Book Bites: Nifty Non Fiction


In a world where curiosities outweigh everyday normalities, works of non-fiction have never been more sought after. If a young person you know constantly besieges you with relentless enquiry, consider these titles. There will be more to follow in months to come – my non-fiction TBR just about out-towers my other book piles – but for now these are just two of the titles Kids’ Book Review is featuring in their current Giveaway and come personally recommended. Be warned, you’re going to need a bigger Christmas gift books stocking.

Alice’s Food A to Z

Touted as an edible adventure from culinary icon, Alice Zaslavasky, this is a re-vamped re-issue of Zaslavsky’s first culinary offering. Part cook book, part food encyclopaedia, A to Z does just that; escorts young foodies through an alphabetical edible expedition of scrummy facts, cooking tips and recipes. There are plenty of checkpoints along the way to stop and absorb interesting food facts and figures including how to mix and match food, nutting out unusual words and highlighting what makes certain foods so super special, like asparagus.

Real photographs combine with eye popping typesetting which results in a fun collection of yumminess that is easy to dip in and out of. What I love most is Zaslavsky’s indomitable inclusive style. Her humour and expertise ooze off every page giving kids of any age reason and confidence to embark on their own food adventures. This is a great resource for cooking-curious kids as well as those less familiar with kitchen and the incredible things that lie within awaiting discovery. As Alice so heartily proclaims: Be curious, stay interested, choose your own adventure. #leapingoutofyourcomfortzone

Title: Alice’s Food A to Z
Author: Alice Zaslavsky
Illustrator: Kat Chadwick
Publisher: Walker Books Australia, $24
Publication Date: November 2021
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781760654856
For ages: 8+
Type: Junior Non Fiction, Cook Book

Buy the Book: Walker Books Australia, Boomerang Books

Listified! Britannica’s 300 Lists That Will Blow Your Mind

For lovers of accruing facts and figures and using them unashamedly to win trivia quizzes, you must get hold of Listified! It presents over 300 lists which literally list information in super-easy-to-digest bullet formats (using numbers) about everything from amphibious bicycles to erupting volcanoes. Every bit of data is researched and ratified just like a regular encyclopaedia however unlike your normal collection of fantastic facts, Listified is 150% accessible to youngsters and information-dump-adverse adults like me.

Each list sports a catchy title and promises at least five examples or revelations to blow your mind. Lists rarely run longer than ten facts to maintain vivid engagement. Andrés Lozano’s comic illustrations keep it all real and kid-friendly whilst occasional real photographs support Andrew Pettie’s ingenious tabulations of information all neatly grouped into chapters including: inventions, space, nature, and the body to list but four. A handy dandy word list (aka Glossary) and list of things you might want to look up (aka Index) complete this brilliant resource guaranteed to keep kids and carers immersed for hours, although the beauty of this resource’s presentation is in the way it invites you back again and again; you are able to jump in at any point. Somehow assimilating information in list form is so much more thrilling and interesting. There’s even a Listified!  list summarising its own content; disclaimer – the number of chicken illustrations that appear in this book is 19.

Britannica Books sports a number of other nifty non-fiction titles that will amaze and enthral kids for decades including: the Britannica All New Children’s Encyclopaedia and Britannica’s First Big Book of Why (for ages 4+) This one is included in KBR’s Creative Non Fiction Prize Combo Giveaway. Imagine having all the answers to those infamous ‘but why…?’ questions at your fingertips! 

Title: Listified
Author: Andrew Pettie
Illustrator: Andrés Lozano
Publisher: Britannica Books, $44.99
Publication Date: September 2021
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781912920747
For ages: 8+
Type: Junior Non Fiction

Buy the Book: Walker Books Australia, Boomerang Books

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