Most of the nonfiction presented here focuses on science, nature, and animals. Historical and biographical picture books are a whole different genre, in my opinion, and I think they very rarely make good read-alouds, especially for preschoolers.
When using nonfiction in storytime, I use a very dialogic approach. Sometimes we read very little of the text itself, although I do appreciate books with a simple, bold narrative that one can focus on. We discuss the art, photographs, and concepts, talk about what we know and what we're learning, and enjoy investigating.
- Jim Arnosky
- A classic nature writer. Every Autumn Comes the Bear is a storytime favorite, but I've used many other titles - Bayou Babies, Racoons and Ripe Corn etc. to great effect.
- Nic Bishop
- He's not only a stunning nature photographer, he's quite a good writer too. His books are easily adapted to reading with small children.
- Nicola Davies
- A huge variety of books, focusing mainly on animals. Her "Flip the flap and find out" series is a mainstay of my outreach programs and we can spend an entire program just discussing the events in What Happens Next? I've also used Dolphin Baby. Her newer scientific books include Grow and Many.
- Suzi Eszterhas
- These simple stories feature one animal's life cycle from birth to adulthood. They are adorable and make excellent read-alouds. I especially love Brown Bear because...bears.
- Candace Fleming
- Giant Squid was wonderful and she has since done several more titles, Honeybee and Polar Bear.
- Steve Jenkins
- This is one of the most prolific nonfiction authors for young children. I've used his books in flannelboard matching games like What do you do with a tail like this? and another favorite of mine is Down Down Down.
- Kate Messner
- She has a whole series on different habitats, Up in the garden and down in the dirt, Over and under the pond, etc.
- April Pulley Sayre
- A huge variety of books from animals to weather. I think Eat like a bear is my favorite, but my colleague likes to use her vegetable and fruit chant books, Rah Rah Radishes, Go Go Grapes, and Let's go nuts in her healthy eating programs.
- Cathryn and John Sill
- I've used their books in so many different ways. One of my favorites, About Forests, I made into an interactive flannelboard. They now have board books, which are excellent as well.
- Melissa Stewart
- I use her weather/habitats series; Under the Snow, When rain falls, and Beneath the sun in storytime frequently. I also like her new series of list books, starting with Feathers, not just for flying.
- Susan Stockdale
- Her simple, rhyming stories work really well with toddlers as well as preschoolers. Her most recent title, Bird Show, is as popular as her previous books, most of which are available in Spanish and in board book format.
- See what a seal can do by Chris Butterworth
- Wolfsnail by Sarah Campbell
- I like her other science titles as well, but this is the only one I've used in programs.
- Red-Eyed Tree Frog and Chameleon, Chameleon by Joy Cowley
- These are illustrated with photographs from the amazing Nic Bishop. The text is super simple and works for beginning readers as well as in storytime.
- North: The Amazing Story of Arctic Migration by Nick Dowson
- Horse by Malachy Doyle
- Planting the wild garden by Kathryn Galbraith
- Frog Song by Brenda Guiberson
- Eggs 1, 2, 3: Who will the babies be? by Janet Halfmann
- Flight of the Honeybee by Raymond Huber
- Nest by Jorey Hurley
- Weeds find a way by Cindy Jenson-Elliott
- All the water in the world by George Ella Lyon
- Glacier on the move by Elizabeth Rusch
For newer titles, check out my recent reviews of nonfiction picture books.
In 2011 you commented on an ALSC blog post debating whether to use themed storytimes. That is still available here:
In your comment you linked to a Web site for your Preschool Interactive storytimes which was here
But now this page can't be found. Is this material available anywhere now? Thank you.
Michael - I am no longer doing Preschool Interactive regularly, but most of the old programs are still out there! I migrated all my program materials to a blog
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