Last week, we went on an annual trip to IKEA and Joseph Beth Bookstore. It is a fun way to get our heads back into school and to pick up some new books. This year, I discovered a new informational book series for young readers-the Did You Know? series by Laura Lyn DiSiena and Hanna Eliot. It will be perfect for 3rd grade and I think younger and older students would like it too.
The first book I read was Hippos Can't Swim: and other fun facts (Did You Know?) . Kids LOVE facts. Isolated facts that are just fun to know. I worry a bit about this because so many kids read nonfiction and just collect facts without going further. This series of books is full of facts. I usually avoid books like that as there are enough out there. But this series is different. The facts are more than just a sentence fact. They are embedded in an explanation and connected to other facts in ways that build some understanding. For kids who are used to reading facts only, this is a great series to push them a little bit and to see how facts fit into bigger ideas and understandings.
These are great books for kids who need a bit of support reading nonfiction. I can see using them as read alouds or in small groups. But I think for all kids, these will be great reads for independent reading and kids will be able to read them cover to cover. The illustrations are fun with adorable animals doing crazy things everywhere. I think these illustrations will be great for kids who avoid nonfiction because they have a limited definition of what it can be. These don't look like your typical nonfiction book.
Right now, I think there are 3 books in the series. But 4 more are due out over the next several months. Woohooo!