The Many Lessons Learned by a Great Creative Non-Fiction Picture Book

There’s something very special about a great creative non-fiction picture book that opens doors to new information while entertaining and inspiring young children. This week I spent quite a bit of time with some great creative non-fiction, starting with Katherine Otoshi’s ZERO.


I wanted to make the connection with last week’s read aloud, ONE, but soon realized that this engaging story about the number Zero wanting to feel like he counted, would serve as a terrific learning tool for number recognition, for printing numbers, and for number ordination. I love the message in the story about being yourself. I love the personalization of the numbers. And in my kindergarten class where we are encouraging number recognition and the printing of numbers, this story was perfect, as we examined the shape of each number. “One was solid and strong with bold strokes and squared corners. Zero was big and round with no corners at all.”

And the end of the story provided a fun way of counting by 10s.


This week also marked the first day we had snow! It was the perfect time for me to crack open my new copy of Lizann Flatt’s SIZING UP WINTER.


Flatt is one of my favorite creative non-fiction author’s. Her book, LET’S GO!” is a terrific romp through the history of transportation. And her new ‘math in nature’ series is a must have for every kindergarten library.

SIZING UP WINTER is a beautifully written rhyming picture book, terrifically illustrated by Ashley Barron, that’s a joy to read aloud. Children not only experience animals enjoying the wonders of winter; they explore measurement of area, time, capacity and temperature.

My next book purchase will be to get the other 3 books in this series;

COUNTING ON FALL number sense and numeration

SORTING THROUGH SPRING patterning, data management, and probability

SHAPING UP SUMMER geometry and spatial sense


And as my week rounded out, I found the need to pull out another great creative non-fiction picture book. There were some pretty strong behaviors that erupted in the classroom. There was an incident where one child acted aggressively toward another child, and another incident where a child used some pretty unkind words. I was seeing a lot of anger, frustration, and hurt feelings. So I pulled out one of my favorite books, TODAY I FEEL SILLY & Other Moods That Make My Day, by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell.


This book is fun! And it also puts a name to a lot of emotions children experience. It validates children’s experiences and feelings and is a great way to open up conversation on how we respond and react appropriately to those feelings.


Those three books kind of sum up my week. Life in kindergarten is definitely like Forest Gump’s box of chocolates. “You never know what you’re gonna get.” Good thing I’ve got a pile of picture books to help me along the way!





4 thoughts on “The Many Lessons Learned by a Great Creative Non-Fiction Picture Book

  1. Great nonfiction shares. I’m not familiar with any of them. I like Zero and find myself thinking of the symbolism behind the number. Sizing up Winter looks like a teacher’s dream book for teaching nature and math. And, of course I love enything that encourages kids to explore feelings.

    • Thanks Patricia! And have you seen Jamie Lee Curtis’s TELL ME AGAIN ABOUT THE NIGHT I WAS BORN. It’s a great book about adoption. She is, hands down, my favourite ‘celebrity’ author.

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