll, or Best in Snow.
For more amazing photography, check out A Seed is the Start by Melissa Stewart. The book starts underground and follows a seedling as it grows through stunning National Geographic quality photos. Plus, there is engaging text to match.
Seeds Move!by Robin Page is perfect for spring describing all the ways seeds are moved from here to there.
Go on a leaf walk in My Leaf Bookby Monica Wellington. Gather some leaves and then determine what tree they belong to in the book. Or, children can make their own leaf books.
Explore the seasons of the year with these other preschool book lists we have on Growing Book by Book.
Books to Help Preschoolers Learn About the World
Hey, Water! by Antoinette Portis takes a look at water in all its forms- liquid, solid, and gas with short text and very supportive illustrations. Back matter includes more information about water forms, the water cycle, and conserving water.
Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the Worldby Christy Hale is a must-have book. Christy Hale cleverly uses die-cut pages to visually show each type of land and water forms around the world. Did you know what an archipelago is? The back pages fold out to a map of the world where you can find each land or water form on the map.
Interactive books are gold when it comes to engaging preschoolers with text. Usborne Books & More has a series of books called Shine-A-Light in which you hold pages up to the light or a flashlight to reveal hidden images in the illustrations. Try Secrets of the Seashore and then move onto other favorites including Secrets of the Apple Tree, The Human Body, or The Secrets of the Rainforest. Titles are also available in Spanish.
Skyscraper by Jorey Hurley may seem like a very simple book with just a word on each page, but it punches a pack of vocabulary. Hurley also has Nest, Hop, Ribbit, and Every Color Soup.
Up! Up! Up! Skyscraper by Anastasia Suen pairs nicely with Skyscraper to learn about the building of those tall structures.
Dreaming UP by Christy Hale is a neat read aloud and then perfect for adding to your block area. Each page spread shows kids building with blocks and the opposite page has a picture of an architectural structure in the world.
Share the award-winning book, We Are Grateful by Traci Sorell, which shows how the Cherokee Nation appreciates each season.
Celebrate the World series is actually a board book series. Normally, I wouldn’t recommend a board book for a whole group read-aloud because the pages are too small for kids to see. But, the illustrations are so vivid in this series that it works. Plus, the text is really geared more towards preschoolers that toddlers. I’m really hoping they’ll publish this series as a picture book down the road. Start out with Dia de los Muertos and then check out Diwali, Ramadan, and Lunar New Year.
Ann Morris is another must know author for young children. Houses and Homes by Ann Morris is from the Around the World Series and features photographs of different homes around the world. Also, check out Hats Hats Hats and Bread Bread Bread.
Printable Book List of Nonfiction Books for Preschoolers
If you like this book lists, you’ll love the other book lists we share each month. Join our Growing Book by Book community for FREE and learn when new book lists are released as well as tips for getting your kids reading ready.
Then, grab your printable book list by clicking the green “Click Here to Get Your Free Printable” button below.
Enjoy bringing nonfiction into your library with these books.
If you enjoyed this book list for preschoolers, then you’ll want to check out these lists and resources too.
Books for Teaching Basic Concepts
Monthly Preschool Literacy Units
Thank you for this great list! Exactly the recommendations i was looking for! : )