Non-fiction covers a wide diversity i.e. information books on nature, science, sport, etc., reference material such as encyclopaedias, dictionaries, art, activities, and also includes autobiographies.
At a children’s book conference I heard a speaker note that we tend to think if children are not reading novels then they are not reading the right material or not enough.
It was pointed out by the speaker that, as adults, we read newspapers (non-fiction), look at the pictures in Hello magazine (picture books) and read novels (fiction).
Why then do we judge children’s reading so harshly?
Boys and Non-Fiction
Boys tend to prefer non-fiction, they love books on topics that interest them such as sport or cars. Many of these books include illustrations or photographs. The text is often broken up into pockets and are dotted around the page.
This gives the appearance of very little reading, but in fact children cover a lot of reading that even they are unaware of.
Usborne do a range of non-fiction reference books on soccer from goalkeeping to defending.
Dorling Kindersley’s Eyewitness series is an example of high end glossy photographic non-fiction books with interesting titles such as Crime & Detection, Titanic, Leonardo da Vinci, they have about 100 titles though some are now out of print. They are addictive, once you open them you can’t put them down, and children love them.
Non-Fiction for Beginner Readers
Usborne have an excellent series of Beginner Readers in non-fiction aimed at 7+. With titles like Dogs and Weather, beautiful photographs and simple text they are ideal for sharing with your child or for them to read alone.
They have over 40 titles on a wide variety of subjects, something for everyone.
Non-Fiction for Reluctant Readers
If say, your child is interested in horses, you can get books on
- horse riding,
- horse care,
- breeds of horses as well as
- fiction books about horses such as Timber Twig by Kate McMahon or Riders by the Grey Lake by Pauline Devine.
Non-fiction opens up a whole new range of books for your child and broadens their reading experience.
If your child has a preference for non-fiction, encourage them by providing them with a choice of books, from your local library or bookshop.
Tara Book Co. are based in Kilcolgan, Co. Galway, Ireland, Visit them online at www.tarabookco.ie or tel: (091) 777005
Does your child enjoy non-fiction? Share your thoughts in the comments below.