Thursday, February 7, 2013

Animal Babies - nonfiction to entice young readers (ages 3-8)

I write a monthly column for Parents Press, and this month they're focusing on pregnancy and newborns. So I thought we'd share about baby animals! My students adore reading about baby animals, and this is a great way to entice young readers. Here are three nonfiction books our students have really enjoyed. For more, head over to my Bookshelf column in this month's Parents Press.
Zoo Babies from Around the World
Andrew Bleiman and Chris Eastland
Beach Lane / Simon & Schuster, 2010
ages 3-8
available at your local library or on Amazon
Utterly adorable photographs of newborn animals will bring “ooohs” and “ahhs” from kids of all ages. But I love the clear text that provides interesting information on animals ranging from an Asian elephant to the tawny frogmouth (a bird with a very large mouth). Also check out the easy readers in the ZooBorns easy reader books from Simon & Schuster's Ready-to-Read Level 1 series - great for first and second graders to practice reading nonfiction on their own.
Scholastic Discover More: Animal Babies 
by Andrea Pinnington and Tory Gordon-Harris
Scholastic, 2012
ages 4-8
available at your local library or on Amazon
With bright design, colorful photographs, interesting sidebars and basic diagrams, Scholastic’s new nonfiction series introduces young readers to a range of topics. Animal Babies includes sections on hatching, metamorphosis, getting around and survival strategies. Large headings and short sentences make this a good choice for new readers trying out nonfiction.
Panda Kindergarten 
by Joanne Ryder
photographs by Katherine Feng
HarperCollins, 2009
ages 4-8
available at your local library or on Amazon
The panda kindergarten class at China’s Wolong Nature Preserve will elicit smiles and laughter from your children as they watch the little panda cubs play on a seesaw, hang from a branch and chomp long pieces of bamboo. Readers will follow a day in the life of panda cubs at this nature preserve. I particularly like the way the photographs and text complement one another, drawing children in and helping them learn about the efforts of conservationists to increase the panda population.

If your children adore baby animals, make sure you check out more suggestion in this month's column at Parents Press. The review copies were kindly sent by the publishers, Simon and Schuster, Scholastic and HarperCollins. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.

Review ©2013 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books


  1. Hi Mary Ann, I just popped over to your column at Parents Press and discovered that you included ASTRO THE STELLER SEA LION (and a photo of the book was featured). Thanks so much! That's a terrific list of "teeny-tiny itty-bitty" animal babies. Just tweeted your article!