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Celebrating Non-Fiction November

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It’s National Non-Fiction November and we’re very happy to be supporting this great initiative that promotes the enjoyment of factual books and celebrates readers with a passion for information and facts.

Promoted by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups (FCBG), Non-Fiction November is an opportunity to encourage children to pick up books about all things factual – from science, history and the world around us, to biographies or memoirs of famous people. Fact books can be brilliant for reluctant readers because they often include easy-to-digest lists or illustrated information. And kids with a thirst for knowledge will love all the information they can absorb from non-fiction titles.

This year’s theme for Non-Fiction November is Transport And Travel Around The World and the FCBG are running a competition, in partnership with Lonely Planet, for children to design a vehicle of tomorrow. Find out more here. There are also lots of activity ideas and resources from the FCBG here

Looking for more non-fiction inspiration? Head over to our Reading Recommendations page for our brilliant book list of Fantastic Facts, or read on for some top titles on the theme of Transport And Travel Around The World…

Scroll down for books for ages 5-8 and 8+

Age 0-5

 

Whizzy Wheels Academy: Daisy the Digger, written by Peter Bentlyand illustrated by Sebastien Chebret, published by QED Publishing

Meet Daisy the digger – Whizzy Wheels Academy’s latest recruit! Follow her as she learns all about her role as a construction vehicle and what her job entails. This sweet story explores Daisy’s journey of discovery as she learns all about herself and her capabilities. Join Daisy as she overcomes a challenge and learns a valuable lesson in this delightful picture book, part of a fun new board book series for vehicle-mad preschoolers.
With colourful illustrations and an engaging story on a favourite topic, this board book inspires a deeper knowledge of the world, encourages creativity and imagination, and supports emotional intelligence.

 

Whizzy Wheels Academy: Dylan the Dump Truck, written by Peter Bentlyand illustrated by Sebastien Chebret, published by QED Publishing

Meet Dylan the dump truck – Whizzy Wheels Academy’s latest recruit! Follow him as he learns all about his role as a construction vehicle and what his job entails. This sweet story explores Dylan’s journey of discovery as he learns all about himself and his capabilities. Join Dylan as he overcomes a challenge and learns a valuable lesson in this delightful picture book, part of a fun new board book series for vehicle-mad preschoolers.
With colourful illustrations and an engaging story on a favourite topic, this board book inspires a deeper knowledge of the world, encourages creativity and imagination, and supports emotional intelligence.

 

The Book of Cars and Trucks by Neil Clark, published by QED Publishing

Join Cogz the Robot Dog and discover all about how cars, trucks and other big vehicles work, in this bright and fun STEM title. Cogz and his mice sidekicks, Nutty and Bolt, guide the reader through the workings of a car, looking closely at all the different parts. Covering key STEM themes of engineering, physics and inventions, and with a fun quiz to test young readers’ knowledge, this book will get kids engaged and hands-on with learning. 

Perfect for vehicle-mad pre-schoolers, the Clever Cogz series lets young readers discover different vehicles, from space rockets to racing cars. Bite-sized text and colourful, informative illustrations introduce the transport topics in a simple, engaging way for young readers with a passion for machines. 

 

The Book of Diggers and Dozers by Neil Clark, published by QED Publishing

Join Cogz the Robot Dog and discover how DIGGERS, BULLDOZERS, and other BIG machines work!
Cogz, and his mice sidekicks, Nutty and Bolt, are at a building site, looking at all the different parts of a digger. But how do they work? Discover all about hydraulics, learn about tractors and the jobs they can do, find out about the biggest machines ever made, and much more! Covering key STEM themes of engineering, physics, and inventions, and with a fun quiz to test your knowledge, this book will get your child engaged and hands-on with learning.
Perfect for vehicle-mad pre-schoolers, the Clever Cogz series lets you discover different vehicles, from space rockets to racing cars. Bite-sized text and colourful, informative illustrations introduce the transport topics in a simple, engaging way for young readers with a passion for machines. 

 

Age 5-8

 

The Big Book of the UK by Imogen Russell Williams and Louise Lockhart, published by Penguin Random House Children’s
Journey around the UK to discover and celebrate all the weird and wonderful things that makes the United Kingdom utterly brilliant. Learn all about the sport of ‘dwile flonking’, where black diamonds come from, meet the supernatural animal that haunts the Scottish Highlands and discover the British sweet that helped mountaineers scale Everest for the first time. This colourful book is packed with facts, folklore and fascinations from around the United Kingdom with accessible and engaging text from Imogen Russell Williams and brought to life with effervescent illustrations from Louise Lockhart.

