If you know about our family, you will know that we ADORE picture books. When my kids where born, Picture Books was something that I really splashed out on. We were lucky to receive lots of baby items clothes and toys as hand me downs, so I felt I could go crazy on the books. The kids adore books now, and as they are getting older (4yrs and 6yrs), it is really interesting to see how their interests are developing.
Today we are supporting National Non-Fiction November. This is the Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ annual celebration of all things factual. Born out of National Non-Fiction Day, 2014 marks a new departure, with the whole month now being a celebration of all those readers, authors and illustrators who have a passion for information and facts.
National Non-Fiction November is an ideal time to invite a non-fiction author for an event at your local school, library, or youth group. You can find details of many non-fiction authors at Contact an Author and Authors Aloud. FCBG groups also have access to a dedicated directory of non-fiction authors who are keen to visit groups for events. Find free resources here.
As part of this, I wanted to share some of The Boy’s favourite non-fiction books. His love for non-fiction is something that I love about him – he is so interested in the world and the things around him, he loves to pour over these books and take it all in – always asking questions and sharing facts he has learnt (personally, I love to “escape into the world of fiction”, so we are quite different in this respect). We have some lovely Atlases that he enjoys browsing, a great book on the Human Body and a number of science books.
But the thing that he seems to really enjoy is history! Which is a common interest he shares with his father. So we were very chuffed to receive the Usborn History of Britain collection from a friend – 10 books looking at different periods of Britain’s history. (It is quite pricey, but do shop around, The Book People had a GREAT offer on it).
Peronally, history is NOT my strongest subject, so I am enjoying reading these book WITH The Boy. A great way for us both discover things about Britain – from the Anglo-Saxons, right through to the Second World War and modern Britain.
As with all Usborne books – it is well written and it contains a mixture of good facts, but also quirky anecdotes and illustrations that will help make history interesting for kids.
As it is National Non-Fiction Week and this year’s theme is the First World War, I thought I would highlight this particular book in the set.
The book lays out the background to the War – the clash of Empires and the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. Maps show how Europe was divided at the time. A good example of making life during the war interesting is the book sharing extracts from popular songs at the time (Goodbye Dolly Gray), explaining nicknames such as “Tommies” and myths such as the Angel of Mons. Of course it also talks about the hardship of war, about the losses and the sadness and how so many lives are affected. But also about the small miracles of war, such as the Christmas Truce. Showing the human side of the parties involved.
This only touches on the information within this 60 odd pages book on the First World War. It is jam packed with so much, looking at so many different aspects of the war (including, what happened to wounded soldiers after the war), that any child working on a history project, probably has all the information they need at their finger tips.
Multiply it by 10 books and you have an excellent representation of Britain’s history all in one place.
I am really enjoying revisiting my own history knowledge through my children and their wonderful non fictional books.