Very Low Reading Level Nonfiction
Nonfiction trade books with Lexile levels up to 499 (K-2). If the book is in print, ISBN numbers and prices follow. P=paperback. To be listed here, the list price of the book must be under $20.00.
070.4 – The Furry News: How to Make a Newspaper* by Loreen Leedy (Holiday House 1990 – 9780823407934 $17.95) LEXILE: 440
Big Bear, Rabbit, and the other animals work hard to write, edit, and print their newspaper, “The Furry News.” Includes tips for making your own newspaper and defines a number of newspaper terms.
133.52 – Cat and Rat: The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac by Ed Young (Henry Holt 1995 – 9780805060492 P $8.99) LEXILE: 430
Introduces the Chinese zodiac and relates how each of its twelve signs was named for an animal selected by the Jade Emperor. Includes a table showing the signs for the years 1900 through 2007, and the character traits of each sign.
152.4 – F is for Feelings by Goldie Millar (Free Spirit 2014 – 9781575424750 – T – $15.99) LEXILE: 130
This alphabet book teaches young children about feelings and the idea that all emotions are natural and important. Colorful illustrations accompany the text. A section in the back provides tips and activities for parents, teachers, and caregivers to reinforce the book’s themes and lessons.
155.2 – People* by Peter Spier (Doubleday 1980) LEXILE: 440
Emphasizes the differences among the four billion people on earth.
158.25 – How to be a Friend: A Guide to Making Friends and Keeping Them* by Laurene Krasny Brown (Little, Brown 1998 – 9780316111539 P $6.99) Lexile: 140
Dinosaur characters illustrate the value of friends, how to make friends, and what characteristics make one a good friend.
179.9 – I Can Do it Myself by Valorie Fisher (Schwartz & Wade 2014 – 9780449815939 – T – $17.00) LEXILE: 330
Can you tie your shoe? Write your letters and numbers? Make your bed? Or set the table? Can you do it by yourself? Children and parents alike will rejoice as 4- to 6-year-olds achieve these important childhood milestones (and many more) with the help of this engaging and fun picture book.
179.9 – Stand Tall!: A Book About Integrity by Cheri J. Meiners (Free Spirit 2015 – 9781575424842 – T – $14.99) LEXILE: 390
Counsels children about the value of integrity, providing themed activity suggestions while explaining how to discern right from wrong, make positive decisions, keep promises, and stay true to oneself.
204.3 – Everyone Prays: Celebrating Faith Around the World by Alexis York Lumbard (Wisdom Tales 2014 – T – $17.95) LEXILE: 300
Shows young readers that the practice of prayer can be found in religions around the world.
222.11 – The Ark* by Arthur Geisert (Houghton Mifflin 1988 – 9780618006083 P $8.95) LEXILE: 380
Retells the familiar Bible story, using etchings as illustrations, and vividly depicting life inside the ark.
222.11 – Noah’s Ark* by Jerry Pinkney (SeaStar 2002 – 9781587172014 $16.99) LEXILE: 350
Retells the biblical story of the great flood and how Noah and his family faithfully responded to God’s call to save life on earth.
232.901 – Jesus by Brian Wildsmith (Eerdmans 2000 – 9780802852120 $20.00) LEXILE: 430
Traces the life of Jesus in words and gold-framed illustrations.
306.85 – Families by Shelley Rotner (Holiday House 2015 – 9780823430536 – R – $17.95) LEXILE: 210
Celebrate diversity with a picture book for very young children about the many faces of contemporary families. Big or small, similar or different-looking, there are all kinds of families. Some have one parent, some have two, and many include extended family. This inclusive look at many varieties of families will help young readers see beyond their own immediate experiences and begin to understand others.
306.874 – Our Grandparents: A Global Album by Maya Ajmera (Charlesbridge 2010 – 9781570914584 – R – $16.95) LEXILE: 370
Explores the intergenerational relationship between children and grandparents around the world.
331.702 – Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do* by Kathryn Heling (Charlesbridge 2012 – 9781580892513 – R – $14.95) LEXILE: 310
Colorful illustrations help children determine job titles from the clothes the people wear. (TW)
331.702 – Whose Shoes? : A Shoe for Every Job by Stephen R. Swinburne (Boyds Mills 2010 – 9781590785690 – R – $16.95) LEXILE: 280
Simple text and color photographs explore a variety of occupations and the shoes that are worn for the particular jobs.