 

Around the World in 80 Ways by Katy Halford, published by DK

From crossing deserts by camel to shooting through the stars in a rocket, discover all the many ways you can travel around the world in this beautifully illustrated book by Katy Halford.

Around the World in 80 Ways is a fascinating, engaging children’s book that explores 80 ways to travel with vehicles from the past to the present, land to water, and the obvious to the crazy! You may know your cars, trains and boats, but what about travelling by donkey, jetpack or pogo stick? Different scenes depict the wonderful ways people get from here to there, whether it’s an astronaut in space, a surfer riding the waves, or gliding through the air in a microlight.

So whether you prefer to travel by unicycle or pedalo, this imaginative book looks at all the ways to get you from A to B. From small to big, manmade to living, and the familiar to the obscure, take your pick from all of those included in Around the World in 80 Ways.

 

Celebrations Around the World by Katy Halford, published by DK

Embark on a journey through some of the most exciting and important festivals, celebrations, and holidays from around the world.

Witness a camel marathon in the Sahara Desert and munch on Mid-Autumn mooncakes in China. Discover why skeletons dance at the Day of the Dead in Mexico, and how the world’s biggest tomato fight gets cleaned up. Celebrations Around the World is filled with stunning original illustrations by Katy Halford and fascinating facts to inspire and inform children about the different cultures and religions from a huge range of countries.

With the variety of vibrant and exciting holidays from across the globe, Celebrations Around the World will inspire, educate, and entertain young readers from all around the world.

 

Cities Around the World by Lucy Menzies, illustrated by Tilly, published by Ivy Kids

Featuring 12 cities from around the world, this highly-illustrated search-and-find book rewards close inspection. Incredibly detailed illustrations by Tilly bring the vibrant city scenes to life and are sure to spark a child’s interest in the wider world around them. Each spread features explanatory text alongside a full-page artwork. First, comb through each cityscape and spot five of the most significant landmarks. Can you see the Eiffel Tower in Paris? Or how about Lady Liberty in NYC? Once you’ve discovered the landmarks, there are five cultural gems hidden to spot. Finally, answer the counting question in each scene. There’s always something new to spot in Cities Around the World, meaning children will want to read it again and again.

 

Age 8+

 

Africa, Amazing Africa: Country by Country by Atinuke, illustrated by Mouni Feddag, published by Walker

Discover the amazing diversity of the African continent in this beautiful book, with words by Atinuke and lively illustrations from Mouni Feddag.

Atinuke’s first non-fiction title is a major publishing event: a celebration of all 55 countries on the African continent! Her beautifully-written text captures Africa’s unique mix of the modern and the traditional, as she explores its geography, its peoples, its animals, its history, its resources and its cultural diversity. The book divides Africa into five sections: South, East, West, Central and North, each with its own introduction. This is followed by a page per country, containing a delightful mix of friendly, informative text and colourful illustrations. The richest king, the tallest sand dunes and the biggest waterfall on the planet are all here, alongside drummers, cocoa growers, inventors, balancing stones, salt lakes, high-tech cities and nomads who use GPS! This is non-fiction at its most exciting, exhilarating and energetic, illustrated with passion and commitment by a great new talent, Mouni Feddag.

 

The Lost Book of Adventure edited by Teddy Keen, published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

