Best Children’s Non-Fiction Books of 2018 November 30, 2018 – Posted in: Book News

November is the National Non-Fiction Month, which prompted us to go through our shelves to find the truly outstanding information books currently available. The haul was so big, we needed a separate blog post just for them. So here they are, the best non-fiction books published this year!

So You Think You’ve Got It Bad? (A Kid’s Life in Ancient Egypt)

An interesting read for everyone interested in all things Ancient Egypt, and a perfect present for any child who’s ever complained about his life being unfair. In this book, you can find out how difficult a kid’s life was in ancient times – from being bopped on the head with a stick, cleaning dung, to the possibility of being eaten by a crocodile. It’s not just horrible things you can learn from it, though – the book is filled with all kinds of fascinating and funny facts! 6+

Plantopedia

The subtitle of this book reads: A Celebration of Nature’s Greatest Show-Offs, and it truly is just that! In this book, the reader can find more than 600 different plants, ranging from the beautiful all the way to the bizarre. Meet the ‘evergreens’, the ‘edibles’ and the ‘elderly’ plants that have outlived the dinosaurs in this alphabetically-ordered encyclopedia. 5+

Survival

Humans have left their mark in every part of our planet – and many animal species have paid the price for it. This stunning book of powerful animal portraits introduces us to 20 endangered animals and their fight for survival. A great way to inspire children to join the movement to conserve species, before it’s too late! 6+

Sportopedia

Finally a big book about all kinds of sports! Divided into sections, such as ball sports and water sports, it gives detailed explanations on all kinds of different sports and is sure to be interesting even to the kids who otherwise don’t want to pick up a book. After all, the next best thing after playing football is reading about football. 7+

The Big Book of the Blue

Does a swordfish have a sword? Is a jellyfish made of jelly? Why do dolphins jump out of the sea? Answers to these questions and many more are found in this book. It is packed with interesting facts about the sea and the animals that inhabit it, and the illustrations are beautiful and entertaining. A perfect first book of the ocean to share with young readers. 5+

50 Wacky Things Humans Do

This book describes 50 weird things about the human body – it explains why we can’t tickle ourselves, how some people gain super-strength in times of danger, that we shrink throughout the day (and then get restored to our usual height at night – it’s magic!) and many more phenomena that we usually don’t even think about. 7+

How Does a Lighthouse Work?

Filled with interesting facts and amazing illustrations, this book explains all  you ever wanted to know about lighthouses – what they are for, how they look from the inside and how strong their light is. Also explained is the history of these building as well as the role of the lighthouse keeper, with descriptions of some famous lighthouses from around the world as an added bonus. 7+

How to Help a Hedgehog and Protect a Polar Bear

Explore thirteen different habitats – gardens, hedgerows, heathlands, woodlands, highlands, the coastline, freshwater, oceans, savannahs, jungles and mountains – and find out more about animals that inhabit each of them. You can also learn about simple ways to protect them, whether you’re trying to help hedgehogs in your garden or spread word about endangered species far away. 6+

Ancient Warriors

This gorgeous book describes the most famous and fearsome armies of ancient times. Some were wielding axes from their longships, others were shooting arrows from their horses, while yet another army used elephants as their secret weapon. All these and many more are inside this great book, which also includes descriptions of different weapons and armour. 7+

The Great Big Book of Friends

Every child (and adult) sometimes struggles to make friends and wonders who their real friends are. This book is here to help with problems like these by exploring all kinds of different friendships, from best friends to groups of friends and even imaginary friends. Perfect to use at home or in the classroom. 5+

The Buildings That Made London

Take a journey through the streets of London and find out all about the iconic buildings that make this city special. Vibrant artwork brings places like St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham House (and, later, Palace) and the Natural History Museum to life. Also included are many interesting, lesser known facts about the buildings and their architects. 8+

Young Heroes

In recent years we saw many books about famous people from all walks of life. This title is a bit different – it introduces the reader to more than 100 extraordinary children from around the world, featuring everyone from pop stars to sporting legends, environmental activists to artists. A special book showing children that you don’t have to be a grown-up to make an impact! 9+

The Book of Trees

Starting with roots, seeds and leaves, moving on to animals that live below and in the branches, exploring different things that are made of wood, and finishing with family trees and tree monsters, this gorgeously illustrated book is any tree lover’s dream. 8+

Everest

If you ever wanted to find out more about the world’s highest mountain, this is the book for you. Learn about Mount Everest’s flora and fauna, the Sherpa people who live in the mountain passes, and the glaciers in the remote parts of the Himalayas. Read about the climbers who attempted to reach its peak, the challenges they face along the way, and about Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, the first climbers to make it to the top. 8+

The Skies Above My Eyes

This book begins high up beyond our Solar System, exploring different galaxies, comets and meteors. As you slowly unfold the book you travel down past our Sun and its planets, see the moon and the astronauts, then continue towards our atmosphere where you go past planes and helicopters as well as different kinds of birds. On your way down you go past the highest mountains and tallest skyscrapers and you eventually land on the ground. A true visual feast. 8+