389.17 – While You Are Sleeping: A Lift-the-Flap Book of Time Around the World by Durga Bernhard (Charlesbridge 2011 – 9781570914737 – R – $14.95) LEXILE: 240
Readers must lift the flaps to compare the same moment of time in countries around the world. Includes a map and information about time zones. (TW)
395.122 – Dinosaurs Don’t, Dinosaurs Do by Steve Bjorkman (Holiday House 2011 – 9780823423552 – R – $14.95) LEXILE: 220
Dinosaurs demonstrate the wrong and right ways to interact with others.
428.1 – First Hockey Words by Per-Henrik Gurth (Kids Can Press 2014 – 9781771381147 – T – $15.95) LEXILE: 300
Introduces hockey terms with illustrated examples of the words, including face-off, center, winger, and goalie.
428.1 – Small, Medium, Large: A Book About Relative Sizes by Emily Jenkins (Star Bright 2011 – 9781595722782 – T – $19.95) LEXILE: 370
The colorful, lively characters in Small, Medium, Large will captivate young readers as they discover the wonderful world of relative sizes–an important stepping stone to learning early math skills and measurement.
428.1 – What Ship is Not a Ship? by Harriet Ziefert (Blue Apple 2014 – 9781609054472 – T – $17.99) LEXILE: 130
Clever word groupings list three alike things and one that it is different. For example, there are living rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms–but a mushroom is not a room! Picture clues will help kids figure out which “of these things is not like the other” and will begin to grasp the more fine-tuned nuances of word parts, roots, and meanings.
428.2 – Behind the Mask: A Book About Prepositions by Ruth Heller (Grosset & Dunlap 1995 – 9780698116986 P $7.99) LEXILE: 170
Explores through rhyming text the subject of prepositions and how they’re used. Also by Heller – Mine, All Mine: A Book About Pronouns (480), Up, Up and Away: A Book About Adverbs (480),
428.2 – Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference! by Lynne Truss (Putnam’s 2006 – 9780399244919 $15.99) Lexile: 380
See how using (or not using) a comma can change the meaning of a sentence.
512.7 – Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar* by Anno (Philomel 1983 – 9780399209512 – $20.99) LEXILE: 380
Simple text and pictures introduce the mathematical concept of factorials.
513.211 – How Many, How Many, How Many* by Rick Walton (Candlewick 1993 – 9781564026569 P $6.99) LEXILE: 370
The reader counts from one to twelve while guessing the answers to questions about nursery rhymes, names of the seasons, players on a football team, and other basic information.
513.211 – 12 Ways to Get to 11 by Eve Merriam (Simon & Schuster 1993) LEXILE: 60
Uses ordinary experiences to present twelve combinations of numbers that add up to eleven. Example: At the circus, six peanut shells and five pieces of popcorn.
513.211 – Help Me Learn Addition by Jean Marzollo (Holiday House 2012 – 9780823423989 – R – $15.95) LEXILE: 370
Bright photographs of puppets, marbles, chicks, dogs, and other fun objects, a rhyming text, and a fun game help children learn to add. This book teaches children how to connect numbers with a value and introduces them to mathematical equations.
513.213 – The Best of Times: Math Strategies That Multiply* by Greg Tang (Scholastic 2002 – 9780439210447 $16.95) LEXILE: 130
Simple rhymes offer hints on how to multiply any number by zero through ten without memorizing the multiplication tables.
513.26 – Fraction Action by Loreen Leedy (Holiday House 1994 – 9780823411092 $17.95) LEXILE: 330
Miss Prime and her animal students explore fractions by finding many examples in the world around them.
513.26 – Apple Fractions* by Jerry Pallotta (Scholastic 2002 – 9780439389013 P $5.99) LEXILE: 490
Describes a variety of apples and uses them to introduce fractions.
515.24 – Beep Beep, Vroom Vroom! by Stuart J. Murphy (HarperCollins 2000 – 9780064467285 P $5.99) LEXILE: 360
Teaches readers how to recognize patterns through a story about Molly, who loves to play with her big brother’s toy cars. (MathStart series)
516 – The Wing Wing Brothers Geometry Palooza! by Ethan Long (Holiday House 2014 – 9780823429516 -R – $15.95) LEXILE: 360
Your favorite five wacky birds are at it again. This time teaching readers the building blocks of geometry, while trying not to topple over themselves!
516.15 – Teddy Bear Patterns by Barbara Barbieri McGrath (Charlesbridge 2013 – 9781580894227 – R – $16.95) LEXILE: 300
Colorful teddy bears and simple rhymes help students identify patterns.