A facsimile edition of the tattered notebooks of the Unknown Adventurer, this love letter to the wild details everything you need to know about how to live and thrive in nature, from the principles of treehouse building to wilderness first aid.
If you are reading this, it means my notebooks have been found. I am leaving them here at camp for safekeeping along with a few other belongings that I won’t be taking with me. The notebooks are a lifetime’s worth of knowledge, which I’m passing on to you.
So reads an excerpt from the weatherworn letter discovered by nature enthusiast Teddy Keen on a recent trip to the Amazon, along with sketchbooks filled with details of extraordinary adventures and escapades, expedition advice and survival methods, annotated with enchanting coloured-pencil drawings. It is thought that the sketchbooks were created for two young relatives of the author. Drawing on Teddy’s knowledge of the outdoors, the pages of the sketchbooks have been carefully transcribed for young readers, as they were originally intended. 
You’ll be transported by riveting adventure tales from around the globe, like being dragged off by a hyena in Botswana, surviving a Saharan dust storm, being woken by an intrepid emperor penguin in Antarctica, and coming face-to-face with a venomous bushmaster (one of the most dangerous snakes on the planet)—all told in lyrical prose and illustrations that wonder at the mysterious beauty of the wild.
Having inspired the adventurous spirit in you, the Unknown Adventurer encourages you to set out on your own adventure with information on wild camping, rafting, exploration, and shelters and dens, plus tips on first aid and tying knots. Expert instructions on wilderness basics, like building a fire, what to do if you get lost, and how to build various types of shelters are accompanied by more specific skills culled from many years of experience, like baking campfire bread, creating a toothbrush from a twig, making a suture from soldier ants, and even how to pan for gold. 
Find your way back to your primal self with the immersive text and glorious colour artwork of this one-of-a-kind adventure book.
REMEMBER: be good, be adventurous…and look after your parents.

 

Colossus, written by Colin Hynson and illustrated by Guilia Lombardo, published by Bonnier

Have you ever wondered how the Golden Gate Bridge was built? Or how workers with basic tools created enormous monuments in ancient times? And how do you build a flying laboratory in space? This fascinating book reveals some of the greatest feats of engineering in history. From enormous bridges and tunnels that run for hundreds of miles, to towering skyscrapers and massive space stations, discover how some of Earth’s most colossal structures were made in beautifully illustrated detail.

Contents: Sphinx, Golden Gate Bridge, Shanghai Tower, International Space Station, London Underground, Panama Canal, Hoover Dam, Trans-Siberian Railway, Great Wall of China, Palm Islands, Eiffel Tower, Stonehenge, Statue of Liberty, Tokyo Skytree, SS Great Eastern, The Future of Engineering

 

Children Who Changed the World: Incredible True Stories About Children’s Rights! by Marcia Williams, published by Walker

Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Rights of the Child and the amazing children who have stood up for them all over the world.

From the heroes familiar to everyone, such as Malala Yousafzai, to the amazing activists you might not have heard of, like Baruani Ndume, the teenager who gave a voice to fellow refugee children in Tanzania, discover the incredible true stories of child activists. An inspirational and moving book from beloved author-illustrator Marcia Williams, providing the perfect introduction to an important subject and marking 30 years since the Convention on the Rights of the Child was signed by the United Nations General Assembly.

 

Explorers by Nellie Huang, published by DK

Meet famous explorers and adventurers in this exciting non-fiction storybook for children. Venture into steaming jungles in search of lost temples, fight off frostbite in the Arctic, and blast off into space!

Great explorers have one thing in common – a desire to leap into the unknown, no matter how dangerous that might be. Explorers looks at the towering achievements of more than 50 intrepid adventurers in great detail, with incredible cross-sections revealing the amazing detail inside Spanish galleons, lost cities, and spaceships. Hand-drawn maps reveal their incredible journeys in great detail, and photographs highlight the artefacts and relics they found along the way. The explorers come from all walks of life and parts of the world, and celebrate both male and female explorers throughout history.

 

Epic Tales of Triumph and Adventure by Simon Cheshire, illustrated by Fatti Burke and published by Bloomsbury
Prepare to meet 66 exceptionally brave adventurers in this celebration of monumental achievements from around the world.

Mountaineers, conquerors, explorers, sailors, pilots and many others who accomplished amazing feats of bravery and triumph are waiting to be discovered in Simon Cheshire’s outstanding, Epic Tales of Triumph and Adventure, vibrantly illustrated by Fatti Burke.

These are the astonishing true stories of just a few of the world’s most daring men and women who defied all odds to achieve their goals and make their dreams come true. Drive across the world, avoiding danger around every corner, with Aloha Wanderwell on The Million Dollar Wager, dive to the deepest depths of the dark and unexplored ocean with Jacques Piccard, climb to the highest peak of Mount Everest with Junko Tabei or tumble over Niagara Falls in a barrel with Annie Edson Taylor. There is no adventure too big or small for this fearless group of men and women!

This collection of outstanding adventurers is sure to inspire the next generation of courageous risk takers. With bright and vibrant artwork from the effortlessly talented Fatti Burke, Epic Tales of Triumph and Adventure will make you want to reach for the stars … and don’t let anyone stand in your way!

