Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids 2023: Non-Fiction Picture Books

October 30, 2023

Nonfiction Picture Books

77. An American Story by Kwame Alexander, ill. Dare Coulter

You can’t tell the story of America by just telling the comfortable parts. A look at early slavery in America and a consideration of what we teach our kids at school. Call Number: x306.362 Alexa.K


78. The Book of Turtles by Sy Montgomery, ill. Matt Patterson



Think you know turtles? Think again! An up-close-and-personal deep dive into the species with all its weird and wonderful qualities. Best. Turtle. Book. Ever. Call Number: x597.92 Montg.S


79. Butt or Face? Can You Tell Which One You Are Looking At? by Kari Lavelle

Think you can tell a butt from a face? Test your skills against an array of insects, amphibians, birds and beasts. We bet at least one of them fools you! Call Number: x571.31 Lavel.K


80. Dogs: A History of Our Best Friends by Lita Judge

Take a trip back in time to 50,000 years ago and follow the path of humanity’s best friend. From cleaning infectious wounds to clearing birds off of runways, this fact-filled readaloud is a perfect paean to one of our favorite animals. Call Number: x636.7 Judge.L


81. The Fire of Stars: The Life and Brilliance of the Woman Who Discovered What Stars Are Made Of by Kirsten W. Larson, ill. Katherine Roy

What burns at the heart of a star? The story of Cecilia Payne, ground-breaking scientist, is brought to life in this scintillating picture biography riddled with the mysteries of the universe. Call Number: xBiog Payne.C Larso.K


82. The Gentle Genius of Trees by Philip Bunting

Trees give us so much here on earth but how much do we know about them? Take an irreverent trip into their communication, likes, dislikes, and more. Call Number: x582.16 Bunti.P


83. Glitter Everywhere! Where It Came From, Where It’s Found, and Where It’s Going by Chris Barton, ill. Chaaya Prabhat

Do you love glitter? Hate it? Then this book is for you! Find out its history, its science, its importance, and what we can do to be more responsible with it so it won’t hurt the environment. Call Number: x745.5 Barto.C


84. The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music by Roberta Flack with Tonya Bolden, ill. Hayden Goodman

A five-time Grammy Award winner tells the story of how she came to love music and how her family got its very first piano. Loads of personality and fun infuse this delightful bio. Call Number: xBiog Flack.R Flack.R


85. Holding Her Own: The Exceptional Life of Jackie Ormes by Traci N. Todd, ill. Shannon Wright

The life of reporter, cartoonist, dollmaker, artist Jackie Ormes is brought to rip-roaring life in this fun and fantastic biography. Learn as much as you can about the first Black woman to become a nationally syndicated cartoonist! Call Number: xBiog Ormes.J Todd.T


86. Ice Cream Man: How Augustus Jackson Made a Sweet Treat Better by Glenda Armand and Kim Freeman, ill. Keith Mallett

Meet “the father of ice cream” who invented a method to make ice cream accessible to everyone, not just the rich. An inspiring biography of the entrepreneur behind everyone’s favorite summer treat. Call Number: xBiog Jacks.A Arman.G


87. The Indestructible Tom Crean: Heroic Explorer of the Antarctic by Jennifer Thermes

Sail with explorer Tom Crean on the ships Discovery, Terra Nova, and Endurance and watch as the man not only manages to stay alive, but also saves the lives of his fellow crew time and again. A gripping, wonderful look at a heroic man. Call Number: xBiog Crean.T Therm.J


88. Jumper: A Day in the Life of a Backyard Jumping Spider by Jessica Lanan

What’s it like to be a spider in the grass? Enter the world of a jumping spider and experience the danger and excitement happening just under your nose. Call Number: x595.44 Lanan.J


89. Not a Monster by Claudia Guadalupe Martínez, ill. Laura González

Adorable, engaging, and informative! With simple text, meet the axolotl, learn about its Aztec origin myth, and see the way pollution is affecting its natural habitat. Call number: x597.858 Marti.C


90. One Tiny Treefrog: A Countdown to Survival by Tony Piedra and Mackenzie Joy

“Ten tiny tadpoles grow in their eggs.” Count down as each tadpole falls prey to hungry nature in this eye-opening look at not just treefrogs but survival of the fittest as well. Call Number: x597.878 Piedr.T


91. Ready, Set, Run! The Amazing New York City Marathon by Leslie Kimmelman, ill. Jessie Hartland

What’s it like to run in a real marathon? Stretch, get a good night’s sleep, and join the 50,000+ runners for a fun look at this amazing race! Call Number: x796.4252 Kimme.L


92. Stranded! A Mostly True Story from Iceland by Ævar Þór Benediktsson, ill. Anne Wilson

Almost all the facts in this book are true. Can you find the single lie? When the author’s grandfather got stranded on an active volcanic island with his friend their survival was NOT guaranteed. An unexpectedly hilarious and harrowing tale. Call Number: x551.21 Aevarpo


93. There Was a Party for Langston, King of Letters by Jason Reynolds, ill. Jerome Pumphrey and Jarrett Pumphrey

“There was a party for Langston at the library.” Lanston Hughes, that is. A marvelous recounting of one man’s legacy and a vibrant visual praise of Black American writers. This text sings. Call Number: JPicture Reyno.J


94. Tomfoolery! Randolph Caldecott and the Rambunctious Coming-of-Age of Children’s Books by Michelle Markel, ill. Barbara McClintock

Meet Randolph Caldecott! The children’s book illustrator unafraid to put fun, action, and loads of animals on the page. A marvelous look at the artist our picture books owe so much to today. Call Number: xBiog Calde.R Marke.M


Return to the full list of 101 Great Books for Kids here.


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