523.802 – The Big Dipper* by Franklin Mansfield Branley (HarperCollins 1991 – 9780060205119 $13.95) LEXILE: 460
Explains basic facts about the Big Dipper, including which stars make up the constellation, how its position changes in the sky, and how it points to the North Star.
530.8 – Millions to Measure* by David M. Schwartz (HarperCollins 2003 – 9780688129163 $17.99) LEXILE: 470
Marvelosissimo the Magician explains the development of standard units of measure, and shows the simplicity of calculating length, height, weight, and volume using the metric system.
551.5 – Air is All Around You by Franklyn Mansfield Branley (HarperCollins 2006 – 9780060594138) LEXILE: 330
Describes the various properties of air and shows how to prove that air takes up space and that there is air dissolved in water.
551.576 – Clouds by Marion Dane Bauer (Aladdin 2004 – 9780689854415 P $3.99) LEXILE: 240
Illustrations and simple text explain three types of clouds, stratus, cumulus, and cirrus. (Ready-to-read)
553.7 – I Am Water by Jean Marzollo (Scholastic 1996 – 9780590265874 P $3.99) LEXILE: 30
Simple text and colorful cutout pictures describe the many uses of water. (Hello science reader! Level 1)
553.7 – Water Can Be–* by Laura Purdie Salas (Millbrook 2014 – 9781467705912 – R – $17.95) LEXILE: 180
This picture book poetically explores the many things water can be–from home maker and ship breaker to cloud fluffer and fire snuffer.
567.9 – The Dinosaur Disaster by Matthew McElligott (Crown 2015 – 9780553523744 – T – $17.99) LEXILE: 390
Dr. Cosmic’s class of clever monsters at the Mad Scientist Academy solve the greatest challenges in science, in this perfect blend of adventure and exploration.
567.9 – Dinosaur Bones* by Bob Barner (Chronicle 2001 – 9780811831581 $16.99) LEXILE: 350
Presents a poem about dinosaur bones with paper collage illustrations, and includes facts about dinosaurs on each page.
567.91 – Digging Up Dinosaurs* by Aliki (HarperCollins 1988 – 9780690047165 $17.89) LEXILE: 490
Briefly introduces various types of dinosaurs, explaining how scientists find, preserve, and reassemble the giant dinosaur skeletons seen in museums. (Let’s-read-and-find-out science)
567.91 – Dinosaur Bones* by Aliki (HarperCollins 1988 – 9780064450775 P $5.99) LEXILE: 460
Discusses how scientists, studying fossil remains, provide information on how dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. (Let’s-read-and-find-out science)
567.91 – Dinosaur Babies by Lucile Recht Penner (Random House 1991 – 9780679812074 P $3.99) LEXILE: 280
Describes the characteristics and behavior of baby dinosaurs. (Step into reading. Step 1)
577.16 – Hungry Animals: My First Look at a Food Chain by Pamela M. Hickman (Kids Can Press 1997 – 9781550742046 P $6.95) LEXILE: 480
Introduces how a food chain works, tracing the connection between a wildflower in a field and a snake caught by a mother owl for her owlets. Lift-up flaps offer facts about the plant or animal featured on each page.
581.48 – I Am a Leaf by Jean Marzollo (Scholastic 1998 – 9780590641203 P $3.99) LEXILE: 70
A simple introduction to the life cycle and functions of a leaf. (Hello science reader! Level 1)
581.632 – Plants Feed Me* by Lizzy Rockwell (Holiday House 2014 – 9780823425266 R $16.95) LEXILE: 210
Watermelons are fruits. Cabbages are leaves. Walnuts are seeds. Carrots are roots. People eat many parts of plants. Even flowers!
582.016 – How a Seed Grows* by Helene J. Jordan (HarperCollins 1992 – 9780064451079 P $5.99) LEXILE: 400
Uses observations of bean seeds planted in eggshells to demonstrate the growth of seeds into plants. (Let’s-read-and-find-out science. Stage 1)
582.16 – A Grand Old Tree by Mary Newell DePalma (Scholastic 2005 – 9780439623346 $17.99) LEXILE: 460
A book about the life of a tree and all it gives us.
583.99 – Dandelions: Stars in the Grass* by Mia Posada (Carolrhoda 2000 – 9781575053998 P $6.95) LEXILE: 460
Rhyming text presents the dandelion, not as a weed, but as a flower of great beauty. Includes information about the flower, a recipe, and science activities.
