Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Interesting Nonfiction for Kids: The Perfect Holiday Present

Tomorrow is the first day of December. My children are counting the days until their Holiday Break. Much anticipation abounds. Last day of school for the year. Christmas morning. Christmas dinner. Then, boredom hits, while stuck indoors for days because of the icy, winter weather. I remember my winter breaks. I remember having all the time in the world to play with Christmas presents - Barbie, Crissy, several arts and craft kits, model kits, etc. And, after a few days, I picked up the books that Santa Claus brought for me. A book on seashells, a book on cartooning, a children’s dictionary, a kids’ cookbook, a science book. I still have several of those books I received for Christmas. They just seemed a little extra special to me.
What special books did you get for Christmas or Hanukkah? Did you study each page of the book? Did you learn something new or find a new passion? The power of a fabulous nonfiction book combined with the freedom of all the time in the world to read and digest each page is priceless. We, as parents, have a sense what our children will enjoy to read. The trick is to introduce our children to the world and the cache of amazing information available - and open their eyes and their hearts. The gift of a great nonfiction book is something that they can carry with them forever, figuratively and literally.

Just a few newer suggestions:
Merriam Webster 79 Merriam-Webster's Intermediate Dictionary
Merriam Webster; Reissue edition (April  2008)
Gift to keep forever. Perfect for any to-be nonfiction writer.

First Human Body Encyclopedia (Dk First Reference Series)
DK CHILDREN (February  2005)
One of several kid versions of Gray's Anatomy.

Collecting Rocks, Gems & Minerals: Easy Identification - Values - Lapidary Uses
Patti Polk (author)
Krause Publications (May 2010)
What child wouldn't be interested in rocks?

Betty Crocker's Kids Cook!
Betty Crocker  July 2007
The classic cookbook that can be used forever.
Perfect activity to keep kids busy and creative.

The Art Book for Children, Book Two
Phaidon Press Inc. (October 2007)
Had to add a classic art reference book.
Not just for budding artists, every child needs art!

Until next year, Happy Holidays, everyone!


Christina Wilsdon said...

Well, the book I most clearly remember actually opening beside the Christmas tree wasn't nonfiction (it was "The Golden Book of Poetry," which I still have), but I still have most of the fabulous nonfiction I received: Marguerite Henry's "Album of Horses," a big book about the history of horse racing in America (detecting a theme yet? :) and a field guide to birds among them. And a huge book about the history of Disney animation, too, which I only recently parted with at the wonderful Third Place books, which buys one's used books at a good price. I intended to put it toward the things my newly fledged teenager needs--but I must confess a portion of it was diverted to buy some nonfiction books for me...

Anonymous said...

I had to really think back for this one. In 1973(!) my grandmother gave me Roy Chapman Andrews' Nature's Ways: How Nature Takes Care of Its Own. I remember always wanting to read it, but feeling like it was too adult. But the illustrations and photos kept me coming back. Still have it!

Michelle said...

The best books I got were the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I especially loved the vivid descriptions of cooking and homemaking and pioneer holiday celebrations. I'm reading the series with my own children now.

Anonymous said...

The best Christmas present I ever received was a complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica given to me by mother in 1976 when I was ten-years-old. It was a bicentennial edition--the macropedia volumes had red on the spine, the micropedia blue, and the index white. Not a day went by that I did not take a volume off the shelf (usually at random) and read several articles. Serendipity and cross-references led me to many fascinating subjects. I held on to that set for 25 years. It proably took my mother 10 years to pay for it! Now I'm saving up to buy another set before they stop printing them!