Holiday Recommendations for Young Readers 2023: Nonfiction

What’s Inside a Caterpillar Cocoon?: And Other Questions About Moths and Butterflies, written and illustrated by Rachel Ignotofsky, ages 6-9. Butterflies soar in the sunlight, while moths flutter under the moon and stars. Find out more about these mysterious and majestic insects' similarities and differences, and their awestrucking metamorphosis! “Drop-dead gorgeous.... A comprehensive, accessible, and visually beautiful selection." -- School Library Journal, starred review

Stranded!: A Mostly True Story from Iceland, written by ÆVar þÓr Benediktsson and illustrated by Anne Wilson, Barefoot Books, $17.99, ages 6-10. Based on a true story, the author humorously recounts the time his grandfather got stranded with a friend on Surtsey, a brand new volcanic island in Iceland. The adventurers face epic challenges like molten lava, melted eyeglasses and scant supplies before finally getting rescued. “This gently exciting story will be enjoyed by adventure-loving children." - School Library Journal

Chinese Menu: The History, Myths, and Legends Behind Your Favorite Foods, written and illustrated by Grace Lin, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $24.99, ages 8-13. Do you know the stories behind delectable dishes--like the fun connection between scallion pancakes and pizza? Or how dumplings cured a village's frostbitten ears? These tales--based in real history and folklore--are filled with squabbling dragons, magical fruits, and hungry monks. And, along the way, you might just discover a deeper understanding of the resilience and triumph behind this food, and what makes it undeniably American. “An utterly delectable feast of history and storytelling.”-- Kirkus Reviews, starred review. FIVE STARRED REVIEWS!

A Place Called America: A Story of the Land and People, written and illustrated by Jennifer Thermes, Abrams Books for Young Readers, $22.99, ages 8-13. A Place Called America takes the long view of the land's history, from its earliest formation and inhabitants up through today, and challenges its readers to think critically about the stories we tend to take for granted about our own history. "A necessary addition to… the personal library of any kid who wants to ‘work toward a better future for all who live upon the land.’ History made relevant." – Kirkus Reviews, starred review.