 

TfL: The Story of the London Underground by David Long, illustrated by Sarah McMenemy, published by Bloomsbury
When the first passengers climbed aboard the earliest ever underground train in 1863, it would have been impossible to imagine how the London Underground would change and grow over the next 150 years. From smelly steam trains running along a single track to the innovative electric tube system speeding through a vast network of tunnels beneath our feet today, the London Underground keeps this busy city on the move.

The Story of the London Underground tells the extraordinary history of the world’s most famous underground railway. Explore Victorian London as the Brunels dig deep under the Thames. Take refuge in the tunnels during World War II and discover which world leader’s bath was found in an abandoned station. Marvel at the famous fossil wall, deserted ghost stations and unusual spiral escalators that are all part of the London Underground’s fascinating history.

Published in association with TfL, this beautiful book from Blue Peter Award-winning author David Long and exceptionally talented artist Sarah McMenemy tells a captivating story of the London Underground that will delight children and grown-ups alike.

 

Atlas of Adventures illustrated by Lucy Letherland, published by Wide-Eyed Editions

Set your spirit of adventure free with this lavishly illustrated trip around the world. Whether you’re visiting the penguins of Antarctica, joining the Carnival in Brazil or taking a canoe safari down the Zambezi River, this book brings together more than 100 activities and challenges to inspire armchair adventurers of any age.
Celebrate the great diversity of our planet: with every turn of the page, you’ll come across different animals, people and sights unique to each of the locations. Look out for two adventurers in every scene as you travel through the book. Discover with them hundreds of things to spot and learn about.
Each section begins with an infographic map of the region it explores, followed by richly detailed two-page spreads featuring its most fascinating locations. You’ll get to go to sleep under the Northern Lights, meet millions of monarch butterflies in the boreal forests of Mexico’s volcanic mountains, shower with an elephant in Chiang Mai and go snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, among many other amazing adventures.
Interesting facts and figures pepper the scenes. Did you know that London’s Big Ben clock bell weighs as much as a small elephant? Or that more than one-third of the world’s commercial supply of pineapples comes from Hawaii? A ‘Can you find?’ page at the back challenges you explore the pages even deeper by locating the pictured people, animals and things.
With epic adventures from the four corners of the globe and discoveries to be made on your own doorstep, this book will inspire you to set off on your own journey of discovery.

 

Amazing Expeditions, written by Anita Ganeri and illustrated by Michael Mullan, published by Ivy Kids

“Find out about historic explorers in this new book about journeys that changed the world.” – The Week Junior
Discover the stories and follow the journeys of more than 20 of the world’s most heroic and extraordinary explorers, including Ibn Battuta, Zheng He, Mary Kingsley, Norgay and Hillary, Ellen MacArthur and Neil Armstrong.
Throughout history, explorers have bravely ventured out into the unknown to discover new lands, seek treasure, make scientific discoveries or simply achieve something that’s never been done before. Amazing Expeditions will take readers on a thrilling voyage over land, sea, sky and space. Some of the journeys were triumphs and others ended in failure and tragedy, but each is a riveting story and a lesson in perseverance and grit that may well inspire a new generation of adventurers. 

 

Wild Girl: How to Have Incredible Outdoor Adventures by Helen Skelton, illustrated by Liz Kay, published by Walker

Calling wild girls everywhere! Helen Skelton – adventurer, world-record breaker and TV presenter – brings you her inspirational guide to getting outdoors and having incredible adventures.

From kayaking the length of the Amazon to cycling to the South Pole and running an ultra-marathon across the Namib desert, the Blue Peter and Countryfile presenter Helen Skelton has taken on record-breaking feats of endurance and shown that adventures definitely are for girls. Helen shares six stories of her most daring adventures across some of the world’s most extreme wildernesses, explaining how she embraced her fears and found the positives in the toughest situations. Alongside her inspirational tales are ideas for where readers can find their own wild adventures closer to home and accounts of the real-life wild girls who inspire her.

 

Football School Season 4: Where Football Explains the World by Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton, illustrated by Spike Gerrell, published by Walker

The fourth book in the bestselling series that teaches you amazing facts about the world through football.

This book is packed with awesome true stories, real science and fascinating facts and will make you laugh loads – and it’s all about football! Discover when robots play football, where the highest ever football match took place, how referees keep time in matches and what llamas and professional footballers have in common. With hilarious illustrations throughout and laugh-out-loud gags, this is the perfect book for football-mad children everywhere.

 

 

 

#WorldBookDay