Interactive Non-fiction for Animal Lovers

Playing games is one of many ways kids learn about the world around them. Much research has been devoted to the importance of play in strengthening learning skills such as memory and problem solving. 

Nowadays, there are plenty of great educational apps, but you don’t need a screen to incorporate learning games into your child’s daily life. You may have heard about interactive picture books being read in storytimes to get kids actively participating. However, books that encourage participation can be found in other genres as well. Many of the library’s non-fiction books also have interactive components, like guessing games, in addition to the facts they present. 

Here are some suggestions for animal-themed non-fiction books that combine bite-sized facts with games and puzzles: 

Camouflage Clues by Megan Cooley Peterson talks about the way animals use camouflage through photo riddles. A riddle is paired with a photo and kids must use clues from each to discover what animal is hiding out in the open. 

The National Geographic Kids Almanac is published every year and contains facts about everything from the Amazon rainforest to the history of the Stanley Cup. There are also recipes, tips for writing a persuasive letter, and plenty of fun quizzes! 

Written by Rachel Poliquin and illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler, Beastly Puzzles gives the reader clues that describe the traits of a certain animal. Kids have to piece the clues together to guess what the animal is. 

Birds, Mammals, Fish and Bugs by Alix Wood is part of a science puzzle series called Accidental Genius. This book introduces animal facts with an accompanying activity, such as a word jumble or search-and-find, for kids to exercise their knowledge. Some activities may need to be photocopied or done on a separate sheet of paper.

Two animals are pitted against each other in the Who Would Win? series by Jerry Pallotta. Young readers are given facts about each opponent and must decide who they think would win before the final battle reveals the champion. 

National Geographic Kids: Animals: A Fact-filled Search and Find Adventure is part of National Geographic's Find it! Explore it! series. Kids are invited to look for animals in different environments, such as the Amazon rainforest, Arctic, and Sahara desert, then learn facts about the animals they’ve just found. 

Does It Fart?: A Kid's Guide to the Gas Animals Pass is a hilarious guessing game book where kids must decide whether or not certain animals are able to pass gas. Each answer explains why or why not with plenty of humour and fascinating scientific facts. A hit with kids young and old!