New at Peter White Public Library

What’s New at PWPL: Youth Nonfiction

Sometimes it takes a curious child to help an adult realize how little one knows about a given topic. Nonfiction books written for children can be a great way to bridge the gap on less familiar subjects, while encouraging young readers to continue to formulate their questions and seek answers. For the kids with endless questions, here are a few recent titles that particularly nurture a sense of wonder and curiosity.

The Bedtime Book of Incredible Questions by Isabel Thomas

In The Bedtime Book of Incredible Questions, experienced children’s science writer, Isabel Thomas, honors the validity of offbeat and whimsical questions by posing some of her own. The book covers topics like “How do we know unicorns never existed?” and “Can birds fly to space if they wanted?”, leaving kids to simply pick the page that tickles them the most. In the preface, Thomas is transparent about her intent to encourage questioning and acknowledges that answers can lead to even more questions – making this title a solid resource for imaginative conversation starters.

National Monuments of the USA by Cameron Walker

Elegant enough to belong on a coffee table, National Monuments of the USA serves as a guide to a mix of manmade and natural wonders across the country. Landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Muir Woods are each granted a two-page illustrated spread, highlighting fun tidbits of information about key features and wildlife. Families can create their own travel bucket lists together or use the book to engage kids in pre-travel itinerary planning. Also available at Peter White is the companion volume – National Parks of the USA, written by Kate Siber.

How to Eat in Space by Helen Taylor

Have you ever wondered how astronauts manage mealtimes at the International Space Station? With playful illustrations and lighthearted text focused on the “rules” of eating, How to Eat in Space encourages younger readers to use their imaginations as they think through the steps of eating, which includes clipping food to tables and carefully storing trash. The author has prior experience writing for a science museum, and encouraging a sense of discovery spills over into her approach to sharing this content. As she notes in the backmatter, “to tackle the big questions, we must start with the simple ones”.

They Held the Line by Dan Paley

Author Dan Paley was motivated to write about wildfire first responders after one of his children asked him “Who protects us?”, as they watched a fire burn in the distance. In the resulting picture book, Paley introduces the many specialized actors who coordinate to provide a response amidst harrowing circumstances. The story begins with the lookout and expands page by page to show the smokejumpers and jumpspots, the Helitack Crew, and the Handcrew, among others. Embedded into this content, the book provides context on the long-term impact of wildfires on animals, humans and the environment, making the case for the critical role these responders play.

By Meghan LeBoeuf

Youth Services


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