Informational Picture Books for Children

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Author
  • Reviews

The best informational picture books offer a skillful blend of text and illustration to create an aesthetic literary experience. Unfortunately, informational books often are reviewed for content alone rather than broader literary merit. The explosion in informational book publishing has made selection decisions all the more difficult for librarians and teachers.

To navigate through this deluge, Cianciolo has developed eight guidelines for evaluating the quality in informational books. These guidelines, described in the opening chapter, shaped her selection of 260 of the best contemporary informational picture books for children aged six months to fourteen years. Rich annotations describe factual books, concept books, biographies, and autobiographies—books children enjoy, books addressing the topics teachers and librarians target. Cianciolo organizes her selections into eight categories:

  • the natural world;
  • numbers and arithmetic;
  • the physical world;
  • finding new worlds;
  • children and families;
  • peoples and cultures;
  • language; and
  • arts and crafts.

Use Informational Picture Books for Children and select the best!

List of Illustrations
Informational Picture Books: Definitions, Selection, Criteria, and Trends
2 The Natural World
3 Numbers and Arithmetic
4 The Physical World
5 Finding New Worlds
6 Children and Families
7 Peoples and Cultures
8 Language
9 Arts and Crafts

Patricia J. Cianciolo

Patricia J. Cianciolo is professor emeritus at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, where she taught courses in the critical reading and reviewing of literature for children, adolescent literature, and illustrations in children's books. She holds a Ph.D. from Ohio State University and a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has done extensive research in children's response to literature and book illustrations as well as in the teaching and learning of literature in the elementary grades. Cianciolo has published numerous professional books and articles on aspects of literature for children and adolescents; has presented papers and led workshops and institutes at the state, national, and international levels; and has served as a visiting professor at universities and as a literacy consultant to school systems nationally and internationally. She also has served on several children's literature award committees.

"The currency of the selections and the focus on information make this a unique resource."
—School Library Journal

"Highly recommended."
—Book Report/Library Talk

"This is an excellent contribution to a professional collection where selection of quality children's materials is paramount."
—Catholic Library World