10 Accessible Nonfiction Books For Kindergarteners

Tackling decreasing literacy rates one book at a time. 

two boys reading and annotating a children's book
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  • Photo Credit: Andrew Ebrahim / Unsplash

With teachers commenting on decreasing literacy rates at an alarming pace and with the rise of technology encouraging more screen time than green time, it can be difficult to balance teaching the children in your life all of the life skills they’ll need. We recognize that it can be important to introduce children to some aspects of modern technology so they can learn and develop those problem-solving skills—but it’s just as important to teach them more traditional things like what the dinosaurs were and how plants grow. 

We also know that teaching children to read is a difficult task, especially at a grade level where there is so much variation in reading levels. One of the best ways to tackle this is to provide books on topics your children are interested in reading! This ignites their curiosity and their want to learn how to read so they can find the answers to their questions. 

To aid you in your search, we’ve compiled a list of 10 kindergarten-level books on a plethora of topics, from the story of the first Thanksgiving to how to manage your money. 

Classroom-Ready Number Talks for Kindergarten, First and Second Grade Teachers

Classroom-Ready Number Talks for Kindergarten, First and Second Grade Teachers

By Nancy Hughes

An engaging and ready-to-use introduction to simple math concepts, Classroom-Ready Number Talks for Kindergarten, First and Second Grade Teachers includes hundreds of ways to teach your children (or students!) math. It covers everything: grade-specific strategies, number talk how-tos, visual and numerical examples, scaffolding suggestions, common core alignments, and probing questions to build comprehension. 

Different types of learning are available for the kiddos who may struggle with math, and a range of concepts are included for kids who are ready for the next level.

Nature Play Workshop for Families

Nature Play Workshop for Families

By Monica Wiedel-Lubinski, Karen Madigan

For folks who are looking to nurture their children’s development through the scope of outdoor play, this award-winning nature play book will tell you how to do just that—and it includes advice and inspiration from experienced nature-based educators! 

To unplug and refocus, the book’s immersive nature play examples include: wildlife observation and tracking; nature sounds, songs, and poetry; gardening and cooking with wild edibles; printmaking, charcoal drawing, dyeing, and shadow play; and nature-inspired journaling. 

Meet the Planets

Meet the Planets

By John McGranaghan

An educational book on the solar system steeped in fun narratives and exciting imagery, Meet the Planets introduces solar system quick-facts, scientific references hidden in the pictures, and examples of space technology, constellations, art, and classic literature. 

The accompanying story line is as follows: Pluto is hosting the first ever Favorite Planet Competition, and the readers are the judges. Pluto announces witty facts about each planet as he introduces them, letting the reader sort through the facts to decide who their favorite planet is. 

I Am Money

I Am Money

By Julia Cook, Garrett Gunderson

At this point, it’s pretty clear to everyone that inflation is a menace that cannot be tamed; for this reason, we’ve decided to include a kindergarten-friendly book on financial literacy. Co-written by a bestselling children’s book author and a financial expert, (Julia Cook and Garrett Gunderson) this easily accessible picture book makes finances fun and understandable. 

Along with fun facts and money tips in the back of the book, the bulk of it teaches children how to earn, save, and (wisely) spend money, as well as introductions to the several forms money can come in, including cash, cards, and even crypto. 

Why Should I Recycle?

Why Should I Recycle?

By Mike Gordon

Not only is this book colorful and fun, but it tackles the seemingly never-ending stream of questions that curious kindergarteners ask to understand the world. It explains why recycling is important, what items can be recycled, and how your children can participate. 

Though teaching your children new skills is rewarding, it can also be difficult to navigate. To help with this, Why Should I Recycle? includes a note at the back of the book that suggests to parents and teachers how to use the book most effectively. 

The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving

The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving

By Anne McGovern

Ann McGovern’s The Pilgrims’ First Thanksgiving includes simple text introducing the real story of the first Thanksgiving without being too long. Along with fun, detailed imagery, the book is widely hailed as being rich in historical accuracy yet entertaining enough that a five year-old could easily sit through it.  She's known for writing educational and fun children's literature. 

colorful book cover with animal habitats for kids

Habitats: A Journey In Nature

By Hannah Pang

A comprehensive guide for animal and nature lovers alike, Habitats: a Journey in Nature is a beautifully illustrated book that introduces six habitats and the animals that live within them. 

It includes interactive split pages for an immersive read, as well as simple facts for increased understanding. 

The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop

The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop

By Carole Boston Weatherford

While The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop is what the title suggests, it’s also a lot more fun than you’d think. Teaching about the roots of rap and the history of hip-hop culture, children learn about it all: how it evolved from folktales, spirituals and poetry; the culture behind graffiti art; the art of break dancing; and prominent figures in rap’s history. 

Along with vibrant illustrations, the entire book is written in lyrical rhythm, not only making for a fun read and an introduction to poetry and other literature, but also providing a strategy for retaining information. After all, research suggests that putting knowledge to music helps your brain memorize it more effectively. 

big dinosaur head on a children's book cover

What Are Dinosaurs?

By Bobbie Kalman

There is always one dinosaur enthusiast in every kindergarten class. If that enthusiast is your kid, then look no further for your next nonfiction dinosaur book: Bobbie Kalman’s What Are Dinosaurs? has you covered. 

The book covers dinosaurs’ basic characteristics such as their skin texture, size, and the different types of dinosaurs there were, what their habitats looked like, and even which prehistoric era they come from. It even includes illustrations of all the different dinosaur types, as well as illustrations of what they would have looked like in their specific habitats. Not only is this a great dinosaur resource guide, but it’s also a comprehensive introduction to paleontology, evolution, and prehistoric life. 

I Spy the 50 States

I Spy the 50 States

By Sharyn Rosart

I Spy the 50 States takes children on a colorful guided tour of all 50 states, introducing the people, landmarks, and events that make each state unique. Each state also includes one thing it has in common with the state next door, making it easy for children to make connections and ultimately remember everything they’ve learned so far. 

Featured image: Andrew Ebrahim / Unsplash