Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids 2020: Non-Fiction Picture Books

November 6, 2020

Nonfiction Picture Books

79. All of a Sudden and Forever: Help and Healing After the Oklahoma City Bombing by Chris Barton, ill. Nicole Xu.

When something horrible happens, what do you do? One April morning in Oklahoma a truck with a bomb exploded. In its wake, a single tree remained. A true story of healing and recovery. Call Number: x363.32 Barto.C


80. The Cat Man of Aleppo by Irene Latham and Karim Shamsi-Basha, ill. Yuko Shimizu.

It’s not just humans that suffer when there’s war. When ambulance driver Alaa Aljaleel discovers the hungry and abandoned cats on the streets of Aleppo, Syria, he rallies the world to help him care for the small and the weak. Call Number: JPicture Latha.I


81. Clever Hans: The True Story of the Counting, Adding, and Time-Telling Horse by Kerri Kokias, ill. Mike Lowery.

Can a horse really be as smart as a human? Clever Hans sure seemed like it. A fascinating story of the equine that fooled the world with his true intelligence. Call Number: x636.1 Kokia.K


82. Dark Was the Night: Blind Willie Johnson’s Journey to the Stars by Gary Golio, ill. E.B. Lewis.

How did the voice of a blind man, travelling this country by train, literally reach to the stars? Golio brings to life the beautiful story of how Willie Johnson’s singing ended up on the Golden Record of Voyager I. Call Number: xBiog Johns.B Golio.G


83. Drawing on Walls: A Story of Keith Haring by Matthew Burgess, ill. Josh Cochran.

“I think it is very important to be in love with life.” Since he was a young child, Keith Haring wanted to draw and paint. Now the full story of his life comes to life in this eye-catching, vibrant, joyful biography. Call Number: xBiog Harin.K Burge.M


84. Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks by Suzanne Slade, ill. Cozbi A. Cabrera.

When she was a child in Chicago, this future Poet Laureate would look at the clouds and “dream about the future, which was going to be ecstatically exquisite.” A gorgeously rendered look at the power of perseverance by an Evanston artist. Call Number: xBiog Brook.G Slade.S


85. Fauja Singh Keeps Going: The True Story of the Oldest Person to Ever Run a Marathon by Simran Jeet Singh, ill. Baljinder Kaur.

What happens when you decide to run your first marathon at the age of 81? What happens when you start finishing marathons at 100? The inspiring story of a man that has never let the world slow him down. Call Number: xBiog Faujasi Singh.S


86. A Garden in Your Belly: Meet the Microbes in Your Gut by Masha D’Yans.

Take a gorgeous trip into your microbiome, where good food and exercise will keep the more than 100 trillion microorganisms there happy and healthy. Lush and funny watercolors bring the impossibly small to life! Call Number: x612.3 Dyans.M


87. Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera by Candace Fleming, ill. Eric Rohmann.

The life cycle of a bee is so much more than just getting honey. Follow an Apis mellifera as she cycles through multiple jobs in the hive, complemented by luscious, velvety oil paints. Call Number: x595.799 Flemi.C


88. If You Take Away the Otter by Susannah Buhrman-Deever, ill. by Matthew Trueman.

Playful sea otters aren’t merely cute. Once they were hunted to near extinction causing an army of sea urchins to wreak devastation. A clever, enticing, and beautiful look at the interconnectedness of nature. Call Number: x599.7695 Buhrm.S


89. Incredible Jobs You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of by Natalie Labarre.

Tired of grown-ups asking you what you want to be when you grow up? Then take some tips from a book that offers you such options as water slide tester, dinosaur duster, gross stunt tester, and more! Call Number: x331.702 Labar.N


90. The Most Beautiful Thing by Kao Kalia Yang, ill. Khoa Le.

Kalia’s grandmother has one tooth, but her smile is the most beautiful her granddaughter has ever seen. A moving picture book memoir filled with jaw-dropping art about growing up with little money in a Hmong-American home. Call Number: x305.9069 Yang.K


91. A Ride to Remember: A Civil Rights Story by Sharon Langley and Amy Nathan, ill. Floyd Cooper.

Sharon Langley looks back at 1963, the year she became the first African-American child to ride the carousel in Baltimore’s Gwynn Oak Amusement Park. Call Number: x305.8 Langl.S

Read the book here, listen to the audiobook here, watch the movie here, and read along with the movie here on Hoopla.


92. Shirley Chisholm Is a Verb! by Veronica Chambers, ill. Rachelle Baker.

“A catalyst for change in America” gets her due in this riveting, inspirational, magnificent biography of a figure that so much more than just the first Black woman to make a bid for the presidency. Call Number: xBiog Chish.S Chamb.V


93. Swish! The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters by Suzanne Slade, ill. Don Tate.

“Skilled athletes, expert players, and electrifying performers all rolled into one.” Meet the ballplayers that broke racial barriers even as they went on to live up to their globe trotting name. Call Number: x796.323 Slade.S


94. Your Place in the Universe by Jason Chin.

From kids to the cosmic web of the universe, gorgeous watercolors encompass the sheer scope and scale of everything inside and beyond our own galaxy. Call Number: x523.1 Chin.J


You can find the full 101 Great Books for Kids 2020 list here.


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