591.185 – Elephants Swim* by Linda Capus Riley (Houghton Mifflin 1995 – 9780395934890 P $6.95) LEXILE: 330
Describes in rhyme how various animals such as elephants, kangaroos, armadillos, and caribou behave in water.
591.5 – Animals Work by Ted Lewin (Holiday House 2014 – 9780823430406 – R – $14.95) LEXILE: 070
This picture book not only teaches readers about the variety of work animals perform but also depicts the give-and-take dynamic of human/animal relationships.
591.543 – Animals in Winter* by Henrietta Bancroft (HarperCollins 1997 – 9780064451659 P) LEXILE: 380
Describes the many different ways animals cope with winter, including migration, hibernation, and food storage.
592.64 – We Dig Worms! by Kevin McCloskey (TOON Books 2015 – 9781935179801 – T – $12.95) LEXILE: 340
Young children (and a hungry bluebird) follow a talkative earthworm around. They learn fun facts about worms and their important role in our environment.
594.56 – Gentle Giant Octopus* by Karen Wallace (Candlewick 1998 – 9780763638696 P $8.99) LEXILE: 490
Describes the physical characteristics and behavior of a Giant Octopus and how she searches for a home at the bottom of the ocean, lays her eggs and protects them from predators until they can hatch.
595.7 – Bugs* by Nancy Winslow Parker (Greenwillow 1987) LEXILE: 230
Includes general information, jokes, and brief descriptions of the physical characteristics, habits, and natural environment of a variety of common insects.
595.78 – I’m a Caterpillar by Jean Marzollo (Scholastic 1997 – 9780590847797 P $3.99) LEXILE: 60
Provides a simple explanation of what happens as a caterpillar changes into a butterfly–from the caterpillar’s point of view. (Hello science reader! Level 1)
595.79 – From Caterpillar to Butterfly* by Deborah Heiligman (HarperCollins 1996) LEXILE: 490
Children in the classroom watch a caterpillar grow, disappear inside a shell it makes, and come out of the shell a beautiful butterfly. (Let’s Read-and-Find-Out Science series)
595.79 – Army Ant Parade* by April Pulley Sayre (Henry Holt 2002) LEXILE: 460
The animals in the forest prepare for the army ants to swarm over the ground in a thick stream, searching for food.
595.796 – Ants by Melissa Stewart (National Geographic 2010 – 9781426306099 $11.90) LEXILE: 470
Describes different types of ants and their behavior. (National Geographic readers Level 1)
595.799 – Busy Buzzy Bee by Karen Wallace (DK 1999 – 9780789447593 $14.99) LEXILE: 300
Explains the behavior and lives of bees, discussing how they collect nectar from flowers, care for their eggs and queen bee, and communicate with each other. (Eyewitness readers. Level 1)
597.3 – Chomp! : A Book About Sharks by Melvin Berger (Scholastic 1999 – 9780590522984 P $3.99) LEXILE: 420
A simple explanation of what sharks look like, how they hunt, what they eat, and how they are born. (Hello science reader! Level 3)
591.31 – Hungry, Hungry Sharks by Joanna Cole (Random House 2009 – 9780394974712 $11.99) LEXILE: 410
A simple discussion of the kinds of sharks and their behaviour. (Step into reading. Step 2)
597.33 – How to Spy on a Shark by Lori Haskins Houran (Albert Whitman 2015 – 9780807534021 – R – $15.99) LEXILE: 280
A crew of scientists at sea use a camera-equipped robotic device to track a shark’s movements through the water.
597.8 – About Amphibians: A Guide for Children* by Cathryn P. Sill (Peachtree 2001 – 9781561452347) LEXILE: 380
Illustrations and text provide information about the lives and characteristics of amphibians. Also About Arachnids (460), About Reptiles (390)
597.87 – Toad Weather by Sandra Markle (Peachtree 2015 – 9781561458189 – R – $16.95) LEXILE: 400
There’s nothing to do on a rainy day – or so Ally thinks. But Mama says she’s seen something amazing, so despite Ally’s misgivings, she sets out on an adventure with her mother and grandmother. On her journey, she sees all sorts of things: dripping awnings, wet cardboard, splashing carsÉbut also earthworms, storm drain geysers, and oil slick patterns. And then they turn the corner, just in time to see a big crowd. What’s happening?
