Thursday, 13 August 2015

Children's Non-Fiction Books - the best year yet? A ReadItDaddy Editorial

Is this the best year yet for children's non-fiction books? We really believe so and the year's far from over yet. Pop in for another random wombling about books in this week's editorial...For a very long time we saw practically no children's non-fiction titles for review on this blog but of course that didn't mean we didn't cover them. Thanks to the books we've lovingly kept in our own collection from our own childhood, and books we loaned from our local library (as well of course the books we bought Charlotte ourselves) my wife and I have always puzzled over why there weren't more excellent quality 'non dumbed down' children's non-fiction titles around. 

Quite a few publishers have made the children's non-fiction market their own by steadily publishing some of the best non-fiction titles on the planet (Usborne, we're looking at you) but new publishers are also fastening their flag firmly to the non-fiction ship of awesomeness and in the last couple of years several independent publishers have released some truly stunning and awe-inspiring non-fiction books. 

Usborne's "See Inside" range is absolutely fantastic (or should that be 'flap-tastic')

Take Big Picture Press. You've already seen their gorgeous titles, and "Animalium - Welcome to the Museum" rightly won a truckload of plaudits and awards from parents, critics and educational experts alike with its HUGE classic encyclopaedia-like format, its intricate descriptions and its stunning illustrations. 

Big Picture are about to release a follow-up that's even more glorious. "Historium" is due out in the autumn and we really cannot wait for you to see it, it's absolutely amazing! Children will now be able to trundle through a whole museum's worth of amazing historical and cultural artifacts from around the world without even leaving the comfort of their armchair (or if your kids are anything like Charlotte, from the comfort of the rug they're sprawled out on while reading this gigantic tome). 

"City Atlas" from Wide Eyed Editions. Gorgeous gorgeous GORGEOUS cover!
New-Publishers-On-The-Block Wide Eyed Editions have also been wowing us with a really gorgeous selection of non fiction titles too. Delving into history geography and science, providing brilliant art books and all with the sort of design flair that children's fiction titles have had for a long time, these books present fabulous facts and figures in a way that seems a million miles away from the stale 'school book learning' style that always used to go hand in hand with children's non-fiction as a genre. 

 2015 has seen our biggest intake of non-fiction titles (with a joyous surge of popularity in history and science books - particularly space books - in particular) and many of those titles have ended up in our Book of the Week slot. At last, this year more than any other during our short stint in children's book blogging, it feels like kids are truly getting non-fiction titles that will last them a lifetime and keep them coming back for more. 

We'd love to hear from you if you've got a favourite recent non-fiction children's title, or indeed if you have a well-loved classic that you'd love to share with us. Please do drop a comment below!