Best Children Non-fiction Books of 2012

View all Best Recommendations for Kids book lists; This list was last updated on 2/15/2013
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Children's and Teen Services staff from the Kitchener Public Library have assembled a list of the best books of 2012. These are the Best Children Non-fiction Books of 2012.

For more book recommendations, please check out New York Times® Best Sellers, Children's Book Recommendations or the complete list of Featured Book Lists and Award Winners

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1 - 9 of 9 results
release date: Sep 11, 2012
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You Are Stardust
You Are Stardust begins by introducing the idea that every tiny atom in our bodies came from a star that exploded long before we were born. From its opening pages, the book suggests that we are intimately connected to the natural world; it compares the way we learn to speak to the way baby birds learn to sing, and the growth of human bodies to the growth of forests. Award-winning author Elin Kelsey — along with a number of concerned parents and educators around the world — believes children are losing touch with nature. This innovative picture book aims to reintroduce children to their innate relationship with the world around them by sharing many of the surprising ways that we are all connected to the natural world.

Grounded in current science, this extraordinary picture book provides opportunities for children to use their imaginations and wonder about some big ideas. Soyeon Kim's incredible diorama art enhances the poetic text, and her creative process is explored in full on the reverse side of the book's jacket, which features comments from the artist. Young readers will want to pore over each page of this book, exploring the detailed artwork and pondering the message of the text, excited to find out just how connected to the Earth they really are.
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Xtreme Illusions
Seeing is believing. But what if you simply can't believe your eyes? Dive into another dimension and experience the eye-boggling and brain-twisting extremes of these awesome optical illusions. This mind-bending collection of visual puzzles will amaze your friends, mystify your family and even blow your own mind!

Xtreme Illusions features every kind of visual trick and deceptive image, all in a cutting-edge style and using dynamic paper mechanics that are instantly engaging.

Fun-filled sections include:

DIZZY ALERT! You know these pictures aren't moving, but it looks as if they are!

PUZZLING PICTURES: Beautiful young lady or elderly woman? Images in this book are not quite as simple as they seem.

LOOPY LINES AND SILLY SIZES: Grab your "ruler of truth" included in this book and look closely! Test perplexing patterns where size, shape, or direction appears to be distorted and find out the real deal.

LOOK...AND LOOK AGAIN: Nothing is exactly what it appears to be. Look for impossible objects, hidden secrets, and doorways to incredible worlds.


Releases simultaneously in Reinforced Library Binding: 978-1-4263-1084-3 , $25.95/$30.00 Can
release date: Aug 01, 1998
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Town Mouse & the Country Mouse
When the town mouse and the country mouse visit each other, they find they prefer very different ways of life.
release date: Sep 01, 2011
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To Hope and Back
Lisa and Sol board the luxury ship St. Louis in Hamburg, Germany, on May 13, 1939. Lisa and her family are in first class; Sol and his parents are below in tourist class. The children have mixed feelings—they're excited to be beginning this voyage to a better life and sad to be leaving their old lives behind. They are Jewish, as are almost all of the 937 passengers on board, and although war has not been officially declared in Europe, the Nazis have been persecuting Jews for years. As they set sail for Cuba, the atmosphere on the ship is optimistic, led by the German captain Gustave Shröder, who is determined to see his passengers to safety. But as they learn that Hitler's propaganda has turned the country against them, the mood changes to despair. They are turned away—first from Cuba, then the United States, and then Canada.

The story of Lisa and Sol is set against the tragic true history of the St. Louis. Denied entry from port after port, the captain was forced to return his Jewish passengers to Europe, where many died in the Holocaust. Through the eyes of Sol and Lisa, we see the injustice and heartbreak that were caused by the prejudice and hatred of so many.

release date: Sep 11, 2012
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That's Gross!
Tired of having to contain your hidden urge to fart and finger-pick? Can't get enough of foul food and flies? Get ready to gross out all of your friends with these hysterically nauseating facts about all things gross and gruesome. Bringing together the slimiest, smelliest, and stickiest topics imaginable, That's Gross, is chock-full of foul facts that are guaranteed to make your stomach churn. Each chapter is packed with icky information, wacky and colorful pictures, and sickening sidebarsthat will make you say "That's Gross!" Hold on to your stomach while we explore the world of barf, bugs, boogers, and other things your parents won't like.