597.89 – Frogs! by Elizabeth Carney (National Geographic 2009 – 9781426303937 $1190) LEXILE: 410
Colorful photographs and simple text introduce children to the world of amphibians. (National Geographic science readers. Level 1)
597.89 – Fantastic Frogs! by Fay Robinson (Scholastic 1999 – 9780590522694 P $3.99) LEXILE: 190
Introduces the growth, food, habitats, colors, and shapes of different kinds of frogs. (Hello science reader! Level 2)
597.956 – Chameleon, Chameleon* by Joy Cowley (Scholastic 2005 – 9780439666534 $16.95) LEXILE: 180
A colorful chameleon encounters friend and foe while making his way from one tree to another in search of a tasty insect dinner.
598 – A Bird is a Bird* by Lizzy Rockwell (Holiday House 2015 – 9780823430420 – R – $16.95) LEXILE: 190
Discusses the characteristics and traits of birds. (TW)
598.72 – Woodpecker Wham!* by April Pulley Sayre (Henry Holt 2015 – 9780805088427 – R – $17.99) LEXILE: 100
Enter woodpecker world and get a bird’s eye view of everyday life: hiding from hawks, feeding hungry chicks, and drilling holes to build homes. Woodpeckers are nature’s home builders, creating holes that many other animals live in when the woopeckers move on. A variety of woodpecker species fly through these pages–perhaps some that live near you!
599 – Animals Born Alive and Well* by Ruth Heller (Grosset & Dunlap 1982 – 9780698117778 P) LEXILE: 390
Text and illustrations introduce animals with fur or hair who nurse their young, breathe fresh air, and except for two species give birth to their young alive instead of laying eggs.
599.147 – Big Tracks, Little Tracks: Following Animal Prints by Millicent E. Selsam (HarperCollins 1999 – 9780064451949 P $5.99) LEXILE: 370
Keeping a sharp eye out for clues like animal tracks and odors can help people identify the animals that have passed through an area. (Let’s-read-and-find-out science. Stage 1)
636.7 – Dozer’s Run: A True Story of a Dog and His Race by Debbie Levy & Rosana Panza (Sleeping Bear 2014 – 9781585368969 – R – $16.99) LEXILE: 400
In May 2011, unbeknownst to his owner, Dozer the Goldendoodle leaves his yard and joins runners participating in the Maryland Half Marathon, a race benefitting the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center. His run encouraged thousands of pledges in support of the Greenebaum Cancer Center.
Excluding picture books that are song lyrics.
781.17 – Music Everywhere!* by Maya Ajmera (Charlesbridge 2014 – 9781570919367 – R – $17.95) LEXILE: 330
Photographs from around the world celebrate the universal joy that kids get from making music, whether they’re playing instruments, clapping their hands, stomping their feet, or singing. Music can help express one child’s feelings—or it can bring a whole community together.
796.0284 – Clothesline Clues to Sports People Play by Kathryn Heling & Deborah Hembrook (Charlesbridge 2015 – 9781580896023 – R – $14.95) LEXILE: 280
The clues in each … verse can be spotted hanging from the clothesline. What athlete wears those items? Turn the page to discover the sport at hand–and the athlete in full gear! (Amazon)
811.54 – The Ghost Dance by Alice McLerran (Clarion 1995 – 9780618111435 P $6.95) LEXILE: 420
A narrative of the origins and meaning of the Native American Indian ghost dance.
971 – A Day in Canada by Per-Henrik Gurth (Kids Can Press 2015 – 9781771381253 – T – $15.95) LEXILE: 260
Text and illustrations look at a day in Canada, with written out numerals for the time in the top left and an analog clock in the lower left of each page. (TW)
Lincoln – Abe Lincoln : The Boy Who Loved Books* by Kay Winters (Simon & Schuster 2003 – 9780689825545 $16.95) LEXILE: 480
Describes how Abe Lincoln used books to change his life, and how he, in turn, changed the world.Lincoln, Abraham. 973.7
Matisse – The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse* by Patricia MacLachlan (Roaring Brook 2014 – 9781596439481 – R – $17.99) LEXILE: 240
If you were a boy named Henri Matisse who lived in a dreary French town where there were gray skies and you wanted color and light and sun, what might you become? 759.4
Ross – Betsy Ross* by Becky White (Holiday House 2011 – 9780823419081 – R – $16.95) LEXILE: 350
Tells the story of the colonial seamstress who, according to legend, stitched the first American flag, after a design by George Washington. 973.309