Book Reviews

These books are nonfiction for ages 4–8.
Use the following links for other books.

Nonfiction 4–8

I – Z

I Is for India
This book, I Is for India by Prodeepta Das, is a great little book in the Round-the-World series from Frances Lincoln. The focus here is on India, and the method of learning is one page at a time, each letter of the English alphabet corresponding to one facet of the Indian culture that readers who live elsewhere might not know.

If the World Were a Village
This wonderful little book can change your life! See the world in a new way by seeing it as one village. How many people in this village speak Chinese? How many of them have too little food? Find the answers in this great book that tells a complex story in simple terms, accompanied by imaginative illustrations.

Into the Air
The subtitle of this book has the real information, and the title and subtitle together describe what type of book this really is. On the surface, Into the Air: An Illustrated Timeline of Flight looks to be a standard examination of how we got to the Wright Brothers and what has been happened since. However, this book is MUCH more than that. This book can be read and appreciated by readers of ALL ages, even adults!

On This Spot
What if you took one location and took snapshots of it throughout long periods of time? That's the premise of this wonderful new book by Susan E. Goodman, On This Spot. Illustrated by Lee Christiansen and brought to us by Greenwillow Books (of the HarperCollins family), the book explains in vivid words and vivid pictures what New York City was like in times past—175 years ago, 350 years ago, 15,000 years ago, 220 million years ago, etc., all the way back to 540 million years ago.

Pilgrims of Plymouth
Pictures rule in this book. Kids see how the Pilgrims lived, worked, and prayed. Along the way, they find out that life back then was different in some ways but exactly the same in other ways. Good fun!

This book, from Alfred A. Knopf, is an excellent depiction of the construction of a skyscraper, from the conception stage to the ribbon-cutting final stages. The author and photographer take you the reader step-by-step through the building of a very tall building. The photos alone—from atop a skyscraper in New York—are worth a look, or two, or three.

True Tales of the Wild West
This fun book takes 10 stories from the Wild West and puts some truth to them. Included are such standard fare as the Gold Rush, Lewis & Clark, and the Pony Express and other, less-mentioned stories, like Jedediah Smith, the man who walked across the great Western Desert in search of a fabled river that didn't exist. Excellent narratives tell the true stories of these often legendary-sounding events.

W Is for World
What a wonderful way to learn about other countries! The good folks at Frances Lincoln have hit on a great idea to stimulate your children's learning about other cultures and peoples of the world. Simply put, it's an ABC book in which the stars are people and things that your readers might never have heard of but should get to know as students of the world around them.

Wolf Girls
Were two young girls raised by wolves? You decide. This fun historical mystery gives you the facts, the clues, and the possibilities. Then, you decide what really happened.

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Social Studies for Kids
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David White