Friday, October 11, 2019

25 Great Expository Nonfiction Read Alouds

Since 2019 marks the 10th Anniversary of this blog, on Fridays this year, I’m updating some past posts that sparked conversation or that I think still have a lot to offer people teaching or writing nonfiction. Today’s post is an updated version of a list that originally appeared on December 15, 2018.

Here are some of my favorite expository nonfiction titles that are perfect for sharing in 10 minutes or less.*
Actual Size by Steve Jenkins (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011)

Birds of a Feather: Bowerbirds and Me by Susan L. Roth (Neal Porter Books/Holiday House, 2019) 

Born in the Wild: Baby Mammals and Their Parents by Lita Judge (Roaring Brook, 2014)

Daylight Starlight Wildlife by Wendell Minor (Paulsen/Penguin Random House, 2015)

An Egg Is Quiet by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long (Chronicle, 2006)

Frog Song by Brenda Z. Guiberson and Gennady Spirin (Holt, 2013)
Homes in the Wild: Where Baby Animals and Their Parents Live by Lita Judge (Roaring Brook, 2019)

A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars by Seth Fishman and Isabel Greenberg (Greenwillow, 2017)

If You Find a Rock by Peggy Christian and Barbara Hirsch Lember (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000)
Mama Dug a Little Den by Jennifer Ward and Steve Jenkins (Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster, 2018)

Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth by Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton (Candlewick, 2017)

Move! by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2006)

Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature by Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell (Boyds Mills Press, 2014)

One World, One Day by Barbara Kerley (Scholastic, 2009)

Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs by Melissa Stewart and Stephanie Laberis (Peachtree, 2018)

Rodent Rascals by Roxie Munro (Holiday House, 2018)

Seashells: More than a Home by Melissa Stewart and Sarah S. Brannen (Charlesbridge, 2019) 

The Street Beneath My Feet by Charlotte Guillain and Yuval Zommer (words & pictures, 2017)

Summer Green to Autumn Gold: Uncovering Leaves' Hidden Colors by Mia Posada(Millbrook, 2019)

Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman and Beth Krommes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011)

Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes by Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton (Candlewick, 2014)

Wait, Rest, Pause: Dormancy in Nature by Marcie Flinchum Atkins (Millbrook, 2019)

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell and Frané Lessac (Charlesbridge, 2018)

With a Friend by Your Side by Barbara Kerley (National Geographic, 2015)

*I wish I could have included more books by IPOC or members of other traditionally marginalized groups on this list. Unfortunately, there are currently very few available. I hope that will change in the near future.


  1. A great list of books. Thanks for sharing them

  2. Great list, Melissa. Congrats on your ten-year blog anniversary!

  3. So many wonderful titles, here, and they all take a variety of approaches. That is the fun thing about expository nf--it appeals to so many kinds of readers (and listeners in the case of pre-readers).

  4. Your blog is such a wonderful resource. Happy Blogiversary!

  5. I like Maria Gianferrari's comment about the diversity of approaches. I will check all these out again and look carefully at that. I so appreciate your help in listing these, Melissa.