Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
This book intends to make more children interested in science. It focuses on Ada, a curious but silent child. Upon her third birthday, after not speaking one word ever in her life, Ada suddenly begins asking many advanced, science-focused questions. Her silence these past three years was simply the mark of a curious child soaking in her surroundings. The rest of the story, which includes a lot of rhyming, talks about her first big experiment. She notices a horrible smell that inspires a scientific search for the source. (I had a solid guess about the smell’s source, but it was sadly never confirmed.) What ensues is a crazy search, but it definitely serves a purpose. After reading Ada Twist, Scientist any child will have a new or renewed interest in the scientific process.
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
My sister loved this book when she was younger. Despite her constant chatter about the book, I never read it. (Until now.) Although the plot was too convenient for me in some parts, I recognize the appeal of this book to younger children. It is not a nonfiction book, but it has the feeling of a nonfiction book. The illustrations are realistic. The story includes facts about lifestyle and eating habits for both bats and birds. Cannon demonstrates a creative way of integrating nonfiction details about animals in a fictional setting. The inclusion of facts also sets up for some great compare and contrast story elements. Stellaluna manages to be a sweet, thoughtful story that engages its young audience while also providing a foundation for a variety of reading skills.
You Wouldn’t Want to Live Without Math! by Anne Rooney
This one isn’t really a picture book, but it has lots illustrations, and is intended for elementary aged children. There are a lot of books in this nonfiction series. The older ones are about significant moments in history. (You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Roman Gladiator! was one of my favorites growing up.) Most of the books published today are about different things you wouldn’t want to live without. The books have silly illustrations and integrate subtle jokes while also giving a lot of factual information. Even with different writers and authors, the books remain consistent. This particular You Wouldn’t Want To title focuses on math, and would be an excellent pick for any child who tries to convince themselves math is pointless. The only downside is that this book describes mathematical processes like whoever is reading knows nothing about math…yet anyone who would need that basic explanation likely wouldn’t be at the reading level required for comprehending this book.