Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Fact or a good joke? 11.09.16

Every Wednesday I join Alyson Beecher from kidlitfrenzy and other
kidlit bloggers to share wonderful nonfiction picture books.
The intention of today's blog is to give educational professionals
new nonfiction reading material and ideas to use 
with students to promote a love of reading nonfiction materials.

We have a responsibility to teach young readers to be critical of what they read, especially nonfiction.  Just because something is classified as nonfiction, or is shelved in the nonfiction section, means it is necessarily true.

Here are a couple of series that you could use with young readers that show nonfiction should not always be taken at face value.

TOON Books:
This is a fantastic series for young readers.  I really enjoy many of their beginning graphic novels.  There are also some nonfiction books as part of the series, but just be careful of everything you read.

A Goofy Guide to Penguins by Jean-Luc Coudray
A Goofy Guide to Penguins 
by Jean-Luc Coudray and Philippe Coudray
Definitely funny, but be careful what you read.  Some of the jokes are just that, silly riddles, without much truth to them.  Others hold truth, but you have to closely read and understand the illustrations to find the truth.

The Real Poop on Pigeons by Kevin McCloskey
by Kevin McCloskey
This one holds more facts than comedy, but young readers still have to be savvy enough to know when the characters are being silly and when they are disguising a fact in the joke.  I wish there were more back matter.

The Disgusting Critters/Creatures series
I really like this series by Elise Gravel, but with the critter/creature doing most of the talking, the young reader has to be savvy, just like in the above book, and distinguish between fact/truth.

The Slug      The Spider      The Worm

I like both series, and I think they are helpful to get readers to try nonfiction.  But unless you can help the reader know the difference between fact and a cleverly disguised joke, the nonfiction definitely becomes fiction.


  1. I have the second set on my list, will look for the first ones. I finally found the Gravel book about lice. They are fun and good! Thanks, Michele.

  2. So perhaps they're best suited for read aloud, at least for younger readers? An interesting problem for nonfiction!