I had a request for books appropriate for a 6-year-old who loves animals and the outdoors. Mom wanted them to be easy to follow with an educational component. I know that he enjoys Henry and Mudge and The Magic Tree House. My first thought was some non-fiction easy readers to compliment the fiction he already enjoys. There are really three series in this category that stand out to me as the best of the best:

Blast Off Readers Series

I Am series by Brad Metzler

Pebble Books


Blast Off Readers has several different categories within their easy non-fiction. “Oceans Alive”, “Backyard Wildlife”,”North American Animals”, “World of Insects”, “Extreme Weather” and “My First Sports” to name a few. These books use simple text and photographs to inform children about the world around them. They are appropriate for K-3 grades. They were very popular with my school students and were hard to keep on the shelves. Our public library carries a vast selection of them as well.

The I AM books written by Brad Metzler have really found their niche in the world of biographies for children. They are certainly favored by the kids in my life. The overarching message of the books is that anyone can be a hero. Metzler writes about ordinary people doing extraordinary things in his series. Just as important to the  popularity of these books are  the cartoonish illustrations by Christopher Eliopoulos.The illustations are what will make these books accessible to readers even if they are a little difficult at first. Check out this book trailer for Metzler’s I Am Abraham Lincoln:

I Am Abraham Lincoln book trailer

Pebble Books publishes great non-fiction books for students in grades K-2. Similarly to Blast Off Readers, they use simple text and photographs of the subject to draw readers in. Pebble Books cover a vast variety of subjects including: animals, math, science, social studies and biographies.