Gift Books for Kids (Nonfiction is your friend!)

~posted by Selby G.

If you are reading this post to get ideas about what book to gift a child for the holidays you are probably envisioning a fiction book. Maybe a classic like Treasure Island or an award winner such as Brown Girl Dreaming. And although I fully support loading a kid’s life with fabulous fiction books, I ask you not to forget the nonfiction. Children’s nonfiction has exploded in recent years and there are some amazing books that will fascinate and enthrall. Below are just a few of what you will find when you wander into the ‘fact section’.

Coding. Yes, there are coding books for kids. Some are very simple and cover only the basic ideas, for instance Computer Coding by Jon Woodcock. Other books, such as Raspberry Pi Projects for Kids by Daniel Bates, will help them learn and create more elaborate programs.

Find Computer Coding in the SPL catalogFind Raspberry Pi Projects for Kids in the SPL catalog

If my parents had given me a copy of Forgotten Bones by Lois Miner Huey when I was a kid I would have been thrilled. But even if your kid isn’t a bone freak like I was, they still might enjoy books about digging up the past. You can never go wrong with Eyewitness Ancient Egypt or Ancient Rome.

Find Forgotten Bones in the SPL catalogFind Eyewitness Ancient Egypt in the SPL catalogFind Eyewitness Ancient Rome in the SPL catalog

Science covers a wide variety of topics. From weather patterns and ecosystems to dinosaurs and bugs, exploring the natural world is a favorite past time for many youngsters. Spark their interest with books such as The Curious Kid’s Science Book by Asia Citro, Edible Science by Jodi Wheeler-Toppen or Creepy Crawlies and the Scientific Method by Sally Stenhouse Kneidel.

Find The Curious Kid's Science Book in the SPL catalogFind Edible Science in the SPL catalogFind Creepy Crawlies and the Scientific Method in the SPL catalog

For the budding artist, there are many books to encourage and inspire. Some books help kids explore a variety of art mediums, as is the case with Modern Art Adventures by Maja Pitamic. Others showcase the life and work of a particular artist such as John James Audubon in the book This Strange Wilderness by Nancy Plain. Although, I am guessing that more kids would rather get So You Want to be a Comic Book Artist? by Philip Amara which will tell you how to do just that.

Find Modern Art Adventures in the SPL catalogFind This Strange Wilderness in the SPL catalogFind So, You Want to Be A Comic Book Artist in the SPL catalog


Does your kid like to explore? Are they always wondering what is over there? Or on the other side of the earth? Lonely Planet Kids Amazing Atlas will help answer some of those burning questions. Or maybe they just like adventure. Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill is not only packed with adventure but also beautifully illustrated.Find Amazing World Atlas in the SPL catalogFind Shakleton's Journey in the SPL catalog

So if a book for a child is on your list this holiday season, then I hope I have persuaded you to take a look at nonfiction books to open up new possibilities for curious young minds.

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