With lively and humorous prose, high-interest subjects, and truly disgusting photos, this book will have kids glued to the page while they learn the facts, history and scientific details of "eww". Kids will be so captivated by the gross-out factor that they won't even realize how much they're learning. They might even discover that these skin-crawling truths are just a part of everyday life!

Chapters include:
 • The History of Grossness
 • Your Abominable Body
 • Gross Animals
 • Gross Bugs
 • Dead Things
 • Gross Around the World
 • Gross Pop Culture
 • Everyday Grossness
 • Gross Fun
 • Glossary of Gross

Other elements include the "Happy Place," featuring adorable baby animals just in case the grossness is too overwhelming; a "Gag Gauge" to rank the level of grossness of each topic; plus gross experiments, games, and more.

Releases simultaneously in Reinforced Library Binding: 978-1-4263-1066-9 , $12.95/$14.95 Can
release date: Feb 21, 2012
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The Stick Book
"“…while many projects have tangible payoffs — a sun clock, musical percussion sticks, magic wands and charcoal pencils pleased both the boy and me — each project seldom requires more than a page of description, even when providing actual learning opportunities within the fun.” - Dallas News

The stick is a universal toy. Totally natural, all-purpose, free, it offers limitless opportunities for outdoor play and adventure and it provides a starting point for an active imagination and the raw material for transformation into - almost anything! As New York's Strong National Museum of Play pointd out when they selected a stick for inclusion in their National Toy Hall of Fame, 'It can be a Wild West horse, a medieval knight's sword, a boat on a stream, or a slingshot with a rubber band . . .' In this book Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield offer masses of suggestions for things to do with a stick, in the way of adventures and bushcraft, creative and imaginative play, games, woodcraft and conservation, music and more.
release date: May 08, 2012
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Show Me a Story!
In compelling interviews by the acclaimed Leonard S. Marcus, twenty-one top authors and illustrators reveal their inside stories on the art of creating picture books.

Max and Mickey; Miss Nelson; Pack, Quack, and Mrs. Mallard; Pigeon; Sylvester; John Henry; and a very hungry caterpillar — these are just a few of the beloved picture book characters discussed in Show Me a Story. Renowned children's literature authority Leonard S. Marcus speaks with their creators and others — twenty-one of the world's most celebrated authors and illustrators
— and asks about their childhood, their inspiration, their determination, their mentors, their creative choices, and more. Amplifying these richly entertaining and thought-provoking conversations are eighty-eight full-color plates revealing each illustrator's artistic process from sketch to near
-final artwork in fascinating, behind-the-scenes detail. Why do children love and need picture books so much? Recasting and greatly expanding on a volume published in 2002 as Ways of Telling, Leonard S. Marcus confirms that picture books matter because they make a difference in our children's lives.
release date: Sep 18, 2012
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Island

Charles Darwin first visited the Galápagos Islands almost 200 years ago, only to discover a land filled with plants and animals that could not be found anywhere else on earth. How did they come to inhabit the island? How long will they remain?

Thoroughly researched and filled with intricate and beautiful paintings, this extraordinary book by Award-winning author and artist Jason Chin is an epic saga of the life of an island―born of fire, rising to greatness, its decline, and finally the emergence of life on new islands.

Island is one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Children's Books of 2012

release date: Mar 13, 2012
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Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It

This Is Just to Say

If you're looking for a nice happy book

put this one down and run away quickly

Forgive me sweetness and good cheer are boring

Inspired by William Carlos Williams's famous poem ”This Is Just to Say,” Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine delivers a wickedly funny collection of her own false apology poems, imagining how tricksters really feel about the mischief they make. Matthew Cordell's clever and playful line art lightheartedly captures the spirit of the poetry. This is the perfect book for anyone who's ever apologized . . . and not really meant it.

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