Illuminatlas

See 3 images in 1 in this engaging book, where you will discover our world – it’s geography, nature and cultural highlights. Each spread is filled with multicoloured illustrations, but you won’t be able to see anything with the naked eye. Only when you use the (included) coloured magic viewing lens will the pictures reveal themselves. A one-of-a-kind book that takes you on a voyage of discovery. 9+

The Book of Comparisons

Did you know that one cloud could weigh as much as 83 elephants? Or that the world’s longest leaves can grow up to 3 meters wide and 25.11 meters long? And that the top speed of a tsunami is as fast as that of a jet fighter? A book of jaw-dropping statistics that most children love. Hundreds of astounding facts and amazing comparisons will change the way you see our world forever. 8+

My Mixed Emotions

This book helps young readers deal with what’s going on inside their hearts and their minds. It is divided into four parts, each of them exploring one of the four biggest feelings: happiness, anger, fear and sadness. The colourful illustrations and interesting lay-out make it much easier for children to learn how to recognise, express and deal with their emotions. 7+

Heroes: Incredible True Stories of Courageous Animals

Not all heroes are human, and this book introduces us to quite a few of them. Dogs, cats, birds, horses, and even a bear feature in this book of true stories about some extremely courageous animals who fought in the wars. Learn about Gallipoli Murphy the donkey, Simon the cat or Jet the Alsatian, amongst others, in this fully illustrated collection of inspiring stories. 9+

Myth Atlas

Mythical creatures from around the world are collected in this book. Everyone who ever wanted to find out more about mythology will be amazed at the amount of information this full-colour large format book contains – gods and heroes from Greek, Norse and Egyptian mythology are represented alongside lesser known myths from the Yanomami, Polynesian or Slavic worlds. 8+

Great Voyages

Many of history’s greatest explorers are featured in this book. Go on the first round-the-world trip with Magellan, travel to the jungle of Suriname with Maria Sibylla Merian, and discover the Wild West with Lewis and Clark. Gertrude Bell will take you along on her trek through the desert, while Ernest Shackleton leads you to Antarctica, and Neil Armstrong helps you explore the Moon. Packed with full-colour reproductions of original maps and drawings, this is a treasure trove of information for young adventurers. 9+

Suffragette: The Battle for Equality

Many books about the Suffrage movement, fiction and non-fiction, were published this year, marking the centenary of the women’s vote in the UK, but this brilliant title, written and illustrated by David Roberts, stands out. It is a big book of short stories about important people from the movement and events that happened during the fight for women’s rights. With evocative illustrations and so many new interesting facts to find out about the battle for equality, everyone should read this book. 9+

A History of Pictures for Children

Discovery an array of amazing artwork: on cave walls, canvas, phones, in books, video games and magazines. This book discusses everything about pictures we see around us: why we make them, how we use shadow and light, how to set a scene, which tools artists use, as well as the future of pictures. Written in an unusual style, this book is a must for any young artist. 10+

Humanatomy: How the Body Works

A book on one of the most incredible machines in the world – the human body. It explains in detail how different systems of our body (like the muscular, digestive, and nervous system) work and how they are connected to each other to work together. It also explains the DNA and includes a pull-out reference guide for easier visualisation. 10+

The Silk Roads: A New History of the World

The author of this book takes us on a breathtaking journey along the Silk Roads, moving through time and history: from the Persian empire, the terrifying Huns, the rise of Europe, to the world wars and the politics of today.  A beautifully illustrated book, shortened and adapted for young readers. 11+

Timelines of Everything

If you or your children are interested in history, this is the perfect book for you! Starting in prehistory with a timeline of the Big Bang and the Universe’s early years, it leads the reader through history all the way to the modern era and finishing with the story of robotics. True to the title, it really includes timelines of everything and is an interesting read as well as a valuable source of information for school projects. 10+

Maps of United Kingdom

So far, this is definitely the most comprehensive book about the United Kingdom for children. Divided into counties, each page features tons of information on local events, famous people from history and present day, monuments, attractions and landmarks, as well as the flora and fauna of each county. Did you know that there is an indoor rainforest in Edinburgh, where you can hold a giant millipede or a tarantula? Well, now you know! 10+

A Journey Through Art (A Global History)

Learn how art from different cultures has developed through centuries. This beautifully designed book takes you on a journey through time, across the world. It leads the reader to Thebes, a city built by Pharaohs; Ajanta, a monastery hidden in the jungle; and Hedeby, a Viking stronghold. Along the way it stops in places like Rome, Jerusalem, and Beijing’s Forbidden City, and then moves on to Berlin, Seoul, and Rio de Janeiro to explore aspects of modern culture. Full-colour illustrations and photographs throughout. 10+

A World of Discovery

Our lives would be very different if someone didn’t invent or discover the things featured in this book. A world without paper or inoculation is unimaginable, and don’t get me started on a world without the telephone or the Internet. A great book about world-changing discoveries and inventions, full of interesting facts; it includes stylish illustrations and is perfect for use in schools due to its large format. 9+

Planetarium

The latest title in the Welcome to the Museum series, Planetarium takes the reader on an intergalactic journey far beyond Earth’s boundaries, across the Solar System, through the Milky Way and further on to explore distant galaxies. Filled with interesting facts and Chris Wormell’s signature illustrations, this is a must for any bookshelf. 10+